Once Fallen Short, Now Rejoicing #3

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23 KJV).

Here is the bad news… Now, the good news….

Re-read today’s Scripture with its context: “[22] Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: [23] For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; [24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: [25] Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; [26] To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. [27] Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. [28] Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Although we have “come short of the glory of God,” lacking inherent righteousness, we can be “justified” or declared righteous in God’s sight. By His grace, God can impute or apply righteousness “freely” to our account. This is accomplished through “the redemption [buying back] that is in Christ Jesus.” While we are captive in sin’s slave market, Jesus Christ’s shed blood is the payment to free us. It can make atonement or return us to fellowship with God that Adam lost long ago.

Father God set forth the Lord Jesus to be a “propitiation,” or fully-satisfying payment or sacrifice for our sins. Christ’s substitutionary death becomes our death, God punishing Him as though He were the sinner. Through Jesus’ finished crosswork, God offers us His own righteousness. Here is the Gospel of the Grace of God that we believe to pass from eternal death to eternal life. Verse 26 again: “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Not only are we forgiven of our sins, we who have believed the Gospel have been declared saints. God sees us as though we never sinned, for we now share Christ’s very identity….

Once Fallen Short, Now Rejoicing #2

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23 KJV).

Here is the bad news… Now, the good news….

The “glory of God” is the expression or manifestation of all that the Creator God is (His nature, beliefs, and so on). It is what makes Him worthy of our praise and worship. As sinners, however, we “come short of the glory of God” (today’s Scripture). Our natural, evil state prevents us from properly reflecting the LORD God. While Adam was indeed created in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-28), Adam sinned in chapter 3. After the Fall, he thus fathered children in his own image and likeness (Genesis 5:3). Therefore, the Holy Spirit assessed the world’s condition in Romans 5:12: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:….”

Almighty God has established a standard of rightness or suitability, and we sin by failing to reach that target. We “fall short” of the goal—just like someone unable to completely jump across a wide chasm, or leap high enough to clear a hurdle. Religion is designed to lessen the gap and lower the bar, thereby causing us to wrongly believe we can “measure up.” It really does not matter how much we try to do in religion—water baptism, prayers, confessions of sins, commandment-keeping, et cetera—because we still fail to properly represent God. We can pretend or make out like we think and behave as the Bible instructs, but our feeble fleshly efforts are no substitute for God’s perfect work. A holy, righteous God demands absolute or sinless perfection—and that we naturally lack!

In Romans 3:23, we learn that we have come short of the glory of God. Contrariwise, chapter 5 opens with: “[1] Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: [2] By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Something about us radically changed between these two passages. Once fallen short of God’s glory, we now rejoice in hope of God’s glory….

The More Powerful Words #4

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth” (Psalm 33:6 KJV).

Sinful man needs to learn the lesson of today’s Scripture!

While Adam was created in God’s image, he deliberately forsook that identity. Subsequently, he fathered children “in his own likeness, and after his image” (Genesis 5:3). That fallen—or sin—nature passes down to every human paternally (father’s side). Romans 5:12 comments: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned….” Consider man’s fallen condition.

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually(Genesis 6:5). God said, “…the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth(Genesis 8:21). The LORD God said of sinful Israel what is true of all humans: “But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward” (Jeremiah 7:24). “Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do: but they did them not” (Jeremiah 11:8).

“This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing” (Jeremiah 13:10). “And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me…” (Jeremiah 16:12). “And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart (Jeremiah 18:12). “They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you” (Jeremiah 23:17).

Man is still wise… just wise in his own eyes….

The More Powerful Words #3

Monday, October 7, 2019

“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth” (Psalm 33:6 KJV).

Sinful man needs to learn the lesson of today’s Scripture!

Genesis chapter 1: “[26] And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. [27] So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Prior to the Fall (chapter 3), mankind was in complete fellowship with his Creator. Sin was unknown; it was not there to serve as a barrier between Adam and God, or Adam and Eve for that matter.

Dear friends, did you ever realize that Adam was a prophet? Genesis chapter 2 explains: “[19] And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. [20] And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.” God gave Adam the responsibility of naming the animals (at least the air-breathing terrestrial ones). Adam had been created with a brilliant mind, and he was to use that brain to figure out what name best described each animal he saw. God did not name the animals; he let his spokesman, Adam, do it.

Unfortunately, Adam was not content in operating within the confines of God’s will. He sided with his wife Eve and Satan in eating the forbidden fruit (chapter 3). This broke his fellowship—yes, man’s corporate fellowship—with the LORD God. Now, man is hell-bent on using his God-given mind to function apart from that God. Man is no longer God’s spokesman, but His rival. Knowledge apart from the one true God will inevitably lead to folly and futility….

What is God Doing? #21

Friday, January 25, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

Friends, honestly, God owes us absolutely nothing. Our selfish human nature, however, refuses to believe that. We demand He “do this” or He “should be doing that,” much like an inexperienced child attempts to “guide” (wiser) adults to behave a certain way. Let us be people (creatures), and let us let God be God (Creator). He made us; we did not make Him. It will be a happy day in the lives of billions when they get off the throne of their lives and trust the Lord Jesus Christ to sit there instead. “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:25).

We can grow accustomed to seeing problems as occasions to inquire, “Where is God?” Indeed, if we are not thinking properly, that will we wonder. Having adopted the view of the world, the mindset of religious traditionalists, we lose sense of reality and wind up in the trap of delusion. Poor choices bring about horrible outcomes, yes. A fallen creation causes us suffering, indeed. Satan employs others to persecute us Christians, certainly. Nevertheless, despite the difficulties, the God of the Bible offers to work on our behalf. Still, He will respond as He sees fit, not as we see fit.

The Apostle Paul had to learn this personally: “[11] Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. [12] I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. [13] I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:11-13). Rather than God removing our troubles, He gives us the grace (ability) to bear them….

What is God Doing? #20

Thursday, January 24, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

Today, God has temporarily (!) paused the prophetic program that He was operating in Job’s lifetime; He is running the mystery program, what He kept secret from previous ages (Ephesians 3:1-11). He is not currently forming an earthly people, the nation Israel (His past and future dealings with man). Contrariwise, He is creating the Church the Body of Christ, a heavenly people.

Jesus Christ’s shed blood is the purchase-price of God’s “whole family in heaven and earth” (Ephesians 3:15), by which He reconciles both Heaven and Earth to Himself. Colossians 1:19,20: “For it pleased the Father that in him [Christ] should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (cf. verse 16).

Earth’s innumerable evils do not mean there is no God, or that (if there is a God) He is cruel or apathetic. Scripture is quite clear that God’s restoration of Earth is momentarily suspended. His present program works invisibly in the heavenly places. When He has accomplished that purpose, then and only then He will resume His earthly work. Looking for God’s earthly acts right now is futile, for that earthly program is not (!!!) what God is doing today.

In God’s heavenly and earthly kingdom, when Jesus Christ returns at His Second Coming, there will be no curse of sin. Bodily illness will be cured (Isaiah 33:24; Isaiah 35:1-10). Physical death will be removed via resurrection and spiritual ignorance will be corrected (Isaiah 25:7,8). All creation will be more glorious than ever; the heavens will literally illuminate like never before (Romans 8:19). Satan will be imprisoned (Revelation 20:1-3; Zechariah 13:2). The Lord Jesus will sit on a throne in Jerusalem to execute righteous judgment (Jeremiah 23:5-8; Hebrews 1:7-12). All things amiss will be righted (Isaiah 11:1-16). Until then, suffering, sickness, and death remain….

What is God Doing? #19

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea” (Job 11:7-9 KJV).

What exactly is God doing? Can we say? Or, must we remain clueless?

Adam knowingly decided to plunge us, the human race, into spiritual darkness and death. Contrariwise, Jesus Christ willfully obeyed His Heavenly Father. He went to Calvary’s cross to pay for our sins, redeem us. Romans 5:6-8: “[6] For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. [7] For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. [8] But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Second Corinthians 5:21, “For he [Father God] hath made him [the Lord Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” We can be justified, declared righteous before God, because of Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork. (It is the reverse of being condemned because of Adam.) Ephesians chapter 2, “[4] But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, [5] Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved; )….”

Colossians chapter 1: “[16] For by him [Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: [17] And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. [18] And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. [19] For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; [20] And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven…..”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should we read denominational literature?