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The Purpose of God Concerning Sin

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God’s Eternal Plan Concerning Sin—The Church

Having established the New Covenant by the sacrificial death of Christ, God now institutes the Church—the body of Christ. Here is manifested one of the great mysteries hidden in the Old Testament—that Christ would arise from the dead, the firstborn of the new creation; that He would be the head of a new organism called the church, which would be His body; and that He would indwell those members of His body through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Although Old Testament saints will enjoy many of the promised blessings of the New Covenant, and will be a part of Christ’s eternal kingdom on earth, only Christ’s church will enter into the fullness of “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Only the members of this body, who were “predestinated … unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ,” will experience the complete extent of God’s plan and purpose in Christ. Indeed, such an exalted position do these blood-bought children of God hold, that even the angels are envious of them.

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
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To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

1 Pet 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
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Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Col 1:18 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.

Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
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Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

To what purpose did God create such an exalted position among His created beings, that they would even share in the glory and blessings of His Only Son? Primarily, it would be through this new organism of the church, that the great questions regarding sin and rebellion against God would be answered. That it might, “by the church,” be revealed “unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places … the manifold wisdom of God.” That “according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord,” God would make an end of sin and all challenges to His sovereign authority.

Eph 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
11
According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

How then, might we ask, does God accomplish this purpose through the church? To answer this question we must first examine what the church is, who are the members of the church, and what is the nature of these members. First, as we have already said, the church is the body of Christ. It is not a building, denomination, or organization. It is the universal organism of all of God’s children, who have, or will be brought into His family under the New Covenant from the time of Pentecost until Christ returns for His completed Bride. Although the word church is used many times in the New Testament Scriptures referring to a local assembly of believers, that is a secondary usage and is not applicable to what we say here.

Col 1:18 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.

Acts 2:44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people.
And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

1 Cor 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

More specifically then, who are the members of this body of Christ—the Church? They are, first of all, sons of Adam; and being such, they are sinners, part of the fallen human race. They are people of all genders, races, and classes: males and females, Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, slaves and free men. The greater part of them are those, considered by the world, to be foolish, weak, and poor. They are the people God redeems after the establishment of the New Covenant—after the sacrifice of Christ, after the ascension of Christ, and after the sending forth of the Holy Spirit. This last point is an important issue, because many people would include saints of all ages in the church. The Holy Spirit was the “promise of the Father,” “the gift” that the Father gave to Christ to indwell His people. It is by the Holy Spirit that we are born into God’s family. It is by the Holy Spirit we are “baptized” into the body of Christ. It is by the Holy Spirit that Christ dwells in our hearts. This “promise,” or “gift”, was not given to Old Testament saints, nor will it be given to those who are redeemed after Christ returns for His completed bride. The Holy Spirit came upon the Old Testament saints for brief periods of time to accomplish God’s purposes, but He never indwelt them. Those saints will have their place in God’s new earth, but to be a part of Christ’s body is the “high calling” reserved for those who are redeemed in the Church Age.

1 Tim 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
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There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

1 Cor 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld,
he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth:
so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

1 Cor 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Luke 7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

Phil 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Moreover, the members of this body are the called out ones, or the called out assembly; and that is the very meaning of the Greek word ecclesia, which is translated church. They have been called out of this world, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and baptized into Christ’s body. They did not come to Christ on their own, but God drew them; they did not choose Christ, God chose them; and because God “ordained” them “to eternal life”—they “believed.” There is nothing good in any of us that caused God to choose us; nor was there anything good that we did, apart from God’s grace working in us, to facilitate our salvation. The members of Christ’s body have nothing to boast of, or to think of themselves as being anything special because they find themselves in this exalted position. There will be no bragging in heaven by those who are redeemed, they will only praise the God who redeemed them.

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God.
Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Acts 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
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Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Rev 4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Let us now examine what we might call the nature of those who are part of the body of Christ. The Scriptures proclaim that “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” Those who are “in Christ” have become one with Him as part of God’s new creation. They have been born anew into God’s family and are become the “sons of God.”

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
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Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

However, we all realize that those who are “in Christ” are not yet all that God intends for them to be. The salvation of God’s children is what might be called a three stage process. The first stage is called regeneration. It is the result of God’s Holy Spirit coming into our hearts and quickening, or making alive again, our dead spirits. We have already seen how that in Adam mankind lost its spiritual union with God and died spiritually; which also led to the eventual death of our body and our soul. That union is now restored; although, now in Christ, we have much more than what Adam experienced before he fell. Adam had an external relationship with God; but God’s Spirit lives within us, and has wed Himself, or “joined” Himself to our spirit, making us “one spirit” in the Lord. By this union with God, those in Christ now have eternal life and began the next phase of their salvation.

Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

1 Cor 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

1 Cor 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

The second stage of a believer’s salvation is the “renewing,” or “transformation” of our souls. This is the only reason man can be brought back from destruction; because by God’s grace and power his soul can be redeemed. We have seen how the soul of man was plunged into the darkness of sin when man became separated from the light of God’s presence. However, those who are indwelt by God’s Spirit, now have that light within them, revealing their sin and showing them Christ. Thus we are “transformed” into the “image” of Christ “from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Now, this stage of our salvation will never be complete until the day when we see Christ face to face, and then “we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” Until that day believers will be in a constant battle against “the lust of the flesh”; and we will be constantly learning to “walk in the Spirit.”[1]

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Eph 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

2 Cor 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

The last stage of our salvation will be the transformation of “our vile body.” Those who are in Christ are still aware of the sinful desires that once ruled their lives. Christ has freed us from the power of those lusts, but they still abide in our fleshly bodies; and that is what is called “the old man” of sin. That sinful nature is still very much a part of our flesh, and will be until we die and God resurrects us with a new body “fashioned like unto his (Christ’s) glorious body.” There is nothing we can do to alter this “sin that dwelleth in” us, but to bring it under the control of Christ. The flesh will never get any better, only worse, and it must be subdued.

1 Cor 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
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For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Phil 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

1 Cor 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

From this we see that a Christian, a member of Christ’s body, actually has two natures—one in which he lives inside, and one which lives inside of him. We have the old Adamic nature called “the flesh,” and we have the nature of the new man in Christ called “the spirit”; and while, before our salvation, our souls lived in the flesh—meaning the desires of the flesh was our life—now in Christ, we have been circumcised from that life to live in the Spirit. In our conversion to Christ, God separated us, our souls, from its identification and attachment to the flesh; but we are not yet delivered from having to dwell inside this corrupt body. Furthermore, the battle between these two natures still causes us a great deal of turmoil in our souls; and it is with “much tribulation (we) enter into the kingdom of God.” However, it is also in this battle between the flesh and the spirit, between the old man and the new creation, between the believer and sin, that God’s “eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” is being manifested. 

Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
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For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

What we see portrayed in the lives of believers, in this war between the flesh and the spirit, gives an answer to many of the questions that we previously purposed concerning sin. We see, first of all, that believers are sinners saved by the grace of God. They were not good people that God saved, but contra wise, “we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind;” in other words, we all had experienced the pleasures, as well as the fruits of sin; we all had practical experience in the ways of the flesh, “and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” From the day of our birth we “were dead in trespasses and sins,” having never known God, or had the light of His presence in our lives. We lived in darkness, and our lives were ruled by the “prince of the power of the air”; we were the children of disobedience,” the progeny of our first father Adam. The wrath of God was upon us, and all that awaited us was death and judgment.

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
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For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

Rom 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Psa 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

We also see, in the lives of those who are redeemed, that God “is rich in mercy”. That in spite of His holiness and sense of justice, He provided a way, through Jesus Christ, to express “his great love wherewith he loved us.” So that, “even when we were dead in sins, (God) hath quickened us together with Christ.” Those who have experienced this quickening by God’s Spirit, know in the depths of their soul, that it was “by grace (they were)… saved through faith”; and even that faith, by which they trusted in Christ, was “the gift of God.” They know that their salvation was “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” They are just like Jonah, who lay in the belly of a great fish at the bottom of the sea. He knew that there was nothing he could do to save himself, and so he proclaimed, “Salvation is of the LORD.” Jonah knew, that if he was ever going to be delivered from the “belly of hell,” God would have to do it. Even so, it is through God’s kindness to lost sinners, that any questions concerning His love, mercy, and grace are answered 

Eph 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;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
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Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Jonah 2:1 Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly,
2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

Jonah 2:9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.

God’s grace towards those He has redeemed is further evidenced by predestinating them to eternal life and safely keeping them by His power. Their eternal salvation is not dependant upon them fulfilling any demands or obligations as the terms of their being saved. As we have seen, God fulfilled all the demands of the New Covenant, and those who are in Christ are “free indeed.” We are free from condemnation, wrath, and the judgment to come. We are free in that we are not obligated to perform any duties, rituals, sacrifices, or works. God created us, in Christ, totally free; and free we must be if the sin questions are to be answered.

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

1 Pet 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
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My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Now, lest there are those who think that this freedom gives believers a license to sin, we say with Paul, “God forbid.” Although technically, we might say that we can do anything we want to do, however, as a new creature in Christ, we no longer want to live in sin. God has put His Spirit and His law within our hearts, so that we have a new desire to love and serve Him. Anyone who professes Christ, and can still willfully and continually practice sin without remorse, cannot be God’s child. Of course, this does not mean that a child of God is perfect, in that they will never again choose to sin; indeed, “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves.” There is no way we can escape all the temptations, lusts, and desires of this world and our flesh, and never be ensnared. However, as a child of God, we will not continue to lie in the hog pen of sin; but we will come to our Father again and again, so that He may “forgive us our sins, and … cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father,
even so we also should walk in newness of life.

1 Cor 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
9
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

The next important thing we see, in the life of them that are redeemed, is that they now have power in their lives to overcome sin. Because believers still have to live in the body of sinful flesh, they are not yet free from the temptations of sin; but, whereas before their salvation, sin and Satan ruled over them, they were in bondage to those masters, and had no ability to resist them; because of their fallen nature, their depravity, their deadness to God’s presence, they had a choice not to sin, but they were powerless to exercise that choice. However now, Christ not only frees us from the penalty of sin and the power of sin, which is the law, but His abiding presence in our lives gives us an ability and strength to war against sin’s influence in our lives. Now, instead of serving sin, we are made free to serve God. Furthermore, we not only are free to serve God, but we choose to do so willingly—not out of fear of being punished for not doing so; and not because we are rewarded for doing so; but because we have come to see that it is the best way to live. It is the very fact that those who once were controlled by sin, and who still have an ability to commit sin, yet through being given a new nature and a new power, choose to forsake sin and live a life of righteousness, which gives glory to God, and reveals His wisdom in condemning sin and rebellion against Him. Furthermore, for those whose desire is to live apart from sin, God will one day create a new heaven and a new earth in which there will be no sin.

John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Rom 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Gal 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Gal 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ
.

2 Pet 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

 

[1] For more on sanctification, see The Garden and the Gospel, the chapters on The Sanctification of the Soul, also available from this author or at "http://GodsPurposes.org".

 

 

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