Archive for February 1, 2009

The Solidarity of Mankind

February 1, 2009

 As in Adam all die, in Christ all will be made alive” (I Corinthians 15:22).

Our modern Christian culture has become so immersed in individualistic philosophy that we have lost sight of the Biblical description of what it means to be human …

The Bible describes humanity as fallen in Adam and made righteous in Christ (Romans 5:18). It describes humanity as reconciled to the Father in Christ (Colossians 1:20). It describes humanity as living, moving and having its being in Him (Acts 17:28).

So, to be human is to be fallen in Adam but made righteous in Christ. To be human is to live and move and have your being in Him and be reconciled to the Father in him. The call of the gospel is that we would believe these truths about ourselves and stop believing the lies that say we are unloved and cast out of the life of God …

From a human point of view we see each individual as separate and cut off from his fellow human beings and from God. But Paul tells us to no longer regard anyone from a human point of view and instead to see our solidarity in Christ.

Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more” (II Corinthians 5:16).

 Jonathan Stepp
Neo-Reformation

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The Ephesian Summit

February 1, 2009

Ephesians is the summit of God’s revelation to us. God has removed sin and estrangement. No longer does justice withstand the purposes of love. Paul takes us back to a time long before the creation of Adam, and forward to a point far beyond the end of the book called Revelation.

Andrew MacLarty
The Prison Letters
Grace & Truth

Our Human Resistance

February 1, 2009

Against the many religious doctrines that appeal to and cultivate our fear, I shall urge upon my reader this simple proposition: Contrary to what we might fear, the Creator and Father of our souls – the Lord of hosts and King of kings – is good.

 … But the history of organized religion, at least in the Western tradition, is a record of our human resistance to the proclamation that God is love, that His love extends to everyone, and that it is in no way conditioned upon human obedience or human faithfulness …

 We shall find in the end,

 “Perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (I John 4:18).

 Thomas Talbot
The Inescapable Love of God, pages 1, 37, 39

Firstfruits: The Beginning of God’s Great Harvest

February 1, 2009

The word “firstfruits” speaks of the beginning of something, or the first of the ripe fruits. The word “firstfruits” would then signify to us that that which is considered a firstfruit is not the full harvest, but it does point to the fact that there is more fruit to come. The firstfruits are not the end of the harvest, but it is just the beginning of God’s great harvest! …

God is gathering in a remnant, or firstfruits. This remnant is then to be used in the coming age to be the very manifested sons of God, which will result in all nations coming to the knowledge of the Lord. This remnant is to be used as well in the Age of the Ages, playing a part in the final phase of God’s great harvest, which will result in the gathering of all remaining things in Christ (Ephesians 1:9-11, Colossians 1:20). This will be the consummation and completion of God’s great harvest, which will result in Him being “All in all” (Everything to everyone).

We must realize that the firstfruits is not the end of God’s dealings with man, but just the beginning. According to God’s pattern given in the Old Testament, there must come forth a firstfruits company that is separated away first from the whole just as the sheaf of firstfruits was waved as the evidence that the whole harvest would follow. Rejoice! You are the firstfruits of God. Your very salvation guarantees the rest of the harvest to come.

Thomas Kissinger
The Glory of God and the Honor of Kings

Mercy upon All

February 1, 2009

“For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all” (Romans 11:32).

 God is in all this – every bit of it – the evil as well as the good. He shuts us up in unbelief, that He may have mercy on us, so when folks walk Satan’s way, they are being taken that way by a God who has designs of mercy on them.

 Norman P. Grubb (1895-1993)
Notes from Norman

Unjust Notion

February 1, 2009

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The notion that a creature born imperfect, nay, born with impulses to evil not of his own generating, and which he could not help having, a creature to whom the true face of God was never presented, and by whom it never could have been seen, should be thus condemned, is as loathsome a lie against God as could find place in a heart too undeveloped to understand what justice is.

George MacDonald (1824-1905)
Unspoken Sermons: Third Series, page 31 (1889)
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