(6)“The Lord is on my side. I will not fear. What can man do unto me? (7) The Lord taketh my part with them that help me.” [Ps.118:6-7]
(31) “…If God be for us – who can be against 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, not any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Ro.8:31,38-39]
(3) “What time I am afraid – I will trust in Thee. (4) In God I will praise His Word, in God I have put my trust. I will not fear what flesh can unto me.” “In God have I put my trust. I will not fear what man can do unto me.” [Ps.56:3-4,11]
In these present times there is obviously a lot of fear being exuded among the masses of our whole society. In some places it is proving to be more extreme than in others. This kind of thing naturally happens when something occurs that threatens the health and well being of the world around us. This sort of thing also establishes a platform of confusion – even for many Christians.
That is why the texts that are reflected above – all tend to point us in one true and certain direction. They all remind us of the eternal truth of Who is in control – Who is sovereign overall – Who is God! And, in the first two verses from Ps.118 – the underlined phrases may be more literally translated: “The Lord is for me”. This makes their message completely compatible with the next text from Romans 8, which, in turn, makes God’s faithfulness descriptively declared from vs.28 even more blessed unto us! There is no situation in all of creation that can separate us from our wonderful and eternal Savior/God! He confirms the reality – in times just like these – of the pure gospel truth that: “He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Along with that which is also written: “Jesus Christ – the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” [He.13:5,6,8] Praise God!!
So then, dear child of God — as far as right now is concerned – we can confidently rejoice in these times for we can say with the Psalmist: “What time I am afraid – I will trust in Thee! In God – I will praise His Word. In God – I have put my trust! I will not fear – what flesh can do unto me! In God – have I put my trust – I will not be afraid what man can do unto me!” But, why is this true? The answer is found in Is.43:1-3,5: “But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear Not: for I have Redeemed thee! I have called thee by thy name – thou art mine! (2) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, and through the rivers, they shall not overthrow thee! When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (3) For – I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior…”! (5) “Fear not! For I am with thee!”
Hear (!) the Word of God from Is.44:2,8! “Thus saith the Lord that made thee and formed thee from the womb – which will help thee: Fear Not – O Jacob, my servant – and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen!” (8) “Fear ye not – neither be afraid – have not I told thee from that time – and have declared it? Ye are even my witnesses! Is there a God beside Me?! Yea, there is No God! I know not any! Praise and Glory and Dominion – Only – unto the – Savior/Lord – our God! Note what is also written in Is.54:14: “In Righteousness shalt thou be established! Thou shalt be far From Oppression – for – Thou Shalt Not Fear – and From Terror – For It Shall Not Come Near Thee!” Indeed, there is no God – like our God! Praise His Name!
For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in Light: (13) who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son: (14) in whom we have redemption through His blood – the remission of sins!” [Col.1:12-14] “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth – wherein dwelleth Righteousness.” [2Pe.3:13] “For we through the Spirit – wait for the Hope of Righteousness by faith.” [Gal.5:5]
We ended last month’s devotional with He.1:8: “But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy Kingdom.” So, therefore, Christ Jesus sovereignly rules His Kingdom with the sceptre of the Righteousness of God! Christ our God right now sits upon His eternal throne and rules over us in this fallen-in-sin world – with a Righteous Sceptre. This is why Ro.8:28-29 says: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God – to them who are the called – according to His purpose. (29) For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” The man, Christ Jesus, is the image of the eternal Son of God, and it is unto His all Righteous and holy image – unto which — all of God’s loved and chosen from eternity are divinely purposed to be conformed. Christ truly is our all and in all!
Christ Jesus was purposed and decreed from eternity, in eternity and for eternity to sovereignly rule over us in all His holy authority over heaven and in earth. He – having been raised from among the dead by the glory of God the Father (Ro.6:4) – right now sits upon His sovereign holy throne (He.1) governing over all the things that pertain to the eternal salvation of all His people (Mt.1:21). We owe all our thanks unto God the Father — for it is He who has qualified us – or, “made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in Light”! This He has done by His placing us in His Son in eternity (see Eph.1:3-4)! Praise His Name! And, it is the Father that has also delivered us from Satan’s present ruling authority and power in this world! “And has translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son!” In whom we, according to the holy and precious blood of His Son, Jesus — right now – have forgiveness and freedom from our sins. Praise, again, unto our Savior/God!
While we are now still in this fallen-in-sin world we do not yet completely realize the victory that we have in and through our Lord Jesus Christ — but there is promised to us in God’s Word that it is certain we will realize it when, once, we are finally completely freed from this corrupt world of sin and death. This is exactly what the text from 2Pe.3:13 declares unto us that we “look for”! The “Righteousness of God” — in the spiritual “Kingdom of Christ” — right now eternally reigns and rules – apart from its being completely and presently realized! But, this is only while we are still confined in this passing away world. 1Co.15:50 says: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” Vs.54-57 go on to say: “…when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written – Death is swallowed up in victory. (55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
So then, right now we are living out the descriptive declaration of Gal.5:5: “For we through the Spirit – wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” We do not perform the Righteousness of God, we wholeheartedly trust in the perfect Righteousness of “the obedience of Christ” – on our behalf!
For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter
“…to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in Everlasting Righteousness…”[Dan.9:24]
“Therefore, by the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be Justified in His sight! For by the Law is the knowledge of sin. (21) But now the Righteousness of God without the Law is manifested being witnessed by the Law and the prophets, (22) even the Righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe…(23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (24) being Justified freely by His grace, through the Redemption which 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.” [Ro.3:20-26]
These two portions of scripture declare the pure gospel truth regarding the Righteousness of God. The Word of God refers to the Gospel of Christ as an “Everlasting Gospel” (Rev.14:6). And, the Word of God also refers to the Righteousness of Christ as an “Everlasting Righteousness” (see above Dan.9:24). The other three scriptural prophetic descriptives of Dan.9:24 right before the one just mentioned, make it absolutely obvious that this points directly to the historical fulfillment of the death and resurrection of the eternally accomplished atonement through the person and performance of the Lord Jesus Christ!
This brings us to the context of Rom.3:20-26. Right up front, it is made clear and plain that there is no justification – or, divine declaration of any among fallen-in-sin mankind — as being righteous before Holy God by doing the works of the Law. All that can be accomplished out of the Law is a full knowledge and understanding of sin! In fact, 1Co.15:56 says: “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin – is the Law.” Hence, there shall no one from among all of fallen flesh that — shall be justified in the sight of Holy God – from doing the deeds of the Law. We absolutely need Eternal Justification or, Everlasting Righteousness in order to be eternally saved! In other words, we absolutely need our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ to be our advocate and our propitiation before holy, holy, holy God – where our eternal salvation is concerned!
This brings us to Ro.3:21-26. Christ Jesus, is the promised Seed of the woman that God declared would come and crush the head of the devil-serpent! He is announced in vs.21 as having been manifested – or, as having showed up! The Truth that Jesus, the Christ of God, is our Everlasting Righteousness is substantiated from Jer.23:6, which says: “…and this is His Name whereby He shall be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.” And, this is verified by God through His two witnesses: 1. His divine Law – which Jesus obeyed perfectly during His walk through this fallen-in-sin world, and 2. His prophets — through whom He foretold the coming of Christ into this world. This Righteousness which Christ was – and is – and forever will be, is the “Righteousness of God”! This is what the faith of Abraham exhibited. Consider Ro.4:2-5: “For if Abraham were Justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. (3) For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (4) Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace – but of debt. (5) But to him that worketh not – but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly – his faith is counted for Righteousness.” For it is God’s grace of saving faith — that is“the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ”! Praise The Holy Name Of The Savior!
For Christ’s Glory Only – John Carpenter
“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees – ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” [Mt.5:20]
“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God – but not according to knowledge. (3) For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. (4) For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” [Ro.10:2-4]
Where the pure truth concerning “the righteousness of God” is concerned there is a great deal of misunderstanding. The consequence of being sinners in this sin filled world makes it impossible for anyone (lit.) “to come unto a full knowledge of the truth” [1Tim.2:3] – apart from the free grace of God and the Holy Spirit of God. Sin adversely affects the judgment of even the most religious – the most intelligent – or, the most all around gifted sinner. There is no exception! We need the Spirit of Christ for all our spiritual understanding needs! [see: Pr.16:22; Jn.7:38; Eph.1:17-18]
Where the righteousness that we need for eternal salvation is concerned, Jesus, Himself, said what has been recorded from Mt.5:20 (see above) — and this text is still the Truth. The righteous-ness that we need in order to be accepted and approved by holy, holy, holy God for heaven…or, to put it another way — for us to be “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in Light” [see: Col.1:12] – is none other than the righteousness that only God the Father can give us by His great grace – through the person and work of His incarnated only begotten and beloved Son – the Lord Jesus Christ!
We need what the Word refers to as “the righteousness of God”. For example, “the righteousness of God” is like that which is described and recorded in Ro.1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ – for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth…(17) For therein – is the righteousness of God revealed…”. Therefore, “the righteousness of God” is made known unto us by personal divine revelation through hearing “the gospel of Christ” which is “the power of God unto salvation.” [see: Ro.10:16-17] This is why Col.1:12 completely says: “Giving thanks unto the Father – which hath made us meet (or, qualified) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in Light..” And, Christ is, also, the Light – Praise His Holy Name!
So then, it is only by the will of God the Father that anyone has been made to be qualified, approved and “accepted in the Beloved”. [see: Eph.1:3-6]
Ro.10:2 refers all those who like the scribes and Pharisees – have a real zeal for God, but it is a zeal that is not in accordance with (lit.) a “full knowledge” of who God is!
And why is that? Jesus, Himself, explains why from Mt.11:25-27: “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, (the scribes and Pharisees) and hast revealed them unto babes. (newly “born from above” infants!) (26) Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight. (27) All things are delivered unto me of my Father – and no man (lit.) fully knoweth the Son, but the Father – neither (lit.) fully knoweth any man the Father – save the Son – and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” Of course, all of this revelation experience is brought to pass by the Holy Spirit of God. We will try to delve deeper into this wonderful subject of the “everlasting gospel.” [see: Rev.14:6]
For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter
“And you – that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind – by wicked works – yet now hath He reconciled (22) in the body of His flesh through death – to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.” [Col.1:21-22] “Christ…loved the church, and gave Himself for it; (26) That He might sanctify and cleanse it – with the washing of water by the Word, (27) that He might present it to Himself a glorious church – not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” [Eph.5:25-27]
These two texts describe a work performed by Christ. A work not unlike the very creation of the world itself, for, indeed, it is describing the “new creature” [2Co.5:17] that every saved sinner is “in Christ”! Yes, this work is one that could only be done by the incarnated eternal Son of God, viz., the Lord Jesus Christ – the absolute greatest human ever to be born in and upon the timeline of fallen human history! Through Him alone — and for His glory alone – this work of perfecting the saints has been completely and totally accomplished! Not only has it been accomplished by Christ Jesus, the Lord, but because He is the eternal Son of God incarnated – it has been accomplished from eternity – in eternity – and for eternity! Praise His eternally holy and almighty Name!
Dear ones, He is our perfect propitiation before eternal and holy, holy, holy God. This literally means that He, and He alone is our only perfectly holy satisfaction before God. Christ Jesus (the incarnated eternal Son of God) has perfectly and eternally satisfied all the holy and eternal requirements — for all those whom God the Father has given unto Him [see Jn.6:37;17:2]. This includes their eternal Redemption, eternal Justification and their eternal Reconciliation — before, and with the Lord our God. This is what constitutes eternal salvation! “Salvation is of the Lord”!
This also means that Christ has satisfied the perfect Justice – of Almighty God! Our sins deserve the Divine Justice of eternal Hell itself. Therefore, our eternal Redeemer was made to be our sin [See 2Co.:5:21] and He satisfied Divine Justice for us as our eternal Savior and Substitute! The apostle Peter was Holy Spirit inspired to write concerning Christ’s atonement of us in these words: “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree…” and, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins – the Just – for the unjust – that He might bring us to God – (lit.) having been put to death in the flesh – but quickened by the Spirit.”[1Pe.2:24;3:18] Praise His holy, holy, holy Name!
How else can we be described by the Holy Spirit through the pen of His messenger and preacher, the apostle Paul — in such language that has been recorded in God’s Word from two different places in holy scripture? We are said to be: “holy” – “unblameable” – and “unreproveable in His sight” – according to the text in Colossians; and we are presented (i.e. lit., made to stand) before Him, our glorious Savior/God – “not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing” – but we are before Him: “holy and without blemish”! This is what it means to be among all those who have been included in the eternal atonement of the eternal “Lamb of God” the Lord Jesus Christ! Praise His Wonderful Name! If it’s not all Christ – it is all wrong!
God sees us – right where He placed us “before the foundation of the world”[see Eph.1:3-4]! The truth of the gospel of the glory, only, of our Lord Jesus Christ is even better news than we all thought! Look at, and meditate upon, that which is written in 1Jn.4:16-19! This passage is a very present help in the time of our being in this world of our trouble. Let us contemplate the mind-blowing last phrase of 1Jn. 4:17 and Rejoice! It says: “because as He is – so are we – in this world.”
For Christ’s Glory Only!
“Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us, (79) to give Light to them that sit in darkness – and – in the shadow of death – to guide our feet into the Way of Peace.” “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” “But the path of the Just is as the shining Light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”[Lk.1; Ps.119:105; Pr.4:18]
The last phrase of the Holy Spirit inspired utterance that old Priest Zacharias (the father of John the Baptist) descriptively declares unto us – is also a reason why the Lord God sent His Son into this world. Christ was sent into our fallen human history to not only be our Savior – but also our guide through and out of this world into God’s heavenly eternal presence and Kingdom! There are two important things we should always be aware of each day we are in this earthly life: 1) Where we are in this Cosmos Diabolos (the world of the Devil) and, 2)Where we are being led!
It would be difficult to find a more relevant subject to seriously meditate on at the beginning of a brand new year. Every single one of us are being led throughout our temporary journey in this evil world – right into our eternal destiny. Who we are – whether a genuine true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, or a false believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, or an outright and total unbeliever – will reveal where in eternity we will ultimately end up as our eternal destiny. Ro.8:14 tells us: “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” And, 2Pe.3:17 warns us to: “beware lest ye also being led away with the error of the Wicked – fall from your own steadfastness.”
There is no question about it! We will, and we do, suffer in this trial filled world – but praise God 1Pe.2:21 tells us: “For even hereunto were ye called – because Christ also suffered for us – leaving us an example – that ye should follow His steps.” This means that He forged a one man path through this dark, dense valley of the shadow of death – right into His holy eternal loving presence and Kingdom. It is no wonder that the Psalmist says that God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet! We need “the shining Light” of God’s Word to show us the footprints of our Lord that will lead us through this dark and troublesome valley. 1Pe.2:9-10 describes us all collectively: “ye are a chosen generation – a royal priesthood – an holy nation – a peculiar people – that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous Light. (10) Which in time past were not a people – but are now the people of God – which had not obtained mercy – but now have obtained mercy.” This is all because we are being led by the Spirit of God through this sinful and cursed world. By virtue of this saving work of the Holy Spirit – we fulfill the scriptural description of He.10:19-22, which says: “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (20) by a new and living way – which He consecrated for us through the veil – that is to say – His flesh. (21) And having [Him as] an High Priest over the House of God (22) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith…”
This describes “the path of the Just” that “is as the shining Light – that shineth more and more unto the Perfect Day!” Praise the holy Name of Jesus! He came into this dark and sinful world to lead us in the grand and glorious exodus out of its bondage and death [see: Lk.9:28-31]. Well does Ps.85:13 describe His powerful and protective leadership: “Righteousness shall go before Him – and shall set us in the Way of His steps.” Pr.15:9 says: “The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord – but He loveth him that followeth after righteousness!” We will not fall victim to the wiles of the devil — when we faithfully follow the footsteps of Christ our eternal Savior and Surety.
For Christ’s Glory Only! – John Carpenter