Letter to a Dear Friend — Hope it Touches Others As Well
I have a baby shower with my sister-in-law this weekend so I will make this quick….. Regarding your question about my view of works regarding salvation is a great question!
Christ did 2 things for us during his life and on the cross leading to his Resurrection
1) Mankind, since Adam, our first Federal Head or legal (Covenantal Justice) representative of the entire human race who was tasked with obeying the covenant God disseminated to him which consisted of one prohibition regarding consuming the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
1 Corinthians 15:21-22 (NASB) 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
Satan tempted Adam directly, as he was standing right there failing in his responsibility as a man, to project his strength in laying down his wants, needs and desires in order to to sanctify at all costs, including his very life, the Bride he is blessed with. Satan targeted the capacity in Adam and needs to make moral decisions based upon the character they had been given. He first angled for mistrust in saying that they would not surely die as God had decreed and then he targeted pride in saying that they would KNOW good and evil and be like God. You see, the Hebrew word for KNOW or YADA, is a word that English, in the putrefaction of its depth and glory because of Humanism, no longer truly captures, as it is a word that means to know through experiencing on all levels of being and thus having such a grasp as to be able to manipulate or control. Adam and Eve thought, as the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch of the United States federal government thinks it can today, that they would be able to control according to their appetites and desires, what is “Good” and “Evil”, so that they could engage in whatever enterprise their appetites and lusts bound them to; in other words they would be the “gods” who wrote the 10 Commandments according to their will. Adam represented the entirety of the human race and would have brought by his obedience, the number of the elect to its fullness directly from his progeny if he had obeyed until that number was complete. As it is, we all fell into sin through Adam. Being born in sin, we sin from the beginning and are locked in hatred of God and his Righteousness whether we admit it or not, for our actions portray our true heart. The Covenant of Grace was formulated before time began as God of course decreed the fall of man that he might bring a race of beings to the fullness of their development as created in his image, that they may be the purveyors of his glory at its most fullest Revelation, through his creation, for all eternity. He announced immediately the Gospel…….Genesis 3:15 (NASB) 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
The first thing that Jesus does in the saving of mankind is to give himself over as our SUBSTITUTE, a substitute for each and every person predestined to be adopted into the family of God Almighty through the One True Savior, King Jesus Christ. In his Passive Obedience Jesus gave himself over to receive the condemnation, humiliation, punishment and the very Eternal Wrath of God justly deserved by each and every Elect chosen of God. For the first time and all eternity, God the Father turned his countenance away from his Son and Thus As He Died, Jesus Cried out When His Father Turned from Him….
Mark 15:34 (NASB) 34 At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” which is translated, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”
The man Jesus Christ remained in the grave 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb and rose again to life Sunday morning at which time he spent 40 days revealing the truth of his Resurrection to those first ones given the task along with the spiritual life to begin the redemption of all creation from sin. On the 40th day, the prophecy of the first verse of Psalm 110 was fulfilled….Psalm 110:1 (NASB) 1 The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
2) So, the first thing Christ did, in his humanity, was to suffer the eternal wrath of God for each individual sinner, over those 3 days and 3 nights, through the power of the Holy Spirit’s Anointing when he was baptized by John the Baptist and the prophecy of his actual name was fulfilled; the “Messiah” means the Anointed One. This cleared the sin debt which the Elect owes according to the perfect Justice which is the character of God; all is measured against the Righteousness of Christ, for he is the standard by which all is measured and found either just (like him ) or unjust (sinful). Now, with the sin debt gone, the Elect is in the same situation which Adam and Eve were in in the beginning; they were sinless and in a Righteous (all the requirements of the Moral Law of God are met) state but had the ability to fall away from Righteousness. The next thing Christ did fulfilled all the requirements of the Moral Law of God for each and every Elect and gave them, PRAISE GOD, the very character of Jesus Christ as their own for all eternity that they may never fall again! How did Jesus do this and what was the confirmation that he had fulfilled the requirement? Jesus lived an absolutely sinless, perfect, what the Bible calls Righteous, Life according to the very Standard of all Justice, Good, Love and Life….. The Perfect Moral Law of God ….. which is conveyed in the WORD of God and this brings us to the true manifestation of the Standard for all things if they are to exist in eternity with God Almighty….. The Living Word……. King Jesus Christ. God the Father requires that any man or angel which is to be in communion with him must be 100% Righteous, having either been created without the possibility of fall from Righteousness, as the heavenly Angels, or having lived out, in perfect compliance, a life of a covenanted span of time; perfect in compliance with the Moral Law of God resulting in an irreversible Grace of perfect Righteousness of character without possibility of deviation from it for eternity. The very Standard or living Moral Law of God Himself lives and grows within us as our very character.
3) We are given legal declaration or what’s called imputation of our sinlessness and our Righteousness (having met all the requirements of the Moral Law of God in Christ) when we are Justified before God when we are saved. God the Father treats us as if we have lived a 100% righteous life, just as Christ and treats us as if we were sinless because Jesus Christ, our King, intercedes for us, giving testimony to the father that he fulfilled the covenant for us when we fail during the rest of our life here. During this time, in addition to the legal declaration of Justification we are given when we are saved initially, over the course of the rest of our lives, Sanctification occurs. While Justification is a legal state, Sanctification is an actual infusing within our very character, the Righteous inclinations of Christ’s perfect soul and being…. In other words our very character is gradually changed to a new one in emulation to our Savior and this Sanctification ends at death or at Christ’s return and culminates in Glorification or the complete transformation of our character to that of Christ’s and the imparting as well, of an eternal Glorified Body within which we will dwell on the New Earth under the New Heavens, all set in perfect sinlessness as the Consuming Fire of God’s perfect Justice in judgment on Judgment Day at Christ’s return will burn away ALL REMNANTS of sin and the New Heavens and the New Earth will be unveiled in sinless perfection before God for all eternity and there will be no sun, for the glory of God will give all Light. Revelation 22:5 (NASB) 5 And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.
SO…. Are we saved by works….. YES……. Jesus Christ’s Perfect Works of obedience to the Moral Law of God in living a lifetime as 100% man and 100% God or 2 natures in one person. To be our Substitute he had to be human as well as God and to meet all the requirements of the Moral Law of God for us as well as pay the price of the eternal wrath of God for our sin. AND HE DID! We of course are given Faith when we are born again or regenerated just prior to salvation… This is when the Holy Spirit gives us our first tiny infusion of Christ’s character or Righteousness which alters our being forever as he gives us the ability to sense Life above and apart from the 5 senses of the flesh. God is Spirit and he speaks in the Gospel of Spiritual things, thus that tiny new beginning within coupled with the Gospel or what is called in the Bible the Living Water……. Begins our journey from death to life……. Where is this Regeneration spoken of?
John 3:3-5 (NASB) 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirithe cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
God Bless You Dear Brother and Much Love in Christ …….
Mel and Frances