THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH
A. The Problem – Inward Slavery To Sin
John 8:31-39 (NIV)
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching (New Covenant, cf. Mt. 5-7- focus on inward cleansing through work of the Spirit), you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (from sin, and ultimately death and bondage to decay).” 33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants (Gk. “seed”) and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin (and therefore in need of mercy, even if they belong to Abraham’s biological seed) . 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family (eternal land inheritance, eternal life, etc), but a son (set free from sin) belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free (from sin – through the Spirit, cf. 2 Cor. 3:17), you will be free indeed (from sin, bondage to decay, . 37 I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word (because of inward corruption of sin). 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father (the devil, cf. vv. 44).” 39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did.
Romans 8:18-23 (NIV)
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed (those counted worthy of the permanent inheritance). 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God (set free indeed!, cf. John 8). 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
B. Christ Born Under Law
Galatians 3-4:7 (ESV)
1O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified (Paul’s sufferings for them as an ambassador of the crucified Messiah and minister of New Covenant, cf. Ac. 14). 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit (unto inward sanctification now, and life in the resurrection in Day of Lord, cf. Rom. 8) by works of the law (Mosaic Law, e.g. circumcision) or by hearing (the gospel) with faith (like Abraham)? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? 7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham (counted worthy of being permanent members of the family and the eternal inheritance). 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you (“and your seed,” cf. Gen. 22:18, 28:14) shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. 10 For all who rely on works of the law (Jews) are under a curse (the curses of the Mosaic Law, ultimately death); for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” 12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us (Jews) from the curse of the law (death, kicked out of land, no fruitfulness among the Gentiles, etc.) by becoming a curse for us (Jews)—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham (the promised Spirit) might come to the Gentiles (Israel fulfilling her calling in Christ- “the fullness of the Gentiles”), so that we (Jews) might receive the promised Spirit through faith (the salvation of “all Israel”, cf. Rom. 11:25-26). 15 To give a human example, brothers:6 even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16 Now the promises (of the Abrahamic covenant – inheritance of the land, resurrection, kingdom of God, etc.) were made to Abraham and to his offspring (seed). It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many (i.e. does not explicitly say “descendants” in the plural; “seed” is a collective singular), but referring to one, “And to your offspring (seed),” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law (Mosaic Covenant), which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God (the Abrahamic Covenant), so as to make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law (which it didn’t! Israel was kicked out of the land), it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise (and yet, God made a promise to Abraham; the question: how was God going to pull this one off?). 19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions (to increase consciousness of sin, cf. Rom. 5:13, 20 – that the “trespass might increase,” and sin might be “taken into account,” unto producing the cry for mercy; cf. 1 Tim. 1:8-11 – the law for rebels and lawbreakers; cf. Matt. 5:17 – Law as witness), until the offspring (the seed) should come to whom the promise had been made (the promise had been to Abraham and the Messiah all along!), and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. 20 Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life (the main issue – what would lead to human beings coming up from the grave), then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin (Lord, we can’t do this on our own!), so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came (NIV – “the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ”), in order that we might be justified (counted as faithful to the covenants) by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus (in the Seed) you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring (seed), heirs according to promise.
4 I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. 3 In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principlesof the world. 4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman (cf. Gen. 3:15), born under the law (as a Jew, bound to the Mosaic covenant), 5 to redeem those who were under the law (Jews), so that we (Jews) might receive adoption as sons (as permanent members of the family). 6 And because you (Gentiles) are sons (also members of the family through faith), God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave (to sin, death), but a son (inheritor of the promises), and if a son, then an heir through God (a co-heir with Christ, Rom. 8:17).
6 Or brothers and sisters
THE BRIDAL MYSTERY REVEALED
THE BRIDAL MYSTERY REVEALED
A. All Nations Blessed In Abraham And His Seed
Genesis 12:1-3 (ESV)
and in you (“and your seed,” cf. Gen. 22:18, 28:14) all the families (NIV – “nations”) of the earth shall be blessed” (unto the formation of a righteous community/assembly of nations, cf. Gen 28:3, 35:11).
Genesis 28:14 (ESV)
Your (Jacob)offspring (seed) shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring (seed) shall all the families of the earth be blessed (unto the formation of a righteous community/assembly of nations, cf. Gen 28:3, 35:11).
B. Mystery Revealed In Christ: “blessed in your seed”= “in covenant with the Messiah as a Bride through the Spirit.” Christ obeyed the Law perfectly, therefore inherited the promises. We are “in him” or “one with” him, therefore if he gets the inheritance, he is bringing us with him.
C. Christ In Us, The Hope Of Glory
Colossians 1:24-29 (NIV)
24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
D. Gentiles Included In The Inheritance In Christ
Ephesians 3:1-13 (NIV)
1For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— 2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. 7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms (rebellious powers and principalities keeping the nations in blindness and delusion), 11 according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
E. One With Christ As A Wife
Ephesians 5:28-32 (NIV)
28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
F. The Lord’s Dead Will Live
Isaiah 26:16-19 (NIV)
16 Lord, they came to you in their distress; when you disciplined them, they could barely whisper a prayer. 17 As a woman with child and about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we in your presence, O Lord. 18 We were with child, we writhed in pain, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth; we have not given birth to people of the world. 19 But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.