Subject to vanity, subjected in Hope

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“Subject to vanity, subjected in Hope”

Part 1 and 2

Gainsville, Georgia Conference 2014

December 27th and 28th

 

Often times in our lives we are subjected to many trials and tribulations which seem to overtake us and almost run us “into the ground” so to speak.

That phrase itself, “run us into the ground” speaks about something too heavy for us and that it has the power to kill us / produce death in us.

Ironically enough that is exactly what the trials and tribulations sent to us by the Lord are sent to do. They are sent to cause, all that we know as the old man in us, to be put to death so that the new man can be born again afresh in us.

However, trials and tribulations are not ALL we have been given or have to look forward too or we would all perish almost instantly.

I’ve derived this talk from Roman 8:20 which tells us what we have been given additionally from the Lord, and what we have to look forward to.

Rom 8:20  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

Rom 8:21  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

In this study and at the start of this fellowship this week, I am hoping to depart hope to you as it is given and explained to us in scripture.

While the things we go through in this life are certainly grievous as we go through them, they are nothing to be compared to what the Lord has purposed for us after we pass on from this life into the next, but the process starts now.

 

“The firstfruits of the Spirit”

 

I know many of us are familiar with Romans 8 and the verses I have mentioned already, but I thought I would read these verses in another translation to help set the tone for what we are being told we are subject to.

Rom 8:20  (ESV) For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope

Rom 8:21  that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

Rom 8:22  For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.

Rom 8:23  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Larry did a few studies recently covering “adoption as sons” and Mike followed that up with covering the “double portion” that we receive.

However, I started thinking about this topic before those studies were done and from a completely different angle than what the Lord gave those guys to present.

The question that ran through my head is, “what is the freedom of the glory of the children of God” scripturally, or “the glorious liberty of the children of God” as the KJV states it.

What is the freedom the children of God know and how is it glorious?

There are many things that can be said about this if I just state what I think this means, but there is a lot more accuracy in my thoughts if I reply solely on what scripture teaches about this glorious liberty.

Of course, this liberty is being compared and contrasted to the “bondage of corruption” and how we who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly for the redemption of our bodies.

What then is the glorious liberty of the children of God?

Rom 8:21  BecauseG3754 theG3588 creatureG2937 itselfG848 alsoG2532 shall be deliveredG1659 fromG575 theG3588 bondageG1397 of corruptionG5356 intoG1519 theG3588 gloriousG1391 libertyG1657 of theG3588 childrenG5043 of God.G2316

The word used as glorious in Romans 8 is the Greek word G1391, “doxa” and is used 170 times in the NT according to Strong’s Concordance.

Thayer’s defines it as:

G1391

doxa

Thayer Definition:

1) opinion, judgment, view

2) opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone

2a) in the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory

3) splendour, brightness

3a) of the moon, sun, stars

3b) magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace

3c) majesty

3c1) a thing belonging to God

3c1) the kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler, majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity

3c2) a thing belonging to Christ

3c2a) the kingly majesty of the Messiah

3c2b) the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ; the majesty

3c3) of the angels

3c3a) as apparent in their exterior brightness

4) a most glorious condition, most exalted state

4a) of that condition with God the Father in heaven to which Christ was raised after he had achieved his work on earth

4b) the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Saviour’s return from heaven

Part of Speech: noun feminine

A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from the base of G1380

Citing in TDNT: 2:233, 178

However, “doxa” is not the root from which it comes from. The root of “doxa” is

G1380

dokeō

Thayer Definition:

1) to be of opinion, think, suppose

2) to seem, to be accounted, reputed

3) it seems to me

3a) I think, judge: thus in question

3b) it seems good to, pleased me, I determined

Part of Speech: verb

A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: a prolonged form of a primary verb, doko (used only in an alternate in certain tenses; compare the base of G1166) of the same meaning

Citing in TDNT: 2:232, 178

So, if we break this down to the root of what we are being told, then “glorious” would mean “to have a  view of, to be accounted and reputed, to have splendor, majesty and brightness of a ….. JUDGMENT of,” ….. Whatever it is you are describing as being glorious.

In the case of the verses in hand it is a majestic judgment of liberty.

It is incumbent on us then to find out what this majestic judgment of liberty is.

G1657

eleutheria

Total KJV Occurrences: 12

liberty, 11

Rom_8:21 (2), 1Co_10:29, 2Co_3:17, Gal_2:4, Gal_5:1, Gal_5:13 (2), Jam_1:25, Jam_2:12, 1Pe_2:16, 2Pe_2:19

at, 1

1Co_7:39

Here are the other verses listed out which speak about this “liberty” with a few of their surrounding verses to give a little context.

The focus I will have will liberty throughout the rest of this study is to find out just what having liberty in Christ means for us and how that glorious liberty leads us to hope. How does it lead to hope?

I am going to cover the various scriptures mentioned so that we can see how the Holy Spirit inspired various writers to use this word in the NT.

  1. Is liberty in Christ judged?

1Co 10:27  If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.

1Co 10:28  But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:

1Co 10:29  Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?

1Co 10:30  For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?

This is the first example where the word liberty is used in the Greek. What we are being told in what we just read is that we have liberty to eat what we desire.

However, if the person who asked us to join them at a feast specifically tells us that what we are eating is sacrificed to an idol, then we are to not eat that which is offered to an idol.

I don’t know about most of you, but I don’t personally know anyone that would say, “eat this or that because I am sacrificing it to an idol”.

However, I do know plenty of folks who would gladly say, “Here, have this piece of cake in honor of me and my birthday.”

Most of the world, including myself at one time, did not see such an act of celebrating a birthday as worshipping an idol, but what bigger idol is there to worship than the idol of the heart called, “self”?

Whether the person celebrating the birthday knows it or not, celebrating their birth over and over is celebrating an idol of the heart and the pride of life which we all have at some point.

For that person’s birthday, we are not to eat the cake if that is the Faith we have been given, because it would harm their conscience when we say we do not keep holidays, yet we eat a piece of “birthday” cake, for example. However, the cake is a piece of cake at the end of the day and is NOTHING in and of itself.

Of course we also know that by not partaking we can easily offend the birthday person, so how can we still know we have liberty in Christ which leads to hope while also knowing that we will undoubtedly offend with our actions?

Well, I will give another easy example of how to illustrate this question with an answer.

One time I was eating an egg from a bowl of colored eggs which obviously had been decorated for Easter. For me and my conscience, the liberty I have in Christ tells me that this was and is just a boiled egg I can feed myself with.

Yet, as soon as someone saw me who KNEW I did not celebrate Easter, saw me eating an “Easter” egg, they immediately asked me how I can eat an “Easter egg” and say I don’t celebrate Easter.

This was not during the celebration of Easter and was just a bowl of extra eggs that had been brought into work. However, I quickly explained to this person, that TO ME, this was a just a boiled egg and had no significance as an Easter egg for me.

However, knowing that the conscience of the person seeing me eat this egg could be caused to stumble, I will forever more abstain from eating colored eggs around that person.

Rom 14:13  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

Rom 14:14  I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

Rom 14:15  But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

Rom 14:16  Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

However, I do not allow my liberty to be judged as evil by acting myself as if it is evil. I simply just do not offend another with what I am permitted to eat by not eating it in their presence.

Paul summed this up by saying, “why should MY LIBERTY be JUDGED by another man’s conscience.” This person has not been given the gift of glorious liberty so they are still under the law they are bound to keep, therefore they cannot understand why I am able to eat what they believe to be an “Easter” egg.

  1. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty

2Co 3:7  But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

2Co 3:8  How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

2Co 3:9  For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

2Co 3:10  For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

2Co 3:11  For if that which is done away was glorious, MUCH MORE that which remaineth is glorious.

Obviously we see glory being mentioned again, but I also want to point out that we see the ministry of death being written and engraved in stone. These were physical stones, but this also typifies another type of stone. We read this just a few verses above:

2Co 3:2  Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

2Co 3:3  Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

Verse 3 stated in the CEV translation says:

(CEV)  You are like a letter written by Christ and delivered by us. But you are not written with pen and ink or on tablets made of stone. You are written in our hearts by the Spirit of the living God.

Anyone who has children can understand what I heard told to me once. When you become a parent, it is at that point that you start to live out becoming memories for your children, and you children start to become memories for you.

In other words, you are living NOW what will later become memories for the opposite party involved. This is in the physical sense of children, but this also just as importantly applies to SPIRITUAL children in Christ.

When we are used by the Lord to bring the gospel to a person, we are being used in the same way physical parents are used temporarily in this life to raise their physical children, but this time is only temporary since we are all children of the Lord in our time.

So, how someone sees our walk in the Lord has GREAT significance on what they will remember about Christ being represented by you in their lives. Your conversation will become a memory to them that they can learn from, as well as use for their strength when they need to draw upon that memory later.

Likewise, any negative memories have a critical impact on how Christ is perceived in you as well. That is why it is important to remember that this “proverbial door” swings both ways and what we just read becomes even more important for us to understand.

(CEV)  You are like a letter written by Christ and delivered by us. But you are not written with pen and ink or on tablets made of stone. You are written in our hearts by the Spirit of the living God.

A letter is something that can be read over and over again, so we need to be conscience of what it is which is being written not in ink and pen, but what is being written on the heart.

We all start of naturally with stony hearts, but when the Lord brings the law of Liberty, we are given a heart of flesh. Another way to understand having a heart of flesh is to think about it as living versus being dead (stony heart) and that living heart is living towards the one who gave it life.

Continuing we will see how the Spirit of the Lord is given to us when the vail of the law of Moses is removed from our faces which indicates to us that whatever legalistic teachings we gained while being in Babylon are now being replaced with the glorious law of Liberty in Christ.

2Co 3:12  Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

2Co 3:13  And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

2Co 3:14  But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

2Co 3:15  But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

2Co 3:16  Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.

2Co 3:17  Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

2Co 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 (G1391) to glory (G1391), even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

What then is the glory that we continually grow into from glory to glory? If we remember back to what this word represents, it is “to have a view of, to be accounted and reputed, to have splendor, majesty and brightness of a ….. JUDGMENT of,” ….. Whatever it is you are describing as being glorious.

What we are being changed into is the image of the JUDGMENT of the Lord. You may be thinking that glory cannot possibly have an implication of judgment, but what have we been discussing so far if it is not the contrast between what it means to be in bondage and what it means to find GLORIOUS liberty in Christ Jesus?

So liberty in Christ can be judged rightly or wrongly depending on the person doing the judging and we have now learned that liberty is where the spirit of the Lord is.

  1. Liberty by the Truth of the gospel

Now, we are going to see that liberty can be directly assaulted by false brethren who come in secretly to SPY on the liberty we have. With that, we will also learn how to combat it.

Gal 2:2  And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation (Glorious or glory used in other places), lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

Gal 2:3  But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

Gal 2:4  And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

Gal 2:5  To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

The way we combat these false brethren bringing false doctrine is to NOT GIVE PLACE to their doctrine, “no, not for an hour” as Paul proclaims. We do this so the Truth can continue in those who otherwise might be susceptible to these doctrines bring brought to their ear.

Gal 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not ENTANGLED AGAIN with the yoke of bondage.

Gal 5:2  Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

Gal 5:3  For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

We must be diligent to stand on the word of God because that is what gives us the glorious Liberty which we need to be pressing onto.

Why is this important to do? Why is this topic even important for us to consider?

The reason I thought this topic might be important is because we all need continual encouragement.

One of the ways we can gain encouragement is to know what we are up against and also to know that we are NOT ALONE in the battles we all face.

We all have various types of trials and tribulations. We have some that overlap in certain respects while other types of trials are custom made for us individually.

One of the illustrations that is being made in these examples of verses speaking about liberty is that they are connected to glory, but GLORY is directly connected to JUDGMENT and I hope that is coming out.

Here is a connecting thought to consider when thinking about being a slave to the flesh, the carnal mind, and being in bondage to the law that works in our members.

Rom 7:22  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

Rom 7:23  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.

Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

1Co 1:27  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;

1Co 1:28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

1Co 1:29  That no flesh should glory in his presence.

1Co 1:30  But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

1Co 1:31  That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

When we think about what glorious liberty is and what it is to glory in the Lord, we should be considering that the only way we will get to this “glorious position” of being in liberty, of being in FREEDOM, is THROUGH JUDGMENT.

Why am I mentioning judgment so much and doesn’t it almost seem like a “dirty word” to mention when talking about the HOPE we have because of liberty?

To answer that, we must know what the purpose of judgment is. After all, it must begin at the house and temple of God with His children.

 

“Righteous judgment”

 

There really are only two types of judgment we can judge with. We can judge with righteous judgment that comes from the mind of Christ, and we can judge with unrighteous judgment which comes from the flesh.

When we think about judgment we should always be focused on proper righteous judgment, and that judgment is simply being used to SET THINGS RIGHT.

From the beginning of all of our lives, we are set out on a path that is NOT going to end with the Way to Truth and Life, but to death. The Lord does things to put some on a corrected course.

However, when the Lord gives us His gospel and drags us to Himself, He sets in motion the process of giving us judgment which we can use to set things right.

What are some examples of what I am talking about?

The Lord tells us that we can understand the things happening in the spiritual realm by the things which are visible to us in the physical realm.

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;

Rom 1:19  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

Rom 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Rom 1:21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

I like to think of a storm as a good example of a lesson the Lord uses to teach us things about what He does in the world of “invisible things” which can be understood by the “things that are made”.

If we use an example of a storm, I want you to imagine a real storm being described, and the various details which we can gain from our physical senses and understandings of a storm, that indeed a storm is about to happen.

We all have trials and understand what that means. So, let’s liken trials to storms in this example.

With storms, we can see and hear them coming. We can smell them in the rain that is coming. Often times, people will tell you they can feel them coming in their arthritic bones and joints.

If it is a particularly powerful storm, there will be damage involved and shelter needed to avoid the brunt of the storms force.

As naturally minded creatures, we know to head for the best cover around just as all natural creatures do.

With all that in mind, let us consider these same examples of things that happen to us physically as also happening to us in the spiritual heavens.

Sometimes we know a storm is coming and sometimes we don’t. We do not need physical trials to say we are having a trial or know what a trial is.

Of course, that isn’t saying physical trials are any less of a trial, but I am saying that there are many more types of trials than those physical trials which affect our flesh.

In fact, we have many trials that have NOTHING to do with us physically, but may very well manifest themselves in the physical.

Many people have financial, emotional, spiritual and mental trials in addition to physical trials and what we often do is take cover from the storm i.e the trial, and rightly so.

We cry out in our distresses for relief, and we find refuge in the Lord.

Ask yourself though, “what is the purpose for a storm?”

Storms bring rain. They block the sun. They are grievous and scary at times. They are loud and thunderous and produce lightning and hail.

Their purpose is to set right things that need to be set right even when they may make NO SENSE at all to us and our natural reasoning. After all, why does the sun need to be blocked out for a time, for example?

Why would the sun need to be blocked out? Why would trees need to be toppled? Why do homes and vehicles, business and livestock need to be pummeled with hail, etc?

How can storms be used to set things right, therefore producing judgment, and is this truly an example of judgment?

The answer to those questions is that the Lord knows why He works all things after the counsel of His own will and we cannot fathom the complexity of the effects that come from the storms He causes both physically and spiritually.

The Lord alone is able to JUDGE when a CORRECTION is needed.

This is exactly the same with the spiritual trials and storms which come to us all. What then does any of this have to do with “glorious liberty” which leads to hope?

How does a storm, whether physical or spiritual LEAD to freedom?

Well, there is a great example of a tremendous storm that was used by the Lord to correct, and therefore judge, all of humanity and lead humanity to Himself.

I, of course, am speaking about the great flood which wiped out most of humanity save a very few. The fact is, death leads to the Lord and death is REQUIRED to bring forth life.

Jesus was and is the perfect example of this and we can see that in the story of the flood and what happened with it.

Gen 6:11  The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

Gen 6:12  And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

Gen 6:13  And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.

A few verses later…

Gen 6:16  A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.

Gen 6:17  And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

Gen 6:18  But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

The judgment which was being made on ALL FLESH happened to set right the violence that was being done by those considered “all flesh”.

Noah and his family too were being judged, but the type and shadow of their judgment is that they were given safety, a refuge, shelter from the storm in the form of the ark which the Lord told Noah to prepare.

Just like Noah, we are told as the children of God, to prepare an ark spiritually speaking. However, our spiritual ark is not something that can be seen, but it is an ark that all of humanity will eventually be able to come into.

The ark that saves us is, Jesus Christ the word of God, and the way onto this ark, is through judgment.

The righteous judgment of God is manifest to us in the persecutions and tribulations we endure.

2Th 1:1  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

2Th 1:2  Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2Th 1:3  We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

2Th 1:4  So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

2Th 1:5  Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

The trials and storms the Lord tells you are coming, the rains which WILL come your way and into your life, are those which you NOW prepare for and for which you PAINFULLY endure as they are upon you.

That is the judgment, the glory, the Lord has given us in His liberty. This glory however is not to be used or thought of as something to be used for an occasion to the flesh and that is what we will cover in part 2.

 

Part 2

 

In part 1 we covered the first 4 verses concerning what the word liberty is told to be in the new testament.

This liberty is what we are told is given to the children of God who are first subject to vanity but are ALSO subjected to hope.

This hope then leads to freedom in Christ. Obviously, all of humanity is subject to vanity, but few are given true relief from ONLY being subjected in this life to vanity.

In part two, we are going to continue to look at what the Lord has inspired to be written so that we can truly glean what it means to be free in Him.

This part of the study is going to start of with helping us understand that being free in Christ does not afford is freedom to do whatever it is WE want to do. After all, we are PRISONERS for Christ Jesus.

Eph 3:1  For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

Phm 1:9  Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

  1. Use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh

Gal 5:10  I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.

Gal 5:11  And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

Gal 5:12  I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

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.

Gal 5:14  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Gal 5:15  But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

What could Paul be writing about in reference to not biting and devouring each other? The answer is found in Galatians 5:1 at the beginning of this chapter.

Gal 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

So much of our church lives has been focused on “performance religion” i.e. what we can do to gain our salvation, what we do to keep our salvation, to prove our salvation to others, how to stay right with God, etc. and how we look in front of other brethren.

However, all of these are vanity of the flesh and fall under the umbrella of “all that is in the world”.

1Jn 2:15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1Jn 2:16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

When we, as children of God, try to use scripture to bring others into bondage of what WE THINK scripture teaches versus what scripture itself teaches us, then we will be guilty of biting and devouring one another.

What we are to do, and the only way to make sure we are not biting and devouring each other to bring others back into bondage to what we think is the proper “Christian life”, is to use the spiritual principles of “comparing spiritual with spiritual,” “natural then the spiritual”, “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” to determine what doctrines Jesus gave us to live by.

We do this because we all are in the same war of flesh versus spiritual, and the difference with the children of God and the rest of humanity is that the children of God are commanded to love one another and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

We do that by keeping His commandments, and we can only keep His commandments by His judgment, not our OWN DECIDED judgment, being used on the house of God first.

It first begins at US, but that also means that I cannot have any righteous judgment until I myself have judged myself with that judgment.

However, when a child of God understands these principles, we also know that there are commandments which the Lord tells us to diligently listen to in order to obey His voice.

If we are listening for the voice of the True Shepherd in one another, then we should also be obeying the voice of the Shepherd in one another when doctrinal matters are being considered. This is how we can avoid biting and devouring each other.

Joh 7:24  Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

We do not look on outward appearances in the flesh, the things that happen to someone, the events that unfold in someone’s life, the various trials someone experiences, and then conclude that this person is somehow NOT RIGHT with the Lord.

Likewise, we are commanded not to reverse that thinking and look on the appearance of things and conclude that if someone has great health, lots of money, many friends, etc., that they are someone who is somehow doing what is right in the sight of the Lord.

None of that vain reasoning and thinking LEADS to the hope that we want to be subjected to. Everything I just mentioned has root in being subject to vanity and flesh.

How then do we challenge the vanity we are subject to? We apply the hope which is in us to all situations!

1Pe 3:12  For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

1Pe 3:13  And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

1Pe 3:14  But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

1Pe 3:15  But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

1Pe 3:16  Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

Being ready always to give and answer to every man that asks you about the hope in you IS NOT giving the answer YOU personally think is the answer. Those ANSWERS come from the Word of God, the voice of the True Shepherd in YOU. That is how we walk out and live the above verses.

Having a good conversation in Christ brings me to my next usage of the word liberty.

  1. Continue in the perfect law of liberty

Jas 1:21  Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

Jas 1:22  But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Jas 1:23  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

Jas 1:24  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

Jas 1:25  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Jas 1:26  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

Are we not looking into the law of liberty with this study?

Liberty in Christ Jesus does not restrict us from doing anything, because all things are ours.

However, the Liberty in Christ teaches us to judge ourselves so that we willingly choose (the Lord working it in our lives Php 2:12) to DO that which is EXPEDIENT and not to find out what is PERMISSIABLE so that our flesh can glory in being vain.

Php 2:12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

When we attempt to ignore the warnings of the Lord, that a certain flood will be upon us, for example, and that we must prepare, we are not taking heed to being doers of the Word.

In other words, the Lord tells us that a loving Father chastens His children. He tells us that He will send fiery trials to try us and also what to expect with that.

When these trials and chastisements come upon us, we know it is due to the warnings the Lord has given us that He will discipline us so that we know the way in which we must live out being doers of the Word.

Pro 3:11  My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

Pro 3:12  For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Heb 12:7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Heb 12:11  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

1Pe 4:11  If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1Pe 4:12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

1Pe 4:13  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

We can be glad with exceeding joy, not because we are being chastened, but because the Lord has chosen and caused the fire of His Word to work it’s work in our lives now and not later as it will do for most of mankind.

Sure, it is a long process which lasts our entire lives but it is one which after enduring it, we can move on to the Hope we have longed for while in this life. We will rise and see Him as He is due to having overcome the world the Lord has placed us in, Lord willing.

The wonderful joy we experience in this life by this understanding, knowledge and wisdom, also extends to those whom are placed around us. We do not joy in the evil and sin in the world and within us, but we do joy in knowing that what the Lord has started, He will finish.

In context of what we are speaking about in this study, the Lord has started a work which will reconcile all of humanity with Him through the process of judgment and fire.

1Co 3:14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

1Co 3:15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

  1. Speak and do as one judged by the law of liberty

Jas 2:10  For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Jas 2:11  For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

Jas 2:12  So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.

Jas 2:13  For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

Jas 2:14  What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

Jas 2:15  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

Jas 2:16  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Jas 2:17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

The way the world sees “the Christ” working in their midst is by seeing the same example in them (the Christ) that Jesus gave to those He was walking and talking with when He was on this earth.

If we understand that God is sovereign and that this process of salvation extends to all of humanity, then we should also look at this plan of God and see those things that are not as if they were already accomplished.

After all, that is how the Lord views His work.

Rom 4:16  Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

Rom 4:17  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

Rom 4:18  Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

We must live out the Faith God the Father has given us by living out the belief that the Lord has given us freedom to worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

Notwithstanding, that liberty will also by necessity, bring the trial of persecutions and tribulations so that we are partakers of Christ’s glory.

  1. Don’t use your liberty as a cloak of maliciousness

1Pe 2:11  Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

1Pe 2:12  Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

1Pe 2:13  Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

1Pe 2:14  Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

1Pe 2:15  For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

1Pe 2:16  As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

1Pe 2:17  Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

The Lord tells us it is His will that we do well, and doing well is living out our daily lives of not caring about what others think about us due to us obeying our Father and Lord.

We do not return evil for evil, but instead, we submit ourselves to the calling the Lord has called us in until, and if, a more expedient way to serve the Lord presents itself.

We do not commit sin simply because we know we are under grace. It would be the easiest thing “in the world” to commit sin and then say the Lord has us covered since we are under grace and grace trumps sin.

However, this entire study is about what the scripture teaches us about that reasoning being the absolute opposite of what the Lord commands us to think.

The glorious liberty of the children of God leads us to hoping that this immense struggle and war we are all in, is for a wonderful plan of God which will free us all from this tabernacles of death we have now.

That is why we do not walk after the flesh and the carnal mind.

  1. Do not promise liberty to others but then serve corruption yourself

2Pe 2:1  But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

2Pe 2:2  And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

2Pe 2:3  And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

2Pe 2:10  But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.

A few verses later…

2Pe 2:17  These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

2Pe 2:18  For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

2Pe 2:19  While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

2Pe 2:20  For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

Did you notice that the false prophets and false teachers come in privily (secretly) with false doctrines which deny the Lord.

These are the same false prophets and teachers, whom we call brothers, which we read about earlier who come in to spy this same liberty the children of God have and then presume to offer this liberty to others through false doctrine.

Simply put, these teachers cannot give something to others that they have not been given themselves!

Gal 2:4  And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

Gal 2:5  To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

If you desire to know if you yourself are guilty of being a false prophet, remember that there is a “test” to know if you are NOW living out this role.

2Co 13:3  Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.

2Co 13:4  For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.

2Co 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

2Co 13:6  But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

2Co 13:7  Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.

2Co 13:8  For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.

 

“Conclusion”

 

What we have been thinking on in this study is how those who are the children of God now, those who are referred to as having the first fruits of the Spirit, are groaning for the redemption of their body.

I propose to you that we are a body collectively and NOT individually.

We are one body, with One Lord, One God the Father, having One Baptism, One Faith, One Spirit and One Hope.

Eph 4:1  I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

Eph 4:2  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Eph 4:3  Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Eph 4:4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

Eph 4:5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Eph 4:6  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Eph 4:7  But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

What goes along with that is that we as this one body with one Head, should be looking towards the glorious liberty that allows us to obtain to “being one” with all the things just mentioned in that calling we have been called to.

The chastening grace that is given to each of us, by measure, requires that we learn from the measures that each of us collectively have been given.

We learn to accept the disciple given to us by our Father and we also learn to share these experiences with one another so our entire body can benefit from the grace given.

This is how we forbear one another in love with lowliness, meekness and longsuffering.

Rom 8:20  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

Rom 8:21  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Let us all be subjected to Hope by being delivered from the corruption that is in us all. We do that by submitting to the commandments of God and by:

  1. Not allowing our liberty to be judged by a corrupt man’s conscience
  2. Turn our minds to the Lord so that we can be one with His Spirit as the Lord wills
  3. Don’t give place to false doctrine in the name of “being free” in the Lord to do whatever we want
  4. Serve one another with the liberty in Christ we receive
  5. Do not forget what manner of man you were and make sure to look toward Jesus in all things so that we can be transformed into His image from glory to glory
  6. Judge yourself knowing the law of liberty with be the judgments uses to weigh your actions against. Show mercy and judge righteous judgment
  7. Do not sin and rely on grace due to the freedom you have in Jesus Christ
  8. Do not preach liberty to others but be a reprobate yourself. Walk the walk and talk the talk praying the Lord will bless you to be able to do so.

I hope this study has been a blessing to you all.


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