Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 20
Let’s continue with our definitions of salvation. Those things that are part and parcel of our Salvation. All the things that God did instantaneously the moment we believed. None of which we could do in the flesh, but were done by an act of God and then appropriated on our part by faith. Remember Hebrews Chapter 11 says:
“But without faith it is impossible to please him…”
It has to be reckoned by faith. Now let’s come to the word “Translated.” You and I didn’t feel ourselves suddenly taking a trip. We didn’t sense that all of a sudden we were in one place, and now we are in another. But yet the Scriptures say that we have been translated. It’s done. Let’s turn to Colossians Chapter 1. Here we find Paul praying on behalf of the Colossi believers:
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (or prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who (speaking of God the Father) hath (past tense)delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son;”
I don’t believe that I have ever heard a sermon on being translated into the Kingdom. Now I’ve heard a lot of sermons about the Kingdom that is within you. But this is a literal Kingdom – Spiritual as well as physical, one day in the future. When John the Baptist, back there in the account of the Four Gospels said, “Repent and be baptized for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand,” what was he referring to? The King was in their midst, and where The King is the Kingdom was sure to come. But Israel rejected The King and the Kingdom, and they crucified Him. He was called back up into glory, and He’s seated there at the Father’s right hand. But nothing with regard to Kingship and the Kingdom has changed. He’s still The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. So the Kingdom is still centered in the Person of Christ. And at Salvation, along with all these other things that God has done on our behalf, He hastranslated us from spiritual darkness into the Kingdom of His dear Son, which is in heaven. But, that same Kingdom one day is yet going to come and be established on the earth. And you and I as believers will be there with it. We will be ruling and reigning with Christ over that Kingdom of which we are now members by virtue of our salvation experience. Looking at verse 13 again:
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness,…”
That includes Satan, the principalities, and powers that are incumbent upon the human race. But it’s also that old Adam and all of his power. All of that has been broken away, and we are now translated into the Kingdom of His dear Son. The world thinks that they are in freedom. And they feel sorry for us because they think we’re bound up with our do’s and don’ts. But it’s the other way around. The world is out there under the chains of darkness, of rebellion, of satanic power, but we have been set free! We have the best exercise of free will of anybody in this world. And that’s why we constantly say that our freedom isn’t license, because our freedom is so God-given that we don’t want to do the things that license would permit. I never want to be misunderstood there. We have that complete exercise now of the free will that the unsaved person has nothing of. He’s bound, he’s under chains, and we’re free. To reinforce that, let’s go for a moment to the Book of Philippians.
“For our conversation (Citizenship) is in heaven (I know you don’t feel like you’re a citizen of heaven do you? But by faith, you and I know that we are already citizens of heaven, because that’s what The Book says); from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:”
That’s the Rapture. I was reminded again recently that I hadn’t taught the Rapture since Book 11. In the near future we will teach the Rapture again. We know that’s the next event on God’s calendar. We don’t know when it will be, but it can’t be too far into the future. We know that the Lord Jesus Christ will meet us in the air, and that is something that we take by faith. Romans Chapter 8 tells us that we have been “glorified.” Now this probably isn’t definitive as some of these other things, but nevertheless I want to show you the verse. And remember that Paul always writes to the believer. So this is for every true child of God.
“For as many are led by the Spirit of God, they are (already) the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”
The word `adoption‘ here doesn’t mean what we normally think of as taking a child from some other union, and bringing it in, and making it legally ours. The word `adoption’ at the time of Paul, meant that they would take a child who had been tutored by tutors under school masters, and at an appointed age they would make him a full heir with the father. In other words, if the father had a business, when the child had finished his tutoring and they felt he was now ready, they would go through the rite of adoption whereby the father would declare that child a full heir in the business.
I’ll never forget the first time we went to Israel years ago. My wife is pretty good at bartering and we were in a beautiful gift shop. There was a little lad behind the counter and he couldn’t have been over ten or eleven years of age. The father was sitting in the back room at the desk. Iris was bartering with that kid, to bring the price down to where it needed to be, and I thought the guy was losing money with this kid bartering for him. They finally closed the deal, and Iris paid the boy. So I walked back to the gentleman and I said, “Do you speak English?” And he said, “Oh Yeah.” So I asked him, “Can you let that little kid transact business like that?” And he said, “He’s never lost me a dime yet.” You know why? He had been so tutored and so trained that that father had absolute trust in his negotiating. Well that’s what it meant to be adopted – to be put in a place of full responsibility.
That’s what God has done with every believer. We have been placed as the full child, or joint heir. What a responsibility! That’s a responsibility just like that kid. It was his responsibility to see that my wife not take him down too far. He had to still show a profit. And it’s the same way with us in the Lord’s service. He has placed us in positions of responsibility. To handle this Book whether you are a Sunday School teacher, missionary, or pastor or whatever, is an awesome responsibility. Don’t you ever take it lightly, because these things are eternal. And now verses 16 and 17. Remember, the phrase we are studying has the word `glorified.’ We will come back to it momentarily. I got sided tracked with the word `adoption.’
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are (already) the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
The moment we became a child of God, the moment we believed, then God declared us a full son of the Father. A joint-heir with Christ. And the way I understand joint-heir is, what’s His is also ours as believers. That’s what The Book says. Another verse on adoption is in the Book of Ephesians Chapter 1.
“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
This word `fulness’ could also have been translated `complement,’ (not with an `i,’ but rather with an `e’). The Body of Christ of which you and I are members is the complement of Christ. Now what’s the complement? Well, back to Genesis 2. Adam and Eve haven’t sinned yet. In fact, Eve isn’t even on the scene yet. But Adam is here and all the animals are paired up together.
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, `Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’ And the LORD God said, `It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make him an help meet for him.’ And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.”
And what’s the word `helpmeet’ in the Hebrew? Complement! He was without his complement. Who are we talking about? Eve. She’s not there yet. I often make this analogy. Here comes all these pairs of beasts, and Adam named them. But I’m sure it struck him, “Why do all these animals have their mate, male and female, and I’m all alone?” See, that’s what God recognized, and He said, “It’s not good that man should be alone: I will make him an help meet for him….” And so He creates Eve from out of Adam and she now becomes then his complement. What does that mean? He’s completed! Now come back again to where we were in the Book of Ephesians. This, too, is wonders of wonders, miracles of miracles that even the Lord Jesus the crowning Creator God of the universe, has such a love for His Blood-bought Church, His Body, that the Scripture says He doesn’t even consider Himself complete until He has us in His presence. Now if that isn’t mind boggling I’d like to know what is! But that’s what the Scripture says, come back again to verse 22 and 23 again:
“And (God) hath put all things under his (Christ’s) feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness (the complement) of him that filleth all in all.”
That’s the joint-heirship. That’s why what He has we’re going to one day have. How do I know? By faith! The Book says it. So it’s on that basis that we believe. Turn to I Corinthians Chapter 12, and remember Paul is writing to a Gentile congregation primarily.
I Corinthians 12:12
“For as the body (the human body) is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”
Now here it comes in the next verse. This is another act of God, that you and I never felt, we had no outside manifestation of it. The only way we know that it happened is because The Book says it did.
I Corinthians 12:13
“For by one Spirit (The Holy Spirit) are we all (every believer) baptized into one body (that Church universal, that Body that includes the believers from whatever corner of the globe they may be), whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free: and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
Do you see what that means? That by the invisible act of the Holy Spirit, He placed every believer the moment they believed, the moment they’re saved, into this Body of Christ, which will one day be His Bride. Now again remember we’re not talking in terms of sexuality, but rather in terms of position. And so the Bride of Christ will be that consortium of all the believers of the Church Age, who have been placed into the Body by the Holy Spirit.
I’m always emphasizing to my classes that I dare say, without judging and without looking at any membership list, I would guess that at least fifty percent of every church roll is unsaved people. Some churches more, and some less. Every church takes in people for membership that are not saved. There’s no way they can screen them, because we can’t look on the heart. We can’t determine who’s saved and who’s lost. That’s an area that only God can look into. But in the Body of Christ there are no unbelievers. No unsaved person is ever baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ. So that becomes a criteria as well, not only by having our names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, but have we been baptized into this Body by an act of the Holy Spirit? That guarantees your eternal destiny. And that won’t happen until you have believed the Gospel that you find in I Corinthians 15:1-4, and all these attendant aspects of salvation that have been done at the moment we believe. How can you doubt if you have been forgiven, redeemed, justified, glorified, adopted, translated, reconciled, and more, and you still have doubts? How can you? Everyone of these we take by faith. God has said it, we believe it, and we rest on it.
Now I know the old Devil likes to come along and mock the whole idea, but we come right back and claim it: “God, You said it, and I believe it.” And we hold God to those promises, and He wants us to. He wants us to say, “God, You promised.” That’s the whole idea of taking this as the Word of God. If this isn’t the Word of God, then I’d have been better off staying home today. I could have been punching cattle all day long. It’s been a beautiful day for that. But you see this is more important, because this Book is true, this Book is the Word of God. Let’s stay in I Corinthians and turn to Chapter 3. In later studies we will go into the wrath of God in Romans 1:18 and that’s not going to be as pretty as these lessons have been. That’s going to be the other side of the coin. But here in verse 16 we find Paul again writing to believers as he always writes to believers.
I Corinthians 3:16
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” And again that’s a Pauline doctrine that is never mentioned anywhere else in Scripture except by this great apostle.