Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 65
BUT GOD! (The Body of Christ – How do we get in?) – Part 2
MATTHEW 6:33 and Various Other Scriptures
Again, we want to thank all of you out there for your support, your prayers, your letters, everything. Especially when you tell us that the Bible has become an exciting Book, and how you’re enjoying it and sharing it with others. Because that’s the only reason we teach. I don’t want to build an empire. I don’t want to found a college or anything like that. I just want to get people to study the Book on their own. Okay, we’re going to continue on with where we started in the last half-hour — How do we gain entrance to the Body of Christ?
The first thing we have to do is believe the Gospel of Salvation how that Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose from the dead. Now, we’re going to take another look at a little different aspect of this Gospel, and that is the “blood” affect, the price of redemption. So, on that tack, I think we’ll flip back to Romans chapter 3. We’ll start at verse 23 because actually verse 23 is an absolute, just like the other two we shared in the first lesson today. And what were they?
“Without the shedding of blood there’s no remission,” as we saw in Hebrews chapter 9. The other one is “Without faith it’s impossible to please God,” as we saw in Hebrews chapter 11. On the other hand, unless you understand you’re lost, you can’t be saved. It’s impossible. So, here is the third absolute in Romans 3:23.
After the first two and a half chapters, the Holy Spirit has directed Paul to build the case that God has against the whole human race. It’s just like a courtroom scene. He builds all the things that are guilty with the immoral section of humanity. The next one is the moral element of society. Oh, they’re good. They never do anything blatantly wrong or dishonest or immoral. But, they’re just as lost as the immoral. Then, the third segment here in the last part of chapter two and on into chapter three is the religious individual. Oh, he’s religious to the hilt, but he’s just as lost as the other two. Then he comes down to verse 9 where he says:
“What then? Are we (Jews) better than they? (Gentiles) No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;” All right, now come over to verse 23.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” That’s the decision he’s come to. All have sinned. There are none that have done righteous, no not one. It’s an absolute. All right, now here’s where God’s grace comes in.
“Being justified freely by his grace (In other words, without any effort on our part.) through the (What?) redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Now, whenever you see that word redemption in Scripture, remember it always speaks of paying the price to gain something back. We use it even today. If you’ve lost title to a piece of ground, you redeem it by paying it off. If you take something into a hock shop to cover some expenses, like a lot of people have to do evidently, the only way they can get that thing back is pay the price, the price of redemption.
All right, now this word redemption starts way back in Job. Now, I didn’t intend to do this, but I think we’d better. Keep your hand in Romans. Come all the way back to Job chapter 19. That’s just ahead of Psalms. We haven’t used this in a long time, and we’ll drop down to verse 25. Now Job, of course, is an interesting situation. Nobody really knows who this guy Job was, or when he wrote this book. Now, there is a Job back in Israel, in the time of their Egyptian captivity, but not everybody is sure that that’s the Job who wrote this book. I think it goes back before Moses, but whatever. It’s an interesting book, and look what he already refers to.
“For I know that my (What?) redeemer (He had the whole concept of the necessity of redemption, whenever he lived and wrote.) liveth, (In other words, He had paid the price of redemption and came back to life. That’s what he knew.) and that he shall stand at the latter day (In the glories of heaven? Where?) upon the earth.” So, what’s already intimated? This earthly kingdom. That after He’s paid the price of redemption, and He’s made salvation possible, He’s going to set up a kingdom that’s going to be heaven on earth. Job had an inkling of it.
“And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:” What else did Job understand? Resurrection! He knew that one day he would be back on the planet in a physical body, although a body fit for eternity. So, this theme runs all the way through Scripture.
All right, now jump up to Isaiah. Now, this is all in the Kingdom of God category. This is not the Body of Christ, this is Israel, but you’ve still got the same God. He’s in control of all of it. Now, in Isaiah chapter 59 verse 20, we have the same concept.
“And the Redeemer (The One who has paid the price.) shall come to Zion,…” When? He will come as a Redeemer at His Second Coming. At His first coming He hadn’t yet paid the price, until the end of it. But at His Second Coming, He can now come as the One who has paid the price of redemption to those who believe. No one else. Not the whole human race, although their sin-debt has been paid for, yet they cannot appropriate it except by their faith.
All right, now let’s skip all the way up to Peter’s little epistle in the New Testament. I Peter chapter 1 and like I told you in the beginning of the first hour, this isn’t a lecture series, this is a Bible study, and we’re going to compare Scripture with Scripture. I had an interesting question in the mail yesterday, and it was a good question. I told the lady so. If Peter speaks of Christ’s death and of His resurrection, wasn’t he preaching Paul’s Gospel? Well, on the surface you may think so, but no, he wasn’t preaching Paul’s Gospel, because Peter is not proclaiming this as a salvation message for the whole human race. Peter is addressing the House of Israel. He’s proving that the One whom they had killed was alive, had finished everything that the Old Testament demanded to be done, and He’s coming back.
All right, now if that’s hard to swallow, just look at it in that light. Peter is not preaching this as a salvation message to the whole human race. He’s merely expressing to his Jewish readers that all these things that were foretold in the Old Testament had now been accomplished, and that everything else was ready to fall in place. If this much has been accomplished, Peter says, then we’re ready for this. Even though he didn’t understand that there would be a 1900 and some year parenthetical period of time. But look what he says.
I Peter 1:18-19
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed (You weren’t bought back.) with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;” (You’re not redeemed because you are a Jew. But what was the price of redemption?) 19. But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” In other words, we’ve looked at this in past programs, that way back in eternity past God laid out the blueprint for this whole plan of the Ages. Including the cross. Including the resurrection. All right, so Peter’s reminding them that.
I Peter 1:20
“Who (Christ) verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest (That is, in His earthly ministry and in His physical work of the cross.) in these last times for you.” And I always point out, you remember, that Christ’s first advent is referred to in Scripture as ‘the last days.’
All right, now come back with me to Romans. Let’s see how Paul can speak of the same shed blood, but now it becomes a part and parcel of the Gospel, that through Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection He shed His blood and paid the sin-debt for the whole human race. We can now consider ourselves redeemed by our faith.
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption (the process of buying us back) that is in Christ Jesus: 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation (The go between to satisfy all the demands of a Holy God. And how do we appropriate it?) through faith in his blood,…” There are the two absolutes in one verse, and we’ve got all three of them in two verses. We have to recognize we’re lost, and then we come in and appropriate the shed blood by faith. See, that’s all put together here – plain as day. Now, look at verse 26. If this isn’t enough to make you shout, I don’t know what is? What a glorious promise.
“To declare, I say, at this time his (That is Christ’s.) righteousness: (His sinlessness) that he might be just, (Absolutely fair. He’s not cutting corners. He’s not compromising. He’s fulfilling all of the holy, just, and righteous demands of God Himself.) and the justifier of him which (Repents, is baptized, speaks in tongues, joins the church, goes to the mission field, gives all their money? Isn’t it amazing? None of that! But, what?) believeth in Jesus.” Simple? Hey, can’t get any simpler than that.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the righteous Judge who looks at you and I in our depraved sinful condition, but simply because He sees that we’re believing in the shed blood, He also is the One that says, “You’re forgiven. You’re free. I hold nothing against you.” This is beyond human comprehension.
I had to answer a question again just the other day. If I sin, do I have to constantly come back and ask God to forgive? No. You’re forgiven. The human race can’t comprehend that — that the moment we believe we were forgiven – past, present and future.
That’s not license to go out and do as we please. I had to point this out to another lady who was working in a horrible situation in her workplace, with all the filthy language and all of the other stuff that went with it. I said, “You know what, the Lord said that if you are going to find a place where you don’t have to mingle with those people and rub elbows with them, you’ve got to leave this world.” That’s what it says in I Corinthians. Paul says, “If you’re not going to rub elbows with the fornicators of this world, you’ve only got one out, and that is leave the world, because that’s the real world.”
So, I told her, “You’re there for a testimony. If you can’t handle it, you just leave. Go some place else. Because you’re not going to find a workplace where you’re not going to have the elements of the ungodly world.” That’s where we are. But here, for the believer, the moment we believe we are justified from all things. We’re forgiven all our sin, and now we’re given the wherewithal to have a daily cleansing.
Yes, we need daily cleansing, because we’re in this filthy world. You can’t watch the weather anymore without getting bombarded with…you know what. So, how do we cleanse ourselves? Psalms 119. I think I’m through with Romans for now. Now, this is even in the Old Testament. This is David.
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?” But, you know what I’m finding out? It’s just as hard for old people to stay clean as it is for young ones. You’ve heard nurses, I’m sure, talk about dirty old men. Yes, you have. So, it isn’t just the young. We all need it.
“Wherewithal shall a young man (or old) cleanse his way? (Here’s the answer.) by taking heed thereto according to (What?) thy word.” Now, let’s see how Paul puts it. That’s why I like to keep comparing back and forth. Now, turn all the way up to Ephesians, chapter 5 verse 26.
“That he (God) might sanctify (or set apart) and (What?) cleanse it (Well, now what’s the ‘it’ that we’re talking about here? The Body of Christ. Believers in the Body. And how is He going to do that? ) with the washing of water (Not H2O water, but what?) by the word (of God),” So, how do we compensate for all the stuff that bombards us during the day? You get into the Book. You read it. You study it. You memorize it. You feast on it.
Now, there’s a lot of controversy lately about whether we are under the new covenant as we see in Jeremiah 31:31? No. A lot theologians are trying to tell us that we are, and I’ll come back, this little uneducated farmer, and I’ll say, No, that’s not what the Book says. The Book says that, “I will make a new covenant with Israel.” Not with the Gentile world.
The result of that new covenant is that everybody under that covenant will automatically have the full knowledge of God. They won’t have to memorize the Ten Commandments. They won’t have to sit and study and study and study to try to figure out what this verse means. They will have full knowledge. That’s the result of being under the new covenant. Now granted, we’ve got a lot of things going for us as believers today, but we don’t have that much. So, all we really gain from the new covenant, is that the new covenant required the work of the cross in order to bring the Jew to that place.
Now then, what God did to accomplish the new covenant, we get the spillage from it. We are gaining our plan of salvation because of what God did, but we’re not under the new covenant per se.
All right, now we’ve been cleansed. Psalms says by heeding the Word of God. Paul says by the washing of water, which is the Word of God. All right, do you remember the verse that we started with in our first program this afternoon? Maybe we’d better go look at it again. Ephesians chapter 1, because now I’m going to jump into some of the verses that relate to the Holy Spirit, in the minutes we have left.
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: (And we determined that the Gospel is that Christ died, shed His blood, redeemed us, was buried, and rose from the dead. That’s the Gospel. That’s Truth. After you believed it, then what did God do?) in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (He sealed us with the Holy Spirit of promise.)“ But I’m going to take verse 14 now a minute while we’re here. This sealing by the Holy Spirit is God’s earnest money. I’m putting that in there for clarification.
“Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession,…“ Now, these are all things that are literal. You can put your thumb on them. This isn’t out there pie-in-the-sky. The Holy Spirit is the down payment on that inheritance that is ours for eternity, and He is holding us just like an earnest payment when you buy something. He is holding us “until the redemption of the purchased possession.”
Now, what did we say redemption was? Paying the price for something. In this case, it’s our eternal destiny for which God has paid the price, that we could be forgiven of our sin, that we could be given new life in Christ, and all these things. We’re justified. But, oh, there’s even more to it.
Now, come back with me to Romans chapter 8, and we’ll see how that we are totally redeemed. Now, as a believer we’re still in this old body of flesh. It’s corrupt. It gets sick, and if the Lord doesn’t come, we’re all going to die. But, there is a part of the redemption price that guarantees a new body for eternity. Even though soul and spirit are redeemed now, the body isn’t, but it will be, and when it is, it’s a brand new one. A brand new one! Here it comes. Romans chapter 8 and for sake of time, well, I guess I’ve got time enough, let’s go all the way to verse 17. The inheritance. What’s our inheritance? That we’re going to be a co-heir with Christ, for all eternity.
“And if children, (Now, I may come back to this again a little later this afternoon.) then (we’re) heirs; heirs of God, and (we’re) joint-heirs with Christ; (Just like a husband and wife relationship. Christ and the Body of Christ are joint-heirs.) if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Now, let’s go on to verse 18 and come down to the verse where we speak of the Body being totally redeemed in verse 23. Let’s read quickly through.
“For I reckon (or I understand) that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in (or to) us. 19. For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the manifestation of the sons (or the born ones) of God. 20. For the creation was made subject to vanity, (the curse) not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.” In other words, just as soon as Adam fell, the curse fell, but God came right back with that glorious scarlet thread of redemption starting in Genesis 3:15 when He promised that God the Son would pay the price of redemption sometime out in the future. That’s what being referred to.
“Because the creation itself also shall be delivered…” That’s what we’ve been talking about these last several weeks. How that the earth is going to be delivered from the curse and made into the glorious Kingdom of Heaven.
“…shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” But, now here it comes, remembering what we just read in Ephesians, that we have been redeemed soul and spirit here and now, but the final redemption will take place when we get the new body. All right, verse 23.
“And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, (We’ll start looking at that in our next program.) even we ourselves (as believers) groan within ourselves (We get impatient.) waiting for the adoption, that is to say, the (What?) redemption of our (Soul and spirit? No, that’s already done.) body.” And that completes it.
So, the work of the cross and our faith in it gives us a redeemed soul and spirit in the here and now, but we also have the promise of a redeemed body for all eternity! We’ll become a three-part entity once again – body, soul, and spirit – for eternity. All because the work of the cross was the price of redemption for the whole three parts of us.
Now, if that isn’t glorious, I don’t know what is! But, this is our prospect. It’s the prospect of the planet that the curse is going to be lifted. Christ is going to rule and reign in righteousness. It’s going to be as glorious as the Garden of Eden. What Adam lost is going to be brought back. But, the crowning part of all of it is that you and I are going to go into eternity a whole new three-part being. We’re going to be a new soul and spirit. We’re going to be a new body, and it’s going to be a body like His glorious body for all eternity!