266 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 2 - Book 23 - There is Therefore Now No Condemnation

266: There is Therefore Now No Condemnation – Part 2 – Lesson 1 Part 2 Book 23

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 23

THERE IS THEREFORE NOW NO CONDEMNATION

We have people from many denominations, and that’s the way it is in every class I teach, but our purpose and intent is to get people to study their own Bible. You may not always agree with me, and you don’t have to. You can certainly disagree with some of my approaches to Scripture, and still be a believer. But the reason I like to pass it on is that this Book has become so thrilling to my own heart after I realized some of the things that I hadn’t ever been taught: God’s dealing with the Nation of Israel, and then when He turned to the Gentiles we just have a whole different approach. Once you see that, this Book just gets so exciting, and is so easy to comprehend.

Now, let’s get back to where we left off in the last lesson, and we really never got past the word `Therefore’ in the last lesson in Romans 8 and verse 1. But remember, none of this can be just glossed over and taken lightly. The whole idea of Bible study is to read carefully. So many people just read it, and say, “Well, I’ve read my Bible today.” But read it carefully and see what it really says. In fact when I answer a question that comes in the mail I’ll answer it with a Scripture, but always tell the party to read it carefully, because if you’re just going to read it to be reading it, then you’re not going to get what I’m trying to tell you. And it’s the same way with this whole chapter of Romans 8, we’re going to take it slowly and carefully because this chapter is the gemstone of the Book of Romans, and the Book of Romans is the gemstone of The Bible.

Romans 8:1a

“THERE is therefore now no condemnation…” Remember back in John’s Gospel, what did Jesus say?

John 3:36

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life;…”

Now, what is already resting on the unbeliever? Condemnation. See? Condemnation rests upon every son of Adam. We’re born sinners, and we never can forget that. We are born into the Adamic race `sinners.’ And that is what we have been looking at in these previous chapters of Romans. We are all sons of Adam, and under condemnation. But now we see the Scripture says that there is no condemnation. What a difference! Well, what made the difference? The Gospel! Some evangelists, pastors, Sunday school teachers, and so forth have put cliches in place of the Gospel. And I guess the one used the most is, “Taking Jesus into your heart.” How many times have we heard someone say, “Well, just come and take Jesus into your heart.” I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it now, “That’s not the Gospel.” Alice, from our class gave me a little book the other day that said the same thing. When someone gives me a book, I read it and give it back; that’s my library. A lady told me one time, as she was leaving my class, that she would like to see my library. I told her I didn’t have a library, and she couldn’t believe it. I just have two or three books that I use a little bit, but other than that I don’t have a library. A gentlemen up here in Northern Oklahoma sent me a whole box of books the other day. Bless his heart, I hope he’s watching the program today because I haven’t had time to tell him how much I appreciate these books.

But anyway, all of mankind is under this condemnation, but now once we are in Christ there is no condemnation. That’s what The Book says, I didn’t dream it up. So reading on in verse 1:

Romans 8:1

“THERE is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (I’ll probably make some of you mad when I say the rest of this verse does not belong here in verse 1. Someone will scream, `Oh, you’re taking away from the Word of God. No I’m not, because I noticed a long time ago that it doesn’t really fit. Now some Bibles even have it in their margins that these words…), who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (…do not belong in verse 1, but they belong in verse 4, and they’re down there).

You say, “What are you talking about?” Well, just analyze it for a minute. I’m always almost just screaming at people that Salvation is faith + nothing. No human energy, no human merit, because it’s faith + nothing. Now, if you leave these words in verse 1 what does that make me? Well, it makes me a liar, because what does The Book say? And remember all of the early manuscripts don’t have it, and all the great Bible scholars will tell you the same thing. Why?

Romans 8:1

“THERE is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

What does that tell you? How did you get in Christ Jesus according to that? By not walking in the flesh, but rather the Spirit. That is not what has put us in the Body of Christ. Do you see that? And so just leave those words off verse 1, but when we get down to verse 4, it’s perfect. It’s exactly where they belong.

Romans 8:4

“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who (because of verse 3, that God sending His own Son in likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, to take care of old Adam, condemned old Adam in the flesh. And now then this becomes appropriate) walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.”

Do you see the difference? This is what we have to learn to do. You just analyze the Scriptures in the light of what all of Scripture teaches and then you can see an error like this. How it crept in, I don’t think anybody really knows. But they all agree that it’s an error that should not be in verse 1. And of course, my premise is that it makes it sound like we got in Christ by virtue of our walking. And we did not. Let’s go on to verse 2.

Romans 8:2

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Remember when we were back in Chapter 5 we were looking at this word `law.’ I said you have to always, according to the context, determine what `law’ are we talking about? Sometimes, the word `law’ will simply be used as a fact of everyday living. In other words, we speak of the law of gravity. It’s just a fact of our living everyday that what is up is going to fall down. No man can change the law of gravity. It’s absolute. We speak of the law of buoyancy. The law of buoyancy is that if you can put something in the water that weighs less than the amount of water it pushes aside, it’s going to float. It’s a law. It’s a fact of life. Now, this word used here is in the same context. “For the law,” the very fact of our everyday life is that, the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me (or set me) free from (another fact of life, another established, fundamental absolute which was that) the law of sin and death (was operating every day). The law of sin and death. It’s just a fact of life that mankind is under the curse. Mankind is under the power and the control of Satanic powers. Now, you need a verse for that? II Corinthians Chapter 4, verses 3 and 4. This is exactly what I just read out of Romans 8.

II Corinthians 4:3,4a

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not…..”

That’s the world outside of us. Going up and down their busy lifestyle. They are lost. See how plain that is? He hasn’t blinded the minds of those that have come and joined the church. He hasn’t blinded the minds of those who don’t read their Bible. He has blinded the minds of those that will not believe. It’s that simple.

II Corinthians 4:4

“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

Now, that’s what we’re up against when we try to enlighten people, and try to bring them to that same joy of Salvation that we enjoy; it’s just like water falling off a duck’s back. Why? Because they are blinded by the powers of Satan. They see absolutely nothing to be gained and so, consequently, they go on their way in total darkness. Now, come back Romans Chapter 8 and let’s read verse 2 again.

Romans 8:2

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hat made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Now, what do you have here? Two facts of life. The one is that God is able to come in and do an operation in our life that totally gives us a new outlook on life. It gives us hope for that eternity to come. It’s a whole new ball game compared to the rest of the verse of being locked into sin and death. Remember the verse back in Romans Chapter 6 we looked at several weeks ago, verse 23? A verse I think that most people, if they have had any Sunday School and Bible experience at all, have memorized this verse.

Romans 6:23

“For the wages (and remember wages are what you earn) of sin is death (do you see how sin and death are connected?); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Isn’t that a perfect comparison for what we see here in Romans 8? That the law of the Spirit in Christ Jesus, that fact of life that we can experience seven days a week, totally sets us apart from that other fact of life which is sin and death. It’s an everyday experience for the whole world that they’re living in the midst of sin and death. The two are so tied together, and remember where did it all begin? When Adam ate, and just as soon as he ate, what happened? He sinned, and the moment he sinned what came according to Romans 5? Death! So sin and death have been tied together ever since Adam took that first bite. And there is only one remedy for it, and that’s The Gospel. By believing The Gospel that Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead. You know at the first part of this lesson I was talking about cliches, and how so many people just say, “Well, just give your heart to Jesus,” or “Ask Jesus to come into your heart.” What are they circumventing? The Gospel!

When I was a kid (and I imagine most of you older people will nod your heads in agreement, and not that it was all wrong, but I think it was totally over done), Sunday after Sunday all we heard was hellfire and brimstone. And it scared the socks off people. I’ve had so many of those come into my classes, and they had been turned off by that approach. They told me if that’s all Christianity is then I don’t need it. But it is true, lost people are headed to a Devil’s hell (and don’t ever accuse me of not teaching that), but that is not the Gospel. Hell-fire and brimstone preaching is not the Gospel, and nether is telling folks to come forward and take Jesus into their life. Do you hear me? The Gospel is believing for your Salvation that Christ died for you, was buried for you and rose from the dead for you. (Ref: I Corinthians 15:1-4, and another good one is Romans 10:9,10.) Then when you believe the Gospel, Who are you taking into your life? Jesus Christ! Absolutely you do. He becomes your personal Savior, absolutely He does. But when you use those little cliches by themselves then it’s not the Gospel.

Now, it’s the same way back here in this verse again. Here we have the law of sin and death. That’s been with man ever since Adam ate. But now to counteract that, and supersede that, what do we have? The law of the Spirit of Life. I guess I should make this point right here since the word `Spirit’ is now used. Do you realize that in those first seven chapters of Romans the Holy Spirit was only mentioned one time, and then not in a really doctrinal sense. And after Paul explained that dilemma in Chapter 7, we come into Chapter 8 and the Holy Spirit is going to be mentioned nineteen times in just this one chapter. Nineteen times there is a direct reference to the work of the Holy Spirit. In those first seven chapters, Paul lays all the ground work of how we ended up in sin and under condemnation, and how that Christ died that we might be justified from all that, and how we might be forgiven. Then he comes through Chapter 7 with the dilemma of, “How can I overcome that old Adam, how can I keep it in defeat?” Well, what’s the answer? Romans Chapter 8: the Holy Spirit. And it’s the indwelling Spirit now that becomes our law if you want to put it that way. Now, let’s read on:

Romans 8:3a

“For what the law (the Mosaic law) could not do (it was limited), in that it was weak through the flesh,…” Go to Hebrews 8:7.

Hebrews 8:7

“For if that first covenant (the law of Moses) had been faultless (now stop. When you see the words “if it would have been,” then what is implied? That it was faulty, it was not faultless like we like to think), then should no place have been sought for the second.” If it had been perfect then there was no need for anything more. But it wasn’t. Oh, it was perfect from God’s perspective, but not from mankind, because man couldn’t keep it. Now, verse 8:

Hebrews 8:8,9

“For finding fault with them, he saith, `Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.'”

So what the Scripture is showing us then is that the Mosaic Law from man’s perspective was faulty. And as I’ve emphasized ever since I started this series back in Genesis, the Law had no power to help mankind to keep it. Are you all aware of that? The Law had absolutely no power to keep a man from stealing, committing adultery, and what have you. All it could do was condemn him. That’s all. Now, come back to Romans Chapter 8 again. Living under the law of the Spirit, what’s the big difference? Well, the Spirit indwells us as we saw in the last lesson, and thus becomes our law. The Holy Spirit becomes our guideline for Christian living, not a set of rules and regulations, but His influence, His power. Do you see the difference?

And so all the Law did was just sit there in cold stone, there was nothing warm or cuddly about the Law, because it was severe, it condemned, and it did nothing to help that person keep it. But the indwelling Holy Spirit is warm, He is loving, and He does embrace us, He does cuddle us. And as He does so, He gives us that desire to live pleasing in God’s sight, He takes away that desire to be a rebel, to be obnoxious, wicked, and all that. That’s the work of the Holy Spirit. Now, verse 3 again:

Romans 8:3a

“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak…”

It had no power. Never accuse me of saying that the Ten Commandments weren’t perfect, absolutely they were. But they were powerless. A good illustration is that the Law was just like a mirror. You come in from an afternoon of working in your yard on a hot summer day, and you’re sweaty and grimy, and you look in the mirror, and all the mirror can do is show you what’s wrong, and what needs cleaning up, but the mirror is never going to reach out and clean you, it can’t, it’s helpless. And that was the Law. It was just the mirror that showed man his utter sinfulness, and helplessness, but the indwelling Holy Spirit is something totally different.

Romans 8:3

“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:”

I tell my classes night after night that this is something I still cannot comprehend except through the eyes of faith. He was the Creator of Genesis 1:1. He is the One Who spoke and the universe came into being. He’s the One Who spoke and Adam came up out of the dust of the ground. Yet Jesus Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for the sake of dealing with the old Adam. He condemned the old Adam and the flesh, and that was His whole purpose of coming – to get right down to man’s level in man’s frame of flesh that He might condemn sin in the flesh.

265 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 1 - Part 1 - Book 23 - There is Therefore Now No Condemnation

265: There is Therefore Now No Condemnation – Lesson 1 Part 1 Book 23

YouTube video

 

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 1 * PART 1 * BOOK 23

THERE IS THEREFORE NOW NO CONDEMNATION

We’ll jump right into Romans Chapter 8, as we completed Chapter 7 in our last lesson. And as we do so we come to what I think is one of the greatest chapters of all of the Scripture, and probably what is the greatest book in all of Scripture; the Book of Romans. Martin Luther called Romans the masterpiece of Scripture, and I like to refer to it as a multi-carat diamond gemstone. It just has the fire of a diamond in it, and this Chapter 8 is a gemstone in itself.

So as we look at these things I trust all of you will take advantage of this tremendous book. In fact I was thinking the other day of how the politicians and religious community are alarmed because America just simply can’t keep going in the direction that we are going. The politicians think that if we had more money for the different programs and prisons it would solve everything. Some think we need a third party, and still others think we need something else, but listen, all America needs is this: if every one from the age of twelve up regardless of their denomination or religious handle, would read this Book of Romans once a week for six months, then you would see things happen in this country. That’s how much I can put on this Book of Romans. And if every American would read Chapter 8 once a day, that might even speed it up a little bit. Because this is so apropos and practical; this isn’t pie in the sky, this is The Word of God brought right down to the level of every human being. Even twelve and thirteen-year-old kids can comprehend it. So as we look at Chapter 8 I’m going to stop with what ordinarily would be the very first word, `Therefore.’

Romans 8:1

“THERE is therefore…”

Here Paul has it in a little bit different setting than when he usually uses this word or `Wherefore,’ but when I see one of these two words in any other place in Scripture what does it do? It sends you back to why he’s saying `therefore.’ I do not use or own any commentaries. I was warned years ago to beware of them. In fact, one wag puts it this way: he says not to put much on the commentaries for they are nothing but commentators, and commentators are just common taters. Southern individuals appreciate that.

But I do happen to have a couple of books that have been given me. They are by two great theologians. One British, and the other an American. They have both gone on to be with The Lord, and they were both used of God. It was interesting as I looked at what they had to say about Romans Chapter 8, and especially this word `Therefore.’ This one gentlemen (they both had their Phd.’s) said that this `Therefore’ does not take you back to Chapter 7, but rather it takes you back to Romans Chapter 5 verse 1. And there Paul uses the word again.

Romans 5:1

“THEREFORE being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”

So that why this gentlemen thinks that word is there in Chapter 8. Then I read the other one, and he was just totally opposite of the first gentlemen. He said that this `Therefore’ takes you back to Chapter 7. Well, I’m going totally opposite of both of them. I’m going to maintain that this `Therefore’ takes us back to the very first verse of the Book of Romans. If you’ll remember, as we’ve been studying it, those first three chapters, what did God do through the Apostle’s pen? He proved the whole race as being utterly sinful, utterly rebellious, utterly opposite to the things of God. And he finally came to that great conclusion in Chapter 3 and verse 23,

Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Remember that? As he built the case against the gross immoral person. And then the moral person. And then the religious person. And then he put all three categories together and said there’s no difference, they are all unprofitable for all have sinned? And then you go into Chapter 4 and he begins to lay out “justification by faith” for as “Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” And then he came to Chapter 5, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God.” And then he came on into Chapter 6 and he enlarged on `justification,’ that it was all accomplished when Christ died on that Cross, was buried and rose again. We spent quite a little time on that Chapter 6. And then we came into Chapter 7 and now Paul is explaining the dilemma. “Oh wretched man that I am!” “How can I be delivered from this body of sin?” You remember what his problem was? “The things I would do, I don’t. The things I don’t do or shouldn’t do, I do.” What’s going to be the answer? Alright, what follows? Chapter 8. And so that’s where I think this `therefore’ is referring to. Everything that we’ve learned in these previous seven chapters is going to be all wrapped up in what we’ll learn in Chapter 8.

Romans 8:1a

“There is therefore now no condemnation…”

There are a lot of people who claim to be Christians, and I’m not saying they’re not. But they can’t buy this. They say there is no such thing as this kind of security. You’ve got to work and you’ve got to strive and you have to be careful or you’re going to lose it. Like I told someone just the other day, “How are you going to know what sin cast you out?” Well, they won’t know. So what do they have to do? They have to live a life of perpetual insecurity because no one has the wherewithal to hang on of our own. So I come back to these promises of Scripture: “There is therefore….” Because we’ve been justified by faith, because Christ has died and been buried and has risen from the dead. Because all of this has been accomplished by an act of God to which we contributed nothing of our own energy. There was nothing in all of that, that we could do in the flesh. It was all the work of God. And that being the case, that we’re justified by faith, which is something that is invisible, it’s something that you don’t work at. So since we’re justified by faith, God can come back through this Apostle and say:

Romans 8:1a

“There is therefore now no condemnation….”

And I will over and over, with qualification, go back to this. I had one gentleman call more than once. He just didn’t like the idea of my teaching this kind of eternal security. I said, “Now listen. I always qualify this. I’m not talking about any haphazard church member who just happened to have walked an aisle and joined the church or whatever, I’m talking about someone who has genuine faith in The Gospel and has had a genuine Salvation experience.” It came up the other night in one of my classes. An individual came and said, “Les, I’ve never had that great experience that somebody talks about. I’ve never seen a great white light and I haven’t had that tremendous emotional upheaval. Does that mean I’ve never been saved?” Well, of course not! The Scripture doesn’t say that you have to experience some emotional high. The Scripture doesn’t say you have to go through a prescribed set of rules. In fact, I’ve been toying with this for the last several weeks – in our Tulsa class, someone asked a question sort of like this and I said, “Let’s just see what the Scripture says.” And so we went through all these verses in Romans and just had a blast.

The next Wednesday night, before I had time to start, the whole group on the front row said, “Hey, will you go over again what you did last week?” I said, “Well, of course if that’s what you want.” And so we did it again and had just as much of a blast. Well, then, the other night in Muskogee it came up and so those of you that were in that class, we went through those same verses again to show people from the Scripture how to know yourself, if you’re saved or how to lead someone else that is seeking. And we may do that before the afternoon is over. I haven’t decided yet. But one thing I do want to get out of this first verse is that, when God has finished the transaction of our Salvation, then, yes, we are secure. We have been crucified with Christ and you can’t take yourself off that Cross. You can’t put yourself on that Cross. We’ve covered all of that. The Crucifixion was the kind of death that no one could do by themselves. It took the work of someone else to nail Christ to that Cross. And the same way when we come into this Salvation experience, it’s an act of God that places us in the Person of Christ; it’s an act of God that resurrects us from darkness into life and so, consequently, God Himself is the One that says it. I don’t., and no denomination can say it. But God says ,“There is therefore now no condemnation to (whom) them which are (where) in Christ….”

I think it was just last night when we were talking about some of these things in the class. What does it mean to be “in Christ?” That’s an easy prepositional phrase to just roll off our lips, but what does it really mean to be in Christ? Come back to the Book of Ephesians Chapter 5 for a moment and let’s look at a little bit of explanation. Someday we will probably teach some of this book on the air. Ephesians is also a deeper or higher level of the Christian experience because Paul will bring things out in Ephesians that he doesn’t in Romans, Galatians, or the Corinthians. Because this is higher ground this is deeper water, but now in Ephesians Chapter 5 he comes down to verse 25. This is a verse that should speak to every married couple, and that is the responsibility of the man in that marriage relationship.

But you see what Paul is bringing out here by inspiration is that Christ’s relationship to you and I as members of the Body of Christ is identical to the relationship of the husband and wife. Now, in a marriage relationship that is made in Heaven, that husband and wife were two people, but they become one. And many wedding ceremonies point that out by blowing out the two candles and lighting the one. And that’s exactly what it’s supposed to be. It’s the same way when we become in union with Christ. We’re two separate entities of course, but once we’ve entered in and have enjoyed this position in Christ, what have we become? Like husband and wife because we’re one with Him. Now, that’s a deep concept when you understand it’s all in the realm of the spiritual, and the only way we can comprehend it is by faith. That’s what The Book teaches, and if The Book teaches it then we have believe it. That’s what God expects. Remember the verse I like to go back to in Deuteronomy?

Deuteronomy 29:29

“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

Now, it’s the same way here. God is revealing a relationship not just between the husband and the wife, but a relationship between Christ, and you and I as members of His Body. Look what he says:

Ephesians 5:25,26

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it (the Body of Christ of which you and I are members)with the washing of water (not baptismal water, but) by the word.” This Book is the cleansing agent. And now verse 27:

Ephesians 5:27

“That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

And then come down to verse 30. This is impossible for me to comprehend except by faith. It’s what The Book says.

Ephesians 5:30

“For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”

In other words, in the realm of the spiritual what have we become? We’ve become totally integrated with Christ Himself, we’re in Him. The Scriptures also teach not only are we in Christ, but He is in us! See, it’s a two way street. The moment we’re saved, yes, we’re placed in Christ, but He also comes and dwells within us, and so that’s why Paul uses this whole marriage relationship. Verse 32:

Ephesians 5:32

“This a great mystery (now you know that’s one of Paul’s words, and one of those secrets that God has now revealed to this apostle. You never see any of this anywhere else in Scripture. You never saw this kind of relationship even between Israel and God, or between Abraham and Jehovah; oh, but look what ours is): but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

See? As a husband and wife come together and become one, so Christ and this Body of believers become one. We are just totally integrated. Now, let me take you back to I Corinthians Chapter 3 for a moment, and again, here we have the other direction. Not only are we in Christ, but He is in us, and the world knows nothing of this. I suppose if they hear me just by accident as they’re flipping through their channels they’ll think what kind of a kook is this anyway. What’s he talking about? But you see for us who know and love The Word, it’s as plain as day; it’s so believable, because it’s practical, and it’s experiential because we know it’s happened. Now, come down to verse 16, and look what it says:

I Corinthians 3:16

“Know ye not (we’re expected to know) that ye are the temple (or dwelling place) of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

When we say that Christ dwells in me, we know Christ is bodily at the Father’s right hand, and He cannot leave that bodily position. So when we speak of Christ being in us then it has to be in the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at another one over in Chapter 6 of this same book. I’m always emphasizing that when the Scripture repeats something, it’s making a point.

I Corinthians 6:19,20

“What? know ye not that your body (this body we’re living in today) is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own (it isn’t that we have deserved it or earned it, but what is it? Verse 20)? For ye are bought with a price (with the Blood of Christ as Peter puts it in his little epistle); therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Come on over to the Book of Colossians Chapter 3, and look what a tremendous statement is there. If it weren’t for faith we couldn’t comprehend it, but it’s what God says, and we believe it.

Colossians 3:1

“IF ye then be risen with Christ,…”

What did we learn back there in Romans Chapter 6? That when Christ died, I died. When He was buried, we were also buried; that is in the mind of God. Now, we didn’t stay in the tomb anymore than He did, so what happened? We were resurrected and we, too, were given new life; and we’ll see in Romans Chapter 8 that it’s eternal life. We’re going to live forever in His presence. I’ve told young people over and over to just stop and think, “Even if you could live a whole lifetime of 70 or 80 years and be able to live it up like a twenty-five or thirty-year-old what is even that compared to the billions of billions of years that are going to be in eternity?” Now, that’s eternity and it’s coming. That’s why this Book has been left with us to prepare us for that eternity that’s coming. But I think we’re living in a time when the materialism and the good times and so forth are just keeping our young people in the dark. That doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying life. My lands, I think I’ve enjoyed life as much as anybody can, and I’ve never had to get drunk to do it. Never! I used to tell guys in the service, “Look, what in the world are you gaining? You don’t even remember what you did, do you call that a good time?” But anyway, here we have it now in Colossians Chapter 3 and verse 1:

Colossians 3:1

“IF ye then be risen with Christ (there is going to be a change in our appetites, and desires, and we’re going to), seek those things which are above,…” Which are eternal. How did The Lord Jesus put it back there in His earthly ministry?

Matthew 6:33

“But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

I’ve tried to drill in to young people, even my own, to get their priorities straight, and that doesn’t mean you have to go into a monastery and become nothing but a monk. You can enjoy life to the full, because God has given us all these blessings to enjoy, but priority-speaking, Heaven is where we have our first interest. Now, completing Colossians 3:1:

Colossians 3:1,2

“IF ye then be risen with Christ seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

We are living in a `things’ society, but things perish. I noticed over the years, especially when I was young, that I wanted a particular make and model of car, and I finally got it, and then what? I learned a long time ago, and I’d like to think that it’s original with me, “Anticipation is a lot more exciting than realization.” Because once you have realized it, then it’s just `blah.’ But on these eternal things anticipation is great, but the realization is going to be greater. Now reading on.

Colossians 3:3

“For ye are dead (in your old Adamic state), and your life is hid with Christ in God.” God and Christ are One in the same in reality, and so again when Romans 8:1 says:

Romans 8:1

“THERE is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,…”

When we’re in Christ then we’re hidden in God, and wrapped up in the God-Head, and nothing can touch us. Jesus put it in a real simple form when He said, “no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” That was almost a simplistic understatement compared to this. Here we have the full ramification that if we have entered into this Salvation experience by faith, then we can stand on this promise that indeed we’re dead to the old Adam. Verse 4:

Colossians 3:4

“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear (and He will, and we think it’s not too far into the future), then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

What a prospect and promise! Now, I’ve got it good. I’m not wealthy or rich by any stretch of the imagination. I live in a little portion of Oklahoma that’s beautiful and all of that, but the glorious part is still to come.

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