Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Unity # 14: The Holy Seed and the Law

Unity # 14: The Holy Seed and the Law
The Response of the Regenerate to the Law of God
Theme Song: By Grace Alone

Dear Father,
     I praise You that You shepherd Your flock with strength and majesty. You love Your sheep infinitely more than I ever could in my mortal days. Please forgive us for being lax in seeking You with all of our heart. Please increase our desire to know You, to become like You, and to fear You. Many are the plans which we have had, but Your will prevails. May Your Kingdom come. May Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Keep our consciences clear by the blood of Your Son, and teach us to repent with speed and child-like faith. Prepare us for the days ahead of us, whatever they may hold.
In Jesus Christ’s Name,

Dear Beloved,

     This letter will describe the response of the regenerate to the Law of God. We know that we have been released to the Law by which we were previously bound (Rom 7:6), we have been granted Christ’s imputed righteousness, and we are enabled to obey the Law of God through the Spirit. So, in view of this changing of natures from the sinful man to the new self made to be like Christ in true righteousness and holiness, how does our perspective and attitude to the Law change?  Jesus said that not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished (Matt 5:18).

     Our perspective towards to the Law changes entirely with the changing of our natures through the regenerating work of the Spirit and Word. Prior to regeneration, we were under the “Law of Sin and Death” and as we are regenerated we come under the “Law of the Spirit of Life” which sets us free from the Law of Sin and Death through Christ Jesus (Rom 8:2).

These two Laws describe the inevitable response of a person to the Law of God based on the status of their nature.

     An unregenerate person, because his heart is naturally in opposition to God, cannot love or obey the Law of God, and is thus under the Law of Sin and Death [death because of the just judgment that awaits him]. The regenerated person, because his new heart is naturally inclined towards God through the Holy Spirit, will love and obey the Law of God, and is thus under the Law of the Spirit of Life. The Law of Sin and Death involves the effect of the Law to exacerbate the sinful passions of the sinful man. The Law of the Spirit of Life involves the effect of the Law, the Word of God, that has been planted in the born-again Christian to result in the growth of the person in respect to their salvation (1 Pet 2:1-3).

Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 1Pet 2
      The Law of God is the Law of love. For love does not wrong to a neighbor and is therefore the fulfillment of the Law (Rom 13:10). The apostle John said that he was not writing about a new commandment, but an old commandment which they had heard from the beginning. The old commandment is the Word which we have heard. On the other hand, he was writing a new commandment which is true in Christ and in us, because the darkness is passing a away and the true Light is already shining. (I John 2:7-8) The Spirit of God pours love into the hearts of the regenerate (Rom 5:5), and thus when this person hears the Law of God, rather than being aroused in his flesh to greater manifestations of a wicked nature, he will love and obey the Law. For in his new being, the Law of God has been written on his heart and dwells most intimately close to him.

10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
After those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws into their minds,
And I will write them on their hearts.
And I will be their God,
And they shall be My people. Heb 8

     The regenerate person’s delight is in the Law of the Lord and on it, he meditates day and night (Ps 1:2). He delights to do God’s will because His Law is within his heart (Ps 40:8). Because of his delight in God’s Law, he longs for God’s salvation and compassion (Ps 119:77, 174). He knows that if God’s Law had not been his delight he would have perished in his affliction (Ps 119:92). The regenerate person, through the Spirit, by faith, is waiting for the hope of righteousness (Gal 5:5). As children of God, it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. Everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John  3:1-3). The desires of the regenerate are new, holy, righteous, and pure; they are in perfect accordance with the Law of God. For they are born again, not of seed which is perishable, but with seed which is imperishable. This seed is the living and enduring God (1 Peter 1:23)
24 For,
All flesh is like grass,
And all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
And the flower falls off,
25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.”  1 Pet 1
     Often when professing believers are confronted with the Law of God presented in His Word, they may say, “I am free from the Law, do not try to put me under bondage, for that would be legalism”. But we must look deeper into the heart of someone who speaks such. For in this statement, we see that these people consider the Law of God to be bondage. Precisely what in the Law of God would we consider to be enslaving or burdensome? When the Word tells us, for example, to put aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness (James 1:21), do we consider such a command to be oppressive? Then, dear saints, we can see clearly that such a person, if they continue to harbor such an attitude, is not regenerated. For those who cannot delight in the Law of God have not been regenerated. Those who are regenerated love the Nature, Commands, and Words of their God; anything less shows an unregenerate and vile heart. Prior to regeneration it was as if the Law stood before us as an ominous insurmountable iron gate. Those who are regenerated are granted the righteousness and love of Christ, and look back at the “Law Gate” by which they were previously bound. For indeed, the blood of Christ has ushered them into the very Presence of God! The Law does not arouse guilt and sinful passions, for these have been destroyed. Those who are merely hearers of the Word delude themselves. What caused the Law to be binding to the unregenerate was precisely the wicked nature that prevented these people from obeying the Law. Whereas, the regenerate have been granted a new nature on the basis of Christ’s blood, and are thus able to obey the Law. The Law is not binding to the regenerate, because it is not in discord with their true nature. The regenerate humbly prove themselves to be doers of the Word, planted in them, which is able to save their souls. (James 1:21-22) For we must not be deceived, God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal Life. And we must not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. (Gal 6:7-9) The following verses clearly explain the response of the two natures [the sinful nature and the new nature] to the Law of God:
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. 10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Rom 8
     God’s promise to Abraham was given to both him and his seed. God did not say “to seeds”, referring to many, but rather to his “Seed”, that is Christ. The Law, which came 430 years later, did not invalidate the Covenant which God had previously ratified, so as to nullify the promise. That is, the incapability of mankind to obey the Law apart from the Gospel, did not defeat God’s promise to Abraham. Rather Christ has fulfilled the requirements in the Law in all of His people, and thus God’s promise remains. The Law was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until Christ, the Seed, would come to whom the promise had been made. The Law of Scriptures has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Christ may be given to those who believe. Before faith came as a gift to us, we were kept in custody under the Law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For we are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:15-27) We are now the offspring of God, born of the seed of Christ, His Word. For God’s promise to Abraham was that in his Seed, all the families of the earth would be blessed (Acts 3:25).
     Those who have been born again are the offspring of the Seed. God has put enmity between the children of the devil and the children of God. Satan has bruised Christ on His heel, and Christ has crushed the head of the serpent. (Gen 3:15). Through Christ’s victory over sin and death, God fulfilled His promise to Abraham to bless him, greatly multiply his seed as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore, and to cause his seed to possess the gate of their enemies (Gen 22:17). Christ’s Seed is established forever and His throne is built up to all generations (Ps 89:4). For Christ is the Seed of Abraham, His servant, and the sons of Jacob, all the regenerate, His chosen ones (Ps 105:6). But the seed of the wicked would be cast among the nations and scattered in the lands (Ps 106:27). Even in the midst of the vast oceans of people under the burning wrath of God, the holy seed, the remnant of God’s people, is the remaining stump (Is 6:13).
    God is as the Gardener in the Parable of the Sower (Matt 13), scattering His Word, or Seed, among the inhabitants of the world. Meanwhile His Spirit plows and prepares the ground of the chosen people that they may receive the Word with humble and pure hearts, and by persevering bear much fruit, showing themselves to be His disciples. For as the rain and snow that come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the Sower and Bread to the eater; so will His Word be which goes forth from His mouth; It will not return to Him empty, without accomplishing what He desires, and without succeeding in the matter for which He sent It. (Is 55:10-11) For God has sown His people and watched over them to build and plant them (Jer 31). God has sown us, or regenerated us, of the imperishable Seed of the living and enduring Word of God. (1 Pet 1:23).
The Seed = Christ = the Word of God
     Now that we have been born again, we are granted the Word of God to scatter as we follow Christ in our pilgrimage. He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food supplies and multiplies our seed for sowing and increases the harvest of our righteousness (2 Cor 9:10). We thank God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? For we are not like many peddling the Word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God. (2 Cor 2:14-17). Indeed, the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace (James 3:18). There will be peace for the seed: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce and the heavens will give their dew; and God will cause the remnant of His people to inherit eternal Life (Zech 8:12). Behold the days are coming when the plowman will overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; when the mountains drip sweet wine and the hills will be dissolved (Amos 9:13).
     We, who go to and fro weeping, carrying our bags of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing our sheaves with us (Ps 126:6). We are to sow our seed in the morning and not be idle in the evening, for we do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good (Ecc 11:6). We are to preach the Word, be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience, and instruction. For the time is here when many will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled, will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and turn away their ears from the Truth and turn aside to myths. But we are to be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and fulfill our ministries (2 Tim 4:1-5).
     Those who sow to please the sinful nature may seem to bring their seed to blossom initially, but the harvest will be a heap in the day of sickliness and incurable pain (Is 17:11). But even in the littleness of our faith, Christ tells us that even if our faith is the size of a mustard seed, nothing will be impossible for us.

No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. (1 John 3:9)
Excellent Messages:
Devotion to Christ 7 Minute Sermon by Bob Jennings
Blessed are those who Die in the Lord 41 Minute Sermon by Bob Jennings

Love in Christ,

Selah and Jessica Memorizing the Beatitudes

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