PAUL’S TWO MEN
The natural man loves to take refuge from their uneasy conscience by convincing themselves that what the Bible says has no merit.
The natural man:
If we take a look at predominating factors in any congregation we will find that spiritually there are two distinct groups of people.
There is the natural man who does not know God. Lost in worldly wisdom and man-centred values the message of the cross of Jesus is foolishness to him.
(1 Corinthians 2: 14) says: “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them for they are spiritually discerned.”
(Romans 3: 9-19) gives us further insight into the unregenerate nature of this man.
“What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin.
As it is written:
There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.
Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit. Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.”
Paul uses these Old Testament verses from (Psalm 5 v 9 – 10) to demonstrate to the Romans the sinful condition of humanity in general. Everyone is born into this world in this condition. Our sinful condition is unacceptable to God. Satan is our master at this stage. God tells us that all men in this category are unrighteous with no understanding of God. All are evil and stand guilty before God. The natural man does not seek God and is self-centred.
John 3: 18) Gives us further insight into the spiritual condition of the unregenerate man. Generally, he will place his faith in something else, in sport, or his profession, or money and all it can provide materially. Those who are self-sufficient believe they do not need a Holy God through Jesus Christ to save them from eternal condemnation.
(Ephesians 2: 1-3) Paul says that the natural man is ..
“dead in his transgressions and sins, in which he used to live when he followed the ways of the world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air – Satan – the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest we were by nature objects of wrath.”
God has provided a glorious hope to escape from his dreadful dilemma and Ephesians 2: 4 -5 provides a way out of his situation:
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in his mercy made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our transgressions – it is by grace that you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”
The man whose heart remains in its natural state cannot understand the spiritual man’s dependency on God and his love of God’s Word. All his actions are under Satan’s control and the power of demonic forces. His only hope is in spiritual re-birth.
Right now God’s wrath is upon the natural man. He is spiritually blind to the words to be found in John. 3: 36
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
The person who chooses to remain in this state makes the choice of his final destiny. When he dies his unredeemed spirit will go straight to hell, bound for the Lake of Fire to suffer for eternity. His place of destination is described in (Revelation 20:14) and those who have never made a decision for Christ have forfeited their chance of receiving any hope of being saved for God’s eternal places.
They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. (11 Thessalonians 2: 8-12) and his end is to be burned (Hebrews 10:30-31) and be tormented with fire and brimstone (Revelation 14:9-11) and cast into the lake of fire.
Satan’s intention in his world is to ensure by the use of deception and subterfuge that all these truths remains hell’s best kept secret.
For all those who would receive Jesus and believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:12)
The natural man needs to understand why Jesus Christ died on the cross. It is only by faith through God’s grace when he believes Christ died for his sins, was buried and raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, that his natural spirit will be regenerated by a deposit of the Holy Spirit guaranteeing His salvation unto eternity. The Holy Spirit convicts the sinner unto repentance and He will know freedom from the weight of sin and experience God’s mercy and forgiveness. That is for all sin past, in the present and into the future.
Psalm 51: 17 says ….”The sacrifices of God are a broken Spirit; a broken and contrite heart,O God, you will not despise.”
There has only ever been one way for the natural man to escape from his pride-filled state, rebellion and denial. Every which way he has tried to make his life satisfactory and comfortable. All his hard work and good deeds never provided answers to enable him to live in peace with himself or others. It is clear then there is nothing he could ever do help himself. There is only one way left open to him and that is to place all his hope and trust in Jesus Christ who atoned (made the exchange) and took God’s punishment for our sins.
The shed blood of Jesus on that terrible cross was for the sins all mankind. For those who do not yet have a regenerated heart ( remain in their natural state) and also for the sins of the spiritual man.
Jesus offers to us to cloak us in His righteousness. When God looks at us now He sees only Jesus. When we ask Him to forgive us for all our sins He will draw us by His love to His bosom and we will experience refreshing of our spirit, and a peace and joy that really passes all understanding.
Today if you know you still remain a natural man and would like to change to become a spiritual man you can do this by taking these steps.
Recognise that your sin separates you from God:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
Accept that God does love you and is reaching out to you now by His Holy Spirit and believe Jesus Christ died in exchange for all your sins:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Receive Jesus into your life by faith in the gospel
(1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Paul says: “Now I make known to you brethren, the gospel which I preached to you which also you received and in which you stand and by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that he was buried and that he has been raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…….”
This is the gospel by which you are saved through faith by the grace of God plus nothing .
You can then pray something like this:
Dear heavenly Father
I believe that Jesus died for my sins, that he was buried and was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. Lord thank you for sending Your Son Jesus to die for me. Please forgive me for all my sins and come into my life as my Saviour. Amen
The spiritual man:
You are now a spiritual man and saved for eternity. Some groups of people belief a believer must confess Jesus to be Lord over his life when he recognises his need for a Saviour and makes a prayer of faith. This is not correct. The prayer of Lordship salvation is error. It is not necessary to make Jesus Lord over your life a requirement for salvation. God dealings with each one of His children are designed by the Creator to be applied to the believer in a unique way. There will be a right time for each Christian when he/she will have a conviction to submit himself fully to God and Jesus to be Lord over his life.
You are sealed for the Kingdom of Heaven. You have been blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. You are chosen before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight, predestined to be adopted through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely bestowed on you in the One He loves. In Him you have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of your sin, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace….. (Ephesians 1: 4-7)
Your human spirit is now recreated, born again of the Holy Spirit of God.
We will come to know that only God can deal with sin and it is only God who can produce holiness of life. At salvation our part was only to receive Him and at that moment He dealt with our sin and saved us. Now in order to live a holy life the Lord will show you that there must be surrender to His will, to trust Him to continue the work of sanctification and to do whatever may be necessary in your life without and within. He will enable you to live each day in purity, freedom, rest and power for His glory. 1 John 1; Hebrews 4:9; 1 John 5: 4
In the daily struggles of life most times we remain governed by our senses. We are undeveloped in the things of the Spirit and believe in miracles only when we see them. Our re-created spirits must now be allowed to control the mind and body otherwise there will be no growth and we will be content with spiritual milk. To ensure spiritual growth we must read our Bibles and pray to understand its principles and precepts and discover its depths which at this time may be hidden to a mind that is undeveloped in the things of the Spirit.
There are many ways we can grow in our knowledge of the Word and learn to be discerning of those who teach error. Unless we pursue different avenues of study we will remain in an undeveloped state. The Bible refers to Christians who rely on the doctrines of men and continue on in worldly thinking as “carnal men”. Worldly carnal thoughts will remain with this man until he realises he is starving for want of knowledge and chooses to have his mind changed by studying God’s Word. Christians who do not seek to grow to a mature Christian are clearly wide open to fill a spiritual vacuum with experiences outside of the Word of God. They will seek after experiences to inject life and vitality to a faith that has not really moved ahead in knowledge of the Word and therefore is unable to trust in what the Word of God says. The Christian who does not seek to feed on God’s Holy Word will find it satisfactory to depend on the doctrines of men. Because he has not sought the transforming power of God’s Word he is not unlike a baby who is jealous and striving for his own way – not God’s way. He has not made a heart commitment to truly submit to God and make Jesus Lord over His life. This Christian is open to deception and may well embrace a merry-go-round of experiences. Dependent on the faith of others, usually some leader whose knowledge is really not much better than his own – the blind leads the blind.
It is vitally important for the baby Christian to feed upon the Word of God to grow him in his faith. Be a Berean and search the Scriptures for yourself as God commands you to do. Prove for yourself that the spiritual experience you have witnessed and the Pastor’s preaching is in the Word. If you can not find evidences in Scripture to substantiate the Pastor’s teaching it is important the Pastor should be provided with the opportunity to explain where it can be found in the Bible. Any man who seeks to preach and teach the Word of God needs to know that he is privileged to do so and should be delighted to have an opportunity to explain Scripture. If he becomes angry and is unable to provide satisfactory scriptural proofs then tell him kindly that according to Scripture you believe he is error
The spiritual man will desire to grow in grace and progress to spiritual maturity. He will depend upon God’s Holy Word and is able to receive direction from the Holy Spirit now indwelling his heart which haas been re-created. He is a new creation in Christ Jesus.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed essential to our very lives and is mind-changing, life-giving food.
(Galatians 1:8,9) provides the explanation for us:
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again:
If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned. Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
This is pretty strong language. Paul was dealing with an issue that represents either life or death. He includes himself in on that curse. A twisting of the truth is more difficult to spot than a downright lie. In (Galatians 1:7) we see that the Judaizers were twisting the truth about Christ. They denied that the finished work on the Cross of Calvary was sufficient for salvation.
The truth of the gospel never changes.
A separated, singular and extraordinary people
Paul says in (Galatians 1:12)
“that he did not receive the gospel from just any man nor was he taught it rather he received it by revelation directly from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
We should not permit some pastor, leadership or denomination to tell us how to think. We are personally accountable to God.
There is false teaching around which asserts that revelation knowledge can only come through certain leaders and no one else. Do not believe that some theological degree guarantees accurate information. There are plenty of people around today who own lofty positions in many different denominations who deny 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4. The majority of Covenant theologians twist Scripture to accommodate the left-overs of Roman Catholic teachings – infant baptism instead of preaching believer’s baptism. They believe the Church is spiritual Israel, deny Israel’s place in the prophetic Word and deny the Rapture of the Church saints at the end of the Church Age. It is Replacement theology and error.
With unloving, condescending pomposity they dress up in extravagant gowns intended to place them in position above you. How unscriptural! They clearly believe only they are capable of making an accurate biblical interpretation. Just because these people have attended an Anglican College or some other Theological College does not mean they have received correct teaching. Ring the College in question and find out what strand of theology is taught and I can guarantee that 99 times out of 100 they teach Covenant Theology and amillenialism. Well the Jehovah Witnesses practice a religion of denial and so does Covenant amillenialism.
The Christian with the renewed mind no longer depends on the spiritual direction of others. He is made free in the spiritual realm to think as God wants him to think.
God ‘s heart longs for His people to so love him and know Him they will be separated people, extraordinary and single minded in their attempts to burst the limited perceptions of carnal, compromised thinking. He wants for us to move in a knowledge of His Holy Word, keep close to Him through prayer that we may walk in the Holy Spirit.
(1 Corinthians 7:23) says
“You were bought at a price,
do not become slaves of men.”
You belong to Jesus. Neither men, nor religion or denomination should own you. You should lay those idols down.
There are so many in the body of Christ who do not seek to hear the voice of their Shepherd in prayer. It is for this reason that they come to depend on the voice of someone in leadership rather than seek direction for their lives through the pages of His Word and seek the Lord in prayer.
Neither are we to be dependent upon the controlling influences of some charismatic showman. God says that He is a jealous God and will not share His glory with anyone. I
God wants his people to be hearers from Him and doers of His Word and that will go right against the traditions of men who seek control and power.
The heart of the spiritual man is one that is freed from the necessity of petty experience and released into a blessed and secure freedom of knowing the truth of the Word and reliant on its truths.
A saying that grabbed me at the time it was expounded, “its not a one shot alter drop” that provides the answer its (11 Corinthians 4: 16-18).
“Wherefore we faint not; but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is for the moment, works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Paul asked the Corinthians to imitate him because he walked close to God. Paul had joy-filled times with His precious Master. Incarcerated in a damp and miserable prison cell Paul was immersed in fellowship with Him and so his spirit soared with joy. Paul did not expect the Corinthians to copy everything he did but to imitate those aspects of his life and beliefs that taught them more of Jesus. He longed that they would change their worldly way of living to that which God intended for His precious children. Paul longed to see the wayward Corinthians discover the close and meaningful relationship He enjoyed with his Master, Saviour and Lord..
It requires the union of the spirit and the mind to understand the will of God. The Holy Spirit will reveal God’s will for your life and illuminate your mind by His indwelling presence if you submit your way to the Lord. What are you prepared to give up for the Lord? Will you wait to hear His gentle voice as you seek His direction for your life through prayer? May the Lord bless you with His presence this day.
God does not want you to submit your mind to the controlling influences of some charismatic showman. Man’s wisdom may sound satisfactory but does it really align with God’s Word?
There are various ways wicked men seek to exercise control over us. An authoritarian approach may be used and this works well on passive people. There are more active methods where people are lured in by way of up-beat music, repetitive phrases, warm cosy dinner parties and loving attitudes. The loving attitudes soon vanish if anyone dare put any difficult questions. People have a sense of security being one of a large number. It is hard to stand alone, not follow the herd and to own opinions different from the majority. I’m glad my abuser dad impressed upon me “never follow the herd Sheila!” It has been very hard to live with a strong belief in the “rightness“ of my dad’s direction for I have applied his words to my life in so many situations. Today I am grateful to the Lord He allowed my dad to impress this upon me.
God does not want passive people he wants active people – for Him.
(Isaiah 29: 13 and 14) and (Isaiah 30:1) provide answers for us as to the kind of people God wants for us to be.
He seeks for us to be obedient to His word and worship Him honestly and sincerely.
He wants us to be a separate people and to be singular not followers on. (Strongs 6381) To arise and be extraordinary. Nothing will be too hard for us or things too high for us to attain for God will enable us in Jesus name.
Instead of taking what may seem to be “just a good way” to solve difficulties we should always turn to Jesus. He longs to be our Guide throughout our lives. His Word will illuminate our minds and when we seek His Will we can move under direction of the Holy Spirit with God-confidence and without compromise.
We need each day to die to the work of the flesh and follow after the things of the Spirit. Oh that we would think with minds renewed by the word of God and not allow men or circumstances to pull us back into the realm of human experience.
God will allow believers to sin and then experience the consequences of our sin for a variety of reasons and I know this on a personal level. He uses this to prepare us to face even stronger temptations in the future, and reveal certain aspects of our sin nature to us and to heal our character deficiencies.
With Jesus we can together overcome our sinful thoughts and desires by taking every thought “captive to the mind of Christ.” Little by little we will become stronger emotionally and spiritually asking Jesus to provide us with His strength to enable us to overcome our difficulties through Him.
We should keep “short lists” of our sin and lack before God. Seek him daily to forgive us and seek His healing for the defects in our character. His Holy Spirit works within us both to will and to do and perhaps slowly we discover we can be dependent upon Him and so develop “God-confidence”. It will be to our comfort and delight we will make the discovery that His grace and sufficiency is truly present for every situation.
If we should step outside of the boundaries of God’s word and endeavour to make it fit our experience we leave ourselves wide open to the devil’s snares.
God tells us that our spirits are “made alive” by His Holy Spirit. Our re-created Spirit enables man’s mind to receive the things of the spirit discovered in God’s Spirit breathed Word. His Word/our recreated spirit in joyful harmony, nourishing, strengthening, , filling us – yes confirming us, as a recreated spiritual man.
The spiritual man lives in the revealed knowledge of the Word of God and not by his senses. For him the Word holds absolute truth.
The undeveloped Christian man may give assent to this and say that he believes it to be God’s word but without a continual diet of experience his Christian life seems empty. I know this to be true because I just longed to remain in church just praising Him and knowing a sort of ecstatic bliss and yet I never really had a sense of being in ecstatic bliss even in my prayer times.
The Apostle Paul focused all of his mind and heart on knowing his precious Master more and obeying him.
Paul’s letter of joy to the Philippians was written from his cold, damp, dark prison cell exhorting believers to be unified “not in diversity” in situations where other gospels were preached and practised but unified because everyone believed in the Word Paul taught. Paul’s joy was made complete by
“being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” (Philippians 2:2)
Christians must find joy from Christ living within us by his Holy Spirit and by being like-minded. We must not confuse the true meaning of joy with happiness. (The word “happenings” is derived from happiness.) Joy depends on an inward strength that comes from knowing God intimately, harmoniously and experientially.
“Rejoice in the Lord always”, Paul exhorts. “I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)
The Bible serves as God’s blueprint for our lives to show us the moral excellence of a Holy God. We please him by making our lives conform to his revealed will for us.
The Spirit of life has set us free from the law of sin and eternal death. We are helpless by ourselves to overcome the ravages and torments of sin on our own. Neither can we earn our salvation by being law-keepers. Paul knew another law was at work in the fleshly parts of his body, waging war against the law of his mind and making him a prisoner of the law at work within his members. His rescuer – Jesus Christ.
We all need to be grounded in the Word and receive a mind changing revelation of God’s precepts. Know His love, His works, His statutes, His promises, His degrees and His wonders.
God alone is the possessor of absolute power and absolute wisdom. He sustains the entirety of the planetary systems and rules the world that we live in. By the outworking of his Holy Spirit He draws people to Himself that all glory and worship and praise are directed to His Son Jesus, that we might know him more, grow in our relationship with Him through prayer and develop the character of Jesus within us by absorbing His Word. Then so it would be that it would penetrate the deepest recesses of our hearts and minds, enfold us in its life-transforming power, so we could love one another in the way He first loved us.
(2 Corinthians 2:16) “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
The Apostle Paul promises us great things the moment we receive a recreated Spirit. We have freedom from the power of sin, freedom from the domination of the law and freedom to become like Christ. Most of us are still in spiritual infancy and need to be transformed by His Word.
The only way we can discover the character of Jesus and grow in Him and maintain the mind in its renewed state is to
”keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, so that you may know him better and I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and his incomparably great power for all who believe.” (Ephesians 2: 17-18)
Paul gives us clear direction here the mind and the spirit work together. God provides us with the ability to distinguish the difference between the voice of our Lord Jesus, our own thoughts, or the invasion of our minds by the evil one. In the above passage Paul’s prayer for all Christians down through the ages is that we would know Jesus better.
Christ is the model for our lives and the more we know Him the more we shall be like Him. Personal relationship through prayer and knowledge of His Word enables us to grow and provides us with protection.
If we are walking in the Spirit with a mind renewed by a daily diet of His word and an application to prayer we will no longer have the need to look to others to direct our lives. What God wants for them as individuals may not be what He wants for you. The truth is that you cannot know whether those from whom you may seek direction are any more spiritually mature than you are.
God said that his people suffer from a lack of knowledge. Most of us today are so geared to working hard, Christian and non-Christian alike, providing for the mortgage and rates and sometimes just the food on the table, together with all that we perceive to be the necessities of life, there seems to be so little time to seek after God in prayer. For some of us it is a rare spiritual indulgence to feast on the pages of His Word and discover more of God.
We are called to set ourselves apart from the world’s self-centred value system and we struggle so much with our pride, arrogance, covetous, jealous stubborn parts of our nature which still seems to rise above the way we know we should be for Him.
(Romans 12: 2) “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will is.”
God’s plans for us are perfect. Within His intimate and perfect knowledge of each one of us He has devised a special plan and strategy for each one of us. He invites us to test and approve what His perfect will is for His precious lambs. We must pray to become a transformed people so we can become effective and vital Christians for Him.
What is your perception of God?
He cares about each one of us personally and is revealed to us in Jesus Christ. Whatever the time of day or through the watches of the night He is there to listen to our heart’s cry or share our moments of joy. His strength is there for us to draw upon.
God’s provision of His Holy Spirit as Counselor, Healer and Friend will enable us to rise above the storms of life. The great Apostle Paul could not survive without prayer and Paul was a man who experienced the blinding Shekinah glory of Christ on the road to Damascus.
“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things, I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him…..I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”
The great prophet Isaiah when meditating on the immensity of God describes in words of vivid colour God’s power to create the universe.
“who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?” (Isaiah 40: 12)
There is no man alive who can truly comprehend a Holy God, “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, a King of Kings and Lord of Lords;” the great “I am”, the One who has always been and always shall be. The One who shelters us in the shadow of His wings and watched us grow in even in our mother’s womb, fully man yet fully God. Whose Holy Spirit came at Pentecost and was released to the whole world following Jesus’ ascension to heaven. Who can comprehend the mind of God?
(Romans 11: 34,35 and 36) “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever!”
Man has been struggling since the dawn of history to become closer to God. He has used an infinite variety of ways to achieve this aim and sadly most of them have been wrong.
Levitations, sobbings, stigmata, apparitions of the Virgin Mary do not sit comfortably with us nor should they. We are influenced by our culture. We seek other avenues to identify with our Creator God. Pictures of Jesus, crosses, doves and the like, are promoted as acceptable ways to reach our Heavenly Father. Yet before a Mighty and Holy God they are but worthless, empty and meaningless as the gold, brass or paper they are made with. In truth God would not have us commune with Him through a picture on a wall or through thinking on a metal cross any more than He would have us pray to a statue of Mary and we need to repent of these things.
The only way we become closer to God is through the Spirit breathed pages of His Holy word and in our prayer closet with Jesus
“that we may know Him more and identify with Him in the fellowship His sufferings and become like Him in his death”
must be the heart’s cry of every Christian. (Phil 3:10)
Jesus Christ removed both the enmity and the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile – the Law. When we believed the gospel we entered in to the one true church. (Ephesians 2:15, 16, 18) This is “the mystery” the uniting together of Jew and Gentile. (The doctrine of the Olive Tree) The Church was a “sacred secret” known only to God. At the birthday of the Church in Acts this incredible and grand historical fact was not yet known as it was not revealed in the Old Testament. We as believers belong within the true invisible Church. We are in Him and He in us collectively described as the Bride of Christ this being – the Church – composed of all true believers who are born again of the Holy Spirit.
Note: Israel is the Wife of Jehovah and viewed throughout biblical history in various ways. The marriage contract is in fact to be found in the Book of Deuteronomy signed between Israel and God. This is where Israel became the Wife of Jehovah. (Deuteronomy 5:1-3) This work is not really the place to prove the biblical distinctions between Israel and the Church. At this time the writer seeks only to state that God was forced to finally issue a bill of divorcement upon His wife, Israel and this is contained in Jeremiah 3:6-10. A further and better description of these key distinctions can be studied in various books and the writer suggests that “The Footsteps of the Messiah – A study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events” by Doctor Arnold G Fruchtenbaum (Ariel.org) or “Rightly dividing the Word of truth by Doctor C.I. Scofield are very fine helps for further study.
Jesus by His death abolished the law of commandments and placed the believer upon a new obligation to the law of Christ. He gave to all us sin-riddled human beings both Jew and Gentile His broken body, hung on a crude cross in exchange for all sin which would bring separation from our Creator God. Jesus came to tear down the terrible barrier that would finally separate us from each other and from God, for so it is, by our faith in the gospel, He brought us into the family of God and provided the way in to God’s eternal places.
We need to press on towards the goal that has been prepared for us.