The Barrier by HC120831001538

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									Before you begin your Bible study, as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, be sure
you have named your sins privately to God the Father.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (Known, Unknown and Forgotten sins)
(1Jn_1:9)

You will then be in fellowship with God, Filled with the Holy Spirit and ready to
learn Truth from the Word of God.

"God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth,"
(Joh_4:24)




                                  The Barrier


      GOD AND HIS PLAN

     God placed the first man and woman into the perfect
environment of the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had
daily fellowship with the Lord until the sin of
disobedience set up a Barrier between themselves and
God. Omniscient God had always known that sin would
alienate man from his Creator; therefore, He designed a
Plan in eternity past to provide for the removal of this
Barrier. An expression of God’s grace, the Plan is
basically divided into three parts: Phase One, Salvation;
Phase Two, the believer in time; Phase Three, the believer
in eternity.
     God The Father, the First Person of the Trinity, was
the Author of the Plan; God The Son, the Second Person,
was the Executor of the Plan; while God The Holy Spirit,
the Third Person, was the Revealer of the Plan. From the
Divine Viewpoint, (God's Reality) Phase One began in
eternity past at the conference of Divine Decrees’ when
the Members of the Godhead, anticipating man’s failure,
resolved the problem of sin. The Second Person of the
Trinity was elected to execute this phase of God’s Plan.
Historically, Phase One began with the virgin birth and
concluded with the Cross, resurrection, ascension and
session of Jesus Christ. For the believer, Phase One is that
instant of time when he believes in the Lord Jesus Christ
as Savior. (Past, present and in the future) Phase Two for
the believer begins immediately after Salvation and is
executed by God the Holy Spirit in and through the
believer. Phase Three, executed primarily by God the
Father, begins for the believer at the moment of physical
death or at the Second Advent, whichever occurs first.
(1Th_4:13-18)
     The removal of the Barrier is solely the work of God,
and apart from Divine intervention, man would face
eternal condemnation. No matter what we may possess in
the way of abilities, talents or any other human assets, we
are totally incapable of saving ourselves or of having
fellowship with God. No one has ever removed the
Barrier by his own efforts or merits.
    SUMMARY OF THE BARRIER
     http://www.dictionaryofdoctrine.com/files/The_Barrier.jpg



     For the sake of illustration, let us say that the Barrier
is composed of bricks. The first is SIN: “For all have
sinned, and come short {Missed the mark] of the glory
[Essence] of God.” (Rom_3:23) The second “brick” is the
PENALTY OF SIN: “For the wages of sin is death...”
(Rom_6:23) The third is PHYSICAL BIRTH. Man is
born physically alive, but at the same time he is
Spiritually dead that is, without fellowship with God.
(Eph_2:1) The next brick is the CHARACTER OF GOD,
or His Divine essence. Man simply cannot measure up to
the Divine characteristics of perfect God! No one is as
good as God! Therefore, the next brick is man’s
RELATIVE RIGHTEOUSNESS. No matter how good
man may be, his human righteousness is still lacking.
(Isa_64:6) I call this MINUS-R. Finally, we have man’s
POSITION IN ADAM: “In Adam all die...” (1Co_15:22)
Adam’s Fall and subsequent Spiritual death not only
disqualified all mankind from fellowship with God, but
limited the physical life span of the human race.
     http://www.dictionaryofdoctrine.com/files/Barrier.jpg



    SIN AND REDEMPTION

    Since SIN and the PENALTY OF SIN have been
covered in detail in the book, Slave Market of Sin, we
will only summarize the Principles. The first sin in the
human race was an expression of negative volition —
disobedience to the stated will of God. “But from the tree
of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat...”
(Gen_2:17) Adam’s disobedience had far-reaching
repercussions to mankind; his sin was imputed to the
entire human race — that is, it was charged to OUR
account as well as to Adam’s! “For as by one man’s
disobedience many were made sinners...” (Rom_5:19)
Because Adam is the head of the human race, we stand or
fall with him, and we also inherit Adam’s sinful nature.
Adam BECAME a sinner; therefore, we are BORN
sinners. We have no more choice in the matter than we
had a choice in being born male or female.

     For this reason, just as through one man Adam’s
original sin entered into the world, and Spiritual death
through the sin of Adam, and so Spiritual death spread to
all men, because all sinned. (The moment Adam sinned)
(Rom_5:12)

     “All have sinned” because we ALL have an old sin
nature and because Adam’s sin was imputed to us! We are
born in the “slave market of sin” and will remain slaves to
our sin natures for as long as we are alive unless we avail
ourselves of God’s solution — REDEMPTION.
     The word “redeem” means “to buy, to purchase.” In
the case of a slave, it means “to purchase his freedom
from a slave market.” Redemption includes forgiveness of
all sin, (1Jn_2:2) and provides the basis for justification
and immediate cleansing of sin at Salvation. (Rom_3:24)
     The Truth of Unlimited Atonement resolved the
problem of the universality of sin. Christ was judged for
every sin everyone in the world has ever committed or
ever will commit! Redemption and unlimited atonement
are available to the entire human race, but they are
obtained only by those who believe in Christ.

    But as many as received him, to them gave he power
[Right and ability] to become the sons of God, even to
them that believe on his name. (Joh_1:12)

    THE PENALTY OF SIN AND EXPIATION

     When God placed man on the earth, He also included
a test of man’s free will. (Volition) One tree was
forbidden and a PENALTY imposed for disobedience to
God’s warning; “…for in the day that you eat from it you
will surely die.” (Spiritual death) (Gen_2:17) Because
God’s righteousness cannot have fellowship with sin. His
justice must demand a penalty or payment for sin
Spiritual DEATH. “For the wages of sin is death...”
(Rom_6:23) When Adam used his volition to go negative
to God’s Commandment, he died Spiritually. Many years
later, as a result of Spiritual death, Adam died physically.
(Gen_5:5)
     The debt which was incurred by the first man and
passed down to the entire human race had grievous
consequences! Without Salvation, we would be doomed
to eternal judgment; yet God never leaves man in a
hopeless situation. In expiation, the Spiritual death of
Christ blotted out this staggering debt against us.
     Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was
against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the
way, nailing it to his cross. (Col_2:14) “To expiate”
means to atone for or to make amends for a wrong which
you have done. A criminal must make amends for his
crime by serving a prescribed sentence. When he has
served his time, he is then considered to have paid his
debt to society. Man owes God perfect righteousness, just
as we owe the State obedience to the law. But, as we have
seen, our sins, our old sin nature, (Inherited from Adam)
and the penalty against us have put us hopelessly in debt.
Only GRACE could find a solution!
     Acting as our Substitute, Jesus Christ took the
punishment for our sins, as God the Father judged them in
His soul and body on the Cross. (Isa_53:11; 1Pe_2:24)
The penalty of sin was SPIRITUAL DEATH; the
payment of sin was SPIRITUAL DEATH! The Spiritual
death of Christ occurred when the Father judged Christ in
His human nature while He was bearing the sins of the
world. When at last Jesus cried, “It is finished,” He had
paid our debt in full. Expiation was an accomplished fact.
    PHYSICAL BIRTH AND REGENERATION

     The very fact that our birth is physical implies certain
restrictions, both human and Spiritual. Adam had been
created a trichotomous being, possessing a body, a soul
and a spirit. The body is merely the house which qualifies
us for life on this earth. The old sin nature, which came
into existence when Adam sinned, resides in the body and
is the source of Spiritual death, satanic thinking and
demonic fellowship. The soul, the real person inside,
enables us to understand and enjoy human fellowship.
Your soul contains self-consciousness, (Awareness of
your own existence) mentality, (The ability to think) faith,
(The appropriator) volition, (Your decider) emotion, (The
appreciator) and conscience. (Norms and standards) The
human spirit, which has the ability to absorb and
categorize Spiritual Thinking, is the only means by which
man can have fellowship with God.
     When he sinned, Adam and the human race lost both
the human spirit and the capacity to have fellowship with
God. We became dichotomous, possessing only a body
and a soul. Since that time, all humanity is born in the
same condition — physically alive but Spiritually dead.
Mentality and the old sin nature are developed before
birth; these are inherited from our parents. (The sin nature
from the father — Gen_5:3) When the soul life given by
God combines with the mentality at birth, there is
immediate physical life. The remainder of the soul’s
essence is received at this time. At the instant you receive
physical life, Adam’s sin is imputed to your sin nature,
which is already present, and produces Spiritual death.
We are dead to God! To have fellowship with God, to be
made alive unto Him, we must be born again. God has
made provision for this through REGENERATION a
supernatural work of God whereby eternal life is imparted
by the Father to the believer in Christ through the agency
of the Holy Spirit. “But God, being rich in mercy, because
of His great love with which He loved us, even when we
were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together
with Christ,” (By grace you have been saved). (Eph_2:5)

    The Biography of Nicodemus

    There was a man of the Pharisees, named
Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. (Joh_3:1)

     The Truth of Regeneration is illustrated in John 3 in
the well-known account of Nicodemus. Devout but
unregenerate, Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin,
the ruling body of the Jews, comprised of Scribes,
Sadducees and Pharisees. The Scribes were the guardians
and the scholars of the Old Testament Scriptures; the
Sadducees were aristocratic rationalists who denied all
supernatural phenomena, such as the resurrection or the
Concept of eternal life; the Pharisees were religious
legalists. For example, they prayed seven times a day and
attended “church” three times a day. They were do-
gooders and, whether sincere or insincere, they
accumulated a tremendous number of good deeds. They
worked overtime at doing GOOD because they were
trying to get through the “pearly gates” by their own
merit. If there were holy-day ceremonies to be observed,
they observed them to the letter! They gave money to the
poor, but it was done publicly with great pomp and
fanfare in order to create a magnanimous impression!
Their faces bore the sanctimonious appearance of the ultra
Spiritual, and their overt activities displayed an aura of
consecration. If there were temple functions, they were
first in line, shouting the loudest, praying the longest and
performing sacred rituals in a manner calculated to attract
the most attention! Erroneously, they believed they were
making an impression on God!
      Nicodemus was a typical Pharisee — fat-headed,
religious, self-righteous, proud, vain, hypocritical and
legalistic. He was one of those unbelievers Jesus
described in, (Mat_23:27) as “whitewashed tombs” —
beautiful on the outside, (One of the prerequisites to
becoming a Pharisee was outward physical perfection) but
on the inside he was “full of dead men’s bones.”
      This is the most difficult person, whether “unbeliever
or believer” to impress with Divine Thinking, as far as
Salvation is concerned. I personally would rather deal
with any other than a religious person, because he is
totally blinded by his own good-deeds system. He has no
Concept of the Doctrine of total depravity but thinks in-
stead that depravity relates only to people who lie around
in the gutter. In some cases, guttersnipes might be
respectable by comparison! The sins of religious people
are some of the most despicable sins of all: for example,
the sin of pride; which is abundant among them! Imagine
trying to impress God by something YOU can think or do
rather than being impressed with what GOD THINKS
AND DOES; HAS DONE THROUGH CHRIST!
     The name “Nicodemus” is simply a Greek word for
ruler or victory of the people. No matter how you slice it,
Nicodemus was a very important person. Although his
life was filled with good deeds and many ritualistic
observances, which he was depending upon for Salvation,
he had moments of concern that possibly all was not well.
Either from personal observation or from hearsay, he
learned of Jesus’ power and wondered as to its source.

    This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him,
"Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a
teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless
God is with him." (Joh_3:2)

    Although there has been much speculation as to why
Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, I suspect that he was
so busy in the administration of doing good, in the
practice of long prayers, so preoccupied with the
observation of prescribed ritual, (All done in the energy of
the flesh — old sin nature) that he simply did not have
time to meet with Jesus during the day and or to prevent
being criticized.
     By using the title “Rabbi Nicodemus, in effect,
conferred an honorary degree upon the Lord. His
comment, “we know,” indicates that Nicodemus was
tremendously impressed with the knowledge of the
Pharisees particularly his own. Even though he had just
acknowledged the Lord’s academic prowess, he was not
interested in what Jesus KNEW, but only in what He was
DOING. Whether he had heard of the miracles or
witnessed them personally, he was at this time more
fascinated and attracted by the deeds of Jesus than by His
Words. Actually, the true purpose of miracles was to gain
and focus attention on the message. In the case of Jesus
Christ, the miracles which He performed further identified
Him as “the Son of God with power.” (Rom_1:4) Yet, had
the miracles been accomplished simply to alleviate
suffering, then Jesus was remiss in not healing everyone
in the world! But time is just a drop in the bucket
compared to eternity, and the eternal safety of the soul is
more important than the soundness of the body. For all his
assumed academic knowledge, Nicodemus paraded his
ignorance of vital Biblical Truths!
     Nicodemus recognized that Jesus was a “teacher
come from God,” for he admitted, “for no one can do
these signs that You do unless God is with him.” But here
is where Nicodemus missed the point: a Teacher from
God TEACHES; a Teacher from God
COMMUNICATES. If any change takes place, it will be
in the heart of the individual who responds to the content
of the MESSAGE; but that is not the miracle to which I
am referring to here. Many unusual and marvelous
wonders had been performed: Jesus Christ raised people
from the dead; (Resuscitation) He caused the blind to see,
the deaf to hear, the demon-possessed to be free from
demons, and lepers to be healed. When Nicodemus
acknowledged Jesus as a Teacher from God, it is obvious
that he was confused: a teacher TEACHES; yet
Nicodemus failed to mention a single Principle that Jesus
TAUGHT — he could only recount the miracles! “No
man can do” is present linear aktionsart: literally, “no man
can keep on doing the miracles that You do.” In effect, he
was saying: “The Sanhedrin, and specifically the
Pharisees, have tried to explain away these extraordinary
events; but we find it very difficult to do so because the
miracles continue. We could say they were accidental or
perhaps acts of nature; we could explain away a few of
them; but when You consistently perform supernatural
deeds, there is no explanation. Therefore, we must
conclude that You are a Teacher from God!”

    Nicodemus Interrupted
     Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say
to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the
kingdom of God." (Joh_3:3)

     The interruption was well timed, for Nicodemus, and
was long on whitewash and short on Spiritual wisdom, as
was typical of most of the Pharisees. We know this from
their long public prayers, designed to attract attention! If
there is anything that is Spiritually depressing, it is a long-
winded prayer. Assembly prayers are for the specific
purpose of asking God’s blessing on the occasion. In the
Sermon on the Mount Jesus emphasized the importance of
getting to the point! Whenever someone prays a long
prayer in public, almost invariably he is trying to impress
someone other than God.
     I will always remember an incident that happened in
a Chapel period during my seminary days. Someone had
prayed an unusually lengthy prayer, and after about ten
minutes, a restless character in the back finally piped up
and quipped in a stage whisper, “He must be catching up
on his devotionals on our time!” With that, Chapel was
broken up — and rightly so! Prayer in private may be as
long as your inclination dictates; but PRAYERS IN
PUBLIC SHOULD BE SHORT AND TO THE POINT!
If you are asking God’s blessing on a service, simply do it
and move on! In much the same way, Nicodemus
approached Jesus with the intention of impressing Him.
Jesus spared us a wordy dissertation when He interrupted
Nicodemus and hit the true issue.
     I’ve heard people teach courses on how to witness for
Christ in which they say, “Now, you must do it this way:
if they say that, then you say this; and if they say this,
then you say that.” Jesus cut through all the whitewash
and forthrightly presented the Gospel. He said simply,
“You will never get into the Kingdom of God unless you
are born again.” Jesus was talking to a man with every
merit badge! This individual had made all the points that
could be made: he prayed consistently, attended “church”
regularly; and, as for good deeds, he had won all the blue
ribbons. Humanly speaking, Nicodemus could claim
every credit; yet Jesus had just insulted him by saying,
“You’ll never go to heaven unless you are born again.”
     For a person who had made a career of trying to earn
a ticket into heaven by good deeds, this was quite a
shock! I want you to correlate a Principle here: the
problem was his birth. Nicodemus had been born
physically, but that was all. He possessed a body with its
old sin nature and a human soul, and he was Spiritually
dead! Jesus did not tell Nicodemus, “The gates of heaven
stand wide open because you have 1,280 good deeds,
3,642 prayers and umpteen thousand church attendance
medals — you’re in.” To the contrary, he has just been
told he’s out! Jesus said, “You cannot enter the kingdom
of God unless you are born again!” Heaven is made up of
those who possess eternal life! Once a person is born
again — and ONLY then — can he “see” the Kingdom of
God. (2Co_4:18) Nicodemus, though an intensely moral
man, could not relate to Spiritual information, and his
reaction was most interesting.

    Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born
when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his
mother's womb and be born, can he?" (Joh_3:4)

     This is a perfect illustration of a religious man’s
blindness to the Spiritual Thinking of Christ. Without a
human spirit, he was incapable of understanding Spiritual
Thoughts. But a natural man {Unbeliever and or carnal
believer] does not accept the things [Thoughts] of the
Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he
cannot understand them, because they are Spiritually
appraised. (Understood) (1Co_2:14) Nicodemus assumed
one must be born again physically, and he wanted to
know the mechanics. He even suggested, (And he was
being a little humorous, to say the least, and possibly
sarcastic) a reentrance into the womb. His suggestion
must have seemed amusing to Jesus; but in deference to
the dignity of the Scribes and the Pharisees, He refrained
from laughing and continued with His Theological
discourse. Jesus could look inside and see that this man
was truly seeking or he would not have come at all.
Certainly, he was a long way from the Truth when he
asked, “Must you reenter your mother’s womb?” To
prove to Nicodemus that He was not talking about
physical birth, but Spiritual birth, Jesus used a frame of
reference which would be meaningful to a Jewish
religious leader.

    Water and the Spirit

     Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one
is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the
kingdom of God. (Joh_3:5)

     Every time some people see the word “water” in
Scripture, they instantly jump to a conclusion baptism!
Water occasionally means H2O; however, when literal
water is intended, the context will so specify. Literal
water is not indicated in this passage because Jesus was
not discussing a literal, physical birth. There is also a
Spiritual connotation of water. It was this terminology to
which Jesus referred; and Nicodemus, trained in the
school of the Pharisees, should have been able to correlate
it with one of three analogies:

    (1) Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters...”
The sinner is pictured as being thirsty and coming to
Christ for Salvation (cf. Joh_4:14). “The Spirit and the
bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say,
"Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one
who wishes take the water of life without cost. ”
(Rev_22:17)

     (2) The Bible or the Word of God, as in, (Eze_16:9)
compared with (Eph_5:26). The Word of God Thought
with provides Spiritual cleansing. It makes the bitter
experiences sweet, (Exo_15:25) and gives rest and
refreshment. (Psa_23:2)

     (3) The Holy Spirit, as in, (Isa_44:3) compared with,
(Joh_7:37-39) “...out of his innermost being will flow
rivers of living water. (But this He spoke of the Spirit...”)

     Since Jesus spoke of a Spiritual birth, which of the
three Spiritual uses of water applies? We can eliminate
Salvation because this is not brought out until Jesus
convinces the Pharisee that He is referring to a Spiritual
birth. The Holy Spirit is eliminated on the basis of
redundancy, as He is mentioned in the next phrase. We
must conclude, therefore, that water refers to the “water
of the Word.” (Eph_5:26; 1Jn_5:4-13) Ultimately,
everyone who is saved receives information directly or
indirectly from the Word of God. The Principle of the
new birth, the mechanics, the provision — the Gospel —
all are found in the Word of God. (Psa_119:50; 1Co_4:15;
Jas_1:18; 1Pe_1:23)
     The “Spirit” refers to the Holy Spirit, the Agent of
regeneration. (Tit_3:5) It is the responsibility of the Holy
Spirit to take the Gospel and “boom” it into the mind of
the unbeliever. No one has ever been saved and no one
has ever understood the plan of Salvation apart from this
ministry of the Holy Spirit. Once a person believes in
Christ, he receives a human spirit, (1Th_5:23; Tit_3:5) the
Holy Spirit takes up His residence in the body of the
believer; (1Co_6:19) and as the Holy Spirit fills and
therefore controls his soul, the believer is able to learn
and Think with Spiritual Thoughts. (Joh_16:13-15)

    That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that
which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (Joh_3:6)

     Our first birth provides us with a body of flesh and
blood, as well as a soul, and puts us into Adam’s family;
but in order to enter the Kingdom of God, (Eternal
relationship with Him) we must be Spiritually alive.
Therefore, Nicodemus should not have been surprised to
learn that a person would need a Spiritual birth.

    "Do not be amazed that I said to you, 'You must be
born again.' (Joh_3:7)

    Jesus’ Words, “Do not be amazed,” suggest the
reaction of Nicodemus. He was standing there with his
mouth open, his eyes popping and the veins probably
standing out on his neck. He was totally shocked! No one
ever spoke to a ruler of the Jews in this manner! Yet Jesus
had emphatically proclaimed, “Don’t be surprised when I
say unto you — you respectable, religious Pharisee —
that you must be born again!” In spite of all his human
accomplishments, Nicodemus was totally baffled. For the
third time, Jesus had repeated the need of a second birth;
now He capped it off with an unusual illustration.

    From Where Comes the Wind?

    "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the
sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and
where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the
Spirit." (Joh_3:8)

     Where does the wind begin, and where does it end?
You hear it, and you know it is there, but you do not
know where it started or where it is going. As the wind
blows where it will, “so is everyone that is born of the
Spirit” This is the clincher! The illustration indicates that
the wind cannot be seen — only the effect is visible. You
know wind exists because it hits you in the face, tosses
the waves, bends the trees or blows dust into your eye.
However, you do not know how the wind got there or
where it is going. So it is with Spiritual birth: it is unseen,
but it is nevertheless real.
     After this tremendous discourse, Nicodemus, the
religious giant, finally had something to say. Notice the
incredible shallowness of his soul. As a Pharisee, this man
was established academically — well educated and smart!
But, you see, all of his intelligence was only in the
mentality of his soul. When it came to Spiritual content,
he was ignorant and just plain stupid because he did not
have the ability to assimilate the information; nor would
he be able to understand unless he was born again
Spiritually and in fellowship. Nicodemus had reached an
impasse; he could not interpret Spiritual Thoughts
because he did not have the resources. For the present,
however, he had a more pressing problem: he did not
possess a human spirit; he was “dead!” (Jas_2:26) After
Spiritual birth, the human spirit is added and or renewed,
(Tit_3:5) and with this new equipment, you can begin to
comprehend Spiritual Thoughts.

    Nicodemus said to Him, "How can these things be?"
(Joh_3:9)

     The Pharisee was amazed. “Where did you get this? I
received no bibliography on this Concept when I went
through graduate school. I don’t have a single footnote on
being born again. From the beginning, I was instructed to
do, do, do! And now, for the first time, someone says
something about being born! How can this be?”
Nicodemus was really stymied. He was so well educated
he had almost worn out his eyes reading and memorizing
the Talmud, the Mishnah, etc.; yet he understood nothing.
Here was a man who had such extensive training that he
could speak eloquently in the temple and debate question
Theological nature with consummate skill. To suddenly
come up against something like this took a little skin off
his nose, and it hurt! “How are these things possible?”
     That remark opened the door to further conversation,
and I want you to notice that Jesus was not above using
sarcasm at the appropriate time. This sanctified sarcasm
was about as subtle as the crack of a shillelagh over the
cranium!

     Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher
of Israel and do not understand these things? (Joh_3:10)

     Jesus challenged Nicodemus. “You mean to tell me
you have your Ph.D. in philosophy and Theology, and
you don’t know what I’m talking about?” As a matter of
fact, never once in any examination, in any seminar, in
any classroom, never at any point did Nicodemus receive
information like this. The curriculum was devoid of
Spiritual Thinking!

    "Truly, truly, I say to you, We [God The Father,
Jesus Christ and God The Holy Spirit] Speak of what We
know and Testify of what We have seen, and you do not
accept Our testimony. (Joh_3:11)

     Because Nicodemus was blinded by his legalism and
therefore still confused, Jesus continued: “I know what
I’m talking about, even if you don’t!” Nicodemus had
been told he must be born again, but he did not
understand it. The Words and the Thoughts were there,
but the Principle was not clear to him. Jesus said, “Now
look! YOU are all mixed up; but I am not mixed up!”
This gives us a Concept of witnessing: when you tell
people about Jesus Christ, you should speak with
confidence, and confidence comes from
UNDERSTANDING the Word of God. (Col_2:2-3)

    "If I told you earthly things and you do not believe,
how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
(Joh_3:12)

    In the Greek, this “if” is a debater’s first-class
condition. Jesus said, “Let’s assume for the moment that I
have told you about human phenomena, (Comparison
between physical birth and a Spiritual birth) about earthly
things, and you do not believe; how will you ever believe
when I present Spiritual or heavenly Principles? Let’s go
over this just once more, Nicodemus; and this will do it!”

    Christ, the True Issue

    "No one has ascended into heaven, but He who
descended from heaven: the Son of Man. (Joh_3:13)
     At the time when Jesus said this, no member of the
human race had ever entered the third heaven, the abode
of God. Although billions of Old Testament people had
been saved, after death they resided in Paradise; in the
heart of the earth in Hades; until the Representative Man
was resurrected, ascended and accepted by the Father.
The first Man to enter into heaven was Jesus Christ. The
“Son of Man’ is a title of Christ, which emphasizes His
humanity. That Jesus declared He was in heaven at that
very moment was an interesting puzzle for Nicodemus to
work out in his spare time. Quite possibly, it was one of
the two factors that caused him to become a believer.
     Jesus Christ is omnipresent: He is everywhere. While
He was in heaven. He was standing there talking to
Nicodemus! You see, the reason He could be there and in
heaven at the same time, (Billions of light years away) is
because He is the God-Man, undiminished deity and true
humanity in one Person forever — the unique Person of
the universe! While He is God, just as are the Father and
the Holy Spirit, He is different from the Father and the
Spirit in that He could stand there in a human body and
talk to Nicodemus. Yet He is different from Nicodemus
and all other members of the human race because He is
God. HE IS UNIQUE. In the presentation of the Gospel,
the Person of Jesus Christ is always the issue. If
Nicodemus recognizes Jesus’ Person, he will accept
Jesus’ Word. Then he must accept the work of Christ.
    How To Be Born Again

    And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
even so must the Son of man be lifted up. (Joh_3:14)

    Jesus made one last appeal on ground which was
familiar to Nicodemus. In order to become a Pharisee, he
had to memorize the Torah (The first five books of the
Old Testament) and take a stiff examination; therefore, he
was familiar with, (Num_21:8). All that was necessary
was a summary, just a flashback, and Nicodemus could
orient to the Principle. The analogy of the brass serpent
was an anticipation of the Spiritual death and judgment of
Christ. Therefore the serpent lifted up on the pole was
analogous to the saving work of Christ on the Cross.

      So that whoever believes will in Him have eternal
life. (Joh_3:15)

    “That” introduces a purpose clause and states the
reason for Jesus Christ’s being lifted up on the Cross.
This clear declaration tells Nicodemus, and every person
who reads or hears the Scripture, how to be born again:
BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ! Faith is the absence
of works or human merit. The value of faith lies in its
object. For Salvation, the object of faith is Christ!
“Whoever” means any member of the human race —
religious, irreligious, non-religious, moral, immoral,
amoral — ANYONE!
     When you believe in Christ, you become a
trichotomous being. You retain your body, with its old sin
nature, and soul, but you receive the indwelling Holy
Spirit and a renewed human spirit. Nicodemus received
Christ as his Lord and Savior, possibly even that same
night. We do not know the time; we do know the results.
Nicodemus was one of the two pallbearers of our Lord;
Joseph of Arimathaea was the other. Very interesting!
Both of them were Pharisees; both of them were rich and
prominent men. At one time, both of them were dead in
sin and separated from God.
     Once again, let’s look at the problem of the Barrier
between man and God. If man is to know God, the Barrier
must removed. The bricks of sin and its penalty were
removed by redemption and expiation through the
Spiritual death of Christ on the Cross. The problem of
physical birth is solved by regeneration — a Spiritual
birth. In addition, we are placed into the Royal Family of
God, (Gal_3:26) we become sons of God; (Joh_1:12) and
God is our Father. (2Co_6:18)

    MAN’S RELATIVE RIGHTEOUSNESS

     The next element in the Barrier is, to some, the most
confusing of all — the problem of man’s righteousness. It
is quite obvious that some people are “very good.”
 (Humanly speaking) These unbelievers have trend
toward obedience to authority, moral degeneracy or
religion etc., and are the “good” people, and there are
some unbelievers who have a trend toward disobedience,
immoral degeneracy, lawlessness etc. and are the “bad”
people. (Humanly speaking) (Isa_53:6) Unbelievers have
both undesirable and admirable qualities; they have the
ability to obscure their obnoxious characteristics and to
hide their personal problems. In contrast, I have noticed
that many believers have the same “good” and “bad”
trends.
     Here, then, is the issue of righteousness: obviously,
some people are very nice, some people are very good,
some people are better than others — and that is the real
problem. We often establish the fact that a person is
“good” because he is BETTER than other people. Some
people know how to keep their mouths shut, mind their
own business, and they never welsh on an obligation. You
can hardly beat that! They are fine, relaxing, lovely
people to be around. And why do they seem “good” to
me? Because I compare them with nosy busybodies,
maligners, gossipers, and welshers — people who have no
sense of responsibility. I say, “These people are
wonderful; these other people are way down on the totem
pole.” So, according to human standards, one group is
“good” and one is “bad.”
     But let’s compare this system of morality with God’s
Standards. The person I admire has honorable
characteristics, and I enjoy his company; but with all his
noble qualities, he is still MINUS-R. He does not stack up
with God at all! God is PLUS- R — absolute
righteousness. He has perfect characteristics perfect
righteousness, justice, love, eternal life. God has never
welshed on an obligation — God is immutable; He keeps
His Word. So when I compare this individual with God, I
have to admit that he just does not measure up to God at
all.
     Here is God’s opinion of us: “For ALL have sinned,
and come short of the glory [Essence] of God.”
(Rom_3:23) “Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth
who continually does good and who never sins.”
(Ecc_7:20) “As it is written, "THERE IS NONE
RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE
WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO
SEEKS FOR GOD.” (Rom_3:10-11) “For all of us have
become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous
deeds are like a filthy garment...” (Isa_64:6)

    Three Types of People

     There are many kinds of people in the world; but
generally speaking, they fall into three categories: the
religious person like Nicodemus; the moral or self-
righteous individual; and the immoral person. The moral
person is the “good guy,” a respected member of society,
who never does anything overtly wrong or sinful. He is
kind and courteous and contributes to all worthy causes.
His trouble, however, is that he banks on his own
righteousness to get him into heaven. He usually thinks he
is so good that he does not need Salvation or The Word.
     Then there is the immoral person. He is obviously out
of line, and everyone knows it; he makes no bones about
it. He may be the type who “chases,” connives and makes
shady business deals; or he may be the down-and-outer
who gets drunk, steals and ends up in the gutter or in jail.
The difference in the moral and the immoral person lies in
the fact that the immoral person’s sins are obvious, while
the self-righteous and religious types have hidden their
carnality behind a facade of respectability. This is for the
unbeliever and the believer; it makes no difference as
long as there is no change of nature; by the daily intake,
belief and Thinking with the Word of God, maintaining
the filling of God the Holy Spirit! (2Pe_1:4)

    The Barrier of Good Works

     Man’s good deeds form a tremendous barrier to God
because they often lead to religious and sanctimonious
illusions. Some misguided do-gooder thinks, “I am going
to heaven because I’m so marvelous. I am going to
heaven because I have all these merit badges.” (Or the
believer thinks he will be rewarded) Such a person will
never make it because all the good deeds in the world add
up to MINUS-R, (Man’s righteousness) and MINUS-R
cannot have fellowship with PLUS-R. (God’s
righteousness) The presence of the old sin nature and the
absence of a human spirit, (Or for the believer not being
in fellowship) make it impossible to have fellowship with
Absolute Righteousness. The only way to be saved and or
reach Spiritual maturity is to have a righteousness that
equals God’s righteousness.
     If you refuse to accept Christ and or His Word, then
you may as well stop playing the righteousness game and
live it up for the few years you have left on earth, because
there is going to be “hell to pay,” (For believers the
Judgment Seat of Christ) waiting in the future. Religion
and morality just won’t cut it! Jesus said, “For I say to
you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the
scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of
heaven.” (Mat_5:20) (Positional and or Experiential
righteousness; Heb_12:14) Now how are we going to
move this road block, this barrier, out of the way? The
answer is found in the Doctrines of Imputation and
Justification for Salvation.

    IMPUTATION
    The Credit Side of the Ledger

     It takes but a stroke of the pen to change MINUS-R
into PLUS-R, but it took infinitely more to change our
unrighteousness into the righteousness of God.
    He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our
behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God
in Him. (2Co_5:21)

      God the Father is the Author of the Plan of Salvation
for the human race. “He made” is the aorist tense: “once
and for all the Father made Jesus Christ to become sin,”
(The sin offering) which is a reference to atonement.
      When He hung upon the Cross, all of the sins of the
entire human race were imputed to the Lord Jesus Christ!
This is a reference to the DOCTRINE OF UNLIMITED
ATONEMENT. (1Jn_2:2) That was the removal of the
first brick of the Barrier. “He made Him who knew no sin
to be sin on our behalf...” Christ was qualified to die for
our sins because He was sinless Himself, and, therefore,
qualified to be the Sin-bearer. So, billions and billions of
sins — as a matter of fact, every sin that you and I have
ever committed or will ever commit, past, present and
future — He bore in His own body on the Cross.
      Our sins were charged to Christ, but until Salvation,
we still have MINUS-R. We are on the debit side of the
“balance sheet” because we are born Spiritually dead;
Adam’s sin was imputed to our old sin nature at the
moment of physical birth. In order to receive PLUS-R, the
righteousness which belongs to Christ, we simply exercise
non-meritorious positive volition and believe in the Lord
Jesus Christ. (Rom_3:22) When PLUS- R is credited to
our account, that is called IMPUTATION, an ancient
accounting term, which means “to put on the credit side
of the ledger.” EXPIATION takes us out of the “red,”
while imputation puts us “in the black.” We do not work
for it; we do not deserve it. The work of Christ on the
Cross leads us from “filthy garments” to the riches of His
grace!

    The Vain Pursuit of Righteousness

    What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not
pursue righteousness, attained righteousness, even the
righteousness which is by faith. (Rom_9:30)

     Thousands of Gentiles were saved in the Old
Testament as well as in the New. Isn’t this interesting?
Many of the Jews thought they could get into heaven by
cranking out their own righteousness and by keeping the
Mosaic Law; but no matter how much good they cranked
out, it all added up to MINUS-R. Many Gentiles, on the
other hand, did not try to keep the Ten Commandments
for Salvation; they did not pursue after righteousness; yet
they attained it. How? They “have attained [Aorist tense
— once and for all] to righteousness, even THE
righteousness which is BY FAITH.” In other words, the
Gentiles believed in Jesus Christ.
     At the moment of Salvation, PLUS-R — God’s
righteousness was imputed to them by faith. However, the
Jews who were trying to be saved by keeping the Ten
Commandments, kept working, striving, struggling; and
all they ever got for their efforts was MINUS-R! The
harder these Jews tried to work their way into heaven, the
deeper grew the hole they dug and the deeper they went
into debt; they worked and worked, but never got
anywhere. (Rom_4:4) It was MINUS-R all the way!

      but Israel, pursuing a Law of righteousness, did not
arrive at that Law. Why? Because they did not pursue it
by faith, but as though it were by works. They stumbled
over the stumbling stone. Just as it is written, "BEHOLD,
I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A
ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN
HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." (Rom_9:31-33)
cf. (Isa_28:16)

     “The Law of righteousness” is PLUS-R, attained by
faith in Christ. They did not have PLUS-R because they
did not seek it by faith; they did not believe in Christ.
They tried to be saved by keeping the Law. Therefore,
they stumbled over the Stumbling-stone, who was Christ.

    JUSTIFICATION

    Now, where does justification come into the picture?
Let me put it this way: IMPUTATION credits to our
account the righteousness of Christ; JUSTIFICATION
declares or pronounces us righteous. On the basis of the
righteousness of Christ imputed to the one who believes,
God declares the undeserving sinner justified, vindicated,
and acceptable to Himself. God is free to declare him free
from guilt because the believer now possesses the
righteousness of Christ! To put it simply, to be justified
means to be the possessor of PLUS-R; it does NOT mean
“just as if I had never sinned!”

     Nevertheless knowing that a man is NOT justified by
the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus,
even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be
justified by faith in Christ and Not by the works of the
Law; since by the works of the Law NO flesh [Old sin
nature will be made holy] will be justified. (Gal_2:16)

    Being justified as a gift by His grace through the
redemption which is in Christ Jesus (Rom_3:24)

     How are you vindicated in the eyes of God? By
“being good?” Definitely not! “By the instrumentality of
His grace.” By now you should be familiar with grace.
“Grace” is the entire Plan of God. Grace means that God
provides what we cannot earn and do not deserve. PLUS-
R is not a merit badge; it is a grace gift given freely upon
Salvation!
     Even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus
Christ for all those who believe; for there is no
distinction. (Rom_3:22)

      As soon as you read the phrase, “righteousness of
God,” you know immediately that this refers to PLUS-R.
It is the righteousness which belongs only to God.
(Genitive of possession) How do you receive PLUS-R?
By FAITH — not by keeping the Law! “Which is”; is in
italics in the King James Version and is not found in the
original manuscript. The translators have supplied it in
order to make smoother reading; but we do not need it
here. “Even the righteousness of God BY MEANS OF
faith...” “Of” is an objective genitive and should be
translated “faith IN Jesus Christ.” “Unto ALL...” Why is
this righteousness available to everyone? Because when
Christ was judged for sin on the Cross, He paid the
penalty for everyone. (Unlimited atonement) He bore the
sins of every person who has ever lived or ever will live.
The phrase “upon all” specifies the conditions. Who
receives PLUS-R? All those who believe! It makes no
difference whether you are moral or immoral, atheistic or
religious, in God’s sight “all have sinned” (Rom_3:23)
therefore, all are savable.

      For the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at
the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier
of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Rom_3:26)
     Why can God the Father save sinners without
compromising His PLUS-R? Because His justice and
righteousness were satisfied at the Cross. God is perfectly
just in forgiving us because Christ, who is absolute
righteousness, became our Substitute. The Justifier is the
One who passes out PLUS-R to those who believe in the
Lord Jesus Christ. This Principle has always been true
since the Fall of Adam. Let’s take Abraham as an Old
Testament example. How was Abraham saved? We will
use a Principle of debater’s technique and suppose for a
moment that Abraham was justified by his good deeds.

     What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather
according to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham was
justified by works, he has something to boast about, but
not before God. (Rom_4:1-2)

    If Abraham WERE justified by deeds or good works,
he could boast all right, but not to God!

     Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind
of Law? Of works? No, but by a Law of faith. For we
maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works
of the Law. (Rom_3:27-28)

    If Christ does all the work, where does that leave
boasting? What happens to human activity? What
happens to “operation good works?” They are all
EXCLUDED! The way of Salvation has always been the
same, before and after the Cross.

    Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to
him as righteousness.( Gen_15:6)

   For what does the Scripture say? "ABRAHAM
BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS
RIGHTEOUSNESS." (Rom_4:3)

     PLUS-R was credited to Abraham’s account through
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But what about the people
who are trying to “work” their way into heaven?

     Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited
as a favor, but as what is due. (Rom_4:4)

    In other words, the more you work; the deeper into
debt you go.

    But to the one who does not work, but believes in
Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as
righteousness. (Rom_4:5)

    The imputation of Divine righteousness results in
vindication for the one who believes in Christ; and the
Barrier of relative righteousness is removed.
    THE CHARACTER OF GOD

      When the Bible speaks of God’s glory, it is referring
to His character or essence — that combination of
qualities which distinguish an individual. God is One in
essence but Three in Personality. The Father, The Son and
The Holy Spirit possess the same characteristics —
sovereignty, absolute righteousness, justice, love, eternal
life, omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence,
immutability and veracity. Where God is concerned we
are dealing in absolutes. That is why God cannot make
allowances for our sins and failures. He has set the Perfect
Standard, and anything less falls short of His glory.
      Sin is an outrage to God’s holiness, (His
righteousness and justice) and an offense and insult to His
Perfection. Since we have all sinned, we are all
unacceptable to God. God simply cannot have anything to
do with sin or unrighteousness. His righteousness
demands condemnation for sin. His justice executes what
His righteousness demands: sin must be judged. The
problem is obvious: Divine blessings cannot go through
the “grace pipe” to man until righteousness and justice is
satisfied. And HOW can they be satisfied?
      Lets go back to Eternity past when God made a
sovereign decision to treat-sinful man in grace — the
perfect expression of Divine justice. The Father provided
a Plan whereby man could have fellowship with Him
forever. God The Son, the Second Person of the Trinity,
was willing to take the sinner’s place and pay the penalty
of his sin. As absolute righteousness, the Son would
satisfy the demands of a righteous and just God. When He
bore the sins of the world on the Cross, He satisfied the
righteousness of the Father. Now, instead of cursing, it is
possible for blessing to come through the grace pipe to
man. Now God’s love can flow in man’s direction, and
behind that love is eternal life. God gives eternal life to
every person who will meet His Son at the Cross.
      http://dictionaryofdoctrine.com/files/Grace_Pipeline.jpg




    PROPITIATION

    The work of Christ on the Cross which satisfied the
Father’s holiness is called PROPITIATION This is the
God-ward side of the Cross.

    Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in
His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His
righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He
passed over the sins previously committed. (Rom_3:25)

    Propitiation is the same Greek word
[HILASTERION] as “mercy seat” in, (Heb_9:5) and
means “a lid” or “a place of covering.” The mercy seat
was the lid situated over the Ark of the Covenant in the
Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle. The Ark, a box made of
acacia wood and overlaid with gold, depicted the unique
Person of Christ: the wood spoke of His humanity; the
gold, His Deity. (Heb_9:4)This box contained, the jar of
manna, Aaron’s rod that budded and the tables,
(Thoughts) of the Old Covenant — all symbolizing
various aspects of Israel’s sin in rejecting God’s
provision, (God's Spiritual food and Spiritual life; God's
human authority; God's Covenant — Thoughts and Word)
for overcoming the old sin nature —the lust of the eyes,
the pride of life and the lust of the flesh. The mercy seat
of pure gold covered the emblems of sin. Facing each
other on either side of the mercy seat, were the Cherubim
— one representing righteousness, and the other, justice.
(Integrity — Holiness) As they looked down on the mercy
seat, they saw, not the sinfulness of man, represented by
the contents of the box, but rather the blood which had
been sprinkled on top of the golden lid. (Where judgment
and mercy meet!)
     Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the High
Priest went alone, in past the second veil into the Holy of
Holies, carrying in a bowl, first the blood of a bullock for
his own sins, then the blood of the sacrificial goat for the
sins of the people, and sprinkled it over the top of the
mercy seat. (Lev_16:14-17) “Righteousness and Justice’
looked down and saw the blood of the innocent sacrificial
animal that had been slain at the brazen altar. This ritual
foreshadowed and represented the Cross, where
historically, righteousness and justice were satisfied.
     “Blood” in, (Rom_3:25) refers to the propitiatory
work of Christ on the Cross, which satisfied the Father.
(Isa_53:11) Before the Cross, God suspended judgment of
sin until such time as Christ became the propitiatory
Sacrifice. Now God has publicly displayed Him as our
Mercy Seat THROUGH FAITH — faith in His saving
work on the Cross! He demonstrates His righteousness by
crediting PLUS-R to everyone who believes in Christ.
     God’s character is vindicated and no longer presents
an obstacle to His fellowship with mankind. Now, if
Christ’s work on the Cross was all that was necessary to
satisfy the Father, how dare anyone think he must add
something to it! Salvation’s work is finished! (Joh_19:30)
You never need to beg or to ask God to be merciful to
you. He is always and continually propitious; (Friendly)
because of what Christ did on the Cross! (Luk_9:56)

    POSITION IN ADAM

      We have come to the final obstacle in the Barrier
between man and God — our POSITION IN ADAM. The
first man Adam, was the representative head of the human
race. As we have seen, all future mankind stood or fell
with him and in him. By his willful disobedience, sin and
Spiritual death are upon the entire human race; thus, “in
Adam all die.” (1Co_15:22) We have become “alienated
from the life of God.” (Eph_4:18) As long as we remain
“in Adam,” the limitations of our natural and brief lives
present a barrier to fellowship will God, who is Eternal
Life.
     There are two things which every member of the
human race must have if he is going to live with God
forever. One is PLUS-R, and the other is God’s life
eternal life. Before we can realize this position, we must
enter into the proper relationship with God the Father
through Jesus Christ. That new relationship is ours
through personal faith in Him, and it guarantees us a new
position: “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will
be made alive.” (1Co_15:22)

    POSITION IN CHRIST

     Adam was the first member of his species — Homo
sapiens. (Rom_5:14) Jesus Christ, the LAST ADAM, is
the head of a “new species” — believers in union with
Himself: “Therefore if anyone be IN CHRIST, he is a
new creature; [Species] old things are passed away;
behold, new things have come.” (2Co_5:17) “Old things”
does not mean old habits; bad habits are retained along
with the sin nature. They can be broken; but that is
another story covered in the book, Old Sin Nature vs.
Holy Spirit
A believer is a new creature, not because of something he
does or does not do, but because of what God does for
him at the moment of Salvation. The “old things” which
have passed away are all the debits and thinking that put
us behind the Barrier. The “new things and or Thoughts”
are all those wonderful assets we have on the other side of
the Barrier through POSITIONAL TRUTH.
     The moment we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the
Holy Spirit picks us up “by the nape of the neck” and
places us in union with Christ — the baptism of the Spirit.
(1Co_12:13) From that day forward, we are ONE with
Him. Our physical birth, which is our position in Adam,
ceases to be a problem, for with regeneration, the life of
Christ becomes OUR LIFE! Christianity is a relationship
— NOT a religion! Our new position guarantees us an
eternal relationship with Jesus Christ.

     And the Testimony is this, that God has given us
eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son
has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does
not have the life. (1Jn_5:11-12)

     You are familiar by now with the top and bottom
circles. http://www.dictionaryofdoctrine.com/files/Top_And_Bottom_Circles.jpg

    We may be in or out of the bottom circle, depending
on our use of, (1Jn_1:9). But regardless of what we may
or may not do, we can never be removed from the top
circle. Our union with Christ is eternal and depends on
Who and What God IS, and has done; not on you and me.
Because of all that our Lord did for us. He is free to offer
us the life which is part of the character of God eternal
life — life that qualifies us for fellowship with God in
time and in eternity.

    RECONCILIATION

     With the last obstacle removed, there is no longer a
Barrier between man and God! The removal of the Barrier
is called RECONCILIATION.

     Remember that you were at that time separate from
Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and
strangers to the Covenants of Promise, having no hope
and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus
you who formerly were far off have been brought near by
the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who
made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of
the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity,
which is the Law of Commandments contained in
Ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two
into One New Man, [Christ Jesus — The God-Man] thus
establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one
body to God [The Father] through the cross, by it having
put to death the enmity. (Eph_2:12-16)
     Reconciliation is the man-ward side of the Cross. It is
the sum total of all that Christ did on the Cross in
removing the Barrier. God is propitiated; man is
reconciled! Jesus Christ did not come to usher in world
peace between nations; He came to provide peace with
God for us who were His enemies. (Rom_5:10) “Namely,
that God was in Christ reconciling the world to
Himself...” (2Co_5:19) This does not mean that all the
world is automatically saved but that ALL MAY BE
SAVED. Sin is no longer the issue — Christ is! Where
once stood the Barrier, Christ now stands — the ONLY
Mediator between God and man the MAN CHRIST
JESUS. (1Ti_2:5)

    Walk Over the Line

     Jesus Christ gave Himself that you might be brought
to God. Whereas before the Cross only the High Priest
could enter the Holy of Holies, now the way has been
opened once and for all into the presence of God. Jesus
said, “I am the way, the Truth, and the life: no man comes
to the Father, but through Me.” (Joh_14:6) The only
barrier remaining is your attitude toward the Person of
Christ and His Word. What will you do with Him? All
you have to do is to walk over the line: “Believe in the
Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” (Act_16:31) In the
words of the Apostle Paul,
    Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though
God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on
behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2Co_5:20)

     Jesus Christ is not here on earth to extend the
invitation to you personally. Instead, He says through His
Word, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden,
and I will give you rest.” (Mat_11:28) “All that the Father
gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me
I will certainly not cast out.” (Joh_6:37) Not everyone
reads the Bible, so believers must stand in the place of
Christ as His ambassadors with the word of
reconciliation.

     Now all these things are from God, who reconciled
us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of
reconciliation. (2Co_5:18)

     God The Father planned reconciliation; God The Son
accomplished it; God The Holy Spirit reveals it. Man
simply receives it! Namely, that God was in Christ
reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their
trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the
word of reconciliation. (2Co_5:19) Why doesn’t God
credit their trespasses to the account of the human race?
Because Christ bore them on the Cross. Sin is not the
issue; Christ IS! Man can put up his own barriers of
works. Every time he tries to work his way into heaven by
his own good deeds, he builds his own barrier. Therefore,
it is up to the believer to make the issue clear.

    A Purpose in Life

     Once you step over the line and believe in Christ, you
have a new purpose in life: you have a message, a
ministry, and a title — ambassador for Jesus Christ.
Whatever your business, whatever your activities or
circumstances in life, you are just as much in full-time
Christian service as the pastor-teacher. True, that is a
special gift; but every believer is a royal priest in Christ!
God has given us a message worth telling: Christ has
solved the sin problem. (1Co_15:3-4) and made peace
between man and God.

     And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself,
having made peace through the blood of His Cross;
through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in
heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and
hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, [Thoughts] yet He
has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death,
in order to present you before Him holy and blameless
and beyond reproach. (Col_1:20-22)

     We owe the world the Gospel. (Rom_1:14-16) Paul
said, “Woe is me {And this includes us] if I preach
{Proclaim] not the gospel!” (1Co_9:16) This is our
responsibility; but more important, “For the love of Christ
controls us, having concluded this, that One died for all,
therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who
live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who
died and rose again on their behalf.” (2Co_5:14-15) The
more we love Jesus Christ through the daily intake of
Truth, the more we will have the capacity to live a life
pleasing to Him.
     Remember that you cannot love Jesus Christ nor live
as unto Him apart from the Word Truth resident in your
soul; nor can you make the Salvation issue clear apart
from the knowledge of Truth. That has been the purpose
of this book to clarify the Truths pertinent to Salvation so
that you can fulfill ACCURATELY your ambassadorship.
Your first and foremost purpose is to take in the Word of
Truth under the ministry of your right pastor-teacher and
grow to Spiritual maturity! (2Pe_3:18) Only then will you
fulfill the purpose for which God left you on this earth!


End

								
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