Saturday, July 21, 2012
Living in the power of the cross. A time of all ready, but not yet.
The new testament writer “were embryonic ”sons in a halfway as were all Christians of that period. They were in a transition period, of leaving the Old Covenant body of Moses 1 Corinthians 10:2 and entering into the New Covenant body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27).
Salvation, i.e., "deliverance" was inaugurated in the ministry of Jesus. It was ratified or confirmed through His Cross (not at the Cross). Think about it, if salvation was all in all secured in or on the Cross, then what need was there for a further Resurrection of the saints??? - Do you follow?
Did not Paul in his personal ministry years after the cross state before King Agrippa, that the Resurrection was the hope of Israel? "And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. "To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. "Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead? (Acts 26:6-8) The Cross was the linchpin, the central part in securing salvation.
The inspired Apostles Paul “know” they hadn’t received all that was to be theirs, at the cross, and his writings reflected that truth. And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for “now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” The night is far spent, the day is at hand.. (Romans 13:11-12) emphasizes add.
One must question, "How was Paul preaching, no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come if the old covenant had been superseded by the new, and the old no longer existed?" (Acts 26:22) Obviously, Paul was still waiting for the full inauguration of the new covenant after the cross. Paul’s hope, the hope of Israel, was not yet fulfilled.
Peter also confirms that they hadn’t received all that was to be theirs, at the cross, and his writings reflected that truth in his epistle as well. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith “for salvation ready to be revealed” in the last time. ( 1 Peter 1:3-5) emphasizes add.
What last time? The last times of the Old heaven and earth the Mosaic, order. No where does the Bible teach the end of time, however the Bible does teach the time of the end. "In Hebrews 9:26 the KJV says, "But now once in the (end of the world) hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." Notice is says Christ has already appeared at the end of the world.
The New American Standard Bible (NASB) says, "but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested." It was at the end of the Old Testament ages that Christ appeared. Those were the last days, as the world nears the end” Christ has come to do the work of the Father.
Hebrews 9:26 “Once in the end of the world; the days of Christ's ministry on earth, called the last time, 1 John 2:18, the ends of the world, 1 Corinthians 10:11, the fulness of the time, Galatians 4:4, God's set and best time for his appearance; and it was but once that he appeared in these days, performing this work.”
So the inspired Apostles speak of salvation, ready to be reviled “years after” the cross. Yet after the death, of Christ the faithful “lived in and spoke of their redemption in the perfect tense.”I want you to imagine something. Imagine you are a member of Christ’s own generation. The Messiah had come! Let’s say you heard His words of promise and they felt like sweet music upon your ear. You witness His life, but you also witnessed His death, burial, and resurrection. Now imagine you witnessed His ascension, back into heaven. On the day of Pentecost you were sealed with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:1-4)
What do you believe would be the end result of your experiences? My answer quite simply stated is "faith." A faith so strong most could not conceive of doubting the power of Jesus’ blood on the cross. A faith so strong it enables one to speak of atonement as a finished product. They were so confident in this already but not yet completion.
The Christians who lived at the end of that age/world heaven and earth trust Christ and lived in that trust. In Ephesians 1:13-14 it states, "In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession." In Christ, through the Holy Spirit, they had the guarantee of their inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession.
So, though they lived and spoken of atonement in the perfect tense, they were indeed still waiting for it. Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, "for salvation." emphasizes add.
They know their salvation was guaranteed, and they know they still had to wait for its completion. They hoped and looked forward to Christ’s coming knowing at that time their salvation would be complete. "And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now (our salvation is nearer than when we first believed). The night is far spent, the day is at hand. (Romans 13:11-12) emphasizes add.
Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light." The hope they possessed is not the brand of hope we think of today as in, "I hope I win the lottery" their hope is defined by the archaic definition of the word hope, which means to "place trust, or rely in." To those sealed with the Holy Spirit redemption was a fact they trusted in, and thus they were able to speak of redemption as if it was a present completed reality.