Together with Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistle of Romans reveals that Jesus Christ was our complete substitute for sin, and that in Christ we were (spiritually) baptized with him, and that we were raised with him to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). Romans shows us that the sinner is totally forgiven from the sin nature, and that we will never again be separated from God, from Christ, and from their love. The first three chapters of Ephesians continue with the newness of life that Romans reveals, further accentuating that we are spiritually quickened, raised, and seated together with Christ at the right hand of God. Ephesians shows us that God has set us up on high with Christ Jesus. Yes, we are physically here upon this earth. However, Ephesians also reveals God’s true spiritual viewpoint of us, that we are already spiritually seated in the heavenlies with Christ. Ephesians guides us with heavenly insights on how to enjoy our new life together with Christ having all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 2:4-5:
-4:  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
-5: {This next verse shows the immensity of the great love that God has for us:} Even when we were dead in sins, {God} hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Although we originally came to God as sinners and were on a course that would eventually end without God and without hope in this world, yet with God’s mercy and great love He has “quickened us together with Christ.” “Quickened” here means to be made spiritually alive. We are spiritually alive, and saved, being now eternally made whole with Christ before God in His love. This is a wondrous gift given to us by the divine grace of God.

Ephesians 2:6a – And {God} hath raised us up together, . . .

We were first quickened with Christ, then Ephesians says that we have been raised up together, and that is to our rightful heavenly position in Christ as the children of God. Spiritually we are already quickened and raised up together to be with Christ. When we begin to see ourselves through the eyes (with spiritual understanding) of what and whom God’s Word says we are, then we will freely partake of the true spiritual life that we have and share together with Christ!

Ephesians 2:6b – and {God} made us sit {at rest} together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

As we believe God’s healing Word regarding our true heavenly standing, we will begin walking with tremendous understanding and power, for God will literally enable us to enjoy the spiritual truths in all that we are in Christ, and in all that we have together with Christ. We were first quickened (made spiritually alive) to live together with Christ. We next have been raised up together with Christ to a heavenly standing, equally proportionate to that of Christ Jesus’ own standing with God. We then have been seated together with Christ in the heavenlies, giving us inner rest that comes to us without works (Ephesians 2:8-9). God will continue to reveal to us our perfect union and serenity because we are finally and truly at home together with Christ, and spiritually we are already at the right hand of God Almighty.

To Be Called His Saints

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

There are seven Church Epistles – Romans through Thessalonians (I refer to these as the magnificent seven). All seven of these Epistles strengthen our fellowship with the heavenly Father. Romans is first and is the foundational doctrine teaching us how to commence walking with God in biblical understanding of our complete justification in Christ. I and II Corinthians are combined as one in this respect: they follow an underlying theme showing men and women how people error when they do not adhere to the practical teachings of Romans. Corinthians also teaches us how to strengthen and maintain our fellowship, union, and serenity with God.

I and II Corinthians are written to encourage the hearts and souls of Christian men and women (who have strayed from grace) back to believing the principles contained in the practical side of Romans chapters 12-16. Corinthians was written to Christian believers who were not following (walking) the principles revealed in Romans, either by not knowing them or by wrong teaching. Obviously, God knows that people inevitably will make mistakes because we are not perfect, and so God inspired the writing of I and II Corinthians to help inspire men and women back to right believing.  This biblical inspiration brings us safely into a way of life that God calls a “more excellent way” (I Corinthians 12:31). Corinthians brings believers back into the fold (so to speak) so that they may live charitably as Romans details.

Contrary to some popular thought, I and II Corinthians was not merely written to a group of individuals who were living nearly 2000 years ago in Macedonia (today called Greece). This kind of wrong thinking would nullify our ability to believe in Corinthians, which has delivered to humanity some of the greatest instructions and inspirations ever recorded in God’s wonderful Word. A direct result of casting aside Corinthians has, through the years, caused multitudes of people to miss out on some of the most notable teachings and godly-inspired revelations that the world has ever known. Let us carefully read to whom Corinthians is actually addressed to:

I Corinthians 1:2:
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth {and}, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours {emphasis supplied}:

Corinthians, as well as all the other Epistles, are written to all believers who call upon the name of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9-13), and this we have done. So the instruction, blessings, and deliverance contained in Corinthians is directly addressed to us today, for we are members of the Church of God. Thus we are members along with all of “them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus,” and we are called in verse 2, “saints.” A saint biblically means someone who is sanctified, and sanctified means “set apart,” and set aside for heaven, and that my friend is our predestination. Predestination does not mean that the things we are doing and the things we will do in the future are already decided by God, rather what it means is that God knows in advance where we will end up (heaven).

Being called a saint is our God-given right and is a privileged title we have as His sons and daughters, and so now we are sanctified and have the God-given right and pleasure to be called His saints, for we are heaven bound.

We Are Righteous

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Before the coming of Christ, righteousness was something earned by works of the Law and by observing and doing the commandments recorded throughout the Old Testament.

Deuteronomy 6:25:
And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.

Righteousness in Old Testament times gave men and women the ability to approach the Temple of God without fear, and to have an overall acknowledgment of peace and serenity with God. Back then, the people’s righteousness was received only by personal sacrifices IF they observed to do all the commandments of God. At best this was temporal for they were forever receiving and losing their righteousness because of the nature of sin itself. Nevertheless, in obeying those laws and commandments they could never receive the permanent inner righteousness that God wanted for them until His Redeemer came and died for the sins of the world.

The Old Testament with most of its directives was written to the children of Israel who were living in the anticipation of the coming Redeemer. Nevertheless, when Christ came, he began to teach men and women that there was something even greater than the temporal righteousness they were receiving. There was a divine righteousness coming that would be an indwelling spiritual right, freely given to every believer, based purely on their believing in their Savior rather than on the works of the Law. Jesus explains:

Matthew 5:6:
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Men and women without works of any kind would be filled with God’s own righteousness, quenching the spiritual thirst for spirituality and the true righteousness before God that man has been searching for – for centuries, because of Jesus Christ’s own sacrifice for the sins of the world. Today we simply need to believe on the Savior, who was and still is the end of the Law, to receive this new and exciting fulfilling righteousness.

Romans 10:4:
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Romans 3:25-26 and Philippians 3:9)

When comparing Deuteronomy 6:25 (above) with Romans 10:4 we can easily discover that the former was earned by works and the latter is received by simply believing in Christ; the first was temporal while the latter is now eternal – the difference is like night and day. The doctrinal Epistle of Romans (given to the believers of today) reveals to men and women the glorious righteousness of God, given by believing in Jesus Christ. Our righteousness gives us the ability to always approach God and walk with Him in perfect peace and serenity without any fear of sin consciousness because as God walks with us today – we are righteous!

The Right to Our Righteousness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Righteousness is a God-given right to walk before our heavenly Father without any fear of unrighteousness, condemnation, or guilt from sin. We now know that Jesus bore our sins upon the cross, becoming the complete payment for our sins. By Jesus Christ having done this for us, we can now receive the righteousness of God and eternal life, a life that is free from judgments and condemnation and we have now received the spiritual rights to accept all of God’s love.

I John 4:10 – Herein is love, not that we {first} loved God, but that he {first} loved us {Ephesians 1:4}, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

The word propitiation means that the payment for our sins has been paid in full, and that the Son of God was that payment, not only for our sins that we have past committed, but indeed for every sin we will ever commit. This, of course, is not a license to sin but a license to accept and believe in the gracious gift of righteousness that our God has given to us because Jesus did indeed give himself for our sins, and bore our sins, and he was also the payment for our sins upon that cross.

Romans 3:25-26:
-25:  Whom {Jesus Christ} God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare {make perfectly clear} his {God’s} righteousness for the remission {a total washing away} of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
-26:  To declare, I say, at this time {in God’s grace} his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him {i.e., us} which believeth in Jesus.

In I John we saw that Jesus was the propitiation, the complete payment for our sins, and here in Romans we see that this was “to declare God’s righteousness.” We are now clothed in God’s righteousness to have and enjoy. Adam and Eve lost the righteousness of God upon and in their lives when they fell in Eden. Their covering of fig leaves was a figurative attempt to put on a manmade righteousness, apart from God’s favor, for by their win they lost God’s own righteousness within. Today, because Jesus was a totally sinless man, he was able to be our propitiation, purchasing again God’s complete righteousness for men and women that comes to us without works, but by the grace of God in Christ who is now in our hearts. We can (and do) walk with God equally and proportionately to the same fellowship, union, and serenity that Adam and Eve originally had when they walked hand in hand in the garden with their heavenly Father.

I John 2:1-2:
-1:  MY little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate {a defender, who is Jesus Christ and he stands at the right hand of God continually making intercession on our behalf} with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous {one}:
-2:  And he is the propitiation for our sins {that man inevitably will make, because we are not perfect}: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

The entire world is not saved; however, whenever someone becomes saved they also receive forgiveness and the righteousness of God. This is why Jesus Christ, the righteous one, was and is the propitiation and the complete payment for the sins of the world, including yours and mine.

Faith, Hope, and Charity (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Through this study, we will be looking at the words ― faith, hope, and charity to learn how they work together. Our goal is to acquire a further understanding of their meaning in the Scriptures, for they are the footing on which the more abundant life rests. In this first study, we will briefly look at all three words.

I Corinthians 13:13: And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but {and} the greatest of these is charity.

Once I was told by an individual, “charity was the best gift a person could receive from God, and everything else was insignificant in comparison” and he got this idea from the verse above. However, the Bible does not say that charity is the best gift; rather the Bible says the greatest of these is charity. Jesus said, “my Father is greater than I” in John 14:28, and this is the same Greek word that is translated greatest, though no one would say Jesus is insignificant in God’s eyes! Also, the Bible does not teach “faith and hope are not really as good.”

Let us use the earth, the sun, and the moon for a parallel example; the earth supplies the substance that sustains our lives, but still without the moon and the sun, the earth would be about as barren of a planet as you could find. In truth, we need all three to sustain ourselves and flourish in our physical lives; it is the same truth with faith, hope, and charity, we need all three to sustain ourselves and flourish in our spiritual lives.

The reason why charity is called the greatest is because it is a God-given master key for unlocking our faith, and faith opens, reveals, and insures our inner souls of “the hope of His calling” (Ephesians 1:18), which is to be with Christ for all eternity. So with charity, our faith and hope are energized.

Faith is the Greek word pistis, and means believing or believing faith and without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), so faith is significantly important.

Hope is the Greek word elpis, and it means future hope (Romans 8:24–25); it is usually in the context of the hope or anticipation that men and women have for the return of Christ (still a future event), and I Timothy 1:1 says that Christ is our hope. Only the believer has access to the hope of Christ’s return in order to patiently wait with joy to be eternally with our Savior in heaven. Hope encourages the Christian believer to continue standing for God even through any present adversity because the future has rewards for our believing and loving in this current time of grace, so hope is also significantly important.

Charity is the Greek word agapē and means the love of God. The word greatest in I Corinthians 13:13 above would be much better understood if it were translated as the first, or the elder, or the commencement, or the foundation, as this is the proper and greater meaning of the word, because God loved us from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). God’s love for us has always existed while faith and hope both have a beginning in our lives, faith comes to the individual by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17), and man had no spiritual faith until he knew Christ (Galatians (3:22–29). And as well, our hope began growing in our hearts from the moment of our salvation when we became the children of God, a hope that we at one time were without (Ephesians 2:2; I Thessalonians 4:13). Thus, as (and when) faith and hope begin living in the heart of our understanding, then charity will magnify itself greater and greater in our lives as a viable part of the spiritual serenity we can enjoy walking with God.

Charity – being the love of God is a part of God Himself, and this part – His love – He has given to all believers (Romans 5:5; 8:36–39), while our hope and believing faith is something we learn to aspire to utilize in our daily living. We learn to believe in the promises of God through our believing faith, and we learn to hope more and more through knowing what the Word says regarding our Savior returning for us.

I Corinthians 13:12:  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; means that today we do not know it all, even with all the abundance that God’s Word reveals to us. This phrase is in reference to our believing faith, “for we walk by faith {believing faith}, not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7). The next words, but then face to face is in reference to when we meet Christ face to face, because our hope is in his imminent return. Now I know in part; is again in reference to our believing faith, to believe in what we do know from God’s healing Word. But then shall I know even as I am known is again in reference to our hope, when we will receive all that we have hoped in and anticipated, because then we will have been perfected (Philippians 3:20–21), and we will be enjoying our lives with God and with Jesus Christ through eternity.

Love – God’s love – motivates our endeavors, faith – believing faith – appropriates the promises of God, and hope – Christian hope – anticipates the return of Christ. These three form a complete whole and enhance Christian character in an individual’s life. “And now abideth {or ― remains here for you} faith, hope, charity.”

Philippians 3:20–21 (The Amplified Bible):**
-20: But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] Savior,
-21: Who will transform and fashion anew the body of our humiliation to conform to and be like the body of His glory and majesty, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself.

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.