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Rainbow Divider

Chapter 2

The Person and Work of Christ

There are many reasons Christ is the one and only sure foundation. In this second chapter our desire is to elaborate more fully on the various aspects of truth relating to the person and work of Christ. It is this truth revealed to our hearts by the Holy Spirit that enables us to safely rest our hope in him.

It is this revelation that the Holy Spirit uses to build the church. Only when the church is built upon this rock can it withstand the onslaughts of Satan. This is the “...hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil...” Heb. 6:19.

In contrast to all other manmade or satanically conceived structures, religious or otherwise, the church alone will prevail against the gates of hell. Matt. 16:18. This truth alone enables the individual to become a living stone in the one great building. I Peter 2:5, Eph. 2:19-22.

I AM

“And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me What is his name: what shall I say unto them?

“And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Exodus 3:13-14.

The Lord’s answer to Moses concerning his name seems strange until we understand more fully the mystery of God. Col. 2:2. The strong emphasis of some as to God’s true name is just another launching pad of sectarian error that ministers captivity instead of deliverance.

God never intended himself to be known by a certain name. Names are given to identify and distinguish one created thing from another. God is unique in that he is not a creature but the creator. He is the supreme being of eternity and there are no other Gods beside him.

As the eternal self-existent one, possessing all power and wisdom, nothing exists apart from him. Although he has shared his deity with his son Jesus Christ, he is the one and only absolute sovereign. This alone distinguishes and sets him apart as the federal head of all things, temporal and eternal, visible and invisible. Isaiah 45:5-7 says, “I am the Lord, and there is no one else, there is no God beside me; I girded thee, though thou has not known me:

“That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”

Names are given by a predecessor. In eternity there was no one around to give God a name. God named Adam and then he gave him the privilege of naming all the creatures. Gen. 2:19-20.

In revealing himself to man God used various self-explanatory attributes of his being that were relevant to man’s need at the time. In the meeting of Abraham with Melchizedek, God is revealed as El Elyon, “The most high God, possessor of heaven and earth.” Gen. 14:17-20.

Abraham’s apprehension of God at the time he planted a grove in Beersheba was El Olman, or “the everlasting God.” Gen. 21:33.

The significance of this name is not merely that God is everlasting but he is God over everlasting things past, present and future. In contrast to man who serves one term or reign in a lifetime, God’s rule and reign of things in heaven and earth are eternal. This was the lesson Nebuchadnezzar learned after his encounter with the “most high God.” Dan. 4:34-35.

God ceases to be God when we fail to see his sovereignty. We can never enter into rest until we have a sure foundation of absolute sovereignty to rest our faith on. Needless to say, the various aspects of truth relative to the person and work of Christ are meaningless without a sovereign God. It is the eternal sovereign might and wisdom of God that gives credence to the claims of Christ.

If the God we believe in isn’t sovereign then our faith is in vain. Only a sovereign God can make a promise and keep it. This is why we can rest safely in the person and work of Jesus Christ the only begotten son of God.

THE ANOINTING

However, we must see that it is not the God of silence that saves us. It is not the God of past history or the God of the future that saves us. It is not the God of the Bible or the letter of the word that saves us. Although he is the God of history, the God of prophecy and the God of the Bible, it is the great I AM that saves us.

No doubt this sounds confusing to some people who read this message, yet it’s very simple when God reveals this truth to us by the anointing. Abstract truth given out by the wisdom of men, however eloquent they might be, has no power to save. God must speak to our hearts by the anointing or we will die in our sins.

The anointing is a present tense expression of God himself. It is by the anointing that the great I AM opens our understanding and ministers faith to our hearts. This is the meaning of Rom. 10:17 which says, “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

Apart from this he is a God of silence and we would never hear his voice regardless of human wisdom and eloquence. It is by the anointing that God speaks to men.

It is significant that the name Christ means “anointed.” Although Christ was the virgin born Son of God, without the anointing he would have been a man like Adam was before the fall. Jesus himself recognized this when he stood up in the synagogue in Nazareth at the beginning of his ministry and said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19.

The anointing made the difference in the ministry of Christ. Acts 10:38. And it is the anointing that makes the difference today. When the anointing is present God is in our midst and is speaking to us.

All religious works, preaching, prophesying, teaching, praying for the sick and casting out devils are futile and vain without the anointing. Many who claim to do these things are actually workers of iniquity according to the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. Matt. 7:21-23. It will be noted from Matt. 7:22-23 that Jesus said, “Many shall say unto me in that day Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils and in thy name have done many wonderful works?

“And then will I profess unto them I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

I’m afraid most religious works fall in this category. When the anointing is present the great eternal I AM is in our midst. We need to listen carefully because the words that he speaks are Spirit and they are life.

Only the anointed word begets faith in the listener. The anointing is Christ. This is the Spiritual Rock that followed Israel in the wilderness. I Cor. 10:14. This is why men cannot preach except they be sent. Rom. 10:15.

No doubt most of the professional ministries of today lack the anointing because they are not called of God to preach the gospel. Heb. 5:4 is still true. “And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. This is why most of the churches are lifeless and dead. A ministry cannot beget what it does not have.

Without the anointing it is impossible to show men that sure foundation upon which they must build. This is what Paul is talking about in I Cor. 2:4-5. “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

Many religious spirits are operating in the church world today. They are very subtle in camouflaging their presence with good works, fair speeches, feigned piety and pretended belief of the scriptures. The one thing that exposes their presence is a lack of anointed preaching of the person and work of Jesus Christ. To the contrary, a religious spirit will emphasize doctrines, experiences, ordinances, good works or even the Holy Spirit. A quite common characteristic is a strong emphasis on their own unique brand of religion as being the true representative of Christ in the earth.

The Holy Spirit will honor God’s word and guide us into all truth, not going to seed or extreme emphasis on any particular thing. The one thing the Holy Spirit will keep at the center of the whole spectrum of divine revelation is Christ and him crucified. John 3:14-15, 12:32, Rom. 1:16, I Cor. 1:18, 2:2. John 16:13-14 says, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

The anointed ministry that exalts the person and work of Christ is the means appointed of God to establish us on that one and only sure foundation. It is through the knowledge of these aspects of truth that we find peace and rest that the world cannot give. Each facet of this truth serves as a rung on the golden ladder that reaches from earth to heaven.

This is indeed the hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil. Heb. 6:19.

As we have said over and over again the word of God is more than just a vehicle for thought. It is God expressing his nature, his power, his love, his wisdom and his life through man in behalf of man. It is the incorruptible seed that must be planted in the heart of man if he is to partake of the divine nature of God. II Peter 1:2-4.

Apart from the faith imparted to man through the word he could never enter into God’s rest. Regardless of his religious experiences and good works only the word can bring him into union with the prince of peace. Until a person crosses this threshold he has never come to true faith and must go on or fall back in unbelief. Heb. 4:11 and 10:39.

Hebrews 4:12 gives us an insight into the life and power contained in the word. The New Testament from 26 Translations has this to say about the word in Heb. 4:12: “For the word of God is full of life and power” ... Weymouth.

“For the Logos of God is a living thing, active” ... Moffett.

“For God’s message is alive and full of power in action” ... Williams.

“For the word that God speaks is alive and active” ... Phillips.

“For whatever God says to us is full of living power” ... Taylor.

From these various translations it is evident why God’s word is the means of ministering life and peace to us. Ignore or reject the word and we ignore and reject God. And it is through those chosen and sent of God that this life is imparted to us. This is why Satan works so hard to discredit the vessel sent of God to preach his word. This is also why there is such a need for the vessel or ministry to understand the various aspects of truth relative to the person and work of Christ who is that one and only sure foundation.

NO FAILURES

There are several aspects of truth that we need to understand before the security of the believer is made real to us. Without a knowledge of these truths we will never discover that one and only foundation. It is the lack of knowledge of these truths that keeps so many Christian professors from ever finding the spiritual rest. Failure to understand the various aspects of truth relative to our position in Christ is the cause of failure and loss of hope by many who run well for awhile.

IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS

As long as we think we are righteous because of our own human merit or religious good works we will never find rest. Regardless of how zealous and diligent we are, failure on one point opens the door for Satan to accuse and condemn us.

It is through the negative use of the law that Satan finds access to our minds. He knows better than we do that if we seek to be justified by the law we must live by the law. Gal. 3:10-14. James 2:10 says, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

To negate the law in our quest for God and righteousness we must see the imputed righteousness of Christ. Righteousness based upon human merit of any kind is as unstable as the waves of the sea. Only the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ is a sure foundation that cannot be moved.

The reason it cannot be moved is because it is based upon Christ’s righteousness and not ours. As the Lamb of God without spot and blemish his sacrificial death was accepted in full payment for our sins. We don’t have to pay for them. Jesus did. The fact that God the Father raised him from the dead after three days in the tomb is sovereign testimony that his death was accepted as full payment for our sins.

Jesus Christ was the only human being ever born into this sin-cursed world that could pay our sin debt. With this lone exception all men are sinners and in need of redemption themselves. Only Jesus could take our sins upon himself and go to the cross in our stead. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” II Cor. 5:21.

END OF THE LAW

On the cross the penalty of death imposed by the law as a legal instrument was carried out and forever banished. This was the only possible way God could be just and the justifier of them that believe. This is why God the Father turned his back on his only begotten Son while he was in the death throes of the cruel cross. As a holy God who could not look upon sin, God the Father literally forsook Jesus who cried out in agony, “... my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Mark 15:34.

Because of this the believer is as dead to the law through the body of Jesus Christ as a widow is to the law of her deceased husband. “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.” Rom. 7:2.

I once knew a man accused of murder who died while awaiting trial. His own death ended the law process and he was never brought to trial. There was nothing the law could do. The worst penalty he could have received had he lived and gone to trial was death by execution. By dying while awaiting trial he escaped the legal charges of the law and was never brought to trial. Instead, his body was released by the authorities and his family buried him in the cemetery.

In Adam the penalty for sin is death. Rom. 5:12. In Christ the penalty for our sins was paid for on the cross. When Jesus said, “... It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost”
the law with its condemnation came to an end. Rom. 10:4 says, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”

In our union with Christ we went to the cross and died with him. His death was our death. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” Rom. 6:3.

This is why the believer is safe and secure. He has already been tried and put to death in Christ. Col. 3:3 says, “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” What a transaction! What a deliverance! What a freedom! What a future! Gal. 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION

We are not only dead and the old man buried by baptism but we have been resurrected by the new birth and have everlasting life. And it is a life that is not dependent upon our strength or human resources. It is Christ in us the hope of glory. And the life which we now live we live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved us and gave himself for us.

When we partake of the divine nature through these exceeding great and precious promises, we receive the faith of Christ. II Peter 1:4. And it is his faith in us that enables us to overcome the world. I John 5:4. This is why John could say, “Ye are of God little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” I John 4:4.

At the time of conversion we not only literally partake of a life we did not have before but we are judicially declared dead, buried and resurrected. We not only died when Christ died and were buried with him but we also rose from the dead when Christ did. Col. 2:12 says, “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”

HOW GOD SEES US

God does not see us as sinners facing eternal death or saved on condition that we measure up to some religious code of ethics. He sees us as his redeemed children possessing everlasting life.

Being God and able to call those things which be not as though they were, God sees us as glorified and seated with Christ in heavenly places. With him this is past tense and not something to be accomplished in the future. Rom. 4:17, 8:30, Eph. 2:6.

Being seated with Christ in heavenly places is not just a figure of speech. The only way we can understand the literal aspect of this truth is to realize that a spiritual union between Christ and the believer is effected with the new birth. I Cor. 6:17 says, “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.”

Not only are we literally joined to Christ by the Holy Spirit but we are also one with every other truly born again Christian. In spite of our doctrinal differences or denominational tags we are members one of another. Eph. 4:25.

Whether we like it or not, if we are God’s children, we will have to put up with each other in heaven. This is in no wise intended to say that all professors of Christianity are going to heaven. Nor do we believe we all ought to get together in one big world church.

PHYSICAL DEATH

Physical death, or the death of our body, is not death for the believer. It is simply putting off these bodies of death that are part of the old creation.

The death sentence was passed upon the whole groaning creation when sin entered into the world. This is why the old creation must perish. This includes the Adam man and the whole created universe.

It is inward man that has been resurrected through an infusion of the life of God. We can say as Paul did. “... though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” II Cor. 4:16.

Even as we partook of the life and nature of our original ancestor, Adam, through the physical birth we partake of the life and nature of Jesus Christ through the spiritual birth.

THE TWO SEEDS

The nature and existence of everything is determined by the seed it comes from. Adam’s seed is corrupted by sin and therefore cursed with death. The believer is begotten by the incorruptible seed of God which is incapable of sin and therefore cannot die. I Peter 1:23 speaks of us as “being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever.”

THE TWO NATURES

From the two seeds we receive two different natures. The fallen nature of the old creation and the Christ nature of the new creation. These two natures are opposed to each other. This is also the cause of spiritual warfare and strife in and among believers.

This warfare in the believer is what Paul is talking about in Rom. 7:15-25. Like Paul, every believer delights in the law of God after the inward man. But he finds another law at work in his members warring against the law of his mind and bringing him into captivity to the law of sin in his flesh.

Although this battle against our own depravity was won by Christ’s death on the cross there is a practical aspect that God wants us to win now. This is accomplished as we learn to live by faith rather than by the surging tide of our emotions.

Although our physical bodies as part of the old creation are under the curse and subject to the law of sin and death our inward man has been quickened by God’s Spirit and delivered from the curse of the law. The old, or flesh man can be influenced by the sin principle but the new, or inward, man created in Christ Jesus cannot sin and will never die.

This is the meaning of I John 3:9 which says, “Whosoever is born of God doth not sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”

This is easy to understand when we realize what part of us is born again at conversion. It is this part of our being that will never agree with or consent to sin. Our bodies still under the curse and influence of sin will be delivered also at the coming of Christ.

This is when our vile bodies shall be changed from corruptible to incorruptible and from mortal to immortality. I Cor. 15:51-57. Our new or spiritual bodies will not be subject to sickness or death. At that time all things will be made new, including our bodies. Rev. 21:4-5.

It is the effect of the curse of sin and death that inspired Paul to write, “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption to wit, the redemption of our body.” Rom. 8:22-23.

Even though the Christian has received the firstfruits of the Spirit through the new birth, his longing hope is for the day of deliverance of his body. Although our redemption was paid for at Calvary we wait by faith for the glorious day of our change.

In the meantime we must live by faith as we look forward to that day of deliverance. Since “... faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” we need to learn of him who is “meek and lowly in heart.” In learning of him we shall find rest unto our souls. Matt. 11:28-30.

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