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Posts Tagged ‘glorification’

Colossians 1:15 Jesus Christ Firstborn Of Every Creature

Posted by Job on March 7, 2011

Genesis 1:1 bears witness that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Colossians 1:16-17 reveals that by the Word of God, the same that is Jesus Christ, were all things made and do all things consist. However, despite what many believe, the supernatural creative acts of God did not end with what is described in the initial chapters of Genesis. God did rest from His creative works on the seventh day, but God did not remain at rest. Jesus Christ confirmed this in John 5:17 when He stated that God the Father works. In describing God the Father’s labor, Jesus Christ used the word heōs, which means “till” or in that context “at this very moment!” Of course if God the Father works, so does God the Son and so does God the Holy Spirit, for these are not three gods but One God (Deuteronomy 6:4)! Jesus Christ’s apostle Peter rejected the false belief that God is at rest in 2 Peter 3:4-8, when he denied the false doctrine that things were continuing as they had been since “in the beginning.” They are not, for our God is not asleep. Instead, our God is at work.

Our Father was at work when He called Abraham and made a covenant with Him. Our Father was at work when He began the fulfillment of His promise to Abraham by supernaturally giving a child, Isaac, to an old man with a barren wife. God was at work when He made Abraham’s seed into the elect nation Israel, brought this nation out of bondage to sin in Egypt, and made His covenant with Israel at Sinai. God was at work when He punished this same Israel with exile over their breaking the terms of the Sinai covenant. God was at work when He brought a remnant of Israel back to the land and presided over their rebuilding the temple that had been destroyed. God was at work when He used this remnant as the natural vehicle for the incarnation of His Unique Son Jesus Christ, born of a virgin named Mary. God was at work throughout the life, baptism and ministry of Jesus Christ. God was at work when Jesus Christ was slain for the sake of His friends and the cosmos on the cross, and God was at work when He raised Jesus Christ from the dead and received Jesus Christ from the dead. God was at work when He sent the Holy Spirit to live with and in the church. And God is at work right now through the church.

So, God is still at work. Not only is this work of God sustaining, guiding, supervising and ruling, but God has not wholly abandoned the creating business. Israel was a special creation of God. The church was a special creation of God. And there is at least one more special creation of God to come: glorification. This creative act of God is famously described in 1 Corinthians 15:51-57, which reads

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law. But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Make no mistake, this speaks of a great creative act of God yet to come. It describes the event when the bride of Jesus Christ receives her wedding garments! Now Jesus Christ and the church will be married. Recall the first marriage, between Adam and Eve. God saw that it was not fit for Adam to be joined with one of the beasts of the field, because that would be the confusion (see Leviticus 18:23) of joining together of two things that were unlike each other. So, out of Adam God created Eve, so that Adam would have a suitable spouse that was like himself. The same with the church. Jesus Christ is not going to have a spouse that is unlike Himself. That would be confusion. Instead, our God who is a God of order is going to marry His own Son to a bride that is like His Son. To accomplish this, God is going to transform the bride into the image of His Son in accordance to His plan from before the world was created, from before His creative acts began (Romans 8:29-30). As a matter of fact, it can even be said that a purpose of creation itself was for the purposes of giving a bride to His Son! And just as a man is to leave the house of his father to become one flesh with his wife, Jesus Christ left Heaven to die for His bride on the cross so that she could be cleansed of her sins by His own blood! So be not deceived … marriage was another creative act of God, and it is no mistake that the evil one has attempted to subvert, pervert and destroy this institution, this thing which was recognized as a sacrament or ordinance by the church as it so honors God and His Son and His Spirit which are One, ever since.

But returning to the subject of the bride’s wedding garment, the apostle Paul under the inspiration of God’s own Spirit tells us that as an act of creation by God, each Christian born again of the Holy Spirit (as Jesus Christ described to Nicodemus the Pharisee) will be changed. We will be transformed from sinful mortal flesh to sinless immortality! The soul that sinneth shall die, says the scriptures, but when the bride puts on her new garment, she shall never die for thanks to her new garments transforming her into the image of Jesus Christ, she will be sinless like the One that she is espoused to, the one for whom she was created in order to BE espoused to! Make no mistake, this will be a mighty, creative act of God, to create from and with the church, the body of Christ, a spouse for Christ just as God created from Adam’s rib a spouse for the first man who was the type of Jesus Christ. However, just as the second Adam succeeded where the first Adam failed and did not sin, the second Eve, the bride of Christ, will not become a snare to to the second Adam as was the first, but instead will be sustained and kept from falling as did the first by God, and this will be to the pleasure, delight and glory of God!

Yet, the church, the bride of Christ, despite her glory, will be SECOND in this creative act. Why? Because like Adam was the first man and as a result Eve was called by his name (see Genesis 5:2), there will be one who precedes the church in this creation, and as a result the church will also be called by Christ’s Name. Who preceded the church in this wonderful new creation of glorification? Why none other than Jesus Christ. When did this happen? When Jesus Christ was raised from the dead! When Jesus Christ was incarnated, He was not 50% God and 50% man. He was 100% God and 100% man! So when Jesus Christ died, He died a death that was like unto the death of all other men, save that His death was not the result of His sin, but of His lying down His life as the sin-bearer for His friends, for His bride, for His church, for His cosmos. But even though this fact made His death unique, He still died just as men have since the transgression of Adam, for Jesus Christ was a 100% participant and member of the class of humankind. But Jesus Christ rose from the dead! And His rising of the dead was not like that of Lazarus or the child raised from the dead by Elijah or the lad raised by Paul, or of Dorcas. They all later died. Why? Because when they arose from the dead, they still had their original corruptible bodies!

No, Jesus Christ was the first to rise from the dead with an incorruptible body! For this reason, Jesus Christ was the first to be raised and be alive for evermore (Revelation 1:18)! Jesus Christ was the first to partake in this new thing, this new creative act of God! And this new creative activity of God demonstrated that God is not still at rest! Moreover, Jesus Christ being the very first in this new creation – just as Adam was the first man, the first to be made in the image of God in the old creation – makes Jesus Christ the firstborn of every creature! Yes, Adam and the others made in Genesis 1 and 2 were chronologically first, but God is eternal. God exists outside of time, indeed God created time as part of this cosmos. However, this cosmos – including time – shall be no more. When that happens, Jesus Christ, immortal and incorruptible, will remain! This makes the creative activity of God initiated when He resurrected His Son from the grave and gave His Son the new incorruptible body superior in rank, superior in quality, superior in every way that truly matters to the former creation! And as Jesus Christ by way of being the first human – and recall that per His incarnation He became 100% man as well as 100% God – to have the great honor of being glorified – He is the firstborn of the greater creation, and therefore the firstborn of everything that is created!

Jesus Christ was the first to open the matrix, and the bride of Jesus Christ, the church, followed after! That was why under the system given to Israel by God at Sinai, the firstborn of the animals had to be slain (Exodus 13:12-15) prefiguring both the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and the exalted status of Jesus Christ by His being the first to receive a glorified body upon His resurrection after His sacrifice! Thus, Jesus Christ is the firstborn of every creature! One day, the church will receive this same honor, this same miracle of glorification, but be not deceived … Jesus Christ was first, a status that He alone – not Moses, not Enoch, not Elijah, not David, not John the Baptist, not Mary – is due, for none of those others were God, and as a result all of those others sinned where Jesus Christ did not. As Jesus Christ was the only one to receive a death that He did not deserve, He was the only one to deserve to go first in new life, to be the first in the new creation! Jesus Christ truly is the firstborn of every creature because it is an honor that no mere creature deserves, but is instead an honor that is fit only for God to reserve for Himself, for His Own Son.

Please join the Firstborn of every creature today so that you too will receive your own glorified body at the time appointed for you by God the Father.

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Predestination Is In The Bible. Predestined Foreknowledge Is Not!

Posted by Job on December 31, 2010

Many Christians acknowledge the clear Biblical evidence concerning predestination. However, in order to preserve their belief that God must humble Himself, bow before, and submit to man’s free will decisions, they have incorporated this Biblical evidence into a doctrine called “predestined foreknowledge.” It basically allows free will to coexist with the rest of Calvinism (as opposed to pure Wesleyanism, which rejects Calvinism completely) and is largely the position of most evangelical and fundamentalist churches. However, this position still falls short of making the best use of the Bible’s evidence.

The “predestined foreknowledge” doctrine is based on Romans 8:29, which reads “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Unfortunately the piece below, which otherwise addresses all the other issues adequately, does not properly deal with this verse, instead choosing to deal with other verses that more explicitly teach the predestination doctrine.

Instead, the problem is a translation issue. The word translated “foreknow”, proginōskō, should actually be translated as foreordain. As a matter of fact, proginōskō is translated as foreordain in 1 Peter 1:20. And of course, this text, by the Palestinian Jew Peter as opposed to the more Hellenized diaspora Jew Paul,  says “Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you”. So, Romans 8:29 should read “”For whom he did foreordain, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” And that allows Romans 8:29 to be interpreted with 1 Peter  1:13-25. Not surprisingly, if you do that, they confirm each other in one coherent, unified doctrinal statement which relates election, predestination and salvation to sanctification, perfection and glorification in Christ Jesus.

The bottom line: Romans 8:29, especially when it is interpreted with 1 Peter 1:13-25 and being consistent with the translation of the same word (totally appropriate as they are used in the same context), clearly declares that God predestinates based on His choice, and not on His foreknowledge of our choice. Before you say “no fair, why can’t I just interpret proginōskō to be “foreknew” in 1 Peter 1:20″? Simple, because saying that God foreknew about the blood of Jesus Christ from the foundation of the world makes no sense whatsoever. God the Father didn’t just know that Jesus Christ would die for our sins. God PLANNED for Jesus Christ to die for our sins. How do we know this? The words of Jesus Christ Himself. John 3:16 – a favorite of free will Christians – does not say that for God so loved the world that He knew in advance that His only Son would come. Instead, John 3:16 says that for God so loved the world that He gave, He sent, His only Son. Jesus Christ bore witness in the gospels that it was God the Father’s plan, that it was God the Father who sent Him, and that He was being obedient to what God the Father ordained in advanced, not to what God knew would happen in advance and adjusted or adapted to. That is why even though “foreknew” is the preferred translation of proginosko (which is why the translators chose it for Romans 8:29), they had to use foreordain in 1 Peter 1:20 because there was no other viable option. For instance, the New Living Translation gives 1 Peter 1:20 to be “God chose Him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days”, meaning that they translated proginosko in that passage to mean “God chose Jesus Christ by foreordaining Him.” And that fits John 15:16, where Jesus Christ says to the church (through His apostles): “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

Now that Romans 8:29 has been dealt with

Please read:

How are predestination and election connected with foreknowledge?

Then

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