The gospel of the grace of God and rightly dividing the Word of Truth as answer to the divided, sick and confused Christian world!
In this part of the essay we want to see what the results are to forsake the message of grace and we will see that God’s message of grace and rightly dividing the Word of truth is the answer for this!
We see that the "professing church” don’t know the gospel of the grace of God Acts 20:24! The “professing church” in this world is divided, sick and confused. The message what we hear in “the Christian” world is a mixed gospel! It’s a mix of the gospel of the Kingdom and the message of grace! Most of Christians believe that the Lord will come on earth to begin His Kingdom and a lot of them believe that we still live under prophecy and still live in early Acts! A lot of people read in the Bible but don’t realize what they read if this is personally for them or not. Most believers don’t know what is personally written for them as members of the body of Christ I Corinthians 12:13! In conversations with believers if you explain to them what is God’s grace they listen to you and you get the impression that they understand it and some react that they know it! But what do they know about it? If they knew God’s gospel of grace for sure and saw it as the gospel for today than they weren’t under influence of wrong teachings (mixed gospels etc.) and they were like the believers at Berea Acts 17:11 and followed Paul as he followed the Lord Jesus Christ 1 Corinthians 11:1, 4:16 and believe the gospel of grace and rightly dividing the Word of truth. We can say that the professing church is really spiritual sick and weak. She has no good message for this world because she doesn't know the wonderful message of grace and stand for it! For many, many years she has forsaken the message of grace!
This began already in de days of the apostle Paul. The believers of Galatia were an example of this. In Galatians 1:6, 7 we read: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” Soon after the departure of the apostle Paul from Galatia Judaizes who were zealous for the law of Moses draw the believers from Galatia away from Paul and the message he preached. What became the result of this in their lives? Their blessedness in which they had rejoiced in the riches of God’s grace was gone and was replaced by the Law of Moses. They, the believers of Galatia, began with the grace of God and ended with the Law of God. The epistle to the Galatians is all about this!
At the end of the life of Paul we read in II Timothy 1:15: “This thou knows, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes” Departure from God’s message of grace began in the time when the apostle lived and after he was beheaded in Rome and all those ages after this till now we see the results of this departure: weakness, sickness, confusion and divisions. The professing Church is now today tossed to and fro and had suffered much harm. Why don’t they want to listen to the gospel of the grace of God? We know satan hates the message of grace because he is by God’s grace defeated. Satan has opposed Paul’s message all down through the ages since Paul died as an ambassador of grace.
Let us look what is this message of grace that the professing church doesn’t preach and what satan hates. What preached the apostle Paul? In Romans 16:25, 26 we read: ”Now to Him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.” We read here that God has the power to stablish or establish you and me according to the gospel of grace which Paul preached, the message of grace. Thus the grace message makes us as believers stable in our belief in Christ!! It is the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began. The apostle Paul preached not the same Christ according to His early ministry and what He told His disciples or apostles when He was on earth! This preaching was kept secret with God and for the first time revealed to the apostle Paul when God saved Paul by His grace! And it is for the obedience of faith! If a believer disobey or not believing this message of Grace of God, he or she is disobedient to God! The consequences we can find in the epistle to the Galatians. The Galatians are an example for us not to follow. We can learn a lot of this epistle to the Galatians and don’t follow this example to go back to the Law or a mixed gospel what we see in the Christian world around us. Result: confusion, sickness, no certainty in belief and a lot of problems more.
Let us see more specific what does the grace of God contain for us as believers in Christ?
First we are to see how we are saved? Let us read Ephesians 2:8,9:”For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” We are saved like the apostle Paul was saved by grace alone, by faith alone in Christ alone! We were like the apostle Paul dead in trespasses and sins! We walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of power of air, the spirit that now work in the children of disobedience. This is the spirit of satan! We were dead in trespasses and sins, dead for God and under satan’s kingdom!
We were dead in trespasses and sins! Why? To answer this we have to read Romans chapter 5. In verse 12 of this chapter we read: “WHEREFORE, as by one man sin entered into the world, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned!” We, you and me, come originally from Adam. He is our ancestor who was the first sinner in this world because he disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. And we are sinners too because we are born in Adam when we came into this world. What we will, do, or think, we are in Adam and we come short of the glory of God because we have no relation with Him and are dead for Him! Romans 3:23 says: “For all (all humans) have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”.
God gave His law. Why He gave the Law (613 commandments)? In Romans 7: 7 we read: “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? God forbid, Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet” The law of God is holy and the commandments holy and just and good. The law is spiritual. What is the problem? The law is spiritual but we are carnal because we come from Adam and are sinners and sold under sin Romans 7: 12,13. In Romans 4:15 we read: “Because the law worketh wrath; for where no law is, there is no transgression” What is the purpose of the law what God gave? To answer we have to see in Romans 3:20: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Through the law we know what is sin. The law let us see like a mirror what is wrong (sin). The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 7: 9,10: “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came , sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death” Through the commandments we see that man’s his sin became more because of the law. Men could know what sin through the law is. By the law is the knowledge of sin and we know through this that no man could be justified by the law of God. We read in Galatians 2:16: ”Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” This is the solution of God!!!!! We read further on in Romans 8: 3 God’s answer: “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh” In Philippians 2:6-9 we can read what God has done for us! Let us read it. Philippians 2:6-9: “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name” We see here in these verses that the Lord humbled Himself seven times! Let us see again what are the 7 humbles.
1 Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God
2 But made Himself of no reputation
3 took upon Him the form of a servant
4 Was made in the likeness of men
5 Being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself
6 Became obedient unto death
7 Even the death of the cross
Satan wanted to be more than God, which is his sin against God. Isaiah 14:12,13 and 14: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” And in verse 15: Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” This will happen in the future with satan and his angels. Read also Revelation 20:10.
Christ, the Second Man, without sin took the form of a servant. For what purpose? The purpose was and is to die for you and me personally on the cross!! He took upon Himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men. He identified Himself with this sin world, He was without sin! He was born into this world, into the human race, without sin! He was obedient to death, even the death of the cross! He died not His own death on Calvary, that was not His death He was dying but our death! Because you and I are without strength because we are sinners and come from Adam Romans 5:19: “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous”. We deserved punishment from God; we deserved the death on the cross like Barabbas who had to go to the cross to die there! Barabbas stands for human race! But Christ was and is without sin and obedient to the Father so He could and did it in the place of us to die on the cross, for everyone in this world and for us because God loved us so very much! Read carefully this: “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” He loved us so much that He gave His life for us through the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross!!! To die on the cross was the cruelest dying someone could die. And the Lord Jesus Christ did this willingly for us! Yes friend for you and me, He died on Calvary for you and me!!! Think about this. Before His crucifixion they crowned Him with thorns, beat Him with rods, and then scourged, and smitten over the head. They spat in His face. They let Him to carry His cross till He couldn’t bear it anymore and then nailed Him with hands and feet to that cross, the cross on Calvary! He took all our sin in His body on the cross on Calvary I Peter 2:24:”Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness” This is good news!!!! He is the Son of man! He died our death and rose again on the third day for our justification! Romans 3:25. I Corinthians 15:3,4 says: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and the He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures”
First you have to acknowledge that you are a sinner, coming from Adam and cannot reach God by yourself. He did it all for you and by simply trusting Him as our Savior we become the children of God and not only our sins are forgiven see Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14. We have also eternal life through Him, we are alive in Him and we are righteous in God’s sight that means that He sees us through His Son Jesus Christ without sin! This is our position in Him. isGods In daily life this does not say that we cannot sin anymore as some believers in the body of Christ believe. We are still sinners and sin every moment of the day but we are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ! Read for yourself Romans 6:10-12!
And there is more, much more! Ephesians 2:5 tells us: “Even when we were dead in sins, God hath quickened us together with Christ. By grace are we saved”. And He goes further on in verse 6: “And hath raised us together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” This is the amazing grace of God and that is so great! This is our position in Christ and we have everlasting life in Him!!! Thank God for this wonderful grace He gave us freely!!!!! This grace of God is enough for us!
Now we ask ourselves what can we know more about the cross? What happened when the Lord of Glory, the Lord Jesus Christ died on that cross on Golgotha? Through the epistles of the apostle Paul you and I can know more about the cross than the people who lived in the time of the crucifixion and in early Acts because we have now the whole Bible, the Word of God!
What happened exactly when the Lord Jesus Christ died on that cross on Calvary?
1 The Law of God which was against us, which was contrary to us He took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross! Colossians 2:14.
2 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree Galatians 3:13.
3 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Galatians 4:5
4 Through His blood which was shed for us on the cross we have forgiveness of all our sins! Sins from the past, now and future!!!! Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14
5 He died for us on the cross while we were yet sinners, see Romans 5:8
6 Colossians 1:21,22: And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight.
7 Ephesians 2:11-13: Ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ (Gentiles)
8 For He is our peace, who hath made both one (Jew and Gentile), and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us ……………And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross having slain the enmity thereby. Colossians 2:14-16 One new man in Christ!!!!!
9 We as believers and members of the body of Christ are crucified with Him!!! Galatians 2:20
10 And having spoiled principalities and powers he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it Colossians 2:15. Satan is defeated by the cross!!!
12 He died for all that the ones who live will not live for themselves but for Him, Who died for them and is raised for them 2 Corinthians 5:16.
13 Who (the Lord Jesus Christ) died for us, that, whether we wake of sleep, we should live together with Him 1 Thessalonians 5:10.
So we read now the following: I was a lost sinner Romans 5:8, dead in sin Ephesians 2:1, ungodly Romans 5:6, unrighteous Romans 1:18, cursed Galatians 3:10, Condemned Romans 5:18, without Christ Ephesians 2;12, without hope Ephesians 2;12, Without God Ephesians 2:12, Enemies of God Romans 5:10, eternal death Romans 6:23.
I am now in Christ! I am saved by Grace Ephesians 2:8, dead to sin Romans 6:2,11, Holy Ephesians 1:4, righteous 2 Corinthians 5:21, Accepted Ephesians 1:6, without blame Ephesians 1;4, Indwelt by Christ Colossians 1;27, Hope in heaven Colossians 1:5, Indwelt by the Father Ephesians 4:6, Peace with God Romans 5:1, Indwelt by the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 3:16, Eternal life Romans 6:23, 1 Timothy 6:12.
Where Christ is now on the right hand of the Father in HEAVEN we are too there also as members of the body of Christ. We are citizens of heaven Ephesians 2:19. God gave us this wonderful position, that’s GRACE! Every believer has been raised from spiritual death with Christ. Thank God that we have been raised to newness of life with the Lord Jesus Christ.
For the daily life we read in Colossians 3:1: “If ye then be raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Our life is hid with Christ in God. What a blessing God gave us! All glory for Him!!! In daily life we have seek for spiritual things in this life with Him. That’s to read the Bible, to be in prayer with Him, not be involved with this world. Not to be influenced with this world with all his trends and the spirit who works now in the children of disobedience.
All these blessings and our position in Christ we will find only in the epistles of the apostle Paul. You never find them in the 4 gospels or in the Old Testament. Also not in the epistles of the other apostles like James, Peter and John, because they write their letters to the Jews, circumcision only. The gospel of the grace of God Acts 20:24 is in this dispensation of Grace under which we live, for us as members of the heavenly CHURCH, the body of Christ to believe. These letters of the apostle Paul are our own personal letters to believe and to trust and in these letters we get strength for our daily life. Our task as members of the body of Christ to tell other people, members of the body of Christ this wonderful truth to believe by which we are saved and get our daily strength of it. Not only other brothers and sisters in the Lord, also unbelievers to be reconciled to God and have eternal life in Christ. II Corinthians 5:20:”Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
What also important is and what most of believers in this world doesn’t know is the fact how we have to read the Bible, God’s Word. The key to the Bible you can find in II Timothy 2:15: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth” Another verse we have in II Timothy 3:16:”All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” This 2 verses from God’s Word doesn’t contradict each other, they complement each other. In II Timothy 2:15 we learn that a workman of God get most out of the Bible and in II Timothy 3:16 we learn that all Scripture is indeed profitable for man. II Timothy 2:15 is the key to the Bible and II Timothy 3:16 is the understanding and enjoyment of the Word of truth. What does it mean to divide? The Greek word for this is orthotomeo what means to cut or dissect correctly. In short the whole Bible what we learn from II Timothy 3:16 is for us but it is not all addressed to us or written about us. If we really want to know what we read first we have to see it in the context, the whole. Than to note who is addressing whom? About what and when and why? We can read the whole Bible, God’s Word. Also what was written in other dispensations and we can learn and it will be profitable for us. Only we have not to confuse what we read, what was for other dispensations with other instructions from God to people, with our private mail what we can find in the epistles of the apostle Paul. It’s like you are reading the mail from your neighbor. You will react that’s stupid to read post what is addressed to your neighbor. It is for him and not for you. So it with the Bible. We live under the dispensation of grace Ephesians 3:1-3 and we have instructions of God received according to the grace of God. We have not to take instructions from other dispensations to guide us! If we do this than we get confused and it will harm us in our daily lives. Great examples of this were the believers of Galatia we have seen. They went back to the Law of Moses. They were deceived by others who told them to go back to the Law. (Circumcision and other things from the Law of Moses). They, the Galatian believers were bewitched and they didn’t obey the truth anymore Galatians 3:1:”O FOOLISH Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” This falling from the truth, the gospel of the grace of God and not to rightly dividing the truth had his consequences through all the ages till now. As we start this part we say it already that the professing church is divided, sick and confused. They do not know the message of grace and instead of this they have a mixed gospel (the gospel of the Kingdom and other Old Testament things mixed with the gospel of grace). It has worldwide his influence in the professing church and she is not healthy. Our task as ambassadors for Christ is to preach the gospel of the grace of God and let people see what is rightly dividing the Word of Truth like the apostle Paul did and other believers with him. This is my earnest prayer that individual believers may know too the truth and how to read the Bible so that they also can enjoy it and being rooted in Christ and stand fast in Him and not be moved and tossed and fro what happened now in the Christian world!
Thanks for men like brother Stam, brother O’Hair and others who told the truth, the gospel of the grace of God and wrote many commentaries, books to help us to understand it. 30 years ago by the grace of God I began to understand the truth and rightly dividing and I was so happy and enjoyed it so much and still I enjoy it till now. Through the Word of God with new light in my life step by step I could understand it. Dear reader if you read this and you don’t know the gospel of grace, you can also become to know it! It is to open your heart for it and God can work in you and will let you see. Through His Word He let me see the truth 30 years ago!
Another thing is that we have to know as members of the body of Christ that we live also under a dispensation, the dispensation of the Grace of God. To realize and believe this it is easier for us as members of the body of Christ to see under which administration of God we live and how God dealt with us according to His grace. The apostle Paul was the first one who could tell us about this dispensation. We read in Ephesians 3:1-3 about it: ”For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation He made known unto me the mystery: as I wrote afore a few words” What does the word dispensation mean? The word dispensation means the act of dispensing or dealing out, that which is dispensed or dealt out. We read in John 1:17 the following :”For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” Moses was the servant of God and dispensed the law to the people of Israel. The original word for dispensation is the Greek word oikonomia what means house management or sometimes translated in stewardship. The house manager or steward was the one to whom the house management was committed and he have to dispense it to other people. Let’s see this in I Corinthians 4:1,2:”Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” To understand and believe that we live under the dispensation of grace for us it is also a responsibility to be in the will of God according to this dispensation of Grace. And we have to carry this faithfully out to others because the dispensation of the grace of God is also committed to us who understand and believe this. In short we have 7 dispensations of God. The first one was the dispensation of innocence Genesis 2:25: “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” The second dispensation is the dispensation of conscience: Romans 2:11-15, Third: the dispensation of human government Romans 13:1, Fourth: the dispensation of promise: Genesis 22: 17,18 (Abraham got the promise of God), Fifth: the dispensation of the law: Galatians 3:18, Sixth: the dispensation of grace: Ephesians 3:1-3, Seventh: the dispensation of the Kingdom Isaiah 9:6,7. This are the seven dispensations and we live now under the dispensation of Grace. Under this dispensation we have seen already that we are saved through His blood which was shed for our sin. And in Romans 4:5:”But to him that worketh not, but believe on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Works of ourselves shall not save us and with our works we cannot reach God . It is through the finished Work on the cross, through the shed blood of Jesus Christ that we can be saved for eternity!
We come now to the conclusion and we have seen that the “professing church”in the Christian world is divided, sick and confused. Why she is so? Answer: the professing church don’t know and will not know under which dispensation or administration we live as believers in Christ, she thinks that we still live under the prophecy and recognize not that we live under the mystery program of God which was kept secret before the world began and revealed first to the apostle Paul. While prophecy is from the beginning of the world. The professing church doesn’t know the difference between this mystery program and prophecy program and mix it with each other. Second the professing church do not know how to rightly dividing the word of truth 2 Timothy 2:15 what is written above in this part of essay. Another thing is that they do not recognize the apostle Paul as the first man in the body of Christ and that he was the first one who told us about the dispensation of the grace of God, the gospel in this dispensation: the gospel of the grace of God Acts 20:24. She refuses that the apostle Paul was and is the apostle to the Gentiles and he is not one of the 12 apostles Romans 11:13! That we have to follow Paul as he followed Jesus Christ under the message of Grace I Corinthians 11:1, I Corinthians 4:16, Philippians 3:17. And satan is behind all this because satan is defeated by this good news and he hates it. All those ages he hates the grace of God and brings to people lies and blind them so that they don’t become to know the truth! What you see in this “Christian world” is that most of the people, believers have a high pride. They have the tradition under which they live and rules of men and like that and think that this enough for them what is the work of satan and refuse to learn the knowledge of the truth. I Timothy 2:3,4, which is the will of God! We have to pray for them that God will make their hearts open for the knowledge of the truth that they will come out of the snares of the devil!