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THE RUSH OF GRACE
Beauty has a Basis
in its Delectable Energies
in the Grandeur of the Grace of God
Time to Look Around in the Wonder of God
cf. Christian Assurance
It is intensely sad that some do not realise what is so plain in the word of God, that HE has paid entirely, remorselessly, adequately, eternal in His eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12), and is the anchor set in the glory of God His Father, on which all salvation rests, and is such for each one of His children (Hebrews 6:19). While His grace does not extend to what fidgets and fusses, and does not believe, for faith is not fuss but confidence, any more than waters rushing down a stream's bed, inexorably flush out every low lying swamp, yet where He goes there is health and salvation, as you see in Ezekiel 47 (cf. Biblical Blessings Ch. 5).
Thus, in that symbolism of the waters of the Spirit of God proceeding from the altar of the Temple, "everything will live, wherever the water goes", and again, where the waters go, "they shall be healed".
It is as in John 4:14, where the water of the Spirit may be received through faith in the Messiah, and the one who drinks of that water will never thirst again: nor is the tense present continuous. If you once so drink, you will never thirst again; if you once come to THIS water, the case is consciously utterly contrary to the former coming and going: drink of this, and no more of that.
It is moreover as in John 7:37-38, that
"he who believes in Me, as the
Scripture has said,
There is a certain abundance. Indeed, to revert to the woman of Samaria as in John 4, the one who drinks of the water which Christ will not only never thirst again,
"but the water which I shall give him
The abundance is even in the midst of exuberance. The water springs up to eternal life; it does not trickle up. The case is this, that NOT ONLY will there be this abundance IN life, it is TO ETERNAL LIFE; and not only will this water if once taken, by a thirst quencher but NEVER AGAIN will the one who so drinks thirst. Hell is thirsty.
It is time therefore now to satisfy this thirst by faith in Him, not opinion-making, not insurance practice, but faith!
This grace is exuberant, but it is also apt.
Thus in Isaiah 53, we find not only that the "all" who are healed are called "we", but that this same "we" in the accusative case becoming "us" appears in verse 6: "And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." ALL who are healed, are those in their entirety, whose iniquity is laid on Him. IF it is, THEN you are healed. Not only, moreover, is this so. In Isaiah 53:11, the same chapter, we find that there is a reason for all of this.
HOW is it so ? It is for this reason.
BY HIS KNOWLEDGE will My righteous servant justify many,
What knowledge ? It has just before declared that "He shall see the labour of His soul and be satisfied." What IS the labour of His soul ? It has been described above, in His being rejected, despised, chastised, and becoming the butt for sin, stricken for the transgression of His people. In this there is experience, paid in the coin of life. Thus does He justify many: not all, for not all are healed, and as to those who are healed, it is STATED that it is these whose iniquity is laid on Him.
But what is the mode by which, the ground on which He justifies. To be sure, it is by His knowledge, and all that He suffered is part of this.
Yet the Lord declares it with precision:
¨ "for He shall bear their iniquities."
It is thus established that it is by bearing their iniquities that He justifies many. They are both healed and justified whose iniquities He bears. They indeed become children of God, for those who become His are said to be His 'seed', in lieu of ordinary children. To be a child of God in this spiritual sense, which is the express and explicit context, is to be made back into His image, and to be subject to His ownership, as active Father and eternal God. It is as in I John 3:9: the one begotten of God has His seed remain in him. There can be no alteration is this.
Thus does Romans 8:30ff. tell us this: that whom He justified, those He glorified, this being spelled out in Romans 8:17, those to be heirs and glorified together with Christ.
The method, then, by which Christ is declared to justify is that of bearing iniquities of those concerned, whose justification is the result of this. There is no other means, method or criterion. IF He bears your iniquities, THEN you are justified. Nothing of that kind can occur without that result. Payment in reality without this product is excluded. The REASON for the justification of many is the bearing of their iniquities by the Messiah. This is what accounts for it. It is the sufficient cause.
It is also the necessary cause (Isaiah 55), for there is no other way (cf. Acts 4:11-12). Nor is it an option, but a necessity, as Peter declares on that same occasion.
Healing, then, and justification alike are the certain consequences of His bearing of iniquities, and this is stated in its coverage on each point, once and then again. It is a double barreled fire to unbelief.
Therefore, it is in accord with this that we read in Romans 8:32, that IF it can be said of anyone that Christ was delivered up for His offences, THEN it is true that ALL THINGS are His, including Christ. This would of course include heaven, not the least of things, peace and pardon. While the offering of sacrifice had always been FOR all the people, but by no means assumed to reach all (cf. Deuteronomy 29:19ff.). It is FOR and TO FAITH! It always is, must be; for the just shall live by faith.
Thus in I John 2, there is the generic for the sacrificial offering as on the day of the atonement, when the lamb is the propitiation not only for one but for all; but for none except by faith, being an offering sufficient and apt and adapted, but not valid until received, as Deuteronomy makes so clear. The transaction is null except to faith, is provided for and to faith, outrageously sufficient in divine gracious liberality, but utterly irrelevant to non-faith, being then like the singing of the nightingale to the deaf ear.
When however it is truly said that He has been offered up for the deliverance of some soul, so that it is not a present possibility but a past fact, and when it is to the people, the church of God defined by faith, to which reference is made, then Christ being delivered up for us all, MUST bring with Him ALL things, as in Romans 8:32. How would it be otherwise! Paul exclaims.
That is the simple distinction between the general relevance and power of the offering, and the particular application with results of the same. It is this which Paul is using, and which Isaiah in exact parallel proclaims. It is MANY who are justified; it is ALL whose sins He has borne who are justified. It is "we" who are healed; and as to "us", He bears our iniquities. Healing, bearing, justification are one venue, and nothing but rejection of the word of God written, the Bible, can split them.
If you can say, "He was delivered up for my offences" in truth, then all things are yours.
If you mean that He is the sacrificial offering, this implies nothing for you; for it is an objective historical fact that He was so offered, according to the forecast Gospel in its forecast mould, means and data. The general is then irrelevant till faith comes. When you mean that He was delivered up for your sins, then the general becomes applied, and the application has all of heaven entailed.
Thus the PAYMENT is the assurance; it is not some mighty faith which is to fight it out for it. A grain of mustard seed faith is enough to move mountains, Christ has assured us (Mark 11). It is simply the actual reception by faith of the reality of His being delivered up for your sins, as the Saviour sent from the Father, and resurrected in authentication, His very body becoming sin for you, and His raising the attestation of the acceptance of the same (as in Romans 10:9 with I Corinthians 15, Luke 24), of who He is, the Son of the living God, His very equal (John 8:58, Philippians 2), so that in HIM your trust is in GOD, and none less: it is this which is the basis of all salvation, which neither stutters nor fails. For HIS sheep do not, assuredly not perish (John 10:27-28), and who are these sheep ?
Why so liberal, with such a keen edge for eternal gratitude is His grace, that these are those who ENTER by HIM as the door into the fold! (John 10:9).
It is not some special selection of favour for the likeable or the mighty; ALL who so enter are His, paid for and eternally kept. It is not that God failed to love some enough to save them, for the word of God explicitly rejects such a proposition (Colossians 1:19ff., John 3:16ff., I Timothy 2, Jeremiah 1-13 cf. Ch. 2 above); it is rather that He who would have all to be healed, does not use force, nor does He rely on the active work of the will of man (John 1:12). Knowing who are His, though desiring all, He brings them home.
Knowing this love, then, a man or woman or child has only so to COME, and that attests the eternal fact of salvation known before the world so much as commenced (Ephesians 1:4).
There is neither excuse for equivocation (as with Ahaz - Isaiah 7:1ff., not wanting to 'tempt' the Lord by accepting His free offer!), nor ground for fear, for He does not extinguish the smoking flax, in love conserving the smallest flame that burns with faith.
Some may pipe up about their being saved, and nauseously seek to bring others into their same condemnation, by tuning their lyre to such words, being liars and frauds, false teachers and prophets, who deny this Lord 'who bought them' (cf. Psalm 82:6-7). Woeful are such words of unfaith as one might find in one famous evangelist who having told many others of his flaming life in the Lord, then denies Him utterly. These bring, as II Peter 2:1 tells us, upon themselves swift destruction, bringing in destructive heresies. Such may indeed be blotted out from the book of life, the contemporary files of the visible church; and never were they entered into that eternal book, which is determinative, which was written before time, and from which nothing either is or could ever be eradicated (II Timothy 1, Ephesians 1:4, Romans 8:29ff.).
This is the way of Balaam, who could scarcely SAY enough about his relationship to the Lord, his fidelity and his faith; but who did not believe, and HENCE was prone to fall into the fraudulent position of seeking to prophesy against what he found to be blessed, namely Israel. Let not such imagine any blessing for themselves (cf. James 1:7-8). Near with their lips, they are far in their hearts (Isaiah 29:13).
Their resounding words may well be remembered in contrast to their foul deeds and devious doctrines. As to them, the word of the Lord applies,
"If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."
Thus, sins are either with you, by faith, or with Him, by faith, and if with you, you bear them, carry them, have the weight of them, like a super-fat person of 40 stone, and as if by your own bequest to your own self, die with them. That is the word of the Lord, to those who are faced with the Gospel, as were those noted here, in the case of John 8:24.
Sin is transferred by faith, is met by His knowledge, covered by His bearing, through which HE justifies ALL such, who are many; and these, it is they who are healed, who come with everlasting joy upon their heads (as in Isaiah 51:11), having received everlasting redemption (Hebrews 9:12), secured to them by the One within the veil, or more directly, in heaven who is their anchorage, to whom they have fled for refuge (Hebrews 6:18-20).
"Both sure and steadfast" is this anchor, who in Person is the Shepherd who declares, "they will never perish", for they are "the heirs of promise" (Hebrews 6:17, Romans 15, Isaiah 49:6, 42:6, Psalm 67), to whom His promise is confirmed by an oath as Hebrews demonstrates.
Moreover, it is for all, as in the Melchizedek symbolism following, for this man is seen as having no Levitical background, ensuring for all the entire blessing of God, through His reception. It is those who eagerly await His appearing for whom He comes a second time (Hebrews 9:27-28), apart from sin for salvation; it is those who have loved His appearing (II Timothy 4:8): it is these who by ONE OFFERING are both sanctified and perfected forever (Hebrews 10,10,14), heirs of salvation, irrevocably attached to their anchor who is higher than the heavens, enabling those who are called to receive the promise of the eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:15). .
By no means heirs are those who seek to hijack the faith, invent destructive heresies, even denying the Lord to whom they otherwise would wish to appear akin. You apply to or deny the Lord, in the end. Some have no faith, but only fickleness.
The one who believes and has believed in Him, however, as I Peter 1:5ff. tells us, where fickleness is not the point, but actual faith, where false prophets are not in view but true disciples, simple believers and receivers of the Lord according to His word by the power of His Spirit, born: these are KEPT by the POWER of GOD to salvation, having a place in heaven RESERVED for them. Eagerly therefore await this, for this is the final marvel of grace, that it KEEPS those who have come by faith to Him, these being even predestinated.
The toxins of confusion are multiple; the simplicity of faith is one.
Thus as Paul declares in that blessed verse in II Timothy 1:
do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner,
but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling,
not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace
which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ,
who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed,
for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded
that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day."
To the believing Timothy, and of those who believe, Paul declares here that they have been saved, and that their holy calling was given to them in Christ before time began, one according to His own purpose and grace. Rooted in foreknowledge by His own infinite penetration of all things, realised in present salvation, it is a matter of a predestined called where grace is triumphant. The abolition of death is its inheritance, immortality is its place, the work of redemption is its foundation, being everlasting and obtained, so that human works are irrelevant, whether in trying or striving or training; but they DO result.
Thus we “suffer these things”, as athletes in training, but knowing the establishment full well to which they belong, where time is eclipsed, which reaches into time, and takes its own with it, to eternity where the image of man knows its consummation, death being no longer relevant, just as the curse (Revelation 21-22), is dismissed from the entirety of life, whether as internal or external environment (cf. Romans 8:17ff.). So does this consistency and harmony, this love and irony, this repudiation and consolation, this brilliant truth in all its fountains, this heartland of inspiration, this veritable word of God disclose itself in its purity, apply itself in its Messiah, and then apply again in all His words, which build people, direct His church, fulfil promises, perform in history like a daring acrobat, never at a loss, doing the impossible.
Gratitude for this rush of grace, is like wonder at the abundant thrust of the vast waterfalls which surge in splendour, dazzling in magnificence, delightful in exuberance, untamed and untouched, launched by power, manifestly the delight of the creation. If this is delight to the soul, what then is that at the spectacle and the power, the presence and the friendship found in the faith of Christ, the Christ of faith, the jutting joy of the Lord, who communicates His own joy, which no man can take from the child of God (John 16:22).
Small wonder John is dynamic in his response in I John 1, and that he insists that we realise to the full, that eternity is now ours (I John 5:11-12), from Him who gave what it took, and takes us to be with Him, now as companions in the march of faith. Now we walk; then we proceed as pilgrims come home to a better city on better foundations, having seen with the eye of faith, what then becomes the visibility for which vision sought, guaranteed by God, governed by grace, where His people see His face (I Corinthians 13, Revelation 21-22).