After stooping in great humility and love to wash the disciples’ feet, the Lord put this question to their hearts: “Know ye what I have done to you?” This was a work in which only the lowest servants were employed during that age. For Christ to stoop and perform such a drudging work as this, should inspire our worship, praise and adoration. But this was nothing compared to the lowliest of work He would soon perform at Calvary. O what filth of sin He would soon be hard at work in His own blood, sweat and tears to wash it away! Do we know what Christ has done to us? Do we know what it took for the blessed Son of God to cleanse us from our sins?
"Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him."
Do you ask, “Are God’s promises in Christ to me?” The Scriptures plainly teach that God’s blessings of grace and salvation are to a covenant people. The Savior bled and died for God’s elect (Jn 10:15). Redemption and forgiveness are for a particular people, the Israel of God. Let there be no confusion or compromise concerning the finished work of Christ. He did not die to redeem all men or to merely make salvation a possibility for all men. The Lord Jesus Christ, as the covenant Surety and Representative of a chosen multitude, came into the world and actually redeemed somebody. And all for whom He died are right now presented perfect and complete before God’s holy throne in a triumphant, risen Savior.
How then are God’s covenant people recognized? What identifies the elect of God and distinguishes them from the perishing world? It’s not a mark that flesh and blood can see. God’s people are the children of promise (Gal 4:28). All of the rich, free blessings of God’s grace are conveyed to them by promise, and received by faith in Christ. You may be thinking, “How can this be? That’s too simple!” Yet, it is profound and impossible for natural man to understand. It is completely spiritual and must be spiritually understood. Unregenerate man cannot receive it, much less comprehend it. It’s totally confusing and perplexing to him. He is a stranger to the covenant, without Christ, having no hope and without God in the world (Eph 2:12). The promises don’t apply to unbelievers. But all men by nature are unbelievers, even God’s elect when they’re in a lost state. How then are God’s children manifested? Here are three things revealed in the word of God
Luke 17:32; Genesis 19:1-26
The blessed Son of God issues a great and solemn warning to all that profess faith in His Name and yet love the world. He holds before us a dreadful example of a woman who perished under the wrath of God with a look! The Lord says, "Remember Lot's Wife."
“And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” – (Luke 5:31-31)
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you." – (Philippians 4:8-9)
“The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.” – (John 12:34-36)
Abraham is set before us by the Spirit of God as the father of all that believe (Rom 4:16). They which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham (Gal 3:7). Children share the same traits as their parents. What characteristics show Abraham to be the father and example of every believer?
“And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.”
Brethren in Christ are one body, one Spirit, and one faith in the LORD. For this cause, we should strive together to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4:1-7). Christ is not divided. Therefore, all strife, contention and debate is not of Christ, but is of the devil (James 3:13-18).
“Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.”
In these two verses the Psalmist David gives a summary of God’s mighty work of grace in the Lord Jesus Christ. He led captivity captive! A captive is a prisoner. If you visit a federal penitentiary, you will find residing within its walls many captives of the state. They’re surrounded by guards, fences, walls and bars. They cannot escape the will and dominion of their captor. This is how God saves sinners by His grace. The Apostle Paul described salvation well with this phrase: “Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ” (Philemon 1:1).
“So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”
The tower of Babel is an emblem of false religion. It represents the erroneous doctrine of all man-centered, free-will, works belief. The Babel builders of Genesis 11 are still endeavoring to erect a tower today in most modern day churches. They fashion the same bricks and use the same slime in an attempt to reach heaven by their own works.
The great commission of the Church is to preach the gospel. God our Savior said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:15-16). Believing the gospel will save you. Not believing the gospel will damn you. The Apostle Paul declares that the only power of God unto salvation is the gospel of Christ. He said, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Romans 1:16). If the gospel saves every one that believes it, and no one is saved apart from it, then it’s vital to our souls that we know the gospel.
It's crucial that we understand the gospel of Christ and believe on Him according to the truth of God. There is only one gospel that saves, but there are many false gospels that will damn our souls if we believe them. John said, "As ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists" (1 John 2:18). Many so-called churches come in the name of Christ with many good works claiming to be messengers of the LORD, but they are not. They teach things that are contrary to God's holy word, and they omit the gospel, therefore they are antichrist. Beware of false teachers!
What is the gospel? If the gospel is the power of God to everyone that believes, we need to know it, we should want to believe it, and we have to be saved by it.
Here are two things clearly stated from the word of God about the gospel:
Very little is said about Noah’s life after the flood. Without question, he had many great responsibilities to fulfill as the spiritual and civil leader of the entire human race, not to mention the care of his family. But the Spirit of God has singled out one sad event that took place. With all that could have been said, God inspired Moses to give us the account of Noah’s fall. That fact ought to impress upon us the spiritual significance of these verses. This is specifically written for our learning, “that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rom 15:4). Noah was a child of God, a faithful believer and a great example of godliness, but he was still a sinner. Here are five things we should learn from Noah’s fall:
After God destroyed the old world with a deluge of wrath, He made a covenant with Noah that He would not destroy the earth again by a flood. This covenant was a clear picture of God’s everlasting covenant of grace in Christ. Because the Lord Jesus Christ has suffered all the fury of God’s wrath, He has fully satisfied justice and put away the sin of His people. And God has sworn to never be wroth with His people, nor rebuke them in anger (Isa 54:9). God gave Noah a token of the covenant, whereby God would remember His covenant and Noah would be comforted. In the event that God brought a raincloud over the earth, God promised to set His bow in the cloud (vv 13-14). What a beautiful picture of Christ our Savior, a picture we may contemplate and rejoice in every time we see a rainbow in the clouds!
"And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD" (Genesis 6:7-8).
Roughly forty-four hundred years ago, God sent a deluge of wrath upon this earth and drowned everything that had breath under a mighty flood. God wiped out billions of people at one time by an overflowing scourge of divine anger! “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” Noah found free, unmerited favor and acceptance with God. Billions were slain and sent to hell, “but Noah found grace,” and was delivered. Multitudes were executed in strict justice, “but Noah found grace,” and God placed him safely in the ark. Countless were destroyed by the waters of judgment, “But Noah found grace,” and was saved by the flood waters. The same flood, which drowned the entire world, lifted Noah above God’s wrath, because he was in the ark.
“And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation” (Genesis 7:1)
God called Noah into the ark, because God saw Noah as righteous before Him in his generation. In this true account we have a picture of the righteousness which is by faith.
“And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake…” (Genesis 8:20-21).
The deluge of the old world and the salvation of Noah in the ark is a vivid picture of the suffering and satisfaction of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the salvation of God’s elect in Him. God poured out His wrath on the earth in judgment, destroying every living thing that had breath. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD, and was delivered by divine judgment in the ark. That ark was Christ! In Christ, God’s elect are delivered from destruction through His mighty work of grace as our divine Substitute. He suffered to the full satisfaction of God’s justice in our place, as our Representative.
This was the beginning of miracles which our Lord Jesus Christ did, “and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him” (v 11). Water was made wine by the power of Christ. Certainly this miracle was wondrous, but what the miracle manifested forth is the very glory of God. The glory of God is His sovereign, omnipotent grace in the Lord Jesus Christ. When Moses asked the LORD God to show him His glory, God said, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy” (Ex 33:19). How then does this miracle in Cana manifest forth God’s sovereign grace?
“Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.”
He that has caused me to hope in His word, knew me in love from eternity, prayed for me with tears in Gethsemane, suffered for me in agonizing blood on Mount Calvary, and intercedes for me with exceeding joy in glory. And he assures me of this promise: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life” (Jn 6:47). He never forgets His promises. He always remembers His faithful word. He always fulfills it to those who trust Him, to those He has caused to hope in His word.
"Say not ye, There are yet four months, and thencometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up youreyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already harvest" (John 4:35).
In this one verse, we have lessons concerning the sovereign will of God and the sure success of Christ in the salvation of chosen sinners. Our Savior had just said, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (v 34). A hungry man could not with greater eagerness and delight eat a delicious meal, than the Savior went about doing the will of God the Father. His delight and satisfaction was to finish salvation’s work, and finish it He did. Redemption was fully accomplished by the doing and dying of our Lord Jesus Christ. The whole of God’s work was done by Him alone, and done exactly as the LORD God commanded it, with all faithfulness and integrity, with the utmost wisdom and prudence, with all diligence and steadfastness, so as to finish it, without the aid of anyone. He has trodden the winepress of the wrath of God alone, and He was happy to do it as the willing Substitute of His people. He finished the salvation of God’s elect in such a manner that nothing can be added to make it more perfect, and it can never be undone. “It is finished,” was His cry (John 19:30).
What will it take to bring you to Christ? Some of you are yet lost, without Christ, without faith in Him. What will it take for you to believe Him and come to Him? In John 4, God our Savior demonstrates exactly what it takes to bring a lost sinner to Himself. The Lord met and saved an adulterous woman of Samaria, showing that the conversion of a sinner’s heart is God’s work alone.
“And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” (John 2:17).
In this passage from John’s gospel, the Lord went up to Jerusalem and found merchants and moneychangers in the temple of God. They were selling livestock and exchanging currency inside the temple’s outer court. Can you imagine the noise, filth and stench coming from that herd animals in God’s house? Haven’t you ever been to a county fair or circus? But filthier still was the filthy lucre for which the religious leaders turned the house of prayer into a house of merchandise. Make no mistake, the chief priests and Levites were responsible for this ungodliness. Their aim was not the will of God, the glory of God, or the good of men’s souls. Their only objective was turning a profit from the Passover Festival. Filled with holy wrath, The Lord Jesus Christ came through with a scourge and drove them all out, saying, “Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.”
“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”
How did Enoch walk with God? Walking implies both communion and fellowship. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). Enoch walked with God in perfect agreement and delight, without quarrel. God had no dispute against Enoch, and Enoch had no fight with God. God walked with Enoch in the perfect nature of His absolute holiness, and Enoch walked with God in the very teeth of a corrupt, fallen nature. How then did a Holy God commune and have fellowship with a sinful son of Adam? The writer of Hebrews tells us, “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb 11:5-6).
Here are three things we should learn from Enoch:
"And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew" (Gen 4:25).
Here in this short verse, the LORD God displays for us the doctrine of substitution. Adam’s son Seth is set forth as a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, the sinner’s Substitute. In fact, his name means ‘substituted’. Eve named him Seth, because God had appointed her “another seed instead of Abel.” This is exactly what God has done in the salvation of chosen sinners by His grace. God has appointed another Seed, our Lord Jesus Christ, to be the divine Substitute of His elect. Also to be noted is the fact that Seth is in the direct lineage of the Messiah, the woman’s Seed (Luke 3:23-38).
Two things were clearly required for Seth to be substituted for Abel. Adam had to know Eve his wife, and Abel had to die. These two things, knowledge and death, are vital to the substitution and satisfaction our Savior made at Calvary for the sin of God’s elect.
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