Firstborn Sonship of Christ
SEPARATION FROM THE BODY OF CHRIST
chapter will be similar to chapter one, as the title above
indicates. And though the contents of this chapter are concerned
primarily with "election,"
we must understand that election is "in
Christ:" specifically "in
the body of Christ,"
which is a true local church. The intent is to establish that the
saved and scripturally baptized but unfaithful believer in the
body of Christ will be cut off from or separated from Christ and
therefore separated from the election. As well established in
previous books in this series on The Firstborn Sonship of Christ,
the unfaithful saved person is still a son, but will be a servant
son enslaved to the elements of the physical world, and will fail
to qualify as a firstborn son who will inherit God's divine
Webster's dictionary says
a metaphor is "a figure of speech
containing an implied comparison, in which a word or phrase
ordinarily and primarily used of one thing is applied to another
(Ex.: the curtain of night, all the world's a
The Bible definition is no
different: specifically, a metaphor is God "calling things which be not as though they
were," Rom 4:17. Examples: Christ is called the Lamb
of God, Jn 1:29,36, the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Root
of David, Rev 5:5, a Living Stone and the Chief Corner Stone, 1Pe
1:7-8, etc. The church is called a flock of sheep, Act 20:28, the
bride and the body of Christ, Eph 5:31-32; 1Co 11:18-29;
12:12-27, etc. Church members are called sheep, Jn 10:27, living
stones, 1Pe 2:5, shining lights in the world, Mt 5:14-16; Phi
2:15, etc. Satan is called a roaring lion, 1Pe 5:8, a serpent and
a dragon, Rev 12:8, transforming himself into an angel of light,
2Co 11:13-15, false prophets and false Christians are called
ravening wolves, Mt 7:15, professing to be ministers of
righteousness, 2Co 11:13-15, etc.
The metaphor for the moment
is the church being called the deified human "body of Christ," and the members of the
church being called the members of the deified body of Christ.
This is a metaphor of major emphasis in both Old and New
Testaments. In the Old Testament, the Passover lamb and the
bodies of other sacrificial animals,Ex 12; Ps 40:6-8; Heb
10:5-10, the manna, the unleavened bread, and the showbread, Ex
12; 16; Lev 24; Jn 6:27-67; 1Co 10:3, all represented the
covenant people symbolically partaking of Christ and thereby
becoming "one" with Christ,
1Co 10:18; Heb 3:14; Jn 6:27-67.
In the New Testament the same
metaphor of the faithful covenant people becoming "one" with Christ is even more explicit.
The church is expressly called "the body
of Christ," referring to the virgin born human body
of Christ that was crucified, died, was buried, and was divinely
born of God in His resurrection. The first birth of Christ was
God born into a human body, while the second birth of Christ was
that human body of Christ being born into a divine body in His
resurrection, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; Heb 1:5-6; 5:5;
1Co 15:44-50; Col 2:9.
The church was referenced as
the body of Christ before His
crucifixion, Mt 26:26-28. The bread in the Lord's Supper
represents the Lord's body, while the fruit of the vine in
the Lord's Supper represents the blood of the body of Christ.
The body and the blood must be associated together. The body
represented in the Lord's Supper is the body from which the
blood came, therefore the body referred to is the human flesh
body of Christ from which the blood was shed. Jesus said the
bread represented His body, His flesh body, and the fruit of the
vine of the Lord's Supper represented the blood which flowed
from His flesh body. Therefore, when the Scriptures speak of the
church being the body of Christ, the body under consideration is
the flesh body that is now the deified human body of Christ.
Metaphorically, the church,
as the body of Christ, and the bodies of all the church members
were crucified in, as, and together with the body of Christ, died
in, as, and together with the body of Christ, were buried in, as,
and together with the body of Christ, was raised, born from the
dead into a deified body, in, as, and together with the body of
Christ. As Christ became the firstborn from the dead, into a
deified body, so the bodies of the faithful covenant people were,
in the metaphor, counted as being born into the deified firstborn
sonship together with Christ, Rom 6:2-6; Gal 2:20; 5:34; 6:14;
1Pe 2:24; 2Co 5:21; Phi 3:9 (7-11,21). They were metaphorically
counted as being crucified, dead, buried, and raised into newness
of divine life – a new birth, Rom 6:4-5; 7:4-6; 4:17.
Analyze the metaphor
expressly stated in Rom 4:17. Observe: 1) Abraham did not have a single covenant
descendant in Gen 17:4 when God said, "I
have made you a father of many nations." God spoke of
"things which be not as though they
were," Rom 4:17. 2)
Continuing the same metaphor in the same sentence, the Scriptures
say, "God, who is giving
(crediting divine) life to the dead and is
calling things which be not as though they were," Rom
What are those things which
do not exist, which God is calling as though they did
Crucified together with Christ.
"Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that
the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer
be slaves of sin," Rom 6:6.
Paul said he had been
crucified together with Christ, Gal 2:20. He further said,
"those who are Christ's have
crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts," Gal
5:24. But there were only two thieves who were crucified with
Christ. Paul was never really crucified. None of us has ever been
crucified. God is speaking of things which be not as though they
were: an implied relationship with Christ. This is done in order
to work with us on an "as
together with Christ.
"Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into
Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?" Rom
"Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the
Law (covenant) through the body of
Christ, that you may be married to another - to Him who was
raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to
God," Rom 7:4.
There were only two thieves
crucified when Christ was crucified. No one has ever been
literally crucified, died, been buried, and been raised and
deified together with Christ. Paul said he had been crucified
with Christ, Gal 2:20, and all in the Lord's church are said
to have been crucified with Christ, Rom 6:6; Gal 5:24, yet no one
has literally been crucified with Christ. Only in the metaphor of
being the body of Christ have those in the body been crucified,
dead, buried, and raised in the body of Christ. In the metaphor
baptism puts one into the body of Christ. More fully, baptism
puts one into the crucified, dead, buried, raised, and deified
body of Christ, Rom 6:2-13; 1Co 12:13; Gal 3:26. Those who are
scripturally baptized into Christ, into the body of Christ
metaphorically, were baptized into His death, Rom 6:3-5.
together with Christ.
"Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into
death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory
of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of
5 "For if we have been
united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also
shall be in the likeness of His resurrection," Rom
Being crucified, dead,
buried, and raised in new birth life, is properly called the
crucifixion cycle. It is a metaphor, is true only of those in the
body of Christ, and is the basis upon which God gives the
indwelling Holy Spirit, Jn 7:39; Gal 4:4-7; Rom 8:23. It is in
this metaphor that we are to be constantly putting off the old
man who is dead in sins, and putting on the new man who is
crucified, dead, buried, and raised in newness of life (new born
life), Rom 6:2-13; 12:1-2; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:1-10.
together with Christ.
"Therefore we were buried with Him
through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from
the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk
in newness of life.
5 "For if we have been united (united and have grown)
together in the likeness of His death,
certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His
resurrection," Rom 6:4-5.
The words "united together" are translated from
the Greek word "sumphutoi."
It is a composite word which means to be joined together, 1Co 6:17, and to grow together, Eph 4:11-16. In the body of Christ,
we have been joined, by John's baptism, into the body of
Christ, and are in the process of growing up "into the measure of the stature of the fullness of
Christ.....who is the Head of the body....." Eph
4:11-16. We must continue growing daily by being transformed into
the image of Christ or we will not receive the new birth when
Christ returns, 2Co 3:18; 4:9-12,17 thru 5:21; Eph 4:11-32; Col
Though the church is called
the body of Christ and our being members of the body of Christ is
defined as a metaphor, the church is nevertheless an organized
entity, and we as members of the church must be diligently
feeding our minds on the Word of God in order to be growing and
maturing into the image of Christ, Heb 5:11-14. Otherwise we will
fail to make our calling and election sure, Rom 11:11-22; 2Pe
CHRIST, AND THE BODY OF CHRIST
"And He (Christ) is the head of the body, the church, who is the
beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may
have the preeminence," Col 1:18.
Here is a metaphor where the
church is called the body of Christ. The body is the deified
human body of Christ, divinely born again from the dead. But in
the metaphor, the church is the body with Christ as the Head of
the body. "The firstborn from the dead" signifies a
special resurrection – a divine birth of Christ's human body
into the divine body, filled with all the fullness of God's
divine nature, Col 2:9; 1Co 15:54-50.
"FOR it pleased the Father that
in Him (in His human-now-deified body) all fullness should dwell," Col 1:19.
Associate this verse again
with Col 2:9-10 which more explicitly says that all the divine
fullness of the Godhead dwells in the human body of Christ; and
that the church, as the body of Christ, is given that same divine
fullness of God's attributes – called the circumcision of
"And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind
by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled
22 "In the body of His flesh through death, to
present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His
sight," Col 1:21-22.
The emphasis is still on the
deified flesh body of Christ, which the church in the metaphor is
counted to be. We are reconciled in the body of Christ, in His
flesh body that is now born again into a divine body. We are born
again in the metaphor of being the deified members of
Christ's deified flesh body.
"If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and
steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the Gospel
which you heard," Col 1:23.
Each member of the church
must continue in the faith in order to maintain this metaphoric
state of the deified fullness of the divinely born again body of
Christ. The members of the church, of the body of Christ, are
only metaphorically counted as born again, and must continue in
the faith of Christ and endure the covenant training of
constantly putting off the old man and putting on the new man,
Col 3:1-10; Eph 4:11-32, in order to qualify for the new birth
when Christ returns, Phi 3:7-14,21; 1Co 15:1-4,29-58.
"I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my
flesh (in my turn) what is lacking in
the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the
church," Col 1:18-19,21-23,24.
Paul refers to himself and
all others who are members of the body of Christ as filling up in
each one's turn, the sufferings that are lacking in the body
of Christ. Nothing is lacking in the sufferings of Christ
personally, but in the metaphor each member of the body of Christ
must suffer as Christ suffered. If we do not bear about in our
bodies the dying of the Lord, 2Co 4:9-12, we must be cut off from
the body and forfeit the resurrection new birth of Christ when
The emphasis is on the
metaphor of the church being called the deified flesh body of
Christ, and on qualifying for the new birth resurrection of
Christ as His deified body and as members of His deified body. If
we do not continue in the faith, Col 2:23, and thereby make
shipwreck of faith, 1Ti 1:19-20; 2Pe 3:16-17, we will be cut off
from the body of Christ and forfeit all the covenant promises,
which promises are in the body of Christ.
NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM CHRIST
separate us from Christ so long as we continue believing into
Christ. Traditional doctrine will not agree with this, but we
will continue to establish that believing into Christ is a
progressive requirement throughout the Scriptures.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall
tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or
nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36 "As it is written:
‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as
sheep for the slaughter.'
37 "Yet in all these
things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
38 "For I am persuaded
that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor
powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39 "Nor height nor
depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us
from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord," Rom
This passage appears to say
there is absolutely nothing that can separate God's covenant
people from Christ. And as long as we continue believing into the
body of Christ, it is true that nothing can separate us from God,
from Christ, or from the Holy Spirit. However, we have repeatedly
demonstrated that most saved people have never been joined to
Christ, Lk 7:28-29; Rom 6:3-5; 1Co 6:15-17, that God is faithful
to His oath, Heb 3:11; 4:3; 2Ti 2:11-13, that the unfaithful
saved in covenant standing are constantly being separated from
Christ, Jn 15:1-6; Rom 11:11-22; Gal; 5:1-4, and the Scriptures
are filled with warnings and examples of proper covenant people
who have been separated from Christ, 1Co 10:1-12; 1Ti 1:19-20;
Heb 3:7-19; 2Pe 3:16-17.
From Genesis to Revelation,
the Bible provides a continuing series of examples of God's
covenant people turning from the prescribed pattern of
"by grace through faith"
obedience, and being cut off from the covenants, from the
covenant people, and from all that the covenants promise, which
means being cut off from oneness with God, with Christ, and with
the Holy Spirit.
CUT OFF FROM ELECTION
"I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall?
Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to
jealousy, salvation (covenant salvation) has come to the Gentiles.
12 "Now if their fall is
riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles,
how much more their fullness!
13 "For I speak to you
Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify
14 "If by any means I
may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of
them (with covenant salvation or salvation of the life
into a divine state of being).
"For if their being cast away is the (offer of)
reconciling of the world, what will their
acceptance be but life (a divine resurrection birth)
from the dead?
"For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and
if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 "And if some of the
branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were
grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the
root and fatness of the olive tree,
18 "Do not boast against
the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not
support the root, but the root supports you.
19 "You will say then,
‘Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.'
20 "Well said.
Because of unbelief (making
shipwreck of faith) they
were broken off, and you have stood by faith. Do not be haughty,
21 "For if God did not
spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.
22 "Therefore consider
the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity;
but toward you, goodness, IF you continue in
His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut
off," Rom 11:11-22.
Here is one of the snares,
traps, and stumbling blocks God has placed in the Scriptures, Rom
11:8-10, that we will later discuss more fully. Traditional
doctrine cannot harmonize this passage and so many others like it
with Rom 8:32-39.
1. Who Is
heavenly Father through Christ through the Holy Spirit are all
the Authors of the Holy Scriptures. Here, Paul is being used as
the human instrument.
Churches in Rome Were the Ones Addressed.
churches in Rome were the immediate recipients of this letter,
however, all true local churches, and all the members of true
churches are also intended as recipients of all the Scriptures.
This is obvious throughout the Bible, Lk 24:44; Lk 4:15-21; Jn
10:34-35; Eph 3:10-11; 2Ti 3:15-17; 2Pe 1:12-21. To say these
olive branches that were cut off were Israelites who had never
believed is to twist what the Spirit is saying in the
What Is Paul Writing?
writing about the election, the chosen people, the special
people, the faithful covenant people, the "of faith" seed of Abraham, and those
who are called "Christ's." These ,both Old and New
Testament saints, will all be one and the same bride people in
the resurrection, but there will be nations of saved people who
will never share in this same firstborn sonship of Christ.
say then, has God cast away His
people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the
seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin," Rom
The major theme in this
verse and in the whole chapter is "election" by grace through a
persevering faith. Election is the
subject in the beginning of this chapter, in the end of the
chapter, and very obviously throughout the chapter.
Who are "His people?" They are God's
"elect." They are the
"of faith" seed of Abraham.
They are "Christ's." We
will see this all the way through Romans 11. Israel is God's
"elect" people, His
"chosen" people, His
"special" people, His
faithful "covenant" people,
Ex 19:4-6; Deu 26:19-26.
"Therefore know that only those who are of faith are
(covenant) sons of Abraham," Gal
"And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's
seed, and heirs according to the (covenant) promise," Gal 3:29.
The physical descendants of
Abraham, as a nation, are cut off during the church age, Rom
11:11-31, but they will be grafted back into their elect,
covenant position when Christ returns – "Concerning the Gospel (bringing Gentiles
into the covenant election, Eph 3:6) "they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the
election they are beloved for the
sake of the fathers," Rom 11:28.
"God has not cast away His
people whom He foreknew....." Rom 11:2.
Who are God's people whom
He "foreknew?" Israel is
God's elect. However, there are some who do not know that
those whom God foreknew are those in the firstborn sonship of
Christ, and that God has many other sons who are not firstborn sons and are not God's elect,
Gal 4:21 thru 5:5; Heb 12:8:
"For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed
to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among
many (firstborn) brethren," Rom 8:29; Ex 4:22-23; Heb 12:23,
bringing them to glory, Heb 2:10; 5:8-9.
YOU ONLY HAVE I KNOWN
"Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, O
children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up
from the land of Egypt, saying:
2 "‘YOU ONLY HAVE I KNOWN of all the families of the
earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your
iniquities,'" Amo 3:1-2.
You only have I foreknown,
Rom 11. You only have I chosen, Isa 44:1. You only have I
elected, Isa 45:4. You only have I formed especially for Myself,
Isa 43:21; 44:21; 1Pe 2:5,9. You only are My covenant people, Rom
9:4; Heb 9:8-10. You only are my glory, Isa 46:13; 48:9-11; Rom
9:4. You only have My covenant promises, Rom 9:4. You only are my
firstborn sons, Ex 4:22-23; 11; 12; 13; Heb 12:23.
Therefore, you only am I
chastening (training) and qualifying for the firstborn sonship of
Christ. Israel only....., and the church has been grafted into
that elect stock of Abraham. The training and qualifying are the
same, and only those who continue believing into Christ and
thereby overcome in this severe godly training were predestined
to be God's elect firstborn sons before creation began, Heb
Israel is the only nation of people which God "foreknew" as His "elect" people, His covenant people,
therefore He chastens them with covenant disciplinary training,
Heb 12:1-17. Christ is the Jew, the Seed of Abraham, and those
who are in the body of Christ, are thereby grafted into the stock
of Israel. As believing Gentiles, with true heart circumcision,
Rom 2:28-29; Col 2:11-12, we are counted as true seed of Abraham,
Gal 3:27-29; Rom 2:28-29; 11:11-22. When a church member must be
scripturally excluded from a true local church, even if he is a
Jew, he becomes as a Gentile, no longer a Jew, before God, Mt
18:15-18; Rom 2:28-29; 11:11-22.
fullness of the Gentiles" is nearly over, and God
will graft those tame, cultured, olive branches back into their
national covenant "elect"
position. God has not permanently cast
away His covenant elect people whom He "foreknew." Since God is not governed by
time, He has already experienced them, known them beforehand, as
His firstborn sons possessing the fullness of deity, Ex 4:22-23;
Amo 3:2; Rom 8:23-30; 9:24-33; Heb 12:23 (1-29); Eph 2:10-22;
ELECTION OF GRACE
"'LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down
Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life'?
4 "But what does the
divine response say to him? "I have reserved for Myself
seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.'
5 "Even so then, at this
present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace," Rom 11:3-5.
God predestined that His
elect, covenant people repent,
believe, and continue believing into
the body of Christ by grace through faith. That is precisely what
we see in Romans 11. Election is not
unconditional: conversely, though Christ was God's
predestined, elect, Chief Corner Stone, it was necessary that He
learn obedience by suffering – though He was the Son of God in a
human body, He had to "learn obedience
by the things He suffered," Heb 5:9. The Father did
not make Christ do this; rather, as Christ always chose to do the
will of the Father, He also chose to learn obedience by the
things He suffered because it was the will of the Father, Phi
2:6-8; Mt 26:39-45; Jn 10:17-18;Heb 5:7; 12:2-3. And God's
elect people, in the same way, must faithfully endure the
covenant disciplinary training in order to qualify to be
God's elect, Heb 5:8-9; 12:1-29; Rom 8:6,13,17-30.
We are by birth slaves of sin
and are utterly unable to exercise our will in a Godward way.
However, God brings our mind, heart or will, to the place where
we, "by grace through
faith," are able to exercise our will and choose to
do His will and obey Him. Only those who, "by grace through faith," continue
believing into Christ, into the body of Christ, and endure
God's disciplinary training (hold fast to the end), are the
ones whom God "foreknew" in
the beginning as His firstborn sons. The unfaithful saved have
been predestined to be mere flesh sons – God's flesh sons in
mere human bodies, not God's firstborn sons in divine bodies,
Amo 3:1-2; Gal 4:21 thru 5:5; Rom 8:23-30; Heb 5:8-9;
FLESH WORKS VERSUS FAITH WORKS
"And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise
grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer
grace; otherwise work is no longer work," Rom
Observe that we are making a
brief run-through of Rom 11. God does not accept works of
righteousness which we, in our flesh,
have done, Rom 9:30 thru 10:3; Ti 3:5.
"But we are all like an unclean thing,
and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; we all
fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us
away," Isa 64:6.
major requirement of the Law Covenant was that all those
under the Law Covenant were required to keep all the commandments
of that covenant perfectly; which thing, of course, no one could
do. But they were required to try to keep the Law perfectly every
day of their life. The result was the curse, the condemnation,
the death sentence, the wrath of God, slavery, etc., which the
Law Covenant pronounced upon every Law-breaker.
However, the second major requirement of the Law Covenant
was that the Law-breaker must bring a prescribed animal sacrifice
which died, was sacrificed, in the Law-breaker's place. There
were Israelites who did not understand the curse and
condemnation, nor the meaning of the animal sacrifices. However,
without full explanation here, we will simply state that when the
believing Israelite obeyed by faith,
his heart was counted as circumcised, and his "faith" was counted as faith-obedience,
or faith works, and not flesh works.
The Israelites under the Law
Covenant were daily and constantly required to perform
"flesh works," yet on the
basis of their faith, their sins
,broken laws, were forgiven and their faith works of obedience
were constantly counted, credited, as righteous works –
not a "once-for-all" justification, but true
Biblical progressive justification that will be canceled out if
we stop believing into Christ's firstborn sonship, Rom 2; 9;
10; 11; Eze 3:20; 18:24; 33:12-13.
True scriptural justification
depends on a daily walking in the steps of the faith of Abraham,
Rom 4:11-25. This is how Zacharias and Elizabeth, with
circumcised hearts, were credited as "walking in all the commandments and ordinances of
the Lord blameless," Lk 1:5-6.
Though all our
righteousnesses are as filthy rags, there have nevertheless
always been "good works" or
"faith works," which God
will accept, and which He has commanded that we must "walk in them:"
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for
good works, which God prepared
beforehand that we should walk in them," Eph 2:10;
Here are "good works," and we are to constantly
walk in them. "By faith Abel
offered..." "By faith Enoch
walked..." "By faith Noah built..."
"By faith Abraham obeyed..." "By
faith" this honor roll of the faithful of the Old
Testament saints performed a host of "good works" which were acceptable to
God, and they were justified by these "faith works," because the works were
"of faith," Heb 11. All of
these were "believing into
Christ" by their animal sacrifices which portrayed
Christ, and by their:
"Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the
treasures in Egypt (the world); for he
looked to the reward," Heb 11:26.
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may
see your good works and glorify your
Father in heaven," Mt 5:16.
"This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to
affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be
careful to maintain good works. These
things are good and profitable to men," Ti 3:8.
OUR WORKS VERSUS GRACE WORKS
"But by the grace of God I am
what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but
I labored more abundantly than they all, yet
not I, but the GRACE of God which was with
me," 1Co 15:10.
Paul labored more abundantly than all the apostles, yet
it was not Paul, but the grace of God by which he labored. These
labors, works, of Paul included everything he did – "by the grace of God I am what I am."
However, it was all by faith, and furthermore, it was the Holy
Spirit using Paul's spirit, or mind, and body.
"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in
my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and
13 "For it is God who is constantly working in
you both to be willing and to be doing for His good
pleasure," Phi 2:12-13.
The Philippians were to work
out their own salvation, salvation of their lives, but it would
be the Spirit of God working in and through them.
"But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or
what you should speak. For it will be
given to you in that hour what
you should speak;
20 "For it is
not you who speak, but the Spirit of
your Father who speaks in you," Mt 10:19-20.
There is no spiritual gift
indicated here. The Holy Spirit uses our minds and our bodies in
the process of performing all the works of the Great Commission,
Mt 28:18-20. See also other passages which state that our faith
works ,good works, are the working of the Holy Spirit in and
through us, therefore they are "by grace
through faith" works, Heb 4:16; 11:1-39; 12:28; 1Pe
4:10; 2Co 12:9-10.
THE REST WERE BLINDED
We now come
back to Rom 11 which emphasizes the election and those who fail
to make their calling and election sure.
"What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but
the elect have obtained it, and the
rest were blinded," Rom 11:7.
The Scriptures are here, as
we will see shortly, speaking of believing, saved, Israelites who
were trusting in their own flesh works as they pursued the
righteousness promised in the covenants, Rom 9:30 thru 10:3.
Today we have many saved and scripturally baptized church members
who are unaware that they are doing this very thing. When we have
labored hard together with good brethren for twenty, thirty, or
more years, then see them turn their back on the truth and on
their pastor or other preacher brethren, we recognize precisely
what the apostle Peter meant when he wrote:
"As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these
things, in which are some things hard to understand, which
untaught and unstable people twist to their
own destruction, as they do also the rest of the
17 "You therefore, beloved, since you know this
beforehand, beware lest you also fall
from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the
wicked," 2Pe 3:16-17.
These people to whom Peter
wrote were saved, scripturally baptized church members, just as
those of the church in Laodicea, whom the Lord would vomit out of
Himself, Rev 3:14-21. See also 1Co 9:27 thru 10:12; Heb 3:6-19;
6:4-8; 10:25-31; 1Ti 1:19-20; Jn 15:1-6; et al. This can
certainly happen. Obviously true churches have been spewed out of
the Lord's mouth, after which they are no longer "in Christ," in the body of Christ, no
longer in the election, and no longer in the firstborn
"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he
fall," 1Co 10:12.
Paul was well aware of this
imminent hazard, and feared greatly lest he also become
disapproved and rejected, 1Co 9:23-27. This genuine fear caused
the apostle to write the next twelve verses as a stern warning to
the Corinthians, which is also applicable to all the Lord's
churches, 1Co 10:1-12.
Israel, who are God's
elect by covenant grace, failed because they sought to establish
their own righteousness by their own works, which canceled out
God's righteousness which is by grace through faith works,
Rom 9:30 thru 10:4.
TRAPS, SNARES, STUMBLING BLOCKS
"Just as it is written: ‘God has given them a spirit of
stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should
not hear, to this very day.'
9 "And David says: ‘Let
their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a
recompense to them.'
10 "Let their eyes be
darkened, so that they do not see, and bow down their back
always,'" Rom 11:8-10.
The Bible was written and
given to God's covenant people, Deu 4:7-8; 29:29; Ps 103:7;
147:19-20; Rom 3:1-2; Eph 3:10; Rev 1:11; 22:16, and was written
to provide an all-sufficient rule of faith and practice for the
covenant people, 2Ti 3:15-17. The Bible also describes again and
again how the covenant people made shipwreck of faith by
rebellion, 1Co 10:1-12; Heb 3:7-10, by turning aside to idolatry
(Judges thru Nehemiah), and by twisting of God's Word to form
a comfortable religious feeling, Mt 23; Rom 10:1-3. That appears
to be where we are again just before the Lord returns, Mt
7:21-27; 24:12-13,36-51; 25:5; 2Ti 3:11-5; Rev 3:16-20.
The snare, the trap, the
stumbling block pertains to blindness of the eyes, dullness of
the ears, and hardness of the heart. We are convinced we are
right in our theology. We are positive we are upright in our
preaching and conduct. But the truth is we "do not know that you (we) are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and
naked," Rev 3:17.
ELECTION TAKEN FROM ISRAEL TEMPORARILY
11 ‘I say
then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not!
But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation
has come to the Gentiles.
12 Now if their fall is
riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles,
how much more their fullness!
13 For I speak to you
Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify
14 "If by any means I
may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of
15 "For if their being
cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their
acceptance be but life from the dead?" Rom
May the Lord help us to
understand that the subject is election, and that the elect
people were genuine believers in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob, but were staunchly and stubbornly set in their seeking to
establish their own righteousness by their flesh works, rather
than submitting to the righteousness of God by walking by faith,
The salvation of Rom 10:1 and
11:11 is not salvation from hell, but salvation of the
"life," which Jesus
emphasized so very much, Mt 5:22,29,30 (Gehenna is not hades or
hell); 10:22,28; 16:24-27; 18:1-35;19:16-30; 24:12-13,36-51;
THE ELECT PEOPLE FELL FROM GRACE
"And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being
a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them
became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive
tree," Rom 11:17.
These branches of the
cultured olive tree were "cut
off," just as the branches of the Vine were warned
would happen to them if they did not continue believing into
Christ, Jn 15:1-11. The branches of the olive tree were partaking
of the root and fatness of the olive tree, just as the apostles
were called branches of the Vine and were partaking of the life
of the Vine, Jn 15:1-11. The high priest still prophesied by the
Holy Spirit, Jn 11:50-51. Saved and scripturally baptized church
members and preachers can do some very wicked things. Sometimes
they end up repenting as David did, and some times they are
"cut off" out of the
election as has happened to many in Israel and in the church.
These were disqualified from being partakers of Christ, were
separated from Christ, 1Co 9:23 thru 10:12; Heb 3:6-19; 1Ti
1:19-20; Heb 6:4-8; 10:25-31; 12:15-17; 2Pe 1:5-10; 3:16-17.
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has
made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of
2 "Indeed I, Paul, say
to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.
3 "And I testify again
to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep
the whole law.
4 "You have become estranged (Severed,
Christ, you who attempt to be justified by Law; you have
fallen from grace," Gal 5:1-4.
The Galatian churches were
among God's elect people, yet the Holy Spirit through Paul
was warning them that in spite of their election status, if they
persisted in trying to keep the Law Covenant along with the New
Covenant they would be cut off (severed, ineffective) from
This certainly means they
would fail to make their calling and election sure. We must
recognize that election is predestined by God to be conditioned
on a faithful and daily "by grace
through faith" walk of life, Mt 5:9,44-45; 12:46-50;
Jn 3:1-18; Rom 8:13-30; 9:4,8,24-33; 2Co 6:14-18; Ti 3:5; Heb
12:1-23; 1Pe 1:3-9; 1Jn 2:23 thru 5:13; Rev 21:7. God has,
however, predestined the unfaithful
saved to be slave sons of the flesh, Gal 4:19-31; 5:1-5; Heb
5:8-9; 12:8,15-17; et al.
ONLY ONE ELECT PEOPLE
17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you,
being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with
them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive
tree," Rom 11:17.
As a nation the elect people
fell out of the election because they made shipwreck of faith,
Rom 11:11-20, and those in the body of Christ were grafted in
"among them" – into the
same olive tree. And it will be the same olive tree into which
the believing part of the nation of Israel will be grafted back
in when Christ returns, Rom 11:24-33.
Why is the whole of the Old
Testament given to God's dealings with Israel? Because Israel
is God's elect people, Amo 3:1-2; Isa 43 thru 55; Rom
2:28-29; 11; Gal 3:6-9,13,29; Eph 2:11-22. God does not have two
elect peoples, and He does not have two firstborn sonships. Both
Israel and the church are called God's firstborn sons, Ex
4:23-24; 12:1-50; Heb 12:1-23. Israel and the church are
predestined to be one and the same in the purpose of God; and
according to Heb 11, God has predestined all the faithful
covenant people of all ages to be the bride of Christ and inherit
the heavenly Jerusalem in the ages to come, Rev 21. However,
there will be nations of non-covenant sons, Gal 4:19-31; 5:1-4;
Heb 12:8,15-27, who will populate the new earth, Rev 21:23-26;
The church has been grafted
into Israel's elect position, and
though Israel as a faithful nation will be grafted back into
their elect position when Christ returns, Rom 11:23-32, the
church as an institution will not be cut off from the election.
Compare Isa 54:1 and context with Gal 4:30 and context, and
observe that the faithful in Israel and the faithful in the
church are predestined to be one and the same bride people. That
is obviously what we see in Rom 11; Heb 3; 11; 12; et al.
As we study Gal 3, Heb 3, and
11 with the many similar passages dealing with the cardinal
doctrines of the Bible, especially the covenant promises of
all the covenants, we will recognize
that they all lead to the divine oneness with the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Spirit for all the faithful covenant people
from Adam on through the seventh millennium.
The olive branches that were
broken off were not unsaved people. They were believers just like
we are, but who made shipwreck of faith as we are solemnly and
repeatedly warned not to do. However, we will continue to show
that we also can fall and thereby be cut off out of the election
,from the firstborn sonship, even though we are now scripturally
standing within that holy "calling."
These olive branches were
properly in the olive tree, just as we have been scripturally
grafted into the cultured, covenant, olive tree. These branches
were properly in the olive tree. They were believers in the God
of Abraham, but were seeking to establish their own
righteousness. They were properly in the election, but made
shipwreck of faith and fell out of that holy calling. We are
warned of this snare, trap, or stumbling block again and again,
Jn 15:1-6; Rom 11:11-22; 1Co 9:27 thru 10:12; Gal 4:21 thru 5:5;
1Ti 1:18-20; Heb 3:6-19; 6:4-8; 10:25-31; 12:1-29; 2Pe 1:5-10;
3:16-17; 2Jn 9; Rev 3:14-20; et al.
THESE WERE SAVED COVENANT PEOPLE
The Jews in
the time of Christ were believers in God, and therefore saved as
we normally use the word "saved." However, they were missing the
mark with regard to covenant salvation. We hope to have
considerable to write on saved people outside the church and
outside the covenants after we finish these writings on the
firstborn sonship of Christ.
were the olive branches broken off?
rejection of Israel as a nation obviously took place over a
period of time, beginning with the baptism of John, we could say
it began in Isa 6:9-12. John refused to baptize the leaders of
the Jews Mt 3:7-12, and this was the beginning phase of the
rejection of Israel as a nation, as well as the beginning of
Israel's rejection of Christ and the New Covenant. The
crucifixion of Christ by the nation was the climax of the
national rejection of Christ, and was equally God's rejection
of Israel as a nation in favorable covenant standing. Israel, as
the covenant nation, is now under bitter covenant punishment,
with the church grafted into the covenant stock of Abraham. The
breaking off of the olive tree branches continued after the
crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.
Baptized Disciples Who Forsook Christ.
"From that time many of His disciples went back and walked
with Him no more," Jn 6:66.
These were obviously saved
and baptized disciples, who, like many today, were not able to
endure "sound doctrine" – "the
doctrine of Christ," 1Jn 9-11; 2Ti 4:3-4; Jn 8:30-32.
Many Landmark Baptists today are converting to and are accepting
the pseudo universal church theory, which says that all believers
are in the body and bride of Christ.
Believers Who Were Afraid of Religious Powers That Be.
"Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him,
but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they
should be put out of the synagogue;
43 "For they loved the
praise of men more than the praise of God," Jn
Nicodemus (Jn 3) and Joseph
Arimathea (Jn 19:38) were among these, but appear to have
improved later. However, there obviously were some like this who
believed but did not confess Christ publicly. See below.
Thousands Were Baptized by John and Jesus, Mt 3:5-6; Mk 1:4-5; Jn
Jesus baptized many thousands of people according to the passages
indicated above. What happened to all of them? Only about one
hundred twenty received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost,
QUESTIONS AND WORK TASKS FOR CHAPTER TWO
1. Write fully the
dictionary definition of a metaphor.
2. Give metaphors in writing of
Christ, of the church, of church members, of Satan, and of false
prophets and Christians.
3. Memorize and explain Rom 4:17.
4. Demonstrate by giving examples of
why the church is called the body of Christ in 1Co 12:12-27.
5. The body of Christ was represented
in various ways in the Old Testament. Give examples.
6. Partaking of Christ and becoming
"one" with Christ was
represented in various ways in the Old Testament. Give
7. Define the crucifixion cycle
beginning with the church as the body of Christ.
8. All the fullness of the Godhead
dwells in the body of Christ, Col 2:9. Compare the fullness of
God in the church as the body of Christ, in the light of Eph
1:22-23; 3:19; 5:31-32; Jn 10:303-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23.
9. Amos 3:2 says, "You only have I known of all the families of the
earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your
10. Show how election is the subject
throughout Rom 11. Compare with Rom 8:28-30.
11. Define the difference between
flesh works (Law works, our works) on the one hand and grace
works (faith works, good works) on the other hand. Use Rom 11:6;
4:4-5; Ja 2:18-26; 1Co 15:10; Phi 2:12-13; Mt 10:19-20; Heb 4:16;
12:28; 1Pe 4:10.
12. Saved covenant people have been
and can be cut off out of the election according to Rom 11:11-22.
Summarize this passage.
13. Saved covenant people have and can
fail to make their calling and election sure according to 2Pe
1:5-10. Define how they fail.
14. Saved covenant people have and can
forfeit the benefits of Christ as the covenant High Priest
according to Gal 5:2 and Jn 15:1-6. Describe how covenant
benefits are forfeited from these passages.
15. Saved covenant people have and can
fall from grace according to Gal 4:21 thru 5:4. Explain from this
passage and others how saved church members fall from grace.
16. Saved covenant people have and can
make shipwreck of faith according to 1Ti 1:19-20 and 2Pe 3:16-17.
Extrapolate how saved covenant people make shipwreck of faith,
and clearly indicate the consequences.