Firstborn Sonship of Christ
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST
chapter will address the Gospel of Christ, and will emphasize the
resurrection birth of Christ as the
blessed hope of those who qualify by grace through faith for the
firstborn sonship of Christ. This resurrection birth of the
faithful covenant people will be an instantaneous meta-morphosis
of the body, and spirit, into the exact likeness of the divine
resurrection birth of the body of Christ, Phi 3:21; Col 2:9-10;
I DECLARE TO YOU THE GOSPEL
"Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the Gospel which I
preached to you, which also you received and in which you
2 "By which also you are
being saved, if you are holding fast that word which I preached
to you – unless you believed in vain," 1Co
"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the
power of God into salvation to everyone who is constantly
believing, to the Jew first and also for the Greek.
17 "For in it the
righteousness of God is being revealed from faith to faith; as it
is written, ‘The righteous one shall live out of
faith,'" Rom 1:16-17.
"And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which
is from the Law, but that which is by means the faith of Christ,
the out of God righteousness based upon the faith,"
A definition of the Gospel
1. The Fall of Man Into a State of Sin and
of sin and death and its eternal punishment is the occasion for
the need of salvation. Adam's sin has given birth to
countless numbers of every kind of sin beyond human imagination,
Gen 2 & 3; Rom 1:21-32.
2. The Inability of Man to Save, Redeem,
nature is incurable. We can control our sin nature to some
extent, but to eradicate the sin nature or give birth to children
without the sin nature is beyond the reach of mankind, Job 14:4;
Jer 10:23; 13:23.
3. The Virgin Birth of the Messiah.
Scriptures reveal that Christ was born without the sin nature by
being born of a virgin, Isa 7:14; Mt 1:2, which God was able to
do by His infinite knowledge and power. Immediately after Adam
sinned, God promised that the Seed of the woman would perform the
necessary work of redemption as previously planned for the
purpose of demonstrating His love, compassion, mercy,
forbearance, justice, etc., Gen 3:15; Rom 9:22-23.
4. The Sinless Life of the Messiah.
To live a
sinless life, Christ first had to be born of a virgin; but He
still had to live a normal human life without sin, "without blemish," in order to be
man's substitute in God's redemption purpose. God
purposed that Christ, the Son of God: 1) be born into the human family and become
"one" with mankind, Phi
2:6-11; 2) demonstrate His divine
attributes of love, compassion, mercy, forbearance, justice,
faithfulness, etc., toward sinful human beings, Rom 9:22-23; and
3) bring a great host of mankind into
a divine "oneness" state of
being with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Jn 17:21-23;
5. The Earthly Ministry of the Messiah.
Testament prophesied that the Messiah would have a personal
ministry in which He would 1) be
ordained after the pattern of Aaron's ordination, Lev 8; Isa
42:1; 61:1; Mt 3:13-17, but His priesthood would be after the
order of Melchizedek's priesthood, Heb 7; 2) perform many mighty works which would aid to
authenticate His Messiahship, Isa 42 thru 53; 61:1-3; Act 2:2,
3) establish the local church as an
agency for grafting Gentiles into Israel as the covenant nation,
Rom 11:11-32; 1Pe 2:5,9), 4) confirm
the New Covenant with Israel, required by the new priesthood, Ps
110:1-4; Jer 31:31-34; Heb 5:10; 7; 9:16-17, and 5) offer Himself as the sin offering under the New
Covenant, Heb 9:11-26.
6. Death, Burial, and Resurrection of the
This is the
heart of the Gospel and includes all the Scriptures, which
present the Gospel in prophetic utterances and various types. For
instance, 1) circumcision, as in
baptism, represented the "circumcision
of Christ," Col 2:11-13; Rom 2:28-29; 2) the Passover, as in the Lord's Supper,
represented the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, 1Co
5:7; 11:23-29; 3) eating the
sacrifices, unleavened bread, and showbread represented the
death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and His faithful
covenant people; and 4) the Gospel was
preached beforehand to Abraham in progressive justification, Gen
15:6; Rom 4; Ja 2:17-25, where God's divine righteousness was
and is credited to the faithful covenant people to be literally
received in a divine birth when Christ returns, Rom 4:22-25; 2Co
5:21; Phi 3:9-11; Rev 19:7-8; et al.
7. The Current Heavenly Ministry of the
seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, interceding for
the faithful covenant people. He is interceding only for the
twelve tribes of Israel whose names were on the breastplate and
on the two onyx stones, which are also represented by the twelve
loaves of showbread, Ex 28; Lev 24:5-9. The twelve tribes include
the engrafted Gentiles, Rom 2:28-29; 11:11-22; Eph 2:10-16. The
unfaithful covenant people are cut off from Christ, and therefore
from the covenants, and will receive no intercessions from Christ
as High Priest after once being cut off, Jn 15:1-6; Gal 4:21 thru
8. Covenant Disciplinary Training of the
covenant discipline as mentioned in Heb 12 and throughout the
Scriptures is necessary in order to qualify for the "life," "Holiness," and
"righteousness" of God, Heb
12:9-11. Observe that we must "seek" God's righteousness, Mt 6:33;
et al, and grace must reign through righteousness into divine
life, Rom 5:21; 6:22-23; 8:6,13, 23-25. If we do not overcome by
grace through faith, we will not be partakers of Christ, Heb 3:14
(6-19). If we walk after the flesh, Christ will intercede for us,
but if we continue and persist in walking after the flesh, we
will be cut off from Christ, His intercessions, and all benefits
within the covenants.
9. The Return of Christ.
is not only the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, but
includes the life, death, burial, and resurrection of the
faithful covenant people together with Christ. This is precisely
what 1Co 15:1-4,29-58 teaches. We will emphasize that the Gospel
also includes the virgin birth and the sinless, tested, and
approved life of Christ. Furthermore, the Gospel also requires
the same tested and approved (dokimos)
life of the faithful covenant people – though we are all sinners,
1Co 15:1-2,29-58; Rom 1:16-17.
10. Eternal Judgment.
also requires eternal punishment for all the unfaithful saved as
well as the unsaved. This is seen generally in many scriptures,
Rom 1:16-32; 2:16 (1-29); Mt 13:25; Jn 15:1-6, but there will be
"nations" of saved people on
the new earth, Rev 21:24,26; 22:2. The Millennium is a day, a
thousand years, of "sabbath
rest" for the faithful covenant people, Gen 2:1-3; Ex
20:8-11; Isa 11:10 (1-10); Rom 8:19-22; Heb 4:1-1; however, the
Millennium will be one of punishment for the nations of
unfaithful saved people, Isa 66:24; Mt 5:22,29-30; 10:28; 18:8-9;
25:31-46; Mk 9:42-50; et al. This punishment will have its
eternal application – see later study on Gehenna.
1Co 15 is not only the
resurrection chapter of the Bible, it is also the Gospel chapter
of the Bible. It does not give all of the details of the Gospel,
but emphasizes the heart and divine essence of the Gospel. The
Gospel is the good news of salvation not only from hell, but also
of salvation into a unique and divine state of oneness with the
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
11. The Gospel Provides for the Salvation of
Many Nations of Servant Sons.
"For since by man came death, by Man also came the
resurrection of the dead.
22 "For as in Adam all
die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive," 1Co
15:21-22; 1Jn 2:2; Jn 3:16; Rev 21:23-26; 22:1-2; Gal 4:21-31;
5:1-4; Heb 12:8.
From here we reflect back to
God's initial purpose in the creation of all things.
"What if God, willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make
His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of
wrath prepared for destruction,
23 "And that He might
make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which
He had prepared beforehand for glory," Rom 9:22-23.
See also Act 2:23; Eph 1:4-5,11; 1Pe 1:18-20.
God was willing to
demonstrate the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy and
His wrath on the vessels of wrath. God had already prepared wrath
to demonstrate His power and justice upon fallen angels obviously
before He created them, Rom 9:22-23; 2Pe 2:4; Jude 6. And before
He created man, God had already prepared wrath to reveal His
power and justice upon the unsaved and upon the unfaithful saved
with whom He is demonstrating His forbearance, Eph 1:11; 2Ti 1:9;
1Pe 1:18-20; 2Pe 2:4-10.
Likewise, God had purposed
beforehand to demonstrate His mercy upon the vessels of mercy,
whom He had prepared for glory as firstborn sons together with
Christ. Christ was as a Lamb slain before and from the foundation
of the world, and the names of the saints were already written in
the book of life, Act 2:23; Eph 1:4-5; 1Pe 1:18-20; Rev 13:8; et
Attention will be called
again and again to the very important allegory of Abraham, Sarah,
Hagar, Ishmael, and Isaac, Gal 4:19-31, and the profound
application of the allegory, Gal 5:4. See also Heb 12. We must
not disregard the allegory and its direct application to the
churches of Galatia; which, in turn, requires its application to
all the Lord's churches everywhere throughout the church age.
We hope to give ample coverage of the nations and the unfaithful
saved in a later study on Gehenna.
12. The Gospel Provides for the Salvation of
the Material Universe.
"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the
world, but that the world through Him might be
saved," Jn 3:17.
"For the earnest expectation of the creation is eagerly
waiting for the revealing of the sons of God.
20 "For the creation was
subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who
subjected it in hope;
21 "Because the creation
itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into
the liberty of the glory of the children of God.
22 "For we know that the
whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until
now," Rom 8:19-22; Mt 19:28.
A curse was placed upon the
earth and on the material universe when Adam sinned, Gen 3:17-19.
The creation is personified here as eagerly waiting for the
liberty of the glory of the firstborn sons of God. The birthright
of the firstborn provided for not only "the dew of heaven and the fatness of the
earth," Gen 27:27-28, but also for the inheritance
and rulership over all creation, including the angels, Ps 8:3-6;
Heb 1:2,14; 2:5-13; Rom 4:13; 8:17,32; 1Co 3:21-23. Adam had this
promised to him, without the curse, before he sinned, Gen
1:26-30, which promise obviously would have been realized had he
eaten the fruit of the tree of life, Gen 2.
The Gospel provides for the
faithful covenant people to share Christ's firstborn sonship
and to inherit all things together with Him, Rom 4:13; 8:17,32;
1Co 3:21-23. The most important part of that inheritance,
infinitely so, is the fullness of God; that is, all the
attributes of the divine nature, Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; Col 1:19;
2:9-10; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23, with the exception of
infinity in any of them.
13. The Gospel Requires the Firstborn Sons to
Hold Fast to the End in Order to Qualify for the Firstborn
"Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the Gospel which I
preached to you, which also you received and in which you
2 "By which also
you are being saved, IF you are holding
fast that word which I preached to you – unless you
believed in vain.
3 "For I delivered to
you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for
our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 "And that He was
buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the
Scriptures," 1Co 15:1-4.
The briefest statement of the
Gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ; which,
however, requires the whole Bible to provide the whys and
wherefores concerning the virgin birth, sinless life, personal
ministry, death, burial, and resurrection birth of Christ. This
chapter, 1Co 15, deals primarily with three major factors within
the Gospel: a) the death, burial, and
resurrection of Christ and of all mankind, b) the requirement of holding fast to the end to
qualify for the firstborn sonship, and c) the specific divine nature of the new birth
resurrection of Christ.
The first half of the
chapter, 1Cor 15, concerns the necessity of the resurrection of
Christ, and that there will be a resurrection of all mankind in
14. The Gospel Provides for a New Earth in
Which Righteousness Is Dwelling.
"Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new
heavens and a new earth in which righteousness
dwells," 2Pe 3:13.
The new heavens and new earth
are also mentioned in Isa 65:17; 66:22; and Rev 21:1. The curse
God placed on the earth in Gen 3:17-19 will be removed during the
Millennial reign of Christ, Isa 11:1-10; 65:25; Rom 8:18-22.
Christ will give the earth "rest,"
"and His rest will be glorious," Isa 65:10; Rom
8:18-22. If the new earth after the Millennium should be a lake
of fire, with sin, death, hell, the devil, fallen angelic demons,
and all the defiant, idolatrous, and unrepentant sinners of all
ages surrounding the New Jerusalem and populating the new earth,
that would be terrible regression rather than a progressive
renovation or creation into a new, better, peaceful, and
righteous state of existence for the new earth. More on this in a
later study on Gehenna.
YOU ARE BEING SAVED, IF YOU ARE HOLDING FAST
"Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the Gospel which I preached to you, which also
you received and in which you have stood,
2 "By which (Gospel) also
you are being saved, IF you are holding fast that word
which I preached to you – unless you believed in
These words were written to
the church in Corinth – to saved and properly baptized church
members. For the past few centuries we have heard the security of
the believer preached in such a way that the saved person has no
need for working out his salvation with fear and trembling.
However, Paul boldly states that the Gospel, the salvation of
this chapter, 1Co 15, is a lifetime process of holding fast by
grace through faith, 1Co 15:10. This Gospel salvation is a divine
birth of this flesh body into a divine, heavenly, spirit body,
1Co 15:44-54, which birth is for the faithful covenant people
Paul pleaded with the
Corinthians and firmly warned them that they must continue
holding fast to the doctrine of Christ,the Gospel, specifically,
the resurrection in this case, 1Co 15:1-2. See also 2Jn 9-11, in
order to qualify for the new birth when Christ returns, 1Co
15:1-2,29-58; Phi 3:7-14,21; 1Pe 1:3-9.
UNLESS YOU HAVE BELIEVED IN VAIN
"Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the Gospel which I
preached to you, which also you received and
in which you stand,
2 "By which also you are
being saved, IF you are holding fast that word which I preached
to you - unless you believed in
vain," 1Co 15:2.
"Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so
you believed," 1Co 15:11.
Verse 1 says the Corinthians
had received the Gospel and had stood fast in the Gospel. And
verse 11 says the Corinthians had
believed. Paul had initially preached to them, they had
believed, were properly baptized, and had stood fast in the
Gospel, though they were now in great danger. And if they should
make shipwreck of faith, 1Ti 1:18-20, then their believing and
standing fast in the Lord so far would be in vain. All their
"by grace through faith"
righteous works would be wiped out and would not be remembered
before God, Eze 3:20; 18:24; 33:12-13; 2Jn 8; Rev 3:11.
BAPTIZED FOR THE DEAD
"Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead,
if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for
30 "And why do we stand
in jeopardy every hour?
31 "I affirm, by the
boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die
32 "If, in the manner of
men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it
to me? If the dead do not rise, ‘Let us eat and drink, for
tomorrow we die!'
33 "Do not be deceived:
‘Evil company corrupts good habits.'
34 "Awake to
righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge
of God. I speak this to your shame," 1Co
Baptism pictures, therefore,
preaches, the resurrection of the dead – in Adam all of mankind
die, in Christ, by means of Christ's death and resurrection,
all mankind will be raised and judged, 1Co 15:22. In baptism we
accepted God's covenant, the New Covenant, and vowed to live
according to the doctrine of Christ. We will thereby endeavor to
daily bear about in our bodies the dying of Christ that the life
of Christ may be manifest in our daily lives. This is done in
order to be raised in His likeness of His resurrection, Rom 6:5;
2Co 3:18; 4:7-12; Phi 3:7-14,21.
One's faithfulness is
determined by His "faith
works" while he is alive in this life. Our prayers,
our sacrificial service, our example, and our working on behalf
of someone else will be used by the Holy Spirit to convince and
inspire others only as long as they are alive. Once they die,
their destiny is settled, and there is nothing we can do to help
them. Only while they still live, our prayers, example, etc.,
will be used by the Holy Spirit to aid them toward repentance,
faithful service, and greater faithfulness all around.
Furthermore, no prayers or efforts by those who are already dead
will help those who are still alive, Lk 16:19-31. Our destiny and
eternal state of being is determined by what we do in this life
Therefore, this whole
context, 1Co 15, goes together with "baptizing for the dead," and obviously
has its application to the new birth resurrection of our bodies
into a divine state of being when Christ returns; that is, if we
are fervent and faithful within the Gospel in this life. Standing
in jeopardy every hour, dying daily to our old man, fighting a
good fight of faith, evil company corrupts good habits, awake to
righteousness and do not sin, some do not have proper knowledge
of the Gospel – these expressions, of course, must be associated
with being "baptized for the
dead." All these are done in view of the hope and
assurance of the resurrection of the dead and the divine benefits
promised to those who believe and obey, Heb 11.
The expression "all in all," 1Co 15:28, appears to be
the immediate cause for the "baptized
for the dead" context that follows, 1Co 15:29-34.
Observe that the expressions, "all in
all," "the firstborn from the dead," "the
fullness of God," and "the
fullness of deity" are associated with the head or
authority over all of God's creation, Eph 1:20-23; Col
1:15-19; 2:9-10; Rev 1:5, as we see in the previous verses of 1Co
The heart of 1Co 15 is both
the resurrection birth of Christ and our standing fast in the
Gospel in order to qualify for the resurrection birth into the
likeness of Christ's deified human body, 1Co 15; Phi
3:7-14,21; 2Co 3:17-18; 4:7-12,17; Col 2:9 thru 3:10. We will
continue to show that this is obviously the theme of 1Co 15, of
the Gospel, of the New Testament, and also of the Old Testament.
The resurrection birth of Christ's human body is the grand
finale of all the sacred Scriptures – this is the Gospel of the
Son of God, who is still also the Son of Man, Dan 7:13-14; Mt
16:27-28; 19:28; 26:64; Mk 14:62; et al.
This should aid to introduce
the subject of baptism which symbolically and metaphorically puts the believer into the church,
into the body of Christ, into the crucified, dead, buried,
raised, and deified state of Christ's glorified body, Rom
6:2-13; 1Co 12:12-13; Gal 3:27; Col 2:9-21; 3:1-10. This puts the
faithful covenant people into the position of qualifying for the
firstborn sonship of Christ to rule all of God's creation
jointly with Christ. This is all a part of the Gospel.
The Gospel begins with
God's righteous will and desire to demonstrate His holy state
of being – His knowledge, power, presence, and infinite
diversity; His immeasurable love, compassion, mercy, and
forbearance; His justice, judgment, and faithfulness, Rom
So God placed a garden in
Eden and gave Adam a choice to obey or disobey. God also gave
Satan authority to tempt Adam through his beautiful wife, and
Adam sinned by choosing his wife above God's word. Eve was
deceived, but Adam was well aware of what he was doing, 1Ti 2:14.
God knew this would happen and had already prepared a Lamb slain
from and before the foundation of the world, 1Pe 1:18-20; Eph
1:4-5. God arranged this that He may demonstrate His divine
attributes of love, compassion, mercy, justice, etc., in giving
His Son, Jn 1:1-3,14,18; 3:16-17; 1Jn 4:9, and in preparing a
special people who, by His grace, choose to suffer with Christ,
Rom 8:17; 2Co 4:7-12,17; Phi 3:7-14,21.
Suffering with Christ, in
turn, is in order to be conformed to the divine image of Christ
and thereby be able to show forth God's praises, His divine
attributes, Isa 43:21; 1Pe 2:9, in all the ages to come.
God's "praises" refer
first to His attributes of deity, and then of course to His many
mighty works in creation and through the ages.
THE FIRSTBORN FROM THE DEAD
"It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
45 "And so it is
written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.' The last
Adam became a life-giving spirit.
46 However, the spiritual is
not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.
47 "The first man was of
the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from
48 "As was the man of
dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the
heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.
49 "And as we have borne
the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the
50 "Now this I say,
brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;
nor does corruption inherit incorruption," 1Co
15:44-50. See also Col 1:15,18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; Heb 1:5-6;
Christ received a mere flesh
body from Mary through the virgin birth. Christ's flesh body
could become hungry and thirsty, become tired and weak, required
rest and sleep, could bleed, be made sin, and die. The life of
that body was in the blood, as in all the descendants of the
first Adam. However, the Scriptures say there are two bodies: a
natural or mere flesh body and a spiritual or divine spirit body.
In His resurrection, Christ became the second Adam by creating
the new spirit, divine, heavenly body. The life of the new body
is in the divine nature, divine life, of God, so that Christ now
possesses a body that is both human and divine: it is still a
flesh and bone body, Lk 24:39, but it is predominantly a divine,
heavenly, spirit body, governed entirely by the divine nature,
This instant metamorphosis
change from a mere human body into a divine body with all the
divine attributes of deity in it, Col 2:9, was precisely a divine
birth of Christ's human body into a new divine spirit body,
Jn 3:1-8; 1Co 15:44-50; 1Pe 1:3-5; et al. This new birth is
symbolized in the ordinance of proper water baptism , Jn 3:5;
13:8-10; 1Co 6:11; Eph 5:26; Titus 3:5; Heb 10:22.
It is on the basis of this
metaphor, by which the church is called the deified, glorified,
body of Christ, that the church received the Holy Spirit on the
day of Pentecost, Jn 7:39; Gal 4:1-7; Rom 8:23. Observe first in
Rom 8:23 that "adoption" is
called "redemption of the
body." Observe also in these passages, Jn 7:39; Gal
4:4-5; Rom 8:23, that the church, the disciples, could not
receive the Holy Spirit until Christ was "glorified."
After Christ's body was
glorified, the church, therefore the members of the church, could
and did receive the Spirit because the bodies of the church
members were then and are now counted as crucified, dead, buried,
and raised in glory, defied, together with and as members of the
deified body of Christ. The church therefore being counted as the
glorified body of Christ, could receive the indwelling ministry
of the Holy Spirit. This is true because the Holy Spirit dwells
only with deity, only in those who are deified – analyze the
three passages carefully.
THE RESURRECTION BIRTH OF THE SAINTS
"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but
we shall all be changed,
52 "In a moment, in the
twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will
sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be
53 "For this corruptible
must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on
54 "So when this
corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on
immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is
written: ‘Death is swallowed up in
victory,'" 1Co 15:51-54.
"Who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed
to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is
able even to subdue all things to Himself," Phi
The flesh, human body of
Christ was born again when it was raised out of the grave. This
is a fact established by the Scriptures, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act
13:29-33; Heb 1:5-6; 5:5. This birth was accomplished by
Christ's human, flesh body being thoroughly imbued with the
fullness of deity, the full essence of the divine nature, in His
resurrection, 1Co 15:44-50; Col 2:9. When Christ returns, the
bodies of all the faithful covenant people will undergo a
metamorphosis from a mere human flesh body into a body fashioned
into the same fullness of deity that Christ's human, now
divine, body possesses, Phi 3:7-14, 20-21; Col 2:9 thru 3:10; 2Co
3:18; 4:7-12,17; 5:1-5,16-17; Eph 2:10-16; 4:22-24; 1:22-24;
3:19; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23.
The bodies of all the
faithful covenant people will undergo the same divine
metamorphosis in the resurrection that Christ's body
underwent in His resurrection. God is able to change our vile
bodies into the same divine image of glory that Christ's body
now possesses, Phi 3:21. Paul counted all things as loss by grace
through faith in order to gain Christ and be found in His
likeness in the better resurrection, Phi 3:7-14,21.
"Women received their dead raised to life again: and
others (men and women) were tortured,
not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better
resurrection," Heb 11:35.
CONSTANT VICTORY ONLY TO THOSE WHO HOLD FAST
"But thanks be to God, who is constantly giving us the
victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 "Therefore, my
beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in
the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in
the Lord," 1Co 15:57-58.
God is constantly giving us
the victory as we are holding fast to the words of the Gospel.
The Scriptures inform us over and over dozens of times that we
are in a training status. God through His Word, through the
covenants, is meticulously training us every moment of the day in
everything that happens to us. The training qualifies us for the
firstborn sonship of Christ, that we may inherit all creation,
even the fullness of God, jointly with Christ.
This inheritance is the
birthright of Christ who is the firstborn of God from the dead.
The resurrection birth of Christ is the heart of the Gospel. The
resurrection birth of the faithful covenant people when Christ
returns is also the heart of the Gospel. That the angels, in all
their glory and power, will be ministers of those who inherit
this resurrection new birth salvation, is a part of the Gospel
good news for God's glory and for the faithful covenant
people. The redemption of the world and many nations of servant
sons, who will not possess the divine nature, is also a part of
the Gospel of Christ.
QUESTIONS AND WORK TASKS FOR CHAPTER FOUR
1. Give a summary
definition of the Gospel, as indicated in the 10 major factors in
the beginning of this chapter. 1Co 15:1-4.
2. The Gospel applies to the entire
Christian life. Explain how this is true. 1Co 15:1-4,10,29-58;
Phi 1:27; 2:19-22; 4:3.
3. The righteousness of God is
revealed from faith to faith in the Gospel. Describe how this is
done. Rom 1:16-17.
4. Define the expression, "The just shall life by faith," Rom
5. Summarize how the Gospel provides
for the redemption of creation from the curse, Ps 2:8-12; 8:3-6;
Rom 8:19-22; Heb 2:5-8.
6. Summarize God's purpose in
creating the nations, Deu 26:16-19; Ps 2:7-12; Rev 2:26-27;
7. Paul warned saved and properly
baptized church members of believing in vain, 1Co 15:1-2. What
does it mean to "believe into Christ in
8. What is the destiny, God's
predestination, of those who truly believe into the body of
Christ, but then fall from their own steadfastness? 1Co
15:1-2,29-33; 2Pe 3:15-17; Gal 4:21 thru 5:5; 2Jn 8-11.
9. What does "baptized for the dead" mean? 1Co
10. When a flesh body is born of flesh
it is still a flesh body. But when a flesh body is born of the
Holy Spirit, it is a spirit body, Jn 3:6-8. Explain the change
from the natural body to the Divine body, 1Co 15:44-54; Phi 3:21;