Firstborn Sonship of Christ
Vol 25 No 2
The New Birth
Series Number: 16
This is article 16 for February. Each reader is encouraged to read and study each of the above articles in order. These articles are progressive in the truths they present, and will not likely be properly understood even by knowledgeable traditional brethren unless studied in the order given above.
CONDEMNATION TRADITION VERSUS SCRIPTURE
GALATIAN CHURCHES UNDER CONDEMNATION
3 "And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole Law" (Covenant), Gal 5:3.
10 "For whosoever shall keep the whole Law (Covenant), and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all," Ja 2:10.
10 "For as many as are of the works of the Law (Covenant) are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the Law (Covenant) to do them," Gal 3:10.
The book of Galatians was written because emissaries had come evidently from the Jerusalem church to the Galatian churches, and were convincing the Galatian churches that Paul's apostleship was through man and not directly from God and Christ, Gal 1:1-23. It was being taught that Paul received his gospel through the apostle Peter and James and maybe other of the first apostles (Gal 1), and not directly from Christ as the first apostles received the gospel they preached. The result of this was that Paul's gospel was being reported as incorrect, and therefore it was urged by these emissaries out of the Jerusalem church (as in Acts 15:1) that everyone must continue to keep the Law Covenant.
SEE THE WHOLE BOOK OF GALATIANS:
1. In chapter one of Galatians Paul insisted that He received his apostleship and his gospel directly from God and not from man, not from the first apostles, and not from or through the Jerusalem church. This introduces the whole book: Paul was being accused of being a second rate apostle with a second rate gospel, inferior to that of the first apostles. However, Paul emphasized that he received his gospel directly from the Lord.
The gospel of the Jerusalem church became a perverted gospel once the Law Covenant was fulfilled and set aside as the governing covenant economy. And the Jerusalem church would not accept this fact, but continued stubbornly trying to keep the Law Covenant. It will be explained in this article that trying to keep both the Law Covenant along with the New Covenant perverted the gospel of Christ and annuled both covenants. It was necessary for the Lord to take Paul out into the wilderness apart from all the others and teach him directly the pure gospel of Christ, because the gospel of the Jerusalem church was now a perverted gospel, Gal 1:11-24. Of course, Paul had to have John's baptism into a true church which he received at Damascus, Act 9:17-18; 22:12-16.
We have already observed from Acts and Galatians that the Jerusalem church was irreversible in its determination to keep both the Law Covenant and the New Covenant. Paul is urging the Galatians that this cannot be done: the Law Covenant brings everyone under its curse, condemnation, wrath, etc. The New Covenant must therefore cut off every covenant person who is unavoidably cursed, condemned, and brought under God's wrath by going back under the Law Covenant, Gal 3:10; 4:21 thru 5:4; 2Co 3:1-9.
2. In chapter two Paul recaps and gives added details of the meeting in the Jerusalem church over having to keep the Law Covenant and its required circumcision, Acts 15. Paul emphasizes the fury of the debate, and states that there were "false brethren secretly brought in (and who came by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage)," Act 15:1; Gal 4:21 thru 5:4. This was done for the specific purpose of bringing the churches back under the Law Covenant and keeping them under it.
Mark the exacerbated dissimulation in the Antioch church, where scholarly and influential leaders – very determined emissaries out of the Jerusalem church created a terrible division in the church at Antioch, over the still much alive, much strengthened, and continued persistence of the Jerusalem church on keeping the Law Covenant, Gal 2:11-14. See also Paul's continued discussion against keeping the Law Covenant, Gal 2:15-21; and all of Galatians.
3. Chapter three presents the irreconcilable contrast between the Law Covenant works which produce the curse, condemnation, wrath, slavery, etc., and the opposing "of faith," "of promise," "in Abraham," and "in Christ" works of the New Covenant, which are "by grace through faith," 1Co 15:10; Phi 2:12-13; Mt 10:19-20; Heb 4:16; 12:28. All "by faith" works are "by grace," under ALL of the covenants. The Law Covenant produced "flesh works" and "condemnation" in order to bring the covenant people to a "by faith" state of mind that they should "walk in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham," Rom 4:12-25.
The "promise" is "by grace through faith," and by grace through faith we were metaphorically baptized into the deified body of Christ where we have deliverance and freedom from the curse, condemnation, wrath, slavery, etc., of the Law Covenant, Gal 3; 4; 5:1-4.
In this way we have believed into Christ, but must continue believing into Christ (enduring the same training and humiliation Christ went through) in order to qualify for His firstborn sonship, Heb 2:9-10; 5:8-9; Heb 11 & 12. Only those who continue believing into Christ make their justification, calling, and election sure, Eze 3:20; 18:24; 33:12-13; Gal 2:16-21; 3:6-9,14; 5:1-5; 2Pe 1:4-10.
Though Christ was the 8 "Son, yet He learned obedience by the things He suffered,
9 "And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him," Heb 5:8-9. This is not salvation from hell, but covenant salvation into the firstborn sonship, for which we must hold fast to the end, Mt 10:22; 24:12-13; Jn 15:16; Rom 11:11-12; 1Co 15:1-2; Phi 3:7-14,21; Col 1:5,21-23,27; Heb 3:14; 12:1-17.
4. Chapter four emphasizes Christ's deliverance from the Law Covenant, from its curse, condemnation, wrath, and slavery sonship which has no inheritance, Gal 4:1-3,19-31. Conversely, God has metaphorically brought the New Covenant people into the firstborn sonship of Christ in a divine human body. Christ has created the "new man," a new race of Adam-kind filled with the unsearchable riches of Christ, which are the fullness of the divine nature. And the divine nature inherently requires and provides the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit as the earnest of that inheritance to be jointly shared in the firstborn sonship of Christ, Gal 4:5-7; Eph 1:22-23; 3:9,19; 4:11-24; Col 1:19; 2:9 thru 3:11; Jn 10:30-36; 17:21-23; 2Co 3:18; 4:7-12; 4:17 thru 5:5; 5:16-21.
5. Chapter five explicitly states that the New Covenant churches and church members who go back under the Law Covenant with its curse, condemnation, wrath, etc., will be cut off from Christ as High Priest of the New Covenant, Gal 5:1-4; 3:10; 4:21-31. These Law-keeping church members necessarily lose the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit who is the Administrator of the New Covenant, Gal 5:18.
Paul pleaded with the Galatians to stand fast in the freedom of the deified body of Christ, and not to be entangled again with the yoke of slavery of the mere flesh body, which is forever enslaved to the rudimentary laws of the physical universe, Gal 4:3,9,19-31; 5:1; Col 2:8 thru 3:10. Being entangled again with the yoke of bondage would cut the Galatians off from the promise of the divine nature (2Pe 1:4), promised to those within the deified body of Christ, 1Co 15:1-3; Col 1:5,21-23-27.
On the basis of the metaphor of being the deified body of Christ, we have the "earnest" of the Spirit (Gal 4:4-7) as a guarantee of receiving the same deified divine body, which is reserved in heaven in the person of Christ's deified body for those who continue "believing into Christ," Gal 5:1-5; 2Co 5:1-5; Col 1:5,21-23,27; 1Pe 1:3-11; et al. In the metaphor, we are credited as being in the Spirit or in spirit – in a deified spirit body, 1Co 15:44-50; 6:15-17; Rom 8:9. Paul told the Galatians therefore, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit," and in this way we will "sow to the Spirit," Gal 5:25 (16-26); 6:8.
6. Chapter six of Galatians reveals that those who persist in keeping the Law Covenant (Gal 6:12-13), will be sowing to the flesh rather than sowing to the Spirit (Gal 6:7-8). Keeping the Law Covenant will bring them under the curse, condemnation, and wrath of the Law Covenant, Gal 3:10; 5:3. This would, in turn, require them to be cut off from Christ, who is the High Priest of the New Covenant, and also from the Holy Spirit who is the Administrator of the New Covenant. The inevitable result is that they would be hopelessly left to walking after the flesh rather than walking in the Spirit. The Galatian church members were thereby being stopped from "believing into Christ," would therefore "perish" from Christ, and would not receive the divine "life" promised by covenant to those who continue "believing into" Christ.
Receiving circumcision was required by the Law Covenant (Gen 17:14; Ex 4:24-26; 12:43-49), as John's baptism is required by the New Covenant, Mt 3:1-9; Mk 1:4; Lk 3:3; 7:29-30; Act 2:38; Col 2:11-13; 2Jn 9. God sent John to initiate baptism as the effectual door of entrance into the deified body of Christ, and therefore into the New Covenant.
Those who reject John's baptism have thereby rejected the counsel of God against themselves (Lk 7:29-30), have rejected the circumcision of Christ (Col 2:11-13), and have thereby rejected the doctrine of Christ, 2Jn 9-11. All outside the body of Christ are under condemnation, yet there are myriads of saved people outside the body of Christ.
John's baptism did not stop when John was martyred. God required Jesus to receive John's heaven authorized baptism (Mt 3:15), to organize His church with that baptism, and to continue that same baptism as the initiatory ordinance into the church and into the New Covenant, Mt 3:15-17; Lk 7:29-30; Jn 3:5 (symbolic); 13:8-10; Rom 6:2-13; 1Co 6:11; 12:13; Gal 3:27; Eph 5:36; Col 2:9 thru 3:11; Ti 3:5; Heb 10:22.
In the metaphor, the body of each baptized person is thereby joined to the deified body of Christ, and begins the process of transformation from the "old man" into the "new man" by constantly believing into Christ, which is done by the constant renewing of the mind, Rom 12:1-2; 2Co 3:18; Eph 4:11-24; Col 3:1-11.
CHAIN REACTION OF
THE LAW COVENANT
10 "For as many as are of the works of the Law (Covenant) are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is not continuing in all things which are written in the book of the Law (Covenant), to do them,'" Gal 3:10.
3 "And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole Law Covenant)," Gal 5:3.
10 "For whoever shall keep the whole Law (Covenant), and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all," Ja 2:10.
This means Israel under the Law Covenant. It means the Jerusalem church and the Galatian churches under the Law Covenant. And it means us today if we put ourselves back under the Law Covenant. Everyone under the Law Covenant, except Christ, was under the curse, condemnation, wrath, etc., of the Law Covenant.
Christ was made a curse for the covenant people, but Israel is still trying to keep the Law Covenant. They are therefore of the works of the Law Covenant, and are therefore still under the curse, condemnation, wrath, etc., of the Law Covenant. The only escape from that condemnation is for them to stop trying to keep the Law Covenant and properly get into the body of Christ within the New Covenant.
The Jerusalem church was both blindly and defiantly trying to keep the Law Covenant along with the New Covenant. The Galatian churches were beginning also to try to keep both the Law Covenant and the New Covenant. All of them were therefore under the curse, condemnation, wrath, etc., of the Law Covenant. But observe the inevitable and very disastrous "chain reaction" or "domino effect" of New Covenant people persisting in trying to keep the Law Covenant:
1. Church members are counted as deified members of the deified body of Christ, but they will be severed from Christ, and Christ will profit them nothing in the covenant relationship, Gal 5:1-4. The Greek word kathrgh,qhte from katarge,w can be properly translated, ineffective, nullify, cancel, destroy, abolish, sever, cut off, etc. All of these express what happens when a branch is cut off or severed from the vine, Jn 15:1-6. The proper church member who persists in trying to keep the Law Covenant will be cut off from Christ and Christ will profit him nothing, Gal 5:1-4.
2. Being thus severed from Christ, the saved and properly baptized church member will be cut off from the covenants, because Christ is the High Priest of the New Covenant. The Law Covenant will curse, condemn, and bring the wrath of God down upon him, so neither the Law Covenant or the New Covenant will benefit that person.
3. The Law Covenant keeping church member will lose his standing within the firstborn sonship. The firstborn sonship belongs to Christ, therefore that saved church member is destroyed from Christ and Christ will profit him nothing as far as the covenant standing is concerned.
4. The saved church member necessarily becomes a slave son, as the allegory requires, Gal 4:21-31. The Law Covenant makes slave sons of those trying to keep the Law Covenant: indeed, the Law Covenant is called a "yoke of slavery," Gal 4:21-31; 5:1. These slave sons will never be glorified (Phi 3:7-14,21; Rom 8:17-30; Co 1:5,21-23,27; et al), but will forever be enslaved under the rudimentary laws of the physical universe, Gal 4:3,9; Col 2:8,20 thru 3:10.
5. The saved church member loses the indwelling New Covenant ministry of the Holy Spirit. The New Covenant ministry of the Holy Spirit is one of freedom, not slavery, Rom 8:13-14; 2Co 3:17-18; Gal 4:1-7,21-31; 5:1-6. If we keep Christ's words, He will make us free indeed, Jn 8:30-32. The Holy Spirit dwells in the bodies of those within the firstborn sonship as the earnest (guarantee) of the deified body inheritance, 2Co 4:17 thru 5:5. The enslaved Law-keeper will lose the Holy Spirit and will not inherit the firstborn sonship, Gal 4:21-31.
6. The saved church member will therefore "perish" from Christ, Gal 4:21 thru 5:4; Jn 15:1-6; 3:15-16,18,35; 5:24. That saved church member has again come under the curse, condemnation, wrath, slavery etc., of the Law Covenant, therefore Christ will profit him nothing within the covenant standing. He is cursed by the Law Covenant and that same curse cuts him off from Christ and the New Covenant, Jn 15:1-6; Gal 5:1-4.
7. The saved person is still saved from hell, but will be a slave son, who is also called an illegitimate or non-covenant son. Gal 4:21-31; 5:1; Heb 12:8, (1-17). The illegitimate or non-covenant son is still a son, and the allegory makes it clear what kind of son he is. Ishmael was still Abraham's son, and though he was Abraham's son, he was not freeborn and therefore could not serve as a type of firstborn sons who continue believing into Christ in order to qualify for the deification of that sonship. God purposed from eternity that Abraham have a slave wife who would bear a slave son to more explicitly reveal in the allegory that God's eternal purpose includes other sons in addition to firstborn sons.
8. Such saved but Law-keeping church members stop believing into Christ when they persist in keeping the Law Covenant or otherwise walk in the flesh (Rom 8:13). These saved people "perish," and will not receive the aionion "life." This "life" is metaphorically credited to us now as deified members of the deified body of Christ, but we will receive that life only if we continue believing into Christ, 1Co 15:1-2; Heb 3:14; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:22-23; 8:6,13,23-25; Gal 6:7-9.
SLAVE SONS UNDER CONDEMNATION
21 "Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?
22 "For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman.
23 "But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,
24 "Which things are symbolic (an allegory). For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar --
25 "For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children –
26 "But the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.
27 "For it is written: "Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and hout, you who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.
28 "Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.
29 "But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.
30 "Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? ‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.'
31 "So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free," Gal 4:21-31.
1 "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
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 severed from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by Law (the Law Covenant); you have fallen from grace," Gal 5:1-4.
How beautiful and explicit this whole passage is! Observe how much of the Bible is devoted to Israel under the Law Covenant: more than two thirds of the Bible. And see how enslaved Israel was to the sin nature of the flesh: but what the Law Covenant said to Israel, it also said to the whole human race, Rom 3:19.
" The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?" Jer 17:9.
The first Adam is not only enslaved to sin, but is also enslaved to the rudimentary laws of the universe, Gal 4:3,9; Col 2:8,20-21. Even demon spirits are not enslaved to the laws of the physical creation, though they are eternal slaves of sin.
The saved covenant church member who faints under God's disciplinary training becomes an illegitimate son, but is still a son. The word "illegitimate" is a proper translation of the Greek word, but it signifies a son who is not a legitimate covenant son. The Law Covenant sons were slave sons, and did not differ from a slave, Gal 4:1. But God provided a way for them to walk by faith and thereby be delivered from that slavery by the death and new resurrection birth of Christ, Gal 4:4-7; Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; Heb 1:5-6; 5:5.
The allegory and its application given above (Gal 4:21 thru 5:4), are unmistakable. Abraham represents God, Sarah represents the New Covenant, and Isaac represents freeborn covenant sons; while Hagar represents the Law Covenant, and Ishmael represents slave sons of God.
The application of this allegory context is that the churches of Galatia were going back under the Law Covenant, and Paul warns them that to persist in doing so would cut them off from Christ (they had to be joined "to" Christ to be severed "from" Him). They would be cast out as Hagar and Ishmael were, and would have no part in the covenant inheritance, Gal 4:30-31. Christ Himself is the covenant inheritance of all the covenants, as pictured in the sacrificial offerings. Christ is the Sacrifice but He is also the promised Inheritance of all the covenants.
The slave sons will be among the nations of saved people on the new earth, but will not inherit any of the divine essence of the fullness of God promised in the covenants in the deified body of Christ. The slave sons are cut off from Christ, are under the curse, condemnation, wrath, slavery, etc., of the Law Covenant, and are explicitly predestined to punishment in the wrath of God, Jn 15:6; Rom 2:5-16; Eph 5:6; Heb 3:11; 10:25-31; 12:18-29. Saved people outside the covenants are under the same condemnation and wrath, Mt 3:7-12; 24:51; 25:30; Lk 3:7; 12:46; 1Co 11:32.
FROM DEATH TO LIFE, FROM LIFE BACK TO DEATH
24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who is constantly hearing My Word and is constantly believing Him who sent Me has (aionion) age-life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from the death into the life," Jn 5:24.
We have abundantly shown that the saved church member can and does come into judgment, translated "condemnation" in the AV – whether we translate the Greek word condemnation or judgment, the result is the same. We have shown that the disciples (church members, apostles) were severely warned that they could be cut off from Christ and be cast into Gehenna and tormented, Mt 18:1-35; Jn 15:1-6. See also Rom 11:11-22; 1Co 9:27 thru 10:12; Heb 3:6 thru 4:11; 6:4-8; 10:25-31; 12:1-29; Rev 3:16.
We have also shown that everyone under the Law Covenant (except Christ) was unavoidably under condemnation. Israel throughout its history has been under the condemnation of the Law Covenant, 2Co 3. The Jerusalem church never gave up the Law Covenant, was therefore was never delivered from the condemnation of that covenant, and was necessarily eventually cut off from Christ, Gal 3:10; 4:21 thru 5:4. Likewise, the Galatian churches were explicitly and severely warned that they were on the brink of being destroyed from Christ – from the deified body of Christ, Gal 4:21 thru 5:4.
By establishing that saved church members (covenant people) can be and are cut off from Christ, we have thereby established that such saved and properly baptized church members do pass from life back to death. The branches that are cut off from the vine wither and die, and are cast into the fire and burned, Jn 15:1-6. These saved church members are thereby cut off from Christ, Jn 15:1-6; Gal 5:1-4. We have fallen into one of the Lord's snares, traps, and stumbling blocks (Rom 11:8-10), if we argue otherwise.
6 "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace,
13 "For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live," Rom 8:6,13.
Paul is the inspired writer, and is writing to the saved and properly baptized churches and church members in the city of Rome. He wrote, "For if you live according to the flesh you will die," and "if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live," Rom 8:13.
This cannot mean the normal physical death, because everyone dies that death. When we understand the metaphor of the church being the deified body of Christ, and the members of the church being the deified members of the deified body of Christ, then we can quickly understand that one passes from life back to death when severed, cut off, or destroyed from the deified body of Christ, Mt 5:13; Jn 15:1-6; Gal 4:21 thru 5:4; 2Jn 9; Rev 3:16.
Our physical bodies are still "dead in sins," Eph 2:1-6. This passage is speaking of our bodies, which in the metaphor are spoken of as being the members of the body of Christ. Jesus organized His church before He was crucified, Jn 3:29. He instituted the Lord's Supper before He was crucified, Mt 26:26-28. The bread of the Lord's Supper pictures the Lord's body, but it also pictures us as members of that body being nourished by the life of that body, 1Co 10:17-18.
Only those in the body of Christ can be nourished by the body. Christ is of no "within" covenant profit to those who are cut off from His body, Jn 15:5; Gal 5:2,4; 2Jn 9; 1Jn 2:23-25. Those who are cut off from Christ lose all covenant benefits of Christ, of the Holy Spirit, and of all the "within" covenant promises. They have in the metaphor passed from deified "life" back to "death" in this "dead in sins" body, and are again under condemnation.
In the metaphor, the bodies of church members are the members of the body of Christ, 1Co 6:15-17. When Christ's body was crucified, the bodies of the members of the church were counted as crucified together with Him, died together with Him, were buried together with Him, were raised (born again) together with Him into a divine state of being. In this way we are reckoned (counted, credited) as being "alive" together with Him – born again together with Him, Eph 2:1-6; Rom 6:2-13; Gal 2:20; 5:24.
WHO IS PREDESTINED TO WHAT?
28 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
29 "For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30 "Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified," Rom 8:28-30.
21 "He who is having My commands, and is keeping them, he is one who is loving Me; and he who is loving Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him," Jn 14:21,23-24.
All things work together for good to those who are constantly loving God, and those who are constantly loving God will be constantly keeping His commandments. Those who thus love God will be constantly adding to their faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverence, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love, 2Pe 1-7. This will make them constantly fruitful in God's service. However, there are saved people who are not daily and habitually adding these virtues, and have become so unfaithful that they are oblivious to the fact they were once purged from their old sins, and thereby fail to make their calling and election sure, 2Pe 1:9-10; 3:16-17; 1Co 10:1-12; Heb 3:7-19; 2Jn 9-11.
We cannot say such people were never saved, but they become "unfruitful," and "fell," and failed to make their "calling and election sure," 2Pe 1:5-10. These branches must be cut off from Christ, Jn 15:1-11; Gal 5:1-4; 2Jn 9-11. Here is where some have been derailed, are transgressing the doctrine of Christ (2Jn 9-11), and are making shipwreck of faith,
1Ti 1:19-20. How far can we go in persistently transgressing the doctrine of Christ? 2Jn 9-11.
Before creation, God predestined that those who refuse to repent and believe be punished in hell, Lk 16:19-31. God also predestined that those who do repent and believe, but make shipwreck of faith by not properly continuing to believe and obey God's covenant commandments, be punished and serve as slave sons eternally, Gal 4:21 thru 5:4. Likewise, God predestined that those who properly persevere in the faith be promoted to share in the firstborn sonship of Christ, and only those who are faithful make their calling and election sure, 2Pe 1:5-10.
Of course, in our natural state, we are enslaved to sin and are utterly unable to think, feel, or make any decision in the right direction. However, God predestined in His love and mercy to give every rational human being sufficient knowledge and ability "to will" and make the right decisions and then "to do" the right things, Phi 2:12-13. God must give us that knowledge and ability, and that is what God does in all cases so that man is without excuse, Rom 1:20.
God inherently and infinitely possesses perfect laws of justice and mercy, and does all His works accordingly. God predestined that we choose to accept or reject His grace, and we are constantly doing both: we resist and reject His grace every time we sin by commission or omission, and it is altogether by His grace that we choose to believe and then to obey.
Those who are cut off from Christ have resisted God's grace to the degree that they have committed the unpardonable sin, 1Co 112:1-12; Heb 3:11; 4:3; 6:4-8; 10:26 (25-31); 12:15-17. God has set the cut off points, which vary according to the circumstances in each case. Our "heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?" Jer 17:9.
But God's grace is sufficient in all cases (1Co 10:13; 2Co 12:7-10; Heb 3:12-14), and the unbelieving husband, wife, children, etc., is (are) sanctified by the believing person to the extent of the fervent prayers, dedication, and godliness of that believing person or persons, 1Co 7. God's will is that we "abound" in His grace and in the fruits of His grace, 2Co 8:9; 9:8; Phi 1:9; 4:17; 1Th 3:12; 4:1; Ja 4;4-10; 2Pe 1:5-8. We are laborers together with God, and we must make choices and perform deeds together with God by His grace, 1Co 3:9.
God must bring our hearts (minds) to the place where we can "choose" to make our calling and election sure. He supplies sufficient grace for every step of the way as we, by His grace, make our calling and election sure. God has predestined every step of the way as we make our calling and election sure. This means every act of faith, of worship, of enduring God's training, etc., is by grace, and is a part of God's predestination – all of which determine the end result.
God has also predestined that those who resist His grace and make shipwreck of faith (and of the faith) will serve in a slave son status eternally, Gal 4:21 thru 5:4; Heb 12. Every sin of commission and omission is recorded in God's record books, and has been predestined to work negatively into the slave sonship, 2Co 4:17 thru 5:10. God has predestined that those who persevere and overcome God's severe training program receive the crown of "life," Ja 1:12. However, God has also predestined that those who do not overcome but faint along the way be relegated to the slave sonship of a mere flesh body resurrection, Gal 6;7-10; 2Pe 1:4.
Those who love God (by His grace) will keep His commandments (by His grace), and He has predestined them to be His firstborn sons within the firstborn sonship of Christ, Rom 8:28-30. God has predestined that those saved people in the covenant position who make shipwreck of faith be banished from the firstborn sonship into a slave sonship status without repentance, Heb 3:11; 6:4-6; 10:26; 12:15-17; et al.
God has predestined every step forward to be by His grace through faith, 1Co 15:10; Phi 2:12-13; Heb 4:15; 12:28. He has also predestined every act of refusing His all-sufficient grace as failing to make one's calling and election sure. God's grace is all-sufficient in every case. Predestination includes all the ramifications resulting from resisting His grace, and all the ramifications of making shipwreck of faith. Predestination is according to God's infinite foreknowledge, Act 2:23; Rom 8:29; 11:2; 1Pe 1:2,20.
The positive chain reaction in Rom 8:28-30 for the saved church members who love God and strives to keep His commandments by grace through faith is that they are predestined to be firstborn sons and share all the divine essence of the fullness of deity together with Christ:
"Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified," Rom 8:30 (28-30).
The negative chain reaction for saved church members who fail to love God and keep His commandments by failing to add the proper virtues is that they fail to make their calling and election sure (2Pe 1:4-10). They are therefore cut off from Christ so that "Christ will profit them nothing" within the covenants, Gal 5:2,4. This means they are cursed, cut of from Christ, cut off from the covenants, lose the Holy Spirit, and lose the covenant inheritance.
"Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? ‘Cast out the bond-woman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman,'" Gal 4:30.
JESUS WAS WELL AWARE
12 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now," Jn 16:12.
Jesus had already told them of His coming death, so it could not have been that which He could not tell them. The Law Covenant being done away was the only thing the Jerusalem church could never accept, though the apostles did later accept the fact.
Jesus knew the Law Covenant perfectly, and understood every jot and tittle of it. There was not one iota of the Law Covenant which He did not know altogether. How could He have kept every jot and tittle of the Law Covenant if He did not know it that well? At twelve years old the most learned teachers of the Law Covenant were appalled at how much He understood about the Law Covenant, and "all who heard him were astonished at His understanding and answers," Lk 2:46-47. Since He understood the Law Covenant that well at only twelve years old, what can we say about His absolutely thorough and conscious understanding of the Law Covenant twenty years later when He spoke to Nicodemus?
Jesus wept over Jerusalem, and for all Israel because they did not understand the Law Covenant and its "condemnation." Had they understood, they would have accepted Him. How greatly He loved them, and desired to lead them into His coming resurrection birth! The condemnation of the Law Covenant was constantly on His mind. He must every day live a perfect life. The condemnation of the Law Covenant must not lay hold on Him. He must fulfill the perfect righteousness of the Law Covenant and also suffer its broader condemnation of the whole "kosmos". All these things were constantly on the mind of Christ like the warnings of blinking lights.
As Jesus spoke with Nicodemus the ever present curse, condemnation, and impending wrath of God through the Law Covenant was constantly on His mind. He came to His own and His own received Him not. Every time He looked at one of the covenant people, at Jerusalem, at the cities, mountains, valleys, and plains of Israel, He was reminded of the fallen condition of His bride people, of all mankind, of the Law Covenant, of its curse and condemnation, and the need of removing that glaring condemnation.
As Jesus spoke of Moses lifting up the serpent in the wilderness, He thought of the curse and condemnation of the Law Covenant. He himself must be lifted up and bear that curse and condemnation. He must overcome and perform the perfect righteousness of the Law Covenant, fully aware of its curse and condemnation. John 3:15,16,18,36; 5:24 were spoken within the Lord's consciousness of the Law Covenant and all the ramifications of its "condemnation," which still abides over everyone outside the body of Christ, including many eternally saved people.