Edward O’Hara Tue 5/27/2020 9:30 PM…
The choices we make. They are our choices and ours alone. Made by free will. The free will that is possible because God, who because He is love decided to make man in His image and likeness, gave us the power to make a choice not determined by predestination or fate or divine will, completely free from coercion or restraint. God, Himself tells us He did this for two reasons. 1. Love must be freely given and freely received or it is not love. And 2. because if the choice is not by free will then no one can justly be held accountable for the choices they make. And if it is someone else that has pre-determined our choices as the false sin nature doctrine that so many have wrongly been taught to believe teaches, or if someone else makes them for us, then whoever is responsible for our choices is accountable for them, and not us. This is the foundation upon which free will stands. It is as sure as the foundation of the prophets and apostles with Jesus as it’s the chief cornerstone the true church is built upon. And because God gave all men free will, dominion, the ability to learn the knowledge of good and evil, and access to His love, when these are all present in a man God justly holds the man who has reached such an “age of accountability” accountable for his own choices.
We see in the scriptures that from the time of Moses onward men have been accountable before God for his free will choices. But, why does this accountability begin with Moses and not with Adam? Because Paul teaches us in Rom.5:13 that “until the law, sin was in the world. But sin is not imputed when there is no law”. He says this again in different words in Rom.4:15 saying that where there is no law there is no transgression. And in Acts17:30 Paul explains why saying that during the time from Adam to Moses it was “the time of this ignorance”, ignorance of the law because there was no law, in which God winked at sin. Adding that things have changed since then and He now instructs all men everywhere to repent. To turn from whatever it is that a man is trusting in to trust in Jesus.
So what is it that has changed from the “time of this ignorance” when there was no law till now? If we can consider things from their perspective we may gain some insight into this. Or are we only able to interpret these events before Moses from our perspective today knowing what we know? If we can view these events from the perspective of those who lived through them we will clearly see why accountability for ones choices only began to be developed when the man received the knowledge of good and evil.
But, even then it did not reach the point of accountability. Because only when the law was given to Israel could men rightly or justly begin to be held accountable for their choices. This accountability was shown by the fact that Israelites who chose to keep the law were given blessings for their obedience to God’s law. And those who did not receive curses for their disobedience. This then is when accountability for free will choices began.
But, since that law was only given to Israel. And because Paul taught that this law could not give life to the Israelite no matter how well it was kept. Paul taught that the purpose of God giving Israel the law was not to provide for them a relationship with God. But, instead, it was only to be a guard over Israel till Messiah would come as we see Paul teaching in Gal.3:23-27. But, that when Jesus came He would change the covenant by His death and resurrection bringing the grace of God that is only accessed by faith in Him. And unlike the Old Covenant that was only for Israel, this New Covenant is for the whole world. A covenant that would make of the two, both Jew and Gentile, one new man as Paul taught in Eph.2:15.
And since this covenant is by grace then it can not be of works as Paul plainly says in Rom.11:5,6. Which is to say it is not by the law. Which is to say it is not by the flesh. Because if it was by the works of the law then one could trust in the flesh. They could save themselves by their own works and boast about it. This is why Paul said “So then they that are in the flesh(under law/works) cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh(under law), but in the Spirit(under grace), if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” This is why in Rom.6:14 Paul told them that in the New Covenant sin has no dominion over them because they are not under law but under grace. This is the context of Rom.8 because it is the explanation of Rom.7:4’s assertion that the Jew who is joined to the law can not also be joined to Christ. And vice versa. Rather he is delivered from the law by the body of Christ.
So God’s plan from eternity past was that eternal life would be by grace. By free-will choice to either love God in return for His love or not. Just as Jesus showed us when He said “Not my will but thine be done”. Because by committing to God’s will by our free will eternal life is made possible by way of a personal relationship with Him. A personal relationship that He created mankind. And so that boasting in the works of the flesh that man saves himself, would be excluded. Because if by works then a personal relationship is not necessary. Only obedience becomes necessary then. But, since it is by grace that requires a personal relationship with God he could only boast in God’s great love as Paul taught in Eph.3:16-19. Saying that it is by this love “that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God”. This love of God that was first shown to us by God Himself coming to earth as a man to join with mankind in his death so that God could conquer death through the resurrection. This is how the personal relationship is made possible. Because when death is removed when we believe in Him there is no longer anything in our way to stop us from having a personal relationship with Him if we will choose to believe His gospel of our own free will.
Why? Because God is love. And because He is love He desires to have a personal relationship with His greatest creation. Mankind was made in His image and likeness. So to have eternal life man would need to trust in Him for it. Trust that is the bedrock for any truly loving relationship. Trust that is gained by God Himself reaching out to mankind in love through the cross so that we could see how great His love for us is. Not as one who died in our place to take our punishment for sin as if He was punished for something He did not do. The only time we see death being used as a punishment for sin is for those who are under the law. It is not punishment outside of the law because “where there is no law there is no transgression”.
And God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself not imputing trespasses to them. This does not mean that once a person comes to faith in Jesus his trespasses are no longer half against him. On the contrary, Paul is saying that because of Christ’s death and resurrection trespasses have been taken away. No longer held against anyone. This is the result of Jesus’ defeat of death on the cross. The removal of the imputation of sin for Israel. And the opportunity for the Gentiles to trust in Jesus for eternal life. This is the ministry of reconciliation we are to take to the world. Not a message that God is angry with them and will send them to hell if they don’t stop being bad. That condemnation is the tool of the devil to keep men from God. Such condemnation brings no one to repentance. But, what does bring men to repentance is knowing that God does not hold their bad behavior against them and wants them to know it. So that when they hear of His great love for them through the preaching of the gospel they will turn to Him from idols. And in this worship of the true God, this personal relationship is established that is eternal life.
So it is this turning to Him in faith brought about by God showing man how much He loves us that brings eternal life. Why? Because as Jesus so plainly taught, “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent”. And Paul restates this saying “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death”. Being made conformable unto His death is to put off the old and put on the new. To be buried with Him and raised with Him as Rom.6:4,5 that says, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so, we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection”
So this is the message that we ambassadors for Christ are too bring to a lost and dying world. Because only this message saves to the uttermost those who are under death’s reign. The message of works taught through the false sin nature and original sin doctrines that bring condemnation can save no one. Only His message of love that holds no trespasses against us can. The love that He has for mankind even when we were dead in sins. Love that God showed for us while we were dead. Making them alive unto God by the new birth. The spirit birth Jesus said all men must have to see the kingdom of God.
But, even when we were dead we had free will to either accept or reject God’s love. And we must know that because we have free will and the knowledge of good and evil, and we have the instruction of God to repent, which is to turn from false gods to trust in the true God, we are now held accountable for what we do in regard to the question of who we will believe in. Will we believe in the true God who alone has eternal life to gift us with? Or the false gods who have no life to offer? Will you believe in the true God who alone has eternal life that He offers to us freely? Or will you believe the serpent’s way to eternal life who lied to Eve saying “Ye shall not surely die”? But, this new knowledge that they would receive from eating that fruit would be their ticket to eternal life?
Adam and Eve were not held accountable for their choices when they ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as we are today. Why? Because they were not equipped as we are with the law given through Moses or the knowledge of good and evil. As Paul plainly says in Rom.5:12-14. And as we see in Gen.3:22. But, since then much has changed. Because we now have all that is needed to be held accountable in making a moral choice of eternal consequence. Because we have Jesus who came as a man to show the whole world who God is. And that He loves us beyond anything we could ever imagine. And that it is that love that reaches out to us to lead us to repentance from the idols we may have served, to trust in the God who loves us so much. To have a relationship with Him that is both intimate and personal. A relationship that is the righteousness that we need for eternal life. A relationship that requires only one thing more as Jesus once so eloquently told the rich young ruler. Something that all relationships require. That you choose of your own free will to believe this gospel message that has been preached to you so that you are equipped to love Him as He has first loved you. Free will. What a wonderful gift. Only a God who really loves you would ever give a gift as awesome as this.
So the question is, will you of your own free will believe in Him? Will you be born of His Spirit so you too can inherit eternal life? Your fleshly water birth only prepared you for this natural world where death reigns. Will you too be born again by being born of His Spirit? So that as His child you will now have for your inheritance His kingdom that is eternal where there is no death? And reject the lies of the serpent that tells you that you shall not surely die?
If you are reading this God is calling you. He loves you and wants you to know Him. Because knowing Him is this eternal life that provides you with the spirit that makes you God’s child.John17:3. Because while all men are created by God, not all men are born of His Spirit so that they are children of God. It is only those who have come to know Him that is spiritual because believing Him is to know Him. And in knowing Him we are born of His Spirit. So if you do not know Him, but have now believed that He is Lord and that He has raised from the dead to conquer death for you, then please take the time right now to talk to Him and confess to Jesus that He is Lord of your life. And believe that He has raised from the dead to conquer death for you. If you do believe in Him then tell Him something like this and you will have eternal life:
Dear Jesus, I believe you. Thank you for joining with me in death so that by conquering death by your resurrection I could join with you in eternal life. Thank you that you raised from the dead so that I could raise from the dead too by trusting in, clinging to, and relying solely on you. Thank you for giving me a new spirit now Lord so that I can live with you in your kingdom forever. In Jesus’ name, amen.
By praying a prayer similar to this one and really meaning it from your heart you have been saved from death to life. From sin to righteousness. And from the wrath to peace with God. And now as you begin reading the Bible and believing what it plainly says it will begin to change the way you think and believe. Because when you trust in Jesus you leave the old life behind where you were only able to relate to and trust in what has been made. And now will be equipped for God’s kingdom because you are no longer only natural flesh and blood, but are a new creature made a spiritual being ready to inherit God’s spiritual kingdom. It is because of Jesus’ resurrection that He is the only WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. Because only Jesus has broken through the wall of death that the flesh and blood natural body can never get through. And only by the new birth are we made ready to receive the spiritual body that can go through the wall of death as Jesus’ did first so we could follow Him in the way He has prepared for us.
This message can also be heard
My job is protecting children. It has taken me from big cities to rural outposts, from ghettos to penthouses, and from courtrooms, into demonic battlefields. But whatever the venue, the truth remains constant: Some humans intentionally hurt children. They commit unspeakable acts—for their pleasure, their profit, or both. StevieRay Hansen, CEO The 127 Faith Foundation
Hunted by the Mob, Found by Christ
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