Our Message of Justice and Mercy in the Reconnaissance of God’s Elect
We preach Christ and Him crucified, in the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 1:23; 2:2, 4). This is the Gospel of God (Mk 1:14; Rom 1:1; 15:16; 2 Cor 11:7), which is the power of God unto salvation for those who believe (Jn 3:16; Rom 1:16). It has been granted to God’s elect, by His grace, to receive His gift of faith (Eph 2:8–9; Phil 1:29). Christians believe in Jesus Christ, as a result of the work of God (Jn 6:29; Acts 16:31). He saved us (Titus 3:5), having appointed us to eternal life (Acts 13:48), before the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8; 17:8), through adoption as sons of God (Eph 1:4–5; Rom 8:15, 23).
God has chosen the means and the ends by which faith in Christ becomes a reality for His chosen people (Rom 11:5; 1 Pet 2:9). To have faith in Christ, one must actually be repositioned, legally and spiritually, into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Jn 3:3, 5; Col 1:13). Legally, the sinner must be made a saint. He must somehow secure a legal right standing (justification) before the holy God and then be made holy (sanctified) as God is holy (1 Pet 1:15–16).
Righteousness is right standing before the just Judge of all the earth (Gen 18:25). One must be holy and blameless before Him (Eph 1:4; 5:27; Col 1:22). In truth, there is only one Man who ever achieved this status by His own merit, the God-man, Christ Jesus (Mt 5:17). No one else has lived then died without sin (Rom 3:23; 5:12; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15). God the Father has said to only one Person, “This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased (Mt 3:17; 17:9; 2 Pet 1:17).”
Sinners do not have an inherent righteousness before God. In other words, no one is good nor righteous by himself or herself (Rom 3:10–12). No one can achieve right standing by his or her “good works” (Rom 3:20; Gal 2:16), for all our works are filthy rags (Is 64:6). It must be by God’s doing that one is “in Christ,” who is our righteousness (Rom 3:28; 1 Cor 1:30).
Christ secured right standing before God on behalf of those people given to Him by God the Father (Jn 6:37; 17:2, 6, 24). He came into the world as the slain Lamb of God (Jn 1:29; Rev 5:6, 12), in order to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21). He did this by laying down His life for His sheep (Jn 10:11, 15), giving Himself over to death on a cross for His church (Eph 5:25) so that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 5:8), for our sins (1 Cor 15:3).
Jesus Christ, the just, has justified God’s elect (1 Pet 3:18), redeemed people by His shed blood (Rom 5:9), by God’s grace (Rom 3:24; Titus 3:7), and by the faith given to us (Rom 3:28; 5:1; Gal 2:16; 3:11, 24), demonstrated by God producing His good works in and through us (Jas 2:24).
The first good work for the sinner to know that God has chosen to have mercy upon him (Rom 9:16, 23) is the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Mt 3:11), who is sent to the elect soul as the gift of God (Acts 2:38; 10:45), a token of His everlasting love and kindness (Jer 31:3; 2 Cor 1:21–22; 5:5; Eph 1:14).
With this anointing comes the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11; 1 Cor 3:16; Gal 4:6; 2 Tim 1:14; Jas 4:5), whose first work is the regeneration of the dead soul (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13). The Spirit of Christ causes the elect, redeemed to be born again of God (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3). The Spirit of God, employing the Word of God, gives life to the man made new (Jn 6:63). This person is a new creature (2 Cor 5:17) with the life of God in his soul, who promises to never leave nor forsake him (Heb 13:5).
The resurrection of one’s soul (regeneration) is the beginning of his new life in Christ (Rom 6:4), having been baptized into the body of Christ, His church (1 Cor 12:13), the Israel of God (Gal 6:16), His holy nation of royal priests (1 Pet 2:9), drawn by the irresistible grace of God the Father to His Son (Jn 6:44, 65).
The sinner transformed into a saint (one who is being sanctified by the Holy Spirit) now lives in vital union with Christ (Gal 2:20; Eph 2:6; 1 Jn 4:13). Jesus illustrated this union with a dead branch (spiritually dead, elect sinners) being picked up by the Vine dresser (God the Father) and grafted by Him into the True and Living Vine (Jesus Christ) from which life (Holy Spirit) flows into the dead branch, making it to live and produce spiritual fruit (fruit of the Spirit) that remains (Jn 15; Gal 5:22–23).
With the life of the Holy Spirit in the saint he can say, “I have been crucified with Christ; It is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Gal 2:20).” Jesus Christ is Lord of this person’s life by the sovereign will and gracious choice of God (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 9:16; 11:5), who executes His perfect justice, in pouring out His wrath upon Him who knew no sin, but who became sin for us (2 Cor 5:21), a propitiation (wrath absorber) for our sins and for the sins of all the saints from across time and from around the world (Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10).
As those who have been reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:18–20), having peace with God (Rom 5:1), we serve our Lord Jesus Christ as His ambassadors representing the kingdom of heaven, bearing witness in the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) to all nations (Mt 24:14), even to all creation (Mk 16:15). We proclaim Him (Col 1:28) and all His excellencies (1 Pet 2:9) to those whom the Spirit has directed us (Acts 8:26, 29; 10:17–19; 16:7–8). As with the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us (Heb 11), some will hear our report and believe (Is 53:1; Acts 13:48; Rom 10:17), while others will hear and not believe (Ps 2:1; Is 6:9–10; Jn 10:26).
My dear reader, let us be encouraged that those who receive Christ’s Spirit, by the will of God (Jn 1:12–13), will believe in Jesus because they belong to Christ (1 Cor 3:23). These are the lost sheep whom Christ came to seek and to save (Lk 19:10), who will be one flock separated from the goats (unbelievers) on the day of Christ’s return to judge all nations (Mt 25:32), the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 2 Tim 4:1; 1 Pet 4:5), who are resurrected either to life (believers) or to judgment (unbelievers).
On that day, dear Christian, your reward will be great because your reward is eternal life (Mt 5:12; Lk 6:23), with a glorified body and soul (Rom 8:30), to be forever with Christ. Every labor and every suffering put forth to reconnaissance God’s elect, your brethren, will have been worth it, as they receive you into eternal habitations (Lk 16:9) in the New Jerusalem, the city of God (Rev 3:12; 21:2, 10), which will illumine the new heavens and the new earth where righteousness dwells (2 Pet 3:13; Rev 21–22). In the new creation, justice has been satisfied, and mercy is a fond reflection, for it will no longer be necessary because sin and death will be no more.
Spokane Valley, Washington
June 20, 2022