Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 1 * BOOK 35
THE DISPENSATION OF THE FULLNESS OF TIME
Now in our last lesson we got down to verse 6, and you remember in our last few lessons in Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians begin what I call deeper spiritual things than what we’ve had even from Romans, the Corinthians and Galatians. In these 3 books we take a jump up from the fundamentals to that which are deeper, more profound, Church truths. Paul wrote what we call his prison epistles – Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon while in prison in Rome shortly before he was martyred. So again we always like to make mention of the fact that in these prison epistles there is no single mention of the Old Testament or to the Jew, because now everything has flowed into this teaching of the Body of Christ in which there is no distinction. There is no Jew, there is no Gentile, so far as a division of their background, so we’ve all become one as members of the Body of Christ.
So we have to keep this in mind that as we study these prison epistles that this is strictly Church ground, and there is no other portion of Scripture that is so profoundly directed to the position of the Church Age believer. You won’t find these things back in the Old Testament, or the Four Gospels, or even in Acts, and I might say even in the letters of Romans and Corinthians. There is not this emphasis on our position in Christ. And as I said in a previous lesson there are over 90 times that Paul uses the prepositional phrase, “In Him, In Christ, In Whom” these are depicting our position. I hate to repeat, and repeat, but it’s the only way it sinks in. So all the things that we’re going to be looking at are primarily directed to our position in Christ.
Now the Jew knew nothing of that concept. He knew his Covenant relationship, he knew all the promises that God had made to their forefathers, but they knew nothing of a position in Christ. Now even for us today it’s hard for us to comprehend, but we’ve got to take these things by faith. I don’t feel like I’m in Christ in Heaven, but I know that I am because the Word says I am. And this is where every believer has to come to understand that what the Bible says is true, and we take it by faith. We don’t necessarily feel it, emotions are not dealt with. Now emotions are fine up to a point, but emotions can never take the place of good Biblical doctrine. So even though we may not feel like it, yet on the basis of God’s Word, that’s where we are. We are in Christ, in the heavenlies, and we are part and parcel of everything that God has been building on ever since He began with Adam in the Garden of Eden. Now continuing on where we stopped in our last lesson that He has already predestined us into the position, and that what that word adoption means up in verse 5.
“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. 6. To the praise of the glory of his grace, (we don’t deserve any of this. We haven’t earned it or merited it, but it’s all of Grace that God has seen fit to do this on our behalf.) wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
That’s how we’re accepted in God’s eyes is because of where we are in Christ. God cannot reject us, because then He would have to reject the Son Himself, and that He’ll never do. And so in view of our position then we are in the beloved. Now in verse 7 we have another prepositional phrase.
“In whom (in the beloved, and Who’s the beloved? Christ) we have (we’re not working for it, and we’re not hoping for it, but we have already the) redemption through his blood,…”
Now I remember years and years ago a good friend of mine from another denomination came to visit one morning, and he was all distraught. His denomination, which was one of the big ones in America, had literally called in all the old hymn books, and they were going to dispense new ones to all the congregations of that denomination in which there was no more reference to the blood of Christ. They had taken out all those old hymns like, “There’s Power in the Blood” and “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood”. They just took them all out of those hymn books. Well if they want to do that then they can just throw away the New Testament also. You’ve got to remember that our hope of eternity rests on that blood of Christ! So here in verse 7 we have that statement again.
“In whom we have redemption through his blood,…” Now you can’t throw that out. We can’t ignore that. So it’s redemption through His blood which also brings about –
“…the forgiveness of sins, (and again it’s not because we’ve merited it, but) according to the richness of his grace;”
And this is all beyond human comprehension. How that God would do all this before we even came on the scene, and doing it with the foreknowledge that we would one day be His, and we would be in Him, and we would be redeemed, and forgiven. Alright as I was thinking on these things the past several days, you want to remember that redemption is not a Pauline invention, but rather redemption comes all the way from the Garden of Eden. At this time I’m not going all the way back to Genesis, but remember when God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden, they were His. Isn’t that right? They fellowshipped with Him every day. But sin came in and He lost them, because He couldn’t fellowship with them in their sin. That’s why I think He had to go out into the Garden, not that he didn’t know where they were, but to show us that they were now so separated from Him that what was the question that He asked first? “Where art thou?” Do you see that? Now He had never asked that before, but as soon as sin had separated them, and He had lost them, now He could asked the question, “Where are you?” Adam should have answered, “We’re lost!”
It’s like the parable of the little lamb in Luke chapter 15. That one out of a hundred, the only one that in the parable the shepherd concerns himself with. Why? Because that little fellow knew he was lost. The ninety and nine went out roaming in the desert in the wilderness without a shepherd, and sheep without a shepherd are lost, but what’s the difference? They don’t know it! The little lamb knew he was in trouble, and so he was bleating his head off, but the rest, while roaming around, never knew they were. Well that’s what it means to be separated when God lost the human race. Now we can go back to the Old Testament. Come back if you will to Job chapter 19. And this is one of the earlier uses of the word redemptionin the Old Testament, and Job understood it.
“For I know that my redeemer liveth,…”
Do you see how plain that is? Maybe we should stop first and define the word “redeemed” What does it mean? To lose control of something, and then pay the price to buy it back. Now that’s redemption. A thought just came to mind and most of you may have heard this same illustration. I’ve read this story more than once, but it is heart touching, as well as making the point. The story is about a little fellow who had spent the whole winter just laboriously building this beautiful little sail boat. So one day his parents took him out to the beach, and he played with that beautiful little sail boat, and it was all that he could hope for. But being a child something got his attention and he left his boat for awhile and when he came back for his boat it was gone. And oh he wept bitter tears because he had done so much to build that little boat, and for the short time he got to play with it he had enjoyed it. But now it was lost, it was gone.
Months later he and his mom were walking down the street, here in the window of a pawn shop was his little boat. He was absolutely elated. So he goes into the shop keeper, and says, “That’s my boat, I want it.” The shop keeper says, “No sonny, that’s my boat, I paid for it, and if you want it you’re going to have to pay me.” So the little fellow says, “How much do you want for it?” So the price was such and such, and far more than the little fellow had. So he told the shop keeper that he would have to find a way to get the money to buy his little boat. The little lad did odd jobs all winter by shoveling snow, and in the summer mowed grass, and finally one day he had enough to go back to the pawn shop for his boat. So he went up to the counter and told the keeper, “I want my boat!” The guy said, “Have you got the money?” And he said, “Yes!” and he plunked it down, and so he took his boat, and as he was going down the street holding that boat, he said, “Little boat, I made you, I lost you, but I have bought you back, and you’re mine.”
Well now that’s just a simple little heart touching story of a little lad, but listen that’s just exactly what God did. God lost us when Adam sinned, and for 2000 years God prepares the world for the coming of the Redeemer, and all the Old Testament like Job are looking for the time when the Redeemer would come. Now come on up to the Book of Isaiah chapter 59 because I want you to see this whole concept of a Redeemer is not Pauline. Paul puts the cap on it, Paul puts the frosting on the cake, but ever since Adam sinned God has been preparing for the coming of this Redeemer. Like the little boy out there scooping snow, and mowing lawns, he was getting ready for the day when he could go back in and pay the price of redemption. And that’s exactly what God did also. Now verse 20. This is all prophecy yet, this is all looking forward.
“And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.”
So here we have the promise of this coming Redeemer. Now let’s skip over into the New Testament and stop at Romans chapter 3. Now like I said Paul puts the frosting on the cake so far as the price of redemption is concerned. Here Paul comes to this graphic conclusion that a lot of people don’t believe even today. They think they’re good enough, they think that somehow God is going to let them slip in. No He won’t because the Scripture says –
“For all have sinned, (every human being from Adam on) and come short of the glory of God:”
But we know God didn’t stop there. He immediately got busy and started preparing for the coming of a Redeemer. So now verse 24.
“Being justified freely (even though we’re sinners) by his grace through the redemption (see, there it is again) that is in Christ Jesus:”
Through the whole process of buying us back. That’s what it was all for, that He could pay the price of redemption which had to be the blood of Christ. Speaking of the blood of Christ that’s another 1/2 hour lesson in itself. Why is the blood so unique? Well it was divine. You want to remember that Joseph was not the father of the baby Jesus, but rather it was God. And as I’ve pointed out over the years, the blood circulatory system always originates with the father. So Christ’s blood originated with God Himself, and so when Christ was born it was divine blood that coursed though His veins. When His blood was shed it wasn’t just the blood of another human being, but rather the divine blood of God Himself, so this was then the price of redemption. Now verse 25.
“Whom God hath set forth (that is in Christ Jesus in verse 24) to be a propitiation (now that is what God has done. That’s the place of sacrifice and offerings, mercy, and Grace. God did all that, but it was) through faith in his blood,…”
If we don’t believe in the shed blood of Christ and it’s power for atonement we’re as lost as a goose, and you might as well mark it down. There will be no one in Heaven unless he’s been redeemed by faith in the blood of Christ! Now I’m getting right down to the nitty gritty on that as that is the Truth in the Word of God. The blood of Christ is the only purchase price for our redemption, and we have to appropriate it by our faith. We believe it, we trust in it. Now continuing on in verse 25.
“…to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past,…”
In other words the blood of Christ covered all the sins all the way back to Adam, and all the way forward to the very last person that will be born. So it was a complete purchase price for mankind’s redemption. Now let’s look at another one in the Book of Hebrews, and we could look at lots of them as the references for the blood of Christ are plentiful. Even here in Hebrews there are so many that I can’t begin to touch on all of them, so I’ll hit the ones that are most emphatic.
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;”
Now we’re teaching the Book of Hebrews in our Muskogee class on Saturday nights, and I always remind my class that the little Book of Hebrews is constantly referring to that which was good, the Law, Judaism, but Paul comes along and with this Gospel of Grace, and we’ll see in our next program the revelation of the mysteries, that it’s all so much better. So all through Hebrews we see this constant comparison of that which was good, but now we have something that is far better. And here it is in this verse. Oh their earthly tabernacle was beautiful, it was functional, they could take it down and move it at the drop of a hat, and it did everything they needed, but it was patterned after something in Heaven, the one which was far better. Now verse 12. Now the blood of goats and calves did its work as they covered the sins of Israel, but it was nothing when compared to the Blood of Christ. Now lets read the whole verse.
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, (that is up in Heaven) having (past tense, it’s all done) obtained eternal redemption for us.”
Over and over we see the blood of Christ has paid the price of redemption that had to be paid in order for God to regain control of fallen man, and He’s done it, it’s been paid in full. Verse 13 –
“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: (even those things back there were good) 14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
Then I have to bring you down to verse 22, a verse I’ve used for a long, long time. This verse is one of the absolutes of Scripture. Now we know that we’re decrying the fact that our society is rotting at the seams because we have lost our absolutes. We no longer as a society say, “Well these are absolutes.” But you see the Scriptures does say these things. And when you ignore these absolutes then you’re on thin ice. You’re sliding to your doom. And here is one of them.
“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; (and here is what I’m talking about) and without the shedding of blood is no remission.”
Now folks we’ve got to hang on to that. We dare not side track it because it’s an absolute. Now let’s move on to the Book of I Peter, chapter 1. Even Peter agrees with Paul 100 % in his theology.
I Peter 1:18-19
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19. But (we are redeemed) with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”
Well we may have time for one more verse in the Book of Revelation chapter 5 Can you find it in 10 seconds? Well anyway it’s back there in verse 9 that He was worthy because we’ve been redeemed to God by His Blood.