March 4, 2007
Preachers frequently speak of the way God sees his people in Christ, and then go to great pains to explain that that is not the way we really are. That is a terrible error. — The way God sees us in Christ is the way we really are and shall forever be.
· I am preaching today for Fairmont Grace Church in Sylacauga, AL, where Bro. Tommy Robbins is pastor. Bros. Ron Wood and Darvin Pruitt will preach the gospel to you today.
· Pastor Henry Mahan will preach for us March 16-18.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Charlotte Hart-7th Kaitlynn Reed-10th
Eternal Union with Christ — Don Fortner
(Tune: Love Divine #2 — 87.87D)
I can never be divided from my cov’nant Surety.
God’s free love, from everlasting, made me one with His dear Son.
Blessed union, strong, unchanging, I am with my Savior one!
Life and death and hell together cannot tear me from His hands!
Oft I fall, but God unchanging, faithful to His cov’nant stands.
He will never charge with sinning those for whom His Son was slain.
One with Jesus, one with Jesus, O what wonders grace has done!
One with Christ from everlasting! One with Him upon the tree!
One with Him on high ascending! One with Him eternally!
“The perfection of the child of God is in his covenant Head; and it follows, as an unavoidable inference, and a blessed Bible truth, that all the members of Jesus Christ have been from eternity eyed as pure, and perfect, and holy, and sinless in Christ, as they will be when they get home to glory. Their pristine beauty was beheld with sacred delight by the Majesty of heaven from everlasting. The fall marred their humanity; the fall separated between them and their God, as regards real communion, but never altered the view which God took of them in Christ, never changed the affection concerning them, nor made a line of difference in the book of life; from everlasting to everlasting they were loved, accepted, and seen complete in Christ. And this is the perfect man. So that when they tell me there is no perfect man on the earth, I tell them the contrary. I can find hundreds of perfect men, in the sight of God, and viewed as such.” Joseph Irons
The Perfect Man
“Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.” (Psalm. 37:37)
Can those words be truthfully applied to any fallen son of Adam? Are there any “perfect” men for us to mark, any who are “upright” for us to behold? It is certain that none can ever be accepted of God except those who are perfect. It is written, with regard to every sacrifice offered to the holy Lord God, “It shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein” (Lev. 22:21). The Lord God demands of us, “Walk before me, and be thou perfect” (Gen. 17:1). “Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers” (Job 8:20).
Are all the fallen sons and daughters of Adam, therefore, to be cast away into hell forever as evil doers? No. The Lord God himself specifically identifies some as “perfect and upright.” He declares that Noah was “a just man and perfect” (Gen. 6:9). Three times he tells us that Job was “perfect and upright” (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3). God the Holy Spirit describes some in the New Testament who are “them that are perfect” (1 Cor. 26; Phil. 3:15). How can it be said that Noah, Job, and the Corinthian and Philippian believers were all perfect, when they are all set before us as people who were sinners?
In Adam, by nature, in themselves, and by their deeds they were all, like you and me, sinners fully deserving to be cast off forever into hell. But all of those to whom I have referred were in Christ, redeemed by his blood, saved by his grace, and born of his Spirit. All were one with him. And, being one with Christ, they were all “perfect and upright,” and their end was peace.
The same is true of every heaven-born soul. In Christ we have been made perfect and our end shall be peace, “because as he is so are we” (1 John 4:17). Yes, “perfect and upright” before God, viewed by the eye of Omniscience sinless, holy, and complete in Christ. It is our union with Christ that gives us this perfection.
The believer’s eternal union with Christ is a subject that few seem to grasp, though it is written as with a sunbeam upon the pages of Holy Scripture. We are “accepted in the Beloved,” and have been from eternity. That union of our souls with our Savior was made by the triune God himself before the world began, and can never be dissolved or even altered. The Lord God sees us in his Son, as one with his Son, and as his Son, because we really are in his Son, as one with his Son, and as his Son. Therefore it is written, “as he is so are we.” As no spot, blemish, or any such thing is in Christ, but only perfection, his Father is well pleased in him, and with all who are in him. The Book of God declares, “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel” (Num. 23:21). Therefore, we shall “have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is so are we in this world.”
In Christ - Real or Imaginary?
1 Corinthians 1:30
We are told well over 100 times in the New Testament that God’s elect are “in Christ.” We are in him as the branches are in the vine, in him as the members are in the body. This union of Christ and his people is so real that the Holy Spirit tells us we are “the fullness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:23). Yet, multitudes who should know better speak of our union in terms like this: “It is as though we are one with Christ,” “We are considered one with Christ,” “God looks upon us as one with Christ.”
That is not the language, or the teaching of Holy Scripture. Our Savior declares our union with him in these words, “I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you” (John 14:20). The Holy Spirit tells us that we live in Christ and Christ lives in us, that our life is hid with Christ in God, and that Christ is our life. Paul, writing by divine inspiration, said, “Christ liveth in me” (Gal. 2:20), and “for me to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21). Such language does not describe a legal fiction, or an imaginary union, but a real union, a union that is as vital to Christ’s glory as our Mediator as it is to our salvation in him and by him. Our union with our blessed Savior is the very heart of salvation in him. Without it there is no possibility of salvation; and with it there is no possibility of condemnation (Rom. 8:1). There is nothing revealed in the Book of God more suited to give believing sinners confidence and strength, comfort and joy in the Lord than our union with Christ (1 John 4:17).
What a glorious union it is! We are one with the glorified Christ. Who can fathom the depths of the words our Savior used to describe this union when he prayed, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me” (John 17:21-23).
This is a glorious oneness beyond the comprehension of our puny brains, but not beyond the grasp of God-given faith. As the three Persons of the Triune God are equally, eternally, and essentially One, so are the members of Christ one with him, their living Head. Our union with Christ our God-man Mediator is just as real, just as complete, just as full as his union with God the Father and God the Spirit. This marvelous and mysterious oneness can never be fully known until we stand before him face to face and see all things in the light of his glory. Then we shall know even as we are known. As the Three Persons in the Godhead are One, so are the partakers of the new creation one with Christ. He appears in heaven for us, and blessed be his holy name, “as he is so are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17) If we are one with him by his Father’s electing love, his own redeeming blood, and his Spirit’s regenerating grace, then his Father is our Father, his righteousness our righteousness, his nature our nature, his home our home, and his glory our glory.
March 4, 2007
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Telephone (859) 236-8235 - E-Mail email@example.com
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor
Schedule of Regular Services
10:00 A.M. Bible Classes
10:30 A.M. Morning Worship Service
6:30 P.M. Evening Worship Service
7:30 P.M. Mid-Week Worship Service
Television Broadcasts in Danville
Channel 6 - Sunday Morning 8:00 A.M.
Channel 6 - Wednesday Evening 6:00 P.M.
Channel 6 - Friday Evening 7:00 P.M.
Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com