Part #6 of “WHAT SHALL WE SAY THEN?”
“There Is No Better Place To Be Than In Christ Jesus”.
The judgmental world with its self-righteousness will scream and shout. The legalists of religion, even more so those within the framework of Christendom will cast their stones.
The Chinese whisperer will do a full circle around the planet. You’ll be the center of conversation around the meal tables.
Yes, gossip will be rampant.
“The leopard can never change its spots”, would be the conversational tone.
But here’s the thing, “Is a leopard meant to change its spots?” It wouldn’t then be a leopard any more, would it?
Now maybe that’s something worth thinking about.
Yea! All those dark spotted leopards have found their way and resting place “In-Christ”.
They have had a change of heart and have believed the Gospel of their salvation. For there is nothing they can do about their sin problem, but truly believe that the cross of Christ has.
Jesus stood with the sinners of His day and put the religious self-righteousness legalists in place.
“Verily I say unto you”, He told them, “that the publicans and the harlots go into the Kingdom of God before you” [Matthew 21:31].
The “LORD of the Law” of then, is today the “LORD of Grace”.
So bring it on! Bring on all you have. Cast all the stones till thou hast exhausted thy supply.
For the conclusion of the whole matter is:
For “there is no now condemnation at all for those who are ‘in’ Christ Jesus”, saith the Scripture in [Romans 8:1].
It’s worth more that its weight in refined gold, and bears worthiness of constant repetition:
“There Is No Better Place To Be Than In Christ Jesus”.
The Apostleship Of Paul
Jesus Christ confronted Saul of Tarsus, this religious zealot, the persecutor and killer of his fellow Jews on “Damascus Road”.
This was that same spotted leopard, whose personality ID never changed, but his heart and mind did.
“He is a chosen vessel unto Me”, said the Ascended LORD Jesus Christ, referring to Paul.
“To bear My Name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel”.
But Jesus Christ did not leave out the cost factor, for this calling and mandate was to come with a price.
“For I will show him (Paul) how great things he must suffer for my Name’s sake”.
AND SO Yes! Jesus Christ entrusted the Gospel of our salvation only to Paul for us today.
And like Christ Jesus, Paul was obedient even unto death, as he faithfully carried out this high calling and mandate.
He is Christ’s Handpicked appointed man specifically for us in this age of Grace.
Following Christ In This Age Of Grace
Remember that Jesus Christ is no longer on earth. HE has gone beyond “risen”. Jesus Christ has “ascended” in Glory.
HE is now at this moment seated at the Right Hand of God the Father in Heaven. That is His position.
And in order to follow the Ascended Christ Jesus effectively, the Holy Spirit expressly instructs us to follow Paul the apostle.
“Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me”, Paul tells us without any hesitation in [1 Corinthians 4:16].
‘Oh’, says the religious legalist, “we won’t follow Paul, because we don’t follow men. We follow only Christ”.
What a ridiculous mindset in the light of God’s inerrant Word!
In order to follow Christ today, we need to follow Paul.
It’s simple common sense that we give Paul his rightful place and listen “FIRST” to what he has to say.
For only what ‘he has’ are Christ’s final words to us concerning “everything” from our salvation into eternity.
It is through these final words that God is reaching out to all of humanity, before this age closes.
It’s all been said and done from heaven as God remains watchfully silent and waits for the gathering of earth’s response.
And then ‘human history’ as we know it, will become a closed chapter.
Did his own condemn Paul?
Paul talks about his sufferings in [2 Corinthians 11:22-33]. Here is a glimpse:
“Of the Jews five times I received forty stripes save one”. He wrongly received this according to the law in [Deuteronomy 25:3].
This what religious legalism can do to a recipient of God’s Grace.
But God’s Grace Triumphs over religious legalism, because “Mercy triumphs over judgment” says James in his epistle to the scattered Jews.
That’s pretty awesome! Considering that it comes through the pen of James in [James 2:13], the hardcore legalist of the New Testament.
Indeed! God’s Grace Triumphs over Religious Legalism.
The woman caught in the act of adultery, was forcibly thrown down at the feet of Jesus in [John 8:3-11]. The Law demanded, “stone her to death”.
After effectively dealing with their hypocritical legalism and religiosity, Jesus turned to the woman and asked her this:
“Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?”
She said “No man Lord”. And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more”.
This was Jesus ‘under the Law’ and He had not yet gone to the cross.
How much more this ‘non-condemning Grace” is available to us through the brutal cross of Christ Jesus.
So how bad and how deep is your sin? We don’t need to know.
But what we do know and proclaim from the Truth of Scripture is that you are certainly not beyond redemption.
It has “all” been paid in full with the Blood Of Christ Jesus.
We repeat once again, “There Is No Better Place To Be Than In Christ Jesus”.
Who Is He That Condemns?
SO, “Who is he that condemneth?” asks Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles in [Romans 8:34].
“It is Jesus Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again”, he says, pointing to the heart of his Gospel.
“Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us”
(That’s right! Jesus Christ is constantly interceding for us.)
Don’t forget Paul was the one that Christ Jesus Personally chose to reveal the mystery of the Gospel to.
The gospel “which was kept secret since the world began” [Romans 16:25-26], “But now is made manifest” (brought under the spotlight and made known).
Having believed the Gospel of our salvation, there is no greater refreshing truth. It’s one that we need to keep hearing consistently enough.
By believing the Gospel, you have been “crucified with Christ” [Galatians 2:20] and you can’t take yourself off that cross”.
“Nevertheless you live………”.
Absolutely! “There Is No Better Place To Be Than In Christ Jesus”.
Here is a good place to ask the question again, “What shall we say then?”
The Fourth “What Shall We Say Then?”
“What shall we say then to these things”? If God be for us, who can be against us?” [Romans 8:31].
The words ‘be’ and ‘can be’ have been italicized in the Scriptures for continuity. If left out, this is what we get:
“If God for us, who against us?”
So we’ll look at it in this light.
Does this mean that nothing bad can happen to those of us who have trusted Christ Jesus?
Not at all, tribulation and persecution is a part of our salvation, for the truth will always face opposition. The integrity of Truth does that.
Truth disturbs the lie and hypocritical deception as light disturbs darkness. That is why darkness always has to hide.
A Down To Earth Saviour
Jesus Christ was a “down to earth” Saviour (literally) and puts it very plainly and honestly:
“In the world ye shall have tribulation” [John 16:33]. He never promised a rosy pathway.
But what HE did promise was, “but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”.
Just before making this statement HE says, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me (notice the “in me”) ye might have peace”.
Once again, “There Is No Better Place To Be In Than ‘In’ Christ Jesus”.
“What shall we say then to these things”? If God for us, who against us?”
This Holy Spirit inspired statement was made by this man Paul, who went through a constant barrage of oppositions by his own countrymen.
And his list continues.
He had full right to later say this in [Galatians 6:17]:
“From henceforth let no man trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus”.
And after all this, the Roman Emperor Nero beheaded Paul the apostle.
Yet he holds on to the fact that, “If God for us, who against us?”
The Conclusion Of The Whole Matter
Here is his closing statement and conclusion of the “whole matter”:
What the comfort of [Psalm 23] is to the ‘Old Testament’ [Romans 8:38-39] is to the ‘New Testament’.
“For I am persuaded”, Paul says, as the Holy Spirit of conviction homes in into this great comforting and LIBERATING TRUTH.
“That neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come….”.
And it doesn’t stop there. This conclusion is just beginning to warm up and gathers up speed as it crosses the finishing line.
“Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
What do you say? “ Is There Any Better Place To Be Than In Christ Jesus?”.
“What shall we say then to these things”? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
……DO follow us in Part #7 coming shortly…..