Part #4 of “THE FINAL STEP BEYOND THE CROSS”
“JESUS CHRIST, God’s Son has the final say in everything that concerns our past, our present and our future right up to the end of eternity”.
HE alone is the final Authority when it comes to our salvation and our daily redemptive walk with Him.
And HE has given to us His “Final Word” concerning every single area of our lives.
These “Final Words” come to us through the ready pen of Paul, His Handpicked apostle for this Age of Grace.
The word ‘BIBLE’ has abbreviatively been coined as “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”.
BUT…….. Paul’s epistles from Romans to Philemon are Christ’s “Final Instructions” both for us and to us “before we leave planet earth”.
And every single instruction is totally saturated with the FLAVOUR of God’s Love, Mercy, Grace and Divine Favour.
No Breath Of Condemnation
There is not a breath of condemnation in Christ’s final Words of exhortation and life.
YET at the same time there is not the slightest compromise in His standard and Who HE is.
Although paid in full on the Cross of Calvary, God has not gone ‘soft on sin’ as some may think He has.
HE is still the unchanged “I AM” of Scripture.
What started at the Garden of Eden six thousand years ago culminates with what is happening today.
Today is what it was all really about and what it was all pointing to.
Today’s Age of Grace is God’s “final dealing” with mankind before the curtains of history are drawn to a close.
We need to be where God is today, and in order to do that God Has given to us our great apostle Paul.
“Christ in you the hope of Glory”, would have been a blasphemous claim in the days of old before the cross.
Today, because of the “mystery revelations’ made known to us through Paul the apostle, that statement is an absolute reality.
See how wonderfully this apostle puts it in [Colossians 1:26-27]:
“Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints”.
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles”.
And now Paul puts on this Scripture it’s ‘Crowning Glory”, “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”.
What Adam lost in Eden, Christ has recovered for us on Calvary’s Cross.
His “SHED BLOOD” bought back the Glory.
God’s Final Move
It is through this apostle Paul that God is making His final move and we need to recognize this fact.
We need to settle this once and for all, if we want to move effectively with the Holy Spirit.
Just as Moses was found faithful in dispensing the Law, Paul was faithful [CRUMB 0074] in dispensing Christ’s Grace.
We are saved today because of Paul’s faithfulness to his high calling.
Let us stay with this great apostle as we finish with him this final ‘race’ that is set before us.
JESUS CHRIST is both the steady lane on the racetrack of life and also that final finishing line.
HE is both the Author and the Finisher of our faith as we keep “looking unto Him” [Hebrews 12:2].
Words Of Christ In Red
The four gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, contain the words of Christ in red lettering.
Most of the preferred Bibles that we have contain these red letterings.
Wonderful as that may be, it unfortunately leaves the impression that Christ has nothing more to say. For HE has said all there is to say.
Nothing could be further from the Truth.
As a result, much of what Paul has written in his epistles has been overshadowed by those four gospel accounts.
And these epistles should really be taking preeminence over them, in a manner of speaking.
Lifelong Church going people, who are now in the sunset of their lives have told me this:
“I just go by those words of Christ in red”. This attitude and belief is so very prevalent all over. That is final for them.
Paul of course, does not even come into the equation.
Do you see what we’re getting at? This is the reality of what is happening out there.
A Subtle Scheme?
Could this just be a subtle scheme of our adversary the devil? You judge.
When Jesus Christ saves us, the world thinks we have gone mad.
And when you start talking Paul, then the legalists and religionists of Christendom think you’ve gone mad.
But we take it with a pinch of salt. We must for truth to prevail.
“Paul, thou art beside thyself”, Festus had shouted to him in [Acts 26:24], “much learning doth make thee mad”.
Another version puts it like this:
“You are out of your mind, Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane”.
What was this “great learning” that Paul got?
This wasn’t talking about the days when Paul sat at the feet of Gamaliel [Acts 22:3], the great teaching Rabbi.
This “Great Learning”, came from the Ascended Lord Jesus Christ in Glory.
Paul had spent three years of personal seminary training with the HIM out there at Sinai in Arabia.
And now that “Great Learning” has been passed on to us through the epistles of Paul the apostle of the Gentiles.
Direct Progressive Revelations
Everything that Paul has penned in his epistles is “direct progressive mystery revelations” from the Ascended Lord in Glory.
The same Jesus Christ, now in Ascended Glory, is giving us His final words and instructions through this apostle Paul.
What Jesus Christ spoke in the four gospel accounts were to the nation of Israel “under the Law” and before the cross.
And what HE reveals through Paul’s epistles are after HIS death, burial, resurrection, and ascension “under Grace”, after the cross.
In Jesus’ earthly ministry, He taught about the coming Kingdom here on earth.
BUT NOW after the cross, this same Jesus Christ taught through Paul, a hidden plan.
Really, all of Paul’s epistles should be in red lettering too, because they are Christ’s final words ‘literally’ from Heaven.
And having spoken through Paul, ‘NOW’ there is nothing more JESUS CHRIST has to say, for He has said it all.
“Paul the apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour”, it says in [1 Timothy 1:1].
Paul is the apostle to the ‘Body Of Christ’, not anybody else.
His epistles are that ‘final step beyond the cross’, which draws the curtains on History’s stage bringing it to closure.
Making The Transition
Making a transition in any area of life is never easy.
It does not happen automatically, especially when we have been brought up with something for years. In several cases, it’s been so most of our lives.
And we all, in some way or the other, have had to come to that place of acceptation.
Though reluctantly sometimes, we have made that required change and have been better off for it.
How much more when it comes to things pertaining to our eternal life?
Scripture no doubt does tell us that God never changes. That He is the same yesterday, today and forever and indeed He is.
However, HIS ‘modus operandi’ has constantly changed at different eras of human history.
And this is what we need to recognize and accept.
History is His entire story after all.
The book of ACTS is “the book of transition” from the old to the new.
Christ was resurrected from the dead never to die again.
This was heaven’s powerful declaration that HE indeed was the Son of God according to the Spirit of holiness [Romans 1:4].
Satan was dethroned, made a show of publicly, stripped of his power and authority [Colossians 2:15] and his days numbered.
Till this point Christ had been made a little lower than the angels, but HE wasn’t so now any longer. [Hebrews 2:9] makes this so clear.
Jesus Christ ascended back to heaven reclaiming His position as the KING of kings and LORD of lords.
Heavenly Ministry Released
Having ascended, Jesus Christ released His heavenly ministry through Paul the apostle.
This was HIS final “mystery plan”, his “hidden agenda”, throwing wide open the door to every person’s salvation unconditionally.
The transition from the “under the Law” to “under Grace” had begun.
The “Gospel of the Kingdom” for the Jews was beginning to make way for the “Paul’s Gospel of Grace” for the Gentiles.
“Thou art the Christ the Son of God” had been the Jews confession of faith for salvation.
This was now giving way to Paul’s message of salvation through the “death, burial and resurrection” of Jesus Christ [1 Corinthians 15:1-4].
“JUST BELIEVE” has been heaven’s cry and plea since then.
“WHOSOEVER WILL”, and heaven is instantly snapping them out of the devil’s dark domain and into the Son’s Glorious Kingdom.
GOD is individually calling and taking out “a people for His Name” [Acts 15:14].
“James the legalist”, the half blood brother of Jesus Christ, the leader of the apostles at the time recognized this.
And while doing this, God is simultaneously sealing them with His Holy Spirit as His mark of Ownership and Preservation.
[Ephesians 1:13-14] makes this so simple and clear.
But it does not stop there. God is slowly but surely, by His Spirit, transforming them into the image of his Son.
At the same time He is using them as vessels, giving to them the “ministry of reconciliation” [2 Corinthians 5:18-19].
And the ‘power-filled’ tool for this ministry is the “word of reconciliation”, which is none other than Paul’s Gospel of Grace.
God is busy building His “Heavenly Body” today, “The Body of Christ” and NOT denominations and cults.
This is where God is today and this is what HE is doing!
Living In The Old
Yet there are so many of us still living in the old, refusing to leave. We are still looking to operate in the ‘modus operandi’ of what has gone by.
Try as hard as you want, but it will just not work for God is not there any more.
There are no signs and wonders today, and there won’t be any coming during this “Age of Grace”.
If there are, they will be counterfeits. The devil hasn’t changed too.
Jesus Christ will come and go and we’ll still be “naming it and claiming it”, and “fake it till we make it”.
And the devil has no problem with this, keeping us blinded by giving birth to innumerable “itching ears” ministries.
“The Jews require a sign”, says Paul in [1 Corinthians 1:22].
BUT NOW today for this Age of Grace, it is, “The just shall live by faith” [Romans 1:17].
The ‘transaction’ was made at the cross, and the ‘transition’ has been made through Paul.
It is here to stay.
Where should we and where do we want to be?
The Work Of The Cross
The work of the cross was both incomprehensively detailed and an intricately woven “Masterpiece”.
It took God four thousand years to put it together. It had to be for it would take all HIS Power and Might to save even one individual to make him a “new creation”.
The ways of God are past finding out [Romans 11:33-36].
To us it is one huge jigsaw puzzle beginning at eternity past and going into eternity future.
It is beyond our comprehension, but here is the thing:
That last and final piece, fitting perfectly into Heaven’s jigsaw puzzle is “PAUL THE APOSTLE OF THE GENTILES”
It’s time to make that transition and take that final step beyond the cross.
Eternity confidently rests on it.
We hope you have found this series beneficial.