A Scriptural Study Newsletter edited by Elder Vernon Johnson

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

 

 

 

Called, Justified, Glorified.

Called.

As we continue our study of the covenant of redemption, we will begin to look at the works of God that are essential in order that the elect reach the final destiny to which God has predestinated them. These works are listed as "called, justified, and glorified." In this issue we will consider God's calling.

Previously, we have noted how God "foreknew" or "chose" a people to be his before the foundation of the world. Then we studied how God determined the final destiny of the elect beforehand (predestination).  This final destiny is to be conformed to the image of Christ which is holy, harmless, undefined, righteous, love, spiritual, possessed of eternal life, incorruptible, immortal, powerful, and glorious. In addition, our final destiny will include being adopted into the family of God and being joint heirs with Jesus Christ. One of the works of God that work toward reaching this final destiny is God's calling.  According to Rom. 8:30, "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called..." Thus all that God foreknew and predestinated are also called of God.

The first thing we notice about God's calling is that God does the calling. It is not man's calling and is not a cooperative effort between God and man. It is HE who calls.

The next thing is this calling is an effectual calling. By "effectual calling" I mean that God calls by his power and the ones who are called are changed without exception as a result of this calling. That God calls by his power is manifest by the following verses:

1. John 5:25 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live."
2. John 10:27, 28 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life..."
3. John 17:1, 2 "...Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."
4. Eph. 1:19, 20 "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead..."
5. Eph. 2:1 "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins..."

That those who are called are changed by that call is evidenced by such statements as:
1. "The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and they that hear shall live."
2. "That he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."
3. The mighty power that raised Christ from the dead is the same mighty power that enabled us to believe.
4. The statement "You hath he quickened" indicates God gave life to us when we were "dead in trespasses and sins."

Thirdly, we notice that those who are called of God are called as a result of God's purpose and grace to call them before the world began.  II Tim. 1:9 reads, "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."

Fourthly, we note that this calling is a direct calling from God to man. There are no intermediates between God and man in this calling. This calling is by the "voice" of God speaking directly to man. The following verses of scripture prove this principle:

1. John 5:25 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live."
2. John 6:63 "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life."
3. John 10:27 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me..."
4. John 10:16 "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

Finally, we notice that the change brought about by the "effectual calling of God" is to make those thus called holy and to impart unto them eternal life in the spirit. Furthermore it enables those thus called to "know the things freely given to them of God" (I Cor. 2:12).
For a further and more thorough discussion on this subject I refer the reader back to the several essays on the new birth.

In our next essay we will begin a discussion on the subject of "justified" as the fourth thing listed for us in the covenant of redemption as stated in Rom. 8:28 30.


Justified #1

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

This passage of scripture is commonly referred to as the "covenant of redemption." In our previous essays we have considered God's foreknowing a people, predestinating those he foreknew, and calling those he foreknew and predestinated. In this essay we will begin a study on God's justifying the people he foreknew.

The word justify means to make or declare righteous or just. It implies legal status. It is a court room term and is the result of a court room judgment. It means the opposite of the word condemn. In order to see how that we are justified it is helpful to go into "heaven's court room" and view the judgment of God.

There would be no judgment nor even a court room without law. Law is he basis for judgment. According to Rom. 5:13, "For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law." Without law, there can be no transgression of the law. For instance, if there were no speed limit then we could drive 100 mph on the freeway and could not be arrested for speeding.

Law derives from authority. Since God is the creator of all things, ultimate authority rests with God and He is the ultimate lawgiver.  According to Isa. 33:22, "The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king, he will save us." Also James 4:12 reads, "There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgeth another?" God, as the only lawgiver, gave commandment to man in the garden of Eden, "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." In giving this law, God also set the penalty for transgressing the law. The penalty for transgression is death.

Also, according to Rom. 6:23, "The wages of sin is death..." Sin is defined for us in 1 John 3:4, "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." The penalty of death for breaking God's laws is more than just death of the body but is set forth in the following passages of scripture:

1. Rev. 20:11 14 "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."
2. II Thes. 1:7 9 "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power..."
3. Matt. 25:41, 46 "then shall he say unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels...And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."

The penalty for breaking the law is meted out for every sin. We read in Heb. 2:2, "For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward..."  Thus every transgression and disobedience comes before God for judgment. Every sin is judged by God and his wrath is executed upon every sin. There is no such thing as anyone ever getting away with anything before God. Furthermore sin is more than the outward commission of sin, but also includes our inward thoughts:

1. Gen. 6:5 "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
2. Prov. 15:26 "The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord..."
3. Prov. 24:9 "The thought of foolishness is sin..."
4. Matt. 5:27, 28 "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

In our next essay we will consider the origin and extensiveness of sin and consider God as the one who apprehends us and our sins to bring us to judgment.


Justified #2

In this essay we want to consider the origin and extensiveness of sin and consider God as the apprehender of sin to bring us to judgment.  In Rom. 5:12 we read, "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." God gave the law to Adam. Adam transgressed the law and died as the result of sin. However, this sentence of death was more than just upon Adam, but it was upon all his posterity as well. The sentence of death passed upon all men, for all men were in Adam when he sinned. According to Rom. 5:14 Adam as the head and representative of his race was a figure of Christ who is the head and representative of his elect people. In verses 15 thru 19 of this chapter we read of those things that happened to Adam's race as a result of the sin of Adam. We read that we are dead as a result of Adam's offence, and that we were judged to condemnation because of Adam's offense, and that death reigned over us because of Adam's offense, and that we were made sinners because of Adam's offense. Thus we see that sin in man originated with Adam and this sin nature and condemnation of sin passed upon all of Adam's race.  David said in Ps. 51:5, "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me." David pinpointed his being a sinner as starting at conception. Furthermore, in Ps. 58:3 David affirmed that we bear the fruit of that sin nature as soon as we be born. Paul said in Rom. 7:18 that there is no good thing dwelling in the flesh. Thus sin is pervasive. It extends into the innermost thoughts of our heart. We are altogether filthy with sin.

Unlike in man's legal systems which are very imperfect, God's legal system is perfect. It has no flaws and results in perfect judgment and justice. In man's legal system most transgressions of the law are never apprehended. There are not near enough officers of the law to identify and bring every transgression of man's laws to justice. How many times, for instance, has the reader broken the speed limit for driving and never been apprehended for doing so because there was no traffic officer present to witness the transgression and ticket you? God has no such limitations. He is everywhere present and no where absent and has all knowledge. He is the perfect apprehender of His laws broken by fallen man.

According to Heb. 4:12, 13 God is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart and every creature is manifest in his sight for all things are naked and open to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.  According to Job 26:6, "Hell is naked before him and destruction hath no covering." Job also said in 42:2, "I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee." This is in harmony with Ps. 94:11, "The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity." Also Prov. 15:26 testifies to the wickedness of our thoughts and that God knows them, "The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord." Lest we think we are not among the wicked 1Cor. 3:20 says, "The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain."

David lamented in Ps. 69:5, "O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee." Jeremiah recorded the words of the Lord in 16:17, "For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes." The Lord said in Matt. 10:26, "Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known." That nothing can be hid from God is manifest in Prov. 15:3, "The eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the good."

Thus we are made to conclude that God knows our every thought and our every action and thus our every sin. Not one of his laws are ever broken without his knowing it and without the sin being brought to the bar of justice for judgment.


Justified #3

Justified is the fourth of the five covenant things that work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. The five things are foreknew, predestinated, called, justified, and glorified. In previous essays we have considered God as the "lawgiver" and the "apprehender" of sin. In this essay we will consider God as the "Judge of all the earth."

Abraham in pleading for Lot before the Lord asked in Gen. 18:25, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Now let us consider the extensiveness of God's judicial reign:

1. He is said, as above, to be the judge of all the earth. The following verses also teach this lesson:
a. Ps. 94:8 "And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness."
b. Ps. 94:2 "Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud."
c. Ps. 96:13 "Before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth."
d. Ps. 82:8 "Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations."

2. The following verses show that he judges nations and between nations:
a. Gen. 15:14, "And also that nation whom they shall serve, will I judge..."
b. Judg. 11:27, "Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the Lord the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon."

3. Ps. 10:18 says that God judges the fatherless and the oppressed: "To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress."

4. God judges the righteous and the wicked according to Eccl. 3:17, "I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work."

5. God judges those that are high. Job. 21:22, "Shall any teach God knowledge? Seeing he judges those that are high."

6. God judges gods. Ps. 82:1, "God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods."

7. God judges the quick and the dead as shown below:

a. II Tim. 4:1 "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom."
b. I Pet. 4:5 "Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead."

Unfortunately among men who judge among men there are those who pervert judgment, who judge for reward, who judge for political gain, who judge unrighteous judgment. However, our God is not so. According to Deut. 32:4, "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."  God judges righteous judgment. God never perverts judgment. In judgment God does not favor one class of people over another. In judgment no one has an advantage over another due to social position, political position, nationality, gender, age, language, or skin pigmentation. God is perfectly just and perfectly right.

That God judges righteous judgment is declared by the following verses:
1. Ps. 50:6 "And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah."
2. Ps. 9:8 "And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness."
3. Ps. 67:4 "O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth."
4. Ps. 96:13 "...for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth."
5. Isa. 11:3 5 "And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: for he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins."

Now this may seem scary to consider that a God who knows all things, sees all things, and judges righteous judgment should judge me personally, especially, as I know that I am a sinner. It is only when we factor in the representative of His people (Jesus Christ) that we can see deliverance from the execution of God's wrath upon us.

Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift. In our next essay we will consider the "basis of judgment" in God's court room of justice.

Primitive Baptist