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Forgiven in the Dispensation of Grace

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Forgiven in the Dispensation of Grace

Forgiven in the Dispensation of Grace

Since the beginning of the Apostle Paul’s ministry there has been an attempt to co-mingle law and grace, thereby moving the believer away from faith in what has been revealed in the words of Christ given to Paul. Paul claimed that Christ was speaking through him.

“Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.” (2 Cor. 13:3 KJV)

As the Apostle to the Gentiles, Paul spoke to the Gentiles magnifying his office and authority in the things he was saying to them.

“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:” (Rom. 11:13 KJV)

Either Paul was an extreme egotist or he had been given a special office when it came to ministering to the Gentiles, unlike any of the other apostles who were apostles to the circumcision (the Jews). He was ordained to be a preacher and an apostle, a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

“Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.” (1 Tim. 2:7 KJV)

No one was better equipped to instruct the believers in what to believe during the dispensation of grace than Paul. He understood God’s relationship with believers under grace like none of the apostles to the circumcision. Peter even professed he had a hard time understanding some of the things in Paul’s epistles.

 (Gal 2:7–9 KJV) “But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.”

Why would Paul draw a distinction in the “gospel of the uncircumcision” and the “gospel of the circumcision” if they were the same gospel? If they were preaching the same gospel, but one had the apostleship to the circumcision and the other the apostleship to the uncircumcision, that would easily have been handled by saying just that, but Paul makes a distinction in the gospel itself.

“And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (2 Pet. 3:15–16 KJV)

The gospel of the uncircumcision (the Gentiles) was committed to Paul and the gospel of the circumcision (Jews) was committed to Peter, James and John. It should be no surprise to find some doctrinal variances between Paul’s epistles to the Gentiles and the epistles written by James, Peter and John who were ministering to the Jews. Paul often stressed his special relationship to the Gentile believers in Christ.

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,” (Eph. 3:1 KJV)

“Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.” (Rom. 15:15–16 KJV)

  Paul claimed to be “THE minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles,” not simply a minister of Jesus Christ. For Paul to claim the reason he was that is so “that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, implying that otherwise it would not be.

“(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)” (Gal. 2:8 KJV)

It is truly a mystery why teachers of the word of God fail to emphasize Paul's unique ministry to the Gentiles, but instead try to mix the epistles written by the apostles to the circumcision into Paul's teaching. It should not surprise Gentile believers to find teachers leading them away from the truths revealed through Paul to the body of Christ. Very early in Paul’s ministry his converts were quickly confronted by the those trying to mix law with grace, who sought to turn the Gentile believers from the grace of Christ as revealed through Paul.

Paul had warned young Timothy, one of his ministerial trainees, regarding those who desired to be teachers of the law.

(1 Timothy 1:5–8 KJV) “5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. 8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;” 

Understanding the lawful use of the law is important. Paul states the law was made for the unrighteous (lost people) to show them their hopeless condition, so they’d abandon self- righteousness and come to Christ and trust him fully. Notice, having turned from “unfeigned faith” in the words of Christ as revealed through Paul, these teachers turned to teach the law, not even understanding what they were giving their assent to. Paul referred to it as vain jangling, in other words a lot of useless noise. These teachers were troubling Paul’s converts in the region of Galatia. Paul wrote to warn them because they were turning from the revelations Paul had given them and mingling law with grace. They were not obeying the truth that Paul had delivered to them.

(Galatians 3:1–5 KJV) “1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. 5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”

Now clearly, Jesus was crucified in Jerusalem and not in the region of Galatia, but Paul is speaking of the “hearing of faith” whereby he ministered to them the Spirit. So when Paul preached Christ crucified it was as if it was before their very eyes that Christ being crucified was set forth. This was accomplished by the Spirit as Paul ministered the gospel to them. It was so real to them. But someone was trying to get them to move away from “the hearing of faith” to the works of the law for receiving the Spirit or ministering the Spirit. Those teaching the law were not ministering the Spirit unto them, but we’re leading them away from the truths of the gospel that Paul had preached unto them.   

Paul instructed Timothy to continue in the things he had learned from Paul and had been assured, because Timothy knew who it was that taught him - Paul. It is important to emphasize the instruction to continue in the teachings they had been assured of for which there was sufficient scriptural evidence. Unfortunately, theology doesn't like loose ends and most theological pursuits have people drawing conclusions about things for which there is no assurance.

(2 Timothy 3:14 KJV) “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;”

Now religious teachers may try to hijack this verse by applying it to themselves, but contextually it deals with what Paul had instructed Timothy. Believer’s are better off to stick with faith in what Paul taught than with anyone else. He further instructs Timothy to commit these things to other faithful men, who would teach them to others.

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” (2 Tim. 2:2 KJV)

The pre-eminence of the teachings of Paul to the body of Christ cannot be stressed enough. It should not be a surprise to see teachers leading believers away from the clear revelations that Paul had given assurance of to the body of Christ.

Let’s look at some things written by Paul through which he was ministering the Spirit to them by the “hearing of faith.” That is what Paul claimed. You will have to decide whether you will believe what you hear from Paul’s words (as the words of Christ) or reject them. Many have rejected them for theological conclusions and traditions of men. Here, group think becomes very powerful because people long to be accepted, so it's just easier to go along to get long. You will have to decide whether to exercise faith in the revealed words of Christ through Paul. Remember that the other apostles didn’t fully understand the things that Paul wrote because their ministries were aimed at the remnant of Israel. So be careful not to use other scriptures to strip Paul's teachings of the authority that God had given to him in ministering to the Gentiles. What follows is a glorious truth!

(Romans 4:4–8 KJV) “4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." ...

 What a tremendous truth, that God justifies the ungodly. What a God, who can declare the ungodly as just! Paul’s ministry was to stress the grace of Christ - what God does for the believer. To declare just those who are the very opposite is truly the work of God and not of man.

   "6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

 Paul is teaching the Gentiles that God has justified ungodly Gentiles who trusted Paul's gospel and blessed them by imputing righteousness to them through no works of their own. Paul then applies a verse from the Psalms to those ungodly who have been justified by God. He calls them blessed. Why? Because their iniquities are forgiven and their sins are covered. Do you believe that? Do your teachers believe that? Remember, the hearing of faith is what ministers the Spirit. Do you believe what you’ve just heard? How blessed are these justified ungodly men? They are so blessed that the Lord **WILL NOT** impute sin to them. Do you believe that? Do your teachers believe that? If not, why not?

 Paul gave assurance of these marvelous truths to the body of Christ by speaking of them not just once, but repeatedly.

(Ephesians 1:7–12 KJV) “7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Paul wrote very clearly that in Christ believers HAVE the forgiveness of sins. And to emphasize the degree which they have the forgiveness of sins, he says, “according to the riches of his grace.” Oh, how rich the grace of Christ is, so much so that Paul will use the term “abounded” in the very next phrase.

"8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;" ...    

 God’s wisdom and prudence are demonstrated by the abounding riches of his grace in forgiving believers of their sins through the blood of Christ. God’s will from the beginning was a mystery, according to the next verse. And many have mistakenly concluded that Adam sinning was a mere happenstance, simply a failing that was not part of God's plan. That Adam had ruined God’s plan. However, Adam’s fall was God’s plan by which he would redeem his creation to himself and demonstrate his wisdom by making them to the praise of his glory.

   "9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.'

Forgiving sinners was God’s plan from the beginning. In God’s mind, Christ was slain from the foundation of the world and was foreordained before the world was even created. Before Adam ever sinned, God had redemption's plan worked out and had secured Christ’s promise to fulfill it. And it is this same God who according to his purpose by working all things after the counsel of his own will has blessed the believers with an already obtained inheritance.

Paul repeats this marvelous revelation to the believers in Colosse.

(Colossians 1:13–14 KJV) “13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and **hath translated us into the kingdom** of his dear Son:

What wonderful truths of what God has done for believers through the gospel. He HATH delivered them from the power of darkness. They've already been translated into the kingdom of his dear Son. And hallelujah, believers HAVE “the forgiveness of sins.”

 "14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

  Do you believe it? Those that are saved have been quickened together with Christ when he was quickened from the dead. When Christ was quickened none of us alive today had committed a single sin, our sins were all going to be in the future. Yet in our quickening together with Christ, God forgave ALL our trespasses. Read it and believe it.

(Colossians 2:13 KJV) “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”

Now, it’s up to you to believe it. Knowing that someone is going to try to “bewitch” you away from the “hearing of faith”, what has Paul assured us of in these verses? That those, who are saved, are blessed because God has forgiven ALL of their sins according to the riches of his grace and that the Lord WILL NOT impute sin to them. Paul has ministered the Spirit to the believers in revealing these wonderful truths.

Why is this important to how believers continue in their lives as new creatures living under the grace of Christ? It is important because it will determine whether they'll continue to live by the "hearing of faith” or try to be made perfect by the flesh by taking heed to the vain jangling of would be law teachers.

Watch as Paul uses this knowledge to exhort believers in their daily walk...

   (Ephesians 4:32 KJV) “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

(Colossians 3:13 KJV) “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”

    Has God forgiven you? Has Christ forgiven you? How ridiculous would it be for Paul to appeal for believers to forgive others on the basis of God for Christ’s sake having forgiven them, if they weren’t already forgiven? Wouldn’t it be equally ridiculous for him to admonish the believers in Colosse to forgive one another as Christ has forgiven them, if they weren’t already forgiven by Christ? If believers have already been forgiven by God and by Christ and they've been blessed because God will not impute sin to them, do they have to seek God’s forgiveness? Why would they need to seek God's forgiveness for something he has already forgiven? There is no need for believers saved under the gospel of the grace of Christ to seek forgiveness from God for sins. Why? Because they already have it and He won’t impute sin to them according the the revelation given to Paul for the body of Christ. It is this wonderful truth that is to be the believer's motivation for forgiving others as given by the Apostle Paul, Christ’s minister to the Gentiles. That’s grace living through the “hearing of faith.” It’s called the hearing of faith and faith comes by hearing the revealed words of Christ. Did you believe what you heard from the Apostle to the Gentiles? What Paul’s done in his epistles is minister the Spirit to us through the “hearing of faith.”

Now let’s look at a contradiction in scripture, if you don’t rightly divide the word of truth as Paul instructs in 2 Timothy 2:15.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15 KJV)

Here we will see the words of Christ spoken by Christ as the minister of the circumcision (Romans 15:8) to his Jewish followers.

(Matthew 6:14–15 KJV) “14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

 Now, you can see immediately there appears to be a problem. That is conditional forgiveness. They have to forgive to be forgiven, they don’t forgive because they’ve already been forgiven as revealed by the words of Christ through the Apostle Paul.

Just in case this is a mis-translation, let’s look at another passage. This story was told by Jesus when Peter asked him how many times he should forgive his brother. The story is of a man’s servant that owed a debt to his master, who was forgiven the debt, but he then turned around and had no compassion on someone who owed him a debt.

(Matthew 18:32–35 KJV) “32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”

Again, this passage spoken by Jesus, as the minister to the circumcision in preparation for the millennial kingdom, is a conditional forgiveness. But it also speaks of a punishment by tormentors for not doing so. Okay, we know that the other verse wasn’t mis-translated and Mark’s gospel says the very same thing.

(Mark 11:25–26 KJV) “25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

Is this a contradiction? No, but it appears to be until you rightly divided the word of truth. Paul says the believer has been forgiven of all trespasses and God will not impute sin to him. Jesus says if these Jews don’t forgive than the Father won’t forgive them. These cannot both be present truths. These verses spoken by Christ are not a present truth to the body of Christ. It is a kingdom readiness truth aimed at Israel. It is not doctrine for the body of Christ under the dispensation of grace. One can see immediately a difference in the believer’s relationship with God as being in the body of Christ.

The next set of verses you are probably going to have trouble with because they have been erroneously taught to the body of Christ as doctrine and present truth. One of the Apostles to the circumcision, John the revelator, writes in his first epistle something that stands in contrast to the clear revelation given to the body by the Apostle Paul.

(1 John 1:6–9 KJV) “6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Is John the Apostle to the Gentiles? No. Do we need to keep being cleansed by the blood of Christ? Do we need for God to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness over and over again? Remember, God and Christ hath already forgiven all our sins and we’ve been made the righteousness of God in him. Paul explains our changed condition because we've already been washed. Let's look.

   (1 Corinthians 6:9–11 KJV) “9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." ...

Some will teach that a believer can lose their place in the kingdom of God because of these two verses, but that is because of a failure to read them in light of the very next verse.

"11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, **but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified** in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

Remember, Paul is ministering the Spirit to us by the “hearing of faith.” Believers in the dispensation of grace have already been translated into the kingdom his dear Son. But what about that list of sins? Won’t that disqualify you from inheriting the kingdom? Good question, but that wasn’t a list of sins, it was a list of sinners.

 What does Paul tell us? 1. You are already washed. 2. You are sanctified - set apart (by Spiritual Circumcision) 3. You are Justified - declared just. (Just as if I’d never done it). Who did that? The Spirit of God, that Paul was ministering to them. To teach a Christian that he has to confess and ask forgiveness for a sin that God has already forgiven is to diminish the very work of Christ and of the Spirit.

Remember, how many of our trespasses are forgiven according to Paul? “All trespasses.” How blessed are we according to Paul? That the Lord “will not impute sin.”

So, are we that are saved, any of those things because our flesh commits any of those sins? No. Remember, Paul is ministering the Spirit.

(Rom. 7:17–18 KJV) Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”

(Romans 8:9 KJV) “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

What a revelation! Sin is confined to the body of the sins of the flesh from which the believer has been spiritual circumcised, so it is no longer I that do it.

(Col. 2:11–12 KJV) “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of **the operation of God**, who hath raised him from the dead.”

The effect of this operation of God is that the believer is not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. Having the Spirit of Christ is what makes one saved in this dispensation, if someone doesn’t have it, they aren’t saved. Christ in you is our hope of glory revealed in a mystery to the Apostle Paul.

(Col. 1:27 KJV) “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” 

Because sin is now confined to our flesh and we have been circumcised from it, our flesh must be changed. This is why Paul uses such strong terms in this regard.

(1 Cor. 15:53 KJV) “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

(1 Corinthians 15:50 KJV) “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”

Our flesh, as it is, cannot inherit the kingdom of God, so it must be changed and will be by the Spirit of Christ.

Do you still think you need to be washed AGAIN and AGAIN in the blood of Christ to get God to forgive you? Or are you willing by faith to believe the scriptural truths that Paul has revealed?

(Titus 3:5 KJV) “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

Believers have been made new by the Holy Ghost and the washing of regeneration in this dispensation. This is wholly on the basis of God’s mercy and not a single work of righteousness that on the part of the believer.

Sadly, what a disgrace to so diminish the work of Christ for the believers in this age of grace to teach that a believer has to confess their sins in order to receive forgiveness from Christ and be washed in the blood of Christ, again and again to be cleansed. This is the dispensation of grace and God did it for us.

Paul says we have already been reconciled to God according to 2 Corinthians 5 and we’ve been given the word of reconciliation and the ministry of reconciliation.

(2 Corinthians 5:17-19 KJV) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” 

In Christ, believers are reconciled to God and our trespasses are not imputed to us, just like Romans 4:8 declared.

Paul warned the believers that someone who desires to teach the law, (but doesn’t know what they are affirming,) is going to try to lead them away from the “hearing of faith," that ministers the Spirit, to a works based relationship with God based upon Old Testament concepts.

This will set the Christian on the course of trying to curry favor with God for acceptance and seeking for his forgiveness when they mess up, rather than trust in his forgiveness as revealed to Paul for us Gentiles. Sadly, it will result for some to even think that they can lose their salvation rather than trusting in the finished work of Christ. This will all be done to get the believer to stop trusting in the finished work of Christ and go back under a plan of self-righteousness and lose the joy that comes from trusting in Christ.

Paul was having to oppose these false teachers shortly after delivering the revealed truths that Christ had given him for the church, the body of Christ and he knew their motives.

(Galatians 2:4 KJV) “And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:”

(Galatians 5:1 KJV) “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

  These teachers are looking to garner disciples after themselves. They appear to be teachers of the word of God, but they use it incorrectly to get their adherents to submit to their fleshly, mis- applied rules so they can make “a fair shew in the flesh.” They will glory in their followers submission to their rules, rather than minister the Spirit by the “hearing of faith” in the revelation of Christ through Paul. Paul says their particular rules don’t avail either way, what matters is a new creature which the believer is because of the Spirit of Christ.

(Galatians 6:11–15 KJV) “11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. 12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. 14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.”

Paul’s ministry was to testify the gospel of the grace of God and was pure from the blood of all men because he fulfilled his ministry. Of his own testimony he declares he had “not shunned to declare unto” them, “all the counsel of God.”

(Acts. 20:24–27 KJV) “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”

He clearly had not instructed them in every verse of the Bible, neither did he need to because all the counsel of God for the Gentiles of the dispensation of grace was revealed to Paul. He instructs the believers as to their relationship to the other scriptures and how they are to view them.

(Rom. 15:4 KJV) “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

Yes, believers can learn from what was written in the other scriptures, but their focus should be through patience and comfort of the scriptures to have hope, not despair. What a great hope believers have when they realize that Christ has done what was necessary for them to forgiven of all their trespasses based solely on the finished work of Christ.

I close with this question, Do you believe what Christ revealed to the Apostle Paul for the body of Christ? Are you beginning to see that our relationship with God is based upon the finished work of Christ and faith in what he has done for us? That it is unlike the relationship that people under the a law had with God. There’s was a relationship of do to receive the promise - the promise is conditional. For New Testament Christian’s the relationship is do because you’ve already received the promise because of the work of Christ - the promise is unconditional to us because Christ met the conditions for us.

Will you believe that God has forgiven all your trespasses? Will you exercise faith in those words of scripture revealed to Paul for the body of Christ and thank God for his grace in not imputing your trespasses to you? This is the ministry of the Spirit of Christ in this age.

May the Lord bless you as you believe his word through Paul

Revised 10/5/2023