ETERNAL PLAN TO REDEEM MAN [Part Three]
to the eternal purpose”
of Part Two
and Spirit co-exist. Since matter is not eternal, it must be the case that
spirit created matter, or brought matter into existence.
is that Spirit (Genesis 1:1; John 4:24). He is all-powerful, having all the
power necessary to carry out His eternal purpose.
the beginning, He created all we see from invisible elements.
faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that
the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Heb.
the primary object of God’s eternal purpose, man is the only one of God’s
physical creatures that is accountable for his actions. He alone was given the
power to choose whether or not to do what he was designed to do - comply with
the will of God. This uniqueness exists because man alone was created in
God said, "Let Us make man in Our image,
according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over
every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." So God created man in His
own image; in the image of
God He created him; male and female He created them. (Gen.
Fall of Man
responsibility is tri-directional. C. S. Lewis illustrated this by a fleet of
ships. Each ship is related to itself [its own inner workings], the other
ships in the fleet [making sure it doesn’t collide with any of them] and its
ultimate destination [making sure it arrives safe and sound]. Jesus alluded to
man’s threefold responsibility in this conversation with a scribe.
one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving
that He had answered them well, asked Him, "Which is the first
commandment of all?" Jesus answered him, "The first of all the
primary responsibility is to love God with all the heart, soul, mind and
strength [probably signifying strength of will, rather than physical
he is to love his neighbor as himself [probably meaning “as an extension of
a letter to Titus, Paul also referred to man’s tri-directional
the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us
that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly,
righteously, and godly in the present age (Titus
is to be sober [of sound mind - rightly related to self], righteous [rightly
related to those around him always treating them fairly] and godly, rightly
related to God, realizing that He is aware of every thought, word and act.
fall of man is related in the third chapter of Genesis.
the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God
had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not
eat of every tree of the garden'?" And the woman said to the serpent,
"We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the
tree which is in the midst of
the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest
you die.'” Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely
die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened,
and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
when the woman saw that the tree was
good for food, that it was
pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one
wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her,
and he ate.
the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were
naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And
they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the
day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God
among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to
him, "Where are
you?" So he said, "I heard Your voice in
the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." And
He said, "Who told you that you were
naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should
not eat?" Then the man said, "The woman whom You
gave to be with me, she gave
me of the tree, and I ate." And the Lord God said to the woman,
"What is this you have
done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (Gen.
fall involved three consecutive changes: a change in affection - from the love
of God to the love of knowledge (Gen. 3:1-5), a change in volition - from
obedience to disobedience (Gen. 3:6) and a change in relation - from friend of
God to enemy of God (Gen. 3:7-13).
God revealed His plan to reconcile man unto Himself by creating enmity between
man and the serpent.
the Lord God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, You
are cursed more than all
cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. And I will put enmity Between
you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your
head, And you shall bruise His heel." (Gen.
serpent is the devil (Rev. 12:1-9) and the seed of the serpent are the
devil’s spiritual offspring, while the seed of the woman is Jesus.
are of your father the devil,
and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the
beginning, and does not stand
in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he
speaks from his own resources,
for he is a liar and the father of it.”
when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a
woman, born under the law (Gal.
twofold bruising was figurative of (1) the “bruising” Satan would give
Jesus from which Jesus would recover in the resurrection (Luke 22:3-6; Acts
2:22-28), and (2) the “bruising” Jesus would give Satan from which Satan
would never recover (1 John 3:8).
one year draws to a close and another year dawns, resolutions are being made.
Most people resolve to do such things as lose weight, break a bad habit or
settle a dispute. The Epistle to the Hebrews, however, contains thirteen
divine admonitions, which - if we resolve to accept them - will have a much
greater impact on our lives than things we might normally resolve to do.
“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear
lest any of you seem to have come short of it” (4:1).
is a resolution to be more in awe of who God is, and of what it means to
displease Him. This Holy
Awe will have a sobering effect upon
our daily activities. The facts related in the previous verses [3:12-19]
should produce this in us.
“Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall
according to the same example of disobedience” (4:11).
resolution is to make
haste, which will be relatively easy to keep if we can only keep the first
one, for it is Holy Awe that produces Holy Haste.
“Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the
heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession” (4:14).
is to resolve to be more stable in our claim to be Christians. Holy
Awe and Holy Haste produce Holy
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (4:16).
resolution is to allow Holy Awe, Holy Haste and Holy Stability to create
within us a Holy Confidence that He will help us “in time of need.”
“Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of
Christ, let us go on to perfection” (6:1).
is not possible for us to make Holy Progress in our relationship with God if
we are ever discussing elementary principles and never confronting the
difficult themes of God’s revelation. Keeping the previous resolutions of
Holy Awe, Holy Haste, Holy Stability and Holy Confidence will aid us
tremendously in keeping this one.
‘Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having
our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure
acts of worship God expects of us are designed to draw us into nearer to Him
in Holy Fellowship. But worship, to profit us, must be “in spirit and in
truth” (John 4:22-24). Until “our bodies [have been] washed with
pure water” [in baptism] “and our hearts sprinkled from an evil
conscience” [in forgiveness] we are not qualified to engage in true
worship. But, having thus qualified ourselves, we must still “draw near
with a true heart in full assurance of faith.”
The proper acts of worship will not achieve their designed purpose
unless they are accompanied by faith.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who
promised is faithful” (10:23).
is a resolution to Holy Perseverance. We cannot afford to waver in our worship
or service to God for we could die, or the Lord could come, while we are
wavering and we would have no chance to repent.
“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good
resolution is to give Holy Consideration to those who look to us for
encouragement. “No man is an island,” said John Donne, the English poet.
This is a scriptural concept, inasmuch as the Lord, through the apostles,
instituted the local church wherein Christians can and should be of mutual and
reciprocal support. Let us be there for one another in 2006.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of
witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares
resolution to Holy Surrender is preparatory to the next one. We must surrender
or forfeit anything and everything that will either slow us down or ensnare
us. There are some things not wrong in and of themselves that will be more
problematic than helpful in living the life that one ought to live. They are
unnecessary weights. There may also be a sin that will more easily ensnare one
Christian than another.
“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (12:1)
is a resolution to Holy Dedication, and can only be kept if, and to the
extent, the previous one is kept. “The race that is set before us”
is the life that one ought to live morally and spiritually. If one is to
persevere he must “run with endurance.”
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let
us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly
resolution is to Holy Usefulness in
the temporal kingdom of heaven, while it can and will be shaken, in order that
we may enjoy the eternal kingdom of heaven, when it cannot be shaken (see also
2 Peter 1:5-11).
“Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His
is a resolution to Holy Sacrifice. To the first-century Jewish Christians it
involved leaving mainstream Judaism; to Gentile Christians in the twenty-first
century it could very well involve turning one’s back on the “family
religion” (see Matthew 10:34-39; Mark 10:29-30).
“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to
God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (13:15).
This resolution is to Holy Gratitude, the natural response to the knowledge that Jesus has prepared us “a continuing city” in heaven above (13:14). &