Joshua 1:11                           Three Divine Appointments                                   5/1/2011          ßą   

 

 

 

 

 

#1.       Then Joshua Commanded (Jos 1:10, Gal 1:16, Matt 7:29, Titus 2:13-15, Jer 17:9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       Within Three Days (Jos 1:11, Matt 12:40, Eph 4:9, Rev 22:19)

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       Perfect Obedience (Jos 1:11, John 14:21, Rom 6:6, Col 3:1, John 5:24, Rom 8:1, 7:4,6, 3:31, 2Cor 5:15)

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Prophecy of Deuteronomy, Deut 18:15 (2X). As you know, the Lord prophesied to the children of Israel that there would rise up from among them a prophet like unto Moses. When Moses died and God appointed Joshua as the successor to Moses, many of the children of Israel thought that he was the prophet whom God had promised, and so they were very obedient in everything he said. We read in Deut 18:15,

De 18:15 ¶  The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

Could it indeed be true that Joshua was that prophet who was promised? Please turn to the last chapter in Deuteronomy, for there we can detect if this is true or false. Please turn to Deut 34:10 (2X), and there we read in Deut 34:10, “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,”

This verse tells us, “There arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses.” In other words, in all of history until the time that Deuteronomy was completed, the prophet who was promised had not yet appeared. And so, Joshua is not that prophet. Only Christ fulfills that prophecy. And Joshua is only a type of the figure of Christ.

That is why Joshua bears the same name as Christ. But he is a very significant type of Christ. Joshua was appointed to lead his people into the land of Canaan, which represented the kingdom of God, and fight for them against the Canaanites who were the enemies of God. The Lord Jesus Christ was also appointed to lead His people into the Kingdom of God and fight for them against the enemies of God. Can we then say that the battle to cross the Jordan River is a type or a figure of the battle of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross when He overcame sin, and Satan and the Law? We can indeed say that, but we should not carry the analogy too far, for Joshua was a mortal man, and his work was not perfect like that of Christ. Please turn now to the Prophecy of Joshua, Jos 1:6 (2X).

First I wanted you to see the words by which Joshua was appointed by God. This was God’s Word to Joshua as we read in verse 1. The title of this sermon is, Three Divine Appointments (2X). We read in Jos 1:6-8,

Jos 1:6-8  Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

There are three Divine appointments in this passage which could apply to Joshua, or even better to Christ.

#1. You shall cause this people Israel to inherit the kingdom of God; this is what you must do for all the elect in Israel. It is necessary that You must be strong and brave in Your battles against the enemies of God, for God the Son shall strengthen You, and shall be with You and in You in whatever You do.

#2. You shall cause Judgment Day to occur for all the Canaanites, for the iniquity of the Amorites is now full. You shall come as the Judge, and You shall judge the earth with the Word of God.

#3. You must be subject to all the law of Moses, for you must qualify yourself as the leader or Redeemer of Israel. You must be strong and brave for there are many temptations. You must obey the law perfectly so that You act wisely within the confines of the law. And thus, the three actions that are commanded are as follows:

#1, Save all the elect; #2, Bring judgment on the rest of mankind; #3, You must obey the law perfectly.

Can Joshua do that? Absolutely not; and certainly not perfectly. Can Christ do that? Yes He can. Before we continue let us be clear on the name Israel, which is the Israel of God. Not all the children of Israel that came out of Egypt are legitimate children of God, for God says in Heb 3:19 that most of them which came out of Egypt were unbelievers. God is kind to them because the saints are among them. This is a basic principle: God is kind to the church that harbors the saints within the congregation. And so, these three appointments are before us, and we need to work these out to get a clear view of the Gospel that is therein. We read in Jos 1:9-18,

Jos 1:9-18  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it. And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying, “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land. Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them; Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD’S servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.” And they answered Joshua, saying, “All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses. Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.”

In verses 1-2 God showed us the task that Joshua was to carry out, and God gave us the spiritual meaning of the death of Moses (typifying the law) and the advancement of Joshua (typifying Jesus). In verses 3-5 God showed us three Divine attributes Joshua (Jesus) was going to inherit in order to carry out this task, and God showed us how this is applied to our daily life as prophets, priests, and kings. In verses 6-8 God showed us three Divine appointments that were supposed to be given to Joshua, but that only the Lord Jesus could fulfill. And in verse 9 God summarized the entire task before Joshua, and God says, “Have not I commanded thee?” Today we will focus on verse 11, and we will see if we can find the Gospel there.

#1.       Then Joshua Commanded (Jos 1:10, Gal 1:16, Matt 7:29, Titus 2:13-15, Jer 17:9)

Jos 1:10, “Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people” giving to them their orders.

You may have noticed that God was speaking all the time from verse 2 till verse 9. And when God ceased from speaking Joshua immediately did not consult others in the army of God, but immediately made the decision to cross over Jordan. We can see that this is the response of a child of God. For example the apostle Paul says in Gal 1:16, “Immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood” but he went into Arabia, to the mountain of God, and that was his decision to immediately work for the Lord as His minister. Let us apply this principle to us. Where do we stand in our work for the Lord? Did we, or do we, right away put our mind to work to decide what we are going to do to please the One who loved us so much that He shed His blood and gave His life for us on the cross? If our response is, “Well, let me think about this, for now I am caught up in the business of this life; I need to have a life also”, then I think we know where we stand. Let us now look at verse 10 again,

Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people.” What did Joshua do? He commanded the officers of the people. He did not beg or plead with them. He did not persuade them to do this or to do that. No! He commanded them. You see, the God of the Bible never pleads with men; the God of the Bible never begs or tries to persuade people to do what He wants. The God of the Bible commands men to believe His words, and to act according to it. And if we do not, we are put on notice that we are lawbreakers, and that we are sinners, and sinners are on the way to the lake of fire, for sinners inherit the wrath of an angry God. That is the spiritual side of Joshua commanding the officers of his army. If we are in the army of Christ, then we ought to obey what He says and where He sends us to go. Anything less than that is insubordination and you know what the destiny is of insubordinators.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to Titus, Tit 2:15 (2X). You see, Christ speaks with authority, and He commands His ministers also to speak with authority. We read in Matt 7:29, “For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” And Christ also commands His ministers to speak with authority. We read in Titus 2:15, “These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”

What things was the Lord speaking about when He commanded Titus to speak these things with authority? Look at the astounding two verses preceding Titus 2:15. We read in Titus 2:13-14,

Tit 2:13-14  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

This is the Gospel in a nutshell. This blessed hope is what we live for. We hang on in this vale of tears looking for that blessed hope, the appearing of our God and Savior Jesus Christ, who will rapture us up on the last day to be with Him forever. He is not the Savior of every man, but He is our God and Savior, the Savior of His elect, who will preserve us unto that last day, guaranteed. And why? It is because He gave Himself for us. We are His sheep, and He laid down His life only for His sheep, not for all the sheep in the whole world. That is what He said in John 10. And He redeemed us from all iniquity, for we were born as slaves of Satan, living in sin, until He made us born again and changed us from the inside out, and purified our souls on the cross, and put away the guilt of all our sins. And He made of us a peculiar people, a special people who are zealous to do those things that are pleasing in His sight. This is the character of redeemed people; they are zealous to do good works. And what are good works? Good works are things that are pleasing in His sight, which we find in the Bible to be pleasing to Him. Do not let people define what good works are, for people are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer 17:9). And so, what was God’s command to Titus in Tit 2:15? These things concerning the Gospel you must speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. You must rebuke what is false with all authority, never vacillating & leaving

the back door open. You must protect the sheep against the wolves who will devour all those who are uncertain.

Joshua commanded the officers of the people, the officers of the army of the Lord, saying,

Jos 1:11, “Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.

What is the importance of preparing victuals? As you know, literally victuals are supplies of food to be reserved for a period of time. The army of the Lord was preparing to cross the Jordan River, and fight the heathen armies, and be without food supplies for several days. And so, for historical reasons this was a very practical thing to do. Get prepared to cross the Jordan River in three days. Men, women and children should be prepared to cross the Jordan River. How would they cross the river? They did not know, for God had not revealed it unto them yet. But the victuals, referring to food and drink, had to be ready. Were there no other things that were more important than food? This army must have weapons, and those were in short supply. This army must have boats for two million people, for the Jordan River was swollen to maximum capacity. And how were they going to bring over all their sheep and their cattle, which were even more numerous than their people? And so you see, there are many things that the army of the Lord should be concerned about. Let us now look at this from the spiritual perspective. Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to John, John 13:10 (2X). If this is a picture of Christ leading His army of elect people into the kingdom of God, what command would He have given to His officers and to His people before they crossed the Jordan? Indeed He would have said, “Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the kingdom, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.” What are the three days referring to? Yes, the three days are pointing to His atonement for our sins, and when the three days are over we are ready to enter the kingdom of God. And what are the victuals that He would have given us? Actually we have a clear example of that in the Bible. Exactly before the Lord Jesus began His three days of atonement He addressed His disciples, His officers, in the upper room at the last Passover meal in Jerusalem, and His commands to His disciples was five chapters long in the Gospel of John. It began in John 13 where the Lord Jesus washed the feet of the disciples. Now we need to understand that washing with water symbolized washing of sins. We already know that from the ceremony of water baptism. The water does not actually wash any sins, for the water symbolizes the blood of Christ, and our external washing with water does not synchronize with what God is doing in our soul. If it did synchronize, then God saves us by our works, and we know that this cannot be. But here in the upper room the Lord supplied us with the spiritual victuals we need before we enter into the kingdom of God. The Lord Jesus said in John 13:10, “Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.” This was a proleptic vision. The Lord was referring to His atonement for them which He would undertake immediately in the Garden of Gethsemane. All eleven are going to be completely washed from head to toe. The one who would not be washed was Judas Iscariot. And so, what does the foot washing symbolize? The dirty feet symbolized the sins of that day, such as the sins of being unkind to one another. The washing of the dirty feet symbolized the forgiveness of those sins for the day. And so, the Lord indicated that this action of washing one another’s feet symbolized that they would forgive one another their sins against each other. This is not a ceremony which the church should repeat mindlessly, but in the spirit we would forgive one another the pinpricks we experienced with one another. And so, when the Lord Jesus said in John 13:14, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet” we know exactly what He means. And is that not the tenor of the entire chapter? For we read in John 13:34-35,

Joh 13:34-35  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

These are spiritual victuals that we need when we join the army of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the spiritual food and drink that He prescribed just before He went to the cross. And would you not think that the Lord Jesus selected the most important commands just before His death? He says to us, “This is what you need when you have joined My army, when you have crossed the Jordan and have entered into the kingdom of God, and when you fight against the giants in the land, the giants who try to make you stumble and fall. Here are your spiritual victuals.”

Actually, when we move on in John 14 through 17 we find more spiritual victuals, spiritual food and drink, that the Lord Jesus gave us to get prepared before we enter into the Promised Land. We read in John 14:1-6,

Joh 14:1-6 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Look at that. “No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” Does God mean what He said? Yes, of course. It means that all those millions of people who lived in a Christless universe, like before Noah’s Flood, or in China or India before Christ came in AD 33, or the American Indians before Christopher Columbus sailed to America, they all without exception will not enter into eternal life, because the Lord Jesus declared, “No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” The Lord is hereby declaring that He did not suffer and die for everyone who ever lived in this world. Christ’s atonement was not a universal atonement, but it was a particular atonement, for a particular number of people only, His elect. And all those people who read 1John 2:2 in the KJV Bible, without checking what the Greek text says, are falling into the trap of universal atonement which leads to the Arminian heresy. And so, this verse 6 tells us that we need to arm ourselves with the doctrines of the real Bible and not with the doctrines of the translators. Here in John 14:1-6 the Lord Jesus declared that He is providing for us an entrance into the glorious NH&NE, an entrance that is given to us only by the grace of God. And how did the Lord Jesus prepare an entrance for us? He went to the cross; that is how. This is spiritual food and drink that we need to hear and believe and act upon it. We act upon it by reading the Word of God every day, and by studying it and meditating upon it. And then the Lord Jesus returns to the subject matter of love. Now He does not speak of loving one another, but of loving

the Lord Jesus Christ. Please drop down to John 14:21 (2X). We read in John 14:21-23,

Joh 14:21-23  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

What is the command that we read here? Love Christ and keep His words. And the way in which we will know that we love Christ is by the way that we keep His commandments. And do we remember what that command was that came out of chapter 13? This is My new commandment that ye love one another as I have loved you. And so, can we see that there is no excuse whatsoever for not loving our fellow saints in the church? Absolutely not! But does this also mean that we must love those who are in other churches listening to other gospels that do not save? No! The Lord does not say that we must love the Buddhists who bow down to stone idols, just like the Lord did not say that the children of Israel must love the Canaanites who bow down to their stone idols. “God is angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11). “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth” (Psalm 11:5). And who are the wicked? Here is a definition of the wicked that always works: Prov 28:9 says, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” Our Gospel declaration of salvation by grace alone, just as the Bible declares it, goes out into all the world. But everyone who turns away his ear from hearing this true Gospel is under the curse of God. They are like the Canaanites who bow down to stone idols and refuse to bend their necks to the God of Israel; even though they have seen that the God of Israel is far more powerful than their stone idol, they refuse to abandon their stone idol and worship the God of Israel. This is crazy, but that is what people do; their mind stops working. Please turn to John 15:10-12 (2X),

Joh 15:10-12  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

Can we see that the Lord Jesus is again emphasizing that we must love one another? There is just no way around it. And there is a whole lot more of it in the Epistle of First John, but we are not going there today. I only wanted to focus on the spiritual victuals that the Lord Jesus handed out just before He went to the cross, just before the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River. Let us now look at another spiritual aspect of Jos 1:11.

#2.       Within Three Days (Jos 1:11, Matt 12:40, Eph 4:9, Rev 22:19)

Jos 1:11, “Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.

When Joshua announced the three days he was actually pointing to the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ which took three days and three nights to accomplish. It began Thursday night in the Garden of Gethsemane, and ended Sunday morning at sunrise. That means Thursday night, and Friday night, and Saturday night, that is three nights. And it means Friday the whole day, and Saturday the whole day, and part of Sunday which counts for a whole day. All together it means that the atonement lasted three days and three nights. This must be the correct interpretation for the Lord Jesus Himself said in Matt 12:40, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” God does not lie. If the Lord Jesus said that, then we must interpret the Bible accordingly. Did the Lord Jesus suffer the equivalent of an eternity in Hell for the duration of 3 days and 3 nights, like Jonah did?  The answer is NO!  Christ’s sufferings for our sins lasted from Thursday evening until Friday, about 3 O’clock in the afternoon, and before He died He cried out victoriously with a loud voice, “It is finished!” This cry was not for Himself, for no one knew that He was also suffering in His soul. This cry was not for the disciples, for only John was standing there. This cry was for us, to tell us that something was finished. What was finished? His sufferings for our sins were finished. He could feel it in His body and soul that those sufferings were over. But He was still hanging on the cross, bleeding and suffering in His body. Nevertheless, He knew that the sufferings in His soul were finished, and this is what we must learn to understand about the Atonement of Christ. The sufferings in His body were negligible compared to the sufferings in His soul. A few minutes later the Lord Jesus said, “Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit”.  Then He died and His human soul, or spirit went to heaven, and His body was laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea. His body did not continue to endure the torments of Hell, because He said “It is finished”.  His body rested in the grave until Sunday morning.  Before we leave the 3 days and 3 nights we must understand that the entire Atonement lasted 3 days and 3 nights, but His actual sufferings for our sins lasted less than twenty hours.  However, from the words that Jesus spoke in Matt 12:40 we learn that the cross and the resurrection must be considered as One Redemptive Complex.  From other passages of Jesus words we learn that His resurrection is never divorced from His crucifixion. Another aspect of Matt 12:40 is that Jesus said, “Three days and three nights in the heart of the earth”. This does not mean that Christ was buried in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights, for Christ was not buried in the ground, like most people are, but He was buried above the ground, in a cave. And thus, the expression “in the heart of the earth” cannot refer to His grave. It must refer to something else. When we search the Bible, we find a verse that comes close to it. We find, in Eph 4:9, “Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth”? Here we understand that “the lower parts of the earth” does not refer to His grave, but to His atonement, for on the cross He endured the wrath of God, and thus “the lower parts of the earth” refer to His atonement. But His atonement was not complete until He rose from the tomb on Sunday morning. Therefore, both “the lower parts of the earth”, as well as, “in the heart of the earth”, must refer to His atonement and not to the gravesite. God defines His own terms, and God does not lie.  Therefore, we must keep our eyes open for any symbolism that God introduces anywhere.

“Within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan.” This is what God said to the people through the mouth of Joshua. The spiritual meaning of this is as follows: “In three days you shall be freed from the guilt of your sins, and you shall be able to enter into the kingdom of God.” As most of you already know, God was going to separate the waters of the Jordan River so that the children of Israel can walk on dry ground through the dried riverbed and so arrive safely on the other side. It was a repeat of what God has done for them when He separated the waters of the Red Sea, so that the children of Israel walked on dry ground through the Red Sea and safely arrived on the other side. Now we know that the Red Sea represents Hell. Moses, as a type of Christ, walked with the children of Israel through the Red Sea, representing Christ enduring the equivalent of an eternity in Hell on the cross with all the elect in Him and with Him through Hell. Now this is going to be repeated with Joshua, as a type of Christ, walking with all the children of Israel through the dry Jordan Riverbed, representing Christ enduring the equivalent of an eternity in Hell on the cross with all the elect in Him and with Him through Hell. Both cases represent the same event. Those who are with Christ and in Christ walk on dry ground, meaning Hell does not touch them. But since we have already gone through Hell with Christ and in Christ, God will never send us to Hell again for we have already been there. This is the great deliverance that so many churches fail to talk about, for we have been delivered from our sins as well as from the law, for the law has no more power over us, for the law cannot send us to Hell again. However we will not live a lawless life, for we have also been delivered from our sins and from the power of our sins, so that we will not say, “We have been delivered to do all these abominations”, for we are no longer attracted by those sins. Instead we will do all we can to live our lives so that we will be doing those things that are pleasing in the sight of God. This is the change that God has accomplished within us. We are now born again, and if we are still attracted by the sins of the past we have not been saved. If we live like decent law abiding citizens, but we are still attracted to the Arminian free-will gospels, the gospels of do-it-yourself salvation, then we know that we are not saved, for we would be living like the Canaanites who were also under the supervision of a false religion. God declared in Rev 22:19 that we may not take away from the words of the Book of this Prophecy, and when people invented the Arminian free-will gospel they have taken away many passages out of the Bible. Now we must look carefully at “Perfect Obedience, and the Mercy of God”. Please turn again to John 14:21 (2X).

#3.       Perfect Obedience (Jos 1:11, John 14:21, Rom 6:6, Col 3:1, John 5:24, Rom 8:1, 7:4,6, 3:31, 2Cor 5:15)

Remember that the Lord Jesus spoke about obedience to His commandments. And remember the outline of this sermon as stated in the beginning was: #1, Save all the elect; #2, Bring judgment on the rest of mankind; #3, You must obey the law perfectly. The first two appointments are continuing throughout the Prophecy of Joshua and will not be completed until we arrive at the end of this Prophecy. But the third appointment is: #3, You must obey the law perfectly. And this must be in effect from the beginning of this Prophecy. The Lord Jesus Christ was able to obey the law perfectly, because God the Son dwells within Him and God cannot sin. But Joshua, and the children of Israel, and WE are not able to obey the law perfectly. Listen again to what the Lord Jesus says in John 14:21,

Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

If we hope to be saved we must love Christ, for that is a requirement for salvation. And the evidence that we love Christ is if we keep His commandments. But John 14:21 implies that if we do not keep His commandments we do not love Him. But if I do not live a perfect life, I prove thereby that I do not keep His commandments. Does that then mean that I do not love Him? And are scores of other people just imagining that they love Christ, but since their life is not perfect are they deceiving themselves? Who then can be saved? And then we must conclude

that nobody is saved. All are on the way to Hell. What is the solution to this problem?

You see, the error in this line of reasoning is that I have made my works a condition of salvation, and I have not included all the doctrines of the Bible. This is an example of “the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life” (2Cor 3:6). God is much greater and much more loving than I have portrayed Him in my erroneous reasoning. When the Father selected the Bride of Christ, He promised to Abraham with an oath that He would save all His elect. When the Lord Jesus suffered and died on the cross for all His elect, He saved us to the uttermost, and unconditionally. When God the Holy Spirit made us born again in this age, He applied the payment of Christ to us unconditionally and completely. Three times over God confirms that He will save us and keep us until the end, and no law in the world and no sin can change that. No sin can change that! Now this is the great mercy of God that He will keep us forever in His care, even unto eternity future. Now, this great mercy of God is not something that pops up here and there, but it is built into the entire Gospel program in the perfect way the infinitely wise God has designed it. By placing our names in the mind of God the Son before the foundation of the world, God insured that we were in Christ when Christ was crucified, and we were in Christ when He died and was buried, and we were in Christ when He rose again from the tomb on Sunday morning. Therefore we are assured on the authority of Him who cannot lie that “our old man was crucified with Him” (Rom 6:6), and that we are “risen with Christ” (Col 3:1). Therefore we have “passed from death to life” as the Lord Jesus promised in John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Therefore we can read with joy the words of Rom 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” And why is this so? It is so because when we died with Christ we also died to the law (Rom 7:4), and therefore now there is no law to transgress, for sin is a transgression of the law. “Now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter” (Rom 7:6). And so all these verses point to the fact that we have become grateful new creatures in Christ, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. Just one more verse will illustrate this fact. God says in 2Cor 5:15, “And He died for all (all the elect), that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” We have become servants of Christ, and that is our greatest joy and comfort. Why is that our greatest joy? It is because when God changed us He also changed our desires & our understanding and our interest in knowing more of the Bible, and He gave us a new family, the family of God. And so, when preachers and teachers of the Bible speak of “our unreserved obedience as the condition” for God to work in our favor, they do not realize that they are invoking again the law on us, and this means that the beautiful Gospel that the infinitely wise God designed will not work. And so, what is the solution to the problem that was generated by John 14:21? You still have it in front of you? In John 14:21 Christ speaks of a person who has been born again, who does love Christ, and therefore who is perfect in the sight of God. In the words of Rom 3:31 we can say, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Let us understand this great truth: God made us as new creatures. He made us “born again.” AMEN.      Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.