7: "Into Thy Hands I Commit My Spirit"

7LW-004

"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

"And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you. Along with all malice and be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other. Just as God in Christ also has forgiven you." Ephesians 4:30-32

"Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written. 'VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY, ' says the Lord." Romans 12:17-19

This morning we continue with our Easter consideration of the 7 last statements of the Lord Jesus Christ while He was dying on the cross. The Seven Last Words. Segment number 4.

These last words have proven to be of great spiritual significance to mankind.

1: "Father, Forgive Them."

The first word was found in Luke 23:34. It revealed that Christ on the cross paid the penalty of death for the sin of mankind, enabling the Father thereby, to have the basis to forgive those who murdered His Son, Jesus, the Creator and the Savior.

2: "Today you will be with Me in paradise."

The second word was in Luke 23:43. It revealed through the believing thief that Christ provided a guaranteed salvation simply to those who would trust in Him for that provision.

3: "Here is your Mother. / Here is your Son."

The third word is in John 19:26-27. It revealed a duty of caring for one's aged parents, spiritually and materially.

4: "My God, My God, Why have You Forsaken Me?"

The fourth word was in Matthew 27:46. It revealed that Jesus died spiritually to satisfy the Justice of God against the moral guilt of humanity.

5: "I am thirsty."

The fifth word was in John 19:28. It revealed that Jesus is the spiritual water to satisfy the lost sinner's thirst for eternal life in Heaven.

6: "It is finished."

The sixth word was in John 19:30, and it revealed that the full payment for sin of mankind has been made on the cross to provide the believer with forgiveness and with absolute righteousness.

7: "Into Thy Hands I Commit My Spirit"

This morning we direct your attention to the seventh word. It is found in Luke 23:46, "And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said 'Father, INTO THY HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.' And having said this, he breathed his last." Now came the final provision for the salvation of mankind, the payment of physical death. Jesus Christ, in a strong voice, delivers His human spirit to the Father as He breathes out His last breath.

His human soul leaves His body, and He's dead.

In Luke 9:58, we have a very poignant statement which says "And Jesus said to him, ' The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.'" The Greek word for "Lay" there is "klino," it means to lean upon, to rest. The Lord Jesus Christ, all the while He was here on earth, never had a place that He could call His own, where He knew that that night He could lay His head.

It is interesting that in John 19:30, this very same word is used again. John 19:30, where it is said "When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said 'It is finished!' And He 'klinoed,' (He bowed His head), and gave up His spirit." He who on earth had no place where He could lay His head in repose, finally found that repose as He laid His head on the wood of the cross in death. He finally found in death for us all, His own repose. Translation is, He laid His head to rest and dismissed His spirit... He laid His head to rest and dismissed His spirit.

This act of sacrifice as the Lamb of God was totally voluntary on the part of the Lord Jesus Christ. John 10:17-18 point out to us, Jesus said, "For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father," The Lord Jesus said it is within My authority to make the decision as to the moment when I will die, and I have the authority to take that body back to life again, which is what the Father eventually did. So as the bruised and blood-drained body of Jesus went into shock, He delivered His human spirit to the Father, and then He died physically.

Now here in Luke 23:46, as He dies, you will notice He now speaks to God as His Father.

Previously we heard Him crying out in agony as He bore the sins of the world, "My God, My God!", speaking to the Father and to the Holy Spirit, "why have You forsaken me?" But here the penalty is paid. Christ is now spiritually alive again, because He is now back in fellowship with His Father and with the Holy Spirit. So He addresses Him now after 3 p.m., after His death, once more as Father. That in itself, is a point of great comfort to all of us.

Now, the Lord Jesus Christ died alone. There was no one there, sadly enough, to comfort Him in His final agony. There was no one to reach out, to hold His hand. Jesus was abandoned by His friends. He was ridiculed at that moment by His enemies. And at the moment of His death, it seemed that His enemies had been proven correct, and that He Himself was nothing but a pathetic, deluded fanatic.

But the Lord Jesus Christ could take all this agony, could take all this abandonment, could take all this suffering for one simple reason... He knew doctrine! He knew it from the time that He was a child, and He knew how to live by it. Jesus Christ knew the Word, and confidently committed Himself to the Father and death. It was a magnificent display on the part of the Lord Jesus Christ of what we call Dying Grace, the grace to die within the blessing and the power of God to carry us through, whatever the situation may be. 1 Peter 4:19 points out to us, "Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right." Christians through the centuries have died for doing what is right. Martyrdom, even to this day, is not uncommon. Americans have no idea the suffering that is carried on, that is experienced by Christians in China today. Horrendous suffering, so much that the American Congress is going to now take up the bill about the Religious Bill of Rights and to commit the government to a policy of attitude of dealing with countries who persecute Christians or persecute other people's religious opinions. But it's primarily because of the suffering of people like ourselves in a brutality of an atheist country like communist China.

Those people would appreciate this verse. Those people would appreciate what it is to have Dying Grace under the suffering that takes them out into the Lord's presence. It was the Word of God that had carried the Lord Jesus Christ in His humanity through the crucifixion agony. And He leaves this life, quoting a verse from Psalm 31:5. Psalm 31:5: "Into Thy hand I commit my spirit; thou hast ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth." Here it is, King David facing his own death. Here you have one of those examples again of the Bible saying something that applies to a moment of time, but it also has a prophetic implication in the future. This is where the Lord got those words. He was simply quoting Psalm 31:5. The last thing on His lips as He leaves this life is quoting a principle of doctrine. With these words of personal, peaceful commitment, the God man, Jesus Christ in His humanity became a corpse.

The Human Spirit and the Soul of Jesus Christ

At this point, the human spirit of Jesus Christ went immediately into the Father's presence in Heaven, and the angels cheered and applauded as He walked into the glory land. The soul, the human soul of Jesus, went immediately into Paradise in Hades, and the believers there rejoiced in the victory message which He brought to them, which the apostle Paul in Ephesians 4 has recorded for us. Ephesians Chapter 4 tells us Jesus walks into Paradise, Abraham's Bosom, part of Hades which held all believers until the Resurrection, Ephesians 4:8-10.

Therefore it says, 'WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.'" He went into Hades and said, Now those of you who are in the compartment here of Paradise, I have paid the price and the debt has been removed. You have been here in this blessed place on credit. You could not enter Heaven until I had paid the price. The price is paid. Follow Me. Line up. We're going to Heaven. They all streamed out of there.

And He took them, these captives in that place, and brought them into Heaven. He gave gifts to men. "(Now this expression, 'He ascended,' what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth?" That is where Hades now exists. "He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all heavens that He might fill all things.)" [in NAS77 Bible]

The Body of Jesus Christ

The body of Jesus, that human body, was placed in the tomb, awaiting a passage of 72 hours when He would be resurrected in glory. That resurrection would then prove that salvation had been provided; that God the Father's justice, had been satisfied. Romans 4:25, therefore, says "He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification." He was delivered up on account of our transgressions, and He was raised because our justification was now a reality.

Death Cannot Hold a Sinless Person

That's what "Father into thy hands I commit My spirit" signifies. Since death is the wages of sin, it cannot touch a sinless person. For this reason, Jesus Christ, by being raised from the dead, demonstrated that He did not die for His own wrongdoing. He was not covered with any moral guilt. Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Acts 2:24 adds this, "And God raised Him up," God the Father raised Him, Christ, "up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power." Why impossible? Because He wasn't guilty of anything. Therefore He was able to be raised again to life. Since Jesus Christ was sinless, the death He died was clearly in behalf of others, and not for the death of Himself.

And that is what is said for us in 2 Corinthians 5:21. "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." You may add to that, Isaiah 53:5, and Romans 5:8 "When we were yet sinners, Christ died for us," not because He was a sinner. So He who is the Lord over death, voluntarily subjected Himself to it and freed those who will now trust in Him from the bond of eternal death.

That is the great message of the gospel. We don't have to be facing eternal separation from God. Hebrews 2:14-15, "Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He himself," Jesus, "likewise also partook of the same that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives." The Lord Jesus Christ was vindicated on that first Easter Sunday morning in April of 32 A.D., when He was raised to life again by the Father through the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:5-6.

So the significance of the seventh word is that Christians can trust the Heavenly Father to care for them in physical death as He cared for His Son Jesus when He raised Him back to life. John 14:19 points out to us "After a while, the world will behold Me no more. But you will behold Me; because I live, you shall live also." So what do we do as Christians when we face death? We face it with that Dying Grace that will inevitably be given to us.

Our eyes are on the Lord and our confidence is in Him. There will be no blasphemous cry from our lips to the Virgin Mary to pray for us at some point of desperation and fear as we face death. This is the victory that Christ had over Satan. He pulled from Satan that club that he had over mankind, the fear of death. Because Jesus lives, we will live again as well.

So the question is, have you believed the good news of salvation that was sealed on that first Easter? And what if all this is really true? What if all this is really true? What if Acts 16:31 is really true? When the apostle Paul, speaking to the Philippian jailer, who finally got his eyes opened, and he wondered if this wasn't really true, he concluded as was what the apostles were saying. What should I do? "And they said, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.'" What if John 6:47 is really true?

John 6:47, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life." What if John 3:36 is really true? "He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." If that's true, and you refuse to accept this savior because you're a Buddhist, because you're a Muslim, because you're an Orthodox Jew, because you are any one of the cults and religions of the world, what if this is true? Well, it is true.

Christ has demonstrated it is true. The Word of God has proclaimed that it is true. And the consequences for you are going to be horrendous.

Christ's Sacrifice was Complete

What Christ did was so complete and so perfect, that's why we can be so confident that if we trust Him, we will be with Him. It is not necessary to sacrifice the Lord Jesus Christ again. Some months ago, I sat through a Roman Catholic mass again. In fact, I even had to be a participant in it reading Scripture on the occasion. There they were, the Scriptures that dealt with salvation, and of all things, the rapture. When I sat down and finished my part, the priest proceeded to the altar to sacrifice Christ again, to hopefully give you a chance to be able to go to Heaven. At the appropriate time, people streamed, rushing up there so they could eat the body of their God like Nimrods people did in order that they might go to Heaven. I thought, what abject paganism. The one thing that Christ has established is that what He did was once for all, it cannot be repeated. It does not need to be repeated. Yet millions of people in Catholicism are going to go to the Lake of Fire because they believe in the re-sacrificing of Christ.

Please note Hebrews 7:26-27, "For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all, when He offered up Himself." Under the Aaronic priesthood, the priest had to sacrifice for himself. Then he could go and sacrifice for the people, and the next day he had to do it all over again. Christ offered up Himself, and that covered everything once for all.

Notice Hebrews 9:11-12; "But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption." Notice Hebrews 9:24-25; "For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." Once for all, He put away sin. Hebrews 9:28 says "So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him."

What a splendid declaration of assurance to us. It does not have to be repeated.

What do the Catholics do with those verses? Well they say "Yes, He covered your moral guilt, but you must cover your temporal guilt yourself, and you must add to the work of Christ your own works, or you will not go to Heaven." And one of the ways you cover yourself with your own works is by attending the re-sacrificing of Jesus Christ. If you're going to re-sacrifice Him, then He has to suffer again; Hebrews clearly declares that.

Then there's Hebrews 10:10-13.

Please note this! "By this will we have been sanctified," set apart, "through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET." One more in 1 Peter 3:18-19, "For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in a spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison," As I just showed you a moment ago!

Roman Catholicism

I stress these to you because you might be inclined to get caught up with the euphoria of the religious world and say, "You cannot talk about Roman Catholics like that. You cannot declare that Roman Catholics will not go to Heaven with all their sincerity, with all their devotion to Christ, with all the good things that they do. You can't say that." Yes, we can, because they are wrong at the crucial point: "What Christ did was not enough, Christ doing His work on the cross is not all that is necessary for you to have eternal life!" And I want you to see that the Bible says if He is to be sacrificed again, He must suffer again. He cannot be re-sacrificed in a bloodless offering upon the altar of the Roman Catholic Church in order to cover your sins.

That is blasphemy of the worst kind. And it comes right out of Babylon and the religion of Nimrod from the Tower of Babel. We know exactly where it comes from. We know how it was absorbed into Christianity when the Roman government made Christianity its state religion. So do not be intimidated by your confidence that what Christ has done is once for all. That's what it meant.

"Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit." There was nothing more to do... No Works Salvation, that's the only kind of salvation that there is. Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5-7.

Now all of this wonderful review of what He said upon the cross, those 7 last statements that He made had to do with the work of reconciling lost sinners to the standard of absolute righteousness of God required for a person to have eternal life in Heaven. What Jesus Christ did on the cross when He said "it is finished," what was He referring to? He was referring to the fact that an enormous wall that exists between man and God was finally removed. A wall of such immensity that no human being could cross over it, could get through it, could get around it, to go over to the other side, to find God. The need was for human reconciliation. That's what all of the work on the cross was all about.

The Fall into Sin

Please remember, there was an original condition of fellowship with God. Adam and Eve had perfect rapport with God originally in the Garden of Eden. They were taught divine viewpoint principles by God Himself; and everything they were told, they received with positive volition.

Man and God were total friends. They were in complete oneness toward each other for some time. How long we don't know. Everything was happy and everything was right on a human level, including the relationship between the husband and wife, Adam and Eve. There were none of today's problems. There was none of today's disorientation. There were none of today's horrible violation and corruption of family life. Everything was perfect.

Then came alienation between man and his God. Man chose to sin by disobedience to the expressed will of God as stated in Genesis 2:17 and Genesis 3:6. They could exercise their free will except for one place; they could not eat of a certain tree in the Garden, called by God the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They chose to disobey Him, and they did.

It was a tragic breakdown, first of all, on the part of the woman in that she forgot a principle of doctrine, the most important principle of doctrine perhaps relative to women. That is that she is not to be a free-wheeler. She is to operate under the authority guidelines of the male leadership of her husband or the male leadership of her priest. She knew this very well, that she should consult with her husband; even as Paul in 1 Corinthians 14 says, if a woman wants to know something spiritual, go home and ask your husband. So don't marry a spiritual lout, ladies, who cannot answer your questions. But the authority line is what is violated even by Christian women, especially in places like the charismatic movement. It is filled with these feisty women who will not be under the authority of male leadership. Generally they have husbands who are such wimps and twits that I don't blame them. But nevertheless, it is a violation of the Word of God.

So along came Eve, listened to Satan, and instead of saying, "Well, thank you, I'll ask my husband," instead, she made a family decision. She did not ask her husband. Does that show that she was now equal with husband? No, it showed she was now an unequal. And the minute he walked in, he saw how unequal she was. The glory light was gone. He thought, uh-oh, what's going on here? He knew something terrible had immediately happened. And he sensed in her immediately what we now refer to as the Sin Nature.

She told him what had happened. He probably said, I wish you had asked me about this before you did this. What are we going to do now? Well, I don't want to go without you, Eve. So I'll join you in the sin. That's why the Bible says that Eve sinned because she was tricked.

But Adam sinned with his eyes wide open by deliberate choice. And therefore, what has happened to the human race is always attributed to Adam. But unfortunately, when he did that, all of us now born from his genetic structure, as we all are, carry his moral guilt for that original sin. That's why a baby who never does a single thing wrong can die. The kiss of death is upon him because of Adam.

The Wall of Separation from God

So there was suddenly this immediate monstrous wall that arose between man and God. This estrangement was evident even between husband and wife. They tried to hide from each other with their fig leaf clothing. There was nobody else to hide from. It was from each other that they were hiding. Instead of being open as they should have been, and was their privilege to be, certainly they were hiding behind trees to try to hide from God, Genesis 3:7-8. Adam's sin then erected immediately a barrier between God and man.

Sin is a failure to meet God's standard of absolute righteousness in thought, in word, and in deed. The penalty for sin is threefold. First of all, it is spiritual death, Ephesians 2:1, separation from God.

Secondly, it is physical death, Genesis 5:5. Thirdly, it is the second death, which is the Lake of Fire, Revelation 20:11-16, for those who leave this life, who are not born again spiritually. The wall that was erected was so horrendous that it was very clear that there was no way that man could do anything about it. Here was a Triune God on one side and here was man, now on the other side, totally separated from his Creator, totally separated from all happiness, all meaning, and until he got over here, there was nothing in life and he couldn't do a thing about it.

So how is man going to get through this wall? Well, man has come up with all kinds of ideas. If you'll join the church, you'll get through the wall. If you'll be water baptized, you'll get through the wall. If you'll walk an aisle and make a confession of salvation, you'll get through the wall. If you raise your hand in a church service for somebody to pray for you to be saved, you'll get through the wall. If you feel sorry for your sins, you'll come through. If you do good works, you'll come through. If you make commitments and promises to God, you'll come through.... Not so! You are trapped on that side of the wall. No way through it. No way over it. No way around it. This is the condition of every human being today. This wall cannot be removed by any of man's ethics, his resolve to do right, his efforts in various good works. The situation is hopeless until God decides to do something to resolve it.

What happened is that this wall is made up of 5 distinct blocks. The Lord Jesus Christ, when He said, "It is finished," meant that this wall had been removed. The barrier is gone. You must understand that that is behind what those words mean, so that you understand that there is absolutely nothing left that you have to do to try to work it out. There's only one thing that separates man from God now; and that is the cross of Jesus Christ. And his belief carries him right across to the living God. There is no barrier. There is nothing to do. That's what is known as Grace.

God's provision has reconciled man potentially to God's absolute righteousness. If he accepts the gift, he is credited with absolute righteousness. Someday in Heaven, he will be absolute righteousness. No work, no ritual, no human determination, can secure fellowship with God. "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV.

The Blocks of the Wall

I think it is important that we remind ourselves what's involved in these walls and the blocks.
  1. Enslavement to Sin

    So we begin with the first one. This one is Enslavement to Sin. Man's sin has placed him into a slave market in which Satan controls him, which Satan dominates. Everybody who is not a Christian is a slave of Satan.

    Romans 3:23 says "For all have sinned." Even the baby? How could the baby sin? In Adam... Do you see where the contamination began! When this says "all have sinned," it's not talking about the fact you did something as an adult conscious person. Notice you started off as an infant. You were born in sin, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." The glory of God is absolute righteousness.

    Then there's Romans 6:17 that more explicitly says, "But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin," that's what we Christians once were, "you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed," the form of Grace Salvation. So what we need if we're enslaved, we're captives to someone, we need to be redeemed. That's a solution for being a slave of sin. It's like you taking something to a pawn shop. Once that thing is in there, that thing is captive to that pawn shop owner. The only way you'll get it back is for you to go in and redeem the thing. And to redeem it, you must pay the price. The buyer or the redeemer has to be a man however, who himself is free of the slave market. One slave cannot redeem and free another slave.

    So the problem is, the best of men, the kindest of men, the people who spend their lives in monasteries and nunneries doing good works, they themselves trying to help people on their way to Heaven, they can't do it. They cannot redeem another person because they're part of the slave market. Jesus Christ is the first man since Adam who was not born into the slave market. All the rest of us start life enslaved to Satan. That's why the Bible says he is your father and he is your master.

    The virgin birth preserved Jesus Christ from inheriting a Sin Nature as part of His humanity, because the Old Sin Nature is transmitted through the genetic structure of the father. Therefore He had no personal sins. He committed no sin, and He had no Sin Nature. In Hebrews 10:5, we read, "Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says 'SACRIFICE AND OFFERING THOU HAST NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY THOU HAST PREPARED FOR ME." Here is Christ speaking to the Father. He said You did not require sacrifices and offerings for Me because I didn't have a Sin Nature. I didn't have any sin to deal with. But You did prepare a body for Me, and You prepared a body in which there was no Sin Nature. Hebrews 4:15, "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin," sin singular,... Sin Nature. Sins plural are active sins. That nature is singular. So it is very clear that the Lord Jesus Christ was sin-free.

    I still remember the shock when one of our members one time years ago made the statement in discussing something about Christ having a Sin Nature. I said "What did you say?" You know, every now and then, people say something, it almost slips by you, and you have to get a second take. Christ had a Sin Nature? And I had to straighten him out.

    Like one of our high school boys recently. His mother said there's a kid down at school, in the locker rooms or other occasions, he always talks about religious things like an authority. This youngster here at Berean just kind of lets him carry on. Because most of the time he's not quite on target. But the other day, this kid says he's looking forward to standing before the Great White Throne to receive his rewards from God.

    Well, just a minute. That was too much for our kid. He could no longer contain himself. Let me tell you, if you're standing in front of the Great White Throne, you're in bad trouble. So he had to become the teacher to straighten out the kid who thought he knew it all.

    But that's how it is. Even Christians who have been taught can make a mistake like this to think that Christ had a sin nature. No, He was preserved from that. Therefore, He has freedom to purchase everyone else out of the slave market of sin for all ages from Adam on down. He is the only door to freedom out of Satan's slave market. There is no other way to get out of the thing.

    But men have such a delusion. Please turn to John Chapter 8. Let me show you the delusion that mankind always has when it comes to salvation. Nobody had more delusion than the Jews themselves, the leaders. John 8:31-36. "Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, 'If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine.'" Jesus said to them that once a person is saved, a Christian must abide in the Word of God. That is, they must walk by means of the Word of God. To do that, they must read the Word of God. They must be taught the Word of God. They must discover the divine assets of doctrine for their own lives.

    It is a good practice to sit down at some point in your day and read the Word of God. And maybe you read a little devotional booklet. You feed upon the Word of God.

    "If you abide, in My word," is a third class condition. Remember what that is? That is maybe you will, maybe you won't. That's the same kind of condition as 1 John 1:9. "If you confess your sins," maybe you will, and maybe you won't. But if you do, here are the results. So Jesus says "If you abide in My word." So what's the implication? You've learned the Word of God, you know principles of doctrine, and you choose to be positive to them. That's when you're really My disciple. As I tried to point out at the banquet, when Jesus said to Peter "Shepherd My sheep," He was saying, "disciple, My sheep." But Jesus was very careful, you notice, to put on each side of that statement, "Teach My sheep." "Teach My sheep." It's like a sandwich. One part of the bread is "teach the Word of God." The other part of the bread is "teach the Word of God." The meat then is guiding people on the basis of what? On the basis of doctrine that is between the slices of the bread. So much of discipling today is holding people's hands, commiserating with them, playing on their emotions, giving them a lot of cute stories and illustrations, but it'll never carry them through when they face Satan in this world system.

    Some Christians continue daily to take in the Word of God. Some are too busy. Some are able to live, therefore objectively by God's Divine Viewpoint instead of all the human rationalizations and emotions which all add up to misery. John 8:32, "and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." This is not a reference to academic truth at school. It's a reference to Scripture Truth, here specifically, truth for operating in a Christian life, the modus operandi of the Christian life, based on doctrine. Truth is, John 14:6 tells us, Jesus Christ. If you know him, you will know the Word of God. You're going to be a free person. You're not going to be a slave in a slave market of sin.

    So there are Christians who have been redeemed from enslavement in that slave market, who are always bound and determined to climb over the wall and get back enslaved to Satan. Why? Beats me. But they're doing it all the time and I don't want to get off into that now. But those are not agape Christians. That isn't the kind of love they have. They're not about to have that love. They're Christians who are fond of the Lord, but they want to stay over in a slave market of sin and play around in the mud that they do so enjoy. John 8:33, "They answered Him, 'We are Abraham's offspring, and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, 'You shall become free?'" Here's the negative crowd. This is a religious crowd of unbelievers standing around listening to Jesus. They have their denominational pride, we're the descendants of Abraham, we have a proud Jewish heritage. How can You tell us that we're in bondage? We've never been in bondage.

    Well, the poor idiots were in bondage to the Mosaic Law. They didn't know grace freedom. The poor idiots were in bondage to the Roman government, which was stomping all over them, and the poor simpletons were in bondage to their Old Sin Natures they had no way of controlling. They were in the slave market of sin and didn't know it.

    Jesus was kind enough not to remind them of these bondages, but He pressed to the real issue of the gospel. John 8:34, "Jesus answered them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.'" If you're in a habit that sin is a way of life (present tense here means a continual way of life), then that means you are enslaved to Satan."

    John 8:35, "And the slave does not remain in the house forever; the Son does remain forever." The house is a symbol for eternal life in this analogy. It is not the home of the sin slave, the unsaved. The House of eternal life is a place of Jesus Christ and of those who know Him. The slave will not remain in the house of God. The Son does.

    John 8:36, "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." As Ishmael was a son of condemnation, so Isaac was a son of blessing. Ishmael had to get out of the house, but the son of blessing, Isaac remained in it.

    Jesus Christ alone can make us slave-free. "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." This is a third class condition "if," determined on whether you accept Him or not. He cannot make you free if you do not accept His no-repeat sacrifice again. He has provided a redemption purchase, you can come out. True freedom as a solution for this part of the sin barrier, being a slave of sin. So what's the solution for this? There is a magnificent solution that God has provided to get you out of this pen of filth, that is, the slave market of Satan, and to keep you from climbing back over the wall, a magnificent solution. Tonight, we should look at that.

    Dr. John E. Danish, 1999

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