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Sanctified at birth
Query for the Month
Next up-date: December 1st 2011 (God willing).
Previous "Queries" are available. Click here to access.
Some perpetual questions ....
Do you know the difference between the "love"
that is of Christianity
and the "love" that is of the world? Click here to find out!
Click on the link for a good book on the character of our God which you can download for free and share amongst your friends. It's called "Light through Darkness" and is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever read!
(when you get to the site just click "cancel" and it will let you in. Then click "order" to obtain a copy. )
In the meantime, try this site. And here's one where you can read it online.
Here's another great site on the character of God written in a way that's very easy to understand.
In this reply the old-fashioned words of the KJV have been modernised, and in some instances, the man-made punctuation has been altered for greater understanding. Some of the comments are adapted from books in my library. No recognition is given because they are not intended as authorities, but are used because they express my understanding clearly. All the ideas expressed in this article, right or wrong, are my own.
Jeremiah 1:4 -5
Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.
Was this a special occurrence and only for Jeremiah? Or does the LORD ordain others for His work before they are even conceived?
Let’s read the query text again:
4 Then the word of the LORD came to me [when I was about twenty-five], saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you [set you aside], and I ordained you a prophet to the nations” [now you just have to accept My commission].
This was NOT a one-off event, for David has written of the same experience. The LORD treats every one in the same way, we just have to accept the call when we reach an age of understanding, although it can be permanently rejected before that. The LORD desires that EVERY child born into the world should become an ambassador for Him. (See Ephesians 6:10-20.) We should note that there are TWO different statements being made – one regarding before formation (before conception) and the other in reference to coming forth from the womb.
13 For You have possessed my reins [my emotions]: You have covered me in my mother's womb. 14 I will praise You; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are Your works; and that my soul knows right well. 15 My substance was not hid from You, when I was made in secret, and curiously [intriguingly] wrought in the lowest parts of the earth [in my mother’s womb].
16 Your eyes did see my substance [my possibilities], yet being unperfect [not completely formed]; and in Your Book [of Life] all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
Paul also used the same thought, but with a different word, for it is common to all:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as He has chosen us in Him [Christ] before the foundation of the world [before creation], that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us [all humans] to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the Beloved”.
Paul continued: “In whom we have redemption through His blood [the Son of God’s death], the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; wherein He has abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself [His choice, not because of our good works]: that in The Dispensation of the Fullness of Times [in the future] He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth [to reconcile the universe]; even in Him [Christ].
“In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated [chosen before] according to the purpose of Him who works all things after the counsel of His own will: that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.
“In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest [down-payment] of our inheritance [which is on a spiritual “layby”] until the redemption [pick-up] of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory”. Ephesians 1:7-14.
So first of all God intends that ALL humans should be on His side from birth. When the connection is consciously accepted after birth (at whatever age), then He “seals” the connection with the gift of the Holy Spirit as an indwelling power, until we die or the second coming occurs, whichever comes first.
That’s what He wants, and if He does not get an agreement from the moment of birth, then He continues to dog us all our lives with an open invitation. Subtly, yet with constant desire He endeavours to turn our lives around until we are doing His will. All any of us have to do is not frustrate His desire – but sadly, the majority of those who have ever lived have done just that by rejecting His offer, preferring to go their own way. As a wise one once put it, “We have to step over the cross of Christ in order to take up a life of sin permanently” (or words like that).
Paul told some Christians how the acceptance happened to him:
Galatians 1:13-24 (The Message version.)
13 I'm sure that you've heard the story of my earlier life when I lived in the Jewish way. In those days I went all out in persecuting God's church. I was systematically destroying it. 14 I was so enthusiastic about the traditions of my ancestors that I advanced head and shoulders above my peers in my career. 15 Even then God had designs on me. Why, when I was still in my mother's womb he chose and called me out of sheer generosity! 16 Now he has intervened and revealed his Son to me so that I might joyfully tell non-Jews about him.
But some have constantly rejected it right from the womb, which is why it is written:
1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
2 “I have loved you”, says the LORD. Yet you say, “Wherein have You loved us? [Prove it!]”
“Was not Esau Jacob's [twin] brother?” says the LORD: “yet I loved Jacob [and protected him], 3 and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons [animals] of the wilderness [I had to allow him the results of his choices].
4 Whereas Edom [Esau’s descendants] says, ‘We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places’. Thus says the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, ‘The border of wickedness’, and, ‘The people against whom the LORD has indignation for ever’.
In that text the Son of God proves that both of the twins were “predestined” for “adoption” into the family of God, but Esau would not have it even though he was the actual “first-born”. Genesis 25:25, 34. But, rather than blame the boy (and man) God says that He “hated” Esau and his descendants, and leaves us to see how. His “hatred” is occasioned by the fact in such a situation He must leave all who choose that way totally alone, for they have chosen and will not change. Then He must say to His helpers, “Ephraim [anyone who has taken that stance] is joined to idols, let him alone”. Hosea 4:17.
It is written of Esau, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the LORD: looking diligently lest any man [or woman] fail of the grace [gift] of God [by any action of yours]; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; lest there be any fornicator, or profane [worldly] person, [such] as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For you know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears”. Hebrews 12:14-17.
Why could he not be received? Because his was a repentance based on a loss to himself and therefore not genuine, for true repentance is based on an understanding that what we have done has worked to cause the Son of God’s death. “For Godly sorrow works [produces] repentance to salvation not to be repented of, but the sorrow of the world works death”. 2 Corinthians 7:10.
It was not that he COULD NOT receive the spiritual birthright AS WELL AS HIS BROTHER, but that he wanted it on his own terms. He did receive the earthly blessing for a time from his father, and when Jacob returned from his sojourn with his own earthly riches he even shared them with him, but the spiritual gift was never accepted. (Genesis 32:13-21.)
God’s “hatred” is really a sadness that He cannot save such a one in any other way!
The whole Bible is a record of how God has tried to save us from ourselves right from birth, because we are physically born with the pre-disposition to “do our own thing”, and He knows that this can only lead to pain and sorrow, and eventually, death (separation from Him and His gift of life). Because of His nature, He has done the same for every nation and church as they have been formed, but because of the malignity of sin He has had absolutely no success there – every nation and religious organisation has totally failed in the end– only as individuals has He had any victories and they have been few and far between.
Jesus told us that:
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him? Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is [the fulfilling of] the law and the prophets. Enter you in at the strait [narrow] gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find [choose] it”. Matthew 7:11-14.
God knows ALL the combinations of egg and sperms that will be produced in any one act of fertilisation, and so He knows what the child will be like before it is conceived. Then, after the connection, while it is developing in the womb, He endeavours to build a resistance to the effects of its ancestors’ sins so that when it is born and accepts His breath of life, it can choose His way. So everyone is born under the gift of universal grace. However, because of the horrific effects of sinful heredity, He is not often able to lead the individual any further (from faith to faith) before they die, separated from Him.
Paul wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein [in it] is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just[ified one] shall live by faith”. Romans 1:16-17.
Who wants to add (or subtract!) from these thoughts? I won't argue as I have stated,
but I will publish your Scriptures so that we may review all the words of God on the subject.
Next query. To be discussed from December 1st 2011,
I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed.
These are very strong words from an apostle of the peace loving Christ! Just what is the gospel that Paul had taught these people and why does he “curse” those who tried to change it?
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