Let us now continue our subject from last week. We have been speaking of New Covenant ministry, which is clearly different on many points than Old Covenant ministry. We saw through Scripture that it was Jesus who was judged for the sins of the world, and that the judgment of Christ-rejecting man will come on the appointed day - but that is not today. Today, our ministry is the ministry of reconciliation (2Cor 5:18). Since we have been specifically speaking of judgment, I think we should proceed down this line for a while.
Who did Jesus judge? He obviously didn’t come to judge mankind (Jn 12:47-48), so who did he come to judge? Let’s read Jn 16:7-11: Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. Jesus came to judge Satan - and judge him, He did. He came to destroy the devil (Heb 2:14) and his works (1Jn 3:8); to make a show of him openly (Col 2:15), and to cast him out (Jn 12:31). Jesus delivered unto satan a royal tail-whuppin’; and because of it, we have power over him (Lk 10:18-19, Psa 91:13, Isa 54:17, Dan 11:32).
Many Christians run around attributing all of this power and might to the devil, when he is a defeated foe! Jesus already took the keys of Hell and death (Rev 1:18)! That’s why Paul warns against the “tricks” of the devil (Eph 6:11)! That’s all he has are tricks! He has no real authority ever since the resurrection. That’s why he must walk about seeking whom he MAY devour (1Pt 5:8)! He can’t devour someone who knows their God-given authority in Christ! Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world (1Jn 4:4)! Satan has as much or as little power over you as you allow him to have. If Jesus is your Lord (Master), then satan is not; but if you believe he has all of this power over you - then he will. As a man thinks in his heart, so he is (Prv 23:7). If you yield to satan, he’ll be glad to walk all over you. And he loves it when Christians have more faith in his power than they do in their Father’s power. We need to understand what Jesus did on that cross.
Also in John 16, notice the sin that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of: that they don’t believe in Jesus! That is the sin unto death. That is the unpardonable sin. Every sin in the world was laid on Jesus Christ on the cross - so there is no sin that you or I have committed that can’t be forgiven. They have all been paid for. So the only sin that cannot and will not be forgiven, is the sin of rejecting Jesus Christ, and the great salvation that He has attained for us (Heb 2:1-3, 10:26-39). God gave us His best. If you lay it aside, there is nothing left for you - the choice is yours.
“Wait a minute, preacher- God did judge Believers in the New Testament. Don’t you remember Ananias and Sapphira? Or Paul’s thorn in the flesh?” Concerning Ananias and Sapphira (Act 5:1-10): 1. The Bible never says they were Believers 2. The Bible never says they were judged by God. Both opinions are speculation. I’m not saying they are wrong; I’m just saying it’s speculation. Hardly enough to build a case on. Concerning Paul’s thorn in the flesh: 1. It wasn’t from God - period; much less judgment from God. 2. It was given because of his abundance of revelations. Why would God give Paul abundant revelations, then turn around and give him a thorn because he had so many revelations? That’s stupid. That’s a kingdom divided against itself - which Jesus said would not stand. So what was the thorn? Well, you could speculate it was sickness or disease - or you could go to The Word of God and find out. Paul was a Pharisee, who knew the Jewish Tenach (Old Test.). The expression “Thorn in the Flesh” is used three times in the OT (Num 33:55, Josh 23:13, Judg 2:3). Paul would naturally use an OT expression. All three times it is used to describe persecution from neighboring tribes that the Hebrews did not drive out like they were told by God to do. Thorn in the flesh = persecution. And we see the Apostle Paul had a special brand of persecution assigned just for him by Satan, which is described in 2Cor 11:23-30. Also, God did not say “No!” to his request. He told him that His grace was sufficient for him. He would make it through by God’s grace and power! He would overcome and persevere! Don’t worry Paul, If I am for you - who can be against you?! We are not promised freedom from persecution; in fact, it’s the opposite (2Tim 3:12)!
That is all my space for now. Lord willing, we can continue this next week. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord! (Phip 4:4)