What manner of persons - Part IIIBro. Ron Rupé
11/24/2002 6:00 PM
2 Peter 3:9-14
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace without spot and blameless. When this great day of God begins, and the great God of heaven and earth returns, how will you be found of him? Will you be found in peace or in fear? When he comes will you be found ready or unprepared? Seeing how this day is coming, what manner of persons ought we to be? When a serious soul begins to prepare for eternity, eventually the answer to this question must be found. The enemy of souls, with the aid of misguided ministers, would divert souls to other questions. He would side track them to different issues that don't satisfy the soul and that don't prepare the soul for eternity. What manner of person ought I to be?
The wrong questions:
- What manner of things can I do?
- What manner of things must I quit doing?
This is the wrong approach to salvation. What's the difference? The difference is that you can do the correct things and abstain from doing the wrong things in some measure, without changing the manner of person you are.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
The Galatians were struggling with what they should do and shouldn't do. Changing what you do doesn't avail anything, but changing the creature is what avails with God. "I am not saying that there are not things God wants us to do, or evil he wants us to abstain from, because there are." Those that do evil will not inherit the kingdom of God. Those that are evil will not inherit the kingdom of God. Has the person inside changed? What kind of person ought ye to be?
Matthew 12:34, 35
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
What manner of person are you? What kind of heart is on the inside? What kind of nature is working within? Don't focus so much on what you are doing, but on what is on the inside - the manner of person you are. Searching the soul with the wrong questions will lead to answers that neither satisfy the soul, nor prepare it for eternity. Seeking what manner of person you should be will always lead you to a new creature. Asking the wrong questions will lead you to a completely different route. It will lead you to the law of Moses rather than to the grace of Christ. Going this route leads to creeds, cardinal doctrines, catechisms, and articles of faith. These are nothing but tabernacles built to Moses. This neither satisfies the soul, nor prepares it for eternity.
And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do no bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up thy cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard it is for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
This man came asking, "What shall I do?" Jesus told him, "You know what to do." The man knew that something was still lacking. Jesus told him, "It's not what you do, but what you are that will keep you from the kingdom of God." This man was doing the right things, but was not the right kind of person. If it's the person and not the things I do, do I need the law? It depends on what kind of person you are.
1 Timothy 1:9-10
Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for the sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
If you are a lawless and disobedient person, then you need the law. A lawless manner of person is the old creature.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
What has passed away? The lawlessness, disobedience, ungodliness, sinning, unholiness, profane things, murdering, manslaughter, etc. The need for the law passes away when the creature is changed. The creature doesn't do those things anymore.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
Everyone that has been transformed and is a new creature doesn't need the law. Love is the end of the law.
1 Timothy 1:5
Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of agood conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
"The end of the commandment" does not imply that the result or product of the law of Moses is charity. No law has ever produced charity. No commandment ever produced a pure heart. No law ever produced a good conscience. Where did this charity come from? Charity is the fulfillment of the command. The commandment becoming fulfilled is now unprofitable. There's no need for it. It's been cancelled and is ready to vanish away.
Hebrews 7:18, 19
For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
"The end of the commandment is charity" because charity has fulfilled the law. It's not a profitable law to those under charity. The creature has changed, and there's no longer any need for it.
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
"The end of the commandment is charity." "Love is the fulfilling of the law." Where does this charity come from?
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
The law of Moses doesn't produce charity. The love in our hearts disannuls the commandment. This charity comes from God through the grace in Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. Charity is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit of God. This charity is how God puts his law in our minds and writes it in our hearts.
Hebrews 8:10, 11
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
God will put his laws in your mind, and he will write them on your heart. The way he does this is to shed the love of God in your heart. Love is the fulfilling of the law. There are only two commandments he writes - Love the Lord with all thine heart; Love your neighbor as yourself. The Christian way is not to give people a list of things to live by, but for them to become a new creature. The love of God in your heart is the new creature. The law is charity.
The Precepts of Charity
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth:
These are the precepts of God's new law. The new precepts make the old ones look unprofitable. Why do we need a law telling us not to covet, when charity envieth not? Each of the commands of the old law is pointless, because the charity in our hearts helps us to know how to be and how to behave. There's no law against these precepts, "he that doeth these things shall never fall", and "there is none occasion of stumbling in him." What manner of person are you? Since coming to Christ, has the manner of person changed? The things we do or don't do can be expected to change, but has the creature changed? Are you a new creature with the love of God within? Are you the old creature in need of the law? What manner of person are you?