What a Wonderful Life

Glen Berry

THE CHILD OF GOD cannot imagine just HOW wonderful! But can you, on the other hand, imagine if it were NOT true?  It might be well for you to TRY to imagine THAT, lest you be found too much NOT APPRECIATING the GIFT God Almighty, the only Savior has given to His people, to the bride of Christ. Note the text on the facing page.

Before man was ever created, before the world and all in it was ever brought into being, God had created the angels. One-third of them in rebellion followed Lucifer in his pride to rebel against God, seeking to become like God as His rival. Those fallen angels are to all receive the same judgment as fallen Lucifer. No provision for redemption was made for ANY of this part of the creation of God.

Then God created man, which Satan seduced and deceived so that man, in Adam, fell into sin. But for MAN, a multitude which no man can number, WAS chosen to receive forgiveness and redemption by the death of God the Son, God manifest in the flesh, to pay the very penalty of all their sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Had this NOT been the case by God’s eternal decree, then ALL mankind would have been forever doomed with the fallen angels and Lucifer!

“For whom He did foreknow,

He also did predestinate

to be conformed

to the image of His Son . . .”

(Romans 8:29)

All this was in the immutable, absolutely infallible decree of God by His sovereign grace and because of His eternal love.

This race of redeemed man, this elect nation, this chosen people of God, this bride of Christ is spoken of as the inheritance of Christ the Son, as well as His bride given by the Father. But they are of a FALLEN, filthy race! They are all unclean. “What is MAN that Thou art mindful of him?”  This is a question it will take eternity to answer and praise God for, because there is NO good thing by nature IN man that is any way deserving of such a GIFT!  This is part of the mystery of godliness.  THINK! God did for His people out of the fallen  race what He chose NOT to do for the fallen angels!

I believe PART of the reason is that He wanted a bride for God the Son that would appreciate and know by experience what FORGIVENESS was all about, in order to be able to RETURN that same kind of love especially to the Heavenly Bridegroom but also show love to fellow humans, especially to the “household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)

Also, God the Father wanted a bride for the Son that would be just like the Son—holy and pure, full of love, reflecting the very image of the Son—thus CONFORMED to His image. How wonderful and reasonable is THAT! How worthy of worship is our God and Savior!

Eternal life is a GIFT, but as we speak of “salvation,” there are different aspects or phases incorporated in this great work of redemption by our sovereign God. Like, we HAVE BEEN saved, we ARE BEING saved, and we WILL BE saved.  Likewise is the term we call “sanctification.”  As a one-time act of God, He HAS set us apart or sanctified us for His use; yet there is a continuing work also, we ARE BEING sanctified as we grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. This on-going work is seen in 2 Corinthians 7:1, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the  fear of God.” 

The same thing is seen in Romans 8:3-5—

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled IN us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”  Then verse 9  says, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell IN you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” The “law of liberty” empowers us because we have God the Lawgiver IN us.

All this also is seen in the CONFORMING process that we are predestinated concerning. It begins with the new birth, when we are first quickened, and continues on until death, and in fact is not completed until the work of glorification takes place when body and soul are re-united at the resurrection and we are GLORIFIED.

Just as Christ Himself will raise every last one that the Father gave Him to save from their sins, so the complete work will be carried on with every last one of them until fully conformed to the heavenly Bridegroom’s glorious image when we are glorified. GOD WILL HAVE A  BRIDE FOR HIS SON TO BE A BRIDE GLORIOUS AND PURE AND JUST LIKE THE SON!  That is the reason for REDEMPTION!  Nothing less in a bride could inhabit eternity, living with the Bridegroom for ever and ever.

Even the natural relationship of a husband and wife is to be a symbol of the union between Christ and His body or bride. As He prayed to the  Father in John 17— “That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.”

John 17 24 continues: “Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovest Me before the foundation of the world.”

What could move the holy God to love us, who are poor, worthless, fruitless sinners? This question is best resolved in these words, “He loves us because He loves us!” The root
of His love to us lies in Himself! God’s love to His people is a lasting love, yes, an everlasting love! It is a love which never decays nor waxes cold. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”
Jeremiah 31:3

The Puritan preacher who lived in the  1600’s, Thomas Brooks, gives us the quote below:

What could move the holy God to love us, who are poor, worthless, fruitless sinners? This question is best resolved in these words, “He loves us because He loves us!” The root of His love to us lies in Himself! God’s love to His people is a lasting love, yes, an everlasting love! It is a love which never decays nor waxes cold. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”  (Jeremiah 31:3)

He wrote the book, “Heaven on Earth,” about which he covers these ten points, saying—

Further, in this treatise, as in a glass, you may see these ten special things clearly and fully opened and manifested.

  1. What knowledge that is, which accompanies salvation.
  2. What faith that is, which accompanies salvation.
  3. What repentance that is, which accompanies salvation.
  4. What obedience that is, which accompanies salvation.
  5. What love that is, which accompanies salvation.
  6. What prayer that is, which accompanies salvation.
  7. What perseverance that is, which accompanies salvation.
  8. What hope that is, which accompanies salvation.
  9. The difference there is between true assurance, and that which is counterfeit.
  10. The wide difference there is between the witness of the Spirit, and the hissing of the old serpent.

SOME SHORT QUOTES BY THOMAS BROOKS:

The lazy Christian has his mouth full of complaints, when the active Christian has his heart full of comforts.

God hath in Himself all power to defend you, all wisdom to direct you, all mercy to pardon you, all grace to enrich you, all righteousness to clothe you, all goodness to supply you, and all happiness to crown you.

The world and you must part, or Christ and you will never meet.

He that will play with Satan’s bait, will quickly be taken with Satan’s hook.

Deliver me, O Lord, from that evil man, myself.

Christ dwells in that heart most eminently that hath emptied itself of itself.

Grace and glory differ very little; the one is the seed, the other is the flower; grace is glory militant, glory is grace triumphant.

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