|The Gospel of Genesis||Exodus to the Unknown||Exodus, a Walk of Faith||Levitcus, Serving God||Numbering God's Warriors|
|The Pilgrim way||Love and Obey God||Our Fathers Faith, Review||The Barrier has been Removed||For He is our Peace.|
|The 4 R's of Salvation||The R's Continued|
God's Plan of Redemption, the Barrier has been removed.
|For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Ephes. 2:14|
There is fixed between God and man an unbreachable barrier. This barrier consists of several components. Fellowship, enjoying the fullness of His presence is impossible because of a wall of partition that is, in our minds' eyes, fixed between the sinner and God. Let us look at this Barrier and see how God has resolved every detail so that we might enjoy His redemption. First, I will point out a problem - a "boulder" if you please - a part of this barrier between God and man. Then, I will show from God's Word the means for that "boulder's" removal - that is, God's provision for its removal. So then, here we go . . .
The barrier of man's Total Depravity.
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. Romans 3:10-11
There is no amount of effort of intellectual exercise - no scientific pursuit that will lead man to God. Every effort of man will lead him into idolatry. This is the meaning of Romans chapter one. This is important to understand: even though God has implanted in the consciousness of man His existence, man, left to his own design will "invent" an idol who expresses his own depravity. How then is it that man even comes to the point where he has the slightest glimmer of hope to fellowship with God? The first step is called by some theologians the awareness that there is a God - this is called the point of "God Consciousness." This is when a young man or woman, after having looked at the creation of God recognizes that there probably is a God. This does not give this person entrance into fellowship with God. Quite the contrary - the total depravity of man will lead him in the opposite direction. The problem is that we as sinners do not have a "clue" about God. Not only are we sinners, but we are "clueless" about God. Our thinking is completely diametrically opposed to the way God thinks.
God's Provision for Man's Depravity - His death on the cross and the regeneration of the mind.
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8
For when we were yet without strength... Classical Greek often used this word for strength [astenes] to depict debilitating sickness. It was also used figuratively to describe poverty. The LXX used this word to translate from the Hebrew in a similar way - see Job 4:3; 36:15. The point we can draw here is that the sinner in his depravity was completely destitute morally and spiritually - could not stand and walk toward God - the sinner is completely without hope of any relationship with God.
Yet, Paul uses a wonderful illustration to point out that God has taken an extraordinary step to show His love toward man by "commending" His love for man. Verse 8 of our passage is a wonderful word picture. Look at the picture of my watch - I took this picture outdoors in the shade. There are no highlights - there is no special lighting - it's a fairly "flat" picture of a fairly expensive watch. If I wished to showcase it I would place it on a silk handkerchief and fix some lighting on it to give it some highlights (at least I did half of the showcasing). When I got through with the silk and the lighting the wonderful tooling marks on the watch would be highlighted, the ruby jewels would perhaps glisten - the gold would pick up a glint and viola! The watch would be "showcased!" This is the meaning of the word "commendeth" in our verse, "...God commendeth his love toward us..." He showcased His love for us by having Christ die for us. We could not with our own minds think of a way to gain access to God - but He has! What an unlikely way to show the world of sinners that He loves them - the total depravity of man has been resolved - man has but to look at the cross and hear the Gospel and, with the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit, he can find the way to God
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Titus 3:5
But there is another wonderful detail of God's provision for man's depravity - The renewal of the mind of man. When man comes to Christ as a helpless, destitute sinner, in faith, a wonderful transformation of that man's mind comes to past. Titus 3:5 speaks of a washing and a renewing... That whole passage speaks of a former life that has passed away and a whole new attitude - one that is Christ-like begins - with the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit. Other passages that refer to our new minds are found in 1 Cor 2:16 and Eph. 4:23. Depravity is done away - we are brought close to the Lord and are able to have fellowship with Him.
The barrier of our enslavement to sin.
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. Romans 7:14, NIV
I fear that we have a distorted view of slavery today. We base our on the extremely wicked practice of kidnapping the folks in Africa in our nation's earlier days. This was not the practice of Biblical times. Slavery of Biblical times - though still to be construed as wrong was more a form of either indentureship or of a penal nature. Many tradesmen of the day were as young boys indentured to their trainers / "owners." During this time the young boy had to learn to become free. Upon proper response to his training he could use the money he had saved and the money of others to purchase his freedom and from there go into a prosperous pursuit of his trade. The other form of slavery is depicted in Hosea where Hosea's wife had become a prostitute and then destitute and was sold back to Hosea. The later word picture is a wonderful picture of our condition without Christ. We, as sinners, are enslaved to sin. Read the rest of Paul's desperate situation without Christ. Sin was quite literally his master. He had to serve sin - that is his Old Sin Nature. Paul, in Ephesians, writes of the sinner actually being under the dominion of Satan's kingdom. The sinner is depicted as living under the "law" the mode of operation of sin. He had no other choice because he was a subject of the kingdom of sin.
God's Provision for man's enslavement, Redemption by the Blood of Christ.
The LORD said to me, "Go, show your love to your wife again,
though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the
Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes." 
So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of
barley.  Then I told her, "You are to live with me many days; you
must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you."
Hosea 3:1-3, NIV
Our passage here is the wonderful conclusion of the matter of Gomer's horrible condition as the result of her sin. Hosea was told to go down to the slave market and to redeem his wife - that is buy her back. This, by the way, introduces a wonderful nuance of the theme of redemption. The sinner really belongs to the Lord. When the sinner responds to the call of the Gospel - he is redeemed - the Lord through the blood of Christ has purchased the sinner back. You see, we all belong to Him by virtue of the fact that He created us  Even though we all are born into the slave market of sin - the Lord still has possession of us and has, in His love, provided for our redemption from the slave market of sin.
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Col. 1:12-14
When Jehovah redeemed Israel from Egypt, He did more than remove them from the the Pharaoh's enslavement. The LORD gave them a new life - He not only delivered them from Pharaoh but He translated them into His kingdom. They literally became a new nation. The Greek word methistemi is a compound work. meta means to associate with histemi means to stand - to be in a place. Usage in the classical Greek meant to transfer or to remove from one place or situation to another. It was also used to remove from life - to put to death. In the LXX it was used in reference to the disposing of rulers. Here's the wonderful application: we have not only been removed from the kingdom of Sin - the power make that authority of darkness. But we have been translated - that is transported into the kingdom of God's dear Son, Jesus Christ! Another passage has us, who are redeemed, living in the "heavenlies."
The Barrier of the curse of the Law.
For there is no respect of persons with God.  For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; Romans 2:11-12
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:19-20
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23
I use these three verses to make absolutely sure that anyone reading this study comes away with the knowledge that no one is excluded from the curse of the law. This judgement falls on every man - we are all judged guilty by the righteous judge, God as sinners and deserving of His judgement. This barrier is a formidible one - imagine a man who has been judged guilty of a crime by the court of law. Is there any way to escape the sentence he is about to receive? No. So it is with man - that sentence is death. Romans 6:23a declares the awful sentence: "For the wages of sin is death;..." there is no escaping this sentence apart from the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.
God's Provision for the curse of the law, redemption from it curse.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: KJV
Christ bought us free from the curse of the law when he became a curse in our stead, because it has been written: Accursed everyone who hangs on wood! Lenski, Galatians 3:13
The previous judgement has placed everyone both jew and gentile under Law's curse. God in His provision has paid the price - indeed, has taken upon Himself the curse so that we might be made free - to escape the awful judgment of the Law - that sinners deserve to be put to death - He died in our place! When He bought us free He did not make limited payment. No! In 2 Peter 2:1 those who bring swift destruction on themselves - that is they bring judgement upon themselves - they are also bought and paid for by the Lord. The Lord did not spare anything when He went to the cross - there is no excuse for any sinner the barrier - the condemnation - the curse of sin has been removed by Jesus Christ Himself. Lenski writes this: "It has been well said that, if Christ had left out one person, I, who know my own unworthiness and sin so fully, must conclude that I am that person."
Christ died in our place as a man condemned for a capital offence - a crime worthy of death. Not only did He die for us, but he died in shame for us. Every Jew knew the significance of Jesus being hung on the cross - what a contradiction - here the Lord of glory - the sinless one - hanging on a tree as a shameful criminal worthey of the penalty of death. This is a quote from Deut. 21:22, 23 - it was a well known point of the Law by the Jew.
We have been bought free and delivered from Law's curse - we stand outside the courtroom of God with a great sense of relief - we have been freed from the sentence of death!
What a wonderful salvation we have - every bit of the barrier that separates us from God has been removed. We will look at this barrier and see how God has removed every obstacle. Here are some of the other components of the barrier that God has removed: The barrier of the debt of sin - death, the barrier of human birth, the barrier of the sinfulness of man versus the Character of God, the barrier of man's relative righteousness, the barrier of man's temporal life, and the barrier of man's enmity with God.
Isn't it exciting to review these fact? Armed with these truths, I have found it to be very effective in my witnessing to others about their need of a Savior. Come join with me as we spend the next few sessions going over the removal of the Barrier between God and man.
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1. "since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." Romans 1:19-20, NIV
2. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. Isaiah 55:8
3. As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,  in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. Ephes. 2:1-3, NIV
4. Psalm 139:13-16.
5. Dan. 2:21.
6. But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. 2 Peter 2:1, NAS, my emphasis.
7. Lenski, Interpretation of Paul's Epistles to the Galations, Ephesians and Philippians, page 153.