In seeking to produce a family which would be alive to God, God knew from the beginning that this could not be accomplished by external regulation of law (1).
While God began with a flesh and blood community called to be His people, this was not His ultimate purpose. He was after a Spiritual community who would be His people by faith (2). God’s intention was an “Israel of faith” (3).
From the beginning God knew that this would only be possible by sending His Son (4) . Until that time He kept unfaithfulness in check by providing the law (5). When it became time for the formation of this Spiritual community, God, by His Son, met the kingdoms of this world in a head on collision! (6)
Jesus Himself became the firstborn of a new creation (7), a creation which would relate to God under a new covenant (8), a covenant made in His blood. (9) The day of Pentecost began the substantial expansion of this covenant, creating a new people, a people of faith, whose source and energy would be the Spirit of God Himself. (10)
This new community of faith would relate to God and to each other not by flesh and blood, but by revelation from the Father. Their conduct as God’s people would not be determined by external constraint, law, but by embracing God’s values from the heart. Regulation would no longer be external. It would now be internal. (11)
The cornerstone of this new community is Jesus Christ. (12) It is not possible to be a part of it without the knowledge of Him. In the past, when flesh and blood was the basis of relationship, it was possible to belong without knowing Him, but now, every member of the community knows him from the least to the greatest. (13)
It was never God’s intention to go into eternity with a people that could not be trusted, a people who needed constant watching and correction. (14) It was His intention from the beginning to call to Himself a people who embraced His values and did His will from the heart, by their very nature. (15) External constraints were provided until this could be accomplished. (16)
The establishment of this new covenant and new community made external law obsolete (17), and external law itself will be allowed to pass away as this new community is growing to its maturity or fullness. (18)
With the demise of the external law, everything and everyone outside of this community will be shattered, reduced to pieces, and “blown away like chaff on the summer threshing floor.” (19)
Once God’s intention has been fully carried out, Jesus will return for this community in its fullness, and embrace it as a bride. Just prior to His return, however, a false or anti-christ will appear (20), who will make every effort to prevent God’s intention from coming to pass (21).
The mental and spiritual environment in which the community of faith is growing is compared to labor pains (22). In effect, the old creation is giving birth to the new (23). The labor pains become more intense as the external constraints are removed, as the law passes away. The first thing that happens when the law is finally and completely taken out of the way (24) is not the revelation of Jesus, however, but the anti-christ, the man of sin, the lawless one (25).
It is the removal of the law which creates the environment (26) into which the lawless one can come and take over. God’s new community is in a war with the old creation, but the war is not with people (27), rather it is with the spiritual environment in which they are thinking and feeling (28). Viewed from one perspective, the spiritual, mental, and emotional environment is that of “iron and clay, partly strong and partly weak”, violent, but with no cohesiveness (29). This is to say, people will be hardened, even brittle in their selfishness, totally lacking in loyalty, integrity, and faithfulness (30).
This war rages in our minds (31) and can only be fought with spiritual weapons (32). From the very beginning, the battle is so overwhelming (33) that only the loud cries of the Captain of our salvation stand between this new creation and utter defeat (34). Indeed, except by His intercession and shortening the duration of the war, no one would survive (35).
From beginning to end, the new creation is built on revelation and faith (36). The obedience of faith to God’s revelation is the way in (37), the way of growth (38), the way of standing (39), and the way of victory (40).
Jay Ferris – 3/20/92
1 ROM 3:20, GAL 2:16b
2 MAT 12:46-50, Mark 10:29-31, 2CO 5:16, 20, 2PE 1:3, 4, 1JO 5:4, 5
3 ROM 2:28, 29, ROM 9:6-8
4 REV 13:8
5 ROM 2:12-15, GAL 3:19-25, GAL 4:1-11, 1TI 1:9-11
6 DAN 2:34, 35, 44
7 ROM 8:19-25, 29, 1CO 15:20, 22-28
8 HEB 8:6-8, 10, 11, EPH 2:15, 16, HEB 8:13
9 LUK 22:20, EPH 2:13
10 JOH 1:12, 13
11 HEB 8:10, 11
12 EPH 2:18-22, 1PE 2:6-10
13 HEB 8:10, 11
14 EPH 4:17-19
15 MAT 22:36-39, PE 1:4
16 GAL 4:3-5
17 HEB 8:13
18 EPH 4:11-13
19 DAN 2:35a, HEB 12:26-28
20 MAT 24:4, 5, 2TH 2:1-5, GAL 3:19b, REV 7:1-3, 2TH 2:6-9, REV 20:7
21 REV 12:4, 13:7
22 MAT 24:6-8
23 ROM 8:22
24 2TH 2:6
25 MAT 24:15, 16
26 MAT 24:10-12, ROM 1:26, 27, JER 5:1, 2TI 3:1-5
27 2CO 10:3-5
29 DAN 2:42, 43
30 LUK 18:8b
31 2CO 10:5
32 2CO 10:3-5
33 MAT 24:9, REV 13:5-7
34 HEB 5:7-9
35 MAT 24:21-24, ROM 8:26, 27, ROM 8:33, 34
36 MAT 16:18, 19, EPH 1:17, 18
37 ROM 3:21, 22, 4:13, 16, 5:2, 9:30, EPH 2:8-10
38 1TH 1:3, 1TI 1:4
39 ROM 11:20, 2CO 1:24, 2CO 5:7, GAL 2:20, 3:11-14, GAL 5:5-7, HEB 10:38, 11:3-31
40 1JO 5:4b-5