From the Beginning

A STORY OF "TIME" by Trevor Topsfield

The First Step

STEP #1

Step one is found in Romans Chapter 1. Here Paul explains to the Romans that God’s “Eternal Power” and his “Divine Nature” is seen in the things he has created. This is a fact of life that everyone sees, as this is what it took to create the universe. (Verses 18-24)

What each individual does with this information is of vital importance. The options are to glorify God being impressed by his power and nature, or ignore him. God has set up two organizations; Israel in the early days and the Church today, to convince people of their obligation. God is God; no one can change it, but anyone can choose to ignore the evidence and live as though it were not true.

For those who fail to admit to his vast superiority, their godlessness incurs the wrath of God as they have gone against the obvious which must have him as the ultimate authority. The existence of the universe is far beyond the capability of any other to have achieved such a massive construction. To ignore the obvious is to hide the truth, and imply it is no longer a criterion for further consideration, and anything is acceptable. However; if the creation is to continue there must be logic involved so everything works in harmony. Because it still exists, and appears to have existed long before living memory all its occupants. Then God must be the ultimate authority if it is to continue as it has done since eternity past.

To add weight to the obvious; because of their rejection that God is God, they only make the situation worse by having to function within their own inferior personalities. God makes it painfully clear this standard is not good enough for his environment.

While God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter: 3-9) he will try another way to convince the world of people we all have an obligation to accept him as the authority over all he has made. For all who refuse to do so, they opt out of being part of it. Because of the huge gulf between us we would ruin the work he has done if we will not conform to his design.

For those who are not impressed with his works, he will not give up on them as he realizes how important it is for them to be part of all he has done, as he knows there is no better way.

When more evidence is needed; then there is a function of the Holy Spirit that will hopefully get them to change their minds. With reference to the Holy Spirit, John 16, Verses 8 –12 has this to say.

“When he (the Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment;

In regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; Sinfulness can be made obvious in different ways, and the Holy Spirit will know one way that is relevant to each particular person. So it can be stated as fact everyone is aware of their sinfulness which is clearly sub-standard to that which is required. The Holy Spirit also makes it clear there is a solution. However, if God is not God to a person, then, for that person the Holy Spirit has done it all for nothing.

In regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no more. There is a way to do the right thing as Jesus did, therefore he will go to the Father. If there is a procedure in place for Jesus to do what is right, so he can go to heaven. Then it follows that as he is our example; we can be with him if we too do what is right.

The fact that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father while he makes his (Jesus’s) enemies a foot stool is there for everyone to know. The Holy Spirit makes it clear that Jesus’ righteousness has given him a passage to heaven. Not knowing is no excuse, one way or another, everyone has more than enough information to come up with the best answer, but some have ignored it.

In regard to judgment because the prince of this world now stands condemned. (NIV)

If the standard is not maintained; then there is a judgment. The precedence has been set; the ruler of the world is condemned. The Holy Spirit convicts everyone of this judgment with the warning that naturally comes with it. If he cannot get away with it; do you think any others can?

Three strikes from the Holy Spirit and you are out.

The “First Step” is not that difficult, so much is working for the benefit of everyone.

STEP #2

Every time Step #1 achieves its purpose and God becomes God in the life of that certain person, the next stage begins. This goes into action immediately, but the results may appear to take some time.

Without any coercion from God, he has always known who will react positively towards him. Therefore, because he is unwilling that any should perish he has made sure in the past that all things work together for the good for those who love him (Romans 8–28).

This means that circumstances surrounding the life of the person in focus will make sure he or she will not perish, but somehow will come to know the saving power of Jesus Christ through his death on the cross. The Gospel of Christ will eventually sink in and that person will be saved. God will not give up; he will persist and persist until he or she believes in Jesus Christ. It is inevitable; that to all to whom God is God; they will take the next step.

No one is lucky to be saved; it came about through the sacrifice of Jesus when he took upon himself the sinfulness of every other person belonging to the human race and was judged for them. God has given the chance to all to have the resultant righteousness that Jesus achieved for us, but only those who accept God as their God will receive it. This is because only these will look to God for the solution Step #1 has indicated.

For those to whom God is not God; then it’s up to them to sort at their problems by themselves, it just so happens this is beyond everyone.

STEP #3

Salvation adds another dimension to life. While we still live here on the earth, we have actually become part of God’s kingdom. This is the reality, but our experience might not have changed a great deal. Believing in Jesus for salvation is easy; it only takes a mustard seed of faith. For everyone who sees the things God has done and glorified him as well as thanking him are on the way, this is very significant, but it’s not that complicated.

However, a whole new world has opened up for we can now function under the care of God, and have become his children, and he will look after us.

When a person believes in Jesus Christ he receives the righteousness of God. Now he has sinfulness that he has always had, plus the perfection of God’s righteousness. This means he has two options in every situation he faces, does he apply the righteousness of God or the sinfulness of his old life.

The freedom to choose between the two is something he never had before. Previously he could only function from his sinfulness; it was his only option.

Not only this; but he is given the Holy Spirit which lives within him. The Holy Spirit will take the believer’s understanding of God and will do perfect things on the believer’s behalf and for his benefit. Under this condition it is generally known as the “filling” of the Holy Spirit, and the fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These are found in Galatians Chapter 5.

However this new life needs an understanding of how it works, therefore it is the responsibility of every believer to learn it. All the information required is found in The Bible, so some form of Bible study is needed, without it the believer simply tries to improve his old life as this is all he knows.

STEP #4

The end result!

God has got everything in order so that our eternity will continue forever. Because only perfection will see out the time, God has to ensure he has overcome all the imperfections.

With salvation comes eternal life; which means of course we will live forever in God’s kingdom, but that can only happen if his entire kingdom is perfect. God with his own righteousness will guarantee this.

So salvation consists of purifying all that is not perfect at the present time.

We need perfection; this was achieved by Jesus on the cross when he took upon himself our sinfulness so that we might receive the righteousness of God which is perfect.

So much for our soul; what about our bodies? The ones we have at present are certainly not good enough to last that much longer, definitely not forever. To overcome this problem God will use our current one as a seed and from it grow one that is perfect, one that cannot give us any complaint in any form. Jesus is the first to get one; he received his when the Jews celebrated the feast of the “First Fruit”, the day he was raised from the dead. We will get ours at the appropriate time.

Heaven is eternal and has always been perfect and with God ruling over it and maintaining its perfection, it will continue forever so we will always have a perfect place to live.

We will always do the perfect thing for three reasons.

1 Because everyone who lives with God forever has accepted him as their God, (Step # 1) so they have also accepted his authority, therefore they will always follow his lead’

2 Because we only have the righteousness of God and no sinful nature, we can only do perfection.

3 Because he will give us total knowledge, we will know what we should do and therefore never do a thing to tarnish the perfection of heaven.

It is worth a mention that everything salvation has given us has been organised and achieved by God, all we have done is recognised the “Glory” of God and looked to him, only to find salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

Trevor Topsfield

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishin

 

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