Monthly Archives: August 2016

A. Ward Brandenstein

Facts Thirty Six through Forty One


Part 2 – Who are we?





“There is freedom from living a guilt-ridden life to those who have received Christ, once the person learns his true identity in Christ. All of the amazing facts occur at the moment that a person receives the Lord Jesus Christ as his or her Saviour!” – Ward Brandenstein



Ephesians 1:5,11,12, Having predestinated us unto the adoption of sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.  In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will, That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ.

The Scriptural principle of adoption as used in Ephesians 1:5 (In the printed edition: Explained in No. 2, Adopted, p. 8 ), is used to teach the child of God that he is placed as a mature son in Christ at the time of his new birth in order that he can ultimately be a co-heir with Jesus Christ at the believer’s resurrection (Romans 8:15-17,23; Galatians 4:1,5-7).  (See No. 24, Heirs of God, p. 19 ).  God had determined before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) that all who would be in Christ in eternity-to-come were horizoned beforehand (pro-orizo in the Greek), to be placed as mature sons for the purpose of fully sharing in God’s inheritance which God purposed according to His own will.  According to the purpose of Him…after the counsel of His own will refers to the fact that God determined that we be predestined to an inheritance simply because that is the way He wanted it to be.  The end result (verse 12) of being predestinated is that we as believers in Christ are to beto the praise of His glory!



John 10:29, My Father, Who gave them to Me, is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.

John 17:2, As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him.

John 17:6, I have manifested Thy name unto the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world; Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy word.

John 17:9-12, I pray for them…whom Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine.  And all Mine are Thine and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them.  …Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given me, that they may be one, as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name; those that Thou gavest Me, I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.

John 17:20, Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also who shall believe on Me through their word.

John 17:24, 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 lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.

In His priestly prayer recorded in John 17, Jesus’ focus initially is on the disciples as those whom the Father has given Him.  As the prayer continues, the gift to Christ by the Father includes all who believe on Him through the disciples. Then the emphasis moves toward the glory Christ receives through all who believe in Him, who also behold His glory when it shall be revealed.



II Corinthians 5:18-20, And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now, then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we beg (pray, KJV) you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Romans 5:10,11, For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Ephesians 2:14,16, For He is our peace, who hath made both (Jew and Gentile) one (the church), and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us, And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.

The primary meaning of the Greek word for which the word, reconcile, is the translation, is “to change, exchange, as coins for others of equal value; hence to reconcile (those who are at variance)…In the New Testament God is said…to receive one into His favor, [A.V. reconcile one to himself], II Cor. 5:18-20 (where…two arguments are adduced which prove that God has done this:  first, that he does not impute to men their trespasses; second, that he has deposited the doctrine of reconciliation in the souls of the preachers of the gospel).”[2]  See II Cor. 5:18-20, quoted above.

Reconciliation is based on the concept of being changed completely.  There are three phases of reconciliation.  First, the Scriptures speak of God’s being reconciled.  Since He is immutable (unchangeable), the change which relates to God in reconciliation is in the fact that He no longer imputes trespasses to man because Christ’s death met His just demands.  The second aspect is that the world is reconciled to God in regard to the capability of the unbeliever’s being saved.  The third aspect of reconciliation rests on the individual and is brought to reality when he agrees with God by faith that Christ’s death satisfies God’s just demands.  By receiving Christ, the individual is brought into a harmonious relationship with God.

There are several other facts to be noted in regard to the truth of the reconciliation of believers to God.  First, in Romans 5:10,11, the apostle states that because of the reconciliation, we shall be saved by His life.  The blessed reality for the believer is that Christ, by living out His life through the believer, saves (or, delivers) the believer from the power of indwelling sin.  Thus, Paul was able to declare in Galatians 2:20,

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me, Gal.2:20.

Another fact regarding reconciliation is that reconciliation to God is the basis for the believer to have joy in God because of the fellowship with God afforded to the believer by Him.  This joy is also realized in the practical “walk” of the believer as he participates in the ministry of reconciliation.

This ministry of reconciliation is the privilege afforded the believer to declare to those not yet believing that God does not impute trespasses to man because Christ’s death satisfied God’s just demand, and now God wants all men to be saved!



Galatians 3:13a,b, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.

I Corinthians 1:30, But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us…redemption.

Ephesians 1:7, In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.  (See also Colossians 1:14.)

Titus 2:14, Who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a people of His own, zealous of good works.

Hebrews 9:12, Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

I Peter 1:18,19, Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver and gold, from your vain manner of life received by tradition from your fathers, But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

Redemption from sin demanded a payment price which was Christ’s very own blood, as can be seen throughout these Scriptures just cited.  There is also the idea inherent in some of the Greek words, from which we get the word redemptionin English, that gives the meaning of setting loose.  Another Greek word relates to the idea of purchasing in the market place (e.g., a slave).  When all of these points are combined, the resulting idea is that Christ provided the purchase price when He shed His blood on the cross.  Jesus’ blood was the purchase price that He used to buy the sinner as a slave out of the market place of sin.  Jesus then set the purchased sinner free from slavery to sin and loosed him from any obligation to sin.  Redemption, therefore, starts with the death of Christ on the cross and includes all that is needed to set the sinner free from slavery to sin!



I Peter 2:5,9, Ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a people of His own, that ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Revelation 1:6, And hath made us a kingdom of priests unto God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 5:10, And hast made us unto our God a kingdom of priests, and we shall reign on the earth.

Revelation 20:6, Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

The believer as a priest is able to come before God on behalf of people (intercession) and to come before people on God’s behalf.  (In the printed edition: See reconciliation, No. 38, Reconciled, p.19.)  Also, presently the believer-priest offers the spiritual sacrifice of praise to God and the sacrifice of sharing (Hebrews 13:15,16; Philippians 4:18), and offers his body as a living sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1).  During the future thousand-year reign of Christ, the believer-priest will co-reign with Christ.



I Thessalonians 3:13, To the end He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.

II Thessalonians 1:10, When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe…in that day.

I Corinthians 1:2, Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, both theirs and ours.

I Corinthians 6:11, And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Romans 1:7, To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints…

Philippians 1:1, Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi…

Colossians 1:2, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colosse…

Colossians 1:12, Giving thanks unto the Father, Who hath made us fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.

Colossians 1:26, Even the mystery which hath been hidden from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to His saints.

Philemon 5, Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints.

Hebrews 2:11, For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.

Hebrews 10:10, By which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:14, For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.

Jude 1, Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God, the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.

Jude 14, …Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints.

Revelation 14:12, Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Revelation 19:8, And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of saints.

The word, sanctified, is the verb form of the word, saint, in the Greek as used in the Scriptures cited above.  The uses of these terms throughout the New Testament unmistakeably have reference to each person who has placed his or her faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, thus removing any support to the notion of attaining sainthood or sanctification through human merit.  But it is also necessary to recognize that there is the need for the believer to yield his members servants to righteousness, unto holiness (Romans 6:19), i.e., experiential sanctification.  Therefore, the believer, living from his position of being sanctified by God through Christ, can live out that sanctification as he presents his members to God for the sake of righteousness.

[2] Joseph Henry Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1963: now in public domain) 333.

Next Week: Facts 42+

Copyright © 1996 A. Ward Brandenstein

Used with permission.

[Series Index


A. Ward Brandenstein

Pastor Ward earned an M.A. in Guidance and Counselling from Eastern Michigan University after taking special courses in psychology at Wayne State University, and earned a Bachelor of Theology (Th.B.) from Baptist Bible College and Seminary with Greek and Hebrew studies, and earned a diploma from Philadelphia Bible Institute (now Cairn U.), including New Testament Greek studies. His knowledge of the Bible and close walk with God are appreciated by all who know him and have sat under his teaching. Pastor Brandenstein and his wife Rose Ann reside in California, teaching college level singles and married couples, young professionals, and retired pastors and missionaries.


Peter is a Bible teacher and ministry trainer, based in southern England. His main ministry is as co-director and mentor of Cor Deo, a full-time mentored study and ministry training program.

What Is God Like?

Dr Peter MeadEvery bit of the brokenness we see in the world
stems from people with a broken view of God.

Recently I was given a copy of The Root of the Righteous by A.W.Tozer.  It has been a while since I read any Tozer, so I used my train journey to read a few chapters.  Many of his books are made up of brief articles he wrote for his church newsletter, so essentially he was a blogger half a century early.  He begins one chapter with this:

“Satan’s first attack upon the human race was his sly effort to destroy Eve’s confidence in the kindness of God.  Unfortunately for her and for us he succeeded too well.  From that day, men have had a false conception of God, and it is exactly this that has cut out from under them the ground of righteousness and driven them to reckless and destructive living.  Nothing twists and deforms the soul more than a low or unworthy conception of God.”

This is so on target.  Every bit of the brokenness we see in the world stems from people with a broken view of God.  This is not only true in the world around us, but also in the church too.  Every bit of the brokenness we see in the church stems from people with a broken view of God.

What is interesting about what Tozer writes here is that he doesn’t say the issue was an attack on Eve’s belief in God’s existence.  It was an attack on her confidence in God’s kindness.  This is so important.  Too often we have allowed our view of faith to be diluted to the level of belief in God’s existence, rather than an essential trust in God’s character.  So, we think, as long as people believe in God then they are more or less on the right page and that is sufficient.  It is not.

One of the great and dangerous assumptions in the church today is that we all know what is meant by the term, God.  Yet for many God is seen to be a distant and power-hungry being whose benevolence toward us is motivated by the arm-twisting kindness of Jesus Christ.  This is a corruption of what the Bible teaches.  For many, God is seen to be essentially demanding and judgmental.  His justice has been separated from his love and now acts as a counter-balance to the softer or warmer features that are presented in Christian preaching.  Again, a corruption.

“Instinctively we try to be like our God, and if He is conceived to be stern and exacting, so will we ourselves be. . . . The truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings and His service one of unspeakable pleasure.  He is all love, and those who trust Him need never know anything but that love.”

Tozer goes on to underline that God is just and never condones sin, but that is not a counter-balancing thought.  It is precisely in the delightful fellowship of God that such undeserved kindness can gladly co-exist with the holy perfection of the fellowship of God.

Whatever concerns we may feel as we look at the church today, or as we look at our own lives, it is not too simplistic to say that these ultimately boil down to one primary issue – our view of God.

It is not enough to believe that God exists, nor is it enough to believe in a set of biblical truths about God.  Christianity invites us into relationship with God where our hearts grow ever more convinced of God’s kindness and love – not just as a concept to believe, or a truth to affirm, but as a reality that is toward us.

“Unfortunately, many Christians cannot get free from their perverted notions of God, and these notions poison their hearts and destroy their inward freedom.  These friends serve God grimly, as the elder brother did, doing what is right without enthusiasm and without joy.”

Tozer finishes his brief blog post with this:

“Some of us are religiously jumpy and self-conscious because we know that God sees our every thought and is acquainted with all our ways. We need not be. God is the sum of all patience and the essence of kindly good will. We please Him most, not by frantically trying to make ourselves good, but by throwing ourselves into His arms with all our imperfections, and believing that He understands everything and loves us still.”

Having an accurate view of what God is like is at the very core of addressing every issue we face in our lives, in our churches and in our world today.  Let’s band together, not in a pompous posse who believe they have the best answer, but as a humble band of brothers and sisters who know what is the right question.  Then let’s search the Scriptures and share the riches with one another.  Coming to know God’s character more is the greatest pursuit we have, and the richest resource we offer.


11863307_1486570611635430_4105877045465435129_nThis post fits well with Peter’s new book, Foundations: Four Big Questions We Should Be Asking But Typically Don’t(Christian Focus), which is being released next week.  We hope this little book will be a big help to lots of people.

To find out more, or to order, please visit

(Please help others know about Foundations via twitter – @4BigQs, Instagram – peter.mead, and Facebook – /4BigQs)


You are invited to articles by Peter Mead at Cor Deo

Our Author
Dr Peter Mead is a Bible teacher and ministry trainer, based in southern England. His main ministry is as co-director and mentor of Cor Deo, a full-time mentored study and ministry training program.  Peter leads the Advanced Bible Teachers Network at the European Leadership Forum.  He holds degrees from Multnomah Biblical Seminary (MDiv/MA), and the Doctor of Ministry degree in homiletics from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where Dr Haddon Robinson was his mentor.  For more information on Cor Deo, including the weekly theological blog, please visit Peter also authors the website for preachers.