A. Ward Brandenstein

Facts Four through Seven

Part 2 – Who are we?

CHAPTER 3 continued – WHO I AM IN CHRIST BECAUSE OF WHO CHRIST IS IN ME

EXPOSITION OF THE 50 FACTS OF SALVATION

[learn_more caption=”CMC Editor’s Note”] In Ward Brandenstein’s introduction to chapter three he writes: “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!” Towards the close of his introduction to the 50 Facts he adds: “All of the facts are positional truths. Some may not be apparent as an evident experience at the moment of salvation. (What the believer is to do as a practical result of knowing who he is will be considered under the last section of walking in the Spirit.) These wonderful facts of salvation allow us to know who we are in Christ.” In our online presentation of these 50 facts of salvation we will consider one or more facts per week. We trust that you will be blessed as you follow along Ward Brandenstein’s unfolding of these precious truths.[/learn_more]

 

A. Ward BrandensteinFACT 4 –     BLESSED WITH ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS

Ephesians 1:3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

This truth enables the believer to know that since he is in Christ, the resources of spiritual living originate from Christ who is seated in the heavenlies.  God regards the believer as being united with Christ, so that the believer is not limited to mere human resources.  Since God created man to be preeminently a spiritual being, and in regeneration, the spiritual nature is to be the paramount part of man, the provision of all spiritual blessings in Christ allows the believer to enjoy God’s rest when our human nature tends toward having anxiety, doubt, and worry.

FACT 5 –     BORN AGAIN

John 3:3,5, Jesus answered, and said unto him (Nicodemus), Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God….Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:6,7, …That which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

I Peter 1:3, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to His abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

I Peter 1:23, Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.

Jesus used the terms, born again and born of the Spirit, interchangeably when He spoke with Nicodemus.  In the New Testament Greek the word translated, again (meaning, a second time), also carries the meaning, from above.  When Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again (i.e., a second birth), He meant the kind of birth that is from above.  This, then, corresponds with the former statements made that speak of the life we receive as being “heavenly life”.  (See the section on Heavenly Life)

Jesus’ identification of the new birth as being born of the Spirit, corresponds with the earlier statements describing eternal life, spiritual life, and heavenly life as synonymous events that occur at the time a person is born again, which is also synonymous with the person’s origin of life in the Spirit.

The two elements Jesus referred to in John 3:5 that are essential to the new birth are the water and the Spirit.  The reference to water is a reference to the Word of God when seen in accordance with a similar reference in Ephesians 5:26, where The Word is identified as the water.

The Word is identified in I Peter 1:23 as the seed of the new birth:

I Peter 1:23, Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.

At the time of the believer’s being born again, his spirit is made alive to God’s Spirit.  The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit becomes a reality, and beginning at that time, the person is permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit who bears witness with the believer’s spirit that he is a child of God.  The Spirit of God leads the believer (Rom. 8:14).  The new birth makes it possible for the believer to have fellowship with God as Adam did before he sinned (I John  1:7).  The new birth enables the believer to have Christ’s life within him (Gal. 2:20; Col. 3.4).

Thus the conclusion can be drawn that the Spirit of God brings the new birth to an individual through the written Word of God, giving the believer life in the Spirit, with eternal life, spiritual life, and heavenly life!

A person will be able to be born again when he realizes that the Scripture which states, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23), includes him, and he is willing to confess it in prayer, and when he also agrees with the Scripture which says, Christ died for our sins…and that He rose again (I Cor. 15:3,4), and is willing to confess in prayer that Jesus is Lord and believes that God hath raised Him from the dead (Rom. 10:9,10).  He receives Jesus in his life as his substitute for sin, as in John 1:12,13,

But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on His name; Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

As the person confesses his need of a Saviour and receives Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, the Scripture promises in Romans 10:10 that he will be saved.  It is at the same time that the person is saved that the new birth takes place.

Romans 10:9,10, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

FACT 6 –     CALLED OF GOD

Gal. 1:15,16, But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, To reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood.

II Thess. 1:11, Wherefore, also, we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power.

I Cor. 1:1,2, Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes, our brother, 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 Cor. 1:24, But unto them who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

I Cor. 1:26, For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.

I Cor. 7:20, Let every man abide in the same calling in which he was called.

Rom. 1:6,7, Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints…

Rom. 8:28, And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

Rom. 11:29, For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance (irrevocable).

Eph. 1:18, The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.

Eph. 4:1, I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation to which ye are called.

Eph. 4:4, There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.

Phil. 3:14, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

II Pet. 1:10, Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.

II Tim. 1:9, Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.

Heb. 3:1, Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.

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.

Rev. 17:14, These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them; for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings, and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

God’s calling is holy, and it had its beginning in eternity past (II Tim. 1:9).  Being called of God carries the idea of significance and purpose.  The term is used in Scripture as a truth revealing God as the instigator and initiator of a process, with the believer as the responder.  The call of God refers to both the person’s coming to Christ by faith initially and to the particular tasks that God has in mind for the person to accomplish throughout his lifetime.  Paul was an example of being called to a task when he was called to be an apostle (I Cor. 1:1; Gal. 1:15,16).  The calling or vocation is accomplished in all believers in a general sense, as expressed in the term, called to be saints (I Cor. 1:2; Rom. 1:7).

The calling of God carries with it privileges and responsibilities.  God’s goodness and power are afforded the believer (II Thess. 1:11).  The believer is sanctified in Christ (I Cor. 1:2). Christ is made the power of God and the wisdom of God to those who are called (I Cor. 1:24).  God fulfills His purpose in those He has called (II Thess. 1:11; Rom. 8:28).  God gives hope to the called ones (Eph. 1:18; 4:4; Rev. 17:14).

Those who are called are to continue steadfastly (I Cor. 7:20).  They are to gain knowledge (Eph. 1:18).  They are to walk worthy of God’s calling or consistent with His calling (Eph. 4:1).  They are to press toward excellence (Phil. 3:14).  Their lives are to confirm their call of God (II Pet. 1:10).  They are to have proper regard for Christ as the Apostle and High Priest of our profession (Heb. 3:1).  And, they will gain the victory with Christ over Satan and the host of those who rebel at the end of the thousand year reign of Christ! (Rev. 17:14)

FACT 7 –     CHILDREN OF GOD

John 1:12, But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the children of God, even to them that believe on His name.

Romans 8:16,17, The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; And if children, then heirs…

I John 3:1,2, Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God; therefore, the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not.  Beloved, now are we the children of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.

I John 3:9,10a, Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.  In this the children of God are manifest…

The terms, children of God and sons of God (See #46, Sons of God, p. 19), are often used interchangeably in the English translations of the Bible, and refer to those who have received Christ into the life.

Receiving Christ into the life, even those believing on (or, into) His name, affords the believer the authority (power) to become a child of God, (John 1:12).  In I John 3:1,2, the Apostle John exclaims,

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God…

This designation is to be highly esteemed by those so called.  In addition, John holds the prospect before the believer that since he is a child of God, he can anticipate being like Christ at His appearing, affording God’s child a hope of a glorious eternal fellowship.  John also reminds the believer that sin cannot be the normal practice of the one who is born of God.

The truth of the believer’s being a child of God is affirmed by the indwelling Holy Spirit, as stated above in Romans 8:16,17.

 

Next Week: Facts 8+

Copyright © 1996 A. Ward Brandenstein

Used with permission.

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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.