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]
FACT 14 – DELIVERED FROM THE POWER OF DARKNESS
John 11:10, But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
John 12:35, …he that walketh in darkness knoweth not where he goeth.
Colossians 1:13, Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.
I Peter 2:9, 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.
The child of God is removed at the time of his salvation from Satan’s realm (characterized by darkness) into the realm of God who is characterized by light. Darkness would imply death, treachery, subtlety, shame, confusion, stumbling, and being lost, things that a person experiences under Satan’s control.
[In the printed version the significance of light is described in Fact #8, Children of the Light, p. 19, and in Fact #29, Light in the Lord, p. 19.]
FACT 15 – ETERNAL OR EVERLASTING LIFE
John 3:15,16, That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:36, He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life…
John 5:24, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life. KJV
John 6:40, And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that everyone who seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:47, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.
John 10:27,28, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
John 17:2,3, As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.
Romans 5:21, That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
I Timothy 1:16, Nevertheless, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them who should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting.
I John 1:2, For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.
I John 2:25, And this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life.
I John 5:11, And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
I John 5:13, These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
I John 5:20, And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true; and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
Eternal life is God’s life. Moses declares in Psalm 90:2,
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.
The eternal life which the child of God receives by placing his faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour, Lord, and Life, is life that goes forever into the past through Christ, as well as going forever into the future with Christ, John 1:1,2,4: I John 5:11,12.
The translators of our English Bible have used eternal and everlasting interchangeably to translate several Hebrew Old Testament or Greek New Testament words. The Hebrew word for everlastingcarries the idea of concealed. From man’s viewpoint, God’s life, His existence, extends back before any point that man could envision and will go beyond the farthest point in the future that man could envision. God’s life, eternal life, is life unending. It is life in the present tense to eternity; thus, God declared to Moses in Exodus 3:14, I AM THAT I AM. That is the name by which God identifies Himself with His people. It speaks of the Eternally Present One as being present with His people!
God’s presence with His people was signified by the shekinah glory in the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34,35) and subsequently, in the temple (I Kings 8:10,11). At the incarnation, Christ, “the Word tabernacled in our midst,” is the literal translation of dwelt among us, John 1:14. The shekinah glory of God’s presence which was in the Old Testament Hebrew tabernacle and in the temple was a prelude to the truth of the glory of God manifested in Christ’s presence incarnate declared by John in John 1:14,
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.
It is further stated in John 1:18,
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He (Christ)hath declared Him (the Father).
In summary, then, we see that God, the Eternal I AM, the Eternal Life One, came into time in the incarnation of Christ. Because of Christ’s death and resurrection, He gives to those who believe in Him His eternal life. (See John 6:38-40; 10:28.)
Eternal life is Jesus’ life! (See I John 5:11 above.) When a person receives Christ by believing in Him (John 3:15,16), Christ’s life, eternal life, becomes the life of the believer! This eternal life is given to all who believe in Christ (John 6:40), and becomes the ruling principle of life in the life of the believer (Romans 5:21; 6:23). What a glorious provision God has made for us through Christ!
FACT 16 – FORGIVEN ALL TRESPASSES
Ephesians 1:7, In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
Colossians 2:13, And you…hath He made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.
The noteworthy thing is that redemption through Christ’s blood is the provision of God in order to make it possible for all the sins a believer ever commits to be forgiven; literally, his sins are sent away from him. This was all accomplished when Christ shed His blood as a sacrifice for our sins. Forgiveness of sins could only be accomplished through death – Christ’s death. Christ’s death is followed by His resurrection, and His resurrection then provides the believer with new life by his or her being identified with Christ in His death and resurrection. (See Fact #49, Translated into the Kingdom of God’s Dear Son, p. 19.)
FACT 17 – GIVEN A NEW, PURE HEART
Jeremiah 17:9, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?
Ezekiel 36:26, A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Matthew 5:8, Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.
Acts 15:8,9, And God, who knoweth the hearts, bore them witness, giving them the Holy Spirit, even as He did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Galatians 4:6, And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
II Corinthians 1:21,22, Now He who establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God, Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.
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.
Ephesians 3:17, That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith…
The manner in which the Scriptures describe the heart clearly shows the reference is not to the heart as the organ that pumps the blood throughout the body. The word, heart, is used as a simile to show that just as the physical heart affects the health and well-being of the individual, so in a moral sense (and even in a spiritual sense) the heart of a person will determine his conduct or behaviour. To illustrate, Proverbs 4:23 states, Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. In a similar sense, Jesus taught in Matthew 5:28 and 15:19 that sinful deeds begin in the heart.
The Scriptures quoted at the beginning of this Fact of Salvation, page 19, assure the one who believes in Christ that there is a work that God does within the center of the person, the heart, that is an essential part of salvation.
The heart is also vital to the changed person’s being able to continue to be well-pleasing to the Lord. This subject will be discussed later in the book in regard to the believer’s spiritual walk.
The giving of a new heart to the person and the purifying of the heart are accomplished by the Holy Spirit in cleansing the individual through the Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration, using the Word of God (Titus 3:5; John 3:5; 15:3). The evidence of this is realized as the individual believes in the heart that God hath raised Him (Jesus) from the dead…For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness…(Rom. 10:9b,10a). The condition of the heart undergoes the necessary change before such belief can be expressed. All of this happens within the person as to appear as if it were one instant of time, but it is better understood as a chain reaction as the Holy Spirit accomplishes His work.
It is God’s purpose that Christ continue to dwell in the believer’s heart by faith, but when the believer walks in the flesh, the heart can revert to its fleshly desires, resulting in fleshly conduct. Even a new heart needs to be kept clean and in right relationship to Christ by the person himself. It is not automatically done by Christ, who still continues to dwell in the Christian. This responsibility is seen in the passage by the psalmist, when he said, Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart(or, the desires the heart should have), Psalm 37:4.
The psalmist, David, also wrote:
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear (have reverential trust in) Him; He also will hear their cry, and will save them, Psalm 145:19.
Jesus himself taught, He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spoke He of the Spirit, whom they that believe on Him should receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.), John 7:38,39.
Thus, it can be seen that God designed the complete work so that from the heart (the inner well-spring) should flow, not evil and corruption, as in Matthew 15:19, but the blessings of the Holy Spirit as the divine Source through the believer to minister to others who are thirsty. In other words, the new heart, from the time it was given at salvation, is the continual source from which the Holy Spirit flows out of the believer to other people. This flowing of the Holy Spirit from the life of the believer out to others is the ultimate result of the creating of a new, pure heart.
 From the Greek New Testament, aionios is the most frequently used word, with the root meaning ofperpetual, and extended meaning of eternal or everlasting. Aidios, used only a couple of times, has as its primary meaning, ever-during, with its extended meaning as eternal or everlasting. In the Hebrew language of the Old Testament, three words are translated as eternal or everlasting (or as eternity in one instance), “olam,” used the most frequently with its primary meaning of concealed, vanishing point, and seldom-used words, “qedmah,” with primary meaning of fore, front, antiquity, east, and “ad,” with the primary meaning of duration, advance, perpetuity.
Next Week: Facts 18+
Copyright © 1996 A. Ward Brandenstein
Used with permission.
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.