Lesson 2 Introduction
These Bible studies are meant to be a simple straightforward presentation of Bible truths as a tool to help you to understand the Word. It is, however, only by the Holy Spirit who leads us into the truth that you will be able to see the extent of what is here. Religious traditions make the word of God ineffective, so the Word is my focus rather than a particular denominational doctrine (Mark 7:13).
I am so blessed that He has enabled me to see the part that I do. I believe the Father would have me to share these delights with others who seek to closely know Him as well. These lessons are to encourage you on into a deeper relationship with God.
[Bracketed words within verses are my comments inserted to add clarity. I have also CAPITALIZED some words in the verses for emphasis.]
These lessons are not for sale for profit but otherwise may be freely copied and distributed.
Brief Review of The Previous Lesson
Our last lesson was on the difference between the first Adam and the last Adam. The first being natural also called “carnal,” and the latter being spiritual. The difference is not between evil and good, but rather between a source being the knowledge of good and evil or the source being the tree of life.
It is the difference between the carnal mind and the mind of Christ. It is the difference between man’s way and God’s way. It is the difference between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. All those who find their origin in the first Adam are not capable of understanding God unless God enlightens them.
We also saw that many people, events, and objects in the Old Testament are natural examples of spiritual things. God brings forth the natural, then, the spiritual. As a Biblical day begins with darkness and ends in light.
God is not intent on changing evil men into good men. His purpose is for the natural man to become a spiritual man, which can only happen when they are “in Christ.” The old man must die and be replaced.
Lastly, we were introduced to what the term “Christ” means. When it was that Jesus walked as Christ. In this lesson, we will see that there is a progression of walking in the light until we are found in a new nature, and eventually a new body.
Beginning of Lesson 2
How would you like to please God? He tells us in Hebrews 11:6 that we cannot please Him without faith.
“But without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6
But what is faith? How do we obtain it? First, let us see how we get faith. The answer is found in Romans 10:17.
“So, then, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17
Young’s Literal Translation of this verse gives us more specific detail:
“So, then, the faith is by a report, and the report through saying of God.” – Romans 10:17 (YLT)
A report may be written or spoken, but either way, it comes by hearing what God has said. In other words, faith is based on a knowledge of what God speaks. It is an expression of who He is, what He likes, and dislikes, His nature.
A classic example of this is when God told Moses to write down the 10 Commandments and read it to the people. Then, later, the first five books (the Law) of the “Old Testament.” This knowledge of God is the written Word of God.
Eventually, more was spoken to other Prophets to write down for others to read. Prophets hear God by His Spirit for God is Spirit (John 4:24). In trying to understand the “Law” and the “Prophets” one needs more than just natural wisdom.
One also needs to hear the spirit of what God is saying. This spiritual understanding comes from the mind of Christ. As we apply what we seem to understand by faith, then, we grow in the mind of Christ.
Romans 8:7 tells us that our natural carnal minds are at enmity with God, so we must have our minds renewed as it tells us in Romans 12:2. To do this, we must not be conformed to the world, but leave our natural understanding and trust what God says. Isaiah 55:8 makes it clear that the mind of Christ is very different than our natural reasoning.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9
To have faith to trust God’s ways above ours requires that we must believe that He is and will reward us for diligently seeking to know His ways. To know His ways is to know His nature and to know Him. Hosea 6:6 in The Living Bible expresses His heart in this matter so well.
“I don’t want your sacrifices. I want your love. I don’t want your offerings. I want you to know me.” – Hosea 6:6 (TLB)
We can now illustrate that faith is built on a foundation of knowing what God says and who He is. Since our walk with God starts by reading His word, then, it grows by trusting His Holy Spirit to guide us into truth by faith. We can add to our illustration the two witnesses of God that help us to begin the walk from the first Adam into the last Adam.
There is more to add to what we have. We have found out how to obtain faith. Now, let us see just what faith is by looking at Hebrews 11:1.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1
When we look at this verse in the Emphatic Diaglott, which is a literal word-for-word translation from Greek. The word “substance” is clarified as shown below:
“But faith is a basis of things hoped for, a conviction for things unseen.” – Hebrews 11:1
The Greek word for “basis” means “under-support,” like in a foundation. Now, we see that not only is knowledge of the word a foundation for faith, but faith itself is a foundation to move us on to hope.
So, just what is it that we hope for? The answer is in this amazing passage from Romans 8.
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For, I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, THE REDEMPTION OF OUR BODY. FOR WE ARE SAVED BY HOPE: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” – Romans 8:16-25
From this passage, it is clear that our hope is the resurrection of our bodies. We hope for this because it hasn’t happened yet for us, but it has happened for Jesus Christ, the last Adam. As we grow in the knowledge and spirit of the word, we see that in Christ we too can have hope of a resurrected, immortal body.
The Greek word for “hope” means to anticipate with joyful expectation. In Verse 17 of this passage, we find that by being identified as in Christ we are entitled to share in His glory. The word glorified here in Greek is more specific than when used elsewhere in the New Testament.
Here it means, “to exult in dignity in company.” In other words, to be raised to a higher realm to share the same glory with the one who raised you into that realm. The context of this passage makes it clear that the glory referred to here is a resurrected body.
This means that we would become as He is. So, how is He? He is resurrected! That resurrection is our hope is made clear in 1 John 3 below:
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons 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. And every man that hath THIS HOPE in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” – 1 John 3:1-3
Colossians 1:26–28 tells us that our hope of this resurrected body depends upon the maturity of Christ coming forth in us:
“Even the mystery which hath been hidden from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints. To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY. Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfect (mature) in Christ Jesus.“ – Colossians 1:26-28
The maturity of Christ refers to the nature of Christ. Names were given in the Bible to indicate nature and then changed to another name to reflect a change in nature. An example of this is the name Jacob, which means “grabber.” It was changed by God to Israel, which means “he will rule as God.”
In Revelation 3:12 God promises to give a new name, His name, to those who are called “overcomers.” He is not referring to the name “Jesus” or “Jehovah,” “Yahweh,” etc. Rather to His nature, which is love.
“God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.“— 1 John 4:18
As you can see, our journey as believers starts with our carnal minds trying to figure out the Bible. Then, it progresses to understanding by the mind of Christ, which should excite us to see His life come forth in us until, as overcomers, we find ourselves in Him. This is where He draws us higher to be found in His life where the nature of the first Adam in us is replaced with the nature of the last Adam, Jesus Christ, who is in the express image of the Father.
As we grow up into the full stature of Christ, (Ephesians 4:13) the Law changes from an outward form of rules into an inner knowing of what pleases God and a willingness to yield to Him to have Him empower us to walk in it. 2 Corinthians 3:18 expresses this walk in the Lord so well:
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” – 2 Corinthians 3:18
Note in the following verses from 1 Corinthians 13 and the comparison of the stages of our growth from the first Adam into the last Adam. Do not “plateau” in your walk, but keep seeking more of Him. As you draw near to God, He will draw near to you.
“LOVE never fails. But whether there are prophecies, [works of faith in the spirit realm] they will fail. Whether there are tongues [spiritual gifts] they will cease. Whether there is KNOWLEDGE, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part [we are not complete in these realms]. But when that which is perfect [Christ] has come [forth in us], then that which is in part will be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a man [mature in Christ] I put away childish things. For now, we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face [as we grow in Him we come to know Him as readily as we see ourselves in a mirror]. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known by Him. And now abide FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, these three. BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE.” – 1 Corinthians 13:8-13
Remember from this lesson that your reading and hearing the Bible is to equip you to move into the realm of faith. It’s a realm of the spirit, a realm above the realm of natural understanding. The Holy Spirit working in you is to equip you for yet a higher realm of thirst for a life where your nature is replaced, not made better, by His life.
As you prefer and choose His life, then, a resurrected body becomes the fulfillment of that close walk with Him dwelling in you and you dwell in Him. The following verses are great summaries of God’s highest plan for man, a plan to make a man just like Jesus Christ, who is the express image of the Father.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the LORD. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel.
After those days, saith the LORD, I WILL PUT MY LAW IN THEIR INWARD PARTS, AND WRITE IT IN THEIR HEARTS; AND WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.“— Jeremiah 31:31-34
“I WILL GIVE THEM ONE HEART, AND I WILL PUT A NEW SPIRIT WITHIN YOU, and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh. That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them, and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.“— Ezekiel 11:19-20
“For if that first covenant (the Law) had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord. I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MIND, AND WRITE THEM IN THEIR HEARTS: AND I WILL BE TO THEM A GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE TO ME A PEOPLE.“— Hebrews 8:7-10
Those who hope for the resurrection of their bodies in the image of Christ realize that the day will come when we will not go back and forth between two natures. We will be like a pillar in His temple, (His habitation) that goes no more out of Him. It will be a day when we will not only always know what His will is, but we will want to do it.
We will consistently choose life, His life. We will be like a perfect Bride, so perfect that we will be changed into a Son who is just like the Father. Be encouraged and press on to the mark of the high calling in Christ.