<Previous

Table of Contents

Next>

What Scripture Says About Salvation

A Bible Study by Fred Kenison

 

Monograph 28:  Pervasiveness of the Covenant

                     and Holy Spirit


 

 

Summary Highlights of Monograph 28

 

 

As the scriptures discussed have shown, holy spirit was the fulfillment of the covenant.  It is also the earnest of the age to come when all the promises of God will be finally fulfilled.  Acts 13 states that God had fulfilled the promises made to the fathers when he raised Jesus from the dead.  This, too, was based on the certainty of the next age.  Because Jesus would be given the holy spirit upon the consummation of his resurrection, and would share a portion of it with every man.  This was also the means of their access into the next age.

 

Romans 8:11 says,

"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." 

 

Therefore, entrance into the next age is another grace of God.  The portion of spirit each person has received has the power to provide the obedience God requires.  Stop rebelling, and entrance into the kingdom of God is automatic. 

 

Although works are the basis for judgment about who will enter the kingdom, only the works of spirit will qualify one to enter.  If the works are of spirit, then no one can claim those works as their own, but can only give the glory to God because of his energizing spirit.

 

Perhaps by reviewing some of the previously discussed scriptures in the light of the covenant and its fulfilling spirit will make it easier to comprehend how pervasive they are to the teaching of the New Testament writers. 

 

First, we take another look at Acts 17:28-29. 

"For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring,  Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device." 

 

All people are begotten of God and became children through adoption when God gave a portion of his spirit to all people.

 

This point may be clarified somewhat by John 1:4:

"In him (Jesus) was life; and the life was the light of men."  And John 1:9: "That (Jesus) was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." 

 

Also, John 5:26:

"For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself."  

 

As the spirit is the truth, it also becomes the light which lightens every man as he comes into the world.  God had this life (spirit) and also gave Jesus the same life after his resurrection when he gave him the spirit of truth to pour out some of it upon all flesh. 

 

As Adam was the head of the race of men according to the flesh, Jesus became the last Adam and a life-giving spirit (I Corinthians 15:45).  This spirit which Jesus impartedand continues to impart to each person as they come into the worldcontains the life God desires from each.

 

In one of the earlier sections, we discovered that the spirit was the truth.  Therefore, when a portion of it was imparted, the power to change one's mindrepentwas also bestowed.  For instance, Acts 10:14 and 10:28 indicated that Peter changed his mind about visiting the Gentiles.  This occurred after God spoke to him about what was clean or unclean.  God's truth caused Peter to change his mind, or to repent.

 

In Romans 2:4, Paul said,

"Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?" 

 

People can only change their minds about God when they are shown truth through God's spirit.

 

Hebrews 6:4-6 says,

"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,  And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,  If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." 

 

After God has brought someone to repentance and they turn away, it is impossible for men to bring them to repentance again.

 

One of the scriptures cited in Monograph 5 demonstrated that men can have a clear conscience without dreading God's judgment.  Romans 8:15-16 says:

"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father,  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." 

 

The word children comes from tekna, a small child, as opposed to uios, which means a son old enough to accept responsibility.  Spirit has been poured out even on the tekna.  When this spirit is received by expressing faith in Jesus as messiah, this tekna will grow to be a uios, because of receiving, or submitting, to the power of the spirit.  People do not repent or change their minds about God by themselves, but as they are enabled by spirit.

 

The same may be said about the only circumcision that counts, that of the heart.  Romans 2:28-29:

"For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God." 

 

And Philippians 3:3:

"For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh."  

 

These verses show clearly that spirit is the permeating factor of our lives which makes us pleasing to God; not law, or fleshly works.  Spirit, when submitted to in faith, brings forth in us the works pleasing to God, and results in our having the proper "circumcision."

 

Monograph 7 showed that God provides the power for people to produce the works he desires from their lives.  God provided that power by pouring out some of his spirit upon all people. 

 

As we continue, our remarks may almost be considered as a sequel to Monograph 7, where we stated that the term "righteousness" was often used to express an eschatological aspect, the next age, or the kingdom of God.  It was also used to express what men regarded as God's faithfulness to his promises in the covenant he made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and later to David.

 

Romans 1:16-17 illustrates these two aspects:

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel [good news] of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek,  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." 

 

The good news is about the christ, the messiah, the anointed one.  He was anointed with the holy spirit which was given to him without measure.  People who believe that Jesus was the anointed one, receive, or submit themselves to, that portion of spirit given to them.  That portion of spirit contains the power of God to bring them to salvation, or the next age of the kingdom of God, or to his righteousness, the final expression of God's faithfulness to his covenant.

 

In Galatians 3:8-9, Paul defined the gospel, or good news, 

"And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed,  So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." 

 

This was the gospel preached to Abraham, and this is the gospel which should still be preached.  Now, however, we can add that since the death of Jesus, holy spirit has come.  Those who believe God's faithfulness to his covenant, shown by resurrecting Jesus so he could share the gift (or the promise of holy spirit) exhibit faith and receive holy spirit, which will enable them to bear the fruits of the spirit which will qualify them to enter the next age, the kingdom of God.

 

Holy spirit is the earnest of the next age, and when accompanied, or received, by faith becomes the guarantee for entering God's righteousness, or his kingdom.  In Galatians 3:13-14, Paul said,

"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:  That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise [covenant] of the Spirit through faith."

 

As pointed out earlier, holy spirit was poured out upon everyone by God's grace.  People receive holy spirit through faith in Jesus, or people submit themselves by this faith.  This allows holy spirit to guide and direct their lives and bring forth the fruit which God desires, thus assuring those who submit to holy spirit that they will enter into the next age in a state of blessing.

 

Hebrews 4:1-3 contains a warning to those who will not receive or submit to holy spirit. 

"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest [kingdom, righteousness, eternal life, salvation], any of you should seem to come short of it.  For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world." 

 

People will enter the next age only through the works of holy spirit in their lives, made possible when faith expressed in Jesus causes submission to the power of God.  The good news of Christ is indeed the power of God to salvation when anyone believes.  As Romans 1:17 says,

"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."

 

In Isaiah 51:1-6, God spoke of his righteousness and salvation in almost synonymous terms, 

"Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord…Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you…For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord [describing the kingdom]...My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth... my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished." 

 

Isaiah 62:1 also describes God's righteousness. 

"For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth." 

 

The rest of Chapter 62 in Isaiah describes the righteousness and salvation God gave to Israel.

 

Paul=s reference to Abraham in Romans 4:3 would be considered the same as a reference to the covenant (at least to his Jewish audience of that day). 

"Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness."

 

Monograph 18 revealed that the  holy spirit poured out upon people was submitted to, or received, by faith in God and his word concerning the Christ.  Paul said that because Abraham believed him, God imputed something to him for righteousness.  This "it" (in Romans 4:3) was the portion of holy spirit God gave Abraham to equip him for fulfilling the work to which God called him.  This work was to provide the seed who would inherit the Gentiles (see Isaiah 54:3) and rule the earth in the next age.

 

This "it" also provided for Abraham's entrance into the next age, the kingdom of God, eternal life, the righteousness of God, the salvation.  Romans 4:11 reveals that Abraham was,

"the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also." 

 

This righteousness, or salvation, imputed to us today finds its source in holy spirit and it is our entrance into the next age, or righteousness of God, because it is the power bestowed upon us by the grace of God.  Any who do not rebel in unbelief will enter the kingdom of God.  That is the gospel.

 

When the righteousness of God is viewed from man's side, it is God's faithfulness to the covenant he gave Abraham.  When viewed from God's side, it is God enabling us to enter his righteousness, or salvation, by the power he has bestowed on us. 

 

No matter what works may be required of or done by man, no man can claim any merit from them because they are accomplished only by the power of God inherent in his gifts to us: holy spirit and faith.  At the judgment seat of Christ, our works will only reveal whether or not we walked within the sphere of faith.  If so, we will enter the righteousness of God. 

 

What then is the inheritance?  According to the scriptures, many desired to inherit eternal life.  Jesus told some they were to inherit the kingdom of God, and he preached the gospel of the kingdom.  Just before the coming of the christ, John, the Baptist, preached that the kingdom of God was at hand.  Paul preached the gospel of the kingdom and of eternal life.

 

How could men gain entrance into the kingdom of God?  With men it was impossible, but with God it was possible.  God, in his grace, gave every man some of his spirit, and within this spirit lay the inherent power to do what God required.  In Galatians 3:14, Paul called this the "blessing of Abraham."  The same spirit which had been imputed to Abraham when he believed is also imputed to any who believe today.

 

The old Hebrew word for impute means to take many threads and weave them into a patterned fabric.  This is exactly what our portion of holy spirit does with the threads of our lives when we believe that Jesus is the Christ, and submit ourselves and control of our lives to God through his spirit.  The fabric will be woven in a manner which causes us to be conformed to the image of Christ, which is pleasing to the Father.  Essentially, holy spirit is everyone's inheritance.  Within holy spirit lies the power of God to bring each of us into the kingdom of God, that final fulfillment of the inheritance, the next age when God's control will be openly manifested.

 

We have all received our inheritance, or the earnest of it, in the portion of holy spirit granted to us.  We are all heirs to the kingdom of God.  However, not all of us will enjoy this inheritance and enter the kingdom of God. 

 

Recall the prodigal son, who received his portion of the inheritance and spent it in riotous living, not discerning its real value until it was wasted.  Although he returned to his father and was received with joy, still the father said that the son who had remained would inherit all he had, not the prodigal son.  The prodigal son received all that he had been given, but when it was wasted nothing more was provided.

 

So it is today with many people who have received their inheritance of holy spirit.  If they do not submit to that influence in their lives, neither will they be given anything more.  They will miss the blessing of the next age, the kingdom of God.  They will not inherit the kingdom, to rule and reign with Jesus, the Christ, because the fabric woven by their own wills will be the wrong fabric.  Our prayer is that no one will miss the eternal life, the righteousness of God, the blessing, the salvation, the kingdom of God.

 

Return to top

 

 

Summary Highlights of Monograph 28

 

#  Holy spirit was the fulfillment of the covenant, and it is also the earnest

     of the age to come when all the promises of God will be finally fulfilled.

#  God fulfilled the promises made to the fathers when he raised Jesus

     from the dead. 

#  The portion of spirit each person has received has the power to provide

     the obedience God requires.  

#  All people are begotten of God and became children through adoption

     when God gave a portion of his spirit to all people.  

#  As the spirit is the truth, it also becomes the light which lightens every

     person who comes into the world.  

#  The spirit is the truth.  Therefore, when a portion of it was imparted, the

     power to change one's mind-repent-was also bestowed. 

#  People can only change their minds about God when they are shown

     truth through God's spirit.  People do not repent or change their minds

     about God by themselves, but as they are enabled by spirit.  

#  Spirit is the permeating factor of our lives which makes us pleasing to

     God; not law, or fleshly works.  Spirit, when submitted to in faith,

     brings forth in us the works pleasing to God.  

#  God provides the power for people to produce the works he desires

     from their lives.  God provided that power by pouring out some of his

     spirit upon all people.

#  The term "righteousness" was often used to express an eschatological

     aspect, the next age, or the kingdom of God.  It was also used to

     express God's faithfulness to his promises in the covenant he made to

     Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and later to David.

#  The good news is about the christ, the messiah, the anointed one.  He

     was anointed with the holy spirit which was given to him without

     measure.

#  People who believe that Jesus was the anointed one, receive, or submit

     themselves to, that portion of spirit given to them.  That portion of

     spirit contains the power of God to bring them to salvation, or the next

     age of the kingdom of God, or to his righteousness, the final expression

     of God's faithfulness to his covenant.

#  Holy spirit is the earnest of the next age, and when accompanied, or

     received, by faith becomes the guarantee for entering God's

     righteousness, or his kingdom.

#  [When] people submit themselves to holy spirit through faith in Jesus,

     this allows holy spirit to guide and direct their lives and bring forth the

     fruit which God desires.

#  People will enter the next age only through the works of holy spirit in

     their lives, made possible when faith expressed in Jesus causes

     submission to the power of God.

#  At the judgment seat of Christ, our works will only reveal whether or

     not we walked within the sphere of faith.  If so, we will enter the

     righteousness of God.

#  God, in his grace, gave every man some of his spirit, and within this

     spirit lay the inherent power to do what God required.

#  Essentially, the holy spirit is everyone's inheritance,  Within holy spirit

     lies the power of God to bring each of us into the kingdom of God, that

     final fulfillment of the inheritance, the next age when God's control will

     be openly manifested.  We have all received our inheritance, or the

     earnest of it, in the portion of holy spirit granted to us.  We are all heirs

     to the kingdom of God.  However, not all of us will enjoy this

     inheritance and enter the kingdom of God.  

 

return to top of page


 

© 2009, Fred Kenison and Merrill Douglass. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.