Bible Study, Daily Life, Day to Day, Eternal Life, Holy Spirit, Indwelling Spirit, Inheritance, Kingdom of God, Kingdom of Heaven, Living
Welcome, Everyone, to this week’s new post on Renaissance Woman!
I had thought He Loves the World would be the last in my current study on the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares and would also serve as a good segue into my study on the Full Armor of God. And yet, when I looked at my notes, I found I had more to say. Therefore, this week I am continuing my look at the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares and Jesus’ explanation of the parable as found in the 13th Chapter of Matthew’s Gospel.
Last week I looked at the Greek word translated “world” in Jesus’ words: “The field is the world.” That word is kosmos and I shared a few passages of scripture where the word kosmos occurs. One such passage was 1 Corinthians 11:32 which says, “But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world (kosmos).” The Apostle Paul is speaking specifically of the Lord’s Supper when he writes this but I do want to take a look at the ideas of judgment and condemnation within the context of other scriptures.
The main interpretations of the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares say the Wheat and Tares represent two different types of people who are being left alone to grow together-either within the church itself or the world-until some future day when the tares are gathered together to be burned in the furnace and the wheat is gathered into the barn. Sometimes declared but always inferred is some far off day of judgment where unbelievers are condemned and believers receive their reward. My biggest problem with this is that the Nowness of our day to day lives is utterly ignored.
Let us consider John 3:18-21 which says, “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world (kosmos) and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
This is not a passage I have ever heard a sermon on nor do I hear it quoted by fellow believers. The message is clear. Those who do not believe are condemned already. The words Jesus spoke were true for everyone who listened to Him then and they are true for us now. And, we are not left to wonder what He meant by condemnation: “and this is the condemnation, that light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.”
There is an echo of this statement later in John’s Gospel in the record of Jesus’ conversation in the upper room before his betrayal and crucifixion. Speaking of the Holy Spirit, He says, “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged” (John 16:8-11). There is a “not yet but in the immediate future” idea to these words of Jesus because the Spirit was not yet given because He had not been glorified (See John 7:39). That future Jesus was referring to was NOW during the day of Pentecost. Peter quotes the Prophet Joel in Acts 2 saying “I will pour out of My spirit on all flesh”. The Spirit has been poured out, continues to be poured out, and the time to which Jesus was referring began then and continues into our now. The Holy Spirit is here and now the very presence of God on the earth and He is convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.
Sin, righteousness, judgment, condemnation…all of these are concepts deserving of devoted studies. The point I am attempting to stress is the truth of Now. So much of what I see and hear coming out of Christendom pushes everything off until some far off future. This is only possible because of the marginalization-and in some cases outright denial-of the active presence of the Holy Spirit in the newness of our lives. There is a circulating doctrine that the activity of the Spirit has ceased. Any gifts were merely to authenticate the ministry of the Apostles and, once the Bible was completed, there was no more any use for them or, indeed, the Holy Spirit Himself (See article linked below). I suppose that is why the best some denominations have to offer is a promise that, if you believe in Jesus now; you get to go to heaven when you die.
Does the Bible really say that? I haven’t been able to find a passage issuing me that promise. What I have found is 1 John 5:10-12: “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony; that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” This sounds like a Now promise to me: not one I have to wait until some far off second coming nor experience physical death before I can claim it.
There are also passages like 1 Peter 1:3-9 which says, ““Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious that gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith-the salvation of your souls.”
This passage-and others like it-do speak of a future date of perfection, fullness, receiving a body like His, the restitution of all things, an inheritance reserved in heaven, etc. It’s obvious we don’t have everything promised now because how many of us are walking around in bodies that can’t die? I do agree there is so much yet to come but that doesn’t mean we stagnate now. We believers are not a group of thumb-twiddlers waiting for some far off day when ZAP! Fullness of God is ours. Our inheritance might be reserved in heaven but that doesn’t mean it exist in its entirety and, I would point out, we are of One Spirit with Jesus Christ and we are seated with Him in Heavenly places. Who is to say this inheritance is not ours now to appropriate and enjoy?
Jesus also says of the Holy Spirit that, when He comes, He will both “honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you” (John 16:14, Amplified). What is the “mine” that Jesus is speaking of? Let us read verse 15 also: “Everything the Father has is Mine. That is what I meant when I said the He will take the things that are Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) them to you” (Amplified). Wow! If that is true, and I would not dare call my Savior a liar, then just what are the limits to how we can live now? What if there aren’t any?
You may be wondering how all of this relates to the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares and, to answer that, I need another post.
Until then, let us not be robbed of what is ours now but may the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, open the eyes of our understanding that we may know the hope if His calling, the riches of the glory of His inheritance in us, the Saints, and the exceeding greatness of His power towards us who believe. May we understand that He is light and life. In Him, we have eternal life and we have it right now.
To be continued…
Understanding Cessationism from a… | Zondervan Academic
Greek Tenses Explained – Ezra Project
Hellenistic Greek: Lesson 9: The First Aorist
The Comparative Study Bible, The Zondervan Corporation, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1984
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