This shows the sequence in an apple tree’s life.
The seasons follow one after another in the same order, year in and year out.
A sequel is something that follows anything preceding it. If someone is following a fast action TV series, they may get confused if they miss an episode or two. Knowing what comes before, helps us understand what is happening now. A sequel is a result or consequence of what proceeds it.
GOD is a GOD of order which means everything has its place and everything is in its place and at its time. Things happen in sequence. We see this in Creation. HE produced light before, HE made plants that needed light to live. HE made plants before, HE made animals that needed plants to survive. On and on it goes.
Look around you will see sequence everywhere. For sequence is part of order. Sequence is an important part of growth. The seasons show the beauty of sequence. Spring comes with new life; followed by summer with its heat and growth, then Fall with it’s beautiful colors, followed by the death of winter. But unless something dies, there cannot be a new birth. A caterpillar must die in the cocoon, so a butterfly can emerge. A seed dies in the ground, before a new plant can grow and produce food. Each season has a time and a purpose; but each season is contingent on the one before it.
I want to present three Biblical issues that are often confusing or misunderstood because they are not viewed in their numerical order (sequence). Misconception of the 3rd topic came up in 2 of my small groups this last week and I was quite vocal. LOL Then in a mentoring situation, it came up once more. Its on my mind. I want to share the topics with you. For if we are not careful, we can “get the cart before the horse” resulting in confusion or missing what GOD is doing.
I have chosen the order of the topics, because the 1st topic will lay the foundation to understanding the 2nd. The 2nd must be clearly understood before we can grasp the 3rd. This is part one of 2. Part one will deal with topics 1 and 2 , part 2 will deal with issue 3.
1-Who chooses Who?
Chosen according to the foreknowledge of GOD the FATHER (I Peter 1:2). .
sequence 1) foreknowledge 2) chosen
And we know that in all things GOD works for the good of those who love HIM, who have been called according to HIS purpose (Romans 8:28)
sequence 1) those who love GOD (potentially-GOD knew they would accept HIM)
2) they have been called for a specific purpose.
For those who GOD foreknew, HE also predestined to be conformed to the image of HIS SON, the HE (JESUS) might be the 1st born among many brothers (Romans 8:29).
What did GOD foreknow? All things that ever would be. But here, and in the above verses it is clear that, the specific foreknowledge being referred to is whether one would choose to love GOD.
sequence: 1) GOD knew if a person would eventually choose HIM
2) therefore HE chose that one
3) then called that one
4) then predestined that one to be conformed to the image of JESUS.
2-GOD then prepared the way; His foreknowledge of all things down to each and everything HE would ever do (Acts 15:18) played a massive part in HIS eternal plan which would bring about HIS eternal purposes that have been settled before the foundation of the world.
1) GOD foreknew
2) GOD planned
3) GOD prepared the way (Acts 2:23)
GOD foreknew man would act independent of HIM and thus sin. Since the LORD is holy and cannot tolerate sin, that meant that man would be separated from HIM. GOD didn’t want that. HE wanted fellowship with man. Therefore, a plan was devised. GOD the Son would become a man (take on a human body) and die on the cross for the sins of man (Philippians 2:6-8). This was possible because being a man, HE could be the substitute for man. Being GOD, HE was infinite (an attribute of HIS being GOD) therefore, HIS sacrifice would be infinite and could cover every single sin, of all men, everywhere. Then the Holy SPIRIT would take up residence within each and every human who believed in JESUS. The purpose for that included helping the believer grow and fulfill GOD’s purpose for him.
The plan was: if any person believes in JESUS (looks to JESUS to save him), that one is forgiven, cleansed from his sins, and given eternal life. But, if a person refuses to believe (refuses to look to JESUS), the wrath of GOD abides on him still (John 3:36).
Things happened in the Old Testament, like a preview of what was going to occur, and they were written down for our instruction (I Corinthians 10:11). In Numbers 21:6-9 we are given a picture of how it works to be saved by looking to JESUS.
The people sinned and GOD sent poisonous snakes that were killing the Jews off. They cried out for help, and GOD had Moses put a bronze snake on a pole. He had to lift it high enough so any of the million plus Jews could see it. If someone got bit by a snake, all he had to do was look at the snake on the pole and he would live. But if he refused to look at the snake, he would die. It was that simple. In the same way, we have all been bitten by sin. If we will look at the cross believing JESUS died for our sins and arose from the dead to give us new life, then we will be saved. If we refuse, we will die for the wrath of GOD remains on us (John 3:14-18,36).
Hebrews 10:12 But when this priest (JESUS) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, HE sat down at the right hand of GOD.(HIS work was finished)
14 For by one sacrifice HE has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
sequence: 1) One sacrifice for all sins (JESUS Christ the Son of GOD and the son of man died on the cross).
2) JESUS sat down (HIS saving work completed).
3) JESUS made perfect forever everyone who would believe on HIM.
4) they are those who are being gradually made holy (changed into the likeness of JESUS CHRIST). Although it is in process now (2 Corinthians 3:18), it will not be completed until we see JESUS face to face (I John 3:2). Then we shall be like HIM ,for we shall see HIM as HE is.
JESUS paid the price for all sin; canceling the charges against us.. thus disarming the power of the enemy against us (Colossians 2:13-15). Anyone who comes to JESUS and believes on HIM, enters into the cleansing power and has been forgiven. That one is given eternal life. The one who refuses to believe, is condemned already for he rejects JESUS offer to cleanse him.
GOD’s righteousness is given to everyone who believes in JESUS (Romans 3:21,22).
We are justified by faith alone and have peace with GOD (not because of we do, but) because we believe in JESUS Christ the SON of the living GOD (Romans 5:1).
One day I was struggling with some thoughts I should not have. I threw myself down on my knees and cried out to GOD, “LORD, I don’t know why YOU ever listen to me!”
As clearly as I have ever heard anyone speak, I hear GOD say, “Sharon, I never have listen to you because you were good. I listen to YOU, because of MY SON who stood in your place.”
Looking unto JESUS the Author and Perfecter of my faith
Look for part two coming soon