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SUPPLANTING THE GOSPEL "OF JESUS CHRIST"
The tares of pride and our perceptual humanistic prejudices have been sown in the field of the human heart and they are the tares which if allowed to flourish can be used to supplant the kingdom of God in the hearts of God's own people.
One of the easiest ways to supplant the kingdom of God is for Satan to tell man how he can earn the kingdom: how "we can" best serve God -from man's perspective it does not seem like much of an error. Teaching one another "How we can become" godly men and women of God does not seem to be contradictory (in our human reasoning, perception or understanding) to the gospel "of Jesus Christ." Although we insist we are not doing so, we do firmly believe in our own works of righteousness, we even glory in them and we believe such teachings to be good and right in the sight of God -which god?
From man's own perspective, we see our part in the gospel of Jesus Christ in terms of how man is to serve God. And from that viewpoint, we have developed doctrines of men that teach us how we are to do, all that we can do to "live our lives" as best we can for Jesus. The problem is: He never asked us to live our lives for Him.
The problem is man's own viewpoint (his perception of the key part he thinks he & his own life still plays) are gross error -and are the very things which Satan has used to completely supplant the purposes of God in Christ! (cf. 2Cor.11:3)
Not understanding or perceiving the mystery of the gospel, not understanding the plan of God in Christ (to hide man with God in Christ and to actually vicariously replace man with Jesus Christ Himself -as the New Man) man himself usurps that part to his own self.
Man acts as though God sent His Son to give man another life for man to live so that man could be what he was originally created as "man in God's image." Man himself does not seem to realize that he has in effect been removed "as an active player" from the plan of salvation -slain and hidden with God, in Christ. Anyone who accepts Jesus Christ has in effect, been replaced by Him who is The Life. Jesus Christ, now lives in those who will receive Him -not to help them live their own lives, but to hide them in Himself while He Lives, His Life -the Life of Christ, lived by His Spirit through Christ in us.
Man seems to think it was God's plan to endow man with enough "stuff" -like spiritual "cash" (powers and gifts) so that man can re-create himself in God's own image again. God has sent Jesus Christ, who is Himself the express image and likeness of the Father and God has empowered Him (through His work on the cross) to count us as slain, to reckon us as dead and to hide us in Himself, -and to attribute to our credit account, the New Life which Jesus Himself came to live as the New Man, Christ in us.
By insisting that man is supposed to live life anew as a believer, -as though man has been given another life for him to life (and mess up) man ignorantly does despite the gift of grace (Jesus Christ, as our New Life) and sets man himself once again in opposition to God's plan for the redemption of man in the person of Jesus Christ.
God's Vision of New Life for man is the Life of Jesus Christ which God fervently desires to give us -BUT NOT "for us to live for Jesus" but rather for "Jesus to live" for us by Christ in us while God hides us in Himself -by Christ in us the Hope of Glory.
The whole idea (for sake of explanation allow me to refer to it as that) the whole idea of what it means for us to be "IN CHRIST" means that we have forfeited living our lives, we forfeit our part in the living of it counting our life as dead, slain and hidden in Christ, who crucified us in Himself and is Himself risen up in our stead, i.e., that means: He Himself rose from the dead in place of us.
Jesus Himself is the Second Man, He Himself is the One New Man (not us) whom God raised up and it is Jesus Himself who has been sent by God to hide us in Himself and by His Spirit: Jesus Himself has become the New Man who has come to live His Own Life, for us, on our behalf by Christ for us.
The New Life is the Life of Christ who is Himself the New Man in whom we are to rest and by whom we are both slain and hid...whom God also purposed to live (by His Spirit) His Life for us by Christ in us (cf.1Cor.15:46-47)
Coming to Jesus Christ to "get saved" is like having the beam of our sin nature removed from our lives...we are given a clean slate but it is not so that we can now live our lives for Him
"Us living our lives" (for Him) makes us "the operative person" -while Jesus is relegated to the sidelines -and what we end up with is us doing our best to serve Him and to live our lives for Him (which may sound right to us but it is not what Jesus came to do for us (and actually opposes the work of God in Christ) which is Christ, in us the Hope of glory.
Our folly in trying to live our own lives for the Lord instead of asking Him to live His Life in us -is the direct result of the old nature of fallen man. It is that little bit of leaven of man's ways and doings as the result of man's own perception of the truth (according to the doctrines "of man" in Christ) that has allowed just a little bit of error in our understanding, just enough leaven to leaven the whole lump -to supplant the entire gospel of Jesus Christ to make it the gospel of man in Christ.
We are to imitate or follow the example of Jesus Christ by accepting the will of the Father -above our own will in everything. Man has ignorantly confused accepting Jesus Christ with empowerment to be like-Christ. Man has thoroughly leavened (twisted and supplanted) the gospel "of Jesus Christ" with man's own ways and doings in an attempt to work his own holiness, and his own godliness in fulfillment of his fervent desire to be like God, by emulating the life of Christ.
So twisted is man's perspective that man considers his own emulation of Jesus Christ to be pleasing to God. Man is so deceived that he considers man's attempt to be like the Most High God and to live his life to become just like Jesus (even asking God to empower man to work His works for Him to be the highest form of praise. God however sees man's attempt to be like-Christ as anti-Christ, opposing God and His Christ by supplanting the gift of the Kingdom of God, which is Christ in us the Hope of glory. God knows what spirit has influenced man and motivated man to try to transform himself into a God approved Christ-like-man ("another Jesus" with "another gospel") and God knows that this has been birthed of our adulterous adoration as result of man's own lusts having (once again) been beguiled, as Eve was beguiled -Christianity has been seduced by the flatterer.
Just as it took only a small distortion of the truth to cause the fall of man...it has taken Satan only a little bit of leaven to leaven the whole gospel to beguile, deceive the churches as Eve was beguiled...and to bring about the seduction of Christianity that has culminated in the apostasy of Christendom.
Man has deceived himself by the preservation of that little bit of man's own self -the part that man himself thinks he himself is to play in the life of Jesus Christ. Man's own way of thinking (versus God's) and his own will (vs. God's Will) being led by his own feelings and desires (vs. the desires of God's own Heart) has produced man's own Christ (versus God and His Christ: Jesus Christ)
Man's refusal to lay down his life in Christ and to deny himself has profoundly and adversely effected every thing man does "for God" -by preferring those things which are not "of man" in opposition to those things which are "of God" (Phil.2:13 Eph.2:22 Phil.4:13) worked only by God, in and through the person of Jesus Christ.
God did not ask "us" to serve Him by trying to be like Him. In fact, God gave His people this labor: to labor by grace through the faith of Christ to enter into His rest. God graciously provided a rest for us and commanded us to labor to enter (by grace through faith) into His rest (as dead men) so that God could "work the works" through His Son, Jesus Christ whom God raised from the dead and who is Himself, the "New Man" -the Second Adam, in whom and by whom we are slain and our life is hid.
We are called to rest in Him and (by grace through faith) to "put on Christ." We are called to put on our covering: Him who is Himself the New Man, in whom and by whom -we, the old man are called to good works: the works that God works for us by Christ in us by grace through the faith of Christ. We are to run the race by resting and fight the good fight of faith to be hid by grace through the faith of Christ.
Before the foundation of the world, it was the purpose of God, that we (the old man: Adam) should be slain and we should be reckoned as dead through His work on the Cross and that He should become our Life. This is the work of God, which He worked in Christ. Through the cross so we (the old man: Adam) are crucified with Him and restored to God through Christ. We become dust and ashes members of His Body by the Spirit of adoption, hidden in Him by the faith of Jesus. God desires to reconcile the world to Himself in Christ. Not by "our inspired works for Him" but by the work of God (cf. Eph.2:9-10) in and through the person of Jesus Christ -not by our imitation of Christ but by God through Christ, in us the Hope of glory.(Continued on next page...)