BELIEVERS AND UNBELIEVERS ARE ALWAYS DIVIDED, #652
Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. (JOH 11:45-46).
These Scriptures give us such a blessed revelation of where the great distinction lies between believers and unbelievers. Both had seen and confessed that a notable miracle had just been performed, but the distinction between them was what they saw in that miracle.
Those who believed saw deliverance from the power of death in the miracle of raising Lazarus. They saw the truth of what Jesus had said to Martha in JOH 11:25: "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." But those who remained dead in trespasses and sin saw this miracle as a threat. They did not see in it a deliverance from the power of the grave and the power of sin. JOH 11:46-48 says, "But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation."
The distinction between a believer and an unbeliever is shown in JOH 3:20-21. "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."
What will the believer and the unbeliever see when the Lord Jesus Christ shall come in the clouds? The believers will rejoice to see Him coming, but see what the unbeliever will do. REV 6:15-16 says, "And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb." The unbelievers saw the light shining into their hearts, and they could no longer conceal their sins. Instead of coming to Christ to be cleansed from their sins, they fled to the mountains and to the rocks to hide them.
In these most important truths, we must see God's free and sovereign electing love, which makes this distinction. ROM 9:13-18 says, "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth."
The light of the gospel threatens those who hide sins in their hearts and are not willing to come and confess before God. They feel threatened by the light of the gospel that reveals those sins. By nature we are all born spiritually blind, but it is those upon whom God will show mercy, who have their eyes anointed with eye salve, who will believe. The man who was born blind had his eyes anointed with eye salve. He went to Siloam and washed and returned seeing. And in a spiritual sense we need that spiritual eye salve that we might see that we need to be delivered from the power of sin, that we see Christ and the resurrection of Christ as a raising out of the oldness into the newness of life.
Who was this Mary unto whom they came? It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair. This is telling us that
they had the testimony from Mary of how she had seen what a horrible sinner she was and how that she had been washed from her sins in the Lord Jesus Christ. Seven devils were cast out of her. She was a notorious sinner, and she was there wiping His feet with her hair and washing His feet with tears. She was mourning over her sins. She had true gospel repentance. When we rightly understand this, see in Christ deliverance, not a threat. We do not hide our sins. We come and lay them open and naked before God, and we come for deliverance.
What are some of the things that Jesus has done that give you and me the faith to believe? Let's start with PSA 68:18: "Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them." We were in captivity to the power of sin, the power of hell, the power of Satan, but they have become captive to Christ. The greatest rebel, the chiefest of sinners, can be cleansed in the blood of Christ. He delivers the rebellious from their rebellion. He delivers the wicked from their sin.
REV 1:18 says, "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." How did He deliver us from the power of death? How did He lead captivity captive? He entered into death to deliver us from death. Satan has lost the power of death. Jesus is able to close that horrible pit. And He is able to lay the lid on it so you and I will never perish in there. So, how can any one of our Saviour's sheep ever get lost? Neither Satan, nor hell, nor the grave could ever pluck one out of our Saviour's hand.
JOH 10:28-30 shows us what we can grasp on in faith. "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one." For those who have come to resurrection and life in Christ, there is no danger of ever being plucked out of His hand.
HEB 2:14 says, "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." As Christ entered into death, He destroyed the power of death because He broke the bonds of death in His resurrection. He is now the resurrection and the life for His church.
Our Saviour became the resurrection and the life for all believers in three separate ways.
First, He obeyed perfectly, which is imputed to all believers. Let me illustrate. If a person has gone through a school zone at 50 miles per hour, he would come under the condemnation of the law. Suppose it was a child, and he did not have money to pay the fine. His parents may pay the fine for him. That does not give him license to drive 50 miles per hour in a 15 mile zone again. And in a similar manner, Christ's perfect obedience should give us such reverence for that law and for the will of God.
ROM 5:18-19 says, "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Jesus, by His perfect obedience and atonement, paid the penalty of our sin.
God's holy law had to be honored by perfect obedience-in our human nature. Therefore, Jesus said in MAT 5:17-18: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
The second thing is that our Saviour became the resurrection and the life for all believers in that all their sins were imputed to Him. For the perfect obedience of Christ to be imputed to me and to you, our sins had to be imputed to Him. 2CO 5:21 says, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Our debt was placed on His account. He paid it on the cross so you and I can stand perfectly holy and righteous before God the Father, unblemished with any sin. That debt is paid in full. What a gracious deliverance.
The third thing is that our Saviour became the resurrection and the life for all believers by making them one with Himself. 1CO 6:17 says, "But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit." This means that we have the mental attitude of Christ. We have that self-sacrificial spirit, that love one for another, that love of God, with our hearts, our souls and our minds.
This oneness of Spirit is what Jesus prayed for in His intercessory prayer in JOH 17:21-23: "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." If the world can see that harmony of purpose, that oneness of spirit with God's will, then they may believe.
When we become one with Christ, death loses its power. Look at 2CO 5:14-17: "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." We die unto sin. We die unto self. We die unto the love of the world, and our hearts are drawn unto the Lord Jesus Christ.
The believer is in Christ by the eternal choice of the Father. EPH 1:3-6 says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved."
Have you ever thought of anything that is a greater blessing than to believe that we are accepted in the Beloved, that all of our sins are cast behind His back, that we stand righteous before Him. Our union with Christ is like a marriage union. There is a oneness that is inseparable. Look at 1CO 15:20-22: "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
This revelation of Christ's glorious victory over the things of death was our Saviour's reason for tarrying two days after He heard that Lazarus was sick. He wanted to reveal this blessed resurrection and life. That is why He said in JOH 11:3-4: "Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby." God would be glorified by the revelation of His resurrection power. It was by revealing that resurrection and life that you and I have the basis to believe that He is the Christ.
God the Father, and His Son are so glorified in that victory over the devil, death, hell and the grave, which were the result of sin. ROM 6:22-23 says, "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
What a blessedness we see in the things that Jesus did. Christ's eternal power over Satan and how Satan is limited in what he is able to do is beautifully revealed in JOB 2:6: "And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life." Satan can only go as far as the Lord gives him room to go. The Lord has reserved the devil in chains unto the day of judgment, and unless the Lord lengthens his chain and gives him license, he cannot touch you. Satan can allure you. He can tempt you, but he cannot make you yield to sin. The Lord will never permit that. That yielding unto sin is your fault. That is why we must flee from sin. We must flee from the power of sin and flee unto Christ.
When we receive faith's eyes to see the things that Jesus did, then we will understand why these Jews believed on him.
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