Part 9 of 25
“Deliverance from Suffering” Under the Grace Gospel
Israelhas “fallen” (Rom 11:2) and been set aside for now because rejected the King and His kingdom when it was offered. Israel had the opportunity to receive the King and his kingdom when it was offered at the time of Pentecost and thereafter for a few years in the early Acts period. That time of the offering of the kingdom by “the twelve” has now passed. Israel
The King and His kingdom was being offered and confirmed with signs and wonders, which continued fully up to the time of the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7:58-59. Paul says the prospect of
’s hoped for Messianic Kingdom on earth has been put in abeyance “until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom 11:25). With that, the time of the miraculous “signs” has ceased. Israel
Yet today, God still occasionally heals and delivers His trusting ones, but now directly by His own hand and wisdom as to what is best for us. Healing is not offered “for the asking” of the believer, or via ministries as God’s healing intermediaries such as were during the Acts period and seen in 1Corinthians 12. Just as Paul said, the gift ministries would “cease.” Yet, the Lord does still use doctors and medicine, as Paul said he had “the physician, Luke” with Him (
4:14, 2Tim 4:11a). Col
God has always dealt with
corporately, as a “nation” and a “people,” but God today deals with His trusting blood bought Spirit-birthed children one on one. The religious leaders of Israel rejected Christ on behalf of “the people.” Believers today are part of the multi-membered “body of Christ,” but we gained entry to “the body of Christ” when we each, individually, received Christ, one at a time. Israel
The Lord always has the eternal purpose and plan in view. The Lord knows our real need is to be “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom 8:29). He, in His unconditional love, cares for each of us according to His will and wisdom, and for our eternal good. Each believer now possesses within their spirit the power of Christ’s life as their life-supply; “the supply of Jesus Christ” (Philip 1:19). Christ’s “Spirit of life” (Rom 8:2a), which indwells every believer’s human spirit, is God’s full provision for each believer, enabling them to endure and live in rest and peace in the midst of trials.
John 16:33 (AMP) I have told you these things, so that in (union with) Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
Today, while God is still able to deliver us from external sufferings and occasionally does, more often today, under “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2), the mode of deliverance from suffering has greatly changed from the time of Jesus of Nazareth and “the twelve.” The Christian today is more often delivered by much different means than the sign-miracles we read of in the historical Biblical accounts of Jesus of Nazareth and the twelve. The age and dispensation has changed from one of outward deliverance from suffering, to…an inner equipping and enabling of believers to endure and overcome suffering by the indwelling resurrection life of Christ.
2 Thessalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in (the midst of) all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
“Suffering,” as seen in Paul’s writings, is linked to producing the manifestation of the “glory” or the expression of Christ’s overcoming life in and through the believer’s life. These sufferings yield that which has “eternal weight” or value – the renewing of our now immortal soul.
Romans 8:17-18 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Suffering is working in our lives to provide and eternal deposit into our souls.
2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
As stated earlier, personally, there was a time in our early Christian life that my wife and I were miraculously delivered outwardly from difficult situations; with physical healings, teeth cavities miraculously restored by God, jobs, confirmations, and such, but now some 40 years later, this is not how He deals with us or meets our need. There seems to be a correlation between maturity and responsibility as we’ve grown in Christ. We’ve learned and continue to learn …to let go of self-reliance, resigning ourselves to trust Him and rely upon His love, care and indwelling life while in the midst of all the troublesome situations and things that occur in our lives. In trusting Him, we can find a rich supply of peace and rest, even while the difficult situations still persists.
Don’t get the idea that Linda and I are super-Christians. Frankly, sometimes we go through a period of time before we let go and resign ourselves to not only accept the trial at hand but to embrace it as being one of those “all things” that are “working for the good.” Actually, there is nothing that is not working for the good – there are no exceptions. We can never say “God’s been good to us this week, or this year.” No, He is always good and working for the good in our lives even when it’s unpleasant.
It is through enduring suffering that we learn to trust Him. Hebrews 5:8 Though he (Jesus) were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.We would never have known He could inwardly meet us in our time of need except we had to endure our times of need. We are thankful that He is faithful to the task of making us new in our soul even when we are faithful.