Richard Ritenbaugh focuses upon the work of God. The idea that the "work of God" is equated with "preaching the gospel around the world as a witness" severely limits the awesome scope of God's work. If God ever stopped working, the whole universe would come apart, and we would cease. Most of God's works are behind the scenes and invisible. The Psalms corroborate that God's work is awesome and unfathomable, producing a motivating fear that prompts right action (wisdom). We need to see God working in every aspect of our lives, realizing that all of these works are for our benefit. In contrast to ours, God's works are entirely holy and on the highest level of good, love, and faithfulness, aimed at expediting entry into His family. The gospel must not only be preached, it must also be believed and lived with the help of God's Spirit, leading to spiritual transformation (composed of holy, righteous character) into salvation and eternal life.
In this pre-Passover sermon, John Ritenbaugh compares God's flawless works to the imperfect works of mankind. In addition to being flawless, God's works have a multiplicity of purposes, while man's works have limited utility and many flaws. Like air, having multiple uses, God's Word also has many uses; any one scripture can be used in dozens of different applications. The closer one looks at the multifaceted aspects of Christ's offices (Creator, King, Redeemer, High Priest, Savior, etc.) the more we realize the preciousness of His life and the high cost of the sacrifice for our sins. The focus of our self-examination should not be self-centered or comparing ourselves with others, but on the awesome significance of His sacrifice.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the problem with the Old Covenant was with the people, not with the Law, as some have alleged. Paul uses the term "covenant" to describe an agreement made by two consenting parties and "testament" to describe the unilateral, one-sided commitment made by God to improve the promises (eternal life) and the means to keep the commandments (God's Holy Spirit). The New Covenant will be consumated at Christ's return during the marriage of the Lamb when God's Law will have been permanently assimilated into His bride during an engagement (sanctification) process.
The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment
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