The Principle of Creation in the Work of Redemption

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Tell me the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

We need a comfort when we feel the overwhelming power of our natural human nature, when we feel the power of something that binds us to our old life and habits. We have spent some time in appreciating the love of God in discouragement, and we now want to look at this old, old story of redemption, from which we will receive tremendous comfort.

We believe that God has created this planet. He has created the universe. He is an all-powerful Creator. Nothing is impossible for Him. If we believe that, do we believe that I am being redeemed and that He has power to redeem me and to recreate me? This is the old, old story.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The apostles said:

Acts 16:31 …Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

I often ponder upon this because the story of redemption has been made complicated by the discussions and the debates over how we can be saved. It is very simple, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. The scripture of Ephesians says, “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that,” faith, “not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” 

My sermon is over.

I could close the Bible now and say, Take hold of that. But let us stop a little longer to meditate on this old, old story. To believe that God created the world not as an evolutionary process, but in a way that happened in an instant; and to believe that He can do the same in creating me anew. It is called righteousness by faith. Paul prayed that he might

Philippians 3:9 …be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law,

A righteousness by which I look at the law and I strive to become righteous by keeping every commandment, as the source of my salvation;

Philippians 3:9 …but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

The righteousness of God by faith. How much do I believe this? I want you to really apply your meditation upon your personal salvation. Do you believe? Do you really believe that you, as you look at your circumstances, your condition, your personality, can be truly saved from all your sins, and from all your circumstances? Do I believe to the saving of my soul?

Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

You can believe, even the devils believe; but they don’t believe to the saving of the soul. In other words, Do you see yourself as a hopeless case and then you look upon the precious word of God and you say, Yes, I believe that my case is not hopeless, and I am going to be saved? Do I believe? You see, when we are swept down by discouragement, by the sense of our sinful condition, spiritually we become dry. We are discouraged; we see that we can’t change ourselves. We are not saved by works, but we keep on thinking along that path of seeing that I can change. That I can work at something and achieve it. How long have we been along this track where this has failed so miserably? I cannot be saved by my own works, and I become discouraged; I become hopelessly dry.

We are not of them who draw back unto perdition – What happens when we become discouraged? What happens in the world around us when people are discouraged? And do you fall into the same danger? “Well, this isn’t going to work anyway, so I might as well go and enjoy myself.” We go back to perdition. We go back to our old ways because this way isn’t working. I might as well just enjoy myself. Are we of that kind of person, to return to perdition? Or do we believe to the saving of the soul? Can I still believe when I am discouraged, that I can live a sinless life? This is what is happening in the perverted teachings of the world around us today: they say, You are never going to stop sinning, so don’t get discouraged. You are just never going to stop. But God says, You are to be saved from you sin. And I am sinning, so how can I have hope? Therefore the people come up with doctrines and ideas that give you hope in the midst of sinning.

Do I believe that when I keep on failing, I can live a sinless life and I can be righteous? In the vision of Ezekiel, in the valley of dry bones, the question is asked;

Can These Bones Live?

God says, You are to have unfeigned love, loving one another without pretending. How many times do you pretend that you love somebody when they annoy you to the enth degree? They are upsetting you; how can you love them? To love one another in the faith, being kindly affectionate one toward another, with their failings – unfeigned love. Is it hard to love somebody with an unfeigned love? “Love your enemies,” and, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” There are so many things that I still become attached too around me. To not love the world, the way they dress, the way they eat.

Do you still have taste buds that make you want to go along and buy something that has a taste you used to enjoy? Do you sometimes go back in your mind, thinking about the things you used to eat, until you catch yourself and stop? To live the old way of perdition, or to go all the way with God and follow all His statutes, and all His commandments. Can we produce the genuine product? It says, Not by works, lest we become proud, boastful. “I can do it! I can be holy and pure.” That is boasting. Not by that. We have a nature within ourselves that wants to have a feeling that I am achieving something, and that I can feel good about myself; and that is what the whole world is built upon, to feel good about myself. Can I come to a righteousness by which I can feel good about myself? Not by works. Not by my own devising, but by faith. To believe.

There is another text that throws light upon this, and emphasises that our salvation is dependent upon the belief that God can create righteousness in this sinful person.

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Why do I, in this message, put the emphasis on creation? Because Jesus died, and the creative power of God had to function to raise Him from the dead. Let us face it in all reality. To believe that when a person has died they can rise again. Take that belief to the point when you have died in your sins and you are absolutely, hopelessly dead – dry bones – can you then rise as a righteous person? Can you see the scenario here? The principle of creation in the story of redemption. It is this text of Romans 10:9 that links us with the power of God. It brings out the power. If I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus, I shall be saved. I must believe in my heart. It is not just in my general intellect, “Yes, He raised Him from the dead, we can’t disprove it.” But I must believe in my heart. There is something else, there is a different dimension here; and that is what is going to save us.

At Creation

Job 33:4 The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

I didn’t exist, and then the Spirit of God made me and the breath of the Almighty gave me life. That is what happened at creation.

Psalm 33:9 For he spake, and it was [done]; he commanded, and it stood fast.

When the Father spoke, the Holy Spirit acted. He created this body out of dust, and breathed into it the breath of life, and he became a living soul. This was creation.

Dying and Rising Again

When a person has died, there is an illustration of Jesus having the ability, because it was given Him from the Father in heaven, to restore that life. This little girl had died:

Mark 5:41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. 42 And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was [of the age] of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.

If we know Jesus is God, should we be astonished at this? He commanded, and it stood fast. Jesus commanded, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise; and what happened? She arose. We admire the thought that God can command and it happens, so let us praise God and worship Him in spirit and in truth today. But as we appreciate that God can do that, let us take a step further. We believe that He could do it back then, at creation; we believe that He did it in the resurrection of Moses, at the translation of Elijah, and at the translation of Enoch before them. We believe that these things have happened, but as He did it then, and as I view my present situation in the light of His will towards me, I feel discouraged, and I feel incapable of reaching His perfect ideal for me. I can’t. Do I believe that it can happen for me? Let us praise God that if I believe I will overcome sin; that I will do every command that God has recorded for me to do. Every statute, every command, every expectation, every requirement, I will be able to do it because I believe in the power of God. I believe that God can do it, and I will act on it. What will be the result of believing like that?

Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name [is] Holy; I dwell in the high and holy [place], with him also [that is] of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. 

The person who does not try to be holy in his own works, is a person who says, I can’t do it, I am humbled into the dust. He breaks before the Lord in contrition. What does contrite mean? It means to be broken over my sinfulness. God says this beautiful statement, I will revive you; I will give you encouragement here, because I am going to dwell with you because you are like that – humble and contrite. God sees our ways. As a father pities his child, He remembers that we are dust.

Isaiah 57:18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him:

Who is speaking? God, Jesus.

Isaiah 57:18 …I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. 19 I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to [him that is] far off, and to [him that is] near, saith the LORD; and I will heal him.

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. Believe this. I, God says, will create the fruit of the lips. We now return to Roman chapter 10. God will create the fruit of the lips:

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

I will create the fruit of the lips. If you will confess with your lips, with your mouth, the Lord Jesus, and deep in your heart you believe that the Father hath raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved, because God will create the fruit of the lips. He will bring comfort to a soul who is humble and contrite, who believes in his heart that God can do it! I can’t, I resign myself. This is my mind occupation.

“We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” What have we just done? I believe that the Father has raised Jesus from the dead, and I have been created in Christ Jesus unto good works. I have been dead, and I am dead in trespasses and sins, and I believe in my heart that Jesus has been resurrected from the dead. Why did He die? He died because of my sins. He died with my sins. I was in Him, I died with Him; and now I believe that Jesus rose with me. And because I believe this, He creates in me a new creature, created unto good works, resurrected in Jesus Christ. Tell me, is this what operates in your mind when you feel discouraged because you are so frail and so sinful and you see only failure? You see, we don’t let our minds dwell upon this old truth. We keep on becoming discouraged because we keep on failing. Well, why are we failing? Because I am not operating the belief; I am not letting the Lord have me. I am there holding the reins of my own actions. The secret is, surrender. It is not by trying, but by dying. Die with Jesus and rise again. That is what the apostle said, I die daily.

2 Corinthians 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

This is the whole crux of believing – believing in my heart that the Lord has raised Jesus from the dead. God works in us His works, good works that we are incapable of producing. God now will make me capable. This transaction is most vividly illustrated in the works of Jesus here on earth.

The Power of the Word of God

In John chapter 5 we find a very beautiful story and illustration of a person who is incapable of living a righteous life:

John 5:2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep [market] a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time [in that case], he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 7 The impotent man answered him,

What does impotency mean? Just what we are in sin. Impotent. We cannot get up. We cannot put ourselves into the right life. We are impotent.

John 5:7 …Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

The very thing that the man could not do. Do you get the picture? Jesus said to him who could not walk, Get up, take up your bed, and walk. What could the man have said? “You are asking an impossibility of me.” Isn’t that what Christianity is saying? “You are asking me to be perfect like you? Come on. I cannot be perfect like You, O God.” Yet He himself has said, Be ye holy, for I am holy. Jesus said to this man, Get up, and walk. The man might have said, I can’t walk. In fact, that is what he had said before. But what did the man do when Jesus said, Take up thy bed?

John 5:9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked:

This is the illustration of our impotence in sinfulness. We cannot stop sinning, and we are to believe that the power of creation – the power of God that speaks and it happens – will also make it happen in me.

Jesus bids him, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.” Verses 6-8. With a new hope the sick man looks upon Jesus. {MH 84.1}

“He just said I should get up.”

The expression of His countenance, the tones of His voice, are like no other. Love and power seem to breathe from His very presence. {MH 84.1}

As he listens to these words and he looks at the Saviour, and he marvels at the impact of his words, what does he do?

The cripple’s faith takes hold upon Christ’s word. Without question he sets his will to obey, and, as he does this, his whole body responds. {MH 84.1}

Every nerve and muscle thrills with new life, and healthful action comes to his crippled limbs. Springing to his feet, he goes on his way with firm, free step, praising God and rejoicing in his new-found strength. {MH 84.2} 

Jesus had given the palsied man no assurance of divine help. The man might have said, “Lord, if Thou wilt make me whole, I will obey Thy word.” He might have stopped to doubt, and thus have lost his one chance of healing. {MH 84.1}

Whenever God’s word comes to you and says, I want you to do the things that you have been struggling to do. Do you linger for a moment and say, I’ve tried so many times, it doesn’t succeed or do you believe the word?

He might have stopped to doubt, and thus have lost his one chance of healing. But no, he believed Christ’s word, believed that he was made whole; immediately he made the effort, and God gave him the power; he willed to walk, and he did walk. Acting on the word of Christ, he was made whole. {MH 84.3}

This is righteousness by faith. It is when a person hears the word and does not doubt in reference to his own case. This man’s case was that he couldn’t walk. My case is I can’t stop sinning. As Jesus comes and says, I want you to keep the Sabbath, I want you to change your dress, I want you to do all the different things that you read of in the Bible and in the Spirit of Prophecy; and I say, But I can’t, then I miss the chance. But if I will wake up to this wonderful old, old story, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, I shall be saved. Believe what He says, what He commands.

As I believe because it is He that is speaking to my soul, I will get up and do it. As I get up and do it, the strength that I didn’t have will all of a sudden come because it comes from Him, because He has said so and I believe His creative power.

By sin we have been severed from the life of God. Our souls are palsied. {MH 84.4}

We are impotent.

Of ourselves we are no more capable of living a holy life than was the impotent man capable of walking. Many realize their helplessness; {MH 84.4}

Do you? Do you realise your helplessness?

…they are longing for that spiritual life which will bring them into harmony with God, and are striving to obtain it. But in vain. In despair they cry, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death?” Romans 7:24, margin. Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. {MH 84.4}

I often hear people say, I can’t quite do that yet. I can’t quite get through this barrier. What are they saying? They are saying, I doubt. I doubt in regards to my case. But if I appreciate this beautiful statement, that God is the Creator, and if I believe that He can do it, then whatever He says, I will say, I love you Lord, I am glad that you have told me to do this, and I put my effort to do it, and I will no longer doubt! I will go to. Whatever is required of me I will just say, You said it Lord! I can’t, but You said it. I go. And if You said it, and I go, then I will be saved; and I will be able to do it. He will work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.

Let these desponding, struggling ones look up. The Saviour is bending over the purchase of His blood, saying with inexpressible tenderness and pity, “Wilt thou be made whole?” He bids you arise in health and peace. Do not wait to feel that you are made whole. {MH 84.4}

Do not wait to feel that you are perfect. Do not wait to feel that you have stopped sinning.

Believe the Saviour’s word. Put your will on the side of Christ. Will to serve Him, and in acting upon His word you will receive strength. {MH 84.4}

You might say, but my case is too bad. I have said this to a person who had been using drugs, his case was terribly bad; you need to rely on the word of another. If we do that, what will happen?

Whatever may be the evil practice, the master passion which through long indulgence binds both soul and body, Christ is able and longs to deliver. {MH 84.4}

Are you captivated by an indulgence that has long been exercised, and it keeps on coming back upon you? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Believe that the Father hath raised Him from the dead. Die with Jesus and rise with Him again; and the power of creation will produce the desired effect.

He will impart life to the soul that is “dead in trespasses.” Ephesians 2:1. He will set free the captive that is held by weakness and misfortune and the chains of sin. {MH 84.4}

I am in a misfortunate position in that I have a heredity like my father. We can’t help to whom we’ve been born, can we? And to see the very characteristics of my father in me that I am bound by by heredity, is goring to me. But whatever my misfortune He will set free the captive that is held by that weakness, by that misfortune, by the chains of sin.

The Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy is full of the words of Jesus; it is full of Jesus’ words of command. He commands us this, and He commands us that, and as I believe, it becomes to me a creative power. The unbeliever reads those words and says, “Unreasonable, arbitrary, argh, are you going to dress like that?” This is an unbeliever. But a believer regards every command, every requirement, as another life-giving word. The Jesus that said, Get up, and walk; is the same Jesus that said, Thou shalt not bear false witness. It is the same Jesus that said, Thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not covet; obey your father and mother; remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. It is the same Jesus that said, I don’t want you to eat flesh now. It is the same Jesus that said, I have certain preferences in your way of dress; I want you to do that. The unbeliever says, Why are you dressing like that?

Why is John Thiel teaching you these things? John Thiel isn’t teaching you anything else but what Jesus said. That is all. And if I don’t want to be a believer, well then, I am free to get on, and be in perdition; that is my choice. But if we will believe what God has said, then we will find the energy and the power to go and do it. It will be a joy, because I have died and I have become humbled. I am filled with contrition over my condition, and it will change my whole life-pattern. The power of God in the word will create the result. The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that if we have any secret besetment, any sin that has not been blotted out of the books, we have been lost eternally. What should we do then? That sounds pretty hopeless, doesn’t it? I see all those sins; well, I am hopeless then, I am going to be lost. No, that is not what the statement means. The statement means that if you have any besetting sins you are going to be lost, therefore what am I going to do? Instead of being alarmed about what I have read, I must seek more thoroughly with prayer the requirements that are laid down in His word in regards to how to conquer those besetments, and believe that the Lord said, I don’t want you to do this anymore; cease from sinning. Receive the strong instruction from the pulpit, from the Bible, and the Spirit of Prophecy. Take it home, and believe in Jesus.

Note very carefully what is written in Ephesians:

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

He has ordained that we should walk in them. We aren’t walking in them at the moment, but we believe in Jesus, we believe that God brought Jesus from the dead; and if that is what He did with Jesus, then I am created in Christ Jesus unto those good works that He has revealed to me. God ordained that we should be holy as He is holy. Then let us fear Him. Let us stand in awe of Him, for He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. May we open our hearts to that is my prayer.

Amen. 

Posted on May 23, 2015, in Divine Service Sermons and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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