Chris Welch uses Designer Pro 365 to illustrate all 3rd level concepts

Thursday, 15 March 2012

A Body Thou Hast Prepared for me - Michael Clark

"For the past weeks the Lord spoke the following phrase to me over and over. I started writing what He was saying and then as I was looking up other verses on the internet, found this. Our God is AWESOME, FAITHFUL, AND OMNIPRESENT!!!!!"  Annalize Mouton, through whom this extract came. Heartfelt thanks for this.

A Body Thou Has Prepared for Me
By Michael Clark
Recently the Lord spoke the following phrase to me and kept bringing it back to mind over a period of days. "A body thou hast prepared for me." God is bringing all things to fruition in this age. He is making all things ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb. Many people are making excuses and refusing to be made ready, but many are also hearing the call. The following article is a result of my meditating on this verse.

The author of the Book of Hebrews wrote:

For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, "Sacrifice and offering Thou has not desired, but a body Thou hast prepared for me; in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou has taken no pleasure.

Then I said, "Behold, I have come (in the roll of the book it is written of me) to do Thy will, o God."

After saying above, "Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin Thou hast not desired, nor hast Thou taken pleasure in them" (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Thy will." He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:4-10, NASB).

For years we have seen this passage as referring to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus in His physical body. Not only were the bodies of bulls and goats being offered by the Levitical priests not able to take away the sins of mankind, but God did not even take pleasure in these activities (See Isaiah 1:10-14). We also see that God had to send His Son into the world in a physical body as His spotless Lamb to be a perfect sacrifice for sin that we might be saved. This second order has done away with the old order of animal sacrifice (Hebrews 10:9).

Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God. (Romans 7:4, NASB).

The Sons of Light
Now, I would like to share something a bit deeper in the plan of God regarding "a body thou hast prepared for me." We know that this speaks of the body that God prepared for Jesus of Nazareth from the lineage of the tribe of Judah, the patriarch of Israel, as was prophesied. But was the body that died on that cross and was resurrected the only body that Christ ever had or will have? What about the body made up of those who God has called forth to be joint heirs in Christ, the adopted sons and daughters of God? Could the prophecy quoted above speak of this body as well? Paul wrote of this body.

For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (Romans 12:4,5, NASB).

For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. (1 Corinthians 12:12, NASB).

. . .but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:15,16, NASB).

Paul is teaching that we who belong to Jesus are the body of Christ, and Jesus is the Head. Members of a physical body work together to edify the whole, and so do the members of His body by His grace and gifts working in them.

Have you ever walked up to another brother or sister in Christ and immediately known that you were knit together by some supernatural means? I have many times. There was no need to get to know them or be careful around them; we were just one in Christ, knit together as mutual cells of Jesus' body.

That should happen more often than it does. We should know one another in the Spirit and not after the flesh. As Paul put it, "For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. (1 Corinthians 2:11,12, NKJV). Later he wrote, "For the love of Christ compels us. . . that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer." (2 Corinthians 5:14-16, NKJV).

"For the love of Christ compels us… that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again." Not only that, but we are to deny ourselves and live in His love for one another that we might be joined to another. We are each joined to Jesus as head of the body and to one another as members of His body.

"Behold, I have come to do Thy will. He takes away the first in order to establish the second." This is the order of God, replacing the first with the second in His onward march to the fullness of Christ in His body. In the context of this verse we see that God took away the old Jewish legal system and covenant to establish Christ in us as the One who sanctifies and sets us apart. "By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." He replaces our soulish lives with the life of His own Son, taking away the first to establish the second. He takes away the first Adam to replace him with the Last Adam.

God is always establishing a new and higher order as He brings forth "one new man in Christ." Just as He replaced the old Jewish order of law and sacrifices 2000 years ago, he is now in the process of replacing an old order of religion. What we often call "church" had its inception more in Rome than in Antioch or Jerusalem. "Behold, I have come to do Thy will." We see the beginnings of Jesus taking away the first even in the opening pages of the Revelation:

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent. (Revelation 2:5, NKJV).

In this case the first is a church that has veered off course. The Church at Ephesus had chosen religion over a loving relationship with Jesus. The same is true now. Men have established organizations and creeds to take the place of a loving and obedient relationship with our Savior and Lord. Over time, the enemy makes inroads on everything God does, so God just moves on to a higher order in His plan and invites those who love Him to move on with Him, leaving the old wineskins behind (Luke 5:37-38).

"He takes away the first in order to establish the second." Those in whom He comes to do His will soon find that there is a taking away in their lives. Unless we yield and let Him take away the first order, the second order will never be established. We have received many letters from saints who are going through this process both personally and corporately. Many of these saints have been Christians for years and even in the ministry.

Our Privileges IN Christ
In the past, what I am about to share has been twisted. Some people have seen themselves as royal sons of God, and because of that they believe they have the right to rule and reign on this earth before Jesus' second coming. This is not what we are about. There is no exclusivist attitude in the true sons and daughters of God in Christ. We are to follow His example. He is the One who said, "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Those who manifest an exclusive attitude do not know what spirit they are of (Luke 9:51-56).

With this in mind, let us consider the following verses.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:3-6, NASB).

Here we see that Paul had something further in mind as he spoke of us as being "in Christ." He first points out that EVERY spiritual blessing is in "heavenly places in Christ." What? Doesn't God want to bless us here on earth? Doesn't He want us to live like a King's kids with all the riches that the world has to offer, as some who should know better are teaching today? No, I think that Paul has greater riches and blessings in mind than the things of this world that perish (Matthew 6:25).

Paul continues, "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him." Here he reveals that we were IN HIM before the foundation of the world! Wow! Paul, do you really mean that? Could it be that God has made a body for Jesus made up of spiritual cells, a body that pre-dates the universe as we know it? Were those same cells in that body fore-ordained to be manifest on this earth as HIS body, the body that shows Him to a lost and dying world? Are you still with me? It gets even better.

Paul taught, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20, KJV). Here we see that we were in Jesus' physical body on that cross outside the gates of Jerusalem. We also see that we walk out our spiritual lives by His faith, not ours. I find that very liberating. It is ALL JESUS! It is His faith, His death, His life and His love in us.

Paul also teaches us that we were resurrected with Christ. "Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection," (Romans 6:4,5, NASB). Yes, our bodies will be raised just like His, but in the spiritual sense, we are already there at the right hand of the Father dwelling in His resurrected power. Notice the past tense in this passage from Ephesians:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.s (Ephesians 2:4-7, NASB).

Are you starting to see the timelessness of God in our relationship with Him ? Are you starting to see the perfect power in our callings as His sons and daughters, that it is HE who will bring forth a completed work as we abide in Christ? This should be liberating to all who have eyes to see.

Paul continues,

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. (Romans 8:29,30, NASB).

We who are the cells in His body from time past were predestined to be there. We were predestined to be made perfectly into His image as parts of His spiritual body. God has set a process in motion from the foundation of the world, a process in which we are predestined, called, justified, and finally glorified.

Destined to be Glorified
So what does it mean to be glorified? Paul continues in the next chapter of Romans,

What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so in order that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. (Romans 9:22-24, NASB).

We existed before hand as spiritual cells in His heavenly body and knew a certain level of His glory, but we are also being prepared for a greater glory. Just as Christ had to come to this earth and "learn obedience through the things which he suffered," so we, too, are being perfected during our earthly sojourn for a greater glory that He desires to share with us as His heavenly body.

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2, NASB).

Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God. (Psalms 87:3, NASB).

God knew beforehand that we could not be made perfect without a time of testing. We are here on this earth among "vessels of wrath" to learn the patience of God as we suffer at their hands. We share the sufferings of Jesus who is our head.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:16-19, NASB).

Notice that the vessels of mercy are not only called from among the Jews as His chosen people, but also from the Gentiles. God is making one new man in Christ, a body fit for His Son.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh--who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands--that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace. (Ephesians 2:10-15, NKJV).

Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica,

But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. And it was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 2:13,14, NASB).

We see that Paul speaks of being chosen "from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth." This is the path we take to reach the glory of Christ. First God chooses us "while we were yet sinners" to be His sons and daughters. He makes us holy by enfolding us in Christ and gives us the Spirit of His righteousness. He gives us the faith of the indwelling Christ to believe in Him. Finally He places His life-changing truth within us, conforming us into the very image of His Son. This is the process of His grace at work in us so that we can attain the glory of His Son as His joint heirs in the Beloved. It is this glorious bride that is without spot or blemish for which the Bridegroom comes.

The Sons of Cain
Just as there are vessels of mercy, there are also vessels of wrath. These are spiritual sons of Cain who have chosen the ways of Balaam and Korah. They walk after the flesh and detest the ways of God. These are often religious people. Jude wrote, "Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you (Greek poimen - shepherd) without fear, serving only themselves." (Jude 1:11, 12a, NKJV). In His wisdom, God has allowed the enemy to sow tares in His wheat field. He has allowed goats to feed with His sheep and even allowed false shepherds to serve themselves from the flock.

Paul was speaking of this mixture in allegorically when He wrote to the Galatians about Abraham's two sons. One was a son born under bondage to Hagar, who is also Sinai. Isaac, the son of laughter, was born into freedom, the heir of the promises of God. Paul likens the first son to those who are bound in religious traditions and the second to those who are born into the liberty of the Promised Son, Jesus Christ.

For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise.

This is allegorically speaking: for these women are two covenants, one proceeding from Mount Sinai (the old order) bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above (the new order) is free; she is our mother. For it is written, “Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear; break forth and shout, you who are not in labor; for mroe are the children of the desolate than of the one who has a husband.

And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bonswoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman." So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman. (Galatians 4:22-31, NASB).

In 2 Thessalonians chapter two, Paul spends nine verses describing the dividing line between those of the body of Christ and those who are of the wicked one. Here we read that the members of Christ's body love the truth. The Spirit in them calls them into truth in their innermost parts. On the other hand, the members of the son of perdition have believed the lie. Paul calls this "the mystery of lawlessness" or "the mystery of iniquity." Of these Paul warns, "And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." These have no consciousness of separation from God. They participate in sin and enjoy it. They have no conscience. Some of the worst cases we have seen have not been in bars or on skid row, but in high places in organized religion. It seems that familiarity breeds contempt even in the ranks of religious leaders. We will continue to see worse and worse scandals in the press and in our own congregations as the fullness of the man of sin is revealed. Both wheat and tares must come into their full maturity.

On the other hand, those who are true members of Christ's body cannot find pleasure in doing unrighteousness. When they sin, they are miserable. The Spirit in them calls them to repentance and convicts them of their sin. The Spirit of Truth will not let them continue to live a lie nor will He let them have pleasure in unrighteousness. They are tormented in their hearts until they once again turn back to their full inheritance in Christ as members of His body. We speak here from experience.

John spoke to this effect of walking free of the bondage of sin in his epistle.

And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. (1 John 3:3-7, NKJV).

We as His body are called to practice the righteousness of Christ, not practice walking in sin.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1,2, NKJV).

Paul continues to teach Titus of our election in Christ.

Paul, a bond-servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago. (Titus 1:1,2, NASB).

We have been chosen by God as elect members of the Body of Christ and He has chosen us to learn the truth of that godly call, ETERNAL life. Let me ask you, How long is eternity? Did eternity start the day you or I accepted Jesus or did it start before that time in Christ? The answer should be obvious. Note that it was promised to us long ages ago! Yes, we were chosen from the very beginning in Christ Jesus.

Let There Be Light
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. (Genesis 1:1-5, NASB).

Was the beginning then when the sun rose on its first day and there was light? Were the light which He called day and the darkness he called night in verse five caused by the rotation of the earth in respect to the sun as we know them? According to the Genesis account the sun, moon and stars were not created until the forth day (see Genesis 1:16-19). Or was there another light and day which is being revealed here? Peter wrote, "And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts." (2 Peter 1:19, NASB). Jesus is that Day Star who enlightens us with spiritual light. He has separated us from the sons of darkness as His vessels of mercy …in the beginning!

The Sons of Darkness
If we were in Christ from the foundation of the world as sons of the light, where did the sons of darkness come from? They came from the fall of Adam and Eve. Eve was impregnated with that seed of rebellion against God by giving into the lies of King of Darkness, Satan himself. Her first born, Cain, manifested the depth of that fall by being a liar and a murder from the beginning. He murdered his brother and lied to God about it.

Jesus said to the Jews who wanted to kill Him, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies. (John 8:44, NASB).

In the Genesis account of creation it says, "the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters." The word translated "formless" or "without form" was the Hebrew word tohuw. It means chaos, confusion, or a waste place. It was not good.

We know that all things were created by God, Jesus Himself to be exact (see John chapter one). Since we also know that God is not the author of confusion, who is? Yes, Satan had already left his mark on the universe that pre-existed time as we know it. There had been an overthrow in heaven. Satan had led a third of the angels of heaven in a rebellion against God in his attempt to take God's place as the head over all things. God dealt with him through Michael the archangel and once again brought things into His divine order. Jesus made His spiritual light to shine, so separating Satan's spiritual darkness from His eternal light. This should give you a better understanding of the following passage:

In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend (overcome) it. (John 1:1-5, NASB).

But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9, NASB)./span>

John saw the time when all darkness had been done away with when he wrote,"And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. And I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb." (Revelation 21:21-23, NASB).

Now back to what Paul was saying about the beginning, ". . .God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. And it was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." God chose you in Christ as cells (members) of His spiritual body in the beginning before the foundation or creation of the world that He might make Himself manifest in you in this present age and in ages to come (Ephesians 2:7).

When man fell by joining Satan in his rebellion against God, he set some drastic things in motion. Not only did man come under a curse, but all of creation as well.

To the woman He said, "I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you shall bring forth children; Yet your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you."

Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I ;commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it': Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you shall eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face You shall eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return." (Genesis 3:16-19, NASB).

All creation was now under a curse because of man's rebellion. What was once created as good now was not good. As Paul later wrote:

For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. (Romans 8:20-22, NASB).

The Manifest Wisdom of God
"For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles--if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you… that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel…that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ… that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places…" (Ephesians 3: 1-10, NKJV).

We are His chosen vessels in which He is manifesting His wisdom and power over "the principalities and powers in the heavenly places." (See 1 Corinthians 1:28-31). Satan deluded man and put the whole of creation under a curse, but by providing for man's salvation and sanctification God is reversing this curse and defeating the works of darkness. In the Old Testament we see scattered occasions where God used man to reverse the curse by defeating the armies of darkness and healing the sick, even raising the dead. Now Jesus has made the way for all men to yield to His Spirit and be part of His body.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. (John 14:12, NASB).

And having summoned His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. a(Matthew 10:1, NASB).

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe (Greek tereo - to tend to carefully) all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20, NASB).

Here the Son of God is promising to manifest His power and glory not only through the apostles, but through the whole body. He commanded the apostles to teach all people to do his miraculous work, including cast out demons and heal the sick.

We have been in Christ as the Alpha and the Omega from beginning to the end as part of His marvelous plan to not only be His perfected body, but to deal with the wickedness of Satan. In his case you can truly say, "Paybacks are hell."

And the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly shall you go, And dust shall you eat All the days of your life; And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel." (Genesis 3:14,15, NASB).

We know that in the judgment Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats, His chosen ones from the wick ones. To the chosen ones He will say, "Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (Matthew 25:34, NASB). We are a prepared people, foreordained to be in Christ from the beginning as His body. And as His body we reign in His eternal kingdom in Him.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:4-10, NASB).

We are His workmanship. We were created IN Christ Jesus. We were also created to do good works IN CHRIST that have been prepared beforehand for us.

. . .who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (2 Timothy 1:9,10, NASB)./span>

We were in Christ from before the foundation of the world. We have been created in Christ. We have been given works to do in Christ that were foreordained for us to walk in from the foundation of the world that we might be His instruments of life, immortality and light in this age and ages to come. We are the Body of Christ.

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