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  • Writer's pictureLeon Valley Church of Christ

Addition By Subtraction

Therefore the Lord GOD of Hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, declares: Ah, I will be relieved of My foes and avenge Myself on My enemies. I will turn My hand against you; I will thoroughly purge your dross; I will remove all your impurities. I will restore your judges as at first, and your counselors as at the beginning. After that you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City” (Is. 1:24-26).

The deliverance of a nation is accomplished through God's destruction its enemies. The means of restoring the "judges" and "counselors," and reestablishing Jerusalem as the "city of righteousness" was in executing His foes.

Peter would describe the salvation of Noah similarly: "God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In the ark a few people, only eight souls, were saved through water. And this water symbolizes the baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body, but the pledge off a clear conscience toward God—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ..." (1 Pet. 3:20-22). Noah and his family were saved "through water." Wasn't water--the flood--the tool of God's destruction? Didn't He wipe out a global population using water? Yes: "I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish" (Gen. 6:17), and Peter himself will make the same point later (2 Pet. 3:6). How could this be? We're forced to conclude that Noah who "in godly fear built an ark to save his family..." (Heb. 11:7) was also delivered by God's judgement of His enemies.

Such instances of judgement upon the world and upon nations, prefigure what God intends to accomplish in each individual. God intends to save you from the evil...within yourself. He intends to purge it, sanctifying you through His Truth (Jn. 17:17), which "performs its work in you who believe" (1 Thess. 2:13). This purge He will see through to completion (Phil 1:6). He will leave no stone unturned (Heb. 4:12). His desire is for you to be a coworker with Him in this monumental effort: "Put to death, therefore, the components of your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience. When you lived among them, you also used to walk in these ways. 8But now you must put aside all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips" (Co. 3:5-8).

You will do the executing of self with the Sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17).

The Word of God will shine light upon every spiritual cancer that must be removed: "Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.…" (1 Pet. 2:2-3), and with each success you will be that much closer to your final deliverance (Col. 1:28).

You will be better for having removed the cancer, but God is not satisfied with this, He would have you press on to perfection--"grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18).

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12 oct 2023

This is so good. Thanks for sending me your link. I am pleased to receive these articles.

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