Milestones to Salvation, Part 3

January 18, 2007

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” (2 Peter 1:5-9).

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone should be saved from sin. This salvation is the blessing of God which was given through Christ to all people on earth. It is written, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2).

Christ came in the flesh from God into the world to do away with the sin of the flesh, and then he put off the flesh in the world through the cross, and returned to his Father. It is written, “by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh.” (Hebrews 10:20). This way in which the veil, the flesh, is torn apart is the way to salvation. On the way to it, there is a milestone, called self-control.

Blessed are the eyes that see this milestone, and blessed are the people who hear what the milestone says. It is written, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left. You will also defile the covering of your graven images of silver, And the ornament of your molded images of gold. You will throw them away as an unclean thing; You will say to them, ‘Get away!'” (Isaiah 30:21-22).

The Bible says, “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:8). Those who have passed through the milestone of knowing Christ can reach the milestone of self-control.

Here, we can reach the self-control, which is the bitter gospel that puts off the flesh. Self-control means the true circumcision that puts off the body of the sins of the flesh. It is written, “In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ.” (Colossians 2:11). Those who puts off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ are given the right to become children of God, and they experience the glory of the suffering with Christ.

Therefore, the self-control that the truth speaks about means crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires. The Lord said, “For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.” (Matthew 19:12). And also, “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (1 Corinthians 7:8-9). There comes up the divine nature after passing through this milestone.

If they cannot control themselves, they will live according to the flesh. Buf if they pass through the milestone of self-control, then the flesh, the veil, will be torn apart, and streams of living water will flow out of their hearts, as it is written, “or if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:13-14). I hope that everyone participates in the divine nature by passing through the milestone of self-control. Thank you, Lord.

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