by E.W. Kenyon – Used by Permission
There is a new awakening of the importance of the Pauline Revelation.
We little appreciate the fact that the early Church, for the first 250 years, did not have the Pauline Revelation bound together as we have it today. That is the reason that so many errors crept in and gained the ascendancy over the Church. The key word is Righteousness.
Romans 1:16-17, “For I am not ashamed of the good news, for it is an unveiling of the ability of God to save all who believe in Jesus Christ.”
In this good news is revealed a righteousness on the ground of faith. This is the content of those two verses.
The revelation that was given regarding Righteousness means the ability to stand in the presence of God without the sense of guilt or condemnation, to be able to stand in the presence of Satan and his works without the sense of inferiority.
Righteousness is the definition or explanation of John 15:5: “I am the vine and ye are the branches.” The branch and the vine are one. The branch is not one whit inferior to the vine. The branch is the fruit-bearing part of the vine. It reveals what is in the vine, the character of the vine; all this is seen in the fruit. Then we can understand clearly what Righteousness means. It gives a son-standing to every recreated man. It gives the sense of dominance over all the forces of the adversary.
Some of the Major Themes
Redemption — a little understood and a much misunderstood unveiling in these wonderful epistles — means a deliverance out of the hand of the Enemy, the absolute defeat of Satan. Hebrews 2:14: “Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to naught him that had the power of death; that is, the devil.” Rotherham translates it: “paralyze him that hath authority of death, that is, the devil.”
It reveals a complete defeat of the adversary, so that Colossians 1:13 has a new meaning. Let me put this in the first person singular: “Who delivered me out of the authority of darkness and translated me into the kingdom of the son of his love.”
We have been delivered out of Satan’s dominion. Satan is no longer able to hold in captivity the man who takes Christ as his Savior and crowns Him as Lord. That redemption means a deliverance from Satan’s dominion in our private life, our bodies, our minds and spirits. The moment one receives eternal life, he passes out of Satan’s dominion.
There is also a revelation of a new creation. II Corinthians 5:17: “Wherefore if any man is in Christ, there is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, they have become new. And all these things are of God, who has reconciled us unto himself.”
Notice this carefully. One translator gives us: “If any man is in Christ, there is a new self, a new being.” A new man has actually come into being. The old things of spiritual death and spiritual bondage have passed away, and all has become new. This is the one new man in Christ.
That is fully stated in Ezekiel 36:26-27: “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.” The spirit is the real man; so He is saying: “A new man will I put within you, and the old man I will take away from you.”
That fully harmonizes with Romans 6:5-6: “For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be slaves of sin or of Satan.”
There is no new creation if the old man still holds dominion in us. He stopped being in the new creation, and a new man took his place. The tenses have confused us. Our old version reads in Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ.” It should read, “I have been crucified.” And Romans 6 is in the past tense, too. Not “the old man is being crucified”; no, but “the old man was crucified” in this new creation — put out of being, stopped reigning. It died with Christ, and a new man arose with Christ.
You see, the new creation is really the life of God coming into the human spirit, driving out spiritual death and making one absolutely one with Christ.
The New Righteousness
I suggested this in the first paragraph, but I want you to see very clearly this fact. Abraham had righteousness reckoned to him, or set to his account, because he believed what the angel said to him. Abraham acted on the ground of this Conferred Righteousness. His prayer in the eighteenth chapter of Genesis must ever stand as the example of Conferred Righteousness. He dared to argue the issue of Sodom and Gomorrah with the angel of the covenant.
Then, Israel had Righteousness reckoned to them if they kept the law of the covenant. They were never righteous. They had Righteousness set to their account. But we, because we have received the nature of the Father, making us new creations, making us alive in Christ-we have received the Righteousness of God in our spirits. Romans 3:26 (marginal reading of the American Standard): “That he might himself be righteous and the righteousness of him that hath faith in Jesus.”
Here God becomes the Righteousness of the man that has faith in Jesus.
I Corinthians 1:30: “Christ is made unto us righteousness from God.” II Corinthians 5:21: “We have become the righteousness of God in Christ.”
The whole issue heads up in this. When we begin to take our place, begin to enjoy our rights in Christ, and act Righteousness, and live with fearless confidence in the Father — when we know that we are what He says we are, and we dare confess it with our lips — then the world has Jesus men and women let loose in their presence.
The New Fellowship
This is the climax, in many ways, of the entire dream of the Father. It has never been majored by the Church. When we step out of love, disobey the one command of the New Covenant, we step out of fellowship, we step into darkness; we lose our confidence and freedom of faith, and Satan gains the ascendancy over us. But, when we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another. I Corinthians 1:9: “God is faithful who has called us into fellowship with his son Jesus Christ.”
Redemption would be meaningless if it did not end in fellowship. Sonship would be a doctrine if it did not head up in a rich, beautiful fellowship with the Father.
The word “backslide,” you remember, does not occur in the New Testament. Backsliding had reference to servants, not sons. Sons don’t backslide. They break fellowship. And, in the Epistle of John its primary message is how to restore fellowship and how to enjoy the fullness of a perfect fellowship.