Fred Coulter - March 28, 2002

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And greetings, brethren. Here we are for the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We’ve had the Passover, we’ve had the night to be remembered, and now here is the day portion of the first holy day, 15th day of the first month. Now if you had an opportunity last night to go out and look at the full moon, you would see that at the beginning of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles that there is always a full moon. And that God’s calendar is correct. And the calculated Hebrew calendar is the one that God uses. And all of the other devices of men to substitute for it, they just do not understand nor do they have the authority, and who gave them the right to go ahead and change what God gave to Israel.

And every holy day we always begin by going to Leviticus 23. And this tells us the plan of God, that He has for us, going through all of our lives. And brethren, I want you to understand something very important, which is absolutely primary, that we have opportunities to know and understand the word of God as no other people in the history of the world. Now I want you to think on that, and I want you to understand how precious and how great and how marvelous that the Sabbath of God, and the holy days are. Because these things unfold to us knowledge and understanding. And God gives us His blessing and fellowships with us spiritually on the Sabbath and on the holy days.

So let’s begin here, Leviticus 23:4. “These are the feasts of the LORD [meaning they belong to Him], even holy convocations,…”, which means appointed times. God has set the appointed time and we come to Him at His time. We don’t go to God on our time and tell Him what we will make holy, because obviously we can’t as human beings. We have no ability to make anything holy. Only God can make something holy. We can keep it holy by obeying God, and serving Him and doing His will. “…Which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.” And now if you don’t have the tape “Which Came First, The Ritual or The Day”, you be sure and write for it, because God created the days, God created the Sabbath, God gave the Passover, as we saw, and the first Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Abraham, and to the children of Israel before there were any rituals or daily sacrifices, or sacrifices for any holy days. Because God intended that we keep these days.

Now verse 5, “In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover [at even].” And we have a full thick Passover book which explains the whole thing. I just recently had a man write me and start out by saying, “Well, Strong’s Concordance and Young’s Concordance says…” So I wrote him back a letter to the effect, “I’m going to send you the second edition of the Passover book, and I’m going to send you Everett Fox’s First Five Books of Moses, and then you go ahead and study it, and you will see that the truth is that the Passover is on the 14th. And evening is between the two evenings, meaning from sunset until dark.”

“And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD:…” So these are God’s days. These are not the Jews days, though the Jews did keep them in their own way, after they left the way that God showed that they should be kept. Now he says here. “…Seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.” Now I think the last few years I have not had anyone ask me, “Must I eat unleavened bread during the Days of Unleavened Bread?” God says, yes, you must. “In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation [which is today]: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days:…” (vs. 6-8). That’s because they also ate the meals of them as well as give the offering. So today, since we don’t have the sacrifices we take up an offering of the things that we have. And as I pointed out in the two tapes on the economics during Jesus time, they lived in a merchandising monetary society, and we live in a merchandising and monetary society, so we give of the increase of what we produce, that we are paid for. And God intended that.

Now, we always collect an offering on the holy day. Let’s come here to Deuteronomy 16, and let’s examine the command here. We all know this. We know it by heart. We’ve been here many, many times before. Now let’s read it here. Deuteronomy 16:16, “Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which He shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:…” Now many people do that. They consider God last and they do not prepare their offerings, they just bring, and if they just happen to have a few dollars in their pocket, well they go ahead and put that in. Well, God says, “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which He hath given thee” (Deut. 16:16-17). So whatever you give in an offering, you give from the heart, and you give because you love God, and you give because of God’s blessings. And living in the days that we live in now, you think about all the blessings that God has given to us in many, many different ways, and you consider your life, and you consider the lives of those that we’re able to help, and you consider the offering that you should give. It’s between you and God to do so.

So at this time we’ll go ahead and pause and we’ll take up the offering.

(Pause)

Now let’s begin to understand the meaning of this day, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened bread. Let’s come to Exodus 13. Now we’ve covered all the things previous leading up to the time that the children of Israel kept the Passover, and they started on their exodus out of Egypt. Now we also, we will see that this applies to us, but there’s a special thing that God brings out during the Feast of Unleavened Bread which is most important for us to realize. Let’s begin right here in verse 1.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Sanctify unto Me all the firstborn,…” Now we’re going to see that that is a very important and profound thing for us. Now remember, as we have already covered, God spared the firstborn of the children of Israel in Egypt. The firstborn of everything that opens the matrix, or opens “…the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is Mine.” (Ex. 13:1-2). So there’s a special claim that God has. Now we’re going to see how that applies to us in the New Testament. God has a special claim on each one of us. And God has that claim because of what He has done.

So let’s continue on, and see Moses’ message to the children of Israel, verse 3. “And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt,…for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten.” Now, after we take the Passover and keep the night to be remembered, then we are also to remember this day. And we are to remember the day that we came out of sin. We are to remember the day that we were baptized. We are to remember the day that we came out of this world. You see, God calls us out of this world. His calling today is a spiritual calling. And so it’s a little different than it was with the children of Israel. But back in Revelation 18 God says to those who are in Babylon, which we are, we are in Babylon the great, “Come out of her My people and do not be partaker of her sins.” And that’s the whole purpose of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, that we learn to live a godly way, that we learn not to live in sin. And that’s why since Christ is the bread of life, and we eat the bread of life, and we drink the true drink, and we renewed the New Covenant on the Passover night, therefore we have an obligation to do. God has something that He is obligated Himself to do for us, and we to God. Because God did bring us out by the strength of His hand. God did deliver us. We’re going to see.

Now, let’s come down here to verse 5. “And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which He sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month.” And we might also say, on this day, the 15th day of the first month. “Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD.” So the last day is a holy day. “Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters” (vs. 5-7). Now, back then they had a much more, how shall we say, a greater work to do to get out leaven because not only did they have to unleaven their homes individually, they had to unleaven the whole country. Now that’s why the Passover day in the New Testament is called the first of the unleaveneds because they got rid of all the leaven on the Passover day.

Now verse 8, there’s a lesson here we are to teach our children. And this applies to the children of Israel then, but it also applies to us. “And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.” Now we need to tell our children today, that we do this because God has called us out of this world, and He has brought us out of Babylon the great, and He has led us to the understanding of His truth, and has given us the perfect sacrifice through Jesus Christ, as we have seen. And has given us the perfect justification, as we will see a little later, so that we can stand before God pure and clean and unleavened in Christ. And that’s why, as we have seen, that’s why we keep the feast. As Paul told the Corinthians, because Christ has been sacrificed for us, therefore let us keep the feast. And that is New Testament doctrine. That’s written to the 1 Corinthians 5:7-8. So if anyone says, “Well, you don’t need to keep them in the New Testament.” Please understand, one command in the New Testament is quite sufficient.

Now verse 9, “And it shall be for a sign unto thee…” Now we know that the Sabbath is a sign, but also as we have seen going through the series on the book of Hebrews, chapter 4, that it is the Sabbaths, the plural. And the Sabbaths are a sign which begins to give us contact and understanding with God after God calls us. But also we have the other things that we enumerated which are also important. “…And for a memorial between thine eyes,…” Now that means right up here in your mind so that you’ll never forget, because you see the New Covenant is that God is going to write and inscribe His laws and His commandments in our hearts and in our minds, so that we live God’s way because that’s how we think. You see, that’s why it’s so important. That’s why we eat unleavened bread. We are eating the way, the sinless way of God, because during the Feast of Unleavened Bread leaven is a type of sin. That’s why Paul said in 1 Corinthians and in Galatians, “Don’t you know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?” And that’s why we need Christ. Now let’s continue here. A memorial, “…that the LORD’S law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt. Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year” (vs. 9-10). Now, that follows right along with the instructions that Paul gave the Corinthians concerning the Passover, that they were to take the Passover, year by year. And as often as they did it, year by year, until the Lord come we show His death. And we show His death because that’s the greatest thing that God could do, to come and be a human being and die for the sins of His creation.

Now verse 11, “And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as He sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee, that thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD’S.” Now the females would then be for the festival time. “And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck:…” Now how important is this to God? So important that if you don’t do it, you don’t get the animal. Now let’s look at that concerning ourselves too. “…And all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem” (vs. 11-13). Now, we are redeemed by the blood of Christ. We are redeemed through the sacrifice that He has given, so all of these things apply to us.

Now let’s understand something. Let’s come to Hebrews 12 and let’s understand something which is very profound, because you see we fall into the category of the church of the firstborn. So there is a special blessing. There is a special intervention. There is a special work that God is doing in us. And that work is so great and fantastic, brethren. It is the greatest thing that can be done, because God is recreating Himself in us so that at the resurrection we can be born into the kingdom of God. But we can’t be born into the kingdom of God with sin. We cannot live our lives in a state of sin, or a state of lawlessness and then expect God to give us eternal life.

Now let’s come to Hebrews 12:22, and let’s understand something very important. God has set us aside through Christ, and Christ was the firstborn, as we will see, and He’s the firstborn among many brethren, and we are the church of the firstborn. So we need to understand that, because God said during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, “All the firstborn are Mine.” And why was it done then? Because in the spring all the animals were born. That’s why it comes during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Now let’s begin in verse 22. “But you have come to Mount Sion [that is, to God’s throne in heaven above], and the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels, the [to a] joyous festival gathering [and we’ll see how that is amplified when we come to Pentecost]; and to the church of the firstborn [that’s what we are brethren, we are the church of the firstborn], whose names [now I’m reading from my translation, from Hebrews] have been registered in the Book of Life…” (Heb. 13:22-23, AT). Now you need to understand how great and marvelous that that is, to have your name written in the Book of Life.

Now hold your place there in Hebrews and let’s come to Luke 10, and let’s see what Jesus said. Let’s see what He told His disciples after He sent them out to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to cast out demons. And they came back and they were all happy and excited, and they were…just were elated that Christ worked with them and in the name of Christ they could do these things. But let’s ask a question: how important is that in relationship to the calling that God has given you? Now let’s read it here.

Verse 17, “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name. And He said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy:…” (Luke 10:17-19, KJV). Now let’s just stop right here for just a minute, because I’m going to bring this out on the last holy day. But I’m going to mention it here. We have total power over Satan the devil, and his demons. They can have no hold upon us. Now, they may come and try and bother us, and if we get lukewarm and start going back into the world and dabbling into the things of the world, and if we start letting a little leaven of the world leaven us, then yes there can be an entrance for Satan. Yes, he can get a hold. Yes, he can influence. But understand that He has given authority “…over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Nothing. Even if you die, it’s not going to hurt you because God is going to resurrect you. So that’s why Christ has said that if you believe in Him, you have passed from death unto life.

Verse 20, “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you;…” Wow, that’s quite a statement, isn’t it? “…But rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” And brethren, what God did to do that and to call you. And that’s why the apostle Paul said of those who left Christ, he says with tears, weeping… And that’s why, brethren, if there’s anything you can do to help those who have temporarily left Christ, remember this, as long as there is life there is hope. And as long as there is hope, there is repentance. And if you can help restore such a one back to Christ then God is going to bless you tremendously. And that is an obligation that we have. And that’s why we do the things that we do here, so we can supply and provide for the brethren all of these things. And when they come and they need to have some, as it were the parable of the ten virgins, and they need to have some oil for their lamps, we send them the care packages, we send them the literature, we send them the tapes freely so they can recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, see. “But rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

Now notice verse 21, “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight.” Now isn’t it that something? That you understand, brethren, what the wise, what the prudent, what the intelligent, what the experts in this world do not understand and cannot understand, because these things are spiritually revealed, and spiritually given to you in the word of God, and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Now notice, “All things are delivered to Me of My Father: and no man knoweth Who the Son is, but the Father; and Who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him” (vs. 22). So that’s why it’s a tremendous thing brethren, that God reached down in your life and one day began to deal with you. One day began to deal with me. One day began to deal with people wherever they are in the world. And we know and understand that we are not the only ones that God is dealing with. God will do what He’s going to do. Now if we can help and serve and do the things which will encourage and help the brethren in that way, then fine. We will do all that we can do in that way. But let’s understand our calling. Let’s understand what God has given to us and why we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Because we are the church of the firstborn, which God said during the Feast of Unleavened Bread they are to be set aside unto Him. We have been set aside unto God. We have been called, we have been chosen, we have been selected by God the Father and Jesus Christ. Now I want you to think on that, and realize how profound that is. And for God to say that He wants you in His kingdom, that He’s called you for a great purpose and for you during the Days of Unleavened Bread to put sin out of your life, and put righteousness into your life through the power of the Holy Spirit of God, that is a tremendous thing indeed brethren.

Now let’s come here to Ephesians 1, and I want you to understand how great this is, and what God has done, and what Christ has done, and how important that this is. You see, we sit with the greatest knowledge and understanding of the word of God that has ever been in the history of the world. No other time, no other age, not even the prophets of old understood. Remember, Daniel said, “When will these things be?” And God told Daniel, “Close up the book and seal it till the time of the end. You go your way, Daniel, and at the end of the days you will stand in your lot.” And so here we are in the end of the days, and God has given all this knowledge to us.

Let’s begin in Ephesians 1:1. “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:…” You’ve been called, brethren, by the will of God. God has set you aside as part of His firstborn for a special blessing. Now, verse 2. “Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” Now look at… I want you to understand, here is a special blessing of grace which comes directly from God the Father, and from Jesus Christ to you for the greatest blessing that could possibly be. That’s why Christ wants us to be sinless before Him. That’s why God the Father has provided the sacrifice of Christ for us. To help us, to save us, to deliver us, to lead us, to guide us, to give us His grace and His blessings.

Now notice, verse 3. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [things] places in Christ:…” Now you know, sometimes we just get focused on the physical things. And sometimes we just get focused on our own physical problems, and the difficulties that we are going through. All those things are real and we live through them. That is true. But look, let’s understand something here. God has given you all the spiritual blessings in heavenly things. That’s greater than anything in the whole world. Christ said, “What would it profit a man if he gain the whole world and loose his life?” Nothing. Now granted we’re all going to get old, and as time goes on we’re all going to get older. And I visited a woman yesterday who was 87 years old, and she fell and broke her leg, and she came right to the point of dying. And I went up to where she is rehabilitating and she’s going to be fine. But you know, she understands that one day the end is going to come. And she is so thankful and grateful for the knowledge of the truth and the things that she’s been able to do, and being in the Church of God now for about 35 to 40 years. Now brethren, God is going to make sure that she is safely tucked in the grave for the resurrection, as well as all of those who die in the faith. And that is the greatest spiritual blessing. That is one of the greatest spiritual things that can happen to you - that you die in the faith and be raised from the dead.

Now notice, verse 4. “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:…” Now this means that before the foundation of the world God had His plan all worked out that those that He called, because it says that we’re chosen, and we’re chosen by God the Father. Now notice what He’s predestinated us to be. That we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, which means that we will be without sin. Do you understand that? That’s why we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so we can be holy. That’s why we eat unleavened bread, a type of the sinlessness of Christ. And that is before Him in love. And that’s why love is the greatest thing. And that’s why God has called us unto these things. And that’s why God is leading us in these things. And that’s why we do what we do. And brethren, the word of God will just grow in understanding, and your ability to comprehend it as you give thanks to God and realize how great and precious these promises are.

“Having predestinated us unto the adoption [sonship] of children by Jesus Christ to Himself,…” To Himself personally, we are going to be the children of God the Father. We will constitute that great congregation of the church of the firstborn. Now notice, “…according to the good pleasure of His will,…” (vs. 5). Now that’s really something, isn’t it? That God has pleasure in His will. And that’s why we need to have pleasure in God’s will. Now sometimes, if we go through a trial and we will see how God will deliver us, that is true. But you know, we need to understand that everyone of these trials is for our own good in the long run. Now when we’re in the middle of it, it’s hard to see it. But afterwards when it’s all done we have perfect 20/20 vision and we can see why. And sometimes that 20/20 vision doesn’t come for quite a few years after you’ve gone through a trial, especially if it is a major one. But you see, it’s for the good pleasure of the will of God.

“To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved” (vs. 6). And that’s why we have the Passover, the night to be remembered, and the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread to let us know we are accepted in Christ. We are accepted in that sacrifice. We are accepted because God has called us and loved us, and has given us His Spirit, and we have died the spiritual death, as it were, in the watery grave of baptism. Now we’ll see all of that a little bit later.

“In Whom we have redemption through His blood, for the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace;…” (vs. 7). And brethren, to be holy and blameless before Him, to stand in grace, to have our sins forgiven, to know that God looks upon us with His love, with His kindness, with His mercy, with His understanding, yes, and with His correction. Because God loves us, that’s why He corrects us, so we can have these things taken out of our conscience, as it were.

Now you see, one of the reasons why we eat the unleavened bread and eat the way of God, and why Christ is the bread of life is so that we can develop the Christian character in us. But also in that there is another process that takes place. Just like in order to put in the unleaven, we have to put out the leaven. So once we get these things into us then there is also a process of overcoming which gets rid of the waste, which gets rid of the sin, which gets rid of the carnal nature and the habits that we have as human beings.

Now let’s see something that’s very important, very profound in this. Let’s come to Acts 4, because today, you know there are a lot of people who think, “Well, we’re all going to the same place.” That’s not true. There are some going to the kingdom of God, there are some who are not going to the kingdom of God. And all religions do not all come to the same focal point in the end-run. That is a lie of Satan the devil, which he is foisting off on this world because now we are living in Babylon the Great. Now here’s something that’s profound and important. Salvation cannot come because of any other thing but Jesus Christ.

Let’s come to Acts 4:5. “And it came to pass on the morrow [or that is the next day], that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,…” Now this was after they had arrested Peter and John and the apostles for healing the man at the Gate Beautiful. “…And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander,…” Now all of these men condemned Jesus Christ. All of these men stood there and whipped up the crowd, “Crucify Him, crucify Him, crucify Him.” So we need to understand who they are talking to here. “…And as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst,…” Now just picture this big august Sanhedrin, and they put the apostles right in the middle to examine them. And they asked them, “…By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy [Spirit] Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel,…” Now that’s why it’s written down in the scriptures because not all the people of Israel were privy to this going on at the Sanhedrin. So as it goes out in the written work preserved by God, then it goes to all the people of Israel. “…That by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Whom ye crucified,…” I’m sure they didn’t like to hear that, because they thought that when they crucified Christ, they got rid of the problem. But the truth is the problem only began. And it multiplied in such a way that it ended up in the destruction of the temple. Very profound times in which they lived. “…Whom ye crucified, Whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole” (Acts. 4:5-10)

“This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other:…” Because you see, they thought they would be saved through Moses. They thought they would be saved through the works of law. But no, “…for there is none other name under heaven [which is] given among men, whereby we must be saved” (vs. 11-12). And the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a feast of salvation.

Now after they saw this they said, “Hey, these men are unlearned.” They were amazed. And they said, “Here’s the man standing there whole, and everybody knows about this. Now we can’t deny it.” So they all decided, “Well, we’ll try the next best thing. We are going to command them not to preach in the name of Christ.” Well, that was foolish. That backfired on them. Now we have the same thing today. We have spiritual salvation. And that spiritual salvation is only through Christ, by God the Father, to bring us out of this world. And we are saved by His grace because God loves us.

Now let’s go to Ephesians 2. Now you know we have to go here a lot to Ephesians 2, and the reason is that there is a lot in Ephesians 2. And it is one of those basic foundational parts of the Bible for us to understand the word of God and what God is doing for us. And for us to realize the great thing that God has done to call us, and to bring us the knowledge of His word, to grant us His Holy Spirit, to give us forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. And how that God had to reach down in our lives and call us out of this world, and call us out from the power of Satan the devil.

Now let’s come here to Ephesians 2:1. “And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;…” That’s why, you know, if you live in the world you are as good as dead. You are dead in sins and trespasses. “…Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now [inner-working] worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our [conduct] conversation…” And we were out there. Now maybe we weren’t out there whipping it up and whooping, and hollering, and rioting, and things like that, but you see even the most righteous has a sinful nature. And remember, the Pharisee who prayed with himself and thanked God that he was better than other people. That is a greater sin and harder to overcome than someone who has sinned like the publican who said, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Now notice, “…our [conduct] conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love…” God has called you because He loves you. That’s why you need to respond back in love to Him. “…Wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins,…”, because Christ died way before we even came into existence. “…Hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (Eph. 2:1-5).

Now we are going to see how, by this grace, we are saved. He says in verse 8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith;…” It’s not of any works, as we will see. “…And that not of yourselves:…” It’s not something you can do. No man can come to God and say, “God, give me eternal life.” God won’t do it. He didn’t even do it for Job did He? No, He didn’t. “…It is the gift of God:” And “gift” also means grace. “Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…” (vs. 8-10). And that’s what the eating of the unleavened bread pictures. Putting in the word of God, living by the word of God, being created internally, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, to qualify us for the kingdom of God. And this takes work. This takes getting rid of human nature. This takes the power of the Holy Spirit to bring down those strongholds of the mind wherein sin has great hold upon us. Now remember as we saw, the enemy has no power against us. And if we’re being created in Christ Jesus, and we are His workmanship, see, when God has beforehand given us good works ordained that we are to walk in them, and part of those good works are keeping the feasts of God.

Now, let’s come to Romans 5, because we need to understand how important this calling is, and what God has done for us. Now we can go back in many of the Psalms, which I have many written down here. We could go back and we could see, yes, God can save us. God delivers us. God heard David. God heard the children of Israel and intervened for them. Well, God hears us. And remember, God delights in the prayers of the saints, and your coming to Him for His power, His strength, and His Spirit, and His grace.

Part 2

Now let’s see how is it that we are dead in our sins and trespasses. How did that happen? Well, it goes right back to the beginning of the creation of Adam and Eve. Now let’s come to Romans 5 and let’s see how Paul explains this so that we understand the whole process, so that we realize what we need to do.

Now let’s come here to verse 12. I’m going to read from my translation. “Wherefore, even as by one man sin entered into the world, and by means of the sin came death; and in this way death passed into all mankind, and it is for this reason that all have sinned:…” (Rom. 5:12, AT). Now we sin because we have an imperfect nature, as we will see, with the law of sin and death within us. Now then, we were born this way. This is why there has to be redemption through Christ. Since we are this way, and it came because of the sin of Adam, therefore God is the one Who must provide the salvation. God is the one Who must provide the way of forgiveness. God is the one Who must provide the way back for Him. And this is why God reaches down and calls us today, because too many people say no to God. “This far God, and no further.” Or, they don’t want God at all. Or, they want to do things their way. They want to figure out how they can get right with God. Well, there’s no way you can get right with God unless you accept God’s way of doing it. And here’s the way that God does it.

Let’s come to Romans 3:20. “Therefore, by works of law there shall not be any flesh justified before Him;…” In other words anything that you can do in the way of keeping a law in any religion, in any function, in anything that you can do, can justify you to God. Because law is not the operation, or the works of law, is not the operation of the thing that brings you justification. Notice, “…for through law is the knowledge of sin…” That’s the most that law can tell us. That’s the most that law can do for us. If you obey the law, then you are righteous. But the law cannot forgive. And because we have the nature of death and sin within us, we sin automatically. So there has to be a way that God has devised to reinstate us to Him. And He’s done it through Christ.

Now notice verse 21. “But now the righteousness of God…” And this means the ability to be put in right standing through justification to God that is separate from law. Law has one function. Grace has another function. “…Has been revealed, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God that is through faith of Christ Jesus toward all and upon all those who believe there is no difference” (vs. 21-22, AT). So this is something of faith. This is something of the heart. It is a greater thing to believe God than to do a work of law, whether it be of Judaism or whether it be of Hinduism, or whether it be of Catholicism, or whether it be of Islam, whatever. They all have their works of laws. They all have things that they do. Muslims supposedly pray five times a day to Mecca. Does that give them love? Does that give them forgiveness before God? No, it doesn’t. First of all, they have to have the right God, which they don’t have. So all that they are doing cannot bring them back to God. There’s only one way, through the redemption that is in Christ.

Now here, “Because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We are being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (vs. 23-24, AT). And that’s why every year we keep the Passover and renew the New Covenant and understand and realize that forgiveness of sin only comes through Christ. And forgiveness of sin is an ongoing process so that we grow and overcome. That we repent of our sins. That we let Christ be formed in us. And all of these things are all a part of it, you see.

Verse 25, “Whom God has openly manifest to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, in order to publicly declare His righteousness in respect of the remission of sins that are past.” And let’s understand something, though there are sins which will occur in the future, you do not ask God to forgive you for something you’re going to do tomorrow because that’s premeditated evil. And God will not forgive you for that because that time hasn’t come. Whenever you sin, the sin is in the present tense, and when it occurs it is immediately in the past. So therefore, all sin is in the past. That’s why it says “remission of sins that are in the past.”

Now let’s understand something here. By the operation of the grace of God to do this, Paul asked the question, verse 31, “Are we, then abolishing law through faith?” Now the King James says, “God forbid”, but the Greek means “MAY IT NEVER BE! Rather, we are establishing law!” Why? Because when you have the forgiveness of sin, and the Holy Spirit of God to lead you, you desire to keep the commandments of God. You desire to love God. You desire to overcome. And this is all a part of getting rid of the sinfulness of human nature, which we have inherited from Adam and Eve. And this is why Christ came and did what He did.

Now let’s come back to Romans 5 again, and let’s understand something very important here. Let’s begin in verse 13. “For before the law…” That means the law given to Israel. “…Sin was in the world. Now then, sin is not imputed when law does not exist;…” Meaning that from the time of Adam clear on down to the time of the giving of the law there were the laws of God. Abraham kept them, Job kept them, the patriarchs kept them, and so forth.

Verse 14, “Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even upon those who had not sinned in the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one Who is to come.” Now Adam’s sin was a particular sin because first of all he was created by God, he knew God, he talked to God. God told him specifically what to do, told Eve specifically what to do, and they went against God. That is a greater sin than for those of us who are born afterwards and we come into a world that is already there, and we have the law of sin and death in us, and we have our carnal nature, and our human way of doing things, and we don’t know any better. Adam knew better.

Now let’s continue on in verse 15. “But should not the free gift be even as the offense was?” Now, God is going to bring the opposite. Instead of giving sin to every one, now we have the free gift of grace. “For if by the transgression of one man many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gift of grace…” And that gift of grace, as we will see in just a little bit is a tremendous and wonderful thing which this whole Feast of Unleavened Bread pictures. God has given you the gift of grace. Let’s read that again. “…How much more did the grace of God and the gift of grace, which is by the one man Jesus Christ, abound unto many. And should not the free gift be like that which came by the one who had sinned? For on the one hand judgment was by one unto condemnation; but on the other hand, the free gift is by one to the justification of many offenses.” And justification means to have your sins forgiven, and put in right standing with God. “For if by the offense of one man death reigned by the one, how much more shall those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness,…” Now it talks about the gift of grace, and here we have “…the gift of righteousness reign in life by the one, Jesus Christ” (vs. 15-17, AT). So there we have it.

Let’s understand something. Very important. When you repent and are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit, God imputes to you the righteousness of Christ. That is the gift of righteousness that God gives you. And when you walk in the grace, and you live in the grace, and you are under the grace of God, that is constantly there. But we are also going to see something else which is very important and very profound. This does not mean that you now are incapable of sin. This means you have had your sins forgiven, and you are justified.

Now let’s continue on, verse 19. “For even as the disobedience of one man many were made sinners, in the same way also by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” And that is not only by His perfect obedience, which He did. And Christ does not keep the law for you. Christ does not keep the commandments for you. No rather, what happens is this, you receive the Holy Spirit and Christ is in you. You have right standing with God so now you can grow in grace and knowledge, and be made righteous. It is a process.

Verse 20, “Moreover, the law entered, so that the transgression might abound [so we can see how bad sin really is]; but where sin abounded, the grace of God did superabound; so that even as sin has reigned unto death, in the same way also might the grace of God reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (vs. 20-21, AT).

Now then again we come to another statement which Paul makes. Now we have, how are we to live, and how are we to overcome? Now that we’ve been justified with Christ through His sacrifice, now that the one Who was perfect was made sin for us that we can be the righteousness of God, how are we to live? Are we to proclaim, as the lawless grace of Protestantism claims, that now we can decided what we want to do, and anything we choose to do because we’ve had our sins forgiven, and we have grace given to us that through this grace we can do anything we want to do. No, no, no, no, no.

Romans 6:1, “What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” That’s the whole proposition of Protestantism. They continue breaking the Sabbath. They continue breaking the laws of clean and unclean meats. They continue observing their holidays instead of the holy days of God. They live in the world but they take the name of Christ and attach it to their lawless grace and say, “We are delivered to do that.” That’s not the proposition that God gave. Living in the grace of God has nothing to do with that kind of behavior whatsoever at all.

Verse 2, King James says, “God forbid.” But here it is in the Greek mh genoito, meaning MAY IT NEVER BE! Don’t even let this thought even enter into your mind. “We who died to sin, how shall we live any longer therein?” That’s why. Now you see, Protestants never died to sin because most of them aren’t baptized. They just accept Christ and now they’re converted. That is a false conversion. They never died to sin. When you are buried in the watery grave of baptism, you have died to sin. We have died to sin. How shall we live any longer therein?

“Or are you ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death?” Now let’s understand something very profound concerning the operation of baptism. Christ died for our sins, correct? He died for the sins of the world, correct? He also means that He died for each one individually, which means also that your sins killed Christ. In order for your sins to be forgiven, the sacrifice of Christ, all of it, had to be applied to you individually. To me, individually. To each one that God calls, you see. That’s why when we’re baptized, we’re put under the water. It is a watery grave. We are baptized into His death. “Therefore, as we were buried with Him by the baptism into death; so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in the same way also, we should walk in newness of life” (vs. 3-4, AT). We’re not to go back and live in the oldness of sin. We are to not go back into the world, back into Babylon, back into Egypt. And that’s the whole lesson of the children of Israel coming out of Egypt to the promised land. They wanted to go back. They didn’t believe God. They complained, they murmured, they rebelled against God, rebelled against Moses. What a terrible thing. You read the whole book of Numbers and what the children of Israel did. They didn’t believe God. They wanted their way. No, we have died in Christ.

Now notice. “…So that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in the same way also, we should walk in newness of life.” And that newness of life is the things that God has ordained that we should walk in them. His commandments, His laws, His way, His truth, His grace. All of it, all together.

Verse 5, now understand this, and this is something great to really understand. “For if we have been co-joined together in the likeness of His death,…” And that’s what the Greek means. You have been co-joined with Christ. In other words when you are baptized you yourself were crucified. The old self was crucified, you see. “…In order that the body of sin might be destroyed,…” It’s not destroyed all at once. It’s a process, and we have to overcome. “…That [it] might be destroyed, that we should no longer be enslaved to sin;…” Just like the children of Israel were enslaved to the Egyptians and God had to bring them out with a mighty hand through miracles and power to do so. So likewise God has reached out in your life to call you out of this world to bring you forgiveness, to bring you to Christ, to bring you to the understanding of God the Father, and so that we should no longer be enslaved to sin. No longer be in bondage to it. “Because the one who has died to sin [and that’s through the operation of baptism] has been justified from sin” (vs. 5-7, AT). You’ve been made in right standing with God. You stand before Him pure and clean. You have the righteousness of Christ imputed to you through the grace of God. That is a tremendous gift. That is the gift of righteousness.

Now then, verse 8. “Now if we died together with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has any dominion over Him, for when He died, He died unto sin once for all; but in that He lives, He lives to God. In the same way also, you should indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal bodies to obey it in the lust thereof” (vs. 8-12, AT).

Now let’s go to something here. It says, don’t let sin rule. It doesn’t say that there is now a complete absence of sin. Rather we are to yield ourselves as instruments of righteousness unto Christ. But we do have sin that we need to overcome. Now once you receive the Spirit of God there is a phenomenon that takes place, and you might call that the exposing of the internal sin. Because you see, sin begins in the mind. Let’s go to Mark 7. Let’s understand something about this nature. Once we receive the begettal of the Holy Spirit we don’t automatically get rid of human nature. Just like for the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we are to put out the leaven and we are to put in the unleaven. So likewise there is a process and there is a battle that goes on that no other people in the world have, because they don’t have the Holy Spirit, and they are not able to understand what I am about ready to tell you here.

Mark 7:21, the very words of Jesus. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:21-23, KJV). Now that’s human nature. Now once you’ve been baptized and receive the Holy Spirit of God, now then a battle takes place within you that you did not have until God began dealing with you to show you what sin really is.

Now let’s come to Romans 7 and let’s see what this battle is. And this battle is very profound. A lot of people think that once they have been converted and receive the Holy Spirit of God, that everything is perfect. They can no longer sin. That is not the case. We have to overcome. You see, the first proposition is, is that if you are converted and you can no longer sin, where’s the overcoming? What are you going to overcome? How is it that you have to overcome? What is it that you have to overcome? You have to over come the human nature that we just read of here in Mark 7.

Now that we’re done with Mark 7, let’s come back to Romans 7 because here’s the struggle that we all go through. And this is an ongoing process. And that’s why with the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread we commit our lives again to God with the renewal of the New Covenant on the Passover night. We commit ourselves to God to continue walking in the way of truth. We commit ourselves to God to overcome. We commit ourselves to God to grow in grace and knowledge and the power of the Holy Spirit to cast down all of these strongholds, as we will see, to get rid of the way of sin that is in us.

Now, Romans 7:7. “What shall we say then? Is the law sin?” A lot of people think the law is sin, but it’s not. Sin is defined by the law, but the law itself is not sin. “MAY IT NEVER BE!” Or as the King James says, “God forbid.” “But, I had not known sin, except through the law. Furthermore, I would not have been conscious of lust, except the law had said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, having grasped an opportunity by the commandment, worked out within me every kind of lust; because apart from law, sin was dead” (Rom. 7:7-8, AT). Now that’s when God begins to deal with you so that you understand how sinful that you really are. How sinful that I really am. And it’s only through the grace of God and the forgiveness of Christ that we have remission of sins, remember.

Verse 9, “For I was alive without law once; but after the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” Now how did he die? If he died a physical death, he wouldn’t be able to write this, would he? This means the death of baptism, as we read in chapter 6. “And the commandment, which was meant to result in life, was found to be unto death for me; because sin, having taken opportunity by the commandment, deceived me, and it killed me” (vs. 9-11, AT). That’s why we are dead in our sins and trespasses automatically through the nature that we receive from Adam and Eve. It killed them.

Now then, we look at the law in an entirely different way. The law did not cause the problem. Sin, or the transgression of the law caused the problem. Verse 12 now. “Therefore, the law is indeed holy, and the commandment holy and righteous and good.” Isn’t that something? Yes, it is. “Now then, did that which is good become death unto me? MAY IT NEVER BE! But sin,…” (vs. 12-13, AT). Now God wants you to understand the depths of how bad sin is. That’s why, after you are converted, you find that you have this great battle within your mind to overcome sin. Now remember, you never had that before you were called and converted. Now you have that. Now why do you have that? So that you can overcome. So that you can desire the righteousness of God. So that you can desire the nature of God. So that you can desire more the grace of God to help you grow and change and overcome. That’s why. It doesn’t happen to people out in the world. They don’t know. They are blinded. They have no understanding at all whatsoever.

Now notice what happens. “But sin, in order that it might be truly exposed as sin in me by that which is good, was actually working out death; so that by the means of the commandment, sin might accordingly become exceeding sinful” (vs. 13, AT). Just like Jesus said, “You’ve heard it said in the past, you shall not commit adultery. I say to you, whosoever looks upon a woman to lust after her in his heart has committed adultery already.” Exceeding sinful. And it is the Spirit of God that is revealing that to you so that you can repent. So that you can abhor it. So that you can get it out of your system. You can get it out of your heart and your mind through Christ. We’ll see, that’s what Paul says here.

Verse 14, “For I know the law is spiritual [which it is]; but I am carnal, having been sold as a slave under sin; because what I am working out myself, I do not know [or that is, I do not understand].” Isn’t it true? How many times have you sinned and done something and you say, “Well, I didn’t know that.” That’s right. “For what I desire to do…”, and everyone intends to do good. “For what I desire not to do…” You don’t want to do it because you intend to do good, but it doesn’t happen. “…Moreover, what I hate, this is what I practice” (vs. 14-15, AT). Now remember Paul, who had been an apostle for some 15-20 years here at this point, was saying he had this battle. So we need to understand that if he had the battle being an apostle, we have the same battle. This is why we go through what we go through. And remember there’s the prince of the power of the air, as we read earlier, that is out there trying to put these thoughts and things into your mind. That’s why when we come out of the world we have to come out of the world and not let the world affect us. We have to get away from those things which bring us back into this kind of bondage.

Verse 16, “But if I am practicing what I desire not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.” There’s nothing wrong with the law. The law is good because the law is saying this is sin. “So then, I am no longer working it out myself; rather, it is the sin that is dwelling within me;…” (vs. 16-17, AT). Every human being has sin dwelling within them. As we will see, he calls it the law of sin and death. And that’s what we have to overcome. That’s why we go through the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread every year.

Now, verse 18. “Because I fully understand that there is not dwelling within me…” Now do you understand that yourself? “…That is, within my fleshly being--any good.” Now remember when the young man came to Christ and said, “Good Master, what good thing should I do to have eternal life?” And Jesus said, “Why do you call Me good? There’s only one good, and that is God.” Because you see, while Christ was on the earth God the Father was in heaven above. He had human nature within Him. He could not be called good, because He had not yet completely overcome human nature. He had not yet gone through the whole ordeal of the crucifixion and died the death for all sin so that He could be resurrected and again proclaimed good. Not many people really understand that.

Now notice, “For the desire to do good is present within me; but how to work out that which is good, I do not find:…” Isn’t that the way it is with human nature? “And the good that I desire to do, I am not practicing; and the evil that I do not desire to do, this I am doing. And if I practice what I do not desire to do, I am no longer working it out myself, but sin that is dwelling in me.” Now he says it twice. Sin is dwelling in me. “Consequently, I find the law, that when I desire to practice the good, evil is present with me: for I delight in the law of God according to the inward man;…” Oh yes, we can say, yes, God is right, God is good, God is true, laws, commandments are good. Yes, we delight in that. That’s fine. “But I see another law within my very own being, warring against the law of my mind, and leading me to the captivity to the law of sin that is within my very own being” (vs. 19-23, AT). And every one of us have this. So that’s why it’s such a great and a marvelous thing, brethren, to when we come to God we have our sins forgiven, we are justified before Christ, we receive the grace of God. We always are in an attitude of repentance, as the apostle Paul is describing here in Romans 7. Always in an attitude of overcoming sin. Always in an attitude of growing and changing. Therefore the grace of God covers us and we stand before God pure as Christ. That is truly the complete state of being unleavened in Christ. So there’s that war.

“…Leading me captivity to the law of sin, which is in my very own being. O wretched man. What a wretched man I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” This is the dilemma. And you see only if you understand the truth of God’s word, and only if you have the Holy Spirit of God, and only if you are keeping the commandments of God do you understand that. “I thank God for His deliverance through our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this, on the one hand I myself serve the law of God, but on the other hand with the flesh, the law of sin” (vs. 23-25, AT). So here’s this great struggle going on. And that’s why we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread, so we can realize the more of Christ we put in, the more power we have to overcome. The more of Christ that we put in, the more that we are delivered from this.

Now there’s another blessing that goes with this, brethren, which you need to understand. It’s very profound. This is why you need to go before God in great confidence and in great thanksgiving, and in great joy for the things that He has done. Now look at this, in spite of all of going through this, in spite of going through these things which come against us, notice what Paul says, Romans 8:1. “Consequently, there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit;…” Now if you’re walking according to the Spirit, by seeing the sin from within and overcoming, and repenting, and asking God to take it away from you, you’re walking in the Spirit.

Now notice verse 2, “Because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death.” It hasn’t been taken out of you, but you have been delivered from it as long as you stand in the grace of God, and as long as you yield to God, and as long as you are overcoming. “For what was impossible for the law to do, in that it was weak through the flesh [God knew that], having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh;…” (vs. 2-3, AT). Now that’s a profound statement. That covers a whole chapter in the Passover book. Marvelous thing that God did. God has condemned sin in the flesh.

Now notice, here’s the key. “In order that the righteousness of the law should be fulfilled in us, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit:…” (vs. 4, AT). Now how does God view you, brethren? He doesn’t condemn you because you’re overcoming. Now we are not in the flesh but in the Spirit. Now how is that? That’s because we are minding things of the Spirit by growing and changing and overcoming. That’s how we’re in the Spirit.

Now let’s come down here to verse 9. “However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” He’s none of His. “Now if Christ be within you, the body is indeed dead because of sin [because it was buried in baptism]; however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” That He has given these things that ordained for to good works that we are to walk in, the righteousness of Christ. “Now if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead is dwelling in you [which it is], He who raised up Christ from the dead will also quicken [or that is, make alive] your mortal bodies, because of His Spirit that dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh [though we have to overcome]; because if you live according to the flesh, you shall die; but if you by the Spirit [here is the key, right here] are putting to death the deeds of the body, you shall live” (vs. 9-13, AT). There’s the whole process of overcoming.

Now let’s come to Colossians 1 and let’s see the process of how Paul explained it here in Colossians 1, because this shows the whole working and the operation of what God has done. Now in this it takes effort. In this, it takes the Spirit of God. In this, it takes endurance, it takes perseverance, it takes overcoming. And yes, as we go along we’re going to have some failures. God understands that. Paul had failures, didn’t he? He said he did the things that he hated. But did he overcome? Yes, he did. How did he overcome? He overcame through Christ Jesus.

Now here in Colossians 1:9, “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;…” That’s what God wants to happen during the Feast of Unleavened Bread for you. But not just during the Feast of Unleavened Bread alone, but so that the Feast of Unleavened Bread becomes that which carries us on in to the future, to continue to live that way. To live it spiritually, you see. “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;…” That’s what God wants. “Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;…” (Col. 1:9-11, KJV). So Christ is there to strengthen you. That’s why we have the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And that’s why it symbolizes when we eat the bread of Christ we live by Christ, you see.

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us [qualified] meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath [transferred] translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son:…” You have been redeemed from the world. We have to live in the world, but we’re not of the world. “In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins:…” (vs. 12-14). Now that’s quite a thing.

Now how are we to live our lives? Let’s look here in Philippians 3. How is it that we are to live our lives? How do we count the things that happen to us when we find that we sin, when we find that even the things that we are doing are not right, and we repent, and we change, and we ask God to help us to overcome, and we grow in grace and knowledge?

Now let’s come here to verse 7. This is very important. This is the attitude that we need to have, that Paul had. “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” Yes, we died the death in baptism, and every thing that we have in this world no longer counts. “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for Whom I have suffered the loss of all things,…” And boy, Paul really went through it. So if you think you’ve really gone through it, read through and study 2 Corinthians and all the things that he went through, and all the things that he suffered. And yet, God used him mightily because he counted all those things but loss. “…And do count them but dung,…” Is that the way you view the world? As a big heap of manure out there? That’s what it ought to be. “…That I may win Christ. “And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:…” (Phil. 3:7-9). That we have that imputed to us and it becomes part of our very being. That’s why God gives it to us.

“That I may know Him [and we will know Him at the resurrection], and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” That is the goal, brethren. That’s why we go through what we go through. That’s why we have to examine our lives continually before Christ. That’s why we need the Spirit of God, the love of God, the faith of God, and all of these things. To know to attain to the resurrection of the dead. “Not as though I had already attained,…” And every year that we come to the Feast of Unleavened Bread we realized we haven’t already attained, neither were perfect. We have a long ways to go. Notice what Paul did, “…But I follow after,…” Meaning he never gives up. “..If that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do,…” And this is the one goal of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This is the one thing that we need to constantly be doing. “…Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (vs. 10-14). That’s what we need to be doing. And so let’s take this Feast of Unleavened Bread to make it a rededication to God to live His way, to keep His commandments, to grow in grace and knowledge, to have the righteousness of Christ imputed to us and put forth our own effort and let God bless us with His spiritual power and grace and might to accomplish what He desires to do in us.

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