The Overflowing Jordan
December 3, 2011
“...for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest.” Joshua 3:15
This past Thanksgiving, we visited my in-laws who live on the Georgia coast near Jekyll Island. A salt-water river runs in front of their house giving them easy access to the ocean. When you look out their front door, you see the tall grass of the marsh, with the river behind it, and then more marshland that seems to go on forever. Thanksgiving morning, however, I saw a different sight. The marshes were barely visible! Instead of a river, it looked like a lake, with the top of a few of the tall grasses poking up through the surface.
As I looked at the overflowing river, I couldn’t help but think of the appearance of the Jordan when Joshua and Israel stood on its banks prior to entering the land of Canaan. Bro. Gene had recently preached from that very text, so it was fresh on my mind. I thought about how the Lord so often works in our lives. Of all the times for the children of Israel to arrive at the Promised Land, it was during the season that the Jordan overflowed! They had children, livestock, and carts that had to get across, and, humanly speaking, it was the worst time to forge that river. Why did they show up at that time? Because it was exactly the time God had determined! You see, God doesn’t put us in places that are difficult. God places us in situations that are impossible!
Why does God work that way? Its for our own good, children, that no flesh should glory in His presence! (1 Co 1:29) Gideon and his 32,000 were outnumbered by their enemies, but God told him to send some men home. What? The odds are already against us! Why? God said, The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, my own hand has saved me. (Judges 7:2) See, the situation needed to not simply be hard, but impossible! Its at those times God does His greatest work, and when He works, there is no doubt Who is responsible! He gets all the glory!!!
Is your Jordan overflowing right now? Does the situation seem to be going from bad to worse? Take heart, dear Christian! If God is for you, who can be against you? (Rom 8:31) The overflowing Jordan is nothing to Him! The children of Israel walked through that riverbed on dry ground!!! (Joshua 3:17) Be comforted by the Lords promises. He will always keep His word!
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Is 43:1-3)
There is a small bird that lives in the marshes of South Georgia that the locals call a marsh hen. We enjoyed a pretty good meal of fried marsh hen one of the nights we visited with the in-laws. These birds stay so deeply embedded in the marsh that it is impossible to get to them except at one time when the tide is so high that the river overflows! For those that trust in the Lord, the overflowing river is nothing more than a tool to bring forth the blessing God has in store!
Jamie Walker, Assistant Pastor of Grace Baptist Church.
HE HATH MADE HIM SIN
2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
The He in our verse is God the Father. And the him is the Lord Jesus Christ. It certainly was not Adam who made the Son of God sinful, in the way that all the rest of us are sinners! For he is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; (Heb. 7:26). Also, in Isaiah 53:10 we read, Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Jesus of Nazareth is the Lamb of God! He is not said to be the Lamb of the Jews, or of the church, as far as sacrificing him is concerned! He was God’s to be made sin, and he was God’s to sacrifice! The Romans did not put him to death! That would have just been an execution! The Jews did not either, or that would have just been an assassination! And neither would have been usable for the imputation of the righteousness of God to those for whom he died! The Lord himself plainly stated, Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:17,18).
The Father both made him sin, and was the Priest to offer his soul for sin! His humanity was the ‘altar’ upon which his eternal and divine soul was offered! Yes, it was by wicked hands he was crucified and slain; but only as he was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God … Acts 2:23.
The two words, made, in our verse are not at all the same Greek words. That first Greek word translated, he hath made is the same word translated provide in Luke 12:33. It is also the same as the word committed in 1 John 3:8. Therefore the Father committed and provided the responsibility of all the sin of all the elect to Christ’s account, in order that he might place the pure, holy righteousness of God into every believer!
And that Greek word for the believer’s imputation, translated here as, might be made, is the exact same word in 2 Corin. 12:11, I am become. Therefore the Lord was made responsible for our sin in order that we might have the actuality of his righteous imparted in us! We actually become his righteousness, whereas he only was made legally responsible for our sin!
And it was because that Christ was not literally made sinful that afforded him his resurrection out of the grave. Therefore he was not a lawful captive, (Isa. 49:24), so he did not succumb to the eternal death exacted by sins wages!
Can God Be Tempted?
It is made very clear in the scriptures that God cannot tempt, or be tempted by sin. James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
First of all, the Lord Jesus Christ, as very God, had no lust in himself! He informed us that Satan was coming, but that he would neither find cause of death in him, nor opportunity to tempt him, since he was without any lust that allows temptation, and causes sin. John 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
Secondly we must surely know that at his death God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself! (2Cor. 5:19). Jesus Christ IS God, and God cannot sin! His glorious prayer, as recorded in John 17 reveals the oneness of communion and purpose in the Godhead, as the Son states to the Father that all mine in regeneration, are thine in eternal love and election. (John 17:10). There can be no division of the God head, not even that which was encased in human flesh on earth! For the Lord informs us that I and my Father are one. (John 10:30).
Why Then Was Jesus Tempted?
It is plainly recorded, Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. (Matt. 4:1). And that Greek word, here translated, to be tempted is translated in John 6:6 as, to prove. It is translated in 2 Corinthians 13:5 as, Examine. The Amplified Bible states it correctly as tested and tried. For the Lord was not “tempted” because he could sin, but in order to show that he was very God and could not sin. As our High Priest, in order to relate to every sin and situation of his communicants, he was in all points tempted, yet even amidst all that vast scope of proving and examination, he was without sin! Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
I think of the Ford commercial where a new F150 pick up truck was lifted high into the air, and then dropped. That truck manufacturer did not lift that vehicle up that high and drop to show but one thing! – Nothing came loose, or fell off it! And the Lord God did not have his Son tried and tested but to reveal that he was separate from sinners; that he was very God! For he is expressly different from Adam as revealed in this verse: For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Cor. 15:22).
Another reason that he was so tempted was in order that he could originate faith! He had to have personal faith that the Father would not leave his soul in hell when he did give up his life voluntarily. Peter preaches on Pentecost that David’s writing in Psalm 16:10 was understood by him as applying to Christ’s resurrection! Acts 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
And it was by this personal faith, originated by The Alpha, that this wondrous gift of faith, once delivered to the saints, would overcome the world! (Jude 3; 1 John 5:4). For it was his suffering that fitted him to be the author of eternal salvation, and of faith itself! Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Seeing Christ Properly
2 Corin. 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
Regeneration changes everything! The old and former things pass away. Everything henceforth becomes new. In regeneration we have to transform ourselves by the renewing of our minds. (Romans 12:2). And included in that is especially the way we view Christ. We are no longer to view the person of Jesus as just a man, but to see him as The Christ! And that will necessitate the revelation of Him as very God, without sin, perfect and holy!
1 Corin. 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
There are now some things we are not to think! Matt. 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Prov. 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
And there are some things we cannot think. Eph. 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 1Cor. 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But there are some things we certainly now know that, heretofore, could not be known. Matthew 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
Let us have done with carnal, religious reasoning of a ‘sinful God,’ and see our glorious very-man, and very-God Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, in the glory of his Father!
Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
Jude 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Bro. Gene Breed.