11. The Jubilee (2)
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  • 07-28,
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Scripture Reading: Lev. 25:8-17; Isa. 61:1-3; Luke 4:16-22; Acts 26:16-19; Rom. 7:24; 8:2
I. Announcing the gospel to the poor, proclaiming release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, and sending away in release those who are oppressed are the freedoms and blessings of the jubilee—Luke 4:18-19:
A. The word jubilee in Leviticus 25:10 means "a time of shouting," or "a time of the trumpeting of the ram's horn"; the trumpeting of the ram's horn signifies the preaching of the gospel as the proclaiming of liberty in the New Testament jubilee to all the sinners sold under sin that they may return to God and God's family, the household of God, and may rejoice with shouting in the New Testament enjoyment of God's salvation—Luke 4:16-22; Acts 26:16-19.
B. Our preaching of the gospel is our blowing of the trumpet of redemption to proclaim to the world, "Behold, now is the well-acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation," the year of jubilee—2 Cor. 6:2; Isa. 61:1-3:
1. When God created man, He intended to give Himself in Christ to man as man's possession, man's inheritance (Gen. 2:9; 13:12-15; Psa. 16:5; 90:1); however, man became fallen, and in the fall man lost God as his possession (Gen. 3:24; 4:16; Eph. 2:12) and sold himself into slavery under sin, Satan, and the world (John 8:34; Rom. 7:14b; Gal. 4:8; Titus 3:3; 1 John 5:19b).
2. God's New Testament salvation, accomplished by God's grace based on His redemption in Christ (Rom. 3:24; 5:1-2; Eph. 2:8), brings fallen man back to God as his divine possession (Acts 26:18; Gal. 3:14; Eph. 1:14; Col. 1:12; Luke 15:12-24), releases man from slavery under sin, Satan, and the world (John 8:32; Rom. 6:6, 14; 8:2; Heb. 2:14-15; John 12:31), and restores man to his divine family, the household of God (Gal. 6:10; Eph. 2:19), that he may enjoy fellowship in God's grace (2 Cor. 13:14).
 

II. God's salvation causes us to have real freedom; our possession is God, and our freedom comes from our enjoyment of God:
A. If man does not enjoy God, he cannot have real freedom; freedom means release, to be freed from all bondage, all heavy burden, all oppression, and all enslavement—John 8:32, 36; Gal. 5:1; 2 Cor. 3:17.
B. Everything in our life can be a bondage to us, and we can be slaves under any matter—John 8:34; cf. 1 Cor. 6:12.
C. First, Satan captured us; then he came to dwell in us as the inciter, the instigator, of our sins; the result is that he has become our illegal master, and we have become his captives to the extent that we are unable to do good and can only commit sins—Rom. 7:14; 1 John 5:19:
1. If a man does not have God, whatever he tries to enjoy apart from God is dog food, refuse, and dung—Phil. 3:7-9;cf. 2 Pet. 2:22.
2. Satan is called Beelzebul, which means "the lord of the dunghill," from Beelzebub, meaning "the lord of flies"; Satan specializes in leading sinners like flies to feed on dung—Matt. 10:25; 12:24, 27; 2 Kings 1:2.
3. Although deep in his heart no one wants to sin, everyone eventually sins; no one has control over himself, and everyone has become a slave of sin—Rom. 7:18-23; John 8:34.
III. Paul's desperate cry in Romans 7:24 is answered in Romans 8:2, which says that the law of the Spirit of life has freed us in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death; this is the freedom of Christ as the jubilee:
A. We can be released and have real freedom only by enjoying Christ as the life-giving Spirit; only those who enjoy God do not commit sin and are really free, living a life of liberty, release, and freedom from bondage—John 8:36:
1. The law of the Spirit of life releases us from the law of sin and of death; this law is the Lord Himself, who passed through death and resurrection to become the life-giving Spirit—Rom. 8:2.
2. If we do not enjoy the Lord sufficiently, we will still be in bondage to many things; making up our mind will not work; we must continually come to the Lord to eat and enjoy Him—1 Cor. 1:9; Rev. 2:7; Isa. 55:1-2.
3. Only those who enjoy God do not practice sin and are really free—John 8:11-12, 24, 28, 31-36.
4. Christ as the jubilee frees us from our poverty, captivity, blindness, and oppression—Eccl. 1:2, 14; 3:11; Phil. 3:8; 2 Pet. 2:22; Luke 12:21; Rev. 3:17.
B. Paul made a great discovery in receiving the revelation of the Triune God being processed through incarnation, human living, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to become the law of the Spirit of life installed in our spirit—Rom. 8:3, 11, 34, 16.
C. The law of the Spirit of life is the automatic principle and spontaneous power of the divine life; it is the natural characteristic and the innate, automatic function of the divine life.
D. A Christian should not live by the power of his will but by the power of the inner law of the Spirit of resurrection life in his spirit; this law possesses the greatest power; it overcomes death, transcends death, and is not bound by death—7:19; Matt. 26:41; Eph. 1:19-23; Col. 1:28-29; 2 Cor. 1:8-9; John 11:25; Heb. 7:16; Acts 2:24; Rev. 1:18:
1. In Romans 7 Paul describes the wretchedness of his trying to do good under the law; he needed the Lord as the compassionate Samaritan-Neighbor to care for him as a fallen and law-stricken sinner by dispensing Himself into him as the law of the Spirit of life for the reality of the Body of Christ—vv. 24-25; Luke 10:25-37.
2. We must see that sin and death are a law in us and that our willpower cannot overcome this law—Rom. 7:15-16, 18-21.
3. If we have not seen that sin is a law and that our will can never overcome this law, we are trapped in Romans 7; we will never arrive at Romans 8.
4. Every life has a law and even is a law; God's life is the highest life, and the law of the Spirit of life is the highest law—Prov. 30:19a; Deut. 32:11-12; Isa. 40:30-31.
5. The divine birth has transferred us into a new realm, the realm of the divine life with its law in our spirit, a realm in which there is no sin, world, or flesh:
a. In this realm all victories are spontaneous, automatic, unconscious, and effortless because the law of the Spirit of life is upholding us, not our own will.
b. We have the law of the Spirit of life indwelling our spirit as the presence of God, the speaking of God, the meeting with God, and the dispensing of God—Heb. 8:10; Rom. 3:25; Exo. 25:22.
E. We can cooperate with the installed and inner operating law of the Spirit of life by exercising our spirit to "switch on" this law so that we can enjoy Christ as the freedom and living of the jubilee—Phil. 2:12-13; Rom. 8:2, 4-6, 13-16, 23; 5:10, 17; 1 Tim. 4:7; 2 Tim. 4:22.
F. Apart from the "switch" of our spirit, we have no way to apply the processed Triune God as the "heavenly electricity" in us, but praise the Lord that we have a switch and that we know where it is—Prov. 20:27; Zech. 12:1; Rom. 8:16!
G. The best way to switch on the divine and mystical "current" of the flowing Spirit in our spirit is to call on the name of the Lord Jesus—1 Cor. 12:3b; Rom. 10:12-13.
H. When we contact the Spirit through the exercise of our spirit, we enjoy Christ as all the myriad and rich aspects of the jubilee—8:4.
I. Paul was a person who switched on the law of the Spirit of life by serving God in his spirit out of his first love for the Lord—1:9; 5:5; 8:35-39; Rev. 2:4:
1. To love the Lord with the first love is to give Him the first place in all things and in all matters, regarding Him as everything in our life—Col. 1:18b, 10.
2. When God comes into us and comes out of us, that is our service to Him; we work together with Christ in the churches, where we render our first love to Him—S. S. 7:12; 2 Cor. 6:1a; Phil. 3:3; Mark 12:30.
3. When we love the Lord with the first love, we do the first works—works that issue from and express the first love; only those works that are motivated by the first love are gold, silver, and precious stones—Rev. 2:4-5; 1 Cor. 3:12; 15:10, 58.
4. Christ's love of affection constrains us to live to Him and to die to Him—2 Cor. 5:14-15; Rom. 14:7-9.
J. By setting our mind on the spirit, we enjoy Christ as the jubilee—"the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace"—8:6.
K. The jubilee in Romans 8 is the reality of the Body of Christ—the corporate living of the perfected God-men—displayed in Romans 12 through 16; this reality consummates in the New Jerusalem; thus, Romans 8 is the focus of the entire Bible and the center of the universe:
1. God accomplishes His economy by dispensing Himself into us as the law of the Spirit of life—vv. 2, 6, 10-11; Rev. 22:1-2a.
2. The law of the Spirit of life constitutes us to be the members of the Body of Christ, with all kinds of functions—Col. 2:19; Eph. 4:11, 16; Rom. 12:4-8.
3. Through the spontaneous, automatic function of the law of the Spirit of life within us, we are enabled to know God, gain God, and thereby live God, causing us to be constituted with God that we may become His increase and His enlargement to be His fullness for His expression—Eph. 1:22-23; 3:19-21.
IV. The living of the jubilee is a living in the enjoyment of Christ, a living of enjoying God as our inheritance and real freedom—Acts 26:18; John 8:36:
A. To be in the jubilee is to eat the Lord Jesus as the real produce of the good land, take Him as our dwelling place for our rest, and be freed from the slavery of sin and from the bondage of law and religion—6:57; Deut. 8:7-10; Col. 1:12; John 15:5; Psa. 16:5; 90:1; Rom. 6:6-7; Gal. 5:1.
B. The only way to be released from the three kinds of labor in human life—the labor to be a good person, the labor of anxiety, and the labor of suffering—is to take Christ as our enjoyment, satisfaction, and rest—Rom. 7:24—8:2; Phil. 4:5-7; 2 Cor. 12:9.
C. The Christian life should be a life full of enjoying the Lord, a life full of joy and praises; when we enjoy the Lord fully, He becomes our jubilee:
1. The tone of an overcoming living is the tone of rejoicing, thanking, and praising God continually—1 Thes. 5:16-18; Psa. 50:14, 23.
2. The overcoming life can survive only in an environment of thanksgiving and praise—1 Thes. 5:18; Col. 3:17; Psa. 106:12; 2 Chron. 20:20-22.
D. The living of the jubilee is a life in which we take God Himself, Christ Himself, in every situation; then He becomes the primary factor and center in us to lead us and overrule all the troubles of human life—John 6:16-21; Col. 1:17b, 18b.
E. Paul learned the secret of living in the jubilee, the secret of gaining Christ in any kind of environment—Phil. 4:5-7, 11-13.
F. Because everything is under His sovereignty, we should pray, "Lord, fill me, gain me, and possess me; no matter what my outward situation is, I just want to enjoy You."
G. We need to be today's ministers and witnesses by living and proclaiming the gospel—Christ as the jubilee of grace—for the accomplishing of God's eternal economy—Acts 26:16-19.
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