The residual work of Christ
In 1st Corinthians 15, Paul said that Christ must work until he has put all his enemies under his feet then God will be all in all. This shows us that Paul was earlier on in his walk because in Ephesians he declares that he who descended also ascended to fill all in all, as an expired event. Paul displays two contrasting views, which he does quite frequently. Paul didn’t see Christ’s work as being accomplish and “fulfilled” yet because he still had some Pharisee in him. You see the Pharases expected a carnal kingdom , of which Christ told them at His inquisition “My kingdom is not from here” and My kingdom does not come with observation. (Luke 17.20) Paul was still in transion and did not yet believe in the finality of the completed works of Christ that “all things are fulfilled, the Kingdom of God is at hand”.
It was the writer of Hebrews who opened up with the concept that Jesus Christ finished His work and is now waiting for His enemies to become His footstool, meaning He is done with the battle that is still being played out with Him being the Victor, without leaving His throne. Maybe like an athelete who is able to throw an object, then turn and sit down to receive the trophy while the object is in the air.
Unlike Paul who believed there were still tasks to be done for Christ to fulfill, to “fill all in all” However by the time he wrote Ephesians he had more revelations, a better understanding and saw more of what Christ had accomplished at the cross with the sacrifice of sacrifices, of which Christ publically announced with His last carnal breath “it is finished”. In other words, mission accomplished, salvation is secure to all would be believers, no additional work need be done for salvation but for us to announce, believe, and to learn to appropriate it, in this day and every day of the known creation that “today is the day of salvation” that today is the day to receive the salvation of God and sit with Him there. This is the good news.
If you remember, Paul was a Pharisee and son of Satan, participating in the killing of Christians as is evidenced by his participation of Stephens death. From this he needed to be saved.
Upon that initial encounter Christ told Paul that “for this reason I have appeared to you, for you to testify of what I have shown you, and what I will yet reveal to you” showing that Christ has multiple visitations, not just 1st and second comings. “He appeared once at the end of the ages and put away sin in the flesh. That salvation is a work in progress. Fortunately for us, it’s culmination can be activated this side of bodily death, with our invisible tool we call faith, which is our imbellical cord to the living God.
You see Christ could not return to the father if He did not finish his work. And what was His work? It was His name. His name traced back to the Hebrew means “salvation “ because that was the job the Father gave Him to do, that was the name He wore. His name was His title.
Under the Salvation umbrella are His works of awakening, resurrecting, renewing, building up and seating with Him to fullfil the verse for us to be with Him.
But because people think salvation means to only be saved from the fires of Hell, they are trapped in their old man waiting for another saving from another Jesus, presumably the same Jesus a second time, they overlook the real purpose why the Son of God became flesh and dwelled among us. He came to deliver us. Not by a jet or a train but by the Holy Spirit.
He did not come here to accomplish something for Himself, because He is unchangeable. No, He came here to show us the way to the Father. This is the Heavenly Calling. For this reason He is “the way the truth and the light”. Who also said “follow Me that where I am you may be also” inferring that we could accomplish this in our lifetime, during our human pilgrimage. This is all part of the salvation project. And His name means Savior, deliverer and restorer. From what to what? From where you fell to where you belong. Which is? “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” because Gods Glory is the capacity of each human, and the benchmark by which you are judged, so it should also be your pursuit.
The salvation package takes us from the fall to the glory restored in us to be considered completely saved, salvation project done, while you are in your human body. Just look at John in his Revelation 22. He saw someone looking so much like Christ Himself. Upon that person perceiving John’s confusion said “Do not worship me for I am one of thy brethren of those who keep the testimony of Christ. Worship Him”. Showing us that this is not a second coming concept or an aquisition of something after bodily death. This is all part and parcel of the salvation process gifted to those who follow Christ. That is our God given destiny. As He prayed to “Father I want those whom you have given Me to be with Me where I am. And Father, I want them to behold My Glory, and Father, the Glory you have given Me I have given them. And Father, I speak this not only to those who are with Me here today, but to all who believe in their word. That they may be one with us that the world may believe”. Meaning us if you are listening.
Can you believe this? Can you have this kind of faith? This is the gift given and your challenge and responsibility to aquire this side of bodily death and judgement because “today is the day of salvation” for the time is coming when the door will be closed and the books will be opened and each ones work will be manifest. What you did with your hands will vanish. What you did in the Spirit of your mind is your eternal reality. Send your efforts forward.
A salvation project includes many procedures for saving, washing, rebuilding and making sure everything works as designed and everything is on order. That is what a salvation process does. That is what Christ does with us. And if Christ returned to the Father before salvation was fully performed from the fall to the resurrection, all the way to Glory restored, He could not be glorified but He is. And because He is, we to can participate in His Glory.
This is a term easily understood with sports. Until the last game is played and there is a champion, there is no glory. If there is left one foe standing, the battle continues, but Christ was victorious over Satan sin and death and gives that to us even now. How. Through the gospel, our air dropped package from Heaven.
With this in mind, What then becomes our posture and purpose.
We then as saints and the Elect of God, have been given a residual work. Not that we conquer any enemies of our own devising, but we recieve the victory Christ obtained during His tenure on planet Earth in human form, having neutralizing them at the cross then He gifted it to us to share in the victory celebration.
So then the residual work of Christ to be done in every age by His people who testify that We are of the brethren who keep the testimony of Christ, worship Him. The testimony is “it is finished”. Then we help them learn to appropriate it. This is the shared victory and Glory of God.
His work is so eternally done that He need not repeat anything. If he has to come back and start another work he wasn’t finished either because he said to the father to return to him the glory he had before we came. And in order for him to have that Glory, there could be no enemies left to defeat. Scripture says he defeated Satan sin and death and therefore the only enemies now our enemies of unbelief. Each person has to deal with unbelief one by one, each in their own order. (1 Corinthians 15)
So like Paul we ask ourself well how is it that we still see wickedness abound and people need to be saved and Christ is finished with his work? Well this is now the work of the saints. When God does work He does it once and Christ does the works of the Father once and He is finished. This has been past on to the saints now. It is called the gospel. The gospel is the residual work of Christ, and Jude says to contend earnestly for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints, us. Others have worked and we have entered into that work. Unless you are part of the crowd who sits and waits for a presumed second coming, and you are found AWOL.
You see it like Christ last discourse with the father while he was in the flesh he asked for some things. He asked the father to keep us from evil any ask the father to give us the glory. And to make sure that the disciples didn’t mistake it just for themselves he said and father I pray not only for those who are here today but those who will believe on them through their word. Showing for us a baton pass. Showing that us the elect as we reiterate The words of Christ oh, it’s as if the words of Christ back then come to life today for you. Meaning that everything Christ prayed in that section of the Gospel, John 17, is available for you to activate for yourself today.
This is why Jude said that we must contend earnestly for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints. Because Christ is not coming back to renew it. And because Christ already dealt with Satan’s end in death, the ruler of this world has been judged,if we do not believe this, and we believe Christ has to come back and do another work, then we become despisers of the Christ of the Cross and do not believe that was powerful enough to save. And we find ourselves in the same seat as Jews of old who rejected the Christ of that day.and because Christ who shed his blood through the eternal spirit and entered in not a temple on Earth but into the Holy Holy of Heaven now to appear on our behalf, and has delivered to us the ability to enter the throne room of Grace to find Mercy in time of need, then let not anyone think that they have been left without help. Even a scripture concurs that in the day of salvation I have heard you I have helped you! That today is the day of salvation today is the day to be saved, today is the day to be resurrected and reconciled to God the Father to these practices in this way.
This shows us that Paul the apostle was confused about Christ having to do another work. He didn’t realize the baton pass yet that he was supposed to continue on the task as well as all that would believe in his words too.
so we followed Paul through his overcoming his obstacles in his day, and again in ours so that we too can say “ Today is the day of salvation “ and that today “ The Kingdom of God is at hand.