Faith

Our Position in Christ – Christ is the Center


Walk as Children of LightI have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 

Galatians 2:20 NASB

Central to the Christian faith is this one fact:  Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God.  God sent the Son to fill the law.  That law is that the wages of sin is death.  Jesus died on the cross, nailing the law to the cross.  If you read yesterday’s blog, “Our Position in Christ” you read that our sin died with Christ in Hell.  If you accept this mystery, you understand that your sin was put to death when Christ was put to death, as He became Sin and took on the wrath of God in our place.   Where you were dead in your sin, and had no hope of salvation, you are now alive, you are born again.

You are saved when you believe with all your heart:  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. “ John 3:16 NASB

If you do not accept this free gift, you are still dead: “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”  John 3:18 NASB

You are not condemned after you reject Him.  You are already condemned because you have not yet accepted Him.  This is true because all humans are born dead in sin. We are born cut off from fellowship with the Living God.

Accepting this free gift is what it means to be born again.  You are born in the spirit of God.  You are now a child of God.

CRUCIFIED IN CHRIST

Your old life was put to death.  Just as Jesus proved he has power over sin and death, the Spirit of God moves in you to prove that the same things are dead to you, too.  All life before Christ was dead life.  Because the same power that raised Jesus from the dead nowlives in you, you are a new creation, and the power of the Living God resides in you, giving you real life.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”  II Corinthians 5:17 NASB

Your self was put to death, and the Spirit of God now lives in you.

NO LONGER I, BUT CHRIST

Contrary to popular opinion, salvation is not a community project, nor does it rely on a corporate salvation.  Salvation is as individual as each fingerprint.  No church, committee, group, or government will be there when you are standing before God.   If you are saved, you, as an individual, can claim that you no longer live, but Christ lives in you.

The same power that lived and worked in Jesus Christ is the same power that lives and works in you.  This power will guide you to make you into the Character of Christ.

Ephesians 2:4-6 explains – “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus ” 

The same power that raised Jesus up now lives in you.

THE LIFE YOU NOW LIVE

A changed life is what happens when you genuinely accept this free gift of salvation.  The Spirit of God will work in you to help you overcome the life you left behind.  A changed life is the first evidence the world has to see that the power of God lives in you.  You cannot do this on your own.  If it were possible to do this, there would have been no need of the sacrifice of Christ. We do not have the ability or power to live a sinless life, or a life that is pleasing to the Lord.  Only the Spirit of God living in you can do that.

Things will change.  This is not a works based theology.  This is simply a fact of the power of the spirit of God.  You will change from inside.  The things that did appeal to you, will no longer have that appeal.  The sin that you enjoyed will not have that power over you any more.  This may mean you will lose friends, but it also means you gain new ones.

Because the Spirit of God lives in you, you will no longer be compelled to live any way you wish, but you will desire to live a life that is pleasing to God.  This is also not something you can do for yourself.  It is a gift of God.

Your faith in God, your faith in the Saving Grace of God, through Jesus Christ, is what will live in you.

IDENTITY

We were identified with death before Christ became our Savior and Lord.  Now that you are saved, your identity has changed.  When God sees you, He sees His own beloved child.  You are no longer dead to Him.  The blood of Jesus paid the price of your separation from Him, and you now enjoy open and complete communion with Him.

Romans 8:2 states you are free from the law of Sin and Death – “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”

Your old identity, the “Old Self” as it is referred to in Scripture, is dead.  The new man, the Spirit of God, lives in you.  “…since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him-…”

Your identity is now in Christ.  This is the new self.

THE MAIN THING

Being saved is not about a religion.  it is about a relationship to God because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  The main thing is that it is all about Jesus.  We were not raptured the second we believed because we are to be made into the character of Christ so that others will be saved..

CHRIST IS THE CENTER

Central to our faith is Jesus Christ.  Everything past, present, and future is about Jesus Christ, and what He has done to redeem mankind.  When we are born again, Christ is the center of our existence.  The Spirit of God will move in you to create in you a character that you could not create in yourself.  That character will be the character of Christ.  That character will lead you to do the things of Christ so that others will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, too.

The things you will accomplish because of this new character will be things that are pleasing to God.  Your old self is dead.  You no longer have to live like that again.  The things that were once important to you will no longer be that important.  The more you get into the Word of God (The Bible), and pray, and fellowship with other Christians, the more you will discover your desires will become the desires of God for you.

Keep Christ as your center, and you will grow.  Lay aside all the things that get in the way of your walk with Him.  Pray, read the word, and grow.  Your life doesn’t really begin until you have accepted Christ as your savior.   When you do that, you will discover He is also Lord over your life.  He will lead you places that you never thought were possible, and the life you live will be full, satisfying, and complete.

You will be made into the image of Christ.

WHO LOVED ME AND GAVE HIMSELF UP FOR ME

Jesus death on the cross was not just to defeat Satan.  It was not just to put the letter of the law on the cross.  It was to bring you life.   He did this because of His love for you.  He was holy and pure, and became sin and death, so you can have life and holiness. You were dead before you accepted Christ as your lord and savior.  Now you are alive.

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are already dead.  While your heart beats, let the Spirit of God move you to see what Christ has done for you.

We live because the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us.  This is the free gift…eternal life.

Let’s be about it.

David G. Perkins

sammy.snardfarkle@gmail.com

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Faith

FAITH TO BE RECKLESS


FAITH IS NOT BELIEF WITHOUT PROOF, BUT TRUST WITHOUT RESERVATION.” – Anon

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Heb 11:1 – ESV

FACTOID: “The assurance of things hoped for (elpizomenōn hupostasis). Hupostasis is a very common word from Aristotle on and comes from huphistēmi (hupo, under, histēmi, intransitive), what stands under anything (a building, a contract, a promise). ” From Robertson’s Word Pictures

In this case, it is used as a contract of deed. Faith is the TITLE-DEED of things hoped for. It is the document that states clearly that you can have confidence in God‘s promises.

 FIRST THINGS FIRST

Faith is the Title Deed That says, “Because you have believed in Jesus Christ, you have inherited eternal life.” Almost everyone knows John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” That is the language of the Title-Deed.

The details of that title deed are detailed in the verses that follow:

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18 – ESV

Here you can see that there is spelled out a distinction between who inherits and who doesn’t inherit. Because you have believed, your first inheritance is Eternal Life. Those words are from Christ Himself. You can rest assured of your salvation, which is the language of the second half of the verse: “the conviction of things not seen.” Heb 11:1 – ESV

The number of Humans who have been to Heaven and returned to tell about it are few and far between. Chances are that you and I are not in that group. Because we hold the title deed to an eternal life, we can hold to the conviction that it has already been granted to us. You don’t have to stop what you are doing and go see the real estate. It is already your inheritance. Nothing in the world can take your inheritance away because it was signed over to you in the blood of the one who promised it to you.

BUT WHAT ELSE?

THAT is the bazillion dollar question!

The reason we were not raptured the second we accepted Christ as our Saviour and Lord is because he has a work for us to do here. Jesus has given you the authority to do those things. Jesus said to the Disciples: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12 NASB

Anyone with one eye and half a brain can tell things are going terribly wrong on this planet. THe reason we are still here is so we can bring the gospel to anyone who will listen. We have been given the authority to do that by Jesus Himself. You do NOT need your church’s permission to obey Christ. You do not need anything but a solid understanding of the scripture and faith. And Jesus has guaranteed that you will have all the tools He had at your disposal, PLUS more.

These facts are in the Title-Deed of our inheritance. While we are still here on this planet, we have the promise of salvation, and the promise that, if we believe, and obey, we are empowered to do all that Jesus Himself did to bring others to Himself.

BUT IT IS HARD!

Yes. It is hard. And most likely, people will think you are insane. People will hate you. People will run from you. People will lie about you, try to trip you up, and basically call you nuts…and it may begin with your family.

I can attest before God, I have, on more than one occasion, seen people try to kill me for the sake of the Gospel, but God always delivers. In fact, one of the would be assassins became a Christian, and later his wife became a Christian. Today, they live in California, and have a pretty good church going out there. They reach people that most ordinary Christians would run in fear from.

These things can be done because FAITH is your Title-Deed that assures you that whatever you ask in Jesus name will be done for you, if you are praying in God’s will. This assurance is the conviction of the thing hoped for.

“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. “ – Mat 18:19 NASB

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” – Mat 7:7

“For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” – Mat 7:8

BE RECKLESS ABOUT IT, TOO.

My favorite devotional is written by the daughter of Oswald Chambers. Chambers was the Chaplain for the British Airmen during WWI, while they were stationed in the Saudi deserts. Chambers wrote a diary that later became the famous devotional book called “My Utmost For His Highest”.

In several of the devotionals, Chambers describes this faith, this assurance, this conviction of things hoped for, as something we have to throw ourselves into with “reckless abandon”. Have no thought for yourself image, for your safety, for anything other than being willing to take that one step off the cliff, knowing that God is there to see you through to a path of His design.

There is a child like freedom in this kind of faith. When my daughter was a toddler, she had no problem or hesitation about running as fast as she could and jumping into my arms. She knew without hesitation that I would catch her. We have to put aside our practical worldliness. We have to put aside all concerns for how we will look to others. We just have to have the Joy of our salvation, and the faith that whatever it is that God asked you to do, you can do it with out fear or concern. Jesus promised you that you have eternity as your reward, and all the power in the Kingdom of Heaven to accomplish what God has asked you to do.

Do we really want revival? Start with yourself. Be recklessly abandoned to the assurance of the things hoped for, and stand on the conviction of the things not seen.

We need revival in this land. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to do that thing that God has asked us to do. We can do this because we have our salvation. We have our salvation because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. The fields are ripe for harvest. Let’s be about it.

 

 

 

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