Tremendous Blessedness in Jesus

1 Corinthians 1:30   (KJV)   30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

1 Corinthians 1.30 - Tremendous Blessedness in JesusThe greatest blessing we’ve received when we placed our full dependence on Jesus for our salvation and surrendered our lives to Him is Jesus Himself. With Him and in Him is attached so many other blessings that are also of immeasurably great value—definitely not as great as Jesus, but tremendously great nonetheless.

When we hear believers say “I’m eternally grateful to God,” it isn’t a simple, thoughtless, and trivial parroting of a Christian cliché; there’s enormous weight and truth in that short statement that genuine believers understand. To have the very wisdom of God living in us—having the mind of Christ—how can anyone grasp the magnitude of its worth? To be made the righteousness of God—that’s a lot to process for those of us who know and humbly admit how spiritually bankrupt we are when left to ourselves. To be sanctified—to know that we’ve been set apart for God’s special purpose, washed, cleaned up, continually being cleaned up, and will be sufficiently cleaned up—prepared for the meeting with our Lord. To be redeemed—purchased back from and for God, restored in freedom, spiritual authority and dominion. Who can equal to such experience?

Dear Lord, to You, we really are eternally grateful. There surely is no life better than the life of a believer.

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When Clueless

Luke 23:35   (KJV)   35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.

Both the people and the leaders expected Jesus to save Himself as an unambiguous proof of Him being the Christ. They were amiss. God’s chosen Messiah came not to save Luke 23.35 - When CluelessHimself, but to seek and to save the seemingly helpless and hopeless lost. He did it not by saving Himself from death on the cross, but by the exact opposite—not saving Himself, by giving His life—shedding His most precious blood—as a ransom payment for our sins.

God said, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). He often does things in ways that transcends our expectations and baffles our imaginations. But they always astonishingly yield the best results. It’s because of this that the saying “Let go and let God” isn’t just a good cliché to us; it’s our lifestyle.

Our only wise God and Savior, we humble ourselves before you. Please open our eyes, our hearts, and our understanding to the wonders of Your ways. Help us to never doubt You, but to always trust Who You are and how You do things. We won’t come to a point when we’ll understand all Your purposes in every turn of events, but we can always trust You in all of them. You have repeatedly shown us Your inexhaustible creativity. You have assured us of Your unquestionable and unending love. We depend on You and act on those things You’ve plainly revealed to us; we depend on You as well even in times when we don’t have a clue as to what’s going on.

 

Zeal for Good Works

Titus 2:14   (KJV)   14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Is this Scripture in the New Testament? Is it in the age of grace? The answer to both questions is obviously “yes.” Under the New Covenant in the age of grace, good works Titus 2.14 - Zealous for Good Worksstill matter to God. Being zealous of good works is an attitude that characterizes those who are truly His.

The passage is explicit: the reasons or at least two of the reasons why our precious Lord Jesus gave Himself  for us is  to redeem us—pay for—our freed from all iniquity, lawlessness, or wickedness, and to purify us being His peculiar, unique or special people.

Why is this very important—to me at least? Why do I want to address these supposedly obvious issues? It’s because preaching, teaching, or exhortations on obedience, holiness, purity, and good works are criticized in some circles, as if right understanding of grace necessitates discarding of these necessary pursuits.

God’s love, God’s grace, and believers’ good works and uprightness aren’t enemies: “11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:1-13).

Justified

Romans 3:24   (KJV)   24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

We all have hope of forgiveness, cleansing, and salvation—this despite the truth that all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard of holiness. It’s a Romans 3.24 - Justifieduniversally acceptable cliché: “No one’s perfect.”  We don’t take that truth for granted, and it’s important to see its more serious side.  We make mistakes; that’s part of our imperfection; not all mistakes are sinful.  But we’ve all sinned, and we walk away from God when we sin—we separate ourselves from Him—knowingly or not. That’s a consequence that can lead to a terrifying eternal condition. We don’t underestimate the unimaginable horrors of such existence.

Hope—that’s what we find in our precious Lord Jesus—hope that has become a reality for those of us who have placed our full dependence on Him for our salvation, us who have surrendered to His Lordship. How blessed we are really for having our offenses not counted against us, for having our sins forgiven.  Happiness—or even joy, can’t describe what we feel in our hearts.  Imagine having the Son of God paying the ransom price for our freedom.

We can stop imagining. This isn’t a wishful thinking either.  It’s more real than many people think.  We’ve sinned; we still do, but to be counted just as if we’ve never even sinned is a blessing beyond measure.  Don’t get me wrong; the Bible never teaches a time when God ever stopped being just; He won’t ever because He can’t not be Himself.  Being just is His nature. He can justify us freely despite our sins because our precious Lord Jesus paid for all of them.  Yes, our sins didn’t go unpunished.  We may have gotten “off-the-hook,” but only through the loving-kindness, mercy, and grace of Him who took the punishment (even death) in our place.

Redeemed from Death

Psalm 49:15   (KJV)   15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.

Everyone needs redemption—physically and spiritually, except the saints who will be alive when our Lord Jesus returns. There are at least two major pernicious human conditions that Jesus alone can remedy: sin and death; one is a result of the other. God alone can Psalm 49.15 - Redeemed from Deathforgive and erase our sins. He already paid for them through the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross. In and through Him, although we die, we will live again,

We’re not the ones without hope and assurance of forgiveness and salvation. Although it’s true that there will still be times when we sin, even as believers, even as saints, we’ve already placed the hope for out eternal salvation in Him. He’s perfect and will forever be perfect. He loves us so much that He gave us His Son Jesus Who willingly let go of His glorious existence to live a perfect life and die a sacrificial death—for us. We continue to depend on Him and Him alone.

We have peace because we know our Lord won’t fail. When the time comes, He will call us from the grave, and up from there we will rise to die no more. That’s a reality based on His dependability. Our total and absolute redemption through our bodily resurrection is more valuable than anything this world offers. Others pursue riches, fame, relationships, and even the fountain of youth. They even succeed in some. But everything here is fleeting—like a flower: no matter how pretty, they eventually wilt away.

We don’t envy them; those things may be important from the perspective of a temporal life, but we possess the greatest riches in eternity, or shall we say, the true riches.

Slaves to Children

Galatians 4:5   (KJV)   5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

What a blessing! What a change! I don’t know if many of us understand the gravity or importance of this truth. We were slaves; now were children. We were under the law, but our Lord Jesus, in His perfect timing, came, and bought our freedom. We’re not just galatians-4-5-from-slaves-to-childrenpretend children; we are adopted—real children. It’s true, not a lot of people realize or admit that we were slaves—slaves to the law, to sin, to the enemy’s whims.

It’s not easy for some to admit any kind of bondage; it’s either embarrassing or discouraging. But it’s okay; those still in bondage can be free; those of us in Jesus are now free. And the great thing about it is that we’re not just freed slaves; we are now God’s children. Some may ask: “Aren’t we all God’s children?” Yes and no. Yes, we’re all God’s children in the sense that God is the Father of creation. We’re all children by virtue of creation. And no, we’re not all God’s children in the sense that only those who place their absolute dependence on Jesus as their Savior, and surrender their lives to Him as Lord are God’s spiritual children.

We as His spiritual children are totally and humbly grateful for this wonderful honor and privilege. Oh, to be able to praise God and worship Him in His greatness, majesty, and splendor, and then to address Him as “Dad,”—how comforting; how inspiring; how encouraging.

Song of Justice

Revelation 5:9   (KJV)   9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation

What has become almost a slogan to us and the local church I go to are these words: “There’s no life better than that of a believer.” At times others may wonder: how can that be true? Believers are objects of ridicule, rejection, attacks, torture, and even death. This is true for believers—whatever part of the world we find ourselves in. We don’t deny this; in revelation-5-9-song-of-justicefact, the more real the persecutions are, the more we see the comforting truth in that slogan. Despite all the sufferings unique to being God’s people, we still wonderfully enjoy a life of love, joy, peace, power, and freedom.

Who else enjoys that kind of reality? Where else do we find that? For many others, when they suffer, they don’t see life in a good light. But we believers still surprisingly do. Sheep among wolves and being enemies of the world where we’re operating isn’t a pretty picture seen from common eyes. We’re fully aware of that, but we know that the glory that awaits us is superbly and inestimably much greater than the sufferings we’re undergoing right now.

In the natural eyes, we look weird—even crazy. We love our enemies; we bless those who curse us; we pray for those who persecute us; we don’t rejoice in the misfortunes of those who attack us. It’s not that those of God are void of any sense of justice; we are. That’s why there’s singing in the presence of God for the worthiness of our Lord Jesus to break the seals and open the scroll. These things are associated with judgments. Why the singing? Praise God; we who unjustly suffer here on earth for being a part of His redeemed are spared from these horrendous judgments. This is the time of our much awaited vindication. In fact, this is the time when the meek, gentle-hearted martyrs will pray for vengeance—and that desire and action is welcomed.

We excitedly look forward to that day. Our precious Lord Jesus will be revealed in His awesome splendor and glory. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess—even His enemies—that our Lord is Lord. They have to; it will be very obvious. Judgments will be poured out, but not to the blood-bought saints. No, we won’t be suffering then: no more sorrow, tears, sickness, pain, death; we will be rejoicing.