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 God Finally Comes

Ezekiel 37:28   (KJV)   28 And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

A day is coming when God’s sanctuary—His temple—will be among us; God Himself will be living here on earth—in Jerusalem. On that day, His people will really be His people, Ezekiel 37.28 - When God Finally Comesand God will really be our God.

We won’t ever lose our free will. But God will have a way of making Israel and all His people holy. He has a way of changing our hearts from that of hard, stony, and stubborn hearts to that of tender, sensitive, and submissive hearts. He has a way of giving us a new spirit through the presence of His Holy Spirit so that we will be obedient and faithful. We will be holy, not just positionally, but practically.

Oh what a day that will be—when God Himself is our ultimate King and Shepherd, and God’s people are really walking in holiness and righteousness; when God’s enemies are humbled, defeated, and silenced; when peace, love, and righteousness rule in the earth. This is not just a dream; it will have its fulfillment. Maranatha—come, oh Lord; the Lord is coming!!!

Sin: Hidden or Forsaken?

Proverbs 28:13   (KJV)   13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Hiding or concealing sin has an adverse effect or consequence: it causes some kind of failure. Conversely, confessing and forsaking sins has a positive or favorable consequence: mercy—withholding of corresponding punishment or penalty.

Proverbs 28.13 - Sin - Hidden or ForsakenInstead of regarding or hiding sins in our hearts and being more concerned about effectively covering them to avoid being caught, we confess them quickly and sincerely. There may be discussions as to the extents of the meaning of “not prosper,” but regardless of anyone’s interpretation, we would like to avoid it at all cost. We sin—that alone is always heartbreaking as believers, why linger there?

For others to come to a point when they would rather cover their sins than confess them is a proof that they’re already treading a very dangerous ground in their Christian walk—it’s a clear indicator that there’s a part of their walk where they are already off-course—they’ve been derailed and need to do everything to get right back on track as quickly as possible. We don’t hold on to sin; we discard and throw away every sin from us because they weigh us down and sidelines us. We don’t want to miss out on anything that our good God has for us. We desire the prosperity He wants us to have.

The more we’re tempted to cover our sins, to sugar-coat them, the greater the need for us to get rid of them as quickly as we would a burning coal or a ticking bomb in our hands. Mercy is a better choice than failure. Some people feel like they get away with it because they’re still succeeding even as they continue secretly sinning. But they don’t know what much greater benefits the Lord would have poured out on them had they chosen to walk faithfully instead. Besides, there really is nothing hidden; men may not see everything, but God sees all things. He already declared that there’s nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and that our sins will find us out. Why risk it?

Truth be told: we don’t ever want to find ourselves with a slightest inclination of covering our sins. We’d rather live in His pleasure.

Free and Obedient Hearts

1 Chronicles 29:18   (KJV)   18 O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:

Can our sovereign and loving God work in our hearts—people’s hearts—without violating our free will?  I guess He can.  We may not fully understand how He does it, but He can.  Otherwise, there’s no point praying for Him to make His people want to obey 1 Chronicles 29.18 - Free and Obedient HeartsHim.  We’ve seen clear examples and explicit passages in the Scriptures showing this.  God changed the heart of Saul (1 Sam. 10:9); He prophesied about giving His people a new heart (Jer. 24:7); He directs the king’s heart like rivers of water (Prov. 21:1); David prayed for God to give him a clean heart (Ps. 51:10).

Yes He can, and Yes He does work in people’s hearts.  This is not however a removal of free will, or cancelling of our responsibility.  In fact, we see clearly in the Scriptures how Saul turned away from God, how Solomon turned his heart towards the gods of his wives, how one king after another chose to rebel against God, and how His Old Covenant people repeatedly disobeyed God.  We as His people weren’t made robots when we placed our full dependence on Him to save us and surrendered our lives to Him.

We were made new creations (2 Cor. 5:17), but we still obviously have a choice whether we obey or disobey Him, whether we abide in Him or not, whether we live faithfully or not, whether we deny Him or not.  God won’t fail; if He says He’ll give us new hearts, He will. In fact, for believers, He already has.  What we do with our God-given new hearts is up to us.  As for me, and I pray my entire household, we will worship and serve Him faithfully—wholeheartedly.

We’ll be Prepared

1 Thessalonians 5:23   (KJV)   23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It’s commonly known that we’re a tripartite being—consisting of three parts: body, soul, and spirit.  Our body is the material, tangible, and visible part; our soul is composed of our intellect, emotion, and volition (or will); our spirit is the part of our being that 1 Thessalonians 5.23-24 - We'll be Preparedconnects with God.  Prior to our salvation, our bodies and soul catered much to sin, and our spirits were dead; we were separated from God.

When we placed our faith in our Lord Jesus, when we placed our full dependence on Him for our forgiveness and salvation, when we surrendered the throne of our lives to Him, we were made alive; our spirits were reborn. We’re become new creations; the old “us” are gone; the new has come.  We’re now experiencing and enjoying eternal life, seated with our Lord in heavenly places (the full meaning and implications of which He alone knows).

This doesn’t mean we’re now in our full heavenly state—no, not yet. Our bodies and souls still show signs of many flaws and imperfections.  Although, we’re slowly changing even in these areas—from glory to glory, He’s changing us into the image of His Son—our dear Lord and Savior Jesus.  I’ve heard it often, “we’re not sinless; we just sin less.”  Not to be used as an excuse or in pride, but the statement is true.  We humbly admit: we’re not perfect—yet.  But we don’t fear.  We have different levels of maturity and different rates of growth, but when our Lord returns, we’ll all be made ready. We who despite our “working out of our salvation,” and despite our “striving” and wanting to be holy for our Father in heaven is holy, still mess up, will be “qualified” because: “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (v.24).

Crucified Flesh

Galatians 5:24   (KJV)   24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Yes, our inner struggle against sin is constant. This is true even among the saintliest of saints among us. This is not in any way an attempt to undermine our brothers and sisters in Christ who believe in sinless perfection, that we can attain total sanctification while galatians-5-24-crucified-fleshwe’re still here on earth. Bless their hearts if this is a real experience to them. As for me, and in my humble personal understanding of God’s Word regarding this issue, our struggle will ultimately end when this flesh is completely done away with.

And praise God; that day will come. But we don’t have to wait for that day for us to live in victory. There will be battles against our flesh, but these battles can turn to one victory after another. This is possible because true, genuine believers—followers of Jesus—we, have nailed our flesh and its affections or passions, lusts and ungodly desires to the cross. We render our flesh dead. We follow the Spirit’s leading.

When we allow God’s precious Holy Spirit to take lead, and we follow His guidance, we avoid doing the detestable dictates of our sinful nature. Evil desires become abhorrent to us. As we continue to grow in the Lord, as we continue to taste and see His goodness, we lose our appetite towards ungodliness. We experience the beauty and wonder of a life of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. What’s better than that?

Cleansed and One

Acts 10:15   (KJV)   15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

We can absolutely trust in God because He is dependable; He doesn’t gravitate between two opposing opinions; He knows exactly what’s true and right; He knows exactly what to do. He doesn’t violate His Words; He always does what He says He will do. He doesn’t acts-10-15-cleansed-and-onebreak His promises; all His promises, in Jesus, are “yes” and “amen.” Our God is immutable; He never changes. What may seem as changes are part of His grand design.

God has absolute, irrevocable, and unchangeable commands; He also has dispensational dealings. Although there are myriad discussions regarding this issue, God’s different dealings with His people throughout history is obvious. There’s definitely a big difference between the age of innocence during the time of our very first parents—Adam and Eve, and our present dispensation of grace.

One of the “revealed-as-needed” truths in God’s plan is the oneness of the Jews and Gentiles. The wall of separation has been torn down through our Lord Jesus Christ. God has created ONE new “man.” All of us in Christ are cleansed, and all are one. Jew and Gentile, man and woman, young and old, rich and poor; democrats, independents, libertarians, green party, republicans, etc.; Americans, Europeans, Asians, etc.—all of us who have placed our full dependence on Jesus for our salvation and have bowed our hearts before Him in surrender—with all our differences—are forgiven, cleansed, accepted, and we belong to one spiritual family.