Monday, August 17, 2009

The Holy Spirit part 2

Before we look at how the Holy Spirit applies these truths to our lives let’s first look at two statements of truth that satan wants to hide from you. We have seen that satan uses deception and lies in order to keep you from Jesus who is life, abundant life. The first of the two truths almost everyone has heard yet only a few apprehend it for themselves. It is summed up in one beautiful passage in the book of John

As Jesus is speaking to His disciples, specifically Thomas, he sums up this beautiful reality

Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Joh 14:7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him."

The truth is not something we can sit on a mantle nor is it something that we figure out by education…the Truth is a person, the Truth is God incarnate. He alone can give life for He alone is life. He will not show you the way because He is the way. This beautiful fact comes into fullness in the only begotten Son Jesus Christ. I love how Peter sums it up as he speaks to a group of religious people.

Act 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

Salvation isn’t a way or a system or even a belief…salvation is a person. One of the many misleading things being taught today is salvation by works. Many a person has come to an alter and been asked a myriad of different questions pertaining to the doctrines of Christianty and as long as the man or woman says “Yes, I believe those things” we pronounce them saved. Saved by what? Saved by a magical prayer or a saying you believe a few fundamental things about Jesus. It is backward…salvation is not only of the Lord but it is the Lord.

1Jn 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

The next truth that many well meaning Christian men and women have never come to know is essential to understanding who we are in Christ. Christ came to set us free yet many have had a sort of religious bondage when they come to Christ by the grace of God. They are saved by grace yet run right back into the “you need to’s”. Now that you are saved by grace you must read your bible, you must pray, you must give, you must evangelize and you must come to church. Yet it almost seems as if it is a bait and switch. I am not saying that the five things listed above aren’t profitable for those in Christ, no they are very profitable but we get the mindset that we have now come to Christ and must work to please Him.

The truth that satan wants to hide from you is that God is well pleased with you. When one comes to Christ and is born again the old has passed away and they are new creations in Him. Their sins are not only forgiven but they now have the righteousness of Christ. Justification is not “just as if I haven’t sinned”…it is so much more! Justification is that not only are all my sins taken away but the Lord Jesus is my righteousness because I am in Him.

1Co 1:30 But from Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption;

I love how Steve McVey put it in his book Grace Walk, pg 42

For many years I didn’t really know who I was. I knew that I had trusted Christ when I was eight years old and that I was going to heaven. But I lived my life under an assumed identity. It was a false identity that I accepted because of the power of suggestion that came to me from the world, the flesh and the devil. I knew that I was a Christian, but I really didn’t understand just how much my identity had changed when I was saved.

Understanding our identity is absolutely essential to our success in living the Christian life. No person can consistently behave in a way that is inconsistent with the way he perceives himself. Next to a knowledge of God, a knowledge of who we are is by far the most important truth we can possess.

So there you have it two truths that satan does not want us to get our hearts around. The truth of Jesus and who He is and how much His love for you right now can save you, transform you and give you abundant life. And who you are in Christ…you are fully loved, fully accepted. Your identity doesn’t rest in what you do but who you are. When at once we realize who we are in Christ we will work from the point of “grace and peace”.

Stop believing the lies of who you are that satan bombards you with and start believing the gospel of who you are in Christ…and in believing and understanding you identity that will propel you to love Him and serve Him all the more.

Col 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Col 3:2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Col 3:3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Col 3:4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

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