Category: God’s Goodness

Ten – The Completed Work of Christ – p. 418

1 completed work of Christ

July 26

Two) Live by faith (cont.)

…Living by faith begins with faith applied to everything that Jesus has done for us in His death, burial, and resurrection.

There is no doubt that faith does have a future component. Scripture clearly teaches that our faith is applied to the Person of God and, often, to the promises He offers to us. The inspired writer of the letter to the Hebrews teaches us:

Hebr 11 6

But the essence of faith is founded on the principle of the character and nature of God – and the ultimate expression of His character and nature was demonstrated through Jesus’ redemptive work. We can trust God for future things because He has demonstrated His faithfulness in our past, through the work of His Son.

To “live by faith” must begin at the cross of Jesus and be applied because of His death, burial, and resurrection. It is through this work that God’s faithfulness is so clearly defined. It is because He has done everything that needed to be done to secure us as His devoted people, we can be assured that He will do everything that is needed in our future circumstances.

Christ did it all

True faith, Scripturally speaking, is not just “saving” faith – it is “living” faith. It is faith in what God has done, which gives us unshakable confidence in what God is going to do, each and every day of our lives. Faith, for each of us, must begin by looking back to our Savior and to all He has accomplished on our behalf. Although this is a faith that looks back, it applies to everything we believe in the here and now.

It is also this same faith that lifts our confidence into the future. The same God who supplied everything we needed for life and godliness will also supply everything we need for every situation we face in the future. This is our bold confidence in approaching God’s throne…

hebr 4 16

The God Who has shown Himself faithful in meeting our greatest need, will also show Himself faithful in every other need of our lives. Every true Christian should echo the apostle’s words: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Ten – The Completed Work of Christ – p. 394

1 completed work of Christ

June 5

The Gift of… Everything (cont.)

Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2Pet. 1:4)

having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” This phrase is directly connected to the previous thought. In the fulfillment of being privileged to “participate” (connonly share) in the divine nature, we also (at that same moment and by the same divine power) completely escape the corrupting nature and power of this world.

escape

In the original language, this is a reference to something that has already been completed – something already a reality. Not only are we enabled to “participate” in God’s Own nature, but this “common sharing” of His nature accomplishes an indispensable subsequent effect. The work of Jesus has already fully enabled us to live our lives “having escaped” our slavery to sin. The gift of partaking in God’s Own nature also comes with the power to live our lives in complete victory over sin.

VICTORY-OVER-SIN

Sometimes Christians forget that Scripture confidently declares that the power of sin has been rendered powerless through the redemptive work of Jesus. This is exactly as the apostle Paul was inspired to record:

Romans 6 1-6

The gospel of the Kingdom of God tells us that the formidable prison of sin has been infiltrated by the power of a Holy God, its impenetrable gates have been forced open, and its prisoners have been completely liberated – “having escaped” this prison’s relentless and cruel captivity.

God has not only forgiven sinners, He has also liberated sinners.

Permanently.

Completely.

Set Free by Jesus

This is the immense power of the grace of God at work. The goodness of His very nature necessitates a full and complete provision for the task at hand. If our task and purpose, is to reveal God as He really is, then God is required, by His Own Covenant promises, to provide everything necessary to accomplish that task.

The New Covenant is the wonderful news of God’s full and complete provision to restore His people back to our original design and purpose.

Ten – The Completed Work of Christ – p. 390

1 completed work of Christ

May 31

The Gift of… Everything (cont.)

Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2Pet. 1:4)

In our current verse, two phrases describe God’s power-laden promises.

The first is translated as “very great.” The idea is that of surpassing or exceeding greatness. There is greatness – and then there are some things that go far beyond greatness!

Space

The apostle is led to use terminology that captures the grandeur and extravagant quality of God’s gifts. This is so often the nature of God’s promises to us – they are literally life-changing in scale and scope.

A second word is used to describe these exceedingly great promises given to God’s people – it is translated, here, as “precious.” In the original language, this word carries the connotation of extreme wealth, worth, and/or value.

riches

There are riches – and then there are exceedingly abundant riches! God’s promises are not just grand and magnificent, they are also of immense wealth, worth, and value to our lives. They are an extravagant treasure to be held in the highest esteem and honor.

The apostle’s focus is that God’s “very great and precious promises” make us a rich and supremely blessed people. It is through these two descriptive terms that we are to understand what God has done for us – and what He offers to us as His covenant people.

These “full promises” are in accord with the measure of the Person giving them. They are based upon the fact that there is One…

Eph 3 20

When we accompany the ultimate magnificence of Our God with the extensive greatness of the promises that truly reflect His Own splendor, power, and worth – then we begin to comprehend what the apostle is inspired to tell us. These promises are exceedingly great, and extravagantly valuable, because they are reflective of the unparalleled greatness and incomparable worth of Our God.

“so that through them…” It is through these “very great and precious promises” that our covenant with God is to be lived out on a daily basis. God’s promises are the means by which He extends His favor and blessing to us.

As covenant people, our task is to fulfill our commitment (our promise) to God, so in turn He will fulfill His “very great and precious promises” to us. The basis for our covenant with God is extremely simple. It is based upon our heart-surrender to His Kingship over our lives. He is the King. We are His devoted and faithful servants. Through our steadfast surrender and unreserved commitment to the Most High, His amazing promises unfold in, and through, our lives.

surrendered 1

Ten – The Completed Work of Christ – p. 388

1 completed work of Christ

May 29

The Gift of… Everything (cont.)

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.(2Pet. 1:3-4)

“by His Own glory and goodness.” This is where our hearts must abide. Ultimately, our objective as God’s people is to become enamored with God’s Person and character. The true Christian life does not flow out of human efforts in God’s Name – the true Christian life flows out of people who are deeply and passionately in love with God.

Two main aspects are the focus of those who truly love God…

glory of God“His Own Glory” describes Who He is in all His majesty and splendor. He is truly magnificent, beyond any words to adequately describe Him. God is infinitely majestic – and His incomparable magnificence captures the hearts of those who love him, in the core of their beings.

“His own Goodness” is a reference to what He does, and why He does what He does. God is Rainbow over wheat field, nature landscapeinherently good – and everything that is good, naturally proceeds from the goodness of His character. Those who love Him are captivated by His tender care, compassion, and concern. God cannot help Himself – He is infinitely good – and His goodness flows from His heart to all He has created (even to those who do not respond to, or recognize, His goodness!).

The apostle’s focus is that our divine calling is initiated, and extends, from God’s “Own glory and goodness.” Our response is to seek Him, and to know Him as He is, in all His glory and goodness – and to dwell in that “full knowledge.”

Our consuming passion, as true Christians, is always that God would be seen, known, and loved through how we reflect “His Own glory and goodness.” This is at the very center of God’s amazing provision “for life and godliness,” given freely to His people. His “Own glory and goodness” is the reason behind all the work He has done for us, through The Christ.

Ten – The Completed Work of Christ – p. 375

1 completed work of Christ

May 7

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His Own glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3)

The story is told of a man who was living a meager existence, struggling each and every day just to survive. But on one fateful day, this impoverished man received a life-changing notification in his daily mail. The communication revealed the existence of a distant relative, with great wealth, who had recently passed away – without any heirs to his estate. Being the deceased man’s only living relative, the rich man’s estate was bequeathed to this man of meager means. In one remarkable moment, a man of abject poverty became a multi-millionaire. All that remained was to step forward and claim what was now rightfully his.

last-will.jpg

But rather than claim his inherited wealth, the poor man threw the letter away, and went on living life as he had always done, from day to day – steeped in his poverty. He ignored or rejected all subsequent attempts, by the estate’s executors, to contact him. After some time, the notifications ceased coming. The poor man lived out the rest of his days, constantly struggling to survive.

Poor-Man

In the tale’s end, the poor man had been offered an incomparable fortune, but he refused to receive it. The man in rags had rejected his riches, and chose to live out his life in a constant stress and frustration. He had been offered means beyond measure – but made the choice to remain in his poverty.

We might conclude that a person who would make such a choice is terribly unwise – probably even foolish. To our way of thinking, it is senseless to continue to embrace our impoverished ways and refuse to live in great wealth when it is offered to us.

But in a very real sense, this is what so many Christians, all over the world, do every day.

We have been offered an inheritance of immeasurable wealth – but we continue to live our lives by our own impoverished ways and means. Scripture declares we are steeped in the abundance of God’s riches – but we live each day like we are spiritually penniless…

penniless

At the heart of the gospel message is the abundance of God’s goodness poured out to us because we have accepted the work (and the Lordship) of Jesus. This chapter explores all that God has done for us – and all that He has for us – because of the complete and completed work of Jesus…

Nine – Our Purpose, pt. 2 – p. 362

1 rule of God

April 16

Joy (cont.)

Concerning joy, the psalmist mentions one other thing of great importance. We don’t often think of it this way, but our relationship with God is immensely pleasurable. In the awareness of God’s presence with us, comes the awareness of what His presence brings to us. The Psalmist speaks of “eternal pleasures at God’s “right hand.”

Because of God’s loving relationship with us, He is moved to act in His power and authority on our behalf – to lead us, guide us, bless us, and surround us with His personal attention and affection. Those who truly know God, also know that He is not just to be seen as a King only to be strictly obeyed – He is an amazingly wonderful Person, in Whom we can delight, and find immense enjoyment.

pleasure-of-his-presence

And why not? He is good and kind, full of love, mercy and compassion, and abundantly eager to express these qualities towards those who draw near to Him. Why would we not find life’s greatest pleasure in the One Who made us, and Who designed us to respond so openly and delightfully to His Spirit? He is eager to love us, and the experience of connection to God’s unlimited and unconditional love fills us with an indescribable pleasure and joy.

The very essence of God’s love towards us is captured in the apostle’s words to the Romans:

open bible

The apostle is moved to remind us that in the midst of our most difficult circumstances, we are completely surrounded by God’s presence, and secured within His indescribable love. He has given us His sure promise:

“Surely I am with you always…Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5; see also Deuteronomy 31:6-8)

Even in the midst of great trial and persecution, there is a profound joy in knowing that He is with us, and doing something valuable within us (and for us), in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves…

Nine – Our Purpose, pt. 2 – p. 339

1 Understanding our purpose 2 Rule of God

March 4

Jesus came to reveal The King (cont.)

Jesus came to put the King’s Person on display, to reveal His character and nature through all that He accomplished. This fact is confirmed in Jesus’ Own words:

John 14 11

Jesus not only claimed to be from the Father, and fully representative of the Father, He offered His Own actions as proof of His claim. Jesus’ works verified His words. Stated another way: His works gave irrefutable evidence that He was “The Word” of God Himself, dwelling among us. He showed us, each and every day, the character and nature of the One True King!

Jesus’ entire focus, in His time on this earth, was centered in one consuming passion: to bring attention to the One True King. One of the prominent ways He accomplished this passion was through the miracles He performed. It is so important to note that He did not come just to “wow” us with miraculous power – He came to offer us Himself, and His actions, as living proof of the unseen and almighty God and King. His wonderful works of healing, of deliverance, and of bringing life from death were the simple and undeniable proof of the power and intentions of the Great King of all kings. Jesus’ actions revealed the heart of the King to rescue, deliver, liberate, heal, and to make whole.

jesus healing man

Everywhere Jesus went, the “evidence of the miracles” exclaimed one loud and irrefutable truth: The God of heaven desires to rule over this earth – and in every place where He rules there is hope, healing, blessing, and wholeness. There is deliverance and freedom. There is comfort and peace. And there is life in abundance!

Jesus’ day-to-day ministry was a ministry of example and evidence: The Kingdom is here! Place your complete trust in the King, and He will bring you into the fullness of the blessing of His Kingdom. This was the assertion of our Master when challenged, by His adversaries, about His ministry of miracles: “If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the Kingdom of God has come to you.” (Luke 11:20)

Jesus’ mighty works were not intended as a performance in order to gather a crowd of followers. His mighty works were a demonstration of the very heart of the great King, Who sought to win the hearts of those who would see Him – and, in response, devote their lives to this loving and faithful King. At the very epicenter of all that Jesus did, was His desire to reveal the One True King and to display what His rule could accomplish upon this earth. Jesus did this by giving us example after vivid example of what this King’s rule would bring to our lives.