Category: Set Free

Ten – The Completed Work of Christ – p. 425

1 completed work of Christ

August 12

As followers of Jesus, we must comprehend and incorporate what God has done for us – and, in our understanding, we must act. We are called to live by faith in the completed work of Christ. We must apply everything that He has done for us to the situations and circumstances of our own lives – each and every day.

We must choose to live free from the bonds and guilt of sin – because that is exactly the forgiveness and freedom Jesus has provided.

We must live unencumbered by our weaknesses and addictions – because absolute deliverance is exactly what Jesus has provided.

freedom

We must live in unconditional love – because we have received God’s Own divine nature, and love is exactly what God does by His nature.

We must live our lives just as Jesus did – committed to God, submitted to God… because God has graciously given us everything we need to live that way.

This is the true Christian message. It is the true gospel of the Kingdom.

True Christians are here on this earth to be the living testimony of the depth and breadth of God’s handiwork. God’s desire is to display Himself, on this physical planet, through His Own people. To do this, we must be emptied of self, and selfish ways, and full of God Himself. We must be immersed in Him, and live out our lives in the fullness of all that He has provided.

The message of the New Covenant is that God has done all that needs to be done for this to be accomplished. This very thought is echoed in one of the apostle’s own prayers for God’s people:

Eph 3 16-19

Amen!

Ten – The Completed Work of Christ – p. 416

1 completed work of Christ

July 24

One) Count yourselves (cont.)

…What we have on account is not only a death to our old ways of selfishness and sin, but also a new life rising out of that death, that fully enables us to live in utter devotion to God and His purposes.

This new life, emerging from death, is summarized and affirmed again and again by the apostle in other places:

alive scripture

Once again, this amazing work is not applied automatically. It doesn’t just magically happen to us. We are required to apply it by our faith (“The righteous will live by faith!”). We must believe, and act in accord with what God has said, based upon what He has done. We must believe that we have died to sin and we must believe that we are alive to God. We must live out what we believe. The apostle is imploring us to take account of God’s provision – and live every moment in accordance with our account.

dead to sin

The work of Jesus was much more than something done for us – it is something that is available to be applied to us. We have a new and profound reality at work. We are now, through the work of Jesus, dead to sin and also alive to God – these are the facts of our account with God. We have every right to live in the fullness of God’s provision for our lives. We live in that fullness as we “count (ourselves) dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

Ten – The Completed Work of Christ – p. 415

1 completed work of Christ

July 22

One) Count yourselves (cont.)

Because Jesus “died to sin” WE have died to sin. This is what we have “on account…”

But our experience of death to sin can only occur when we apply what we have on account. We are required to act in faith – to live in the reality of what Jesus has done for us. We must actually consider our old selves as crucified with The Christ, dead now to sin – alive now to God.

This is how we assure that we truly belong to Him as His disciples.

Gal 5 24

We can always choose (at any moment) to ignore what Jesus has done, and continue to be alive to sin – but this is to our detriment and devastation. We cannot live out the true Christian life unless we apply God’s provision of death to our “sinful nature” (or “old man). Our appropriate response is to live in the fullness of what God has provided. His provision is for each and every one of us to be completely enabled to live as a person who is dead to the temptations, sins, and failures of this world. This is what Christians have “on account” because of the work of Jesus on our behalf.

But there is more to this… Not only do we share in Jesus’ death, enabling us to be now, and forever, “dead to sin,” but we also share in His resurrection. Jesus was raised from the dead. There was a purpose beyond death, and that purpose was to institute a new way of living – a life lived totally devoted “to God.” Free from the encumbrance of selfish desires and goals, which were connected with our “sin nature” (because we are now dead to those things), we can now fully embrace the devoted life of a true disciple. We can actually live our lives as those who are fully alive to God’s leading, righteous actions, and overcoming victory.

raised to life

The work of The Christ enables each of us to fully belong to God – that He might love, inspire, motivate, touch, and impact this world with His love and power. The end result is the same as was established in the very beginning of this earth – a people immersed in relationship with God, lovingly obedient to God, and engaged in bringing forth the rule of God on this physical planet.

This is the summation of what it means to be “alive to God.” (Romans 6:11) What we have on account is not only a death to our old ways of selfishness and sin… but also a new life rising out of that death, that fully enables us to live in utter devotion to God and His purposes…

Ten – The Completed Work of Christ – p. 412

1 completed work of Christ

July 16

Our Lord Jesus was so connected with grace, that the apostle John was inspired to tell us:

Jn 1 14

In being full of grace, and in ministering that grace to others, Jesus provided a living, breathing revelation of the One True God. The love of God became real. The power of God became personal. Through the grace of Jesus, God emerged from the fog of religious mystery, and the haze of human opinion, and became a real and personal Being.

This encapsules one of the great purposes of The Christ – and of true Christianity. The One True God reveals Himself to, in, and through, His faithful servants by means of His limitless grace. Grace, in its unconditional love and its unlimited power, is absolutely foundational for our understanding of Who God is and how He chooses to interact with us, and reveal Himself to us, in us, and through us. Grace, indeed, is nothing short of amazing!

AMAZING-GRACE1

It becomes apparent that it is essential for us to embrace the fullness of our salvation. Scripture declares: “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith…” (Ephesians 2:8) Clearly, being “saved” is the result of God’s grace. It is the story of a loving God, doing everything in His power that needed to be done, to make His people whole and holy.

A one-sided grace, emphasizing only God’s love, affirms only a part of God’s work on our behalf. If we only bear testimony of how God loves us and forgives us, we neglect a tremendous portion of the gospel. We must always remember that to be “saved” literally means that we are (simultaneously) forgiven, rescued, redeemed, delivered, restored, and made whole.

God does not just rescue us from His wrath only to leave us in a powerless condition that continues to leave us open to sin and judgment.

God’s every intention, so powerfully provided through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, was to fully liberate His people from the bonds of death, and from the devastation so rampant in this sin-filled world. The Almighty King’s plan has been fulfilled by His Son, through God’s Own love and power – and His intention has been implemented completely. This is the profound message of the gospel of the Kingdom. Jesus has purchased our pardon. He has also secured our liberation and wholeness for all of time.

broken chains

Grace is the story of God’s love. But it is also the story of God’s power to enable us to overcome this world and live life as the citizens (and representatives!) of a new world. This is the gospel in its fullness. Our task and privilege is to live in the fullness of both sides of grace – our lives bearing testimony of the love and power of God residing within us, and coursing through us.

This is true Christianity.

Ten – The Completed Work of Christ – p. 399

1 completed work of Christ

June 13

Jesus went to the cross so that we might be forgiven and redeemed. Jesus rose from the dead to initiate a new kind of life – fully realized in those who are wholly committed to God’s ways and heart…

Understanding the completed work of Christ

But how is this even possible? How does it all work? How did Jesus make all this available to be applied to our lives?

apostle paul writesFor the understanding of this crucial work, we will turn to the apostle Paul’s inspired letter to the Romans.

First, a little context. The apostle is addressing the key question of Christians and their relationship to sin – now that they have come into a relationship with God, through the work of The Christ.

The Roman believers had arrived at the notion that, because God is a God of immense grace, we Christians should do all we can to experience His grace. Apparently, they believed that this included the option of delving into sin – because (they thought): “where there is more sin, there has to be more of God’s grace applied to our lives. More grace is good. So maybe sin isn’t such a bad thing after all, because the more we sin, the more grace increases in order to cover our sin.” This thought process is what becomes the focus of the apostle’s attention in his inspired narrative…

Grk BGIt becomes immediately apparent that the apostle, in speaking the very thoughts of God, is adamant that sin should not be a part of the life of a Christian believer. The poignant: “We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” points to the fact that a new reality is at hand in the life of everyone who has received Jesus and His redemptive work.

We all died to our sins – and to sinning, through the cross…

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.

Three – Understanding Salvation – pg. 105

April 16

The message of God’s salvation is a glorious epic of His enduring love and mercy. “Because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved… He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.” (Ephesians 2:4-5; Titus 3:5)

alive in christ

We can never earn what God has done for us. God’s love and mercy are never dependent upon “the righteous things we have done” – as if what He has done could be deserved. Scripture implores us to understand the very foundation of God’s free gift of salvation: “God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us… if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!” (Romans 5:8, 10)

His love and mercy continually and perpetually extend to the very depths of our human need, and supply all that we need, by His divine favor, and in accord with His divine power. It is because He loves us so much that He sent His Own Son to make this full provision available to all who would receive it by faith. Our part is simply to bow in humble gratitude and surrender to the fullness… and live in the ongoing experience, of His immense love. As Scripture tells us: “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit…” (Titus 3:5) Salvation is the love of God washing over us to cleanse and heal, to redeem and restore, and to renew us to His design and purpose. This work of salvation is at the very heart of true Christianity!

shower of love

To be “saved” simply means that we have personally received, and now experience, God’s provision of salvation in our lives. It is not a one-time event – it is a lifetime experience. A true understanding of salvation leads us to rely upon (trust in) God’s provision of salvation each and every moment of our lives.

Becoming saved is the first essential step in the life of a true Christian. But it is not the only step. True salvation is a step-by-step, walking out our faith in what Jesus has done, as we apply His work to every area of our lives, throughout our lifetimes. Salvation deals with every problem caused by sin. It provides for the eradication of the guilt and penalty of our sin. Salvation faces down the issue of the mastery, dominion, and deceptive draw of sin. It addresses the dire ramifications caused by sin. Salvation confronts, and conquers, sins’ devastating effects. And finally, salvation assuages the wrath of a Holy God against our sin. All this is because of the work of Jesus (Yeshua!), our Savior – Who came to this earth “to take away the sins of the world,” and to “save His people from their sins.”

Jesus Savior