Hi to you, dear readers and listeners of our sermons! We continue our consideration of the topic “The Glory of Christ and Its Significance for the Redeemed.” Today is the second and final part. Through intervention from above, God relaxes, sobering up a person. This person, frightened out of his spiritual sleep, out of his indifference, begins to seek.
That which up to this moment filled his heart loses its meaning more and more, and someday all this will be thrown overboard like ballast. Instead, such a person finds interest in what God likes, and much that he previously did not pay attention to, or even despise.
Heard or read the Word from Scripture becomes alive and acts in the heart, and completely embraces a person. The knowledge received reveals to a person his sinful state and his eternal destruction, reveals to him God’s essence. On the basis of this, a person begins to cry to God and begins to understand, as it is written in D.Ap. 2:21:
” And it will be: everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved .”
A profound change is taking place in man. In the life of such a person, a line of separation arises: one former and one present. Such a change cannot remain hidden for the environment. Such a person has passed from death to life! Such faith will no longer wither like a withered plant. Staying in Christ and living connection with Him prevents this fading. This is what Jesus said in John 14:19:
“ A little more, and the world will no longer see Me; but you will see Me, for I live, and you will live . “
Children of God always deal with life, because everything is Divine life. This is why the fellowship of life with the risen and glorified Christ is so crucial. For if we walk without Christ, then our faith will die, or remain dead. In this and many good deeds, nothing will change.
The living hope that we have in Christ is an effective defense against doom, insignificance (triviality), and death. No Christian who has this hope will not allow himself to be blinded by the trifles of this life, and will not allow himself to be captivated by the fear of death.
But we must also constantly warn people: whoever rejects God’s gift of grace and frantically clings to his old godless life, he is predetermined in the otherworldly existence in one place of torment, in absolute darkness. Remember what the apostle Paul writes in Hebrews 10:31:
“ It is terrifying to fall (unborn from above) into the hands of the living God! “. (By the way, I want to note in this place: I am convinced that Paul is the author of the Book of Hebrews). Often the children of God preach the shortened Gospel about repentance and being born again. This, although true, is only the beginning of the gospel. All the promises of God to His children belong to the gospel.
In the Apostle Paul, all this is poured over the edge of the heart. If the Holy Spirit pierces hearts and magnifies the love of God and Christ, then all that is soulful falls away. The True Spirit casts out superficial passion, purifies love, and removes all selfishness and selfishness.
The Holy Spirit calls us to worthily follow the Lord Jesus, to His satisfaction, as people who bear fruit in every good deed. We cannot achieve this by our own strengths and skills. Scripture clearly teaches this, therefore God does not expect this from us. Therefore, Jesus calls us in John 15: 4:
“ Abide in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit by itself, if it is not on the vine: so can you, if you are not in Me . “
Despite this, the Lord Jesus has many serious Christians who honestly try, with their zeal to become saints, to find and enter into this holy walk after Jesus. It looks as if we want to set the sailing ship in motion by blowing into its sails.
On this occasion, Jesus told His disciples that without Him they could not do anything: “… for without Me you can do nothing ” (John 15: 5). By this, He says: “ do not try to do something on your own, but use the living connection with Me, into which I have put you.
I want to be fulfilling, look for communion with Me in everything. It will be a walk that I like and worthy of Me . ” A legitimate question would be why there are so many lukewarm Christians today. If the work of God and the Lord Jesus in the born again, in the children of God, can no longer be destroyed by Satan?
The answer to this question can be roughly as follows: although the work of Jesus cannot be destroyed, it can be significantly damaged. For example, because the Christian is spiritually tired. The occupation of the affairs of life and the things of this world completely filled him. He is again caught in this world and exhausted.
We, all children of God, can slip back into this world if the circumstances are right for this. You can even get used to the fact that we are Christians. All this is known to human flesh, therefore, for many believers, faith is waning.
Such believers suffer in the end in a bleak Christianity. Although they still know everything, but this is most likely just dead knowledge. Such believers have Jesus in their heads, but not in their hearts.
However, a person can avoid these habits. To do this, one should only again thoroughly deal with the Lord Jesus Christ. He is full of life and wants to bring His life back to development in us. In close connection with Christ, we strip these habits of foundation. Therefore, I advise such spiritually tired believers:
devote more time to the Lord Jesus and the working of His Spirit in you! We must know and pay attention to the fact that the Lord Jesus dearly attracts us and does not impose, does not overpower us. But He is waiting for us to come to Him.
The more a Christian seeks to use the power of the Lord Jesus in his life, the more he contemplates what is in heaven and finds his joy in it. But such Christians, whose hearts are filled with the things and enterprises of this world, hardly experience God’s power. They are warm and superficial, and push away what is connected with the sky into the distant future.
Based on the messages of the Word of God, we have already seen that as Christians, God has given us the status of sons and daughters . But not only that, He also gave us the spirit of sonship, and on the basis of the work of Christ on the cross of Calvary. He raised us up into sonship, gave us a share in His essence and life. So we are completely one with Him. We read about this in the following places:
Rom. 8:14-16 “ For as many as are led by the Spirit of God (and the children of God have this Spirit), they are sons of God . 15 Because you did not receive the spirit of slavery in order to live in fear again, but you received the Spirit of adoption , by which we cry: “Abba, Father!” 16 The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God . “
Eph. 1: 4-9 “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who blessed us (the Gentiles) in Christ with every spiritual blessing in heaven, 4 because He (God) chose us in Him (in Jesus) before the foundation of the world, so that we were holy and blameless before Him in love,
5 predestinating to adopt us as children through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure of his will , 6 to the praise of the glory of his grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved, 7 in whom we have redemption by his blood,
forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace, 8 which He has given us in abundance in all wisdom and understanding, 9 revealing to us the secret of His will according to His good pleasure , which He first put in Him . “
John 14:19 “ A little more, and the world will no longer see Me; but you will see Me, for I live, and you will live . “
John 6.40 “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day . “
2 Corinthians 5:15-17 “ But Christ died for all, so that those who live no longer live for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised again . 16 Therefore from now on we know no one according to the flesh;
but if we knew Christ according to the flesh, now we no longer know. 17 So anyone who is in Christ is a new creation; the old has passed away, now everything is new . “
Our heavenly Father saved us from the power of darkness and led us into the Kingdom of the beloved Son, as we read in Col. 1: 12-14: “ thanks to God and the Father who has called us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light ,
13 who delivered us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son , 14 in whom we have redemption by his blood and the remission of sins . “
Our salvation is not gradual salvation, or gradual salvation, but our salvation happened in an instant in repentance before the Lord Jesus.
No man can free himself from the power of darkness. Without the light from above, from God, no man would even have the desire to free himself from the power of darkness. This is typical of Satan and his area of authority. I remind you about:
1 Corinthians 1.9 ” God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, “
John 6.44 “ No one can come to Me unless the Father, who sent Me, draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day . “
Everything that is connected with Satan until then does not show its true face, while Satan continues to restrain a person to sleep. Everything that comes from Satan, he surrounds with a ray of light, for he himself is sometimes an angel of light. He wants to lead people to want his proposals. Behind him is a satanically organized power that extends to everything connected with this world.
Therefore, Satan could offer the Lord Jesus during the events of His temptation in the wilderness all the kingdoms of this world, and the Lord Jesus did not contradict him, but declined from Satan’s offer so that Jesus bow down before him. But we, who were saved from the power of darkness, nevertheless, are still in this earthly life in the realm of the power of darkness. We cannot escape from this world, but the power of darkness over us is broken!
She no longer has authority over the children of God who live in faith and use divine means of help. Therefore, in the Epistle of James we read in ch. 4,7: “Submit yourselves therefore to God; resist the devil, and he will flee from you . “
For this, we need the well-known armor of God. But the fact that we still face the power of darkness on a daily basis demands much more of us.
The power of darkness must have its own opposing power, such an opposing power that is stronger and more powerful than the power of darkness itself. The Son of God must resist this power of darkness! Therefore, we, all children of God, must stand in the domain of the dominion of the Son of God.
We must be in the divine home, connected with the love of the heavenly Father and His Son. In this we see the Kingdom of love of His Son. There the evil one is deprived of the ground under his feet. If we walk in the light, then we are already in this Kingdom today.
God has the inheritance of the saints in the light, and the Father has made us joint heirs with Christ, as we read in
Rom. 8:17: ” And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with Him, so that we may be glorified with Him .”
Gal. 4: 6-7: “ And as you are the sons (of God), God has sent His Son Spirit into your hearts, crying:“ Abba, Father! ” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then also an heir of God through Jesus Christ . “
In the Son of the Father’s love, we have redemption and the forgiveness of our sins. In the atonement, Paul thinks of the ransom, that Jesus had to pay with His blood for the sins of the whole world.
We see the price of the ransom in the blood of Jesus! Based on this, we are released from the chains of darkness. The word “ atonement ” as used in the original text was then used to ransom a slave.
In the Roman state, there were countless slaves as servants even in private households. There one could also meet many former slaves who were released. Slaves could even redeem themselves if they had the money to do so.
We are dearly redeemed from darkness by the only true God and became His property, as we read in Titus 2: 13-14:
” Waiting for the blessed hope and manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to deliver us from all iniquity and to cleanse for himself a special people , zealous for good deeds .”
If we do not closely cling to our new Lord, Jesus Christ, then we will be like nobody’s thing, and then the dark authorities can again come on us and torment us. Our new Lord is making sure that Satan and all the powers of darkness do not completely take over us.
Therefore, we are not free to belong to ourselves, but we belong to the One who redeemed us, as we read in 1 Corinthians 6:19: “ Do you not know that your bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit living in you, whom you have from God, and you are not yours? “.
But this relationship with God is a wholesome relationship of dependence, since we are meant to be like the image of God’s Son.
At the same time, our sins are forgiven us: everything is uprooted, which characterized the old state of slavery with Satan. How could we stand before God if even the single sin of our old state remained in us?
In atonement and in the forgiveness of our sins, we are not talking about a one-time act, but we are talking about a lasting state. In this regard, Christ Jesus gives us a guarantee. We are in Him, our life is in Him.
Therefore, as long as He lives and we remain in Him, the atonement and forgiveness of our sins will be valid. It is for this reason that God introduced us into the fellowship of His beloved Son, so that redemption and forgiveness may eternally have power, as we read
In the message of Col. 1,12-13: ” thanks to God and the Father, who called us to participate in the inheritance of the saints in the light, 13 who delivered us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son .”
And forgiveness is not a one-time act, but it is permanent. Therefore, I ask you, dear brothers and sisters, that you constantly think and remember this powerful gift so that we do not become short-sighted, lazy and sterile.
Twice we read in the Bible that Christ is the Firstborn. First, He is the Firstborn of all creation, and secondly, He is the Firstborn of the dead. In the first case, this is His honorary title, which means that Christ has the advantage in everything, that He stands above all creation!
This title receives a special meaning at the second mention of it, when He, that is, Jesus, through the resurrection of the firstborn from the dead, will follow the whole creation. We know that on the basis of Romans 8:22, “… all creation is groaning together and is collectively in the throes of birth (tormented) to this day .”
Naturally, the Lord Jesus, as God, has neither beginning nor end, but as having become the Son of Man, He went to death and was victoriously resurrected! Thus, He is the Firstborn, Who will pluck out or take out of death all His creation.
This creation, of which Christ is the head, was destroyed and destroyed through sin. For this reason, Jesus had to come to earth in the form of a man in order to redeem and save His creation.
He died, victoriously resurrected and, as the Firstborn from the dead, became the Head of the Church, which is His body and consists of all those who are saved, of all who believe in Him and trust Him. This body of His has the same position as He Himself and is identified with Him.
This Christ is the highest reality! Nobody can pass by Him. Even those who reject Him. But we who believe in Him are, as members of His Church, part of His body.
That everything was created in Christ can still be understood in this way. That the entire universe, and everything related to it, was created in Christ, before it apparently came out during creation.
Everything was created through Christ and for Him. He Himself was first of all and everything is worth Him. He is the power that holds the universe, as it is written in Heb. 1: 3: ” This, being the radiance of glory and the image of His hypostasis, and holding everything by the word of His power .”
If He stopped holding everything together for just one moment, then everything in this world would disappear. Despite His omnipotence, He gave His creation free will to make decisions.
They have the opportunity to say “no” and rebel against Him, and in any case for their own destruction. But with all this, His creation still testifies to the infinite love of the Lord Jesus that He still calls people to Himself to forgive them their sin and make them happy.
That Christ is the head of the Church means that the Church will closely cooperate with Christ in fulfilling all the promises of God regarding creation.
” For it was well pleasing to the Father that all fullness should dwell in Him, 20 and that by means of Him all things might be reconciled to Himself ” (Colossians 1: 19-20).
The Greek verb that we find in the original text instead of the word ” reconcile ” should only be found in Christian literature.
Behind this is the idea that the entire universe, including the saved children of God, will be translated, or transformed into a completely new order, into a perfectly harmonious unity with God!
The work and victory of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary began, or initiated a revolution, renewal of all things in relation to God.
This is not only the restoration of an ancient state before falling into sin, but something completely new! The world mentioned in v. 20 indicates the participation of the children of God in God’s bliss.
If all creation is embraced by this new order, then there will be a final peace. Peace and love! But every person who wants to be a participant in the enjoyment of this new order must come to the cross of Calvary and transfer his old Adami to death. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can wash us away from all our sins and qualify us for a new life in a new order. Amen.