Saturday, March 9, 2013

Creating Passion

I am more and more convinced that clear doctrine creates passion.

When we know what to believe, and the knowledge we have received is from God through His word, spoken by His Spirit into ours, that knowledge, that truth, sets us free.  For years, I did not understand the gospel.  I thought I did and I tried to live with the understanding I had.  But that understanding did not produce the fruit of righteousness throughout my life.  I still wavered and strove to find something more. Something I felt was still missing.

I wanted abundant life in Christ.  The enemy came to steal from me, and to kill and destroy.  I wanted to have the life that was filled with the living water poured into me through Jesus Christ.  I wanted more than survival and mediocrity. I wanted passion and power to live victoriously and to help others do the same.  But I could only help others get to the level I was at.  And I was struggling.

When I began to cry out to God for understanding, and surrendered myself to listen to Him, He began to reveal His word in ways I had never known.  When I finally had ears to hear what the Spirit was saying, God opened my eyes to see His beauty in new ways.  I began to comprehend the  mystery of the gospel, which is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes. The gospel, when believed, transforms life. Not only does it transform life, but it becomes the reality we live within at all times because through the gospel we enter into Christ and Christ enters into us.

We become one with the One was saved our souls.  We become one with God, because the fullness of God is in Christ and He is us and we are in Him.  All we need has been given. This is the reality of the gospel, and the new creation in Christ.  All the work is done for our salvation.  We have received all we need in the fullness.

When I finally understood, that God has made me righteous in Christ, not because of any "good" works of my own, but because of the perfect work of the cross and the resurrection, I ceased striving.  I accepted the word of God as true and rested within it, knowing that God had accomplished for me, for us, what I could never accomplish. He had made me holy and set me apart for Him forever. And nothing could change that.  He had made me new, and there was nothing needed to improve me any longer.  Yes, there is growing to do, but my identity was sealed by Him in my new birth.  My identity as His child, as a being who was made new and is holy and undefiled. Someone who is clean and pure and joined to Him forever.

I have been justified by God, by faith in His Son.  And I, along with all of God's new creation, have been made righteous because I have received as a gift the righteousness of His Son, who fulfilled all righteousness through His live, death and the power of His resurrection.  He fulfilled the law and the prophets, every jot and tittle.  He walked out life as it should have been in perfect obedience to the Father, fulfilling all that was required. And then He offered His perfect life, willingly laying it down for the sake of us all.  He fulfilled the wrath of God and judgement of death against us, taking all of our sin into Himself, and dying in our place under the wrath of Almighty God.  But death could not hold Him, for He had no sin of His own.  God raised Him from the dead and He is alive.  And we are alive in Him.

Once I accepted the truth of His gospel and stopped trying to reason it away because of emotions or experience, I began to experience the reality of the truth and lived free.  I ceased striving and I knew that He was God.  That He would be exalted in all the earth.  And I began to live within the reality of the new creation life in Christ that He made.  What joy there is in His presence!  What peace and power!  Not a power of our own, but His power flowing in and through His people to the praise of His glory and grace.  His work was and is sufficient for us as His people.

May we give up our intellectual reasoning and sit and listen to Him, to hear His heart and His reasoning through His Spirit within us.  To accept Him at His word and wait upon Him as He reveals to us what it really means.  He rewards those who persevere in seeking Him.  He willingly gives wisdom to those who ask Him in faith.  He gladly reveals to those who will listen to His voice and not trample underfoot the pearls He gives.  What a precious gifts to receive a pearl from God, to hear His heart in new and delightful ways.  What joy in knowing Him more deeply and understanding His thoughts just a little bit more.

I'm convinced that clear doctrine created passion and a solid, victorious life as a Christian.  If our lives are not solid, it may be wise to reconsider what we have believed.  The problem is not with God and what He has designed, the problem may very well be how we have perceived Him and His design.

Romans 6:5,6  For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin.

Galatians 2:20,21  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

2 Corinthians 5:17  17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

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