No Longer a Sinner – Divinity of Christ in Us

 

The Bible is full of symbolism. For instance, water baptism is a symbol of our death, burial and resurrection in Christ. We raise to walk in a new life with Him.

 

We do not die physically in baptism, but our flesh dies spiritually, and is now able to disregard the lure of sin in this world. Sin no longer tempts us as it used to, and we are free from its bondage.

 

We relate to Christ’s new life in us to a greater degree than we connect to this world. We died together with Him; and it is Him, not us, that now lives in and through us (Galatians 2:20).

 

We are one with Christ; and through His divine nature within us, we die to the desire to sin. God adopts us into His family. We share in His benefits in His Kingdom of God as co-heirs with Jesus.

 

In Christ, we gradually become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Our focus in life, our habits and the people we hang around with all change. Our life is spiritual now, rather than carnal and fleshly.

 

Our vital union with Jesus, puts us in right standing before God, our Father (John 15:1-11; Romans 6:3-11; Ephesians 5:30). He births our spirit, and we live a life which is pleasing to God. We are one with Christ and members of His Body.

 

Our old, carnal flesh – our intellect, emotions and will – is crucified with Christ and we died to sin (John 15:4; Romans 6:6, 8:11; Colossians 3:3, 9; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 4:22). We are filled with the fruit of God’s Spirit, which is the divine nature of Christ in us (Galatians 5:22-23).

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that the fruit of Your Spirit grows in us only as we abide in Christ and follow Your will for our life (John 15:4). Our living union with the Trinity allows us to fellowship with You every moment of our day and results in our eternal security (John 10:27-30).

 

Create in us a clean heart, and use us as a living testimony for Your glory (Psalm 51:10). Thank You for loving us unconditionally and changing us from the inside out. We look forward to You continuing to change our relationship with You by Your Spirit, until our human nature is altered to one that reflects Your goodness to a lost and dying world.

 

Thought for the Day:

As a Christian, we are transformed by God’s Spirit from one stage of glory to another until we reflect to the world the exact image of Christ in us. – 2 Corinthians 3:18; Hebrews 1:3

 

God is in Control – Through Troubles and Trials

We live in a world that often frightens us. Unexpected trials and trouble attack us from every side when we least expect it; so we develop the mentality of fear and apprehension.

 

We constantly wait for the next shoe to drop, anticipating trauma around every corner and never allowing our self to believe in or hope for the best. This continues until we realize that every day in Jesus is better than the day before.

 

As a melancholy personality, I struggled for years to come to this place of total trust in God’s goodness and to have faith in His faithfulness and perfect peace in His will for me, regardless of how bad the circumstances seemed.

 

Very few of the imaginary worse case scenarios, which occupy our mind, ever materialize. We end up worrying for nothing; and spending time, when we could be praising God with our thoughts, in trying to be prepared for ever circumstance life may possibly throw at us.

 

Elections, terrorists, natural disasters, financial strain and insecurity, disease, strained relationships, etc. all dim in importance when we realize in our spirit and our soul that, if we live in total surrender, God is in control of every aspect of our life.

 

Life as an authentic, Born Again Believer teaches us that life in Christ is an adventure. We are already dead with Christ in God, living in His abundant rest, walking in His Spirit and enjoying His perfect will for our life.

 

Trouble is merely a tiny bump in the road when we hide under the shadow of God’s wings and allow Him to live life in and through us. Fear, anxiety, insecurities and worry no longer overwhelm our soul, and our spirit draws strength and life from Christ within us.

 

We live, move and have our being in Christ (Acts 17:28). God’s Spirit controls all of our decisions, trials and troubles. The shadow of darkness in this world is dispelled by the light of Christ within us.

 

Prayer:

Father God, as we learn to trust in You, the issues which formerly sent us into the pit of despair, no longer rock our world. We learn over the days of our life spent in Your presence, that You have a perfect plan for our life (Ephesians 2:10). If we pray without ceasing, walk in Your Spirit each moment of our day and trust in Your unfailing love and mercy, we have joy even in our trials (James 1:2-8).

 

Remind us to replace the negative self-talk and lies straight from the pit of hell with the Truth of Your Word, which is alive and powerful and able to separate the worries of our soul from the faith in our spirit (Hebrews 4:12). Give us Your grace to see us through the days when our faith wanes and the waters threaten to drown us (Habakkuk 3:7-19).

 

Thought for the Day:

Although the closets are bare, we have no job, the garden is overcome by weeds, the grocery prices are way beyond our means, our savings is depleted, and our relationships are hopeless, we can still rejoice in the Lord, because He is the God of our salvation, our strength, our provision, and our enabler in every area of our life. – Habakkuk 3:7-19

 

God’s Eternal Nature in Us

God loves us and shows Himself to us (John 14:21). He calls us through the gospel to obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:14), and claims us as His children (Ephesians 1:4-5).

 

God is the Father of spirits (Hebrews 12:9). He created us in His own likeness with a triune nature – our spirit, soul and body (Genesis 1:27; Hebrews 12:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23). His Spirit transforms us with the divine nature of Christ.

 

We are born of the first Adam from the dust of the earth, but also Born Again of the second Adam, Jesus, by the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 15:45). God created us as physical human beings, but He also gave us a soul – thoughts, feelings and choices – and a spirit.

 

God made Jesus the firstborn among many adopted brethren (Romans 8:29; Ephesians 1:5). He gives us exceedingly great and precious promises of salvation, so that we might be partakers of Christ’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

 

He sanctifies our soul throughout our lifetime, until we are holy and without sin in His sight. His rich grace abounds in our life, and He gives us His wisdom to deal with every issue we face (2 Corinthians 9:8).

 

God wants to fill us through all of our being with all of His fullness, so that we may obtain the richest portion of His presence in our life (Ephesians 3:16-19; 4:13).

 

As we contemplate the Lord’s glory, we are transformed into His likeness with an ever-increasing resemblance to Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 12:2). Jesus is equal to God, and He lives in us, sharing His divine nature with us (John 5:18).

 

 

 

We have the same potential, which Jesus did of becoming spiritual beings, because Christ in us is Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45). When we crucify the deeds of our flesh, walk in the Spirit and pray without ceasing, we make a difference for the Kingdom of God.

 

Prayer:

Father God, by Your glorious grace we gradually walk into the divine nature of Christ in us, and we walk away from the corruption in this world (1 Peter 2:2-4). We are growing in our understanding of the amazing magnitude of Your power available to all authentic Believers. It is the same dynamite power that resurrected Christ from the grave and returned Him to His glory in Heaven (Ephesians 1:19-20).

 

Thank You that He fills us with this life and supplies us with everything we need to function in unity with You and to accomplish Your will for us in the earth (Ephesians 1:23). Enable the world to see that You sent Jesus on their behalf, by making our life a living testimony to them (John 17:21-23).

 

Thought for the Day:

Eternal life is not some future event that we will experience some day; it occurs within us, as we come to intimately know Jesus, and our God who sent Him. – John 17:3

 

The Most Holy Place

A curtain hung between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle and temple and separated the presence of God from the Israelite priests who served there.

 

Only the high priest was allowed into the Most Holy Place, and only after a strict regimen of cleansing. Jesus cleanses us from our humanity, so that we may serve the Living God through His divinity within us (Hebrews 9:14).

 

As Jesus took His last breath on Calvary’s cross, the temple curtain split in half from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). Most scholars believe that God orchestrated this torn Temple curtain as an object lesson for us.

 

It illustrates and signifies the fact that we cannot earn our way to heaven, but we can now enter the presence of God by the blood of Jesus with confidence in our salvation (Hebrews 10:19).

 

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He sets His seal of ownership on us and gives us His Spirit as a down payment of our inheritance (2 Corinthians 1:22).

 

Once we repent of our sins, ask for forgiveness and surrender our will to Him, He moves into our Born Again spirit and resides within us all through our lifetime. He places us in His Body and we work together for His glory.

 

We are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Christ lives in us (Colossians 1:27). Our Spirit is the Most Holy Place where God resides. God makes us a holy sanctuary in which He can dwell (Exodus 25:8).

 

Cleansed from sin by the blood of the perfect Lamb of God (1 Peter 1:19), we are His priests and we shall reign with Him during the Millennium for 1000 years and then serve Him throughout eternity (Revelation 20:6).

 

Prayer:

Father God, You are our safe haven and our power to deal with temptation and persecution (Psalm 46:1). Even in the most unthinkable and earth shattering circumstances, with our faith in Your faithfulness, we have no reason to fear (Psalm 46:1-3). We consider trails as a time of great joy, because they are an adventure with You (James 1:2).

 

We stop our stressing and watch You work in our behalf (James 1:2; Psalm 46:10). We are Your children (Romans 8:15). You promise never to leave us or to forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). You are our Mighty God who saves us and abides within us. You celebrate over us with delight. You calm us with Your love. You even rejoice over us with thunderous singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

 

Thought for the Day:

Our hope in Christ is the sure and steadfast anchor for our soul. – Hebrews 6:19

 

 

No Longer a Sinner – In Union with Christ

Jesus calls us to enter into His Body, to fellowship with Him minute by minute of every day and to enjoy eternity with Him in the new heaven and the new earth (Romans 8:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:14).

 

We relinquish our human personality and surrender our individuality until we become more like Christ every day. We live in union with our risen Lord and Savior who justifies, sanctifies and will ultimately glorify us.

 

The Father is in the Son, and the Son is in us by the Spirit of God. We live in union with the Trinity through every moment of our life, listening to the Spirit’s direction and not being conformed to the expectations of this world.

 

Filled with God’s Spirit and controlled and guided by Him, we reach spiritual heights we never thought possible. We experience Him working in and through us as He conforms us to the image of Christ.

 

We press toward the goal of the high calling of God until we reach the measure of the full stature of Christ in us (Ephesians 4:13). We do not stop maturing and growing in Christ until we reach perfection, controlled and guided by the Spirit of God (Matthew 5:48; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:3; Ephesians 3:19).

 

When Christ resurrects the dead in Christ and raptures the church remaining on the earth, we will gain the same immortal body that Christ enjoys right now. We enter the glorious realm of the risen Lord.

 

We will not age, experience corruption and sickness, or feel emotional and mental distress and anxiety any longer. Even death is swallowed up in the victory of the cross of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:55).

 

Prayer:

Father God, awaken our apathetic soul and raise us from spiritual death (John 3:16-18). Remind us that Christ lives as a light within us (2 Corinthians 4:6). Help us to pay attention to how we live, so that we use Your wisdom in all that we say and do. Remind us to make the most of the time You give us and not to foolishly use it for our own selfish gains.

 

Show us Your will for our life and help us to walk in it (Ephesians 5:14-17). Help us to hear the way in which we should walk and to lift up our soul to You alone (Psalm 143:8). Keep us in step with Your Spirit through every trial and blessing we experience (Ephesians 5:14-17).

 

Thought for the Day:

Live life in full awareness of the immense potential available to us though our union with Christ.

 

Spectating or Serving

The church is the Body and Bride of Christ, commissioned to carry the gospel into all the world, and especially in our local community. We reach out with the gospel of Christ to friends, relatives, work and hobby associates and neighbors (Mark 16:15-16).

 

We serve in one ministry in our local church as the Lord calls us to assist, working in an area in which we are interested, and remaining faithful to that calling until God directs us to serve in a new direction in our church body (Romans 12:4-5).

 

When we see a need, or something that is blocking the growth of our church family, rather than complaining, ridiculing and looking for another church, we put our hand to the plow and help to change things for the better.

 

This may require that we increase our financial giving, spend more time supporting the church leadership and ministries, taking the initiative to ask the leadership the ways in which we can be the most help to the Body and allowing them to equip us for this ministry.

 

We do not expect our church to have the personality, ministries, outreach and worship identical to every other church in town, because God gives each congregation His own unique flavor to meet the need for which He designed our particular congregation.

 

We faithfully pray to the Lord of the Harvest to bring workers into the field; and we serve as an example of a loving, outreaching, soul-winning, hardworking member of the local church where God calls us.

 

When we do this, we see God’s hand faithfully supplying all the needs in our life and in the life of that congregation; and we feel blessed to be a part of His work in our community as we partake in the ministries of the family of God meeting in the facilities which God provided and for which we care and contribute towards.

 

Prayer:

Father God, raise up congregations across the nation that are committed to one another as Your family. It is so easy for a person to divorce a congregation and go across town to find one that better suits their needs, with no regard to Your will for them in service to that original congregation. Help us to covenant together in faith and to fellowship around the Gospel instead of the worship or preaching style, the size of the bulletin or the amount of lights and instruments used on the stage.

 

Teach us to agree on the central truths of Your Word and to live by these truths rather than by our personal preferences and carnal desires. Inform us about the true meaning of our spiritual gifts and help us to find a place to use those gifts for the mutual edification of the Body in which You call us to serve.

 

Remind us that contrary to popular belief, the church is not a gathering of spectators called to criticize the music, minister and ministries of a particular congregation. Before we were even conceived, You called us and placed us in a certain church in order to serve the Body in any needed ministry to which you call us (Ephesians 2:10).

 

Thought for the Day:

We do not discriminate in the fellowship of the church, but we include every race, nationality, dialect and personality; however, we do insist on members adhering to the primary principles of the scripture and living according to its dictates rather than the liberal, all-inclusive attitude of the world today; everyone is welcome to attend, but God only offers membership in His family to adherents of Biblical Truth.

 

A Divine Relationship

Many people attempt to develop a relationship with Jesus and are not able to completely enter into this intimate union with Him (Luke 13:23-24). This is because they seek this relationship for all the wrong reasons.

 

They want the benefits of the fulfilled Christian life, but they do not want to live up to the commitment. Joshua encouraged Israel to choose to serve the Lord, and that is actually what it takes to have this coveted relationship (Joshua 25:15).

 

God’s grace provides the opportunity for salvation to every person ever born (Titus 2:11). He is not willing for anyone to perish in the flames of hell for eternity, but for everyone to come to Him in repentance (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:18).

 

We do not earn this stature, because it is a free gift; but it does require a choice to commit to the Lord in wholehearted dedication to His ways and His Word (Romans 5:15).

 

Satan will fight our choice at every turn. He is used to having us in his service and he wants us back. Therefore, spiritual battle is an ongoing event in the Christian’s life (1 Timothy 6:12).

 

Our power of choice is still alive and well in the heart of every Believer. We make choices every day either to serve God, our flesh, the world or the devil.

 

Satan tempts us as he did Adam and Eve, to make choices from our self-motivated will, independently from God’s will for our life (Genesis 2:1-17; Ephesians 2:10). To draw us away from God’s best, he uses legitimate needs we have as human beings; but they end up being lies.

 

God will convict us; but it is up to us to choose to totally surrender our body, soul and spirit to Him; so that His Spirit can heal our body, sanctify our soul and regenerate our spirit.

 

Prayer:

Father God, remind us that conviction does not save us, it simply humbles us and brings us to the point of repentance. The good news is that Christ in us is greater than any influences outside of us (1 John 4:4). The more we understand our new identity in You as an authentic Believer, the more quickly we grow in spiritual maturity.

 

With maturity, we find it easier to choose to live in dependence on You for all of our needs. We realize that it is not necessary for us to sin in an attempt to meet our basic needs. When we hunger and thirst for Your righteousness (Matthew 5:6), You supply everything for us according to Your glorious riches (Philippians 4:19).

 

Thought for the Day:

Conversion only comes through a heart-felt commitment to follow Christ with our life; and it stirs us to read our Bible, to attend worship services, to attend Bible studies and to praise God in every moment through every circumstance – the good, the bad and the ugly.