2 Corn 5:17-21(N K J) Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. Now all things are of God who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, who has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself , not imputing their trespass to them & has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ as though God were pleading through us; we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God . For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Once you have accepted Jesus as your Lord & Saviour & you are born again, you become part of the family of God. Just like any natural family there are benefits that come with being a member of God's family. So when we talk about being in Christ we are talking about the position we have as a Christian & the benefits that come from being born again & joining God's family. Today we will look at some of those benefits.
AS a new creation you do not have to allow the old things that happened to you affect your new life in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) you can have your mind renewed according to the Word of God. Good things will happen to you REJOICE! it is a new day.
Appropriate the fact God has called you to live for Him. Avoid any selfish or personal ambition.
Godly living may result in disfavour with others because it warns judgement for the ungodly. Godly individuals live by the ethic of love, selflessly asking "How can I live for the benefit of others?" They are not lawless or sloppy in the way they live; rather they seek to do right in everything.
We understand from 2 Cor 5: 18-21 that God wants us -& through us everyone on earth to be in favour with Him. we must understand that the devil will try & steal that favour through deceit & delusion. BUT Jesus came to restore favour to God's people-& through us to everyone everywhere.
Part of our inheritance is to have & enjoy that favour. Part of our ministry is to act as Christ's ambassadors by drawing others to receive God's wonderful gift of forgiveness & reconciliation & to share that marvellous grace of unmerited favour.
God wants to restore us to the favour of Him so we can act as His ambassadors in the earth. This how we need to look upon ourselves as emissaries from a foreign land. The Bible teaches us we are aliens & strangers here, that this earth is not our home , that we are merely passing through(1Pet 2:11) Through us God makes His appeal to others to receive His forgiveness, grace, & favour.
Now think for a moment how are foreign ambassadors treated? Are they not treated royally? That is the way we should expect to be treated, & that is the way we should treat others to whom we are sent by the Lord for the sake of His kingdom.
The Bible tells us that not only are we ambassadors for Christ but that we are kings & priests (Rev 1:6). That is why we need a different attitude towards ourselves & others. We need to act like royal ambassadors, like divine diplomats, because we are God's representatives on earth.
Do not think about how terrible you were before you came to Christ. Instead think about the fact that you have been made the righteousness of God in Him. Remember: thoughts turn into actions. If you ever want to behave better, you have to change your thinking first. Keep thinking about how terrible you are, & you will only act worse worse. Every time a negative condemning thought comes to your mind remind yourself that God loves you, that you have been made the righteousness of God in Christ.
You are changing for the better all the time. Every day you grow spiritually. God has a glorious plan for your life. These are truths you must think about.
Gal2:20 (N L T) My old self has been crucified with Christ. it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me & gave Himself for me.
Rom 7:6 Teaches us that we are to be led by the inner promptings of Holy Spirit, who lives in us & wants us to willingly allow Him to lead guide, & control us, when we submit to His promptings, we experience newness of life. The law only gives us rules & regulations we feel guilty & commended when we do not follow them. BUT the Spirit gives us not only the desire to do what is right, but also the ability & a fresh zeal to do it. He enabled us to serve God with enthusiasm, NOT out of obligation.
Learning to be led by the Holy Spirit should be one of the primary goals of every believer of Jesus Christ. Only the Holy Spirit knows the mind of God concerning our lives & circumstances. He will reveal God's will to us & lead us into it's fullness as we diligently follow His promptings.
I encourage you to learn all you can about how to be led by the Holy Spirit because doing so is a blessing, a privilege, & an act of obedience for Christians.
God promises us that when we are born again He is our Father & you become His Child.
Gal 3:26-29 (N L T) For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.& all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on the character of Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. for you are all one in Christ Jesus, you are the true Children of Abraham. you are heirs & God's promise to Abraham belongs to you.
These verses teach us to thinks as if we have put on the life of Christ like clothing. Let Christ live freely through you. & V28 tells us that we are all one in Christ Jesus. But as long as time has existed, satan has breathed life into the poisonous practice of one race or group of people being prejudiced against another. Most wars are birthed out of prejudice & hatred The Holocaust came from that same poison, as did slavery. Even various religious sects have hated one another & allowed the spirit of pride to fill their hearts.
Ask God to reveal prejudice that may linger in your heart or mind. Repent of it & ask God to help you bring unity where there is division in you.
Rom 8:14 (N K J) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the son's of God.
& Vs 16&17 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, & if children then heirs of God & joint heirs with Christ.
The phrase "As many as are led led by the Spirit of God", describes the lifestyle of those who are sons of God. Paul is giving encouragement not to live according to the flesh BUT to put to death the deeds of the body.
Eph 2:8-10 (N L T) God saved you by His grace when you believed & you can't take credit for this ; it is a gift from God . Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none can boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us a new in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned us long ago.
Grace describes the undeserved kindness by which salvation is given, but it is also the power-word describing the Holy Spirit's operational means. Grace is a force as well as a favour, verb as well as a noun. He the Holy Spirit ministers grace to us from God the Father. It can be said that grace is the Holy Spirit's power flowing out from God's throne to save us; it enables us to live a holy lives & to accomplish God's will.
V 10 tells us that we are God's own handiwork. He created us with His own hands. We human begins got messed up along the way, so we had to be born again spiritually so we could go ahead & do the good works that God had preplanned for us before satan tried to ruin us.
Just because you & I have made mistakes it does not mean God's plan changed. it is still there. All we have to do is to get back to trusting & obeying Him.
Col 1:12 (N L T) Always thanking the father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to His people, who live in the light.
2Pet 3,4 explains that God's power provides everything we need to live a godly life through our relationship with Jesus Christ. Devotion to Jesus supplies what we need for godliness. Strong devotion results from unyielding commitment to God's Word, which alone is the source for Christian thinking. Any other source will eventually corrupt the believers mind.
You can get as close as you want to God for He is no respecter of persons & if one person can have a close, intimate relationship with Him then so can everyone else. Why do some people seem so close to God & others not? I believe it all depends on how much time we are willing to put into developing our personal relationship with Him.
2Pet1 :3 tells us that God calls us to His own glory & excellence. He wants us to have an excellent lives, BUT He also expects us to learn how to behave excellently. Finding strength to do so comes as we wait on Him. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength(Isa 40:31), & spending time in God's Word teaches right from wrong.
Make A Commitment of time to God & I believe you will see life & power that is available to you through His promises. I used to go to Victory Life when I lived in Perth My Pastor Margaret Court always say's Be a life time learner refuse to have a second-hand relationship with God; get to know Him for yourself.
Did you know that in Christ you have authority over satan. Col1:13 (N K J) He ((God the Father) has delivered us from the power of darkness & conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.
Delivered us from the power of darkness conveys the idea of salvation rescuing us from the tyranny of darkness. Drawing on an important O T Ex 6.6 which says: Therefore say to the children of Israel "I am the Lord I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage & I will redeem with an out stretched arm & with great judgements." It includes rescue from such negatives as danger, sickness, death, & hostile situations in general. These rescues include both present deliverances & future consummated deliverances.
Matt 28:18,19 (N K J) These were the encouraging words that Jesus spoke to His followers:... All authority has been given to me in heaven & on earth. Go therefore & make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father & of the Son & of the Holy Spirit.
Recognise that Jesus calls His followers to go to people of all nations & teach them to know Him & live for Him. Teach others that Christ must be the centre of their life. You have been called by God to teach others about who He is & what it means to follow Him. Last week Ganeida told us to read our Bible, it is a text book for daily living. It helps us keep satan under our feet. We also learn who our heavenly Father is & what it means to follow Him, so we can help others to.
God gave you the authority to do so & has promised not to leave you on your own (Matt 28: 18-20. Ask God to show you where He wants you to go-to someone in your office, in your neighbourhood, perhaps even in your own family-so that you can help others to follow Him too.
Col 2:10 (N K J) tells us that we are complete in Him.
& you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality & power.
AS the fullness of God fills, so His fullness fills members of the body. Not only is He the creator of angelic powers & spiritual authorities, He is head over them as He is Head of the body. Since in Him as the Head they were already complete, they had no need to trust in angelic intermediaries to make up any deficiency. Through spiritual union In Him there is no separation.
Eph3:19 (N L T) May you experience the love of Christ , though it is too great to fully understand. Then you will be made complete with all fullness of life & power that comes from God.
Paul prayed that the Ephesians would understand God's love, In VV17-18 he prayed that they would understand the width & the length, & the depth & the height of God's love so that they may be rooted & grounded in that awesome love. Ask God to reveal to you more & more of His love so that you can receive His boundless love & all the fullness of Him.
Wisdom & understanding, as well as sound practical speech, recommended that today's believer both know & clearly express what is meant when he or she speak of revelations. The Holy Spirit does indeed give us revelation, as the Bible teaches. But such prophetic insight into the Word should never be considered as equal to the actual giving of the Scriptures. As helpful as insight into God's Word may be, the finality of the whole revelation of God's Word is the only sure ground for building our lives. (Matt7:24-29; Jn 4:1-6; & Cor 14:1.
Eph 1:18-23 is a prayer for Spiritual wisdom, Paul is praying for people to receive the spirit of wisdom, this is because the Bible says those that walk in wisdom will be successful & live long lives. They will be exceedingly happy , they will be blessed, so blessed, so blessed that they will be envied (Pro 3:1-18). But there is no such thing as wisdom without worship Ps 111:10 & pro 1:7 says that reverence for God & worship are the beginning of wisdom, in other words worship & reverence are foundational to having fruitful life.
God's Word tells us to cry out for wisdom, to seek it as we would silver & gold, to make it a vital necessity in life. There is nothing more important than wisdom, & remember wisdom starts with reverence & worship.
Acknowledgement I Believe An Introduction to Christian Living.