You have been made spiritually alive with Christ. More importantly you are in Christ Jesus and He is seated at the right hand of the Father. So where does that spiritually place you? At the right hand of God! So why do we strive to get close to God when we are spiritually already at His right hand? Why do we strive to perfect ourselves in effort to gain anything from God since He has already done it for us?
This does not mean that we can live a careless sinful life and everything will still be OK. No! What this does mean is that because God has spiritually cleansed us, we can sit next to Him where His power will help us overcome the sin and strife in our lives. Can you see the difference? We are still continually growing more pure in our lives as we “walk” with Him instead of striving to purify ourselves just to be able to “come” to Him.
Ephesians 2:4-7, 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Previously I established that it is God’s love for us that has provided our salvation. When we read “who is rich in mercy” we need to take into consideration some of the actions taken by God from the Old Testament to see that there truly was a split in time at the death and resurrection of Christ. There truly was a change in how God looked upon man after the resurrection of Christ. The following paragraph will paint a picture of God’s view of man before and after the death and resurrection of Jesus.
In Genesis 6 we read where God was so discussed with what man was doing that He had Noah, a righteous man, build the Ark and God destroyed the earth with the Great Flood essentially starting over with Noah and his three sons and wives to repopulate the earth. In Genesis 11 we read that God saw that man was becoming too strong in unity because they all could speak the same language. They even tried to build a tower to reach heaven “The Tower of Babel”, because they thought they were so great. This is where the different languages from around the world started. In Genesis 19 God saw that Sodom and Gomorrah were so vile in their thought and actions He removed Lot, a righteous man and his family, out of Sodom and destroyed both cities. At various times in Exodus, Moses had to stand in protection from the wrath of God against the children of Israel because they were in such rebellion that God was often ready to destroy them and start over with Moses. Even with the Law of Moses for the children of Israel to follow, man was kept away from having any open communication with God directly due to the sinful nature man lived in. The only way for man to overcome this sin nature was for a single human to pay the sacrifice and that person could not have any sin in their life. That is the only way the law of sin and death could be broken. “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3)
From the beginning God created man to have fellowship with him. Before Adam fell he and God spoke daily one to one in the Garden of Eden. God wants to communicate with us, be our Father, be our God, and to love and comfort us in ways our natural fathers could only wish for. It has been God’s plan from the beginning for His children to have what we have today and still we do not fully understand who we are and what we have. The most incredible thing of all is God’s love for us. In verse 5, “even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ”, God shows us this love. We did not have to clean ourselves up first before God sent His son to die in our place. So why do so many churches and doctrines today express the idea that we must clean ourselves up after we become born again? It is because they do not understand that through our faith in Christ Jesus as our Lord and savior, we are seen as clean in God’s eyes. This does not mean that we can continue to live in sin and just rest on God’s grace, but by understanding the goodness and love of God, Jesus can help us overcome the sins that so easily ensnare us. We can’t do it by ourselves, and the Holy Spirit wants to be our Helper. When God looks at the believer, He sees Jesus instead. We are actually in the very presence of God and Jesus is making intercession for us. (Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:25) Once we realize that we are actually seated in Christ at the very right hand of God, as read in verse 6, our natural desire to sin begins to go away. Even if a sinful thought comes up, if we do not meditate on the sinful thought, but rather meditate on the good things God has done for us, we will not commit sin. (Philippians 4:8&9)
Most people in the United States have a bible in their homes, but most do not read it and many of those that do may not understand what they have read. The only way God can show the world His exceeding love and grace to the world is through us. We are living, walking, talking, bibles. I am not advocating that we constantly get in everyone’s face with “repent or be sent”, “turn or burn”. In fact it is simply our trying to live a daily godly life that will speak volumes to those we come in contact with. When we purpose to live in God’s grace and extend that same grace to those we come in contact with, then it is the goodness of God that will lead people to repentance. (Romans 2:4)
(Historical Note: The fact is our current calendar is split at the birth of Christ although it was miss-calculated and the year of His birth happened four years earlier. Until recently the Gregorian calendar we use today, which was and is accepted by international institutions such as the United Nations and the Universal Postal Union, used the initial BC / AD to designate the time split. BC literally means before Christ, and AD is Latin for Anno Domini which means “in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ”.) I had to bring this up as I have recently heard young teenagers and even some young adults using the initials BCE for “before common era” and CE for “common era”. When I questioned the term I also found out that they did not know BC & AD, but were in fact taught by public institutions the BCE/CE term so as to not have to mention Christ. This great country was founded on Christian biblical principles and now we are teaching Christ right out of the next generation? Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anno_Domini if you want to read more.
Copyright The Power of Grace Ministries. All rights reserved.
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California,
Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New Your, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming