What an amazing God and what amazing grace! He made a creature that He knew He would have to die to redeem from sin. He gave up all of His glory and chose to live among such lowly, filthy creatures. Creatures consumed by sin and fleshly lusts. He suffered persecution, bore our sins in His sinless body and endured beatings so that by His stripes we could be healed. He could have stopped there but He didn’t. He died a shameful death on a cross for our sins, was resurrected and lives in heaven interceding for us there at the right hand of God. He could have stopped there but He didn’t. He came back as a Spirit to abide inside of us so that we who chose to accept Him as our Savior would never be alone.
27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory. — Col. 1:27 NLT
GOD IN CHRIST AND CHRIST IN US! AMAZING GRACE!
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Paul continues to contrast living under the law as opposed to living under grace. For hundreds of years, all the Jews had known was the law plus all the man-made traditions that had been added by the priests and the religious leaders. That now there was a different way to please God was going to take a lot of “unteaching ” and “unlearning”. The law was not given to be a curse, but it became a curse because the flesh could not live up to its standards. It did not require faith, it was a law of works. It was meant to be a teacher showing “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. We needed a change, but to have that change, we needed someone to remove us from under the curse of sin and the law. Jesus became a curse and a Redeemer for us. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we can now receive the promise of the blessing of Abraham. We could not become the physical offspring of Abraham, but we could become the Spiritual descendants of the “seed” of Abraham. That “Seed” is Jesus Christ. 13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect —Romans 4:13,14 (NKJV)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
God the Father confirms that what is planned will bring glory to His name and that Jesus is doing what He has come to earth to accomplish. Even after hearing the voice that some thought sounded like thunder and others thought was the voice of an angel. they still did not understand and believe. Jesus tells them that the voice was for their sake, not His. He is completely confident that He is doing exactly what He is supposed to do. The world was judged to be sinful and all that sin was put on Jesus. The very moment that Jesus dies, God accepts His sacrificial death as payment for all of our sins. The master plan of satan has been defeated. Now it is up to each of us to believe this and accept it. God made the plan of salvation simple enough for a child to understand and accept. But that acceptance is just the first step on a journey with our Savior and Lord. The journey might get rough in spots, but His grace is more than sufficient to carry us.
God, because of His great love, mercy and grace made the plan of salvation so simple that a child can understand it. Because of the simplicity of the plan, it often brings the question, “Is that really all I need to do to be saved?’. And the simple answer is yes. So, we can just keep doing what we were doing? No! and again No! But now we are talking about sanctification which is a lifelong process. The good works we do are not to gain a greater salvation. If we could do enough good works to be saved then Jesus died in vain. We might as well still be living under the law and all of its impossible requirements. But Jesus did not die in vain. His death and resurrection fulfilled the law and opened the gate to heaven so that all that chose Him in faith could come in. When Paul tells the Philippians to “work out your own salvation”, he is not telling them to look for another way to be saved. He is telling them to do good works to show the world the results of their salvation. Phil, 2:12-15 NLT Jesus “went about doing good”. He is our example of how we are to live our lives as His brothers and sisters. As Christians, our response to certain things should be so different from the response of the worldly that it gets their attention. Our good works not only attract others to Jesus but they are also how we “lay up rewards in heaven”.
“There is only one God”, the great “I AM that I AM”, Yahweh. Yahweh is the third person form of the Hebrew root word, haya. It actually could be translated as “I am present with you”. God has been with us in one way or another ever since He created us. No religion can make that claim about the god they serve regardless of what name they call their deity. We come to know our God through Jesus Christ. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus said there is only one way to the Father and that was through Him. Jesus also said that to know Him was to know the Father as well. John 14:6, 7 NLT The Holy Spirit calls all of us regardless of what we may call ourselves here on earth. He calls us to come to Jesus, accept Jesus and become one of the family of God. Once we have done this, the Holy Spirit abides within us. Though we sometimes may feel lonely because of a lack of being with those we love, we can never truly be alone again. We are a new creation, we have a new family and we have a new friend who is with us constantly. This new friend is unique in many ways. He is really three friends in one. He is our Father, our Brother and our constant Companion. If we allow Him to do so, He can fill every void in our heart.
16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name. — Malachi 3:16 NLT
It is both comforting and frightening to understand that God hears every word we say and knows every thought that we think. It is frightening to think that the King of Kings hears some of the things we say to each other. Our unkind remarks and thoughts that we have surely displease Him. They are a sin in His eyes. We must pray that we never get to the point that our consciences are seared over and we are not convicted of our foolish remarks. We must learn to fear God in the correct way. The fear that we should have of God is a feeling of respect and reverence that is so deep that it causes us to be in complete awe of Him. It is comforting to know He hears when we pray and knows our thoughts when we just think a prayer. Think a prayer? Yes, we have those times when we don’t verbally pray but, instantly, a thought that serves as a prayer crosses our minds. It is also comforting to note that God records the names of those who revere Him and always meditate on His name. It is also comforting that He says nothing about recording our sins, just our names. Thank God for His mercy that He does not give us the punishment we have earned, instead He gives us grace, a gift that we do not deserve.
The trip from Judea to Galilee took Jesus through Samaria. It was a rough journey and Jesus, in His human form, was subject to becoming tired and weary, just as we are. The Samaritans and the Jews were not on the best of terms and rarely, if ever, spoke to each other. Yet, Jesus began to talk to this Samaritan woman and tell her things about her past and her present situation. She realized that He was a prophet and began to question Him about the difference in the traditions of how the Samaritans and the Jews worshipped God. Jesus began to explain these things to her and tells her that was the way things were but those things were changing. The Samaritan woman says that she knows things will change when the Messiah comes. It is then that Jesus reveals to her that He is the Messiah for whom she has been waiting. Jesus uses the words “I AM”. The same words that God had used when Moses asked God, “who shall I say is sending me?” Hearing these words, she immediately becomes a missionary and runs to tell the whole town about Jesus. When Jesus touches us, we have to tell somebody. Do we still have that burning desire to tell people about Jesus, the Messiah, the great “I AM” or has the fire gone out? If we no longer have that desire to tell others about Jesus, perhaps it is time to ask God to light the fires again.