Monday, March 16, 2015

"Changed Relationships"

     The Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ involves changed relationships, beginning with the very being of God Himself.  When the Lord Jesus Christ became human, as conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary, the Trinity of Divinity took on a new facet of being and nature.  "Great is the mystery of godliness.  God was manifest in the flesh" (I Timothy 3:16).  The purely Spiritual became something more as the Father who had forever loved His Son in Heavenly reality now loved and loves Him as both God and man.  "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 17:5).

   Relational change proceeds to the created human race as the death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus makes possible our redemption from carnality to spirituality - "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit… Ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (John 3:6; Romans 8:9).  While retaining our earthly substance, the grace of God as received through faith in Christ births us into spiritual being and relationship with God.  No longer are we merely our earthy, human selves, but rather forevermore live as ourselves inhabited and enlivened by the indwelling Holy Spirit.  "And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins… and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:1; 6).  Relationship with God thus becomes the great reality of our life and existence - "I will dwell in them and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16).

   Finally, changed relationships between people result when the Gospel is believed and embraced.  "A new commandment give I unto you, that ye love one another.  As I have loved you, that ye love one another" (John 13:34).  Before Christ, no human being could love as God loves because the indwelling Holy Spirit was not yet given (Old Testament saints such as Joseph, David, and others had limited experience of such reality, but did not possess the full measure of the grace of the Lord's love).  Through Christ, born again believers can love "as I have loved you."  The history of church bears witness to this glory of "the love of God… shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).  Moreover, our own personal histories reveal that relationship with God fosters relationships with people that could not and would not exist apart from our union with the Spirit of Christ.  Referencing Jews and Gentiles, perhaps the greatest human alienation of all, the Apostle Paul exults, "He is our peace, who hath made both one and broken down the middle wall of partition between us, having abolished in His flesh the enmity" (Ephesians 2:14-15).

    The Gospel of the Lord Jesus changes people, and changes relationships between people.  We do well to keep this in heart and mind, particularly when difficulties exist with others in our own sphere of influence.  As we trust our Heavenly Father, miracles of His love often repair breaches and restore bridges between alienated hearts.  Such grace began between ourselves and God when we believed.  We do well to seek and expect that the grace will continue between ourselves and people as the love of Christ changes us, and changes our relationships with God and humanity.

"Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us."
(Ephesians 5:2)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly places in Christ."
(Ephesians 1:3)

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