Thursday, May 11, 2017

“A Confident Relationship”

"A Confident Relationship"     
   Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ involves both confidence in God, and confidence in our capacity for relationship with Him.

   "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1).
   "God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6).

   Many believers possess a sincere assurance of God's goodness, presence, and involvement in their lives.  They are confident in Him.  However, they do not believe themselves capable of consistent faith and faithfulness.  Past experiences of failure, the present sense of weakness, and fear of the future seemingly give little hope for the abundant life promised by the Lord Jesus (John 10:10).  Some believers may even feel that they don't have the same spiritual capacity that others do.  This makes likely the continued experience of feeling unable to walk closely with God.  A nagging sense of frustration leads to a despair that can make the victims self fulfilling prophecies of failure.  "He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief" (Matthew 13:58).

   The gift of God's grace in the Lord Jesus makes such sad experience unnecessary.  In Christ, our Heavenly Father provides not only peace with Himself, but also the power to walk in consistent fellowship and faithfulness.  Again, the Bible calls us to be confident not only in our Lord, but also confident in our ability to relate to Him through Christ.  The Spirit of the Lord Jesus dwells in every believer for the purpose of enabling our spiritual capacity to walk with God.  If we do not know such grace, however, or if we focus on our human weakness rather than His promised presence and power, we will trudge along the path of righteousness rather than confidently walk in our Savior's triumph.  No greater tragedy can occur than the failure of believers to avail ourselves of the full effect of the salvation for the which the Lord Jesus suffered and died.  "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him" (I John 4:9).

   Faithfulness flows from the indwelling Spirit of Christ, and from our growing knowledge that we "live through Him."  Conversely, failure results from ignorance or unbelief regarding the magnitude of God's grace in the Lord Jesus.  We can walk with Him.  We can pray more consistently and effectually.  We can seek God in His Word, and we can increasingly trust His promises and obey His commands by the power of the Holy Spirit.  We can walk in love through the love of God that is "shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).  Our Heavenly Father purposes that our lives will become the expression of our Lord's abundant life revealed in us.  The New Testament promises such grace, and the new life we received in Christ provides it.  Yes, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ involves both confidence in God, and confidence in our Christ-enabled capacity for relationship with Him.

"The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."
(I Timothy 1:14)
"But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior."
(Titus 3:4-6)

Weekly Memory Verse
   For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
(John 1:17).

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