Thursday, December 5, 2019

“So Great a Sacrifice, So Great a Gift"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe

 "So Great a Sacrifice, So Great a Gift"

    When born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ do not think about ourselves in terms of Scripture, we unintentionally minimize the greatness of our Savior's sacrifice.

    "He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21).

    Our Lord's life, death, resurrection, ascension, and eternal intercession accomplishes far more for us that we sometimes realize.  Sins forgiven and Heaven assured, along with God's presence, purpose, provision, protection, and perpetual care are all wonderful glories to be affirmed with praise and thanksgiving.  However, we must also realize and affirm the Biblical declaration of our newness of life and being in Christ.  Indeed, we are either the "new creature" the Apostle Paul declares us to be, or we are not.  We are either "alive unto God" or we are not.  We are either  "servants of righteousness" or we are not.  We are either temples of the living God or we are not (II Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:11; 18; I Corinthians 3:16).  The list could go on and on of New Testament declarations regarding that which God has already accomplished in us through the presence and working of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

   Certainly we remain susceptible to temptation and sin, to the degree that a "law of sin" still resides in our earthly members and faculties (Romans 7:23).  Believers can still walk after the flesh,  thinking, speaking, acting, and relating as if we are the same slaves to sin we were before the new birth.  A careful reading of Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians confirms this fact.  However, nothing ever changes the truth of our newness in Christ.  We are swans who can act like ugly ducklings.  This will especially characterize our experience if we believe ourselves to still be ugly ducklings.  Thus, we must look into the mirrored waters of God's Word to behold the new creature we are in Christ.  In Paul's terms, we must "reckon," meaning to consider or account that the truth is true.  Who we were died with Christ (Romans 6:6-13).  Who we are lives with, in, and by Christ (Galatians 2:20).  Again, this is either true, or it is not.  It is true, of course, in the light of "Thy Word is truth" (John 17:17).  Moreover, nothing changes or can change the truth of who we are in our spiritual bond and being with the Spirit of Christ.  Nothing.  "Ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).  This is the "so great salvation" provided by our Lord, who suffered too much for us to neglect the newness of life and being birthed within us a a free gift (Hebrews 2:3).

   A final point.  This truth ruthlessly (in a good way) rips away every excuse we have for unbelief and disobedience.  With the blessing of newness in Christ comes great responsibility.  There is never a moment when sin is not an aberration and distortion of who our Lord is in us, and who we are in Him.  The truth we consider establishes a "no excuses Christianity" in every believer.  If a "servant of righteousness" sins, he acts in contradiction to who and what He is. More to the point, he ignores or denies the power of our newness of life, namely, "Christ, the power of God" (I Corinthians 1:24).  Paul declared that "the power that worketh in us" serves as the means whereby our Lord works in us to "do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20).  The life of our new spiritual being is the Savior Himself - "to live is Christ" (Philippians 1:21).  This we must believe because it is true, because it is empowering, and because it leads us to overcome the temptation to make excuses for sin.  There are none for swans who act like ugly ducklings.  Nor do we need any.  In those times when we fail to walk in the light of truth regarding Christ and ourselves, our Heavenly Father is more than willing to forgive, cleanse, and restore us to the light of life made possible by so great a sacrifice and so great a gift.

"Beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
(II Corinthians 3:18)

Weekly Memory Verse
  "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
(John 7:24)


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