Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Orange Moon Wednesday, March 20, 2024 "Behold!" Part 4 - As He Sees - Reckon and Behold

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…


Part 4 - As He Sees - Reckon and Behold

      "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).

    Certainly, we cannot see as God sees.

    "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good… all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do" (Proverbs 15:3; Hebrews 4:13).

    This includes seeing ourselves.  Indeed, the only mystery that approaches the challenge of knowing God is they enigma we are to ourselves.  Who are we, actually?  That is, who are born again believers in the eyes of God?  And who are we to believe ourselves to be in Christ?  

    First, note that we reference "are" and "be" regarding the present inquiry.  "Do" matters much, of course.  "Be ye doers of the Lord, and not hearers only" declared James (James 1:22).  However, if we do not know who we are, as defined by God, we shall not get far in bearing the fruits of the root, as it were.  James clearly echoes the thematic declaration of the Apostle Paul that guides our present consideration: 

   "If any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass, for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was" (James 1:23-24).  

    Clearly, James informs us that failure to do as a believer can result from forgetfulness of who we see in the mirror.  Or, it may result from not looking rightly into God's spiritual mirror to see ourselves as birthed and constituted in Christ.

    "Therefore reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11; emphasis added).

    "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17; emphasis added).

    Do we "reckon" ourselves as alive unto God?  Do we "behold" the new creature we are in Christ?  If not, we do not see ourselves as God sees us.  In fact, we disobey Him ("reckon" and "behold" are both imperative commands).  The Gospel and it's provision of salvation involves far more than forgiveness and assurance of eternal life with God in Heaven.  The Lord Jesus Christ, suffered, died, and became what He was not in order to redeem us into who we are as a "new man, created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24).  Failure to trust and obey God regarding how we view ourselves therefore constitutes what may be an unintentional sin and error, but nevertheless one of woefully tragic neglect and consequence.  We see the Lord and His cross as far less than it was, and His redeeming life and presence as far less than it is.  This results in a far lesser walk in faith and faithfulness, or, as was said of the Lord's home country during His earthly lifetime, "He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief" (Matthew 13:58).

    "For 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).

   God enrobed the Lord Jesus with our sins on the cross of Calvary to the degree of being "made… sin."  Upon the basis of so great a sacrifice, He enrobes every believer in the moment of the new birth with the righteousness of Christ.  He sees us thereafter through the lens of His Son's redeeming presence as the very Life of our lives.  He does not ignore or overlook our response to Him regarding thought, attitude, word, and behavior.  However, our Father so exalts and emphasizes the redeeming work of the Lord Jesus on our behalf that He will not see us save in the light of the cross, the resurrection, and they imparting of the Spirit of Christ into our hearts.  Indeed, even to the Corinthians who walked in dark measures of unbelief and disobedience, Paul affirmed, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (I Corinthians 3:3; 16).

   We cannot see ourselves perfectly as God sees us.  We can, however, choose to obey Him by faith in reckoning ourselves as alive unto Him, and beholding ourselves as the new creatures we are in Christ.  We can believe that to the degree the Lord Jesus was made to be sin, we are made by grace as eternally righteous in the sight of God.  "The fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ" will hang far more heavily on the branches of our earthly faculties and members as we see by faith that which God sees in the plain view of His perfect vision (Philippians 1:11).  Too much was suffered and sacrificed by our Savior for us to reckon and behold anything other than the truth about Him - and about ourselves as new creatures in Him.

"But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."

(I Corinthians 1:30-31)

"Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you… If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."

(Romans 8:9; Colossians 2:6)

Tomorrow: Being and behavior

Weekly Memory Verse

     Beholding as in a glass 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)


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