There is GOOD NEWS this morning for those who believe in Jesus Christ and who know Him.
First of all, there are many believers in Christ who need to realize that they have not yet entered into His REST.
There are many believers who are still trying to earn God’s love and favor. There are many believers who believe that the forgiveness offered through Christ’s sacrificial death is free, but yet that they still must strive to do “good” and to never do anything wrong or they will lose God’s favor. There are many believers who think that if they make all of the right choices and walk in the right path in the sight of men that they will be OK and not have any real problems. While the outer appearances of their lives seem to be that of having it all together – they are miserable inside because if anything goes wrong, they blame themselves. The brunt of every trial and tribulation is on their shoulders because if they had only made the right choice in this or that instance, then they wouldn’t be going through that tough time.
Friends, it is time to enter His REST. Sin no longer separates us from the love of Jesus Christ or the love and grace and mercies of our Father. The Holy Spirit does not leave us every time that we sin and the Lord does not stop speaking to us or working in or around us when we have sin happening in our lives.
I know that is a very bold statement.
Friends, can you allow the Lord to enlighten you on this? Can you pray and read His Word and study on this? Will you stop living in defeat because you do not know who you are in Christ and what amazing, victorious power is at work within you? Would you allow yourself to be filled to the fullness of the measure of His love and power at work within you by His Spirit?
ALL of our sins are washed clean at the cross by the blood of Jesus Christ. EVERY sin that you and I ever committed – past, present and future sins – was already in the future when Christ paid the price for them. There are sins that we know that we commit and sins that we commit that we don’t even realize until a later time when the Lord shows us that we had wrong motives, or improper intentions or that we had a misunderstanding of who we are in Christ and acted ignorantly of His will. Yes, we then repent each time we learn something new about God and His will and how our ways are not His. Yes, when the Lord shows us how to walk in the Light and instructs us in our paths for His purposes, He takes us from strength to strength and in that process we are going to be continually repenting and confessing our need of Him and of His forgiveness.
BUT we are never separated from that cleansing flood’s effect on our consciences and our debt is paid once and for all at the cross. Jesus NEVER leaves nor forsakes us even in our weaknesses. In fact, I believe that is when He is closer to us than ever. Even in our weakest moments that is when He is protecting us the most and allowing us to see areas that need healing, shifting of perspective, learning of His truths from His Word, seeing where we have needs that He wants to fulfill instead of us seeking the wrong means to meet our needs, etc…
When we try to control everything around us or manipulate God into meeting our “needs” by saying the right things, saying the right prayers, quoting the right Scriptures, obeying all the rules, following the suggested behaviors like going to church, being in the right clubs, having that good job, dressing a certain way, not being like those non-believers who do whatever they want, and hold ourselves together like a tightly wound watch…. Then we are trying to do it all and we have so much pressure on ourselves. We think that if we just get it all right then everything else will be OK.
I have learned that a lot of stress goes away when I realize that God is in control, He is good and He is working it all out for our good. When I really began to walk in that… When I really began to TRUST Jesus… what a weight has been lifted!!!! Friends Jesus’ yoke really is light! There is no burden in following Jesus Christ! We can rest in His finished work on the cross. Friends, He nailed the written code to the cross, canceling our sin debt and the curse of sin and death!!! Colossians 2:13-15
Can you get a grip on that? Can you trust that? Can you believe that?
Here it is: Colossians 2:13-15 “13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
Put this with Romans 8:1-4 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
The GOOD NEWS of the gospel is that our sin debt is paid, once and for all.
The GOOD NEWS of the gospel is that Jesus cancelled the written code that was against us and our flesh and that He gave us His Spirit to fill us and lead us. He re-created us and we were re-born when we made Jesus our Lord. We are now new beings that do not just follow our own desires and wants according to our flesh. As a believer in Christ and His finished work on the cross, we are now more concerned with spiritual matters, like love and peace and joy. These spiritual blessings are unchangeable because they are based on Someone higher than we are and higher than our circumstances. By faith in Jesus and His finished work on the cross, we do not go by what we see, hear or feel… we walk by faith in Jesus, who conquered death, healed every disease, forgave every sin, loved every human, and who made our greatest enemies powerless against us!
The GOOD NEWS of the gospel is that Jesus Christ made the devil and all of his demons and followers powerless against those of us who follow Jesus. There is no weapon formed against us that can prosper. Why is that true for us today? Because Jesus, through His act of love, by dying on the cross and becoming the curse for us, and by cancelling the Law and also fulfilling its requirements has set us free from the curse of sin and death. That is GOOD NEWS!
Jesus rose from death after showing the greatest act of love ever recorded in history! Because of His obedience to the Father, because of His love for all of humanity, for you and for me, because He was willing to leave His throne, come to earth and walk among us and love us in spite of our sin, because He was willing to take the beating and cursings and humiliations and then to die on that cross for us – Jesus overcame death and rose to life victorious over all. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus wants to live in our hearts. Jesus wants us to have the Holy Spirit to teach us, lead us, remind us, grow us, and to manifest the fruits of the spirit in our lives.
The GOOD NEWS of the gospel is that when we come to Jesus and turn from following our own ways and accept that He alone is worthy of praise and that He alone is qualified to be our King and Savior and Lord – then we are given a new conscience and our sins are washed away. We have new desires for things that are blessings. We have God at work in us to motivate us to want to do according to His purposes and He enables us to do according to His purposes. God’s purposes and plans for us are for our good, to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)!
The GOOD NEWS of the gospel is that when we are born again into Christ we are given the mind of Christ, we are hidden in Christ, and we seated with Christ and we are given authority in His name. We are called Christ’s ambassadors in the earth. The kingdom of God is within us. We are called ministers of reconciliation. We are holy and dearly loved and we are a royal priesthood. We are born into one body, into Christ, to be His brethren, co-heirs with Jesus. We are no longer identified by where we were born, what color our skin is or by whether we are man or woman or child. We are no longer identified by our job, our income level, our social status, our IQ or our looks. When we are born again we are no longer citizens of this earth and the world systems here. When we are born again we are citizens of heaven and of the kingdom of God! That is also GOOD NEWS!
Can we get a grip on this and live this out? This is the perspective that we need to have every day and with every situation that comes across our path. Is it easy? No! But the more we walk in this knowledge, the easier it becomes and the lighter our burdens become for us. If we can realize who we are in Christ and accept the gospel as the GOOD NEWS and not the “list of don’t and do’s” then we can begin to have our heads lifted by our Lord, the Source of all of our peace and hope and strength!
Evil is overcome by good. Lies are defeated with truth! Fear is gone when we trust in our Lord and Savior who deeply loves us and has blessed us with every spiritual blessing that we need. We are blessed and equipped by our Lord for every trial and tribulation that comes our way to test us and to refine our faith. The struggles are only here to prove our faith, to take us to the next level of strength! Let us embrace them in faith and know that Jesus is for us, He loves us, and He is taking us to the next level in Him.
Let us stop looking around at all of the fear mongering and the smack talking that is coming from the enemies’ camps. The world, the flesh and the devil are all out to steal, kill and destroy every human life that they can. Do not be deceived. Let us get on our knees in prayer and praise and worship our Lord and trust Him that He has rescued us from this present evil age, He has moved us out of the kingdom and rule of the darkness and placed us into His glorious kingdom of light that we cannot see, but we believe! The Lord has delivered us! He has set us free! He has cancelled any power that the enemy had! Let us walk out His love for us as we love others the same, and point them to our Savior and to the GOOD NEWS!