Reports on what God is doing through Bible believing evangelical Christians in Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, India and Ecuador. Jesus said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you" (John 15:7).
SELAH! Pause - reflect- just think of that!
Lordship of Christ and Our Sanctification
There is always a constant tension between the “now” and the “yet to be” in the Christian’s life.
When we submit to the lordship of Jesus Christ He changes our lives. We grow in our inner person as the Holy Spirit reveals areas of our lives that are not fully yielded to Christ. It takes a lifetime to affect big changes in our lives because God’s goal is a person like Christ.
Matthew 5:48 reads, “you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” God will never lower His standard to human level. He demands absolute perfection. We want to become more like Him because He loves us. What a tragedy if we lose the desire to become perfect in Christ.
How wonderful to know even now His blood clovers all our sins. Nothing is left uncovered for those who believe on Christ as their Savior. In God’s holy eyes, the believer is already perfect in Christ because we are seated with Christ in the heavenly places.
Christ-likeness in our daily life begins when we put our faith in Christ. It is true, we will never reach sinless perfection in this life, but we strive for it because we love Him and respond to His love. God conforms us to His likeness as we yield ourselves to Him.
As we grow spiritually, we strive to make Christ lord of every area of our lives. This is where spiritual growth takes place. We learn to trust every area of our lives to Christ. Sadly, no one has given God all of themselves except Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit works within us revealing our true self and the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ. Do we really want Christ to control the deepest recesses of our hearts?
There is absolutely nothing God cannot do in your life if He so chooses. The One who “brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion” can do anything He so chooses with anyone who will yield himself to Him (Eph. 1:20-21). All He asks from us is to trust Him. All He wants of us is to make ourselves available to Him moment by moment.
This is God’s inheritance in the saints. Paul prayed that we would come to know how precious the saints are in God’s eyes as His inheritance. It is a permanent work of the Holy Spirit in our inner spirit. God is glorified in His saints. This is part of His wealth (Eph. 1:18-20). May God increase our capacity to understand what He is doing in our lives.
The exceeding greatness of His power is at work in us right now, but it is not automatic. It is a power beyond measure. It is more than enough, this surpassing power of God. Do I hear a holy hush fall upon us?
Our problem is not that God cannot change us. Ours is a problem of the will. Do I want all that God wants for me? Do I want to live in a manner that will glorify Him?
This mighty power of God that was operative in Christ when God raised Him from the dead is now at work in the believer who makes Himself available to God.
Is there anything that can be named that is above Christ? Indeed not, Christ is the sovereign Lord (vv. 21-23).
What would happen in our lives if we prayed for His will to be done on earth, in our lives, just exactly as it is, and is fully done in heaven? When you pray like that get out of the way God has you prepared so He can do something in, and within and through you.
However, please remember that it is not your doing it; it is His power working in and through you that accomplishes His will. He wants to present us perfect, mature, full-grown, complete to the Father (4:13).
The Holy Spirit is in the process of conforming the saint to the image of Christ. It begins in this present life in the Spirit’s work of sanctification, and it is not completed until we meet Christ in heaven. Christ’s perfections are so wonderful that we will ever bear but a dim reflection of Him in all of His glory.
Christ’s lordship leaves nothing out of our lives. What is the Holy Spirit putting His finger on in my life that needs to change? Is there some sinful attitude, behavior, desire, or goal that needs to be taken to the cross and crucified? Do I die daily to sinful desires? When you take off the old man and put on the new you are yielding to the lordship of Jesus Christ.
We have life in the Spirit. This is where the awesome power of God is at work. As we yield to the Holy Spirit working in our lives, we are able to overcome sin (Gal. 5:16).
God leads us into a deeper understanding of the Christ-life as we walk with Him. As we grow in Christ, we gain a clearer and deeper understanding of God’s purpose in our lives. God lives in us through the Holy Spirit.
The lordship of Christ is vitally related to our sanctification because we have been set apart for God’s use. We are set apart for His holy purposes. We are reserved for that which will bring glory to Him alone.
In one aspect, our sanctification took place the moment we believed on Christ, but it is also a daily process of being set apart more and more fully for His glory. The Holy Spirit reveals areas in our lives that are not fully yielded to the lordship of Christ. We are further set apart as we die to these areas and yield them to Christ.
When the Holy Spirit reveals to us the riches of God’s inheritance in the saints the temptation to yield to the world’s values is unattractive.
This is the only way we will ever become what God intended us to be when He created us. There is no other way to fulfill His eternal purpose.
God’s eternal purpose is that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). Therefore, God’s goal is that we “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). That is possible only as I yield in obedience to Him. Therefore, the kingdom of God must come before everything else in my life. It requires that I submit all I am, and all I have, or ever hope to be to Jesus Christ.
This kind of thinking is revolutionary. Christ becomes the focus of our lives. We think differently, act differently and emote differently. Christ is our all and in all. Our values are refocused.
“Be holy, because I am holy.” The only way I can be that person is by yielding to Him. Oh, Jesus, please be the Lord of my life. Come, live Your life in me today.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.""Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)
Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.
Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.
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