Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Maturity found in being lead by God

When Jesus restored Peter at the sea of Galilee, He told him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go" (John 21:18). In saying this Jesus showed among other things that one of the marks of Christian maturity is found in a pliable yielding to the leading of the Lord. We are lead by another yet, we stretch out our hands to acquiesce to the leading.

This same thought is repeated by the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:14, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons (huios – mature sons) of God.” The more we are lead by the Spirit of the Lord and the more we easily yield to His influence the more mature we are in the Christian walk.

Again this can be compared to Ezekiel’s vision of the river (Ezekiel 47:1-5) with the water to the ankles being analogous to salvation, the knees to water baptism and a beginning to walk in the footsteps of Christ, the waters to the waist could be compared to the baptism of the Holy Spirit where the current and flow of the river is more felt than before, the final phase is waters to swim in which will take you along with them even as you swim in them. This is one of the promises of the New Covenant as see in Ezekiel 36:26-27, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”

May God grant that we each day grow more and more pliable in His hands as we are lead by His Spirit! Amen.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thoughts on Romans 5:10

"For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life."


As I was reading through Romans again in preparation to teach on it this coming February, I came across this verse which somehow had never fully caught my attention before. Often as believers we have a good focus on what happened at the death of Christ and on the atonement that was accomplished there, but not only is the fact of the resurrection crucial in showing that Christ was indeed the Son of God, but His life saves us.


It is as the ever-living High Priest that He can continually intercede for us before the Father and by virtue of this and His once-for-all offering make us perfect and present us so before the Father (Heb. 7:24-25; 10:14; Jude 1:24).


We all have received physical life because of our descent from the first Adam who was made a living soul. By our natural birth we have a life like his enabling us to think, talk, move, and act. More importantly though, when we are born again we receive life form the second Adam who is a life-giving spirit (1 Cor. 15:45) - Our spiritual nature is made alive through Him and the whole of our being is enlivened. Even as we indisputably bear the marks of descent from Adam as seen in our actions being like his, in the same way we will also one day bear the image of the second Adam (1 Cor. 15:49).


Christ has received from His Father the power of having life in Himself, life independent of all external supports or requirements, and He has the power to enliven whomever He will (John 5:21-26). It is this life, an eternal life that He has had in the past and which will continue forever into the future, which He imparts to us. He laid His own life down for us on Calvary, but having power to take it back up, He did and out of His life we receive ours, even as He said to the disciples, "Because I live (present tense), you shall live also." Truly Christ is our life and as His life manifests in us we will know His truly great salvation! Amen.