Saturday, December 4, 2010

Resting In Christ

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ,
keep seeking the things above,
where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on the things above,
not on the things that are on earth.
For you have died and your life is hidden
with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

The principle of reckoning is to have faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
To reckon is to believe and stand upon established truth. We are to believe in what Christ has already accomplished ... your salvation and eternal life, here and now. The act of reckoning is to stand on the biblical truth. “You have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” is a key principle in establishing spiritual growth and progress. Reckoning our position in Christ “you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” and becoming spiritually focused “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” are key steps to physically living “in the world” but not being controlled by and “being of the world.” When we understand these facts we can rise above the cares of the world and it’s temporary problems and temporary solutions. This is what sets Christians who are Biblically focused apart from those who are lost in the cares of the world ("a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways). This is a key element to experiencing the Peace that surpasses all understanding" ... another amazing blessing to be reckoned upon that Jesus has promised to each one of us who have received His free gift of eternal life.

This truth (Reckoning) is an important key to resting in Christ.

My previous post clearly demonstrates the difference between being focused on Christ who is the solution; and relying on the plans of men which are often well meaning but counter productive spiritually. What could possibly be wrong with converting empty buildings of worship of various religions and cults into health centers that provide much needed medical treatment to billions of poor people throughout the world? You tell me when you read this statement from a world renowned Christian pastor: “I am not concerned about your motivation in doing good … as long as you do good." This reinforces the lie that keeps billions of religious and non-religious people blinded to the truth and from turning to Jesus Christ: a works based salvation. Once again, I am not saying this is not a worthy rallying point for good people worldwide to get behind. But I am saying we cannot follow Christ and join together with false religions at the same time. This like all other worldly solutions is temporal. Better than doing nothing ... but we cannot call it Christianity.

Our calling is to preach the gospel to the world ... leading to eternal salvation through Jesus Christ.

The statement above makes much sense from a politician who represents those under his leadership from various viewpoints, and who freely believe many different religions and philosophies. But our call as Christians is to be ministers of reconciliation to the lost of the world … not disregard or reinforce their false beliefs and positions. This is where our loyalties come into question. How do your loyalties line up? God, family, self, others, country, environment. There are those who think country and environment should come first; and that our allegiance to Christ and our country should be humbled to the needs of the greater good and our role and responsibilities as citizens of the world. I am sensitive to those priorities; but never in a way that diminishes my Christ given mission and life purpose; and secondarily, my allegiance to my country. First and foremost, I am an ambassador for Christ with a ministry of reconcilliation ... nothing more, and nothing less.

Once we have clarity on our position and how to become spiritually focused following the leadership of the Holy Spirit rather than following feelings, lusts and pride, and the teachings of men; we can truly experience the victory, peace, joy and rest that Christ promises us ... and these promises of Christ are to be reckoned and realized as reality here and now. Our Christ-centered priorities become clear and the cares of the world lose importance in comparison. Providing aid to the sick should be critically important to us all when the love of Christ guides us and controls us. But how much more important is the eternal salvation of those same souls. Sharing Christ with them is the most loving thing we could ever do for anyone ... we have the ability to share with them the "living water" that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ promises everyone.

When Paul uses the example of milk and meat in 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:2, he is giving an example of entering into oneness of mind and purpose with Jesus Christ versus living the same way as we did before the victory and salvation that Christ provided. “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food (meat); for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?"

We do not need to walk anymore as mere men. We have the choice to reckon the truth of God's Word as it applies to those who have received the gift of eternal life. We also have victory over our old habits, lust, pride, sin and fears. But we can only have victory in those areas, as we set our mind on Christ and on the things above; and our current position in Christ. Trying to get there as a result of good works is a false teaching that leads to failure, despair and loss. The Holy Spirit will direct us and guide us into His rest … moment by moment, how to live the love of Christ. We must come to understand that here and now … “our life is hidden with Christ in God in the heavenlies. Then our work will be motivated by the Love of Christ; rather than striving after the goals and plans of men.

“The reason so many Christians are not living from their heavenly position in the Liberator is that they are not yet established in the truth of their freedom from the influence of the world. There is a process of reckoning that must be followed: believing Christ's promises to be true ... here and now. Until we know and reckon on the truth of our having died out from under the control of our old nature, we cannot exercise intelligent faith in counting that:

1. we are a new creation in Christ Jesus.
2. we are alive to God in Him.
3. our life is hidden in God through Christ

Once we are established positionally, we will then become established experientially. When we learn to fix our mind on Christ and rest in Him in the heavenlies, we will not be oppressed by self, circumstances, and situations here on earth. Our spiritual position is not down here, praying and pleading for help from Him up there. Just the opposite! We do not need to go to Him for help, but we rest in Him as the All-sufficient One. We do not bring Him down to our level for our use; we abide in Him at His level ... us humbled to Him for His use. Christ is our Christian life; therefore as we grow spiritually we become more like Him. Our father has already glorified us in Christ; our Lord's return will bring about the manifestation of that finished work. “and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” Romans 8:30. Reckon this truth. Count on it and rest in it. For our citizenship is in heaven; from which also we wait eagerly for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory” Philippians 3:21
Recommended reading: The Reckoning That Counts … by Miles J. Stanford

God Bless you my friends, Bob

1 comment:

  1. I like your comments about "growing spiritually we become more like him" - Good Post. May God Bless You.