After God’s Heart

Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words …………” John 14:23-24

 

Introduction

What a joy!  It is truly my pleasure once again to interact with you through “Insight.”   May the Lord bring into fruition the theme “Send Me” in all our lives.

It is imperative for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to know the key to God’s heart.  What do you think is the key to God’s heart?  Is it humility, perseverance or faith?  Although these attributes play a vital role in the elect’s life, today’s passage reveals to us the key to God’s heart.  John 14:23-24 tells us the best way to express our love, honor and reverence for God is through obedience.  Let me share with you 3 points.

 

  1. Obedience Is Not Optional For Elects

Jesus Christ simply states the fact :  “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  Jesus is not giving here an optional obedience.  Take note, “if you love me, then obey what I command you.”  He is saying that the man who truly loves Him will obey His commandments.  To the elect there is no option.  He loves Jesus, therefore, he obeys Jesus’ commands.  It means we follow them and treasure them.  In 1 John 2:3-4 we read, “we know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands.”  The man who says, “I know Him but does not do what He commands is a liar and the truth is not in him.”  God’s elect have a specific responsibility.  Jesus is asking elects, just as He asked the apostles, to keep His words.  Ps 119:111 

 

  1. Obedience Brings Blessing

Note the words, “my Father will love him and we will come and make our home with him.”  What a blessing to be loved by God the Father.  What a blessing for both the Father and Jesus to come and abide in the elect in the person of the Holy Spirit.  All three live and dwell within the elect.  When we obey God, the love of God  will  enrich  us  greatly,  as  there is no such thing as obeying Him and not being blessed.  Blessing follows obedience.  Our obedience to God allows Him to demonstrate His awesome power in our lives.  Our obedience also allows God to bless others through us.  Does this mean that we should obey God for the sake of blessings?  No it does not.  Instead, we should please God and obey Him because of Who He is.  We should honor Him and reverence Him as God the Father, the creator of all things.  Therefore, the greatest reward we can attain is His love and favor.  This is a blessing to those who obey the Word of God. 

 

  1. Obedience Is Tied In Knowing God And Loving Him

In 1 John 2:5 we read, “but if anyone obeys His word, God’s love is truly made complete in Him.  This is how we know we are in Him.”  The obedient man obeys God’s word, knows God and loves God.  Jesus Christ came to earth to reveal God and to show us how to enter into God through the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that comprises Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection. 

Therefore, to know God, we must obey the mother of all obedience and that is to believe the Gospel of God’s Righteousness.

We must obey the Gospel Word to attain salvation for our souls.  To those who disobey this Gospel Word  will be destroyed.  No amount of so called ‘obedience’ besides this can save one’s soul.  God’s elect must abide in Christ by faith in the Gospel truth.  The more we obey Him, the more we learn about Him and love Him.  Take note the word ‘obeys’  is a continuous action.  It means to continue believing and not to stop.  It is a day to day obedience.  The obedient person is the one who knows and loves God.

 

To conclude this message, let me share with you on what we must do to learn obedience.

  1. Learn to wait upon the Lord in prayer. Isa 40:31
  2. Develop a habit of reading God’s Word. Ps 119:47
  3. Realize that to obey God often means head on collision with human reasoning and world system. Prov 1:7
  4. Realize that sometimes God will allow us to walk in the dark so that we will learn to trust Him. James 1:2-3
  5. Expect some inner struggles. Rom 7:15
  6. Learn that there is no substitute for obedience. Deut 11:26-28
  7. Be teachable. James 4:6

 

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Union

“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”  Gal 3:27

 

Introduction

It is important for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that contains Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to know what it means to be in union with Christ.  In fact, the subject is so frequently mentioned in Scriptures and so wide ranging in its application to the elects.  Listed below are several things the elect should know about union with Christ.

 

The Bible contains an astonishingly number of terms, expressions and images that bear witness to the reality of our union with Christ.  In the NT we find literally hundreds of references to the elect union with Christ.  To sight merely a few examples, elect are created in Christ  Eph 2:10, crucified with Christ Gal 2:20, buried with Christ Col 2:12, baptized into Christ’s death Rom 6:3, united with Christ’s resurrection Rom 6:5, seated with Christ Eph 2:6, Christ in us 2 Cor 13:5 and many more. Suffice it to say, union with Christ is an absolutely fundamental gospel conviction of the Apostles – dear to them because it was so dear to their Lord.

 

When we are joined to Jesus, we are included in the greatest mystery of the universe, the incarnation of God.  The redemption, restoration, regeneration and reconciliation of sinners depends entirely on the union with Christ.  By the Holy Spirit the elects are united to Christ to enjoy fellowship with the Father forever.  This is eternal life.  John 17:3

 

Our union with Christ is profoundly real and intensely intimate.  Union with Christ is not a sentiment, metaphor or a doctrine.  Nor is it a way of speaking about justification, sanctification, glorification or any other benefit of Christ. 

Our union with the living Christ  is the essential truth of our new and eternal existence. 

In a way  that gloriously transcends our finite understanding, elects are really and truly joined – spiritually and bodily to the baptized, crucified and resurrected Christ.  There is no better good news than this.

 

It is because union with Christ is so central to the Gospel of God’s Righteousness, it has resonated in the teaching and preaching of the church throughout the ages.  Our union with Christ is to be accorded the highest degree of importance .  Why?  It is because being joined to Jesus is the whole point of the Gospel Truth of salvation.  For this is the design of the Gospel, that Christ may become ours and that we may be ingrafted into His body.

 

Justification is a magnificent benefit of being united with Christ.  Elects are not united with Christ because we have been justified.  It is quite the other way round.  Elects are justified because we have been united with Christ, Who is Himself our justification  1 Cor 1:30.  Elects receive Christ’s benefits precisely and only because we have been baptized, died and resurrected with Christ.  Christ lives in us and whatever grace, righteousness, life, peace and salvation there is in us is all Christ’s, nevertheless it is ours as well by the cementing and attachment through faith by which we became as one body in the Spirit.

 

Sanctification is a magnificent benefit of being united with Christ.  Christ is our justification and He is no less our sanctification.  Thus, united to Him, elect is not only forgiven and accounted righteous but also transformed into His holy image.  In giving Himself, Christ will no more leave us condemned and guilty (unjustified) than He will leave us corrupted and depraved (unsanctified).  This is because Christ cannot be divided into pieces.  Jesus is not a partial Saviour of a piecemeal Gospel.  When elect is joined to Christ, we receive all of Who He is for us. 

 

Baptism is God’s pledge to us of our union with Christ.  In the witness of baptism, God impresses upon our bodies the truth and reality of our incorporation into the death, burial and resurrection of the living Christ.  When John the Baptist laid his hands and passed all the sins of humanity upon Jesus at the River Jordan, we too have been laid upon Jesus with our sin, guilt and penalty.  Faith in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness enables us to be spiritually baptized into Christ  to experience the good news that we have been crucified in Christ’s death and raised to new life in Christ’s resurrection.  Baptism is a mystery of our crucified and resurrected identity in Christ Jesus.

 

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Wholeness

“11 Now it happened ………. 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” Lk 17:11-19

 

Introduction

It is imperative for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that contains Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to recognize that mankind is made whole through and by Jesus only.  What do you think when you hear the word ‘wholeness’?  ‘Wholeness or wellness’ teaching is a big concept in our day, especially in the context of New Age thinking.

Through Jesus Christ, God has called elects to a life of wholeness. 

The basic meaning of ‘wholeness’ is biblically defined as an idea of completeness, well being, spiritual prosperity and harmony. 

It depicts a relationship that God establishes and intends for God’s elect  with Himself, others and nature.  It involves a total harmony of spirit, soul and  body.

At times, God allows difficulties in the life of God’s elect to cause them to turn to Him.  God is always there to meet felt needs for healing, deliverance and success.  However, God desires beyond their felt needs that their greater need for wholeness be met.  This story in Luke 17:11-19 traces the path from felt need to wholeness. 

 

Coming To Jesus  vs 11-13

Jesus travelled to Jerusalem by passing through Samaria and Galilee.  He came to the lost sheep of Israel and also ministered to those outside the covenant.  Dire need for healing caused the lepers to come to Jesus.  In like manner, our felt needs brings us to Jesus.  They had heard the Gospel Word that Jesus heals.  The lepers called in a loud voice, they were serious about their needs.  Leprosy implies sin in the Bible.  It cause one to be separated from God.  It makes one unclean.  One have nothing good in themselves to approach God.  One must plead for God’s mercy to meet the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that has the power to set one free. 

 

Cleansing From Jesus  vs 14

Jesus saw them even though they were far off.  God sees us even when we are far away from Him. Jesus did not say that they will be healed but rather instructed them to go to the priest.  Obedience leads to miracle.  Obedience to the faith in the righteousness of God is a must.  Perhaps they would have wanted evidence for healing  but  they  went  and  were  healed.  Naaman the Syrian, in 2 Kings 5 did not like Elisha’s command to dip seven times in the Jordan River but in obeying, he was healed.  Obedience to go and distribute 5 loaves and 2 fishes to the many and asking the blind man to wash in the pool of Siloam were rewarded  with miracles.

 

Clinging To Jesus  vs 15-16

Only one showed gratitude.  He came back praising God in a loud voice.  He was a Samaritan, despised by the Jews.  A gentle warning to elects at NCCkl, familiarity breeds contempt.  We need to learn to show gratitude for the Gospel Truth at all times. Only one  leper fell at Jesus’ feet.  In fact, revelation knowledge of the Gospel of God’s Righteousness leads us to humility and to recognize our unworthiness.  Falling at Jesus’ feet leads to resurrection miracle.  Miracle of Jairus  Mk 5:22,  Mary  John 11:32

 

Completeness From Jesus  vs 17-19

Jesus three questions :

  1. Were not 10 cleansed? Jesus know exactly whom He had touched.  We are accountable for our blessings.  Jesus healing record is 10 on 10.
  2. Where are the other 9? Jesus does not want any to perish.  He is seeking out for every soul. 
  3. Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner? God’s elect need to live as aliens and strangers in this world.  2 Pet 2:11

 

Jesus declared to him, “your faith has made you well”  The Greek word for ‘well or wholeness’ is ‘sozo implying being saved more than just being cleansed.  Faith evidenced in thanking God and falling at Jesus’ feet.  10 cured of physical disease but only 1 cured of both physical and spiritual disease.  10 had felt needs met, only 1 had real need met.  10 got what they wanted, only 1 got what God wanted. 10 got healed, only 1 was made whole.

 

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Completeness In Christ

“The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth…….. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. Rev 21:16

Introduction

It is essential for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that contains Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to know that if life itself is to be complete, it must be three dimensional.  Many centuries ago, there was a man by the name of John who found himself in prison out on a lonely island called Patmos.   While John was out on this island, he lifted his vision to high heaven and saw, descending out of heaven, a new heaven and a new earth.  Then John saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem……..Rev 21:1-2.

One of the greatest glories of this new city of God that John saw was its completeness.  It was complete in all three of its dimensions. 

In Rev 21:16, John says, “. the length and the breadth and the height are equal.”  In other words, this new city of God, is not an unbalanced entity but is complete on all sides.  I think John is saying something here in all the symbolism of this text.  He is saying that life as it should be and life at its best as life that is complete on all sides.  There are three dimensions of any complete life to which we can fitly give the words of this text: length, breadth and height.  Now the length of life used here is the inward concern for one’s own welfare. The breadth of life used here is the outward concern for the welfare of others.  The height of life is the upward reach for God.  Now, God’s elect got to have all three of these to have a complete life in Christ. 

 

  1. Length Of Life – inward concern for one’s own welfare

It is that inward concern that causes us to push forward, to achieve one’s own goals and ambitions.  This is the dimension of life where God’s elect ought to develop their inner supernatural powers in Christ.  The length of life means that God’s elect must love themselves as God does.  Many have gone through life with deep and haunting emotional conflicts before being born again in the water and Spirit.  God’s elect must accept themselves as how  God had wonderfully made them,.  Unfortunately, many are still busy trying to be somebody else.  God gave all of us something significant, a unique personality.  We must pray for God to help us accept ourselves in whatever station of life we are in.  The principle of self acceptance is a basic principle in life.  God’s elect ought to discover what we are called to do.  Once we discover it, we should set out to do it with all of the strength and power in Christ.  Now, we must get beyond the first dimension of life. 

 

  1. Breadth Of Life – outward concern for the welfare of others

It is necessary to add breadth to length.  God’s elect has not begin to live for Christ until  they can rise above the narrow confines of their own individual concerns to the broader concerns of souls that are spiritually dying. This is what God is looking in God’s elect today.  God’s elect who will ask themselves, ‘what will happen to lost souls if we don’t preach the Gospel of God’s Righteousness?’  This is how God judges His elects in the final analysis.  There will be a day, the question won’t be, ‘how many awards, how popular, how many degrees, how beautiful is your house, how much money you have?’  On that day, the question will be, ‘as elect what did you do to save souls from their eternal damnation?’  What did you do for others?  This is the breadth for life.  Somewhere along the way, God’s elect must learn that  there is nothing greater than to do something for others.  God’s elect should endeavor to be a witness and fulfil their highest calling.  We know there are God’s elect who master the length and breadth of life but they stop right there.  Now if life is to be complete, we must move beyond our self,  others  and reach out to God.  

 

  1. Height Of Life – upward reach for God

God’s elect has a tendency to neglect this dimension of life.  The interesting thing is that many of them neglect it and don’t even know they are neglecting it.  God’s elect deprive themselves from cultivating a healthy communion with God because they become so involved in other things.  They end up going days and days without recognizing God’s presence in them.  God’s elect need to reach out to God at all times.  We were made for God and we will be restless until we find rest in Him.  God is most happy when we are satisfied in Him. Our constant faith in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness has the power to overcome the world and our adversary.

 

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You Are Complete

“and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power…”  Col 2:10

Introduction

It is imperative for God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that comprises Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to know they are complete in Christ.  When God’s elect look at themselves, what do they see?  Do they see someone who is imperfect and lacking in many areas or someone who is whole and complete in Christ?  Unfortunately, there are elects who see themselves as incomplete.  This is because they are conscious of their lack and  imperfections.  They see their weaknesses and condemn themselves and feel inferior to others.

The good news is that God does not see the way man sees.  Man sees the flesh, God sees the spirit.  God sees us already complete in Christ.  In spite of our imperfections, God sees us as new creations, partakers of His divine nature.  God wants us to see ourselves the way He sees us.  God’s elect at NCCkl ought to realize that they are not going to be complete in Christ some day, they are already complete in Christ.  What remains for us to do is to walk daily  by faith in that completeness by believing and confessing the Gospel of God’s Righteousness. 

Jesus is our complete forgiveness, complete righteousness, complete favour and complete protection. 

God is concerned about our spiritual completeness.  Jer 10:23  Elect are complete in Him.  Col 2:10  Let us examine some very basic factors needed to walk in completeness.

  1. One Must Be In Christ In Order To Be Complete.

God is the Source of our fullness.  Salvation is in none other.  Peace with God is in Christ.  We must be saved by grace through faith in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that comprises Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection.  By putting off sin, we must come  into  a  saved  relationship  with  Christ.  We are  not to be   mere Christian sinners but confessing righteous children of God.  Every spiritual blessing is in Christ because every other religious belief is futile, every other ‘knowledge’ is impotent, every creed is superfluous and every other church that fails to preach the Gospel of God’s Righteousness cannot attain the completeness in Christ. 

 

  1. Preaching The Gospel of God’s Righteousness equips us to be complete in Christ.

The Gospel of God’s Righteousness warns every man of sin and death. It establishes a true believer in the Word of righteousness and exposes the counterfeit gospels.  This beautiful Gospel Truth prevents us from falling away.  The constant preaching of the Gospel Word causes the true believer to be filled with all wisdom and knowledge that are treasured up in Christ.  Listening and submitting to the Gospel Word causes us to become complete and mature in Christ.  The knowledge of truth frees us from sin and directs our lives in Christ.  Abiding in the Gospel Truth causes us to grow spiritually and enable us to teach others to walk the way of truth. 

 

  1. Only God’s Elect Are Able To Become Complete In Christ.

God’s elect are complete in God’s Church as One body.  The perfect law of liberty in Christ is able to guide us to be filled with knowledge of God’s will and purposes.  We are completed by a New Covenant and filled up with hope of inheritance in Christ.  Heb 7:18-19  We are filled with God’s love which is inseparable in Christ.  More so, God’s elect have received full of God’s forgiveness and are filled up with God’s grace and mercy.  We are now sealed with the indwelling Holy Spirit to help us walk in the path of holiness and righteousness.  Christ in us is our hope of glory.  We have become complete in Christ by being baptized into Christ Jesus’ death and resurrection.  God’s elect are seated at the right hand of God to reign over all power and authority in Christ.  We are complete! 

 

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Keys To Unlocking Christ’s Treasure

“Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments..”  Ps 112:1

Introduction

It is important for God’s elect established in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that comprises Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to know the keys to unlock Christ’s treasure.  It is God’s will that all God’s elect live blessed lives and experience God’s promises and blessings.  I believe God’s elect at NCCkl want to live lives with divine health, healthy relationships and sound financial standings.  Unfortunately, many struggle on how to take hold of these promises and blessings.

In the Bible, God gives over and over again the keys to unlock the divine treasure found in Christ.  The hidden keys are found in Ps 112:1.

The psalmist alludes that God’s elect must delight themselves in the Lord to experience Christ’s treasure. 

Listed below are some keys in the passage for God’s elect to realize: 

 

  1. Realize That God Is The Source Of All Blessings

God is the Alpha and Omega, the One Who was, is and Who is to come.  Rev 1:8   God is the source from Whom all things were created.  Gen 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created heavens and earth.”  The Hebrew translation of that verse is “In the beginning, the BLESSED One created the heavens and earth.”  God is the ‘Blesser’ and blessings originated from Him.  “Every good and perfect gifts is from Him.”  James 1:17   God has a Blessing plan for God’s elect to experience everything He promises.

 

  1. Realize That The Choice To Be Blessed Is Ours

“Today, I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessing and curses.  Now, I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make.  That you would choose life so that you and your descendants might live.”  Deut 30:19   God wants His elect to know through this Scripture that He has called heaven and earth as witnesses and set two choices before us, blessings and cursings, life or death.  We have a choice and we have to choose.  God cannot do it for us.  Not choosing life and blessing is the same as choosing death and cursings.  How do you choose life and blessing?  We choose by making a conscious decision to place our faith  uncompromisingly in the Gospel  God’s Righteousness that comprises Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection.  Once  born  again after being forgiven of all our lifetime of sins, God bestows us with the gift of the Holy Spirit.  God’s elect  must consistently walk in the Holy Spirit by faith to experience the fullness of the abundant blessings God has promised us.  Choose to delight in Him and His ways.

 

  1. Realize That Fearing The Lord Leads To Blessing

The fear referenced in this Scripture is not the terror and anxiety that God tells us to avoid.  God promises that God’s elect will be blessed when we revere, worship and obey Him.  God doesn’t want us quacking in fear at the thought of Him or expecting ill effects from interacting with Him.  No, God simply wants us to recognize Who He is as our loving Heavenly Father.

 

  1. Realize That Delighting In His Commandments Leads To Blessing

Often when we think of God’s commandment or His laws, we immediately return to the Big 10, the ones Moses brought down on tablets from Mt. Sinai.  God’s commandment aren’t limited to those.  In fact, there are hundreds of commands in the OT alone.  However, as it became glaringly clear under the Old Covenant, God’s people have always been unable to follow God’s command in their own strength.  It took Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to erase the stain of their sins.  Thankfully, Jesus showed God’s elect another way, a way beyond rote obedience and a way into relationships.  In Mt 22:37-40, Jesus summed up all the OT commandments in one word – love.  Loving God wholeheartedly and loving others is our No. 1 command.  When God’s elect endeavors to keep the commandment of love by His Spirit with a pure motive, we are delighting in God’s command. 

 

  1. Realize That God Loves Us And Wants Us Blessed

God  loves  us  so  much  and He desires an intimate relationship with us.

1 John 4:19 reminds us that we love each other because God loved us first.  It is only out of that love, God’s love, that His blessings are possible.  In fact, God demonstrated His love for us when Christ died while we are still sinners.  Rom 5:8  God’s elect are so important to God that He sent Jesus to ensure that we have the choice to live in relationship with Him forever and be blessed.  God wants us to delight in Him so that the blessings will overtake us.  Deut 28:2  Delighting ourselves in the Lord is easy when we understand first how much the Lord truly loves us.  When we realize His eternal love for us, we can’t help but delight in Him and His Word.

 

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What Is Hidden Will Be Revealed

“12 In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the [a]leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.”  Luke 12:1-3

Introduction

It is imperative for God’s elect established in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness to discern the ‘leaven’ of ungodly religion.  Luke 12 is the most fascinating portion of Scripture that gives to us an inspired summary of what Jesus said to those who practiced ungodly religion.  What was the message that drew people to Jesus?  Why did the people hang on to Jesus’ words as they did?  Did they hear breezy talks full of the ‘feel good’ factor?  Was it full of snippets on how to be happy, how to cope with growing old or how to have a satisfying married life? None at all.

This chapter of 59 verses in Luke 12 has very little ‘feel good’ religion in it.  It is principally about the Living God that contains the most stringent ethical teachings,  an appeal to the conscience of Jesus’ hearers and pointing to the day of judgment.  Jesus had been so severe and relentless in His warnings about ungodly religion.

 

  1. Jesus Warns Against Ungodly Religion vs 1

We live in a world full of warnings, don’t we?  There are criminals who could take advantage of us, mislead us, steal from us, abuse us and destroy us.  Jesus would be foolish if He had told His disciples never to make any judgments at all, to pretend they had not noticed people’s wickedness, to suspend their rational faculties, to refuse to discern between truth and error but simply accept what everybody say.  Yet, He made no apologies for His words when He said to His disciples, “be on your guard against the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” 

Do we heed this warning?  God’s elect in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness must become more discerning and less gullible, to become more mature and not like a little child.  Rather, to be on our guard!  What is this, ‘the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy?’  It is simply about the ungodly religion they lived.  They lived a servile adherence to the letter of the law, insisted others to follow them blindly,   emphasis   was  on  form   and   not   substance,   on   outward  appearance and not inward spirit, sought to draw attention to themselves, they shunned the lowly and they use their power and influence to make people as narrow as they were.  The particular wickedness of the Pharisees was this, that they themselves didn’t put into practice what they preached to others.  This is the leaven of the Pharisees that Jesus doesn’t want God’s elect to develop in their walk with Him which is very subtle and deceiving.

 

  1. Jesus Warns That The Lives Of All Men Will Be Evaluated vs 2-3

There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known.  What we have said in the dark will be heard in the daytime and what we whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.  The Pharisees were hypocrites.  They largely succeeded in disguising the state of their hearts from most people but not from the Living God.  God is omniscient, One Who knows everything.  Nothing escapes God’s notice, nothing can be hidden from Him.  God’s knowledge is perfect.  God never errs, never changes or never overlooks anything.  Eze 11:5  Though God is invisible to us, we are not so to Him.  Neither the darkness of night or the deepest dungeon can hide any sinner from the eyes of God.  This is why it is important for God’s elect at NCCkl to realize the desperate state of false teachers who display hypocrisy in these last days. 

 

A glimpse of God’s infinite knowledge should fill God’s elect  with adoration. God knows us through and through and still He has loved us and reconciled us to Himself through the baptism and death of Jesus.  Whom we know on earth who could know every thought and action of our life and still love us perfectly?  The enemy of our souls himself, Satan, could tell God nothing that God didn’t already know.  We are known and we are loved.  God has fixed His great heart  upon us and loved us by forgiving all our sins and placed His Spirit within our hearts.  How foolish to try to cover up anything from God’s eyes.  The Bible says that at the end of history  mankind will be judged.  On that tremendous day, there will be no slipups, no bribes, no prejudices or no slanted judgments.  The sheer truth of all history will be publicly revealed.  People will be judged according to whether they were ashamed of Jesus or not,  they will be judged as whether they had done good or evil.  Compassion, kindness, fairness and others will count for good.  The leaven of unbelief, unrepentance, hypocrisy, hard heartedness, meanness, cruelty and dishonesty will be judged as evil.  Of course, we are not saved by  our good works.  We are saved by grace and through faith in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness.  However, we are judged according to whether our works were consistent with our confession of faith. 

Works are the evidence of true faith in our Gospel Truth.

 

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Three Lives

“For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”  Col 3:3

Introduction

It is interesting to know that God’s elect established in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness which contains Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection are actually living three lives.  We discern this hidden mystery in Col chap 3.  Identifying and accepting this truth will help God’s elect to know who we are and how we are supposed to live.  To see the three lives that God’s elect are living, we need to read some selected verses in Col 3.  Let us begin by looking at ‘life’ number one.

  1. Living A Hidden Life – My position in Christ

Col 3:1-4 states “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”   Note that Paul states God’s elect has a life that is hidden in Christ.  We don’t often think of the life we have in Christ as being hidden life, yet that is exactly what it is called in this text.  There are some principles here which effect the status and service of the life of God’s elect.

a. A fixed life – God’s elect cannot loose it because God has it! Our life is not hidden in salvation but rather our salvation is hidden in God.  Our life is not a church, rituals or religion.  Our life is in Christ.  It is so deep in God that it is hidden.  It is like a treasure which no one can steal or take away.  It is a life fixed forever.  In fact, the text suggest a double-lined protection.  Our life is WITH Christ and IN God.  What thief will ever break into that secure vault?  None!

b. A focussed life – Since our life is in Him and He is in heaven, our focus has to be upward. Our nature is to look upward because our nature was changed when Christ saved us and gave us His life.  Since Christ is in heaven, our affection should be focussed there and not on things in this life.  How important this is for us to remember.  We live in this world but we are not of this world.  Therefore, we must focus on that which is most important and that which is lasting.

c. A future life – Part of the life we have is yet to come. Our identity is hidden in Christ.  Heaven is our home even though we have never been there.  Most people think of heaven as the place where  they lived  and longed to return to again.  God’s elect long for heaven even though we have never been there.  Why?  We long for heaven because Jesus is there  and our life is hidden there.  We have a life hidden in Jesus.  The future is always bright for God’s elect.  The moment of hardship can hold no pain or sorrow that diminishes our prospect.  No collapse of economy, war or illness can do anything but cause us to look up with greater anticipation because our life is hidden in Christ.  1 Pet 1:3-5

 

  1. Living A Holy Life – My performance through Christ

In Col 3:3-11, Paul clearly states that we have died to the old life and that we are living a new life.  In essence, we are living a holy life in this world through God’s strength and power in us. 

We are not living holy lives in order to be accepted by God but we are living holy lives because we are accepted by God in Christ. 

We are told in this passage to mortify, destroy or bury the old life in order to live properly the new life we have in Christ.

a. Sensual sins – vs 5-6 speaks about sins that affect our senses. These should be put to death – mortified – buried.  Why?  They should be mortified and put to death because we are living a new life in Christ.

b. Speaking sins – in vs 7-10a reveal that we must live a life which buries our sins of speech.  We should avoid sinful language of anger, slander and lying.  Our tongues are to be dedicated to God.  We should bury conversations which is not wholesome and holy.  Certainly our tongues are redeemed to honor Jesus, praise Him and to make Him known to the world.

c. Selfish sins – vs 10b-15a tells us how we are to remove selfishness, envy, status consciousness and pride. Love and peace are to rule our hearts.  Now understand something important – the old life will try to resurface.  We are to mortify it.  We are to put to death.  We are to come again and again to Christ and make our confession of faith in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that has made us sinless and righteous by faith. 

 

  1. Living Abundant Life – Our praise for Christ

Col 3 : 15b-17 requires us to be thankful.  Our life is to be filled with thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is not a season for God’s elect but rather it is a way of life.  Thanksgiving is an everyday occurrence.

a. It must be internal – God’s Word are music to our minds and our hearts. The Word of God will make us thankful and cause us to break into song. 

b. It must be external – Thanksgiving cannot remain silent neither can genuine faith. It breaks out in spite of hindrances.  Real life is animated.  We cannot hide it.  It ought to be seen in the eyes of men.

c. It must be eternal – After all God’s praise here is just a warm-up for glory. We will praise God forever in heaven.

 

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Glorious Mystery

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.”  1 Cor 2:7

Introduction

It is imperative for God’s elect who are established in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that constitutes Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection to be good stewards of the mysteries of God.  Spiritual mysteries hidden in Christ transforms our life and protects us from false teaching confronting the church today.  The Greek word translated mystery implies an idea of a hidden or secret thing, not obvious to the carnal mind.  In the OT ‘mysteries’ referred to God’s purposes which cannot be known by man apart from God’s special revelation in Scripture or by His prophets.  Dan 2:18-23, Dan 2: 27-30.  In the NT, the ‘mysteries’  conveys eternal truths that had not been revealed to mankind during OT times but are now revealed to the world through the Gospel of God’s Righteousness.  Col 1:26; Eph 3:4-5; Rom 16:25-26; 1 Pet 1:10-12.

The mysteries reveal God’s Person, eternal purpose and sovereign plan. 

Faith in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness open better understanding and believing in the mysteries of God.  The benefits are immense namely, genuine salvation experience with God, knowledge about problems of evil and power to triumph over evil at work in our world today.  Let us explore some of it benefits : 

 

  1. The Mysteries Of God Establishes Our Call

God’s elect are responsible to know and make known the mysteries of God.  1 Cor 2:7 ; 1 Cor 4:1   These mysteries are foolishness to the natural man because they are spiritually discerned.  1 Cor 2:14  The treasure hidden within these mysteries can only be understood with the help of God’s Holy Spirit because they are truths which man cannot comprehend by experience, reason or human philosophy.  God’s elect ought to pray for  God to give the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God.  Eph 1:17-18   God’s elect are supposed to be stewards of these mysteries.  A  steward is both a faithful servant and wise overseer of a household.   Lk 12:42-43   A steward’s responsibility  is to administer the wealth of the household according to his Master’s will.  As stewards of the mysteries of God, we must faithfully dispense the spiritual riches of the Gospel of God’s Righteousness to the lost world.  We will be persecuted for faithfully preaching these mysteries.  Col 1:24-27 ; Col 4:3-4    These mysteries contain the unsearchable riches of Christ pertaining to His redemptive plan for the salvation of man. 

 

  1. The Mysteries of God Establishes Our Faith

It is through clear understanding of these mysteries that we can be established in the faith.  Faithful preaching of the mysteries brings about the obedience  of  faith  in   the  Gospel  of  God’s  Righteousness.   Rom 16:25-26;

2 Thess 2:13-17   Preaching of the Gospel is the means by which God establishes His people in true faith and holiness.  The Gospel is a mystery of God.  Eph 6:19  This Gospel is the same one Jesus preached and which also reveals to us His divinity, humanity, ministry, righteousness, baptism, death and resurrection.  The true church of God  will be established according to the revelation of the mystery.  In context, this refers to the mystery of the Gospel of God’s Righteousness which includes within it all the other specific mysteries of God mentioned in the NT.  These mysteries cannot be known or discovered by human reason or intellect.  They are beyond the ability of mere man to fully explain such as the doctrine of Trinity.  These mysteries are the glorious result of the eternal wisdom, love and counsel of God.  They contain unfathomable riches of glory, so as to surpass the limits of human knowledge. Eph 3:19  These mysteries are things which even angels desire to look into.  1 Pet 1:12

 

  1. The Mysteries of God Establishes Our Church

NCCkl is built on the mysteries of God which was kept hidden  since the world began.  This does not mean that this mystery of the Gospel of God’s Righteousness was entirely unknown in the ages past.  In fact, the first prophecy of the incarnation was given to Adam after the fall.  Gen 3:15  Christ was revealed to Abraham  John 8:56,  Moses in Leviticus, David in Ps 22, Isaiah in Isa 53 and others.  However they were given only a partial revelation.  The mysteries were hidden within OT.  Prophetic typology such as the OT priesthood, tabernacle, temple, sacrifices were shadows of the things to come.  Heb 8:1-5   At NCCkl, we are able to become faithful stewards of the mysteries of God because the Holy Spirit constantly unveils the hidden secrets of God’s salvation through the Gospel of God’s Righteousness.  God’s elect ought to preach the Gospel, reveal the mysteries of God’s will, teach others how to enter the Kingdom of God, open their spiritual blindness and help others to understand the mystery of iniquity and its consequences. 

 

Conclusion

These mysteries of God reveal how everything is working together toward one glorious eternal purpose hidden in Christ.  The mysteries protect NCCkl from false teachings, demonic deceptions and falling into mere religious fervour.  Let us be faithful stewards of the mysteries of God.

 

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Dead Walking, Living Dead

“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,”  Eph 2:1

Introduction

When we look around, we see a world full of the living dead.  The sad part is they don’t know they are dead living.  Paul reminds God’s elect that they too were once part of the ‘dead walking.’  At the time, we ourselves did not know we were dead either! 

Our Scripture today speaks to the desperate condition of the lost.  It also reminds us of what we were before being saved by the Gospel of God’s Righteousness that contains Jesus’ baptism, death and resurrection.  Jesus referred to the  Pharisees and the Laodicean Church as those ‘walking dead’ as well.  In Eph 2, Paul is writing to the saved.  He is painting out that we were once dead in our sins.  We are not here in NCCkl because we are better than everyone else but we are here because of His unlimited mercy.  Let us look at Eph 2 and consider some important issues concerning the ‘dead walking, living dead’.

 

1.The Grave In Our Past

We begin with death.  Sin renders a person spiritually dead.  Note three things at this point:

 

a. Dead – To speak of death within context means to be dead in one’s spirit. This does not mean that the person does not know about God or respect for God.  It means that sin has separated him or her from God.  A dead person cannot do anything for himself.  Without a miracle of supernatural assistance, they will perish in sin.

 

b. Led – Satan is called a prince. Satan is a prince but God is the King.  Yet, this prince of darkness had led souls astray.  Satan is the prince at work in the affairs of the world.  Satan is the power at work in the hearts of the lost.  All of us were at one time led by the prince of this world into sinful rebellion against God.  The end of this disobedient way of life is death. 

 

 

c. Fed – The lost are fed through the lust of their flesh.  They hunger for things outside of God and find Satan too willing to put these things within easy reach.  This has led to the spiritual ingesting of a poison called sin.  It renders death to all who partake of it.

 

  1. The Grace On Our Present

Those of us who are saved have been delivered from death but not through any effort of our own.  In essence, our Lord sought us, bought us and brought us to new life in Himself by His marvelous grace.

 

a. He gave us love – God loves the sinner with an everlasting, undying and unceasing love. A love so great that nothing can separate us from that love we have embraced.  It was God’s love that sent His Son to be baptized and die on the cross for our sins.  It is this love that keeps us saved. 

The world may not care if we live or die but Jesus cares for us.  He died to save us from sin and He lives to make us free forever. 

 

b. He gave us life – When we allow the Gospel Word to accomplish its purpose in our hearts and repent accordingly, God by His mercy gives us His life. The life we now have is His life and not our own.  When Christ new life begin, a person loves the things he once hated and hates the things he once loved.  Once we are saved by Jesus, we change in our attitude and interest.  We were made alive in Christ.  God doesn’t want us fixing our old house.  He wants to tear it down and rebuild it in His image.  He wants to start over. 

 

c. He gave us a lift – In addition to being loved and given new life, we have been lifted up to sit in the heavenlies with Jesus. What does this mean?  Those who are saved are as good as in heaven right now even though we are still here.  Every time God looks to His right and sees the Son, He also sees us.

 

  1. The Glory In Our Position

We have been elevated to a new and marvelous position in Christ. 

 

a. Look at our family – We are citizens of the kingdom. God’s elect are given a new life and a new family at NCCkl. As part of this family, we are heir of all that God has.

 

b. Look at our foundation – We are built upon Christ, the Chief Cornerstone.  Jesus is the foundation of NCCkl and every true believer.  We can now stand on the grace of God because we are resting on the rock solid faith found in the Gospel of God’s Righteousness.  We have peace, hope and habitual joy in Christ.

 

c. Look at our future –  God is going to show His exceeding riches of grace towards us throughout eternity.  Think of that.  All that we have discussed so far is but a foretaste of that which God is going to give us one day in Heaven.  We have eternity to enjoy the blessings of the Lord.  

 

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