Tuesday, May 12, 2009

God's Pursuit of Man: Part 2

Chapter 2: In Word, or in Power

“A moral man is looked upon with pity. ‘A Christian’ says these teachers, ‘is not morally better than a sinner, the only difference is that he has taken Jesus, and so he has a Savior.’ I trust it may not sound flippant to inquire, ‘A Savior from what?’…. And if the answer is, ‘From the consequences of past sins and from judgment to come,’ still we are not satisfied. Is justification from past offenses all that distinguishes a Christian from a sinner? Can a man become a believer in Christ be no better than he was before? Does the gospel offer no more than a skillful advocate to get the guilty sinners off free at the day of judgment?”

“Salvation must include a judicial change of status, but what is overlooked by most teachers is that it also includes an actual change in the life of the individual. And by this we mean more than a surface change – we mean a transformation as deep as the roots of his human life. If it does not for that deep it does not go deep enough.”

“For sin’s human captives God never intends anything less than full deliverance…. The God who by the word of the gospel proclaims me free, by the power of the gospel actually makes them free. To accept less than this is to know the gospel in word only, without its power.”

This chapter is crucial to not only cover, but for us to “get” before we go on to anything else. It’s amazing to me, that many of us (your’s truly included) have spent most of our Christian walk missing “it”. And by “it” I mean the reality of what Christ did for us on the cross. I spent the majority of my Christian walk, all of it spent in Bible believing churches, without understanding what transforming power the cross really has. Beloved, be blessed to know that Christ has done so much more for you than saving you from hell – His blood has the power to change you – transform you – from the inside out!! I don’t know about you, but for me, this is good news, because I’ll be honest, I’m not a very good person on my own.

As our hearts and lives are transformed, things begin to change. With the transformation power of the Holy Spirit, comes the choice of obedience, with the follow-through of obedience comes blessings – some from merely abiding in the ‘’Vine” (John 15). Sisters, we are missing this and it is painfully obvious if you look around the church! Why are we in so much pain? Why are our marriages falling apart at the same rate (if not faster) than pagans? Where is the promised peace and joy? Why are we experiencing depression, loneliness, fatigue and burn-out as fast as those not in Christ?

I love how my friend Jaime says it (note: I’m paraphrasing) “I can’t read the Bible without realizing that we’re missing something, we are not living in the life the Bible promises that we should have.”

Do you understand what you are missing? Can you even comprehend what’s at stake? We are talking about the fulfillment of Biblical promises in our life, a life of freedom and intimate relationship with God – a true transformation from the world around us to the kingdom of God.

So what’s the problem? Why aren’t we experiencing these things?

The truth of the matter is, the very reason why most of us our missing this, is the very thing that will help us to “get it” in the end – and that is the fact that we cannot achieve the necessary change and transformation on our own. There is NOTHING that we do, say or wish that will cause us to walk a more spirit-led, powerfully blessed life here on earth. The Holy Spirit fully gives and controls our transformation and it begins with the revelation from Him that ‘something’s just not right here’. The whole point we’re missing is the POWER than comes through the Holy Spirit alone. When we realize that it’s not up to us, that it doesn’t matter how good or bad we think we are, we give the Holy Spirit the room He needs to show us the One who is “good” enough.

As I am writing this, my mind is wondering to a million more things I want to say here, but I know if I get too long you all begin to “tune me out” – so I will close with this: if you are not experiencing a transforming, unconformed, power-filled, Spirit-led, love seeking, God-fearing, intimate, passionate relationship with your Creator you’re NOT experiencing the true Christian life. There is more for you…. so much more.

3 comments:

Jaime ~ For His Glory said...

Beautiful!!!!!


I was on the edge of my couch when you said, "Do you know why?" I thought you had a wonderful answer.

I honestly, think I'm beginning to get it more and more in my life and I do feel different than I ever have before. It is one of the reasons I started blogging because the freedom I was starting to experience is wonderful and I wanted to share the little bits and pieces of understanding that I was getting.

I love you! Keep it up!

Jaime ~ For His Glory said...

Read your blog to my Women's Group today. It was right on topic! So thanks.

Alexis said...

I can't say that I am experiencing all that God has for me - in fact I have to agree with Jamie - I am not living the life that the Bible promises. But there is definitely something being transformed in me - situations arise, I "deal" with them and then sit back and think "whoa, where did that come from" (sometimes words, and sometimes just a calm and peaceful attitude versus the "let, me tell you attitude" I had before) For the first time in my life I understand two things - I do not have to be good enough or do enough for God to love me and I am not holding on to Him he is holding on to me.