Our existence in Christ was established before the foundation of the world. GOD had planned it so that we could be with Him eternally. This arose out of the pure and responsible love of GOD (John 3:16 & 17; Eph 1:3-5 & 10). GOD made this possible for all of us irrespective of our race (Genesis 12:1-3). This inheritance is to be found in our identity, protection and direction that GOD gives us to stand in, before Him.
- Our Identity
We are not our own. We do not exist on our own nor do we belong totally to ourselves. We have been bought by GOD at a price, through Christ and are completely His (1 Cor 6:19 & 20). We die to ourselves daily (Luke 9:23; 1 Cor 15:31) as we put away the growing lusts that creep into our lives (Gal 5:16; 1 Thess 4:3-5). These lusts are intensified by the devil and are often made to appear deceptively harmless through his lies (John 8:44; Rom 8:6; 13:14; 1 Cor 10:3-5). We have died to the philosophy and the values of the world.
We are born again and are a new creation with the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16; 2 Cor 5:17). This mind is being transformed and renewed by the Holy Spirit (Rom 12:2; Titus 3:5). We are distinct from the world. Though we are in the world, we are not identified with the world. Christ’s kingdom is not of this world. Christ has defeated the world and all the values that it stands for (John 15:19; 16:33; 18:36). We live in Christ and He lives in us; His words are in us. With this existence, we are able to petition GOD as our Father, who knows what is appropriate for us (John 15:7).
- Our Protection
Our protection is in Christ (John 10:28-30; 1 Pet 1:5; Rev 3:10). Whatever evil the world designs for us, would only result in such evil being put to good use by GOD (Gen 50:20). Though we live through life as though we are walking in the valley of the shadow of death, we must never be afraid because GOD is always present with us (Ps 23:1-4). Whatever the tragedies, difficulties and trials that test our faith and spirit, we must remember to throw out self-confidence and relate only to GOD (Ps 46:10). We must never have any place for doubts, fears and worries.
Tim Keller, the contemporary preacher, says that worry is the same as having no confidence that GOD can do the right thing. Similarly, having a spirit of bitterness is just as good as saying that GOD made the wrong decision. These two things are the equivalent of unbelief. Once we yield to unbelief, we remove the spiritual protection that GOD imposes over us (Heb 3:12 &19; 11:6).
- Our Spiritual Direction
GOD has given us direction. We have the Holy Spirit who lives in us (1 Cor 3:16). He is our “Resident Boss” as the 20th century Chinese martyr, Watchman Nee calls Him. He strengthens us and directs us in all areas of life, especially prayer (Ezek 36:27; Rom 8:26). By His agency, we are able to walk with GOD and to, as John Wesley (the Methodist evangelist and theologian of the 19th century) describes it, pray “fervently”. Prayer is our twenty-four hour access enabled by the resurrection and ascension of Christ and directed by the Holy Spirit (Rom 5:1& 2; Eph 2:18).
The Holy Spirit is ever-present to ensure that we have the right attitude, “behaviour” and “manners” in our conduct in GOD’s Kingdom. More importantly, it is the Holy Spirit who gives us the power to testify to others, of Christ and of his salvation to mankind (Acts 1:8).
- Our Standing before GOD
The price, power and penalty of sin have been defeated at Calvary (Rom 4:25; 6:6&7; 1 Pet 3:18). We are not under the threat of eternal death. Neither are we slaves to the power of sin. Nor is anything required of us to save ourselves from eternal damnation. Christ paid the price of sin by being the penalty for sin, once, and for all of us. The Holy Spirit is in us, working always to ensure that we have the strength to overcome temptation. Sin cannot rule us unless we are rebellious enough to let it come back into our lives, failing to guard ourselves and failing to take our faith seriously (Phil 2:12;1 Tim 4:16;1 John 5:18).
The word of GOD is our spiritual compass, map, travel guide and GPS. Above all, it is our GOD-given sword (Eph 6:17). The word of GOD is important to us in its totality. All scripture is essential in our life—not some scripture or most scripture, but all scripture. Scripture is what we need before anything else, making us complete in GOD. Every word of GOD rules our lives (Deut 8:3; 2 Tim 3:16 & 17). It is scripture that we use to deal with in all situations that we encounter in order to be successful and to develop ourselves for the Kingdom of GOD (Joshua 1:8; Heb 4:12).
GOD does not do things by halves. He completes things from start to finish, ensuring that they are well planned for. GOD does not work by fits and starts. He has planned our salvation, taken all steps to see that we are adequately covered from day-to day. GOD ensures that there are no gaps or limitations in His plan for our salvation. The ball is always in man’s court to serve Him.
NOTE: Tony Dibble worships at Endeavour Christian Gathering, in Perth, Western Australia. Prior to this, he was attending the Church of Our Holy Saviour (COHS), in Labuan, East Malaysia. When in Kuala Lumpur, he worships and preaches at Faith Oasis Fellowship (FOF) Subang Jaya, Selangor.
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