Getting To Know Christ
Thus says the Lord: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord,exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the Lord. Jer 9:23-24
Many believers know a great deal about Jesus Christ, but how many of us can boast that we understand and know Him as the Lord who exercises loving kindness, justice and righteousness on earth this very day?
Before any real Spiritual growth can take place in believers, we must come to understand our relationship with God and how we fit into the Good News of the Kingdom of God.
Indeed, the very purpose of giving the Holy Spirit to us is so we may understand this relationship. "Now we have received not the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God" (I Cor 2:12).
The Apostle Paul understood this relationship and spoke often of it in his efforts to help us comprehend the things freely given to us. "This is what I have asked God for you; that you will be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love, and that you will have the rich experience of knowing Christ with real certainty and clear understanding. For God's secret plan-now at last made known -is Christ Himself. In Him lie hidden all the mighty untapped treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col 2:2-3 LB).
Read Eph 1:17-22, where Paul prayed for us that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ may give us two things; first, a spirit of wisdom and second, a spirit of revelation in the knowledge of Him. (Remember now, that all the untapped treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ and this mystery is being revealed now.)
Why does He want us to have this wisdom and revealing? It is so that we may know, by experience, why we are called and what is our inheritance and finally what is His power in us who "Believe in Jesus Christ."
Let's consider these things in the light of our life here and now.
Do you know why you are now called of God? John 15:16 says, "You did not choose Me I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father, in My name, He may give it to you." We are appointed to bear fruit, hired to work, called to produce. Here is a spiritual principle which applies to all branches if they are attached to the vine, as Chapter 15 amply testifies.
Next we are to comprehend what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in us. We are to come to know the abundance of Spiritual things to which we are now entitled because of being made children of God, for if children, then heirs of all that Christ possesses. We have been sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise who is given as a pledge of our inheritance with a view to the redemption of Gods own possession, to the praise of His glory (Gal 4:6-7; Eph 1:11-14).
We have access to all the riches of His grace unveiled in that finished work of Christ. Can we grasp what is being said here? That great mighty Holy Spirit, who has come to make his home in us, is guiding us into all the reality of the wealth that has been given to us in Christ.
Now what is the immeasurable greatness of His power in us who believe? This power which is available to us now who believe in God is that same divine energy which was demonstrated in Christ when the Father raised Him from the dead and gave Him the place of highest honor in Heaven-a place that is infinitely superior to any command authority, power or control and which carries with it a name far beyond any name that could ever be used in this world or the world to come (Eph 1: 20-21).
Satan was conquered, defeated by Jesus before He rose from the dead, and that defeat is set to our credit, so you can safely say "I conquered Satan in Christ. As Jesus was master of the devil, so am I In His Name." If (since) we have been raised together with Christ, then we have His resurrection ability in us (Rom. 6:5).
We are not left on our own resources, we have His power and grace. Yes, that measureless ability of God is ours here and now, if we will only claim it.
Read what the scriptures say in II Cor 9:10, "Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food WILL supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness."
What is the meaning of "fruits of your righteousness?" Christ's life-style gives us the example. All the gracious words that He spoke and all the mighty acts which He performed were the fruits of His righteousness.
Have we taken the time to consider that Jesus was fearless in the presence of the enemy in every place: He had no fear of a storm at sea"...and He rebuked the wind and the sea and it became calm". He had no fear of lackHe multiplied the loaves and the fish. He wasn't afraid of deathHe raised Lazarus who had been dead four days.
These are some examples of the fruits of His righteousness. When these fruits abound in us they will make us like Jesus, and these fruits can abound in us. (My friends, when you read these words, are you reacting like Thomas did?)
This has nothing to do with our abilities, our talents, our position in this world or the possessions we may have. It has nothing to do with whether we are black or white, male or female.
Notice II Cor 3:4-5, "And such confidence have we through Christ toward God, not that we are sufficient of ourselves to account for anything as from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant."
Can we understand what he is saying to us here? Not only is He our ability-as we have previously seen-but He is also our sufficiency in all things. In Him we are competent to perform those greater works spoken of in John 14:12, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me will also do the works that I do and greater works than these will he do because I go to the Father." His very sufficiency and all His ability are at our disposal, "In My Name you shall...." There is no lack in us, in our service, in our finances, in anything connected with our walk on this earth. Oh, if we can only come to comprehend this relationship we have with our God.
You see when He took us over and came into us and began building His Word into us, He was also building His sufficiency and ability into us.
That Word of His created this universe; created this earth with all its flowers and fruits, its wealth of minerals, chemicals and oils. His efficiency in that Living Word created all these things. Now He is building into us that Living Word with all its supernatural efficiency. We are being recreated in His image, and as it says in Phil 4:13, "I can do all things through His efficiency which strengthen me." Isn't this what it means?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God carries the meaning that Jesus Christ is alive and living among and within us. We are His temple (Rom. 8:11; Matt 12:28; I Cor 3:17; II Cor 6:16). Focus for a moment on Rom. 8:11 where we are told that Christ, through His indwelling Spirit, is now giving and building His Holy Life into our mortal bodies. Christ is for the present, the here and now, as well as for the future.
Not only is He building Himself into us, He is also there to work through us. Take this into your heart, read what Paul says in Eph 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every Spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." We are blessed with everything we need. His very fullness is ours. His ability is ours. His love is ours. Yes, He Himself is ours?
All we have to do now is to take our place and act our part, for it's God who is at work within us.
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