|Art by The Catholic Guy 2012|
As we saw last week, in God we live, and move, and have our being (Acts 17: 28). We depend on Him completely for our very existence, whether we are unsaved (natural man), saved and yielded to the Holy Spirit (spiritual man), or saved but serving our own fleshly desires (carnal man; Romans 8:5-14; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 3:1).
These planes of being determine our eternal destiny: hell for the unsaved or natural man; Heaven with rewards for the spiritual man; and Heaven but with loss of rewards for the carnal man. But praise God, He does not want any to perish (2 Peter 3:9). He designed us in His image (Genesis 1:26) to want to know Him, to look for Him, and to find Him (Acts 17: 27).
That is why life before we were in Christ felt so empty, and why we continually looked for comfort in false religions (Jeremiah 7:9), humanistic philosophies (Colossians 2:8), and modern-day idols (Leviticus 26:1; 2 Kings 17:12; 1 Chronicles 16:26; etc.) such as money (1 Timothy 6:10), power, and substance abuse (Proverbs 20:1). But God made us, and we cannot ourselves make gods of gold, silver, or stone and expect them to have any power (Acts 17: 29; Habakkuk 2:19).
The day is coming when God will judge all those who misplaced their faith in false idols, rejecting His Son Whom God ordained and of Whom He gave proof to all men by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17: 31).
Before we were saved by placing our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6), we were children of the devil. Our spirit reflected the nature of Satan, who then was our spiritual father (John 8:44). But once we were saved, we were born again (John 3:3-8) as children of God (1 John 3:1), our spirit progressively shaped into His image during our earthly journey (Romans 12:2).
While we were still lost, we were dead in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:22), but when we are born again, He “quickens” us, or makes us alive (John 5:21; 6:63; Romans 4:17; 8:11), to walk in the Spirit (Romans 8:1,4; Galatians 5:16,25), as a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15), in newness of life (Romans 6:4).
When we are born again, He elevates us to a new plane of being. We are then born not of blood (for it is a spiritual and not a physical rebirth), nor of the will of the flesh or of man (for we are no longer motivated solely by our own desires), but of God (John 1:13). He gave us physical life; He gave us Spirit-filled life as we were born again; and He will make us perfectly into His image in our glorified bodies that we receive at the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:38-54).
Jesus said that we are to live or abide in Him, like the branches live on the vine, so that we can bear fruit and receive His blessings through prayer. If we abide in His love, we will love one another, and our joy in Him will be full (John 15:5-17).
God created each of us as a unique life (1 Peter 4:19), which we should offer back to Him as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). He sustains us with what we need to survive, grow and thrive through our earthly life (Psalm 55:22; 3:5), and He redeemed us from our sins to reconcile us to His Holy Self (Job 19:25; Psalm 19:14; Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
We should now move for His glory, not our own, as we go, baptize, and teach all nations (Matthew 28:19). We should now use our mouths not for idle words (Matthew 12:36), but to praise (Psalm 150:6; etc.), thank (1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 5:20), and pray to Him (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Our thoughts, words and deeds should encourage (Romans 12:15), exhort (Hebrews 3:13), and edify fellow believers (Romans 14:19; 15:2), for we have become His witnesses (Acts 1:8), colaborers (1 Corinthians 3:9), and ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20).
As we move in Him, He empowers us as soldiers (2 Timothy 2:3-4) to fight the good fight (1 Timothy 6:12); as athletes (1 Corinthians 9:24-25) to run with patience the race that He set before us (Hebrews 12:1); and as victors through Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57) to finish the course (2 Timothy 4:7). Whatever we do should be in the name of our Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him (Colossians 3:17).
When we have our being in Him, our personhood is in His image. Our identity is now as God’s child (1 John 3:1), friend to Jesus (John 15:14), and Christ’s bride as a member of His church (Ephesians 5:23-32). In this status we have forgiveness of sins (justification; Romans 5:18), abundant life (sanctification; John 10:10; 1 Corinthians 1:30), and eternal life (glorification; John 3:16; Romans 8:17, 30).
As joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), we share in His inheritance, we receive a new name (Revelation 2:17), and He is preparing a mansion (John 14:2) for each of us! We even have a new address: in heavenly places with Christ during this life (Ephesians 1:3), present with the Lord in Heaven after physical death (2 Corinthians 5:8), and in the New Jerusalem throughout eternity (Revelation 21:2).
Praise God that in Him we live, move, and have our being! May we embrace new life as we are born again, be Spirit-moved as He guides our actions, and rest in our new identity in Him!
© 2015 Laurie Collett
Talking about being a former child of the Devil, I recall when I was still a little boy, the booklet given to me by the Catholic Church. This picture book for children featured the Devil peering from behind corners and attempting to lead a child to sin, while a nearby angel weeps. It was really creepy, and for days to come I fearfully looked behind me to see if Satan was peering at me from behind a corner.
But thanks be to God that Jesus came to atone for our sins!
As I often say to Alex my wife: "Don't be afraid of any adverse entity, because every demon is far more terrified of God than we are of them."
Again, thank you for another superb Trinity-based post.
And also for the excellent picture at the header. I too am looking forward for the Lord to give me a tight hug. God bless.
Thank you for this encouraging and uplifting Bible study - His word builds up and shows the way, it cleanses and renews ... It is a wonderful freedom to have one's life hidden in Christ, having His peace and joy!
Blessings to your week,
That does sound like creepy literature to be handing out to small children! Praise God that He Who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.
Thank you as always for your uplifting words of encouragement. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
Thank you for your comment! Praise God for the peace that passes all understanding and the joy He brings no matter what our circumstances! May we be washed by the cleansing of His Word through meditating on it daily.
May God bless you and yours,
Thank you for sharing on Small victories Sunday Linkup. Hope you join us again
Wonderful words - especially Praise God that in Him we live, move, and have our being! Jesus - first and foremost - nothing else
Thanks, Gail, for hosting & for your comment! Blessings to you!
Amen, Janis -- He is our All in All -- all we need! Thanks for your sweet comment & God bless,
I love the way we are born again as babies in Christ, and then we grow and mature in Him. I also love the fact that God is long suffering and patient with us as we learn to be doers of His word. If it was not for Jesus and His sacrifice we would not have our wonderful mediator who is also our intercessor as we learn line upon line and precept upon precept. As we learn more and more about Him and have our minds renewed in Jesus, how would anyone not want to be like Him. As you imply, He is our everything. and death has no 'sting'.
God bless you Laurie.
Thank you for sharing this! What an amazing compilation of Bible verses to reference back to and such inspirational words. ~Cynthia
Such inspirations from the Bible. All we need is His words. :)
Amen, Brenda! When we are born again, we are instantly justified, or made righteous through the holiness of Christ. But our earthly journey thereafter is designed to progressively sanctify us, or make us more like His image, through prayer, Bible study, and even by suffering through trials. Praise God that He saves us just as we are, and then like a loving Father disciplines and matures us if we yield to Him.
God bless you and your ministry too,
Thank you, Cynthia, for your lovely comment! May you have a blessed week in Him,
So true, Lux -- His Word contains all the truth and wisdom needed to save us and to guide us through life.
May you have a blessed week in Him,
This was very encouraging. I'm glad I took the time to read it. God bless you Laurie.
Thanks for this encouragement. I love what you write about Jesus. That He said that we are to live or abide in Him, like the branches live on the vine. So, let us see upon Him every new day!
Great post, Laurie.
May we learn to live a spiritual life as He intended rather than the carnal one so many have accepted as normal.
Thank you, Sateigdra, for your very kind words! I am blessed to hear that you enjoyed the post.
God bless you too,
Thank you, Ariella -- I'm so glad you enjoyed this! Praise God that He is the vine and we are the branches, and if we abide in Him, we will bear much fruit!
Many blessings to you,
Your posts are always so rich in His Word. I love that you delight in His Word and share that with others. It is a blessing!
Thanks for sharing your gifts,
Thanks, Donald! We read a Tozer devotional this morning that emphasized how "normal" Christians should be spiritual so that they won't be just "nominal" Christians.
Thank you so much for your encouraging and uplifting comment! You are a blessing!
Love in Him,
Very well said. I love the amount of scripture you use to back up everything you say. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much, Trena! I am blessed to hear that you like the post!
May you have a blessed week in Him,
Living and moving in God is like physical exercise - - we become stronger to attempt greater things for our Lord and share with him our inheritance.
It is amazing what God will do when we give Him permission to use us. Thanks for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.
Great analogy, Hazel! The greatest blessing we could have is for Him to use us according to His perfect plan.
Thanks for hosting & for your comment & God bless!
Love thinking of knowing, seeking, finding as triplets. Helps my brain lots!
Thanks, Lisa -- I'm so glad you liked the post! May you have a blessed weekend in Him!
Hello Laurie, I like the triplets description. Thank you so much for sharing these profound truths.
Thank you, Ifeoma, for your sweet comment! I'm blessed to hear that you enjoyed the post!
God bless you too!
Thanks for linking up at my place. So glad to have you!
Thanks so much, Kristin, for hosting and for your lovely comment! May you have a blessed week in Him,
Thank you for bringing the bottom line of the gospel to light in this post. So truthful and so powerful. May many come to know him and love him through this post. Many cheers to you from the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.
I am blessed by your encouraging comment and share in your desire for others to come closer to Him through our blog posts. May God bless you richly for all you do to uplift others and spread His Word!
Thanks for sharing and linking up with Christian Fellowship Friday!
Thanks, Dalynn, for your comment and for hosting!
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