Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Approval (Part 2)

In my life, all I have ever known of God has been as a loving Father. I have only known of His loving kindness and goodness. He has been truly good to me

Sure, I have had trials and struggles. He gave me life when I was dying and there was no hope of living. I have been homeless, I have been in the depths of bondage. But He set me free! He delivered me from sin and a life of despair. How could I not love Him and trust Him?

However, I know it is not always that way for many people. I had a friend who at one time could only relate to God as someone who was angry, and ready to pour out His judgment and wrath at any moment for any infraction. He could not relate to the goodness or love of God.

My friend used to call me at 2 or 3 in the morning for help because he was suicidal and just knew that God was angry with him. The enemy had completely convinced my friend that God's judgment was on his life and there was no hope!

I cannot imagine living under such a cloud of fear, or under such a lie. Can you? Do You?

The truth is that just as there was hope for my friend, there is hope for anyone!

To repeat, John 3:16-17 from the God’s Word Translation:

“God loved the world this way: He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but to save the world.”

I have good news!

God Loves You!

God's love is the foundation of His grace, and all of His promises to us as believers.

God's love is the basis for our very existence.

God's love is also the basis of the New Covenant.

God’s love is why He sent Jesus, and why He died on the cross. It was all about love!

The bible also tells us that in addition to God loving us; it says that if anyone is in Christ they have become a completely new creation. So how does one become “in Christ?”

"Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence." 2 Corinthians 5:17 (GW)

By believing in Jesus, you now have a completely new nature dwelling inside of you. The new nature is from the Holy Spirit who lives in all believers.

2 Corinthians 6:17 (GW) says that, “…the person who unites himself to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.”

Not only does God see you as a new creation, but He also sees you as His son or daughter.

Everything that God has ever wanted in a son or daughter, he found in you the moment that you believed in Him.

We have become partakers of God's righteousness (approval), not because of what we do or don't do to live up to some standard, BUT because of what Jesus did!

Salvation is a work of Grace and so is walking out the Christian life

It is impossible to live a "Christian" life outside of the Grace of God

The Church, at times seems to give a mixed message... To the unbeliever we quote:

"God saved you through faith as an act of kindness. You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God. It's not the result of anything you've done, so no one can brag about it." Ephesians 2:8-9 GW

But once that person becomes a believer and is part of the church, they are then told all the stuff they need to do to STAY right with God. And of course, the things to do to stay in God’s good graces change depending upon what group they find themselves in.

But the truth is being right with God is not because of what we do. The only thing that can make anyone right with God is what Jesus the Anointed One did when He went to the cross for sin.

“He is the payment for our sins, and not only for our sins, but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:2 GW

We need to see a picture on the inside of you how God truly sees us...

In Romans chapter eight, Paul gives us a view of how God sees us under the New Covenant.

In God's eyes we...

Are free from the law of sin and death
Live by the Spirit
Are not in the corrupt nature, but in the Spirit
Are His (we belong to Jesus)
Are alive because we have God’s approval
Have the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelling in us
Have our bodies quickened by his Spirit dwelling in us
Are not debtors to the corrupt nature
Are led by the Spirit of God
Are children of God.
Have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear
Have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we call out, “Abba, Father!”
Have the Spirit itself testifies with our spirit, that we are children of God–we are also God’s heirs, and joint-heirs with Christ
Love God
Are called according to His purpose.
Are predestinated to be conformed to the image of Jesus
Are called
Are justified
Are glorified.
Are more than conquerors through him that loves us.
Can never be separated from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Those promises and many more ought to make us pretty excited about how God feels about us.

God has settled His word forever in Heaven. In other words, what He has said is true.

As believers in Jesus, God loves you, approves you and is on your side. He is good, and He will never change His mind about you.

Trust Him for His goodness today