The Difference He Makes

Colossians 1:13-14 NASB

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

He Rescued Us

The whole purpose of our salvation, the reason Jesus went to that cross to die for our sins, is that we might be delivered from the power (ownership, control) of darkness over our lives, i.e. the power of sin and Satan (See: Acts 26:16-18).

It was to deliver us from the sphere of influence Satan and sin had over our lives, and to render both Satan and sin powerless in the life of the believer in Jesus. And, it was to transfer (move, relocate) us into God’s heavenly kingdom via metamorphosis (conversion, transformation).

Therefore, our lives are no longer our own to be lived how we want, For, with his blood, Jesus bought us back (redeemed us) for God, that we might now live for him and no longer for ourselves. Thus, we are to now honor God with our lives (1 Co. 6:19-20; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; cf. Rom. 12:1-2).

We are now to walk (live our lives) in a manner worthy of the Lord and of his gospel, to please Him in all respects, bearing much fruit (spiritual outgrowth and results) for his eternal kingdom (See: Col. 1:9-12).

And, just so you know, scripture teaches that if we still walk according to the flesh, that we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21; Gal. 6:7-8).

For, God’s grace to us is not just an escape from hell and the promise of heaven when we die. Jesus died to set us free from our slavery to sin so that we might walk with him in holiness and godliness and in self-control, and so that we might say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts (Tit. 2:11-14).

Colossians 1:15-20 NASB

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Through the Blood

Some people have the mistaken notion that Jesus Christ presently has no power over Satan since Satan is the god of this world (See 2 Co. 4:4). But, that is not what scripture teaches. Jesus Christ is absolutely in control over all that he has made. He is fully sovereign over every aspect of our lives. Satan has no power over us. Jesus Christ reigns supreme! Amen!

We never have to fear Satan or think there is any question as to who is going to win this battle for our minds and hearts, for Jesus already won. So, we just need to put on our spiritual armor and fight (See Eph. 6:10-20).

When Satan tempts us, we have an advocate in Jesus Christ, and we can go to him, and he will give us all that we need to resist Satan, to flee temptation, and to draw near to God in full assurance of faith. In fact, he has already made the way out for us from temptation. We just have to take the way which he provided.

For, the blood of Jesus Christ was shed on that cross for our freedom, but not just the freedom from the penalty of sin (death), but from our addictions to sin, too. Our salvation means death to sin and living to righteousness.

And, all this is possible because of what Jesus did for us, and because he now lives within us, and because he has provided all that we need to not yield any longer to Satan’s control, but to now come under God’s power.

Colossians 1:21-23 NASB

And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach— if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

Walk With Him

So many people teach salvation as though it is a one-time experience by which we pray a prayer or make a confession of Christ and then we are “in” and secure and nothing can ever take it away, not even ourselves, no matter what we do or no matter how we live our lives, or even if later we deny Him.

But, scripture does not teach that, at least not in that manner. What it teaches us over and over again is that the mark of a true believer in Jesus Christ is that he no longer lives the way he did before he was “saved.”

It doesn’t mean he instantaneously becomes perfect and he never sins again, but that a definite transformation of the heart and mind has taken place. He once walked in the ways of this flesh, but now he (or she) walks in the ways of the Spirit, and is progressively putting to death the misdeeds of the flesh (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21).

Another thing scripture teaches consistently is that we must continue in this faith throughout our lives til the end of time if we want to have our salvation secured. But, this faith is not a mere profession, but it is a lifestyle of yielding to the Lord Jesus, forsaking sin, repenting when we do sin, and walking with our Lord in his truth and in his ways.

Colossians 1:24-29 NASB

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions. Of this church I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

Suffering for Christ

Another thing we learn, as we study the scriptures, is not only that the Christian life is a lifestyle of dying to sin and living to righteousness, but that suffering for the sake of our faith is par for the course, as well.

Just as Jesus Christ suffered for the sake of his testimony and for what he lived and did and taught, we, too, will suffer in like manner if we are truly following him with our lives. We, too, will be hated, rejected, despised, spoken falsely against, attacked, hounded, abandoned, deserted, betrayed, denied, abused, misused, and perhaps even killed for our faith in Jesus.

Especially if we are those who are preaching or teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ on a regular basis, and we are addressing sin issues, and we are calling for repentance, and we are warning of judgment, and we are exposing the lies of the enemy and are proclaiming the truth, by contrast, we can expect that Satan will be on the all-out attack against us.

Even if that is not what we do, but merely we are just walking what we talk and not just talking the walk, and we are more and more forsaking what is not of God, and we are daily walking in his light and truth, we are going to be rejected. For, the more we pull away from the world, the more that the world and that worldly Christians will separate themselves from us.

So, when these things take place, which they will if we are truly following the Lord in holiness and in purity, we need to take refuge in our Lord, and lean on him and on his love and grace. We need to seek his counsel and get our direction from Him, and not from other humans who may not have the mind of Christ. And, then we need to continue walking in his ways, trusting our Lord with all opposing forces, and then keep singing his praises.

I Take Refuge
An Original Work / September 1, 2018

Based off Psalm 71

O, Lord, I take refuge in You,
For You are my God.
Turn Your ear now to me.

Be my Rock and Fortress
To which I do go.
Deliver me, God. You’re my hope.

My lips now give praise to You, God.
I always have hope,
Since You saved me from sin.

My enemies speak evil
‘gainst me, O God.
Oh, help me, O Lord, rescue me.

The path of my life has been hard.
For, I have had troubles
Too many to bear.

But, You will increase honor,
Restore again.
Your faithfulness, Lord, comforts me.

Friday, September 7, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus!

 

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