And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”
Luke 1:67-75 ESV
Jesus Christ, God the Son, indeed visited and redeemed his people, not that they all accepted his redemption, for they didn’t. And, now his people are all those who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of their lives. They are the sole heirs of the promise (Matt. 12:30; Rom. 9:6b-8; Rom. 11:28-32; Gal. 3:10, 16, 26-29; Gal. 4:22-31; Eph. 2:14-18; 1 Jn. 2:22).
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, who is also God, is the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament regarding the Christ, the Messiah who was to come and to save the Lord’s people Israel. And, again, now Israel is all those who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives. We are the sole heirs of the promise God made to Abraham and to his SEED, meaning Christ (see scripture references above).
So, who are our enemies? We read this in Ephesians 6:10-12 ESV:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
Although certainly we do have “flesh and blood” enemies, who are also the enemies of Christ, for they are against Christ, i.e. they are antichrist, our true enemy, who is the one behind all our “flesh and blood” enemies, is the devil, Satan, and his many hordes. So, we must fight those enemies, not with physical weapons of warfare, but with the spiritual armor of God, which includes faith, righteousness, truth, the Word of God, the gospel of our salvation and prayer. This is where the true battle is won.
Our enemies, as well, can be sin and self (the flesh), for the flesh is at war with the Spirit and the Spirit is at war with the flesh. So, as long as we live in these flesh bodies, we are going to know daily warfare, as we will have to put the flesh to death, by the Spirit of God, and we will have to daily resist Satan, flee temptation and draw near to God in full assurance of faith. And, then we must walk in the Spirit and no longer according to our flesh.
And, this becomes clear as we read here that the reason we need to be saved from our enemies is so that we can serve the Lord “without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”
But, we can do that with physical enemies raging against us, coming against us either in physical battle or in a battle against our minds and hearts. For, our deliverance from our enemies is spiritual, not necessarily physical, though he does, at times, also physically rescue us from physical enemies.
But, what keeps us from serving the Lord in holiness and righteousness is the enemies of our soul which are Satan, sin and the flesh. And, Jesus conquered all three of these via his death on a cross and via his resurrection from the dead back to life. And, the way in which we are saved from these enemies is via God-given faith in Jesus Christ which submits to him as Lord, which leaves our sinful lifestyles behind us, and which follows our Lord in obedience to his commands.
[Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8; Eph. 4:17-24; Eph. 5:3-6; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Co. 6:20; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Jn. 14:23-24; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; Jn. 8:31-32; Rom. 11:17-24; 1 Jn. 2:24-25; Col. 1:21-23; Jas. 1:21-25]
For the very purpose of our salvation from sin, as this states, is that we might serve our Lord without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all of our days. For, this is why Jesus died, that we might die with him to sin and live with him to his righteousness; that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15).
And, to be holy is to be separate (unlike, different) from the world of sin because we are being made to be like Jesus in his character. And, righteousness is truth, uprightness, godliness, morality, and purity, etc. We are not to live like the world does or to take on the character, values and attitudes of this sinful world. We are not to love (agape) the world or the things which are in the world, i.e. we are not to prefer the sinful desires of our flesh and of the world, but we are to prefer God and his holiness.
So, we aren’t saved from our sins just so we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die. We are saved from our slavery to sin and we are empowered to now walk in Christ’s holiness and righteousness, living godly and holy lives, pleasing to God. For, this is the will of God for our lives, and this is the reason he came to redeem us. For, he bought us back for God with his blood that we might now honor God with our lives (1 Co. 6:20).
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Luke 1:76-79 ESV
In a sense, we are all called of God to do this, not in the same way that John the Baptist did, or under the same circumstances. But, we are all to prepare the way of the Lord in people’s hearts by sharing with them the true gospel of our salvation from sin. We are all called of God to give them knowledge of our salvation from sin, but to share the true gospel, not the cheapened version of the gospel.
We are to be the Light of the world and the salt of the earth, and to proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. And, we are to give light (truth, righteousness) to those who sit (who are situated) in darkness (sin, wickedness). We are to share the truth of the gospel of our salvation with those who are dying in their sins. And, we are to show them the way to peace with God.
But, again, we have to tell them the truth, not this diluted altered gospel message which is absent of God’s true righteousness and holiness, for it still leaves its adherents bound in their sin, living in wickedness, while giving them a false hope of eternal life with God.
And, the truth is that if we walk (in practice, in lifestyle) according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit, we are going to die in our sins, not have eternal life with God. So, our faith in our Lord is evidenced by our walks, by how we live, and scripture is real clear that what we practice is going to determine our eternal destiny. For, true faith in Jesus Christ lives according to (in agreement) with the Spirit of God and it does not continue walking in darkness (in sin, in immorality) (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
So, just know the truth, for it is the truth which will set you free, and true freedom is not liberty to continue in sinful practices, but it is freedom from slavery to sinful practices, so that we can walk in holiness and in righteousness the rest of our days (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
Seek the Lord
An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55
“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.
“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy, and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”