And To Enable Us

Zechariah’s wife, Elizabeth, gave birth to a baby boy. On the eight day, when they circumcised him, Zechariah declared that he was to be called John, as the Lord had told him he was to name him. John later became John the Baptist who was called of God to prepare the way for Jesus.

After Zechariah declared in writing that his name was to be John, his mouth, which had previously been silenced by God, was opened, and his tongue was set free, and he began to speak, praising God.

Luke 1:67-75 NIV

His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David
(as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us—
to show mercy to our ancestors
and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”

Our Promised Messiah

Zechariah prophesied about Jesus, although Jesus had not yet been born. Jesus was and is the promised seed of Abraham through whom all the nations will be and are being blessed. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we become children of God and heirs of the promise along with Isaac.

It is not the physical descendants of Abraham who are Israel and who are God’s children, but it is the children of promise. And we become God’s children and heirs by faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for both Jew and Gentile by birth. Jesus made us both one through faith in Jesus Christ.

Those who do not believe in Jesus Christ, whether Jew or Gentile by birth, are not children of God, and they are not Israel, for they are of the slave woman, for they are still in slavery to their sin. As followers of Jesus, we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman, because Jesus set us free from our slavery to sin. And now we follow him with our lives.

[Rom. 9:6-8; Gal. 3:10, 16, 26-29; Gal. 4:22-31; Eph. 2:14-18; 1 Jn. 2:22]

Our Promised Redeemer

Jesus did indeed redeem us from our sins. Through his blood shed for us on that cross he bought us back for God that we might honor God with our lives and with our bodies (1 Co 6:19-20).

He gave his life up for us on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And he died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us, and that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Pet 2:24).

So, redemption is not just forgiveness and restoring us to a right relationship with God so we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die. We, as the redeemed of the Lord, are now God’s possession. He owns us. We are his. And now he is ruler of our lives, not us.

Jesus delivered us from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin, not just from the punishment of sin. He delivered us, too, from the power and control of sin and of death and of Satan so that we might now come under the Holy Spirit’s control and have eternal life with God.

Our Promised Enabler

Yes, Jesus is our enabler, but not in the sense of someone who enables us to persist in self-destructive behavior, as many people today would like to have you believe. He does not provide us with excuses for sin or make it possible for us to avoid the consequences of our sinful behaviors.

Instead, he rescued us from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin so that we could live lives free from the control of sin and Satan. And he enables us to live righteous, godly, upright, and self-controlled lives, not lives which are self-indulgent, full of pride and lust, and which deny him as Lord.

He enables us to serve him in holiness and righteousness, without fear of man or without fear of failure, because our dependency is on him and not on our flesh, and we get our strength and support from him and not from humans who may not have the mind of Christ or who may desert us.

We just have to surrender our lives to him and submit to him as Lord and submit to his purposes for our lives. We must die with him to sin, i.e., leave our lives of sin behind us, and we must follow him in obedience to his commands (under the New Covenant). And he will provide all we need for us to obey him and to live in holiness and righteousness before him all our days (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26).

I Will Lift My Eyes

An Original Work / December 12, 2012
Based off Psalms 121-125

I will lift my eyes to my Lord Most High.
My help comes from Him, who saved me from sin.
He will not let your foot slip, and He who watches will not sleep.
Our Lord watches over you, and your life He will keep.
I will lift my eyes to my Lord Most High.
My help comes from Him, who saved me from sin.
I give thanks to Him.

I will lift my eyes to my God in heav’n.
I look to the Lord. My sins, He’s forgiv’n.
Because of His great love for us, He made us alive with Christ.
Through the kindness of our Savior, He gave us new life.
I will lift my eyes to my God in heav’n.
I look to the Lord. My sins, He’s forgiv’n;
My home, now in heav’n.

Praise be to the Lord, who is on our side.
Our help found in Him. He gives peace within.
Those who trust will ne’er be shaken. God will supply all we need.
Our Lord has done great things for us. He’s our friend, indeed!
Praise be to the Lord, who is on our side.
Our help found in Him. He gives peace within.
I can count on Him.

2 thoughts on “And To Enable Us

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