Last night, I was getting ready to go to bed, and so I was brushing my teeth. The right upper side of my mouth has been hurting lately, above my teeth, in my gums. My right hand/fingers have been hurting lately, too, and my right knee and my right foot have been hurting for several months.
So, I got thinking about all of this from a spiritual perspective, because the Lord sometimes uses my real life situations as parables. Right is righteous. The mouth is used to speak words. The hands represent our deeds, and I use my fingers to type devotions every day. The knee is representative of prayer and of submission to God, where we bow before him in humility. And the foot represents our walks of faith in Jesus Christ, as well as having feet fitted with the gospel. So, spiritually speaking, this is about the spreading of the gospel, and it is under attack, as are its messengers.
So, the righteous are being attacked in the words that they speak by the Spirit, in the works that they do in the power of God, and under his direction, in their submission to Christ as Lord, in their walks of faith in Jesus Christ, and in their testimonies for Jesus Christ and for his gospel.
And the Lord is allowing me to feel this pain, I believe, as a parable, but also to remind me of all my brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world who are suffering persecution for the sake of righteousness and for the sake of the gospel, so that I will pray for them, and so that I will encourage them to persevere and to not give up, for their work will be rewarded.
2 Corinthians 5:11-15 ESV
“Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.”
Do you know the fear of the Lord? Not just intellectually, but are you walking in the fear of the Lord? Does your walk of faith show that you revere God, that you honor him as Lord, that you are living in submission to him, and that you are obeying him in doing his will? Do you show him respect? Are you dying to sin and walking in obedience to him daily? Are you, by the Spirit, putting away the deeds of the flesh, and are you walking by the Spirit? Do you take God and his commands (New Covenant) to heart?
If you are, are you then trying to persuade others to believe in Jesus and to walk in the fear of the Lord? Are you sharing your testimony of your walk of faith in Jesus Christ, i.e. regarding your present and active walk of faith in Jesus day by day? Are you sharing with others the gospel that Jesus taught, and that his New Testament Apostles taught (in context)? Are you calling sinners to repent of (to turn away from) their sin to follow Jesus in obedience to his ways and to his commands (New Covenant)?
If you are walking in the fear of the Lord, and if you are sharing the truth of the gospel with others, and if you are calling them to repentance and to obedient faith in Jesus Christ, then you are most likely being attacked in the words that you speak and in your walk of faith and in the works that you do in the power of God’s Spirit and in your submission to Christ as Lord.
Persecuted for Righteousness’ Sake
For, the predominant gospel being taught and pushed in today’s market-driven institutional churches here in America is a diluted gospel which makes no demands for submission to Christ as Lord or for the forsaking of sins or for walks of obedience to Jesus Christ. But they teach that you can “believe” (not defined) in Jesus Christ, have your sins forgiven, be guaranteed heaven as your eternal destiny, but that you can continue in deliberate and habitual sin without conscience and without guilt and without punishment.
So, they are also on the all out attack against those of us who are walking in the fear of the Lord, who honor him as Lord, who are putting sin to death, and who are walking in the Spirit in obedience to the Lord. And they are accusing us falsely of teaching works-based salvation and of being self-righteous and of being legalistic and prideful and hateful, etc. But we are teaching what Jesus taught and what Paul and the other apostles taught.
And Paul came under much scrutiny and persecution for the things that he taught, too. And he was accused falsely, and he had many who were opposing him and who were trying to discredit him, for they wanted to turn the people away from him and his teaching. And so he frequently was put in situations where he had to defend his words and actions against these false accusations so that the truth of the gospel would not be discredited.
But even through all that Paul suffered for the sake of the gospel, his message did not change. He continued to teach that Jesus Christ died on that cross that we who live might no longer live for ourselves but for him who for our sake died and was raised. He taught that faith in Jesus Christ means we die with Christ to sin and that we are raised with him to walk in newness of life in him in moral purity, holiness and righteousness. And he taught that we must forsake our sins and obey our Lord in practice.
And he also taught that if we do not die with Christ to sin, and if we continue in deliberate and habitual sin, and if we do not honor him as Lord, but we continue to be lord of our own lives, and if we do not obey him in practice, but sin is what we practice, that we will not inherit eternal life with God. And that is why he was attacked on a regular basis, and why he was persecuted, because he taught what people today are falsely calling “works-based salvation.”
But many people are hailing him as their hero because they don’t read all that he taught, and they think he taught a grace that forgives them of their sins so that they can keep on sinning without punishment. But Jesus died to put our sins to death, not just on that cross, but in our lives. He died to free us from our addiction to sin, not to pacify us in our sin. And he demands submission, repentance, and walks of obedience of his followers.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
He Lifted Our Burdens
An Original Work / February 15, 2014
Based off Isaiah 9:2-7
People walk in darkness.
They abide in their sin.
It has power o’er them.
True belief escapes them.
Jesus Christ came to save them.
He gave His life up for them;
Crucified; died for our sin,
So we might be forgiven,
And have life up in heaven.
Many come to know Him.
God’s love now o’erflows them.
They rejoice in vict’ry.
Their sin is but hist’ry.
We were once bound in slav’ry.
Jesus lifted our burdens;
Set us now free from Satan,
So we now walk in freedom.
Sin has no more dominion.
Praise be to our Savior!
He showed us His favor.
He took all our burdens;
Cast them all upon Him.
He is our mediator;
The Light which shines in darkness.
Counselor in our troubles;
He gives peace now in our hearts;
Joy which is everlasting.