Monday, December 21, 2015

Devotion: Accept God’s Acceptance

So, if you be in Christ, then you be “a new creature” (II Corinthians 5:17).  You are no longer a part of Adam’s sinful race, a race that has a fixed moral nature in sin.  No, you are now part of a new race, a spiritual race, created solely by Jesus through death and resurrection.  This new spiritual race has a nature that is fixed in righteousness.  No longer do we “know good and are unable to do it.”  No longer do we “know evil and are unable to resist it” (Ephesians 2:1-3).  We have been given “a second chance.”

“But God is so rich in mercy; he loved us so much that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, he gave us back our lives again when he raised Christ from the dead—only by his undeserved favor have we ever been saved—and lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with him in the heavenly realms—all because of what Christ Jesus did.  And now God can always point to us as examples of how very, very rich his kindness is, as shown in all he has done for us through Jesus Christ.  Because of his kindness, you have been saved through trusting Christ.  And even trusting is not of yourselves; it too is a gift from God.  Salvation is not a reward for the good we have done, so none of us can take any credit for it.  It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others” (Ephesians 2:4-10 TLB).

Because God, who is full of mercy and because of his intense love for us, he gave us “a second chance.”  Though we were spiritually dead through our sins, it is by his grace that we have been saved.  Because he loved us so much, he gave us back our lives, when he raised Jesus Christ from the dead.  Only through his undeserved favor, God also lifted us up from the grave, raising us from the dead with Christ and into glory where we are seated with him in the heavenly realms because of what Christ had done.  For it is by grace and the kindness of God that we have been saved through our faith in Jesus Christ.  This salvation is a gift, freely given to us by God so that no one can boast by works, deeds or merits and take the glory that belongs solely to God for him or herself.  It is God himself who made us what we are; his handiwork that was created in Jesus Christ for good works which God had pre-planned long, long ago that we might spend these lives in helping others.

“For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins” (Colossians 1:13 NLT).

We have been delivered out of the dominion of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of his dear son, Jesus Christ.  Through his death, Jesus was able to purchase our freedom, forgive our sins, and reconcile us back into agreement with God (Ephesians 2:14-22).  When we were enemies, haters of God, we were brought back to God through the death of his son (Romans 5:10).  Actually, the truth is that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world back unto himself” (II Corinthians 5:19).  Yes, folks, that is stated correctly.  God was in Christ, restoring mankind back unto himself, even when we were yet still sinners (Romans 5:10).  Through what Christ did, God made peace and brought us back to himself (II Corinthians 5:18).  In doing this, God gave us “the ministry of reconciliation,” entrusting us with his message of reconciliation.  This honor of preaching this news of peace belongs to those who are in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17).  Those who are in Christ be a new creature, a new creation if you will.  Remember, it was through his death that Jesus took two groups and made them part of himself.  In making them a part of himself, Jesus was able to fuse the two together into a new creation, into a new man.  It is this new creation, this new man that are the ambassadors for Christ, his representatives (II Corinthians 5:20).  God uses this new man to urge others to come into his favor, to be at peace with him, and to be reconciled to him.  Now that we have been reconciled back, it does make one wonder what blessings God may have for those who come into his favor.

We pray that both the commentary and the inspirational message will be a blessing to you as well as informative.  If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings. - KW

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