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Session 10 - 1 Peter 1:8-9 - BEING USEFUL - Day 4

Posted on November 1, 2016 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Session 10 – 1 Peter 1:8-9 - BEING USEFUL – Day 4


2 Peter 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins.


To see what qualities Peter is talking about, we need to review the list in yesterday’s post. The qualities that should be increasing in our lives are faithfulness, goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. This is a similar list to the fruit of the Spirit:


Galatians 5:22-24 (HCSB) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.


These qualities are your armor against being of no use and having no productivity. Simply possessing and allowing the Lord to cultivate these qualities in your life makes you a productive witness even before you open your mouth to share. Cultivation requires pruning, but pruning is for the purpose of flourishing and producing more fruit. Productivity is not just activity. True productivity is becoming more and more conformed to the image of Christ. However, being more like Jesus leads to a more productive witness because as people see the divine nature reflected in your life, they will be drawn to the Jesus they see in you. Thus, your witness will be most effective when you are living and responding most like the Lord.


1 Peter 1:9 (CJB) Indeed, whoever lacks them is blind, so shortsighted that he forgets that his past sins have been washed away.


If we do not allow the Holy Spirit to grow these Christ-like qualities in our lives, we become near-sighted about His work in us to the point of even having doubts about our salvation. The sanctification process, becoming more and more like Jesus, reassures us that we are truly His. We must constantly be reminded that He chose us and saved us BEFORE we possessed any of these qualities. Then as we see them developing and are empowered to improve in these areas, we will be reminded that He is perfecting us to be His spotless bride.


Ephesians 2:8-10 (HCSB) For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— 9 not from works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.


Ephesians 5:26-27 (HCSB) to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. 27 He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless.


Jesus’ death on the cross paid for our sin, and we are seen as totally righteous even though we are not yet there on this earth. His Holy Spirit is growing us in all the qualities in this passage as a witness to His saving grace: this is sanctification. When we are finally home with Him, the sanctification process will suddenly be complete, and we will be gloriously, miraculously perfected to be like our Lord.


Challenge: Cooperate with the Lord Jesus in cultivating these qualities in yourself by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. What can you do? Read the word daily, study it with intention, immerse yourself in prayer, ask others to pray for you and you pray for them. Do not compare yourself to other people. Your example is the Lord Jesus, and you will never “arrive” this side of heaven, but like Paul, you are to “press on.”

Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV) Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Session 10 - 2 Peter 1:10-11 - BEING USEFUL - Day 5

Posted on October 31, 2016 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Session 10 – 2 Peter 1:10-11 - BEING USEFUL – Day 5

 

2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. 11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.

 

God sees our lives in review because He knows the beginning and the end ahead of time. He placed us into the confines of time, so we must walk out our faith to experience the reality of what we have in God once we have trusted in Him. Once we have surrendered to the call of Jesus to trust Him for salvation, our status as His children is secure. However, we may experience periods of doubt during times of duress. If we have been pursuing the qualities listed in verses 5-7, we will produce fruit (new converts, encouraged brothers and sisters, etc.) that will assure us that we are indeed saved. Praise the Lord that Jesus is the only qualified fruit inspector! My life does not have to measure up to any other person’s opinion of what a “saved” person looks like. Jesus is the only judge and the only standard against which to compare myself. We cannot meet the standard of perfectly obeying God’s law: that is why Jesus passed that test for us. Our entry into heaven is certain once we have trusted Jesus; but when we doubt that, we can find assurance by noting the growth the Holy Spirit has accomplished in our lives. The godly characteristics listed in verses 5-7 provide a boundary, a safety rail for our lives. Actively pursuing them keeps us on the right path and ensures that we will lead fruitful, meaningful, fulfilled lives as believers.

 

Question: Have you lost your sense of purpose and direction as a Christian? This does not mean that you have lost your salvation because that is an impossibility. However, could it be that you have wandered off the path of pursuing moral excellence to the glory of God? If so, ask the Holy Spirit to give you the strength needed to re-direct your steps. True joy can be yours when you seek to follow in the steps of your Master, Jesus, and live out His purpose for you.

 

Session 10-2 Peter 1:5-7 - Being Useful - Day 3

Posted on October 31, 2016 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Session 10 – 2 Peter 1:5-7 - BEING USEFUL – Day 3

 

2 Peter 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, 6 knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, 7 godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

 

Reformation Study Bible: 1:5–7 The order of virtues here (“faith . . . love”) is not a sequence in time, as if stages of the Christian life were being described (vv. 8, 9). Peter is using a rhetorical figure that builds a series of elements to a climax. The beginning and conclusion of the series are significant, however. Early Christian virtue lists often begin with “faith,” the starting point of the Christian life, and end with “love” (Rom. 5:1–5; 1 Cor. 13), the preeminent fruit of the Christian life.

 

In order to escape corruption and because the Lord has equipped us to do so, we need to exercise the strength He has provided to build upon the base, the foundation of our faith. Before we can achieve any of the attributes Peter lists in these verses, we must have trusted Jesus as Savior and Lord. Without a solid foundation, a house will be unstable as in the parable of the house on the rock and the house on the sand (Matthew 7:24-27). Jesus is the Rock, and we build our lives on Him by faith given to us by God’s grace. But this is just the starting point. The house needs framework, walls, a roof, etc. These we add as we exercise our God given faith and are being sanctified by the work of the Holy Spirit within us.

 

Goodness - An active state of behavior, not a passive attitude. Virtue – according to John MacArthur Study Bible, “in classical Greek, meant the God-given ability to perform heroic deeds. It also came to mean the quality of life which made someone stand out as excellent.” In other words, this is a goodness that is evident to those observing our behavior. Goodness is an attribute that bears fruitfulness. It expresses itself in positive actions on the behalf of others.

 

Knowledge – This is the pursuit and application of godly wisdom found in His word. It is not simply memorizing passages for the sake of looking smart. It involves internalizing and utilizing what has been studied.

 

Self-control – Literally “holding oneself in” – We could say “Keeping yourself in check.” We must discipline ourselves to not give in to ungodly desires. We must always place the Father’s desires for us above our own desires. A good description might be “Christ Controlled.” As we put our cars on cruise-control, so we must trust our lives to Christ-control.

 

Endurance (Perseverance) – Maintain moral excellence at all costs with a vibrant hope. We see this in the stories found in Voice of the Martyrs publications or at www.persecution.com . We read of Christians who are willing to die rather than compromise their trust in and obedience to the Lord. This is true vigilant excellence of following in Jesus’ steps.

 

Godliness – Definition from Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language: GOD'LINESS, noun [from godly.] Piety; belief in God, and reverence for his character and laws. Reverence is a quality often lacking among modern Christians, but respect for God and His commands is the beginning point for obedience. In 1 Peter, we discussed the command to be holy. Holiness, godliness, is being set apart to bring glory to God through the way in which we live.

 

Brotherly (and sisterly) Affection – affection is translated “Kindness” in the King James Version. This is more than a “Hello, how are you? Good-by, Sister or Brother So-and-So.” Peter is describing something I like to call “familyship,” defined as being there in the moment with our brothers and sisters in their time of crisis, confusion, or pain. Examples: visiting the sick, going into the prisons, listening to someone experiencing grief, taking food to someone in need. When you ask, “How are you?,” stop, listen to the reply, and respond accordingly.

 

Love – a moral choice to love whether someone is lovable or not. This is the kind of love God demonstrates to us and develops in us. God enables us to offer this type of love by the power of the Holy Spirit within us. He is conforming us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29), part of which is instilling this love in us.

 

Challenge: God has given us the resources to achieve this kind of moral excellence, but He does expect us to diligently pursue it as well. Choose the area above that you feel is your weakest and seek to improve this week. Perhaps do a word study on that attribute to increase your understanding and help you cultivate what the Lord has planted in you.

 

Session 10 - 2 Peter 1:3-4 - BEING USEFUL - Day 2

Posted on October 31, 2016 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Session 10 - 2 Peter 1:3-4 – BEING USEFUL - Day 2

 

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.

 

We have what we need to make it through our daily lives, not just barely but victoriously in the power and strength of our Lord. What He calls us to do, He enables us to do.

 

Philippians 4:13 (AMP) I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]

 

The Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives gives us the enablement in our earth-suits to emulate Jesus in the world each day. We can find the principles He wants us to live by clearly defined in the Bible, His word to us. What does Peter mean by “through the knowledge of him?” Full discernment, total intimacy with Jesus, knowing His inclinations, His desires is what is meant by knowledge.

 

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible

 

ĕpignōsis1922 – recognition, full discernment, acknowledgement, knowledge

 

Wow! How awesome it is that the Creator and Master of the universe gives me the privilege of knowing Him in this way!

 

Some translations read “who called us by and to His own glory and goodness.” I believe it is both by and to. It is by His glory and goodness, not our own, that we are saved. It is that goodness (virtue) that draws us into relationship with Him. But we are also called TO His glory and virtue – to become like Him.

 

The Lord spoke creation into existence. I do not know what all happens in heaven related to what happens in the womb, but I believe the Lord even calls a specific egg to unite with a specific sperm to create a human being in His image. (Psalm 139:13) In the same way, God has the power to call people into His family of faith and sanctify them to conform more and more to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). All the work is done by our Lord, and we are the recipients of His gracious gift when we surrender our will to the will of Jesus.

 

2 Peter 1:4 By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires.

 

Out of God’s own goodness and glory, He has blessed us with the precious promise of salvation and a future home with Him when we trust in the Lord Jesus. We did nothing to earn His favor and can do nothing to lose it. However, when we are “in Him,” made a new creation by Him (2 Corinthians 5:17), His Holy Spirit enters into us and enables us to take on His nature, His likeness. God created people in His image (Genesis 1:26) in the sense that we are reasoning beings with the capacity for making moral decisions. However, it is not until we receive Jesus as our Savior, that we are enabled through the Holy Spirit to make the choice to obey the Lord and be conformed to the image of Christ.


The heart-change God works within us has the outward manifestation of our escaping the temptations of sinful influences.

 

John MacArthur Study Bible

 

The word “corruption” has the idea of something decomposing or decaying. “Escaped” depicts a successful flight from danger. At the time of salvation, the believer escapes from the power which the rottenness in the world has over him through his fallen, sinful nature.


Challenge: Is there a temptation that you have trouble with? What we used to call a “be-setting sin?” God has given us what we need to overcome the pitfalls of this world – we have His word, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, prayer, and godly preachers/teachers to help us.

 

Session 10 - 2 Peter 1:1-2 - Being Useful - Day 1

Posted on October 28, 2016 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Session 10 – 2 Peter 1:1-2 – BEING USEFUL – Day 1

 

2 Peter 1:1 (HCSB) Simeon Peter, a slave and an apostle of Jesus Christ:

To those who have obtained a faith of equal privilege with ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

Peter identified himself as both an apostle and a servant of the Lord. Why is this significant? By pointing out his apostleship, Peter was asserting the fact that he was a leader in a position of authority. By identifying himself as a slave/bond-servant of the Lord Jesus, he is identifying with the readers as an equal. He is at the same time their leader, peer, and servant as the Lord Jesus was. These predominantly gentile believers are not second class citizens in the kingdom of God. The grafted are not shafted. Their status in the household of faith was not less than that of Jewish believers or even less than that of the apostles. We are equal as sinners saved by grace. The quality of salvation is the same for every believer because Christ is the same. There is not one Messiah for the Jews, one Messiah for the Gentiles, and another Messiah for the apostles. Jesus died for all classes of people from all nations. Each believer (one who has realized salvation is his and has been given faith to trust) is accepted into the family of God based on Jesus finished work on the cross as the final, spotless Passover Lamb. Yes, yes, yes, yes! The vilest sinner inherits the same privilege, the same seat in the heavenlies, as the apostles. The thief on the cross who believed Jesus may live next door to me in Heaven, and that is great!

 

2 Peter 1:2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

 

How are grace and peace multiplied to us? They are multiplied when we are in the word, in the Bible, immersed in scripture, internalizing the truth. I believe this is not just an intellectual knowledge like the Pharisees had, but it takes a heart knowledge. A heart knowledge is a saving knowledge of the One who was sent to deliver me from my sins. Knowledge that changes the heart results in changed behavior. God blesses us and grants us peace when we place our trust completely in Him.

 

Question: Are you in the midst of great need for grace and peace? Go to the word, use a concordance, see what God says about peace in the library of scripture. Philippians 4:6-9 is a good place to start. Fix your mind on Jesus and rest in Him (Hebrews 12:1-3).

 

Session 9 - 1 Peter 5:12-14 - Alert Living - Day 5

Posted on October 25, 2016 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Session 9 - 1 Peter 5:12-14 – Alert Living – Day 5

 

1 Peter 5:12 I have written you this brief letter through Silvanus (I know him to be a faithful brother) to encourage you and to testify that this is the true grace of God. Take your stand in it! 13 The church in Babylon, also chosen, sends you greetings, as does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

 

Silvanus may be the same person as Silas who accompanied Paul on his second missionary journey (Acts 15:40). He may have simply been the letter carrier but most likely served as Peter’s secretary, writing as Peter dictated, or as Susan would say, “He was Peter’s ‘tater.” Susie is my tater, my facilitator. She types what I say since I do not yet have a computer that I am able to operate by myself (prayer request!!) Peter trusted Sylvanus as a true believer and confidant. Peter summarized his purpose for writing this letter, to testify to the grace of God. Peter was a living witness to the truth of the grace of God demonstrated by Jesus in the flesh and culminating with His substitutionary atonement for us on the cross. Peter then admonishes the readers to stand firm in the fact of God’s saving grace.

 

Peter passed on greetings from the church in “Babylon” which is probably a reference to the church in Rome. He also sent them greetings from Mark, calling him his “son in the faith.” Peter discipled Mark, a.k.a. John Mark. Therefore, he referred to him as his son in the faith. John Mark had traveled with Paul on his first missionary journey, disappointing him by turning back. However, Barnabas the encourager took John Mark on a missionary journey with him. Later, Mark wrote the gospel bearing his name which most people believe was told from Peter’s point of view due to their mentoring relationship.

 

What did Peter mean by a “kiss of love?” A brotherly, sisterly, kiss on the cheek was a common greeting in Jewish and middle-eastern culture both then and now.

 

1 Peter 5:14 (AMPC) Salute one another with a kiss of love [the symbol of mutual affection]. To all of you that are in Christ Jesus (the Messiah), may there be peace (every kind of peace and blessing, especially peace with God, and freedom from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts). Amen (so be it).

 

Peter signs off this letter with a hope, a prayer, and an exhortation that these persecuted Christians will have God’s peace that passes understanding (Philippians 4:6-7)

 

Challenge: We don’t write many snail-mail letters or even cards these days. We do everything online or even on our phones. Take the time to write a letter or email of encouragement to someone and begin or end it with a biblical style greeting. May seem weird to say, “Grace and peace to you,” at first; but maybe it will catch on.

 

Session 8 - 1 Peter 4:18 - When Ridiculed - Day 4

Posted on October 17, 2016 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Session 8 - 1 Peter 4:18 – When Ridiculed – Day 4

 

1 Peter 4:18 (HCSB) And if a righteous person is saved with difficulty, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?

 

Those of us in Christ barely made-it. We could not keep the Law perfectly, so there was only one way, one hope. We had to surrender to Jesus, repent of trying to run our own lives, and allow His Holy Spirit complete control. As Christians, we cannot accomplish anything apart from the Lord working in and through us.

 

John 15:5 (NASB) I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

 

In fact, no one, saved or un-believing, can even breathe unless God sustains them. As Creator, He gave people life.

 

Acts 17:27-29 (VOICE) His purpose in all this was that people of every culture and religion would search for this ultimate God, grope for Him in the darkness, as it were, hoping to find Him. Yet, in truth, God is not far from any of us. 28 For you know the saying, “We live in God; we move in God; we exist in God.” And still another said, “We are indeed God’s children.” 29 Since this is true, since we are indeed offspring of God’s creative act, we shouldn’t think of the Deity as our own artifact, something made by our own hands—as if this great, universal, ultimate Creator were simply a combination of elements like gold, silver, and stone.

 

Those who have been adopted into His forever family through accepting the gift of salvation, will continue in life with the Lord after the shell of their body dies. Those who never trust in Jesus, will suffer permanently because Hell is a reality.

 

Chew on This: Not one of us deserved the blessing God gave us when Jesus died for us on the cross. We could never earn a place in His kingdom. There was only one way to have a right relationship with God – trusting, relying on Jesus alone. Yes, that is “narrow minded,” but Jesus said the way was narrow and few find it. Do you know anyone who is still strolling down the broad path? Gently guide them to the narrow path and pray the Lord draws them to follow Him on it.

 

Session 7 - 1 Peter 4:5-6 - Equipped to Live - Day 3

Posted on October 11, 2016 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Session 7 – 1 Peter 4:5-6 – Equipped to Live – Day 3

 

1 Peter 4:5 They will give an account to the One who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this reason the gospel was also preached to those who are now dead, so that, although they might be judged by men in the fleshly realm, they might live by God in the spiritual realm.

 

This is a little clearer in the Complete Jewish Bible:

 

1 Peter 4:5-6 (CJB) But they will have to give an account to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 This is why he was proclaimed to those who have died; it was so that, although physically they would receive the judgment common to all humanity, they might live by the Spirit in the way that God has provided.

 

Who are “they” that must give an account? They are the unbelievers in verse 4 who were slandering Christians for no longer living a life of debauchery. There will be a divine judgement to be faced. Christians will have been acquitted by the sacrifice of Christ, but these who denied Jesus will have to give an account of their actions.

 

Was Peter talking about preaching to dead people? No, they were alive when they heard and followed the message of the Gospel. They had believed and trusted in Jesus. Therefore, although their bodies, their earth-suits, died as all men do, they are alive in the spirit and with Jesus. One day, their spirits and earth-suits will be re-united. Their earth-suits will be revved up, tuned up, perfected. Ours will be as well! Our resurrection bodies will be like that of Jesus – not sure what that will be, but I am confident it is fantastic. God sees us as we shall be even as He is sanctifying us, even as we are still “under construction.” We have been restored, are being restored, and will eventually be completely restored. Praise the Lord!

 

Chew on this: Those who abuse Christians, unless they repent and turn to the Lord, will be judged. Not our job to judge them. We can rest secure in the fact that Jesus has that job covered. Jesus paid the penalty we deserved (yes, we were as deserving of hell as they are) on the cross; and we are confident that our spirits have been renewed. God did not save us because we were worthy. The salvation He freely gave us MAKES us worthy. We will spend eternity in Heaven with our Lord, not because of our goodness but because of His perfection.

 

Session 7 - 1 Peter 4:1-2 - Equipped to Live - Day 1

Posted on October 9, 2016 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Session 7 – 1 Peter 4:1-2 – Equipped to Live – Day 1

 

1 Peter 4:1 (HCSB) Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, equip yourselves also with the same resolve—because the one who suffered in the flesh has finished with sin— 2 in order to live the remaining time in the flesh, no longer for human desires, but for God’s will.

 

Therefore – in other words, because Jesus conquered death and is now seated at the right hand of God the Father with unlimited power, we are equipped to serve Him. If you are a believer who has trusted in the fact that Jesus suffered physical death on the cross on your behalf to destroy sin, that sin no longer has ruling power over you. In the limitation of His earthly body, Jesus endured beatings, humiliation, and death. In His spirit, He suffered the weight of sin heaped upon Himself, the sinless final sacrificial Lamb.

 

How do we “equip ourselves?” First of all, salvation. Then we immerse ourselves in the word of God and prayer. More specifically, each day we don the “armor of God.”

 

Ephesians 6:10-18 (HCSB) Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. 12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. 13 This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. 14 Stand, therefore,

 

with truth like a belt around your waist,

righteousness like armor on your chest,

15 and your feet sandaled with readiness

for the gospel of peace.

16 In every situation take the shield of faith,

and with it you will be able to extinguish

all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

17 Take the helmet of salvation,

and the sword of the Spirit,

which is God’s word.

18 Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.

 

We must pray within the will of God, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, not out of our human desires alone. Our prayers need to be within the boundaries of His divine insight and perspective. This is what is meant by praying “in Jesus’ name.”

 

What does Peter mean by saying the one who has suffered is “finished with sin?” Through His death on the cross, Jesus paid the ransom that humanity could not pay to deliver us from our sin nature. We are now free to say no to temptation and yes to God’s will and ways. That does not mean we always consistently exercise that freedom. In other words, we are not “sinless.” The Father sees us as we will be in Heaven – sinless because of Christ. That is our position, but our current condition is still a daily surrendering our own desires to what God desires for us.

 

Challenge: Begin each day this week by asking God to help you decide throughout the day to follow His way rather than your own. Be conscious throughout each day of the small decisions you make between what you want to do and what is best for you according to the word and the Holy Spirit within you.

 

Session 4 - 1 Peter 2:24-25 - Living as Strangers - Day 5

Posted on September 19, 2016 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Session 4 - 1 Peter 2:24-25 – Living as Strangers – Day 5

 

1 Peter 2:24 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; you have been healed by His wounds.

 

The whole reason Jesus left His throne in Heaven and came to earth was for our redemption. Oswald Chambers, quoted in My Utmost for His Highest, expressed this well:

 

“The Cross did not happen to Jesus: He came on purpose for it. He is ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.’ The whole meaning of the Incarnation is the Cross. Beware of separating God manifest in the flesh from the Son becoming sin. The Incarnation was for the purpose of Redemption.”

 

 

We bear the image of our Savior and are covered with His robe of righteousness because He became our sin-bearer on the cross. We died to sins when we trusted in the One who died in our place. Jesus has healed us of our spiritual distress, our sin, and made us whole by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. We will only be completely physically healed when we are with Him in Heaven where there will be no more suffering, no more pain, no more tears. When I was in a high place of intercession and impatient about own healing, the Lord let me know that healing is mine; but the timing is His. We rejoice when the Lord provides healing this side of heaven, but we can all hope with certainty for ultimate healing when we are with Him forever. I (Susan) am so grateful that God is able, willing, and eager to use me now, just as I am, before my ultimate healing is manifest in my body.

 

1 Peter 2:25 For you were like sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

 

Before surrendering to Jesus, we were lost sheep wandering aimlessly. But the Good Shepherd now holds us securely in His hand (John 10:27-28). Praise the Lord!

 

Isaiah 53:5-6 (AMP) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing]; The punishment [required] for our well-being fell on Him, And by His stripes (wounds) we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,We have turned, each one, to his own way; But the Lord has caused the wickedness of us all [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing] To fall on Him [instead of us].

 

Challenge: Write out a description of your life before you came to know Jesus as Savior. Contrast that with a description of your life in Him. Share your before and after story with a friend. This is your testimony! We are overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and by our testimony.

 

Revelation 12:11 (NKJV) And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.