Sunday, January 15, 2012

The God Who Justifies!

The God Who Justifies!

Colossians 3:1: Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

What a marvelously powerful scripture! I would like to take a minute to dissect this scripture and pull some of the riches out in this verse.

In Verse 1 we read that we have been "raised" up in Christ. To be more precise, we see that it is the believer who is raised up- that is the one whom has surrendered to the Lordship of Christ and has embraced Him as Lord and Master. This is the one who is raised up.

I chose my words carefully. Notice that I did not say the person who "makes" Jesus Lord. And that is because Christ IS LORD over all as Philippians 2:9-11 says "For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

We do not "make" Jesus Lord; He is Lord. The question is whether or not on this side of eternity are we willing to bow the knee and embrace Him as Lord.

Colossians 3:1 says that we are "raised" which means we are resurrected with Christ. Because Adam willingly sinned in the garden of Eden, man has been separated or is spiritually dead as Romans 5:12-14 tells us. Because of this, man is sinful and wicked to the core. Romans 8:6-8 states: "For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God".

Sin has affected man in every area of our being. We sin everyday in word, thought and deed. Because of this, man left to himself would never seek for God, as we read in Romans 3:10-12: "As it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE."

However our Great and Glorious Saviour out of His mercy and goodness did something about it. Every other religion entails man "reaching up" to God or man "cooperating" with God with good works- trying to pull himself up by his bootstraps to please God.

Christianity is the only religion where it is said that Jesus paid it all, and all to Him I owe. Scripture is crystal clear, that even though man is made in God's image, man can do nothing to earn God's grace or favor {Ephesians 2:8-9}. Man has nothing to offer God but his sin. But because God is gracious to sinners, He saved us as we read again in Romans 5:6-8: "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us".

In Colossians 1:13, we read: "For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son".

Next were told to "seek the things above, where Christ is seated".

Far from the anti-biblical teachings we hear coming out of todays pulpits by preachers such as Joel Osteen, the Christian life is not about "self esteem" but SELF DENIAL.

We are told in the Sermon on the Mount what kind of people inherit the kingdom of God, where Christ is seated, and what it is that we should be seeking. Some excerpts out of Matthew 5 that we read are: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (verse 3). "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted(verse 4). Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (verse 6). "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy (verse 7). "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (verse 8). 9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (verse 9). 10 "Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (verse 10).

How comforting to know, that among life's troubles and trials, we have been "raised" up with Christ. Unfortunately, our condition as fallen people means that we will still sin, but our position is that we have been justified by the God Who justifies as Romans 4:5 tells us: "But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,"

Because of this, instead of being consumed with the here and now, we can keep on seeking the things above, where King Jesus is seated!

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