Seeking Jesus First - July 19, 2023

Seeking Jesus First - July 19, 2023
Photo by Jonny Gios / Unsplash

We are not under the law but we are partakers of grace. Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Shall we live without faith, hope and love because God has already taken away the sin of the world? God forbid. Emphatically, “NO!”. What we say and do can produce pain and death in our lives and in the lives of people around us.

New Covenant commands are, “Believe on The LORD Jesus Christ.”, and, “Love one another.”. That’s why Apostle Paul said, “Whatever is not of faith is sin.” Paul could just have easily said, “Whatever is not of love is sin.”, because he said, “Faith works by love.” Apostle Paul also taught us that there are three important characteristics in the Christian life: “faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.”

Now we don’t think of sin as a list of “do’s and Don’ts”. We think of it as that which is not motivated by love nor carried out in faith. There is no condemnation in the Christian walk, but Godly sorrow works repentance. “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10, NKJV) And the kindness and goodness of God leads us to Godly sorrow so we are willing to change the way we think. “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4, NKJV)

With grace being so freely given and then freely received through faith, why do we need to have a conversation about obedience? Or being led by The Spirit? Why should we keep our word? Why should we keep ourselves from fornication and adultery? Why should we stay sober? Why does our lifestyle change when we put our faith in Christ Jesus?

Here are several reasons why faith changes us from the inside out and why it is important to obey God’s word.

  • Faith in Jesus Christ is a born again experience that makes us a new creation with a new Father.
  • The power of God has given to us exceeding great and precious promises which allows us to become partakers of His Divine Nature. “…To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:1–4, NKJV)
  • Faith in God and His promises allows us to switch out our old nature for His divine nature.
  • By faith we put off the old man, and put on the new man which is fashioned like God in righteousness and true holiness. “and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24, NKJV)
  • Through faith, we have received the very Spirit of God in our inner man.
  • When we obey God and live according to our new nature, we are honoring our Heavenly Father.  “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” (Ephesians 5:1–2, NKJV)
  • When we honor His words, He honors our words. God “honors” our words, so honoring His words makes our lives better.
  • When we honor Christ Jesus, we manifest the love of God to the family of God.
  • When we honor Holy Spirit, we show the world that we belong to God’s loving family.
  • When we honor and obey our Heavenly Father, we testify of the love of God in all that we say and do.

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:1–5, NKJV)

How does one know that he loves of God? Because we love the children of God.

It is not burdensome to keep the New Covenant commands.  We are born of God so we can do it. We are born of God so we can overcome the world. As believers in God, we can believe in The LORD Jesus Christ. As those who are beloved of God, we can love one another. As those who have received the Holy Spirit from The Father, we are empowered by love that overflows our hearts.

It is not burdensome to be a faithful husband because I love my wife. It is not burdensome to tell the truth because I am loved and I love others. It is not burdensome to stay sober, because I am continually filled with Holy Spirit and the joy of The LORD is my strength. The kingdom of God that I am a part of imparts righteousness, peace and joy through the Holy Spirit abiding in me. I am able to love and impart peace and joy to those around me instead of pain and death. I am able to live the good life because the exceeding great and precious promises of God make it possible for me to partake in the divine nature of God. All I have to do is believe what God says, confess it as my own and allow my conversation (my nature, my old man) (to be put off) to change into the new man with the divine nature of God.