Sunday, August 20, 2017

Who are you? Ephesians 1:3-4

Blessed be YHVH (and) Father of our Lord Y'shua haMashich (Jesus Christ), who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Messiah, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world,  that we would be holy and blameless before Him.
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What does the Almighty say about you?

Would it surprise you to find out that what He says about you is nothing like the thoughts you may have about yourself?

  • Blessed G2128, 
  • blessed  G2127, 
  • blessing G2129

When I think of "blessed" or "blessing" I tend to think of material things; like "blessed with a nice home," or "blessed with good health." I also "bless" my food, making me think that blessing is a kind of thank-you. It's funny how fluid a word becomes. Each of these uses of "bless" are close to how the actual word is used, but my not knowing what the word really means causes me to miss something amazing.

Bless is from the Greek word eulogeo G2128. It is a compound word (two words put together to make one new word). The first part, eu means "good" and the other part, logos means "word". Together they communicate, good word, specifically, praise! When talking about the Almighty it communicates that He is inherently worthy of praise! That is easy for me to accept, but what about ...has blessed us with every spiritual blessing... ?

Is it possible that the Almighty praises or even speaks well of me? I am sure my parents said positive things to me but I only remember hearing how I fell short of their expectations. God isn't like that (it probably isn't true about my parents either). If you, like me, are "in Christ," then you are "born-again." How did that happen?

The simple answer is Romans 10:9
If you confess with your mouth (verbal agreement) Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Salvation is not complicated. When you are born again, you are "in Christ." And if you are "in Christ" then God has good things to say about you! I just did a quick review of the phrase "children of God" and here are some things God says about us (the list is MUCH longer)

  • He calls us His children, John 1:12
  • He says we are one* John 11:52
  • He calls us His Heirs Romans 8:16
  • He declares us Free and Glorious Romans 8:21
  • He reminds us that we are children of promise Romans 9:8
  • He calls us blameless and innocent Philippians 2:15
Is this how you think of yourself? Blameless and innocent? If you are "born again" in Christ then it is how you should think of yourself, because that is what you are. (if you are not born again, what are you waiting for?) Christ paid a BIG price for you to be born again.

Maybe, like most of us, being "blameless and innocent" does not match up with your perception of yourself. Me either (if I am honest). The Way of Y'shua-Jesus is The Way of power to live the Torah, the Ten Commandments in particular. I'm just going to look at #9 for this blog. Do not lie. Can you, can I, live up to that? I have "stretched the truth," I've left out details that might make me look bad when telling something (sin by omission), and I have flat out lied to people. I am such a liar! Except that if I am "in Christ" then I am not a liar. If you are born again then neither are you. Let me tell you why.

Y'shua-Jesus paid the full price to pay for your sin and set you free. He set you free from the penalty of your sin. That includes all your negative labels, like liar. You have been given a new name, Child of God. You are blameless and pure! Hallelujah!

The conflict comes when we sin AFTER salvation. The Holy Spirit is quenched (I picture Him soaked with tears) and in loving kindness convicts me of my sin. Heart break! Could that be the end of my Salvation? NO!

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

I've said before that 1 John 1:9 is the gift that keeps on giving. Children of God have the privilege of confessing our sin. When we do, God is faithful and righteous (just) to forgive us. Isn't that awesome!

So why is it so difficult to stop using negative labels? Satan, the prosecuting attorney, hates us. It is in his best interest to freeze us up with despair because of failure. He would have us forget whose we are and hang a label on us, like liar. Reject that label Child of God. You are clean because of Y'shua, the Word of God. When you violate "The Way" of life in Christ by sinning (like lying) you can apply 1 John 1:9 and be fresh and clean again. Praise God! Can I say one more thing about this?

Child of God you know that your Father in heaven loves you even when He convicts you of sin. He wants you to walk free with Him. But did you know that our enemy, Satan who hates us, also convicts Children of God of sin? How do you tell the difference?

When God convicts you of sin He uses a fine point pen, in other words, He is very specific about what you did. For instance, you come home past your curfew and tell you mom, "I'm sorry, my watch quit." You know it isn't true. (so does mom) The Almighty, by His Holy Spirit, convicts you of the specific lie you told your mom. You confess (agree with God) your sin and make it right with your mother (for the sake of your testimony) and it is done. You may have to "take your medicine" by not getting to go out the next weekend, or whatever your mom may choose as a penalty, but honestly, you are free, and still a Child of God. God does not stop loving or leading you.

When Satan convicts you of sin he uses a very broad brush to label you. He would have you believe that you are no different after your Salvation then you were before. His goal is to destroy you and if he cannot destroy you then he would have you frozen with shame and guilt. If I confess that I am a liar instead of confessing THE lie that I told, then I am denying that I am a Child of God. You cannot be close to God (a saint, see lesson 1, Ephesians 1:1-2) unless you are a Child of God. No Liar can even enter the Kingdom of God, Revelation 21:8. Satan wants you to accept a label that says you are no better then he is. But that itself is a lie!

If you accept and confess that you are a liar, can't you decide to just never tell another lie? Give yourself a day or two doing this and let me know how it works out for you. Even if you are able to never tell another lie, you would be the one who accomplishes this by your own effort. Never mind for just a moment that all the lies you once told still condemn you, what does God say about our personal effort, known as works, to be good?

  • ...all our righteous deeds (works) are like a filthy garment (rags)... Isaiah 64:6
  • So then it does not depend on the man who wills (determines) or the man who runs (effort-works) but on God who has mercy. Romans 9:16
  • For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not as a result of works so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Choosing God's way is life! Choosing personal determination is slavery. I urge you to choose YHVH through Y'shua-Jesus and you will know the power of Paul's word to to the faithful in Y'shua-Jesus

...that we would be holy and blameless before Him! Ephesians 1:4

Debs, August 20, 2017

* One, in Hebrew is Echad is a very important word that I will talk about in a future lesson.
All Scripture passages are from The New American Standard Update.

1 comment:

  1. Amen: walking in the way and waiting on the soon coming of pour Lord Yeshua.
    Romans 6:1 What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer

    Philippians 2:12 .... continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. 13For it is God who works in you to will and to act on behalf of His good pleasure

    Ephesians 1:4 ...that we would be holy and blameless before Him!