Two-Sided Salvation – part 4

Speaking of life before and after salvation…

In our unsaved state, we are totally attached to ourselves – especially with regards to how we perceive that others see us. This attachment is based upon an obsession with our past or anxiety over our future, all of which is centered around a belief of being ‘unacceptable,’ due to some association with a past experience.

Something we did or that was done to us has led to a belief that we are undesirable for relationships and that we must be someone other than ourselves to ‘measure up.’ Thus, we get trussed up by our efforts to do the impossible, which keeps us locked out of the present moment – the only timeframe where happiness and acceptance can be found.

In our makings of this despair, we see ourselves as being separate from the rest of the humanity. This feeling of ‘not belonging’ leads to anger, fear and jealousy – all of which promotes suffering. Consequently, we live life in a series of hurtful knee-jerk reactions and thoughts (blaming others and our situations) that perpetuate this misery. All the while, the life that God meant for us to have, passes us by.

We are alienated from our spirit, trapped in this false self. When we are self-absorbed, we join in with most of the rest of the world who flounder, stumble and wrestle in futile attempts to find peace and happiness by chasing after the yearnings of the flesh.

You are imposing your will upon your spirit and on others, rather than yielding to the will of God.

None of this is what God wants for you or does your opinion of yourself reflect how He sees you. So, how does God see you?

So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created them; male and female He created them. Gn. 1:27 AMP

Thus, God sees you as He sees Himself. Moreover, He planted Himself inside of you:

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Cor. 3:16 ESV

And then He set you on your path to righteous deliverance, fully equipped to find your way:

For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained to me, when as yet there were none of them. Ps. 139:13 – 16. NASB

We were created perfectly at birth, already saved! However, once we reach the age of accountability (when the Law that God planted in our hearts manifest), our need to remove the taint of Adam’s sin becomes apparent. Yet even then, God has already planned for the reconciliation that you need to return to Him:

For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness]… Rm. 8:29 AMP

…God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 2 Th. 2:13 NASB

We see then, that God does not make mistakes. There are no flaws in His creations.

Oh, you might say, ‘What about those who are physically / mentally challenged?’  It is my personal belief that they were put here to inspire us as they overcome their differences, or to help us learn to plant the seeds of greater compassion, love, kindness and service within. Regardless, I believe that after their transient life on this earth is done, their heavenly selves will be exceptional beyond our imagination.

His kingdom is for everyone. God accepts us all.

What He cannot accept is sinful thoughts and actions; but praise God, that’s where salvation comes in:

…in every nation the person who fears God and does what is right [by seeking Him] is acceptable and welcomed by Him. Acts 10:35 AMP

When you come to Jesus for salvation, your old sin self is removed as you receive the covering of Christ’s righteousness:

But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor. 6:11 NKJV

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. Eph. 1:7, 8. NASB

Therefore if any person is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life]. 2 Cor. 5:17 AMP

Jesus has done the work, not you! You are freed by grace. And what does God do?

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Ps. 103:12 NKJV

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.” Is. 43:25 NKJV

So, if God accepts you, who are you not to? You are exactly how God created you to be – a soldier for the kingdom to complete His will as only you can. If God accepts us as we are, there is no perfection that we must strive for. He’s done it already! All that is required is for you to have faith that it is complete.

It doesn’t mean that you won’t screw up from time to time. You will. God’s love and acceptance is never conditional. He always stands ready for you to come back to Him to love you through your repentance so that He can restore your place in His presence.

Even when God’s Law convicts us, we can rely upon and embrace Christ’s gospel salvation that removes all transgressions from our goodness.

Finally consider the immeasurable love of God who cleanses us from our sins yet uses those that have committed them to spread the love and grace of His salvation to the hopeless and lost.

God is good…

Goodnight and God bless.

What Does God Say About Your Self?

In other words, what does God say about who you are? You are definitely somebody. In fact, you are a divine creation – created by God in His image:

So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. Gn. 1:27 AMP

Your hands have made me and fashioned me… Ps. 119:73 NKJV

Moreover, your Father in heaven watches over every moment of your entire life (which He planned out in advance):

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there were none of them. Ps. 139:13 – 16. NASB

Everyone on the face of this earth (throughout the ages) were and will be created as God’s children – to have Him live in them and for them to live with one another as a single family:

…they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after Him and find Him, although He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being…For we are also His offspring. Acts 17:27, 28. AMP

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 1 Cor. 3:16 ESV

And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth… Acts 17:26 NKJV

How precious we must be to God!

“But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Mt. 10:30 AMP

See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. 1 Jn. 3:1 NASB

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Jn. 3:16 NKJV

God created you to be perfect but He knew that you were going to be tainted by the sin of Adam and Eve; so He left you His word (Bible) so that you would have a roadmap to return to Him – by becoming Christ-like through your faith-walk in Jesus’ salvation by the Holy Spirit:

For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness]… Rom. 8:29 AMP

…God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 2 Th. 2:13 NASB

For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.] Rm. 11:29 AMP

Yet God has given you free will. You can choose not to answer His call but that is a dead-end road. (Pun intended.) Answering that call puts the Lord of the Universe by your side. What does that do for you?

“…no weapon formed against you shall succeed…” Is. 54:17 ESV

So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me? Heb. 13:6 AMP

God covers us then with a spiritual invulnerability and He offers this solely through His Son, by Whom you meld with Them both:

God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Cor. 1:9 NASB

…we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart. 1 Cor. 2:16 AMP

…your bodies are members (bodily parts) of Christ… 1 Cor. 6:15 AMP

This melding occurs when you accept Jesus as the Son of God and for what He did for you at the cross. At that point, you begin to change:

But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Cor. 6:11 NKJV

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will… Eph. 1:7 – 9. NASB

Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him]. 2 Cor. 5:17, 18. AMP

In our transformation we become more Christ-like with each passing day, more harmonious with the Father and the Son – being prepared for the day of our passage into eternity. Notice too that we are charged with passing the knowledge of that grace-empowered transformation along to others as well.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body… Phil. 3:20, 21. NKJV

This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life. 1 Jn. 2:25 NASB

These are part of the promises that we need to share with everyone; and thank God that He equips us to do so:

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 2 Cor. 2:14, 15. NASB

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 1 Cor. 12:4 – 7. NASB

When you do your sharing, God blesses you as well as the echoes of your transformation makes themselves available to the recipient:

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 1 Jn. 3:14 ESV

(That love does not just hold for your brothers and sisters in Christ but for everyone else as well – i.e. your potential brothers and sisters.)

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Gal. 2:20 NKJV

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God… Eph. 2:19 NKJV

Once God begins to transform you, (and the others that you reach for Christ) that changing will never let up until you are called at the last day:

…He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil. 1:6 NASB

Even then, there is yet a prize waiting for you:

…to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Pt. 1:4, 5. ESV

So what have we seen? God personally created us (through Christ) in Their image and planned out our entire life for us. (Of course, many chose their free will to mangle those plans. It’s our job to help them by bringing light to their darkness.)

He created all of us to be His children and took up Spiritual residence within us, having placed the door to salvation within – sending hints and people to help us see the importance of opening that door.

God wants you to be a part of His global family – the one that He sent His Son to die for. He left an eternal covenant for you, a salvation opportunity that exists only to the moment before you die. (Seeing that you don’t know when that event will take place, it makes the timing of your free-will choice to come to Him take on an extreme urgency.)

When you make that all-important choice in the affirmative, God begins to transform you moment-by-moment, to become more Christ-like, removing the stains from your past and surrounds you with His strength and favor as He brings you into oneness with Jesus and Himself. In that harmony, the doors of eternity beckon…

You are changed for the better:

…children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world… Phil. 2:14, 15. NASB

You’re worth everything to God. He has an infinite love investment in you. He knows what and who your self is, and He loves you for it:

“The Lord knows those who are His,” 2 Tim. 2:19 NKJV
Goodnight and God Bless.