Bible Ballistics: Vol. 10 No.15 Changed Lives???
A shorter article today than I normally write on Sundays, but I’d like to share a topic that’s dear to my heat. While we live in a culture that minimalizes the gospel and churches that promote a gospel of convenience and meaninglessness, the Gospel of Jesus is the Gospel of transformed lives—lives, hearts, souls and minds set free from sin.
We aren’t set free from the presence of sin yet, but we are set free from the power of sin in our lives as we will yield to the Holy Spirit of Jesus! God had promised The Messiah throughout the entirety of the scriptures, and Jesus was/is the fulfillment of all of those promises! Yet He wasn’t the promise that would save people “in” their sin, but “from” it!
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Matthew 1:21-23
Jesus was coming “save his people from their sins” by paying the price for SIN; and through His atoning, substitutionary sacrifice on the cross He would give His Holy Spirit to dwell within HIS own. Jesus came to be “God with us”! He was and is the fulfillment of the New Covenant—the Spirit of God within us, far beyond tablets of stone.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant
that I made with their fathers
in the day that I took them
by the hand
to bring them out of the land of Egypt;
which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33 But this shall be the covenant
that I will make with the house of Israel;
After those days, saith the LORD,
I will put my law
in their inward parts,
and write it
in their hearts;
and will be their God,
and they shall be my people.” Jeremiah 31:31-33
Jesus death and resurrection accomplished the New Covenant, which paid the price for sin, and enabled the Holy Spirit of God to dwell within each believer. When we claim to belong to Jesus (and Him to us) yet still relish the sin that He saves from (without any discipline from God), we might want to check what we think saved us, for the blood of Jesus saves the sinner from their sin and makes us a new creation. Jesus revealed HIS ‘New Covenant’ to his disciples before He went to the cross.
“And he took bread,
and gave thanks,
and brake it,
and gave unto them, saying,
This is my body
which is given for you:
this do in remembrance of me.
20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying,
is the new testament
in my blood,
which is shed for you.” Luke 22:19-20
The blood of Jesus IS the New Testament—not the 2nd portion of scripture– but the New Covenant that Jeremiah and Ezekiel promised! The New Covenant in the blood of Jesus, through repentance and faith, makes new creatures.
“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge,
that if one died for all,
then were all dead:
15 And that he died for all,
that they which live
should not henceforth live unto themselves,
but unto him which died
and rose again.
16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man
after the flesh:
yea, though we have known Christ
after the flesh,
yet now henceforth know we him
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature:
old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God,
who hath reconciled us to himself
by Jesus Christ,
and hath given to us the ministry
19 To wit, that God was in Christ,
reconciling the world
not imputing their trespasses
and hath committed unto us
the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,
as though God did beseech you
we pray you in Christ’s stead,
be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him
to be sin for us,
who knew no sin;
that we might be made
the righteousness of God
in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
Ephesians 2 reminds us that what we ‘were’ we no longer ‘are’—we were “dead in trespasses and sins” but through he blood of Jesus we are now “created in Christ Jesus unto good works”!!! Changed lives are the testimony of a true and supernaturally regenerate life. Life that only Jesus can impart through His blood! Its evidence being our service in “good works” which ‘God’ has purposed for us—not to earn our salvation–but as the testimony of our being saved “from” our sin!!!
“And you hath he quickened,
who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked
according to the course of this world,
according to the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that now worketh
in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all
had our conversation
in times past
in the lusts of our flesh,
fulfilling the desires of the flesh
and of the mind;
and were by nature the children of wrath,
even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy,
for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins,
hath quickened us together
(by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together,
and made us sit together
in heavenly places
in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come
he might shew the exceeding riches
of his grace
in his kindness toward us
through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace
are ye saved
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works,
lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus
unto good works,
hath before ordained
that we should walk
in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10
Changed lives are a testimony that we really belong to Jesus! Has He changed your life? May we ever live and reflect HIS truth before a lost and desperate world! Amen!!!