Bible Ballistics: Vol. 17 No. 05 Doing A Job Or Being A Job?
“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 unto himself,
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 by us:
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 5:17-21
We have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus—and that blood not only makes us right with God, but makes us “a new creature”, new “in Christ” all because God did a work beyond our wildest comprehension—God laid my/your sin on Jesus for the work of crediting us with the “righteousness of God”! But the caveat is that this righteousness is only found “in him”! In Jesus–we must be “in him”—for only being IN HIM and having HIM IN us can we truly have life! And Job understood that totally—HE KNEW that it is only IN God’s salvation that we can have life and hope no matter our circumstances.
“For I know that my redeemer liveth,
and that he shall stand
at the latter day
upon the earth:
26 And though after my skin worms
destroy this body,
yet in my flesh
shall I see God:
27 Whom I shall see for myself,
and mine eyes shall behold,
and not another;
though my reins be consumed
within me.” Job 19:25-27
Job is such a profound book, and full of truth from a man who had not only faith in God, but a confidence in the care and goodness of that same God, regardless of how things appeared.
“Though he slay me,
yet will I trust in him:
but I will maintain mine own ways
16 He also shall be my salvation:
for an hypocrite
shall not come before him.” Job 13:15-16
Job understood that his confidence was in God’s salvation, and that belonging to God gave him a heart to follow God’s ways and “maintain mine own ways before him”! We live in a day that says we can claim to belong to Jesus and live our own way—it denies the claim that Jesus has on HIS own.
“For we are labourers
together with God:
ye are God’s husbandry,
ye are God’s building.
10 According to the grace of God
which is given unto me,
as a wise masterbuilder,
I have laid the foundation,
and another buildeth thereon.
But let every man take heed
how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay
than that is laid,
which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:9-11
Paul was talking to the believers at Corinth and reminding them that there would be an accounting—even for believers. And God will know and reveal the truth of our lives—the fires of judgment will reveal the real substance of our work. Paul knew that there is only ONE foundation—Jesus; and when we build on the salvation that Jesus imparts, it will be evident by our behavior—we are a testimony of Jesus, be it a good one, or a poor one—when we claim Jesus as our Lord, we need to understand that we belong to HIM, and our works should reflect HIS presence within us! Are we being HIS temple or our own?
“Now if any man build upon this foundation
13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest:
for the day shall declare it,
because it shall be revealed by fire;
and the fire shall try every man’s work
of what sort it is.
14 If any man’s work abide
which he hath built thereupon,
he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man’s work
shall be burned,
he shall suffer loss:
but he himself shall be saved;
yet so as by fire.
16 Know ye not
that ye are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:12-16
We are the “temple of God” when we have been born again and the Holy Spirit dwells within us, for the Spirit of God makes us that “new creation” in Jesus. Without the Spirit of God, we aren’t HIS! Not trying to be blunt or abrupt, but we need to know truth.
“So then they that are in the flesh
cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh,
but in the Spirit,
if so be that the Spirit of God
dwell in you.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ,
he is none of his.
10 And if Christ be in you,
the body is dead because of sin;
but the Spirit is life
because of righteousness.” Romans 8:8-10
It’s what Jesus called us to—righteousness. What are you seeking? Is the Spirit of Christ dwelling in you? Or are you trying to ‘work it up’ in your own power and goodness?
“But seek ye first
the kingdom of God,
and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added
34 Take therefore no thought
for the morrow:
for the morrow
shall take thought
for the things of itself.
Sufficient unto the day
is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:33-34
And you may not be sure, but God is—ask HIM and HE will tell you! We must ever be examining ourselves to see if we are really walking with God/Jesus!
whether ye be in the faith;
prove your own selves.
Know ye not your own selves,
how that Jesus Christ is in you,
except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5
Remember God knows—no matter what others think they see!
the foundation of God standeth sure,
having this seal,
The Lord knoweth them
that are his.
And, Let every one
that nameth the name of Christ
depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:19
Why are we so powerless much of the time? Why is the church so powerless? We are often unwilling to pay the price to follow Jesus. We forget that it costs something to truly follow Jesus—it means I put HIS will before mine—it means that I want HIS work to grow in me—and it means I want to grow IN HIS work! And we must remember that saying so doesn’t make it so—and James tells us what makes the difference.
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren,
let every man be swift to hear,
slow to speak,
slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man
worketh not the righteousness of God.
21 Wherefore lay apart
and superfluity of naughtiness,
and receive with meekness
the engrafted word,
which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word,
and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word,
and not a doer,
he is like unto a man beholding his natural face
in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself,
and goeth his way,
and straightway forgetteth
what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh
into the perfect law of liberty,
and continueth therein,
he being not a forgetful hearer,
but a doer of the work,
this man shall be blessed in his deed.
26 If any man among you
seem to be religious,
and bridleth not his tongue,
but deceiveth his own heart,
this man’s religion is vain.” James 1:19-26
James makes the case for holy living by the power of God, by the truth that we find in HIS Word, and by diligent seeking to please God rather than self or the world. Even as Job had friends who had no clue of the providential sovereignty of God, yet he stood fast to his own integrity and reliance upon the faithfulness of God. Job knew that he would maintain his integrity before GOD not man!
“…I will maintain mine own ways
16 He also shall be my salvation…”
Are you standing with Job before God, or is your focus on the opinions of self and others? Are you claiming something that you don’t possess, or are you learning to depend on Jesus more and more? Is your house built on the rock or the sand? It’s a simple childlike example that Jesus gave, but it is the import of the eternal destiny of man.
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it;
but whosoever shall lose his life
for my sake and the gospel’s,
the same shall save it.
36 For what shall it profit a man,
if he shall gain the whole world,
and lose his own soul?
37 Or what shall a man give
in exchange for his soul?
38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me
and of my words
in this adulterous
and sinful generation;
of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when he cometh in the glory
of his Father
with the holy angels.” Mark 8:35-38
And in closing Jesus makes a most profound declaration that I pray will reach your heart and mine. May we “examine ourselves”! I know this is a lengthy passage but one I ask you to ponder this week and ask God to open your eyes to see its truth.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate:
for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way,
that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be
which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate,
and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life,
and few there be
that find it.
15 Beware of false prophets,
which come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes of thorns,
or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree
bringeth forth good fruit;
but a corrupt tree
bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree
cannot bring forth evil fruit,
neither can a corrupt tree
bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit
is hewn down,
and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits
ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father
which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day,
have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you:
depart from me,
ye that work iniquity.
24 Therefore whosoever
heareth these sayings of mine,
and doeth them,
I will liken him unto a wise man,
which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended,
and the floods came,
and the winds blew,
and beat upon that house;
and it fell not:
for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that
heareth these sayings of mine,
and doeth them not,
shall be likened unto a foolish man,
which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended,
and the floods came,
and the winds blew,
and beat upon that house;
and it fell:
and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:13-27
Amen and Amen!!!