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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Being Made One

          God gives us another gift, conviction of sin. We cannot see our fallen-ness and seek after Him without conviction of sin. We cannot  be glorified in Heaven by God without freedom from sin. It is not God’s love that saves us; it is Christ’s death.   

When Jesus had spoken these things, He lifted His eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come.” Glorify, exalt, honor, and magnify Your Son, so that Your Son may glorify and extol and honor and magnify You. Just as You have granted Him power and authority over all humankind, now glorify Him so that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him.  And this is eternal life: it means to know You, the only true and real God, and likewise to know Him, Jesus as the Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You down here on the earth by completing the work that You gave Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me along with Yourself and restore Me to such majesty and honor in Your presence as I had with You before the world existed. (John 17:1-5, AMP).
Because God is holy, He can only be in the presence of holiness. The only way to make us clean to stand before Him was to offer a sacrifice for our sins. In the Old Testament, God provided for sins by pronouncing to the Israelites that they were to offer sin offerings through the Levitical priests by use of animals. They understood that, otherwise, they could not enter God’s presence because they were not clean. With the New Covenant, which came in to being upon the birth of Jesus Christ, God incarnate, a new way was available to cleanse our sins. We are not required to make a new sacrifice every time by accepting this new way. This was a perfect sacrifice prepared for humanity from the beginning of the world. Jesus, the Son of God, became the sin sacrifice for every sin. His sacrifice covered sin for every time. Now, do not get me wrong, He was not a martyr. If that were what was necessary, there would have been many sacrificers who offered themselves over the millennia. No, God required a pure sacrifice to cleanse us from our sins. Who is better than sinless Jesus, a person whose sole reason for existing in human form is to present God to the world and  give the perfect sacrifice for sin? 
Though Jesus became the perfect sin sacrifice for the world, this does not mean forgiveness happens automatically now and we are cleansed. No, this new covenant (covenant being the key word) is available to us if we ask believing Jesus is the Messiah who came freely from the Father to earth to be the sacrifice for our sins. God will not force Himself upon you or me. He will wait patiently for you to ask for Him. God will not be as other leaders of whom we met or heard. He will not break down our door, nor force us on pain of death to give obeisance to Him. No, God gave us free will to choose our way in life. He gives us the opportunity to choose to go our own way, to be our own destinies,  and make our own mistakes. God also gives us the alternative, of letting Him lead and guide us through life so we become more Christlike. With His guidance, we choose the best path in life and are able to not sin in the as we live. With this choice, He is providing not only life on earth but life forever with Him in heaven. 
So what must we do to accept the new covenant God has provided? Well, believe Jesus is the Son of God and came to earth to be the once-and-for-all sacrifice for your sins. Confess your sins to Him and receive His forgiveness. Walk in newness of life allowing God to lead and grow you into a close relationship with Him as you pray and read the Bible each day. These two things will grow you to be more Christlike each day. These also make it easier to give control of your life to Him and follow Him, not yourself, everyday. Jesus, the Son, and God, the Father, are one in Spirit and truth. Jesus wants us to be one with our Christian brothers and sisters and with the Father each day. He states this in John 17:19-21 (NASB).
Therefore, for their (the disciples) sake and on their behalf I sanctify and dedicate Myself, that they also may be sanctified and dedicated in the Truth. Neither for these alone do I pray, it is not for their sake only that I make this request, but also for all those who will ever come to believe in Me through their word and teaching, that they all may be one, just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.  
If we accept this gift of God’s Son, Jesus, the gift of conviction of sin, and act upon it in obedience, we will see God has provided an even greater blessing than we could imagine. God provided a once for all perfect sin sacrifice for everything we did wrong. What is the cost to us? The cost is our allegiance and obedience given out of free choice and love to the Father and the Son. God wants to glorify us, take us to heaven with Him, as He did with His Son. He wants to honor us in front of everyone by doing this and through that declare we are His children. How difficult is it really to give our lives to God to be lived in the best possible way and to live for eternity with Him? Is that not better than the other choices, to live doing what we want to do and then die forever at the end of this human life? By living our own lives, we do not acknowledge our heavenly Maker nor give our lives back to Him. He, then, cannot redeem us from our sin, cleanse us and take us to Heaven to live with Him because we are not holy. He cannot be in the presence of sin and evil. Consider it, would you rather live your physical life for yourself and die for eternity?  Or, would you rather live the best life and live for eternity in Heaven with our Creator and Savior

“Glorify” – to take to glory/heaven
“Exalt” – to life up
“Extol” – to praise
“Magnify” – to make great, like God’s name, Yahweh
“Honor”- To honor someone, then, is to give weight or to grant a person a position of respect and even authority in one's life. A person grants honor most frequently on the basis of position, status, or wealth, but it can and should also be granted on the basis of character. While honor is an internal attitude of respect, courtesy, and reverence, it should be accompanied by appropriate attention or even obedience. Honor without such action is incomplete; it is lip service ( Isaiah 29:13 ). God the Father, for example, is honored when people do the things that please him (1 Corinthians 6:20 ). Parents are honored through the obedience of their children. The source of all honor is God on the basis of his position as sovereign Creator and of his character as a loving Father. The granting of honor to others is an essential experience in the believer's life. Christians are to bestow honor on those for whom honor is due. The believer is to honor God, for he is the sovereign head of the universe and his character is unsurpassed. (Baker's Evangelical Dictionary)