Monday, October 15, 2018

Most believers want to do more, but their best efforts are always less.  They want to be better, but their spiritual arms aren’t long enough to reach that goal.  They have a burning desire to please God, but imperfections trash that hope.

If they can do one more thing each day, which they normally put off, God will be impressed and love them more!  Anxiety is the reward of that “one more thing.”  Fear shouts, “Your constant failures are robbing you of your eternal salvation!”

There are some believers who think because they do more than others, their faithfulness will gain them special merit.  Doing more is a false satisfaction embedded in human assurance that fails rather than satisfies.  Honesty steps through a door thought closed and shakes its head negatively.  Each swallows another Rolaids to calm their doubts and build their hope that tomorrow they will do better.

The devil is alive, well, and very busy.  He uses our emotions, hoping we will become discouraged and turn away from God.  The world steps in to assist.  “God doesn’t love you because you’ve failed to do your best.”  “You have failed again, and it decreases God’s favor for you.”

Rather than wake up, some think, if they say one more prayer, attend one more assembly, volunteer for one more spiritual task, take food to one more shut-in, visit the hospital one more time, have one more Bible study, knock on one more door, think one more good thought, love one more person, go on one more medical mission trip, and accomplish one more good thing that they failed to do the day before, God will see their worth and announce, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”  Yes, obedience is the testimony to our faith.  Yet, Satan deceives people into believing God can’t love them unless they capture perfection though their own will power.  They believe that such is the deciding factor that will save them.  It makes man’s accomplishments his personal savior.  His “will power” assists the blood of Jesus and the grace of God to give him the needed push to get across the finish line of being eternally saved!  He will be successful in saving himself!

Despite their obedience, Christianity seems to dangle that favorite carrot just beyond their reach.  God appears to be related to the Egyptian Task Masters more than being a loving Father desiring fellowship with His creation.  So, perfection in obedience is the challenge for each believer to be his own savior!  Desire and hard word will accomplish that goal!  Some have believed they reached it (Luke 18:9-14).

Will we ever accomplish perfection?  The Old and New Testaments reply with a tremendous “NO!”  But the New Testament does show us how we may reach and maintain that lofty position.  Why is it necessary?  We believe we must be perfect to go to Heaven.  Right?  Since we never make the goal of being perfect, nor maintain it, how are we made perfect??

We’ve already seen that perfection is not through human power.  Here is the “how”!  God sent His Word to earth to be born as a human being and experience life and temptations as we do.  He did, he was, but he didn’t!  He did come to earth.  He was born as a human being.  He was tempted, but he did not sin (Hebrews 4:15).  He was God in human form to give himself as a perfect sinless sacrifice for our sins.  He paid the price!  He paid all of it!  We put our faith in him as the one whose blood cleanses all past, present, and future sins.  God’s grace is larger than all our sins.  Yes, some decided that it wasn’t for them and turned from it (Hebrews 6:4-6; 10:25-29).  Those who stayed were still sinful human beings (1 John 1:7-10).  But they were perfected by Jesus’ blood and God grace (Hebrews 10:38-39; Ephesians 2:12-13).

The word “death” carries the idea of separation.  The spirit departs from the body because of death.  Paul tell us that we die to sin.  Yet, we know we commit sin due to our imperfections (1 John 1:8, 10).  Paul tells us that our spirit is cleansed by the blood of Jesus.  The flesh motivates us to be fleshly or “sin.”  That body will be separated from our spirit at death.  It is of the earth.  What God breathed into us is from Him (Hebrews 12:9).  Our sins are not counted against us (Romans 4:8 NIV).  They are continually removed by Jesus’ blood, so we may stand cleansed before God (Hebrews 10:17).  We are “hid” in Jesus (Colossians 3:1-4).  We are members of his sinless body (1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:25-27).  Being “in” Christ, we are no longer under condemnation (Romans 8:1)!

Since the Spirit reveals those things to us, let us be “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV).  Jesus is our salvation!