BY PASTOR MIKE TAYLOR
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)
14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:14-16)
Of all the passages that Paul wrote, Romans chapter 8 remains one of my favorites. The chapter is full of promises to the children of God. When I look at this particular passage, I become almost awe struck at its implications that speak of the plans that God has for each of His children. But let this passage sink in for a moment as you meditate on its deep meaning. “Heirs and joint-heirs with Christ” is what Paul under the Holy Spirit's direction wrote. What does this mean to the believer.?
I wrote about this very fact in times past about Church Age saints being adopted into the “family of God”. It's a most glorious promise to those who have accepted the payment for their sins, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Besides being our Lord and Savior, our King and our God, Jesus could also be given the title in relationship to other children of God, as our “Big Brother” as He is our “Kinsman Redeemer”. I've heard that expression plenty of times, and I find it very hard to use the term “big Brother” , as I would never speak it to Him as such, since Jesus is God in the flesh, but in the family sense of what God our “Abba” Father has planned along with His Son from the very beginning of time, it is a family relationship that has been planned since before time even began. Jesus became what Adam could not accomplish. He became the perfect man in His life upon this earth. And Jesus became the perfect sacrifice to cover the sins that each of us could not shed to join God the Father in a family unit.
In His resurrection, the old body that Jesus dwelt upon this earth became a glorious body, a body of flesh and bone. Jesus was the second Adam from the portals of heaven, as our common ancestor Adam was the first born from the dust of the earth. When describing the risen Lord, note that there is no mention of blood. Jesus was not alive as we are, in that the blood is the source of life providing oxygen to the cells of our body. But His life source was the Spirit of God, as ours will be. Note that in scripture, Jesus was able to perform actions that we are not able to perform, such as walk through walls, disappear while men looked upon Him, and rise into the clouds out of the apostles sight, but He could still be touched and felt, and was able to eat in front of the Apostles. There are many other actions that John said if they were all recorded, the books of the world could not hold them. Jesus became our redeemer in every sense of the word. He became what we will become, a new creatures that will follow the trail He blazed into glory. We will become the sons of God. We will be heirs of God's promises made to His Son, and by extension, to those of us who believe in the “One whom God hath sent.” (John 6:29b)
WHAT DOES HE MEAN HEIRS AND JOINT HEIRS?
Just think of what Paul is saying when he says we will be heirs and joint-heirs with our King, our God, and our Savior. What is an heir? In Jewish thinking, being an heir speaks to adoption into a family. An adoption would make the adopted one legally eligible for an equal share in the father's estate.
Now Jesus was intended to be the firstborn among many brethren as Paul wrote further in this chapter:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (many brothers and sisters) my emphasis.
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:29-32)
This is beyond my comprehension, but within a finite mind that only grasp in part what Paul is saying that God will give us all things in an equal share all that belongs to our King Jesus. Jesus will be joined to His Church spiritually and the Church will have the same inheritance in a marriage contract that the groom has, so shall the bride. All the rights of a family member will be given in equal parts to each of those who have been called the “children of God”. When we speak of sons or children of God, that is not to say that we will be Gods ourselves, as some so erroneously believe Paul is speaking of here. No, we will be Kings and Priest to our God for all eternity. We will be given duties and responsibilities that any family that is headed by a family Patriarch, will work for the family in following the commands and the will of the Head of the Family. The Head of the family is God our Father, whom we call our Father “Abba”, and God Almighty. But I liken it to the phrase, we will be of the “God Kind”. We cannot begin to know in complete knowledge or begin to comprehend all that God has got planned for us. 9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” (1st Corinthians 2:9-12)
God, who is a loving God, a Father to all of His children will and has given good gifts to us this side of eternity in this life. But can you even imagine what God who is infinite, without limit, and the Creator of all things will bestow on those that love Him in the next life?
First in this life, we have been pardoned, our sin washed away by the blood of Jesus and given eternal life and future immortality.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1-4)
We have been separated, called out of this world to the glorious light of our Savior, who saved us and who loved us, before we even loved Him.6 “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (Romans 5:6-9)
Second we have been given an earnest deposit of God's Holy Spirit that seals us as His possession. I liken it to a layaway plan at your local department store. The down payment has been made and the contract signed for purchase. Along the way, more payments are made for the final purchase price until the day of taking possession of the prize. Paul speaks of this in Ephesians:13 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
There is a future reception of more of the fullness of God's Holy Spirit and a future redemption! The Scripture cannot be broken (John 10:35). The apostle is teaching us that redemption, like salvation, is a process that has begun but has not yet reached its conclusion. Salvation is irrevocable and God will finish what He has begun. Both of these processes began when we believed and accepted Jesus Christ, but they will not end until we receive God's Spirit in full measure and are glorified in His Kingdom. That will come when we are called either in the removal of God's Church before the Tribulation in the Rapture, or the tribulation saints resurrection and glorification at the end of the Tribulation leading to the Millennium. This is all part of the 1st resurrection, which Jesus was the beginning of.
WE AWAIT OUR REDEMPTION
But in the meantime, we must be about our Father's business. As Paul writes that we are not of the flesh, but of the Spirit, as we walk after the things of the Spirit and do mortify the deeds of the flesh:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.8 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.11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”(Romans 8:7-11)
This almost sounds like an impossible task, as we are still mortal. I don't know about you, but I sin everyday, because of my flesh even if it's just a thought. Paul had the same problem when he lamented in Romans 7:14 “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that I do.
16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.”(Romans 7:14-19)
But fear not brothers and sisters, Paul gives us the remedy for the sin that dwells in our flesh.“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans7:24-25)
Each of us, who are the called of God battle the forces of evil. Sometimes, because of our mortal flesh, sin has it's way with us in our weakness. But if God's Holy Spirit rest in your spirit, then you, just as I am, are convicted of that sin, sometimes almost immediately. How do you get victory over sin? You put on the whole armor of God. Brethren, we do not war against flesh and blood, but against powers of spiritual darkness and the evil of this world. 10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Even with the armor upon us, and we fight the good fight as we use the weapons God has given us, we still fail...it's inevitable my brethren, because we still have the curse upon us, called the flesh and this side of glory we will continue the need to repent. John the apostle wrote what we must do when we sin:
6“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:6-9)
My brothers and sister in Christ, and all who read this message, it is God's Holy Spirit that cleanses us daily. When we fail, we confess. We are not suddenly lost from God's grace, but sin causes loss of fellowship with God our Father. But with remorse and prayerful repentance that relationship is restored, as if the sin never happened. Oh, but some say, “How can God forgive me for I have sinned a great sin?”. I imagine that is what King David thought when his sin was revealed through Nathan the prophet and David repented of fornication with Bathsheba and indirectly murdering Uriah, her husband by placing him at the front of the battle. What did David do? David repented in anguish for His sin, and that was before God's Holy Spirit was given in it's fullness at Pentecost. David cried out to God in anguish and repentance for his sin:
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”(Psalm 51:1-13)
Even David, a man God called “a man after God's own heart” was subject to temptation and sin. King David humbled himself, and did not try to hide his sin from God, but confessed it and asked for forgiveness in tears and anguish. God honors a broken and contrite heart, when it is done in genuine guilt and repentance. And God said that our sin would be as far as the east is from the west, and would remember it no more. That's a long distance, as the west never meets the east.
Only Jesus and God's Holy Spirit can deliver us from the law of sin found in our flesh. Paul explains this even further in the chapter that I love of Romans 8:33 “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:33:37)
WE NEED JESUS MORE THAN EVER, ESPECIALLY NOW
We have evil all around us, and in this day and age, it seems evil is growing exponentially. When I was a little kid, I remember that there were bad people in the world around me, and I was warned to not accept candy from strangers, but most people were basically honorable and moral people in the majority. I would have not fathomed at such an early age, to see what I am seeing after almost 68 years of life.
But OH, how the world has changed, and not for the better. How can the average person on this planet survive the evil that is becoming common place in this country and even more so in other countries around the world? No wonder the suicide rate is growing with people who have lost all hope. Or people who resort to crutches of alcohol, or dangerous drugs (either street drugs, or prescriptions) that rob them of the last shred of hope and security as they try and escape reality. Unfortunately, I see it all the time in the area of my ministry.
People are dying all around us and it seems we can't stop the destruction of people who are determined to bring on their own demise. But every now and then, one is saved from the fire. One person is reached that was thought beyond help. And what is the one thing, the one Person who brings them up out of despair? The answer is Jesus Christ. When a person finally sees that they are beyond hope, beyond fighting for themselves, and beyond anything on this earth used as a remedy. Not drugs, not alcohol, not bath salts, not promiscuity, and not main stream religion, because each fails the individual if its root is not anchored in Jesus Christ. When they hit rock bottom, the burden on their shoulder is weighing them down with their head hanging and the only place to look is up. We pray they see Jesus and someone is there to bring them to a saving knowledge of His mercy and grace. That person must cry out and seek safety from the only Source of that safety:
“I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40:1-3)
HAVE YOU FOUND MY ROCK, MY SAVIOR?
To my unsaved friend out there, I say this. Jesus is the only way in finding safety in this life, leading to the next life. You can search from around the world from Los Angeles to New York City, from the USA to the far reaches of the third world and back, but you will be as your were, EMPTY and unfilled. We each have a void in our spiritual lives that must be filled. As mentioned, some search for it in pleasures of this world, in illicit drugs and alcohol, but in the end, many will attempt suicide because they just cannot cope with what is going on in this world.
We all search for a way back to God or their definition of God. They search for peace and a place called Heaven. They put their trust in “religions” and spiritual enlightenment or many put their trust in themselves and don't think they need God. Oh, how wrong each of them are. That void in your heart, that void in your mind, and that void that is searching for what makes life worth living, is found in only one place, AT THE CROSS. That is where our Savior died, my Savior, your Savior if you would only choose Him and repent of your sins and turn to Him in all humility and repentance:37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”(John 6:37-40)
Jesus further told us the truth further in the Gospel of John. Our Lord emphasized that there is only One Way back to God and that is NOT found anything of this world that people fill their lives with seeking fulfillment and happiness. What did Jesus say?6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
Jesus is the ONLY way, and when you find Him, there is no one that can separate you from the love of Christ our Lord when you profess faith and belief in His saving grace, in His blood and resurrection that began on Calvary's hill and fulfilled at His resurrection from the dead.
We are told by Paul the Apostle in closing the chapter that started this message, that no one can separate us from Jesus Christ after we are saved by grace:38 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
I invite you to call upon the Lord Jesus right now. Humble yourself and realize that you can't do it alone anymore. You and I are the same, we are sinners. Only difference that may be between us, is that I have asked forgiveness of Jesus of my sins and as a faithful and loving God, He has done just that. He can do the same for you if you humble yourself and believe these verses that sum up the whole of the Bible.“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth inhim should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16-18)
And when you believe and accept the free gift of salvation, a gift you cannot earn, as it is free for the asking...then tell someone and confess openly that Jesus is your Savior and Redeemer of your soul.
8 “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. Believe these words of John 3 and Romans 10 and the void in your heart and mind will be forever removed, and God will make you along with many others who have gone on before you as you just became....you will never again be condemned and you will become sons and daughters of the Living God.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, proclaiming my Lord Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. My God who came in the flesh and is coming again soon. If I can introduce you to my Savior and provide you with support from God's Word, then give me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit me online at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com, for more biblical instruction in Christian living or the way back to God. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a friendly ear, drop me a line...God bless you all.
TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET