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In Christ Alone

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Chapter Three.

I have come to learn and understand, that as we are called to serve in our accepting Christ into our lives, a change starts to happen within us.

For some like with Saul it could be dramatic and happen fast. However, for others it can take longer as the old self dies and the new self-starts to immerge. I know in my own life it has taken far longer than I would have wanted as I battled constantly with pride in wanting and thinking I could do things in my own strength.

God in his wisdom and love was gracious until I reached a stage in my life where I simply realised I was never going to win the battle by myself. It was beyond me and nothing I did in my own strength could change that.

But then it dawned on me, and in my weakness, I cried out to God who I know, knew my heart, for nothing can be hidden from him.

Look at Psalm 139: 1-18 (NIV)

(You have searched me, Lord,

and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;

you perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down;

you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue

you, Lord, know it completely.

You hem me in behind and before,

and you lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light become night around me,”

even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed body;

all the days ordained for me were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, God!

How vast is the sum of them!

Were I to count them,

they would outnumber the grains of sand—

when I awake, I am still with you.)

And in my weakness, I realised I needed God to step in and in him all things are possible.

Now Look at Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

(Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”)

God in his infinite mercy also equips us to serve in the ministry or calling which he has appointed us and in this he never turns.

Whom he calls them he also finds acceptable, and whom he finds acceptable he vindicated in Christ, that in them he also glorified in Christ, this is the invariable rule of the divine procedure.

But I find that in my daily walk I want God to be given the glory through Christ in me, and I feel as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus we should follow the examples as laid down by Christ and shown to us through the Holy Spirit the spirit of truth.

It takes considerable faith to grasp the reality that God knew us before we were born and called us to walk with Christ his beloved Son. Yet incredibly the scriptures clearly tell us that “Many are called, but few are chosen,”

Look at Matthew 22: 44(KJV)

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

3. And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.

4. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.

5. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

6. And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.

7. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

8. Then saith he to his servants, the wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

9. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.

10. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

11. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:

12. And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

13. Then said the king to the servants, bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

14. For many are called, but few are chosen.

KJV: Matthew 22: 2 - 15).

We are called into a fellowship with Jesus the very Son of God, yet I found the above verse or warning confusing and sought guidance. The Holy Spirit led me to look up the foot study notes in my NIV Study Bible page 1579.

Matthew 22:11-12. (study guide) It was customary for wedding guests to be given wedding clothes to wear to the banquet. It was unthinkable to refuse to wear these clothes. That would insult the host, who could only assume that the guest was arrogant and thought he didn’t need these clothes, or that he did not want to take part in the wedding celebrations. The wedding clothes picture the righteousness needed to enter God’s kingdom the total acceptance in God’s eyes that Christ gives every believer.

Christ has provided these clothes of righteousness for everyone, but each person must choose to put them on in order to enter the king’s banquet (eternal life).

There is an open invitation, but we must be ready, see Psalm 132:16; Isaiah 61:10; Zechariah 3:3-5; Revelation 3:4-5; 19:7-8.

Also Psalm 132:16 (NIV)

(I will clothe her priests with salvation,

and her faithful people will ever sing for joy.)

Isaiah 61:10 (NIV)

(I delight greatly in the Lord;

my soul rejoices in my God.

For he has clothed me with garments of salvation

and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,

as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,

and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.)

Zechariah 3:3-5 (NIV)

(Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”

Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”

Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So, they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.)

Revelation 3:4-5 (NIV)

(Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.)

Revelations 19:7-8 (NIV)

(Let us rejoice and be glad

and give him glory!

For the wedding of the Lamb has come,

and his bride has made herself ready.

Fine linen, bright and clean,

was given her to wear.”

(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.)

It means we have a partnership with Christ Jesus, and we must not take this lightly but consider seriously praying to Father God and asking the Holy Spirit all that it means and in what we must do to serve him.

Allowing and wanting, no, desiring above all else to put God first in our lives and allow the fruit of the Holy Spirit to grow within us so we can come a reflection of Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour.

And this is where I found in my studies a revelation, a light bulb moment as it fully dawned on me the true meaning and implications of what we have been given. I had some indication before, but this brought it alive in my heart as if a furnace had exploded into life.

If we are undeniably called by grace, (No, Divine grace as it comes from God). We have also in turn come into communion with Christ our Lord and saviour, and so, as joint-owners with Him (Christ Jesus) in all things. Are we not then One with Him in the sight of God the Most-High?

Think about this, pray over this as it is of vital importance you grasp the truth. Christ our Lord and Saviour, He bore our sins upon himself as He hung on the cross of a tree, being made a curse for us, yet at the same moment, He also became our righteousness, so that we who were once dead through sin are now justified through Christ who took our place.

It is incredible we now belong to Christ Jesus. Yet in turn Christ and all his blessing are now ours. And as Adam once stood for his children or descendants, so does Jesus stand for all who are in Him.

In faith, we have become One with Christ, and it is a union that cannot be broken unless we choose to break it.

Satan in all his trickery cannot break that union between you and Christ Jesus, he can only try to distract you and take your eyes away from the truth. Yet if we remain strong and focused and as a body of Christ we can support each other in this Spiritual Warfare, the battle over Good and Evil.

And it is a battle, the scriptures tell us this, and never forget that you as a convert to Christ are in a war where billions are suffering and been separated from God, we have a great responsibility to go out and make disciples of men. We have become fishers of men and women, we must become a light shining high on a hill showing others the way less they become lost in the storms of life.

God has called us into this unification of fellowship with Christ, a partnership and He, God, has given us a security of our being established to the end in that we have His Very Spirit the spirit of truth living in us.

And understand that Christ is also in us not apart from us, as if he was, then we would be unpreserved components, to be borne away to annihilation by the forces of evil. But we are in God’s infinite wisdom One with Christ and are made accomplices of His nature who are gifted with his everlasting life. (Praise be to God)

Our purpose is inexorably connected with Christ we have a partnership and a responsibility in our purpose driven life.

Live in this partnership, become actively involved and not just be carried along (Remember the parable of the bags of gold)

Matthew 25:14-30 (NIV)

(“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them.

To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more.

So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.

The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So, I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

“His master replied, ’You wicked, lazy servant! So, you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

“‘So, take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’)

If only people would accept that which they have been given. Can you picture and imagine this, especially for those with love in their hearts and those with children as this should make it easier to understand.

Imagine a child a sibling or relative who you love dearly and you know they are dying and are travelling away from your love and guidance.

So, you give them a most wonderful and valuable gift that cannot be brought at any cost by human hands, a gift one which you know beyond question will keep them safe and in good health and be there to help them in their journey in life.

They take the gift then to your dismay, throw it aside or hide it away unused and ignore all that you have done to bring them to this point in time.

It is like that with God, and in what through Christ Jesus he allowed to happen so we could be united once more with Him our God the God of Jacob, our maker and creator.

Dwell on this, think it over and I pray you will come to recognize, of our standing in Christ Jesus, and unto the hope which in FAITH lays before you.

If truly the scriptures are true and God cannot lie as the Holy Spirit the spirit of truth has told us.

Look at Titus 1:1-3 (ASV)

(Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before times eternal; but in his own seasons manifested his word in the message, wherewith I was intrusted according to the commandment of God our Saviour;).

Then if we are to take the scriptures as the true word of God and apply them to our lives as in Ephesians 1:3: 4-14. (NIV)

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

(3) (Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.)

(4-14) (For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.

With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.)

Then we in turn, qualify for the full blessings in Christ as given us in Deuteronomy 28: 1-14 (NIV)

(If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.

All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:

You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

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