BESIDES GOING TO HEAVEN, WHAT ELSE DID JESUS ACCOMPLISH FOR US?

When we don’t understand the worth of something, we don’t value it as much.

We’ve been given an incredible gift. The more we realize what we’ve received, the greater the appreciation we will have. The following are the 4 things Jesus accomplished for us through His sacrifice in Calvary.

1. PEACE WITH GOD.

Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The peace Paul speaks about is the fact of peace more than the feeling of peace. 

We were at enmity with God. We were at odds with God. Some may say, “I feel peaceful.” That’s true. But you may not necessarily be at peace with God. 

It’s like sitting on a lounge chair, drinking your mango shake on the deck of the Titanic. You feel good for now but the boat is about to sink. It’s a temporary illusion.

But when we come to faith in Christ, we are reconciled to the Father through Him. We now have peace with God.

The peace with God is the fact.
The peace of God is the feeling.

The peace with God is judicial.
The peace of God is experiential.

The peace with God is objective.
The peace of God is subjective.

2. PRIVILEGED ACCESS

Romans 5:2 says, “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand…”

Dr. Kenneth Wuest, a New Testament scholar, describes the word access as a person having the privilege of having an audience with the king because he has the right set of clothing.

You and I can’t enter the presence of the King of kings without the right clothing. Our personal clothing is like filthy rags (Is. 64:6). But thankfully, He has given us the robes of righteousness (Is. 61:10) when we surrendered our lives to Jesus. 

As a result, we have unlimited access to the Father through Jesus.

He has given us the keycard to keep going back to the presidential suite because of this privileged access. 

3. PERSPECTIVE OF THE FUTURE

Romans 5:2 says in the JB Philips translation, “Through him we have confidently entered into this new relationship of grace, and here we take our stand, in happy certainty of the glorious things he has for us in the future.”

We have a happy certainty of the glorious things God has for us. Hope is a confident expectancy and anticipation of that which we have yet to see.

When we see Him face to face, we will no longer be marred by sin, but freed from the corruption of our depravity and released from bondage of our sinful nature.

As Joni Eareckson Tada, a quadriplegic (paralazyed neck down) beautifully puts it,


“I still can hardly believe it. I, with shrivelled, bent fingers, atrophied muscles, gnarled knees, and no feeling from the shoulders down, will one day have a new body, light, bright, and clothed in righteousness—powerful and dazzling. Can you imagine the hope this gives someone spinal-cord injured like me? Or someone who is cerebral palsied, brain-injured, or who has multiple sclerosis? Imagine the hope this gives someone who is manic-depressive. No other religion, no other philosophy promises new bodies, hearts, and minds. Only in the Gospel of Christ do hurting people find such incredible hope.”

4. PURPOSE TO OUR SUFFERING

Romans 5:3-4 says, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”

Was Paul out of his mind? Why would we rejoice when there’s suffering?

The only reason is when we understand that there is a purpose to the pain. We are averse to it. None of us wake up in the morning asking God for a painful day. When we’re going through suffering, our initial prayer is for God to take us out of it.

But Paul says that there is a purpose to the pain.

Isaiah 64:8 says, “But now, LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and You are our potter. All of us are the work of Your hand.”
 
Will you let your Father, the Potter, shape you?
Will you allow pain to shape us or break us?
 
Having a relationship with Christ is not an escape from trials but a guarantee that those trials have a purpose.
 
May we be reminded of these that Jesus accomplished in our salvation.

 

 

MOVING FORWARD IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING

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“Why do I still suffer even though I’m already a Christian? I thought after I come to Christ, all is going to be well.”

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the funeral of a man who was a wonderful husband, amazing dad, great employee and faithful servant in the church. He and his wife were remarkable examples to other couples. But one morning, MC was violently stabbed, which caused his death.

I was told that in his last few moments, before he went to be with the Lord,  his last few words to his wife were, “It is as it is. It is well.”

Wow.

How can one say this?
What hope was he holding on to that would cause him to make this declaration?

I realize that there are no amount of words to try to explain or even attempt to bring comfort to his wife and family in this time of tragedy. But God’s Word gives us a few hints as to why we go through what we are going through.

Paul tells the church in Philippi:

For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. (Philippians 1:29-3)

Here are a few things that point to why we go through suffering:

1. PROOF

Suffering is one of the proofs that we follow Christ. His teachings are actually counter-cultural. If we go with what Jesus says, the Bible says that “everyone who wants to live a godly life will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12)

Jesus says that in this world, we will have tribulation. But we can rejoice because He has overcome the world. (John 16:33)

2. PRIVILEGE

Paul says that we suffer “for the sake of Christ.” Paul tells us that suffering is “granted” to us – which means it is a gift.

Now, how can this be a gift?!?!  It’s a gift no one would actually want to receive if you ask me. But, somehow, even James says to consider it pure joy, when we go through suffering and trials for it, will bring about steadfastness and perseverance that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2)

3. PARTAKING

As we partake in the suffering, we are partaking it with Christ.
Paul in Philippians 3:10 desired to “know Christ and the power of His resurrection and share in His sufferings, being conformed to Him in His death.”

Furthermore, in Romans 8:17, we are told that “Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

Sharing in His sufferings would mean sharing in His glory as well.

It definitely is easier to say it’s a privilege to partake in His sufferings. But the grace of God is overwhelmingly sufficient for His strength is made perfect even in our weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word that gives me comfort in times of trouble, strength in times of weakness and wisdom in times of confusion. In moments of suffering, You have promised that You will never leave nor forsake. For this, I am always grateful. May You grant me the grace to keep moving forward when I feel like giving up. I declare that this week is going to be a victorious week in the midst of difficult circumstances for victory is found as I live in Your presence daily.
IN JESUS’ NAME. AMEN.

“TAKE ME OUT OF MY SUFFERING”

“Lord, take me out of this suffering.”

This is often the prayer we utter when we go through a difficult time.
It’s really not a bad thing to pray for this because who wants to keep suffering?

However, getting you out of your circumstance may not necessarily the best thing at the moment.

Paul was stuck in prison for a total of 4 1/2 years.
Stephen was stoned to death and suffered for his faith.
Job lost his family and business though the Bible declared that he was a righteous man.
Jesus was nailed to a cross though He did wish at some point for the cup of suffering be taken away from Him.

God’s Providence.

It is possible that God sees something we can’t and is doing something we are unaware of.
His sovereignty over our life assures us that nothing happens by accident and nothing escapes His attention.

That’s why we are told to “give thanks in all circumstances.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

We are not to give thanks FOR all circumstances but IN all circumstances.

God’s Process.

Gold doesn’t become gold unless it goes through a process. And part of the process is going through the fire.
Fire removes the dross after which allows the brilliance to come forth.

1 Peter 1:7 tells us “These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

The ultimate result of the process? Genuine faith and the glory of God.

 

THE PURPOSE OF THE BLINDNESS

“Jesus says that the purpose of the blindness is to put the work of God on display. This means that for our suffering to have ultimate meaning, God must be supremely valuable to us. More valuable than health and life.” – John Piper

I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! (Philippians 3:10, 11 NLT)