Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Devotional 071009

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. It is another wonderful day to walk with Christ. We spent longer time in staff prayer meeting to talk about the work of the Holy Spirit. How often we are afraid to submit to the work of the Holy Spirit, in case we will go astray? Our theology and logic sometimes confine us (even ministers) from responding to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. We don’t want to be labeled as “charismatic” or “fanatic,” if we give God total freedom to lead us to do whatever He wants. We rather act within our comfort zone or conservative mode, in case we become too “extreme.” But is this the kind of life that Paul described as living by the Spirit? Pray that God will help us discern His guidance.

"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Sin is a fundamental relationship; it is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and forceful independence of God. The Christian religion bases everything on the positive, radical nature of sin. Other religions deal with sins; the Bible alone deals with sin. The first thing Jesus Christ faced in men was the heredity of sin, and it is because we have ignored this in our presentation of the Gospel that the message of the Gospel has lost its sting and its blasting power.

The revelation of the Bible is not that Jesus Christ took upon Himself our fleshly sins, but that He took upon Himself the heredity of sin which no man can touch. God made His own Son to be sin that He might make the sinner a saint. All through the Bible it is revealed that Our Lord bore the sin of the world by identification, not by sympathy. He deliberately took upon His own shoulders, and bore in His own Person, the whole massed sin of the human race - "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us," and by so doing He put the whole human race on the basis of Redemption. Jesus Christ rehabilitated the human race; He put it back to where God designed it to be, and anyone can enter into union with God on the ground of what Our Lord has done on the Cross.

A man cannot redeem himself; Redemption is God's "bit," it is absolutely finished and complete; the reference of redemption with individual men depends on individual reaction. A distinction must always be made between the revelation of Redemption and the conscious experience of salvation in a man's life.

The car that I use was not made by me. I enjoy the convenience and functions of this car that was carefully designed and manufactured by many engineers and technicians. I have nothing to boast about it except the fact that I have the privilege to use it on a daily basis. Yes, I paid a price to take ownership of it but I did not invent or build it. In the same token, I did not invent or attain redemption by my good work. It was accomplished by our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross for us. And this redemption is now available for us to enjoy for free. The price we have to pay is to use it on a daily basis with recognition and appreciation of its maker.

Once Jesus took care of the fundamental sin (our self-centeredness of wanting to be our own god), the rest of the applications become easy. We are delivered from the deliberate and forceful independence of God. As a result, we become totally dependent on God for our new life in Christ. That’s why Paul said, “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation…” (2 Cor 5:17). Once we accept this new DNA from Christ and inplant it into our life, our whole being will undergo an evolving or transformation process, as though we are becoming a new creation. This very basic and radical change of redemption must take place in our conscious and unconscious being before major transformation will begin – we call it born again. Let us focus our attention on rooting out this basic sin – “self help, self make and self reliance” mindset. If not even our spiritual exercise could become our stumbling block, because we do it to show others how capable or spiritual we can become. Have mercy on us O Lord!

Love you by the power of God,

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