Focus    on Purpose
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
© Focus On Purpose July 2017

What is

Salvation?

A butterfly is a miracle,

a divine creation that fleets,

propelling the caterpillar within,

an array of predators it cheats!

(Unknown)

 

Salvation is not about being saved from hell.

Paul says, “We who  are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” (Galatians 2:15-16 NKJV) The phrase “faith in Christ” is used 3 times in verse 16 if we include “believed in Christ”. Do you think Paul is making a point here? We speak of a child ’believing in’ fairies, or ‘believing in' father Christmas; we also speak of ‘believing in’ a specific doctor. I have always been taught that to ‘believe in Jesus,’ was like believing in your doctor; if you believe in your doctor, you will do what he/she prescribes. But believing in Jesus goes a lot deeper than believing in a doctor. The Greek word for ‘faith’ in this verse, speaks of placing your confidence in something or someone. When we believe in a doctor, we place our confidence in him and do as he prescribes. When we place our confidence in Jesus, the appropriate response is not just following a prescription, or a set of rules and rituals. The appropriate response is to transfer our source of authority from ourselves to Him. Placing our confidence in Jesus is about developing a close relationship of trust with Him. It is a relationship in which we entrust our lives to Him completely, only doing what He tells us to do, just as He only did what the Father told Him to do. When we 'believe in’ Jesus, His Word (the Bible), and His voice, become the compass, map, and authority in our lives. But choosing to believe in Jesus and doing what He says we are to do, is not salvation. Salvation is closer to changing citizenship than believing in a doctor. You cannot just decide to become a citizen of another country, move there, and consider yourself a citizen. There are many legal processes that must be fulfilled before you are legally classified as a citizen. The easiest way to become a citizen of a country, is to be born there. Jesus tells us that the only way that we can be a citizen of His Kingdom, is to be born there (see John 3) . Though this sounds impossible, when we first realize the truth about Jesus, choose to respond to that heart persuasion, and commit to entrust our lives to Him, something very profound happens. The Greek word for ‘in’ speaks of “of a place entered, or of entrance into a place, into; and it it stands before nouns designating an open place, a hollow thing, or one in which an object can be hidden”  (Thayer's Greek Lexicon) So what's so special about this word definition? We all know that this is what the word 'in' means, not so? Yet, when I read this definition, some more pieces of the puzzle fell onto place for me.  As I read the definition of this Greek word for 'in,' it was like a two-dimensional black-and-white picture burst into full three- dimensional, high-definition colour. A Play on Words? I have found the Bible to be multi-dimentional, and often having a play on words. When we make the decision to respond to our heart-belief that Jesus is all He says He is, and has done all He says He has done, we do more than place a vote of confidence in a ballot-box. When we first “believe in Jesus”, we actually step into Him, or become grafted into Him as the Vine. As Jesus speaks to His disciples just before His death and resurrection, He tells them that He will come back to them, and says, "In that day you shall know that I am in the Father, and you are in Me, and I in you." (John 14:20 Emphasis added) Paul tells us that our lives are “hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3 Emphasis added) A New Creation As we are brought into Christ Jesus, we are literally changed within; we are given a new heart - not our physical heart, but the inner core of who we are. The seat of our mind, will, and emotions is re-created. Because of sin, this heart was cold and hard, a slave to sin, and unable to respond to God; it was ruled by self - our desires, ambitions, and fears. The new heart we are given, is one that is soft and pliable in God's hands; it is a heart that is sensitive to His voice. It is a heart upon which His laws are written; the laws of love. In addition, His Holy Spirit comes to live within us, empowering us to break down strongholds, turn away from sin and live in obedience to God. We are in Him, and He in us. This is the New Birth. This is what Jesus referred to when He said we must be born again. (John 3: 1-8)   Paul calls it a 'new creation', “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)   He goes on to tell us in Ephesians, that we are “God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) This verse struck me quite forcefully when I received a copy of it on WhatsApp, in a different translation : “For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus. So we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Get Back to Wonder Many times we are blinded by familiarity. We know the verses, and we've lost the wonder ü. No, that tick is not a typing error. You may think me strange, but this tick was a ‘God-thing’ for me. I prefer handwriting to typing, and I write the draft of my blog using a stylus on my tablet. As I wrote that sentence above, I put a full-stop after the word 'wonder', and the tick just appeared out of nowhere. You make of it what you want, but I believe it was God's mark of confirmation. Jesus tells us in John 15, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15: 4-5) The word 'Abide' in this verse, is in the imperative mood; it is a command. If it is a command, then clearly it is a choice to abide in Him, or not. We do not automatically abide because we chose to believe in Jesus at some point in our lives. Abiding in Jesus is a moment-by-moment choice. But He says that when we do not abide in Him and He in us, we can do nothing. We can only be fruitful and walk in His empowering, when we abide in Him and He in us. We can only produce fruit that lasts for eternity, when we abide in Him and He in us. “... if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature...” “We are God's masterpiece … created … anew in Christ Jesus. So we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. “... he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. Think about these phrases. Meditate on them. Let them fill you with wonder once again. Think deeply about these things. This is what salvation is about. We are re-created in Christ; literally in Him - us in Him and He in us. Are our lives reflecting this truth? Or are we ‘just human’?
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Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
© Focus On Purpose July 2017

What is Salvation?

A butterfly is a miracle,

a divine creation that fleets,

propelling the caterpillar within,

an array of predators it cheats!

(Unknown)

 

Salvation is not about being saved from hell.

Paul says, “We who  are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” (Galatians 2:15-16 NKJV) The phrase “faith in Christ” is used 3 times in verse 16 if we include “believed in Christ”. Do you think Paul is making a point here? We speak of a child ’believing in’ fairies, or ‘believing in' father Christmas; we also speak of ‘believing in’ a specific doctor. I have always been taught that to ‘believe in Jesus,’ was like believing in your doctor; if you believe in your doctor, you will do what he/she prescribes. But believing in Jesus goes a lot deeper than believing in a doctor. The Greek word for ‘faith’ in this verse, speaks of placing your confidence in something or someone. When we believe in a doctor, we place our confidence in him and do as he prescribes. When we place our confidence in Jesus, the appropriate response is not just following a prescription, or a set of rules and rituals. The appropriate response is to transfer our source of authority from ourselves to Him. Placing our confidence in Jesus is about developing a close relationship of trust with Him. It is a relationship in which we entrust our lives to Him completely, only doing what He tells us to do, just as He only did what the Father told Him to do. When we 'believe in’ Jesus, His Word (the Bible), and His voice, become the compass, map, and authority in our lives. But choosing to believe in Jesus and doing what He says we are to do, is not salvation. Salvation is closer to changing citizenship than believing in a doctor. You cannot just decide to become a citizen of another country, move there, and consider yourself a citizen. There are many legal processes that must be fulfilled before you are legally classified as a citizen. The easiest way to become a citizen of a country, is to be born there. Jesus tells us that the only way that we can be a citizen of His Kingdom, is to be born there (see John 3) . Though this sounds impossible, when we first realize the truth about Jesus, choose to respond to that heart persuasion, and commit to entrust our lives to Him, something very profound happens. The Greek word for ‘in’ speaks of “of a place entered, or of entrance into a place, into; and it it stands before nouns designating an open place, a hollow thing, or one in which an object can be hidden”  (Thayer's Greek Lexicon) So what's so special about this word definition? We all know that this is what the word 'in' means, not so? Yet, when I read this definition, some more pieces of the puzzle fell onto place for me.  As I read the definition of this Greek word for 'in,' it was like a two-dimensional black-and-white picture burst into full three-dimensional, high-definition colour. A Play on Words? I have found the Bible to be multi-dimentional, and often having a play on words. When we make the decision to respond to our heart-belief that Jesus is all He says He is, and has done all He says He has done, we do more than place a vote of confidence in a ballot-box. When we first “believe in Jesus”, we actually step into Him, or become grafted into Him as the Vine. As Jesus speaks to His disciples just before His death and resurrection, He tells them that He will come back to them, and says, "In that day you shall know that I am in the Father, and you are in Me, and I in you." (John 14:20 Emphasis added) Paul tells us that our lives are “hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3 Emphasis added) A New Creation As we are brought into Christ Jesus, we are literally changed within; we are given a new heart - not our physical heart, but the inner core of who we are. The seat of our mind, will, and emotions is re- created. Because of sin, this heart was cold and hard, a slave to sin, and unable to respond to God; it was ruled by self - our desires, ambitions, and fears. The new heart we are given, is one that is soft and pliable in God's hands; it is a heart that is sensitive to His voice. It is a heart upon which His laws are written; the laws of love. In addition, His Holy Spirit comes to live within us, empowering us to break down strongholds, turn away from sin and live in obedience to God. We are in Him, and He in us. This is the New Birth. This is what Jesus referred to when He said we must be born again. (John 3: 1-8)   Paul calls it a 'new creation', “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)   He goes on to tell us in Ephesians, that we are “God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) This verse struck me quite forcefully when I received a copy of it on WhatsApp, in a different translation : “For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus. So we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Get Back to Wonder Many times we are blinded by familiarity. We know the verses, and we've lost the wonder ü. No, that tick is not a typing error. You may think me strange, but this tick was a ‘God-thing’ for me. I prefer handwriting to typing, and I write the draft of my blog using a stylus on my tablet. As I wrote that sentence above, I put a full-stop after the word 'wonder', and the tick just appeared out of nowhere. You make of it what you want, but I believe it was God's mark of confirmation. Jesus tells us in John 15, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15: 4-5) The word 'Abide' in this verse, is in the imperative mood; it is a command. If it is a command, then clearly it is a choice to abide in Him, or not. We do not automatically abide because we chose to believe in Jesus at some point in our lives. Abiding in Jesus is a moment-by-moment choice. But He says that when we do not abide in Him and He in us, we can do nothing. We can only be fruitful and walk in His empowering, when we abide in Him  and He in us. We can only produce fruit that lasts for eternity, when we abide in Him and He in us. “... if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature...” “We are God's masterpiece … created … anew in Christ Jesus. So we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. “... he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. Think about these phrases. Meditate on them. Let them fill you with wonder once again. Think deeply about these things. This is what salvation is about. We are re-created in Christ; literally in Him - us in Him and He in us. Are our lives reflecting this truth? Or are we ‘just human’?
Focus    on Purpose
Focus    on Purpose
If I have faith to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing
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