Religious faiths are not the same as obedience to the faith. Christianity is not a substitute for Christ in the heart of humanity. Christ in each of us is the hope of God’s glory being made known through our lives. God desires a personal relationship with each one of us where He is the fulfillment of the desires of our hearts. Our needs are met in Him, thus we can face life from a place of fulfillment and not a place of loneliness.
God has called us to be obedient to the faith. Faith comes by hearing God speak to our hearts. When God speaks to our hearts, faith happens. It is faith that changes our lives and it is faith that changes the world. We are not here to fashion and form God in our likeness and image. We do not meet God in the place of our weakness where we expect Him to condone the flaws of our hearts. We meet Him in the place of our weakness where we expect Him to give us the overcoming grace to become what we could not be without Him. We are here to see the likeness and image of God formed in us. We are born with weaknesses, but the strength of God brings life and hope to all that we are. When our weaknesses become transformed by the power of His strength we become testimonies for many breakthroughs of God’s love for others. We have impossible situations in our lives, but in Christ all things are possible. The flaws of our nature and character become the very ground of His supernatural grace. That demonstrated grace is not merely for our sakes; it is for the sake of others in the world.
All people and people groups are loved by God and reconciled to Him, but many people and many people groups are blind, in darkness, and under the power of Satan. I was once blind, in darkness, and under the power of Satan. It was the grace of God that made me free from my condition of death. Impossible things became possible by the power of God’s grace. God’s grace is the power of His presence to bring His change in everyway.
Many people are not living in the inheritance that comes from God the Father by His Spirit to His Son. Substitutes for the life of God that comes through Jesus Christ are not life; they are death. All people and people groups need to turn to Jesus to be able to receive His forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus. This is not a matter of God’s love, but the inheritance of the kingdom of Christ. God loves us before we become what He declares us to be, but His love is powerful enough to deliver us from all evil. His love is powerful enough to cause our lives to become a testimony of His amazing grace. This was the very commission that was upon the life of Paul.
Acts 26:17, 18 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.
As I previously stated, many people and many people groups are blind, in darkness, and under the power of Satan. This does not make them less loved by God; it simply makes them unable to walk in the inheritance of the kingdom of Christ. They are not bringing heaven into the earth. They are not fulfilling their destiny in life. Life is not merely a matter of going to heaven, but of the kingdom destiny of Christ being expressed through our lives. When we are under the sway of the prince and power of the air we are not able to walk in obedience to the voice of God. We cannot be obedient to the faith found in our hearts by the voice of God.
Ephesians 2:1-3 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
People who are under the power of the prince of the air are not living in the inheritance that comes from God the Father by His Spirit to His Son. It is not a matter of being rejected by God. God’s love is fully in tact for all people. It is the inheritance of the kingdom of Christ that is hindered when people choose to live lives that are outside of the character of Christ. It is not a question of human needs or desires. It is a matter of the character of God and the ability to eradicate the power of iniquity among the nations and the generations of men.
Ephesians 5:3-7 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them.
Those who seek the things that are outside of the character and nature of God seek those things to fulfill the needs of their hearts. They don’t seek to be intentionally evil. They simply seek to fulfill the needs of their hearts in illegitimate ways. God loves them, but they are pursuing things that prove to cause them to suppress the truth of God with a lie. We must seek the truth of God, not merely His love. He loves us, thus we live to love Him and set an example of His truth for the sake of others.
Ephesians 3:8-11 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
This is not a matter of God’s love, but of the inheritance of the kingdom of Christ. When we expose the works of darkness, we are not seeking shame for those who are in darkness. We are confessing our freedom from the things of darkness that others may also be set free from the power of darkness. We can make a judgment concerning an action without making a judgment of the actor.
As leaders in the body of Christ we must set an example of those who seek the kingdom of God. We must set an example of living for the sake of others. It is not merely a matter of love. It is a matter of the inheritance of the kingdom of Christ for the sake of others.
Food For thought,
Ted J. Hanson