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As leaders our ultimate goal is to lead others to become growing, maturing sons and daughters of God. The role of leaders is that of fathers and mothers, parental attributes of knowing the value of being a child at heart but also an overcomer as a maturing son or daughter of God. Today I am going to present some text from my book, The Now Covenant, to inspire us to lead others into a path of life, overcoming, and salvation in any situation in life. The kingdom of God is an internal kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. This is an internal relationship of knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior, Holy Spirit as God in His power and presence, and our Father God in partnership of purpose and destiny. That internal kingdom of God causes our external kingdoms to be expressions of the kingdom of God in character, nature, way, power, and authority.
Being a manifested son or daughter of God is not just an instant manifestation upon accepting Jesus into one’s life. It is an ongoing process that daily happens because Christ lives within the believer. In the New Covenant we are internally empowered to go through whatever is necessary to be filled with the knowledge of God’s glory. It works on good days and on bad days. It is a place of finding God’s life in every moment of our journey in life. It is a place where the believer is changed from glory to glory from within. It is a testimony of the Holy Spirit at work in the human heart. We aren’t merely granted a ‘get out of hell free card’ or an ‘entrance ticket to heaven’ when we die. We were given the power of God’s grace that changes us on a daily basis. We are disciples of Christ walking under the influence of Christ’s life. We are under the discipline of God’s grace. This is not a discipline of instructions concerning what to do or how to act. It is not a discipline of law, as was the case in the Old Covenant. It is a discipline of God’s presence at work within us. It is the very presence of Christ within us that changes our character, nature, way, power, and authority. The word of God is near to us. It is in our hearts and in our mouths that we may walk in the ways of God in this life. This was promised in the Old Covenant, but the shadow of the Old only pointed to the reality of what can only be found in the New Covenant life of Christ.
Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. 5 For Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, “The man who does those things shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
These verses are often used to inspire someone to confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Although there is a certain measure of truth in that application of this Scripture, these verses are talking about something much more. In order to understand these verses written by Paul, we must also read the verses written by Moses. Paul was quoting the words of Moses that pertained to the ability of God’s people to walk and live in the Promised Land given to them by God. These verses are not about a confession that grants us entrance to heaven when we die. They are verses that pertain to a heavenly testimony within our lives in this world. I believe that the Promised Land of the New Covenant is to live in this life with a testimony of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit within our hearts (Rom. 14:17). It works in any life, any circumstance, any situation, any generation, any nation, and any time in humanity’s journey. The testimony of Christ within us grants us a transition to heavenly glory when we die, but it also grants us a daily change in our lives in this world. Let’s look at the words written by Moses that Paul is quoting in this text of Romans.
Deuteronomy 30:11 “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
God’s promise was that He would be with His people on a daily basis and that He would make it possible to walk in the life He had promised. This pertains to confessing from our hearts that God is our God. It pertains to conclusive evidence that reveals an outward testimony that we are God’s people. It also pertains to a daily reality of living together with God in all things. It is not some testimony that is yet to come from heaven. It is not the result of a further sacrifice of the flesh. It is the testimony of Christ within the believer.1
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
1 Ted J. Hanson, The Now Covenant – Christ In You The Hope of Glory, (Bellingham, WA: House of Bread Publishing, 2015), pp. 106-107.
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