Friday, June 8, 2012

All Your Strength: Part 2


This post is a continuation of the previous post, Love the Lord your God With All Your Strength. Please take a moment to read the previous post before continuing on in this post.
As I mentioned in the previous post, the expert of the Law asked Jesus what He could do to inherit eternal life and Jesus' responded with a question, "What is written in the Law?" He did this to bring the expert of the law to the end of himself. For apart from Jesus' perfect life, final death and believing on Him for salvation no man stands justified before a Holy God. Even our believing on Him is a gift from God, Ephesians 2:8 tells us, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27


Then you will say on that day, "I will give thanks to You, O LORD; for although you were angry with me, your anger is turned away, and you comfort me. "Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation."Therefore, you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation. And in that day you will say "Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples; and proclaim that His name is exulted."Praise the LORD in song,  for He has done excellent things; let this be known throughout the entire earth." Isaiah 12:1-5
Notice the word, proclaim. We are to proclaim the Gospel, not just live it out. We are to tell others of His wonderful deeds. The word Gospel means, Good News, it was a proclamation of victory. The Gospel is fundamentally about Jesus; not about us. We are to proclaim the "good news" to ourselves everyday because everyday we need to remember His performance for sinners, His finished work on the cross as the final atoning sacrifice for our sin, and His love for sinners. Sin is knowing the good we ought to do and not doing it. James 4:17. If I'm being honest, this is me most days. There has not been one day that has gone by in my life that I can honestly say, I've succeeded in loving the LORD with all my heart, mind and strength and soul and my neighbor as myself. Read further down in the verses of Luke and you will see Jesus' response to "who is my neighbor?"
With as important as it is to preach the gospel to ourselves everyday, it is also just as important to proclaim this "good news" to those God puts in our path. When we fully grasp the implications of our sin, we all have blood on our hands and we all must be raised from the dead. Matthew 5:22, Ephesians 2:1, the gospel will propel us into action. Jesus, as we focus on His rescuing us from eternal death and separation, changes us from within as we are being transformed into His image from glory to glory. This dear one is sanctification. Sanctification is not getting better and better and better and therefore needing Jesus less and less. It is not becoming a better version of ourselves. Sanctification is growing in our awareness of how much we need Jesus and growing deeper and deeper into His finished work within us as He further reveals the hugeness of our rescue. We are in the process of being transformed into His image, which by the way, is a suffering servant obedient unto death.
What is the root of all sin? The root of all sin is unbelief. Failing to believe everything I need I already in Christ. When we are tempted to believe salvation by faith alone, in the finished work of Christ alone is too easy, we must remember that it wasn't easy for Him. The same God that spoke creation into being, formed and made you in your mother's womb. This Jesus, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but humbled Himself, came down and dwelled among men. The Creator became the created. The one, who's very name is the Word of God, gave up everything to fulfill the Law and die in our place. He walked through the depths of despair relationally, spiritually and physically, as He was tempted in every way and yet was without sin. On the cross, darkness descended upon the land for three hours as every sin every committed was laid upon Him. At His command, "It is finished," and as He gave up His spirit, an earthquake struck the land and tore the veil in two. This veil separated the Most Holy Place from the Holy of Holies.
This dear friend is the only confidence we have to enter into the presence of God. It is only through His flesh which was torn in two that we have access to the Father. He is the only one worthy of our praise and affections. And to quote Tullian, "Jesus + Nothing = Everything." He set the standard of righteousness and then fulfilled His standard with His perfect life and holy blood. He walked through the pieces on our behalf because He knew we couldn't. He is the Holy undefiled, Lamb of God, who became sin for sinners.
His hands bear the marks of His sacrifice. It is His marks which convince the weary sinner of His love. His love is perfect, His sacrifice finished, His intercession continuously, as He now sits at the right hand of God the Father, praying continuously for us.
Do you know Him? This Jesus of Nazareth, who came to set the captives free.
Law and terror do but harden
All the while they work alone
But a sense of blood-brought pardon
will dissolve the heart of stone
- Joseph Hart 1712-1768

Further verse references: John 3:14, Galatians 4:4, Ephesians 2:8, Isaiah 12:1-5, Romans 3:10,11,19, Matthew 5:17, Colossians 1:17, John 20:27, James 4:17

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