The following verses show us God’s satisfaction with the work of His Son at Calvary, and where He has placed Him now as proof of that satisfaction.
“He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church” (Ephesians 1:20-22).
“God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9).
“Thou crownedst Him with glory and honor, and didst set Him over the works of Thy hands” (Hebrews 2:7).
As we consider the results of the work of the cross and the exaltation and glorification of Christ, what worship it will produce in our hearts! We will fall at His feet and “worship Him that liveth for ever and ever” (Revelation 4:10).
“What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” (Matthew 27:22).
“What think ye of Christ?” (Matthew 22:42).
Questions make things very personal, and your honest answer to these two questions will determine whether you are really a true believer or not.
Often we have questions as well. In the book of Acts there was a man who asked a sincere question, received a simple answer, and believed it for the salvation and blessing of his soul and others of his family. We refer to him as the Philippian jailor. He asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They immediately responded, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:30-31). The result was that he “rejoiced, believing in God with all his house” (Acts 16:34).
God asks you questions, and maybe you have questions too. Your responses to God’s questions and your responses to His answers can have great and eternal consequences.
A. To be “sanctified” is to be set apart. “Ye are sanctified” (1 Corinthians 6:11). Every believer is sanctified by the work of the cross of Calvary. “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10).
However, to enjoy and walk in the good of this truth may be quite another matter. We are exhorted to live in separation from this world and with moral purity. “That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor” (1 Thessalonians 4:4). This is practical sanctification.
In the measure in which we walk in separation from that which is contrary to the Word of God we will be “a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21).
Peter exhorts us to, “Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts” (1 Peter 3:15). This is to have Him before us as the exclusive object of our affections, and to give Him the first place in our lives.
“For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself” (Romans 14:7).
People who follow Christ lead others in the right direction. People who do not follow Christ lead others in the wrong direction.
The bride in the Song of Solomon said, “Draw me.” That’s individual. The result was, “We will run after Thee” (Song of Solomon 1:4). In other words, others are influenced to go in the right direction by one who follows the Lord.
How much is this true in your life? Everyone of us influence others, either for good or bad, right or wrong. After the Lord rose from the dead, Peter said to the other disciples who were with him, “I go a fishing.” As a result, “They say unto him, We also go with thee” (John 21:3). Notice he did not ask the others to go; it was simply the result of his personal influence and a decision he made at that time.
Which is it? There is no neutrality. Others are following our lead—are we following Christ?
Let’s learn to accept everything in our lives from God our Father. “For in Him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
It is our Father who orders all our lives. As I get a little older and continue on in my Christian experience, I feel more and more that it is Him with whom we have to do—not so much with men or things, BUT WITH HIM. Herein lies our power to do His will and suffer patiently in the trials and circumstances of life. We can take rebuffs, sorrows and disappointment from His hand, though we sometimes resent them coming from one another.
Nothing else but seeing God in everything will make us loving and patient with those who annoy and trouble us. They will be to us then only the instruments for accomplishing His tender and wise purposes toward us.
See God your Father in everything and receive everything directly from His hands, with no intervention of “second causes, “ because there are no “second causes” for the child of God.
How much do you and I really value our Bibles, the living Word of God? It is said that when the famous missionary, Dr. David Livingstone, started his trek across Africa he had 73 books in 3 packs, weighing about 180 pounds. After the expedition party had gone some 300 miles, Livingstone was obliged to throw away some of the books because of the fatigue of those carrying his baggage. As he continued on his journey his library gradually grew less and less, until he had but one book left and that was his Bible.
I have thought a lot about this. What would be the last thing that I would keep if I was in a similar situation? Would I be like the writer of Psalm 119, who said, “O how love I thy law” (Psalm 119:97)?
It would be interesting to count the number of Bibles and New Testaments in your home this week, and then consider how much they are read and valued.
“O Lord our Lord, how excellent is Thy name” (Psalm 8:9).
“How excellent is Thy lovingkindness” (Psalm 36:7).
“Praise Him for His mighty acts: praise Him according to His excellent greatness” (Psalm 150:2).
What an excellent Saviour we have! We read of Abel, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain” (Hebrews 11:4). His sacrifice, which was the death of an innocent animal, was “more excellent” than that of his brother’s because it spoke to the heart of God of His Son and the perfect and supreme sacrifice He would make at Calvary many centuries later. Of that sacrifice we read, “Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour” (Ephesians 5:2).
As we consider this most excellent sacrifice today, how thankful our hearts should be that God is completely satisfied with that offering, and that we are accepted on the basis of it.
“This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend” (Song of Solomon 5:16).
Even those who had no love or use for the Lord when He was here on earth said many things that were gloriously true of Him. One of those things was that they tagged Him as “a friend of publicans and sinners” (Matthew 11:19).
Although this was a title given to the Lord in derision and criticism, it reflected His grace. He was interested in the unpopular, the socially despised and the politically incorrect. He drew near to those whose careers were at a dead end, to those whom no one else bothered themselves for, those who had nowhere else to turn because of the weight of their sin upon their consciences. In other words, you and me. On another occasion we read, “And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them” (Luke 15:2).
By His grace I have known the Lord Jesus as my Saviour and Friend for 50 years. Do you know Him too? He wants to be the best Friend you have ever had…“a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).