How You Prosper in Christ (part 2)

Welcome back to our study on prosperity. We saw last week that prosperity is not a dirty word. In that study, we examined how scripture lists prosperity as a covenant blessing based on our relationship with God in Christ, and also that His prosperity has a purpose: to share His generosity and blessing with those around us.

Now today, we are going to discuss how this happens, and how to receive the blessing of prosperity into your life, because just as with every other aspect of grace, people tend to inject a layer of works over what God gives as a gift in Christ

Join me today, as we discover how to prosper in Christ.

God’s Mercy and Grace (part 2)

Last week, we began a discussion about the mercy and grace of God. We learned about what the terms mean, and we started to look at how realization of God’s mercy and grace can impact every area of life.

As we see ourselves on the other side of the cross, we start to comprehend the reality that we are not still trying to get to the finish line; we have arrived.

Today I’d like to continue this discussion, and explicate these ideas further. As we continue examining God’s mercy and grace, we will see more of what He has accomplished, and more of who we are in Him.

Jesus Has Slain Your Goliath

One of the most famous stories in the Bible is the story of David and Goliath. It’s a story that is often taught to children in order to teach them about courage and belief in God.

Yet after Sunday school is over and we mature into adulthood, we often don’t hear much about David and Goliath anymore. Now why is that? Do we think that we have fully explored this story and extracted all of the truth out of it, in our Sunday school classes when we were children?

There’s a lot more to this story than an encouragement for children (or adults) to face their fears… but in-fact, as with the rest of the Bible, Jesus can be seen in it.

What I am excited to share with you today, is how the famous story of David and Goliath, actually shows us a wonderful picture of Jesus and His finished work for you. Buckle up, because this is going to be an amazing ride!

The Blessing of Being Hidden With Christ

Colossians 3:3 contains one of the most amazing of statements. This statement has so many wonderful implications that it would greatly strengthen and bless our lives if we would allow it to. And in-fact, this particular verse of scripture contains a specific truth that is absolutely vital to our understanding of our identity and how we are supposed to live as new creations in Christ – yet sadly I have seen many people rush passed this truth and latch onto the verses following it, and adopt a self-focused mindset that is destructive, due to not taking the time to consider the truth of verse 3.

So in this study today, we are going to examine, both verse 3, and the verses which follow it; keeping everything in context, and viewing it all in the light of the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Approaching God Properly

When you approach God, what demeanor do you typically have? What attitude is forefront in your mind when you draw near to Him? For many people, it’s still an attitude of unworthiness, and a mixture of guilt and shame, sometimes under a cloak of religiosity.

Others approach him trying to stand on their own merit, relying on their own works, and sacrifices that they have made, thinking that such things earn spiritual points with God, and favor with Him based on their performance.

And these may seem as though they are on opposite ends of the spectrum, but they are both actually rooted in the exact same error: approaching God on the basis of yourself, and your own performance. It’s a very easy trap to fall into; we naturally want to stand in our own performance – and the world we live in generally promotes this idea of self-reliance, self-work, earning your own way. However when it comes to God, and spiritual identity, standing in yourself is not only wrong, it is deadly!

Today we will be examining what it means to approach God properly, and how it has a profound impact on your relationship, your union with Christ.

Receiving Divine Power

Divine power. Supernatural ability. Going beyond human strength, human limits. Being something more. For years we have been infatuated with the idea of having power – even from the very beginning. It’s one of the reasons we like super-heroes… because they have strength and abilities beyond regular humans.

If we are being honest, “regular” human beings are rather weak on their own. Relying on devices and machines to accomplish most of our advanced tasks… not even the strongest among the animals when compared strength for strength and speed for speed.

Yet we have access to something that these others do not have, we have access to divine power which would actually put our favorite comic book heroes to shame – the kind of power that makes evil forces run and hide in terror. It has been given to us by God Himself.

This probably sounds to good to be true, and you’re doubting it in your mind right now… but I’m going to prove it in scripture, and by the end of this study today, you’re going to realize just how strong you truly are, and how to receive divine power; not just a nice thought or a warm fuzzy feeling – but real and effectual power that makes a difference.

Know That You Are Completely Clean Forever

One of the biggest hindrances (if not the only hindrance) to intimacy with God, is sin. Almost every single believer, and even most non-believers know this to be true. With that said, what is to be done about it?

This is where most people tend to branch-off into different directions regarding the solution to the sin problem. Some people set-out on a grand life-long quest to try and rid-themselves of wrong behaviors, wrong thoughts, and to “clean themselves” up, always reaching but never truly attaining perfection.
Others become so confused and intimidated by the whole problem that they become discouraged and defeated and just shut-down on the whole thing.
Still others accept their sin and decide that since they can’t do anything about it anyway, they might as well indulge it all the way.

But are any of these ways correct?

Must we live a defeated and striving life here on this earth dominated by sin and beaten-down with sin-consciousness?

Today in this study, we are going to answer that question, and through the finished work of Jesus Christ and His New Covenant of Grace, you will be able to have assurance, and confidence in your position from this day onward.

Understanding the Sheep and the Goats

The sheep and the goats is one of the most striking and the most controversial statements made by Jesus regarding the final judgment. It is a time when the genuine believers (the sheep) will be separated from the non-believers (the goats).

Now over the years, this has caused a lot of fear and confusion, as I have heard people express to me their fear that they might be a goat and not know it. After all, what exactly is a goat, and how do we tell a goat from a sheep in the spiritual sense? There are some who say that a genuine sheep will be the hardest worker for God, while a goat will slack-off on their spiritual duties and responsibilities.

Is that true?
If so, how do we know when we’ve worked hard enough to merit sheep-hood? And afterwards, can we fall back to being a goat?

In order to have any real assurance and security, these questions must be answered – and thankfully, God hasn’t left us wondering about the answers; Jesus spoke plainly about them.
This is what we will be examining today in this study, and by seeing this, you will not need to be confused or afraid about the sheep and the goats any longer.

Transformed By the Renewing of Your Mind

Ask any number of believers whose image they should have, and most people will readily answer “Jesus of-course!”; and it’s true the Father desires us to have the very image of His Son Jesus (and it benefits us as well). Yet have you ever stopped to consider how exactly we accomplish this goal? How is it that we are to have the very image and nature of Christ Jesus?

This is where people start to diverge and different camps are entrenched. Many will say that some form of works are required, some traditions, some legalism, or certain other types of sacrifices are required (be it fasting, or tithing, or any number of things).

But as you can probably figure out from the title of today’s study, the scripture speaks of a different approach; one not based on works or efforts of ourselves, one not based on the traditions and sacrifices of men, but rather one based on the truth of Christ and His finished work on the cross. A solution based on the Gospel of Christ alone, apart from the works of man.

What the Finished Work Means For You

Why did Jesus die? It’s a simple question that will get you a myriad of different answers. There is also another question that follows along with it… since He died, what does that mean for you today? It’s amazing that something so simple and so foundational to this thing known as Christianity, can be so confused and so misunderstood. But answering these questions is essential to living the live that Christ truly wants us to live… and it may not be what you expect – it probably isn’t what you have been told or what you have believed.

You see, Jesus didn’t die just for your old identity to endure – for you to remain a “sinner” and just suffer here on the earth as a broken vessel hoping and waiting for everything to be made well one day when you finally go to Heaven.

No, Jesus died for your remove that old identity from you and to give you a completely new identity, and to place His Spirit back inside of you, to indwell you fully and to give you His righteousness and a proper place as a beloved child of God.

This is the truth that I want to share with you today, and as you receive this truth, you will be able to enjoy new levels of union with Christ and enjoy the new identity that you have in Him.