Above All Else...One with Christ
The biggest difference between Old Testament and New Testament is that the Old Testament was more corporate and the New Testament is more individual: your salvation. We meet to celebrate each other’s love of the Lord and that in itself is encouraging but not salvation. A lot of people think that it is. Just listen to the preacher and do what he says and hope we get there. There has to be more than that. There has to be the word of God in you that’s alive. Not just knowing the word of the Lord, but that it’s alive in you and that’s personal.
The law is knowing the will of the Lord and doing your best to try to follow that most of the time. But that’s too dangerous because your flesh has to die. It cannot be trusted to be in control. Matthew 10:32, Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. What I’m going to teach here may cause you to come up another notch or two with God, because just going to church and doing the things you’re supposed to do is not enough. If you’re ashamed of God among the public, God will be ashamed of you when you stand before Him. Verse 33, But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. This is the Lord speaking, not me, and this is pretty serious. We don’t need to preach to people but we certainly don’t want to draw back from expressing who we are. Verse 34, Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. Jesus came to defeat the power of satan upon the earth so we can defeat him also, that we might have peace. Jesus is the Prince of Peace but it takes warfare with the sword to divide that which is spirit and flesh. If that doesn’t take place then you’re still in the grip of the kingdom of satan. Isaiah speaks that Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and He is, but it’s not the way we think it is. Man’s understanding is just what I said, but God’s understanding is through reading and knowing what He has said. We know that it’s not enough just to try to put aside the flesh. We know how it was before God really got ahold of us. We had a righteous thinking but that righteous thinking was not necessarily the righteousness of God but the righteousness of man. God is righteous but sometimes He spoke some pretty powerful things that offended people. Verse 35, For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. Jesus came to cause the mother and daughter to be at odds and for the son to be at odds with the father. What is this describing? It’s the closest fleshly relatives you have. These were all authorities in your life. Verse 36, And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. When the Lord called me, my dad and my brothers and sisters were very much at odds with me, and on different occasions tried to make me submit to their thinking of what salvation is. Jesus brought variance for one reason; He was trying to switch from the law to the spirit. We’re still doing that today. When you find people that do not have an intimate relationship with God, you will be at odds with each other because those that are in the law cannot understand the life of the spirit. Even in your own household you can have odds against each other, because one is under law and the other is under grace and is learning to walk in the spirit. When people say you’re wrong in what you’re doing in letting go of the physical family that wants to stay under law, that is a Biblical principle that you need to guard because it’s you that is going to be judged at what you do and your choices. What they say doesn’t really matter. When you stand before the Lord, the Lord says depart from Me I never knew you, you’re still selfish. Verse 37, He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Just that little piece there tightens things up just a touch. If you love anyone more than God, then you’re in trouble. Jesus has to be number one in your life above anyone else. What happened to Adam and Eve? Adam loved Eve and he hung onto her and he followed her no matter what the Lord said. He didn’t follow what God told him to do. He gave in because she convinced him and the snake convinced her that we would be closer to God because we would know God in a greater light. Well they learned to know what satan had done, and they were in big trouble. Verse 38, And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. Not only do you not let the law in your family or in your own house affect you, but you must not let your flesh affect you so that you can be carried into a realm where nothing but Christ affects you. Then you’re saved. That’s why it says it’s a hard thing to be saved. Does that put a little bit of the fear of the Lord in you? We need to make sure that what God speaks to us to do is number one, and that’s what we’re going to do. Your spouse should allow you, if it’s not off the wall, to do what God has spoken to you to do. Verse 39, He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. The person that finds out what he likes to do and does it will lose his life. Verse 40, He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. After all of this, those that receive you under these conditions will also love Him. That’s the only way you’ll know. If they say, I think you’re crazy, don’t go any further because they’re not looking for God and don’t want God. But for those that become interested and want what you have, Jesus said they will receive Him too. Verse 41, He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple… A disciple is one that is still in school learning to know about God. It doesn’t have to be some powerful person, but someone that is just learning to know God does a kind deed for you, Jesus says they are doing it unto Him, because He’s in that person. …verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. Matthew 13:57, And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor… Whatever God has called you to be, and you are doing it, you are not going to lose your honor. …save in his own country, and in his own house. Are you getting the picture that Jesus wants you to be in an intimate relationship with Him above all else? And with Him in you, you will walk in great power. You need to get it in you that He is above all else, and everything else is fleshly, and running after a nightmare. Those in your own country and those in your own house may not honor you, but God says, I will. Mark 6:4, But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. He adds one more thing in this passage. He says your kin will not honor you either. Verse 5, And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching. He was surprised because of their unbelief.
Ephesians 2:1, And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; A trespass is doing God’s work when it’s not your work to be doing. Sin has to do with the laws of man. He quickened us when we were dead. Being dead is not having Christ in us. Verse 2, Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. A child of wrath is one that has the wrath of God on them. Those that are found without His Son in them, the wrath of God remains on them, that someday they will be destroyed. Before God pulled you out of the world and began to teach you that you could have life, at one time all of us were children of the wrath of God. Verse 4, But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Chapter two is devoted to being thankful that God has pulled us out of where we were at, thankful for what He’s done for us, that we might have the wrath of God removed from us and the love of God and His presence in us to dwell forever. He quickened us with Christ. If we are quickened with Christ it makes us one with Him. When we go anywhere in the world and they have Christ quickened in them and Christ is quickened in us we will know them as if we lived with them for years, because we operate out of the same spirit. Verse 6, And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. He’s raised us up together because we each have the same spirit in us that brings unity, so therefore the prince of peace has come in us to have peace upon the earth. That’s why He’s prince of peace. He brought the sword to divide all of those out that don’t want Him. We are living in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Verse 7, That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. When it’s all over and the wicked are destroyed, Christ and the Father and the Holy Spirit are our leaders, and God the Father is Lord over everything, and we are in Christ Jesus therefore we are sons and daughters unto Him. And we will live forever in that order. Throughout all the ages that we are together with Him, He will continue to show us things that are in His heart to do for His children that He loves. Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, that which God has planned for His children. When I began to read this and see, I wept and I mourned for all those that have no clue that this is the way it is, and that only a remnant will be saved. We’re going to be walking in heavenly wealth that we don’t even know of yet. But if we do God’s will, He will honor our labor on earth. Even though our country and our people and our family won’t, He will. We will live longer in God’s care than our family’s. Verse 8, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. His workmanship in you is the glory of the Father coming on you because what He does is a glorious thing. Verse 11, Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are call Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. To have Christ in you and to have that commonwealth where the wrath of God is removed from you and you are quickened in Christ Jesus for Him to live in you that you might be able to be quickened up into the heavenlies where He reigns. In my early days I didn’t think I could make it. I had no hope, but God knew my heart; that I wanted Him. Verse 13, But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. We need to die on the cross to join Christ. Our flesh needs to die on the cross to make us one with Him. Christ died to get rid of His flesh, because He had the promise that the Father gave Him that if He died on the cross He had the power to resurrect Himself because satan had no hold on Him. But if we die on the cross, Christ will resurrect us into Him in a new life that will bring us joy and delight. Verse 14, For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; How did He break down the wall between us? He came with a sword to divide. Verse 15, Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; There is no peace when there is enmity. He abolished in His flesh the inability to have peace and quietness in our heart and be one that isn’t anxious. He taught, don’t be anxious about anything. Well that’s not possible unless you come to this place of your flesh dying. When the flesh dies, your interest is far above money with the interest of having intimate fellowship with Jesus your Savior that has quickened you into heavenly places. We still have people having ordinances like Easter, Christmas, and other things that God never said to do. Just remember Christmas and Easter started with the foundation of pagan gods. If the word of God was the foundation there would be purpose. That’s the difference. Jesus said that when you give someone a gift, give it to those that can’t repay you so that He can pay you. Verse 16, And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby. Christ and I are one body. We are so much in peace that we have been reconciled. Verse 17, And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. This is a stumbling block to the seven spirits of God. Here it says through Him we have access by one Spirit unto the Father. I’ve been told, “no, God is one Spirit.” And He is when you have peace with Him and everything else is gone. But if you don’t have peace, you’re not one spirit with Him. Because of this the church, for the most part, doesn’t touch the seven eyes of God. It’s not a stumbling block if you follow the word of God. But God said, I’m going to conceal a lot of My things that I want to give you because you’re not ready to receive them, but you take one step at a time to come into that place. Verse 19, Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; When we come to that place of oneness with Christ, we’re no longer strangers and foreigners, but we are citizens of heaven. Verse 20, And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Ephesians 2 is one of the most powerful chapters in the Bible to know if you’re saved and on the right track. If you’re not on the right track you need to get there, because that’s the word of God.
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