'He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.'
1 Corinthians Chapter 1 Verses 30 & 31
Manís chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. The only way that we can glorify God is to obey His command and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour. A manís life must be Christ centred and no self-centred. We must not glory in ourselves or in our church, but in Christ Himself.
Christ is the source of all our blessings; they all stem from Him. Godís Sovereign Will brings us into union with Christ. Christians are found to be "in Him". How do we come to be "in Him?"
When Adam was created he had no sin, therefore any need of a Saviour. He knew perfect communion with God and he bore His image. The moment Adam fell, he lost both the communion with God and also His image. He died spiritually that very moment and became carnally minded.
From the fall, all mankind have been conceived in guiltiness and sin. We are born sinners and under Godís wrath and curse. We are dead in trespasses and sin and we are heading for a lost eternity!
Those whom the Spirit of God quickens to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are said to be "born again". In other words those, who like the first Adam born spiritually dead are born again by the power of the Spirit and become spiritually alive.
When the spirit of God begins a good work in a person a number of changes take place. The person concerned is awakened to realise that they have actually sinned against a Holy God. Their consciences become acute and tender, sensing errors by the score. They become aware of the fact that they are under Godís law. The Bible becomes the Word of life to them. They find out that all the threatening of Godís law apply to them. They become aware of the reality of eternity and the day of judgement. More often than not the first thing that they try to do is to amend their ways and they try to please God and thereby appease their searing consciences. They see clearly their state of sin and misery and conclude that there is no hope for them. They are lost and undone and God is Just.
It is only when we surrender all hope of being saved through our own good works that we turn to God and plead for mercy. God alone has the answers to all our questions.
God is merciful and gracious and slow to wrath. He has a way of salvation planned and ready; awaiting any anxious inquirer. The sinnersí sin must be punished and God Himself provides the sacrifice. The Bible tells us that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. Blood must be shed!
God sacrifices His own Son Jesus on the cross at Calvary for sinners like you and me. The Lord leads us to the foot of that cross where we clearly see our Substitute. We see Jesus taking Godís punishment for us. It was our sins that put Jesus to the cross, where He died in order that we may live. There he opened a way unto God for sinners. The moment that we believe Christ died for us, we are justified in the sight of God. Christ begins to reign in our hearts.
How is Christ made unto us wisdom? Does it mean that we become as wise as God? To the world, Christ is foolishness, but unto us who believe, He is the wisdom of God. Christ crucified was a stumbling block to the Jews and still is. They had expected their Messiah to be a great temporal Prince. They could never own one of such low esteem, mean in His appearance. They could not have a Messiah pronounced cursed, who hung on a tree like a common criminal. To the Greeks he was foolishness. These learned men had cultivated the arts and the sciences for through many ages and they considered themselves authorities on wisdom. They saw this man nailed to the tree along with two other criminals. They saw a man who called Himself the Saviour of sinners, yet He could not save Himself. In the end they saw this man die!
Godís wisdom was Christ crucified. This would be preached to rich and poor, high and low. Whoever believed would be saved. When we believe, we accept Godís wisdom. The world count us as fools, they laugh us to scorn yet in the eyes of God we are precious.
Scripture states that to fear God is the beginning of wisdom. Whom do you fear? If you fear man the natural reaction is to run from him! Those who fear God do not run from Him, but to Him. To fear God is to hate evil. Men loved darkness rather than light, however the child of God loves light.
How is Christ made unto us righteousness? How can man be right with God? When we have nothing but sin to offer God, how then can we possibly be right with God? Jehovah Tsidkenu; the Lord our Righteousness is the answer. Christ is our plea and the ground of our acceptance. He made Him to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. God took our sin and laid it upon the sin bearer, Christ. Our sin was imputed to Him and His righteousness is imputed to us. God justifies the sinner who believes. Our righteousness is seated at the right hand of God in heaven. If we are in Christ, we are as just before God on earth as we shall be in glory! All our faults, failings and weaknesses cannot change that condition anymore than an immutable God is able to change.
In Christ we are free. It is God that justifies, we cannot justify ourselves. Justification does not mean to make righteous. Or good, or holy, or upright. When a judge pardons a person he does not make that person good or upright, he simply declares that person to be not guilty of the accusations against him. When God justifies the sinner, He does not make him upright, He simple declares him to be righteous when he is not.
The righteousness that we receive is not a human righteousness, nor is it the righteousness of the law; it is a divine righteousness. Nothing else would or could satisfy a Holy God. What a comfort to the Christian. No matter his feelings or failings he is right with God.
Can you see now the beauty in Christ? Can you see why we cannot but speak of Him? He is worthy of all praise, glory, honour and power.
How is Christ our sanctification? If justification means us in Christ then sanctification means Christ in us. Once our standing before god is made right, God then begins to make our condition right. He sanctifies us daily through Christ in us. He works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure. Often sanctification is done through fire and water, through trials and tribulation. Christ sits as the refiner, purging and purifying the silver and gold in order that He may present us before the Father where our condition matches our standing. The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness. Christ enables us to mortify the deeds of the body, reigning Himself in our hearts so that sin does no longer have dominion over us.
Christ our Redemption. As a result of sin; death divides the soul from the body. This would never have happened had it not been for the fall. When body and soul are reunited we shall be perfectly whole. At death the soul goes to be with Christ while the body returns to the dust. The bodies of believers are still united to Christ even in the grave. On the day of judgement, our bodies shall rise and join our souls with the Lord in the air. Our redemption will be complete.
God calls us; God regenerates us; God justifies us; God sanctifies us and God adopts us. The only thing that God cannot do for us is He cannot believe for us!