Series: The True Image Restored
Sun am 12 February 2012 – Kobus Swart
Heb. 10:14; Rom. 8: 15-17; 2 Cor. 7:1; Eph. 4:23-24; 1 Cor. 15:31; Gal. 2:19-20; Gal. 1:15-16;
(2 Cor. 5:16)
Transformation only takes place when the Word penetrates our inner spirit-man. When God looks at us, He only sees us through the finished works of His Son. So when I make a mistake, miss the mark or do something that really grieves God, does He suddenly stop loving me? No. God’s love is unconditional; it is not based on what you or I do. We can never earn God’s love. Whatever you do, God’s love never changes. God’s love is instant; otherwise there would be something wrong with the finished works. Repentance means to change the way I think. When my thinking has changed about who I really am, I will bear the fruit of repentance. He who continues willfully to sin once he has received the knowledge of the truth, is playing with fire. That means you have not come to the place where it has changed your mind and your activity and lifestyle. Before that changes God has already forgiven you. He has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Heb. 10:14).
When we talk about “Christ in me, the hope of glory”, we might still see two persons. You see Christ and you see yourself. That is an obstacle. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs (joint heirs) with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him (Rom. 8:15-17). The word “with” denotes “a union closer than an association or companionship, but it is a resemblance, a possession and completeness.”(Strong’s). We are fellow heirs with Him so it takes away the separateness or distance. The two have become one.
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Cor. 7:1). Perfecting holiness means we have never been without it. Perfecting means it is there, but it must be perfected. This is (with all my short-comings!) not saying anything about legalism or earning God’s love. God loves you the way you are, but He loves you too much to leave you that way. He wants us to be perfected in holiness. The Message Bible says, With promises like this to pull us on, dear friends, let’s make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let’s make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God (2 Cor. 7:1). This is where our young people must listen. Make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts you. …and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, andput on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth (Eph. 4:23-24). A life must be renewed from the inside, working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces His character in you (Message Bible).
Paul said, “I die daily” (1 Cor. 15:31), if Paul said that, what about you and me? For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh ( I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Gal.2:19-20). Who is living now? Who is God seeing when He looks at us? Does He see you or Christ? He doesn’t see two people. The life I now live in the flesh, I live Him as me. Can we come to this conclusion that is it Christ in me, as me. If we can grasp this, it will change our view on eschatology. Pull off your religious mask, there has to be a new acceptance of me. Remember I die daily. The carnal ego being dead on the cross; and you better keep him there. Unless we get this simple truth, we will not move forward. Unless we learn to silence this active mind and give room and space for the spirit man to emerge; unless we learn that we will remain trapped. You only learn these things by practicing them. Most Christians have not made peace with the fact that they have to become quiet, dial out distractions and connect with God in a very special way. Unless we practice that we will never learn to be led by the Spirit of God on a daily basis.
If I cannot accept myself, I restrict Christ from becoming Himself in me. We will not move beyond this point unless we apply these truths. Unless we begin to seriously connect with God, He whose image is within, whose Spirit is in me and in you, unless we connect on a new, fresh plain with Him, we will not advance spiritually like we should. We will be held on this level.
God has accepted you, so now please accept yourself!
But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, (Gal. 1:15-16). Paul was not born a good Christian, he was killing Christians, but God accepted him from his mother’s womb. The same applies to you. There is a calling; He is pleased to reveal His Son in me. Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem (Gal. 1:17-18). God wants to reveal this truth to the non-Christian, and the Church has selfishly taken copyright. We call them “outsiders” and we call ourselves “insiders” and we delay God’s plan of salvation. God gave to Paul (not the ascension apostles) the revelation of who the Christ was. The ascension apostles were stuck in the revelation of Jesus of Nazareth. Paul saw beyond. Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer (2 Cor. 5:16). This revelation is going to be at the heart of the successful ministry of reconciliation.