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Posts Tagged ‘children of God’

PART 1

Christians talk about rising above normal culture and into holy living. Holy literally means ‘set apart’; we are to be set apart from the average human and live to glorify our maker. But one of the biggest issues with today’s Christians teens in that we don’t know what or how to do that. We assume going to church and being a nice person is enough and that makes us a good Christian. Right? Wrong.

Terms and labels don’t define us; we define our terms and labels.

Let’s take Jesus as an example. He was the Son of God, the perfect man. But that was not just something someone labeled Him, He didn’t just say ‘this is what I am’ his life said it. In that time period a ‘good’ Christian was labeled as someone who obeyed the priests, went to all the services and took part in the rituals. They didn’t hang out with ‘sinners’ nor did they make friends with Gentiles or Samaritans. They tried to make a set of standards and boundaries that qualified them as Christians. But that just isn’t possible.

Why? Because they were man-made rules and religion and Jesus defied them.

Did He do it out of resentment? No.

Here’s the point:

You cannot make yourself anymore of a Christian than you already are.

Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved ( delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).
Ephesians 2:4-6

See, we cannot save ourselves, that is why Jesus came, so what makes us think that we can become ‘more of’ a Christian than we already are? If we can’t earn our salvation and we can’t become more than we already are… why do we even try to ‘do hard things’? Why do we set ourselves apart from everyone else and set higher standards then there already are? Why shouldn’t being a ‘good person’ good enough for us?

To understand this we must first understand WHO WE ARE.

John 3:3-5

The Message (MSG)

 3Jesus said, “You’re absolutely right. Take it from me: Unless a person is born from above, it’s not possible to see what I’m pointing to—to God’s kingdom.”

 4“How can anyone,” said Nicodemus, “be born who has already been born and grown up? You can’t re-enter your mother’s womb and be born again. What are you saying with this ‘born-from-above’ talk?”

 5-6Jesus said, “You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit.

Once we asked Jesus to come into our hearts and we are saved. We are made new. All of our old stains and past in washed away from God’s book and we are now His children.

Romans 5

 1-2By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

 3-5There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

 6-8Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

 9-11Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life! Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!

So now that we are His children, we have a calling.

In Revelation 5 they say this about Jesus:

“Paying in blood, you bought men and women,
Bought them back from all over the earth,
Bought them back for God.
Then you made them a Kingdom, Priests for our God,
Priest-kings to rule over the earth.”

Remember. We were once perfect. We were created in the image of God Himself. You know how the Romans thought their leaders held the blood of the gods in their veins? Half human, half god? Well, in one sense they were right. They just didn’t know who God was.

Adam and Eve sinned we lost that, but Jesus came and got it back for us. Now we are serving Him and he has appointed us to be Priests for our God, Priest-kings to rule over the earth. By becoming his children we literally accept this. It’s a blessing, pretty awesome if you think about it, but it is also a challenge.

How do we ‘rule over the earth’?

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“Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
if we endure,
we will also reign with him.
If we disown him,
he will also disown us;
if we are faithless,
he will remain faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.”

-2 Timothy 2:11-13 (NIV)

It’s amazing how when we lack faith or can’t understand what God is trying to do and we stray, he’s still there, for he will not let us go. We are like sheep and he the shepherd. When we stray and run-off he searches and calls for us, never abandoning or forgetting us. He’s such an awesome God – that we have and serve.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.”

-1 John 3:1-3 (NIV)

We are called the Children of God, as our Father above calls us. As the world has evolved – to say- it has turned away from Christ, in fact the people of the modern day world despise Christians. They do not truly know us, because they don’t want to know a God who created us, for the portrayal we show is important on how people view God nowadays, in which we must be mindful of our actions. Even though what people think of our God isn’t true at all. When God comes to set us free from the sin-marred world, we will recognize him within less than a split second and we will be like him; pure.

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