Monday, February 04, 2013

There is One Lord

Eph.4: 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

If a person said they believed in polka dotted dragons, would you call that a legitimate faith? Why not? It is because they believe in something that does not exist. And so it is with spiritual faith. There is only one God, and He is not defined by what men believe. He was and is and always will be just Who He is.

The prevailing spirit within the church and across the world at large is one that has millions turning away from Christ. Even those who have professed His name and preached His message are not only softening, but many are preaching and teaching a different message altogether. It is a tale of sadness and woe, especially considering what the Christ has done for us all. I mean spiritual treason is not only the most dastardly sin of all, but it is heartbreaking as well. And to hear ordained men stand and speak lies about our wonderful Lord grieves the Spirit and should grieve our hearts as well.

But even in the midst of our grief we must stand tall and humble and continually proclaim our love and loyalty for Christ publicly and privately to His face. There is only one faith and only one Lord. This has always been the bedrock of truth and regardless of how wicked men attempt to manipulate it and expand its exclusive parameters let them all be liars and let God alone be true. This end time reality in which we live is seeing demonic activity flourish. But do not fear, God has triumphed in spite of what our eyes and ears try and tell us. The glorious end to an inglorious history is culminating for all who believe. And on that day it will be clear that it is God’s victory He shares with us and not ours. And all we who have tasted of His redemption can testify of His power and grace and love will be made partakers of His eternal kingdom.

And at the very heart of this faith is Jesus and the mystery of His sufferings. Please do not attempt to modernize those wounds with metaphorical applications about earthly self images or even overcoming personal troubles. People of all stripes have glowing reports of personal triumphs in the face of adverse circumstances which they accomplished without Jesus. Oh but these sufferings are much greater and much deeper than those. This is the open spectacle of God Himself suffering for the sins of the world. Even that description is a profound mystery, for not only are we incapable of comprehending God’s sufferings, but we are completely incapable of knowing the full weight of our sin. In fact, we seem completely incapable of fully understanding the meaning of sin itself except for a few antiseptic doctrinal definitions.

But within the mystery of the Incarnation came the mystery of divine suffering. Oh my, how can human lips provide any understanding worth its profound truth? God Himself hangs on those Roman planks, bloody beyond recognition and tortured even before He arrived at Golgotha, and now He writhes in agony. Many men have tasted the agony of human torture and pain, but this event captures infinitely more than that. This man, this God, is feeling, experiencing, and enduring the pain and punishment for sin. That is a profound mystery in and of itself.

Men know what bodily pain feels like. But who can tell us what pain feels like when it comes as a substitute, a punishment for sin, and more specifically, for the sin of others. I mean what can that feel like? Surely in the midst of human sufferings in the flesh the Lamb experienced the agony of spiritual pain as well. And let us ask ourselves this question: Just how much pain would a sinner have to endure in an eternal hell separated from God? Of course it is inconceivable and past knowing. So what kind of pain would Christ have endured to take on our entire punishment, and all in six hours? You see, how can we even pretend to know such sacred sufferings?

But even though our minds know the doctrinal specifics of the cross, we must never allow our hearts to remain aloof from the spiritual and emotional effects that must change our entire beings. We have too much dry eyed Christianity which presents a doctrinal thesis rather than broken hearts as proof of our love for our Redeemer. And instead of being compelled to enter into the fellowship of those sufferings we seem to gloss over them in favor of all sorts of earthly endeavors and battles. How can we complain about our circumstances when we have seen His blood and heard His groans and felt His pain? How can we dare suggest we do not deserve any persecution or derision or mocking when we have been to His cross and seen what He endured for us? And when we have been bathed in the mystery of His redemptive blood that gushed from those lacerations, how can we consider ourselves anything more than His humble and undeserving servants?

All the gospel narratives and all the specific events and all the word pictures culminate in one Lord and one faith. And herein lies the insidious plan that seeks to complicate the truth and appeal to the intellect and philosophical creativity of man. Instead of a pure and simple and yet utterly profound faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, man has constructed a new and more relevant faith which makes man the lord and Jesus his servant. In essence, God exists to aid in the happiness of man. But hidden from view by that lie is the eternal truth that man’s happiness can only truly be found in humble servanthood and worship of Jesus who is Lord. So instead of being served, we become servants, and in that can be found eternal happiness.

There is only one faith, and there is only one Lord. And in the Lord Jesus alone can be found eternal life and eternal happiness. And it is no coincidence that all who believe in Him will spend eternity with Him. Because even with all the heavenly accoutrements He alone is life. Heaven is no spiritual hotel which provides luxuries to all who come there. Heaven is His dwelling place and in His presence there is life everlasting. Yes, there is one Lord and everything centers around and through and in Him. Believe on Him and release the grave clothes of your own understanding and you will find a freedom which will never end.

There will come a day, and perhaps much sooner than anyone knows, when all creation will bow before Him and openly acknowledge that Jesus is Lord. And on that same day all who denied Him before will be cast away, while all who embraced Him will be ushered into an eternal reality about which the human mind has never dreamed.


Anonymous said...

"... while all who embraced Him will be ushered into an eternal reality about which the human mind has never dreamed."

And there will be a new heaven and a new earth more glorious than Eden where the Lord Jesus will reign in justice and peace and walk among us. We will be like Him with glorified bodies that no longer weep, endure pain, and die. And amazingly, we will have pure hearts free of sin at last.

Maran atha!

Anonymous said...

Jesus of Nazareth, as God's Lamb of atonement, so fully realized the horror of bearing the sins of the world and His concurrent separation from a holy God, His own Father, that He sweat drops of blood in agony over what lay ahead. Then He set His face like flint in an incomprehensible display of obedience and fulfilled His calling.

All for us. Stunning.

May we walk in a manner worthy of our calling.

michael said...

In this article you touch on some sense of the suffering Christ experienced beyond what He physically suffered. That brought to mind something I used to do when I was much younger in The Lord. I may do it again just to keep a keener focus on what awaits the unregenerate ?

I got this idea after watching a Dicovery Program on active volcanos. The photographer was in Hawaii filming underwater as the hot multant lava met the ocean off shore. It was just the time in my reading of scriptures where people go who die in their sins. Watching the mixture of hot lava with the ocean waters startled me and I got frightened and unsettled. So I decided that the next day I would go to the local gym and get into the hot steam sauna turn it up as high as it would go and sit in there just as long as I could before I could not endure it any longer thinking being doomed to an eternity in hell was far worse and with no relief from such agony upon their soul.

Sometimes life in the world is unforgivably brutal, even when suffering the effects of nature. Nothing in this life can stand a chance when thinking about those even now in hell wailing gnashing their teeth all the while cursing Our God who promised:

Rev.21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
5 And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."
6 And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.
7 The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

Cherie c. said...

What do you do Pastor when you know brothers and sisters in the Lord have one accord as the Scripture you wrote, but then it is different in other areas? Once says the abomination of desolation will happen within the believer because our bodies are the temple of God. One says that a temple will be built in Jerusalem and the abomination of desolation will occur there, and at this point I see how Scripture backs up both theories. Both can't be right, can they? God's Word is literal and Spiritual, right? Or does this not matter at all?

My son asked me this evening why didn't an all powerful God not just stop everything and start all over again. My younger son, when I asked him what he thought about what his brother asked, he simply said because God loves us. The Spirit quickly reminded me of Scripture which talks about God knowing us before we were in our mother's womb. That is why the trouble to continue things as they are, but also because God does things for His pleasure (Isaiah 46). I am so sad about the thought of my son suffering for eternity that I sometimes just want to cry and cry. Then I feel like a traitor to Jesus because He said, "If you love your son or daughter more than me....." I just wish all would come to repentance and a saving knowledge of Jesus. Gotta go, getting very upset. May God Bless all here.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Rick Frueh said...

Prophecy is the least exact Biblical science. It usually should not be a cause for breaking fellowship. Whateven will happen cannot be changed. It will happen.

Anonymous said...

Cherie, I will pray for your son. The Lord gave him to you and gave you your mother's heart to help you intercede for him. We can take encouragement remembering that the Lord takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but desires that he would come to repentance and live. God desires all men everywhere to be saved; grace and the Holy Spirit are acting on him.

Don't fret about prophecy; no one knows for sure yet; there is truth in various opinions; no reason to break fellowship. Let's just stay close and listening to our Shepherd.
Love to you,

Anonymous said...

Cherie, I hear your heart's cry for your sons. Continuing in prayer for you all.

I know little about prophecy for our age/generation. Dwelling on it tends to get me distracted from living for Jesus one day at a time.

It's helpful, though, in reading Matt. 24, particularly the first 34 verses, to consider Jesus' ministry in His age/generation under the oppression of the vast and unspeakably evil Roman empire. In Matt.23:37-38 He mourns over the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. He goes on to tell his disciples that they would see "the abomination of desolation" or "the sacrilege that desolates" in their generation. (24:34) It would be a sign to them that the end times were merely beginning. (24:8) Sure enough, in 70 AD (their generation, historical fact) the Romans wreaked destruction on Jerusalem and desecrated the temple, tearing it down stone by stone. The Jews were desolate that Gods' holy dwelling place on earth (as they believed it to be) had been torn down by pagans again.

The temple has never been rebuilt. That, too, is a sign. Because, as you know, the Holy Spirit indwells each follower of Jesus. WE are now the temple, God's holy dwelling places on earth. Gives me shivers to think about it.

Certainly this is not a complete explanation since prophecy in Scripture is mysterious and multi-layered, very open to conjecture. I offer this as a starting place and hope it's somehow useful to you.

Kim K.

Reine Gnade said...

Be very encouraged Cherie, for Jesus has blessed you with a vibrant love for your sons and as you trust and obey Him more He will increase your love not only for Himself but also for them! It is God's blessing to you. His perfect will for you is to imput wisely into your childrens' lives. Banish any thoughts of being a traitor. Focus instead on praising and thanking the LORD for the opportunity to fight against Satan and his army of unclean evil spirits on behalf of your sons.

Cherie c. said...

Reine, Kim K. and Victoria,

I learn so much from you all. God is so great! He has blessed me with you. I hope I can be a blessing to you when you need it someday.

I will not focus on the worry and focus on the Lord. Pastor, we have a great body of Christ on this blog. Thank you for the time it takes to minister, and teach. Praise God, and Glory is all His!

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Reine Gnade said...

http://idrawanimals.wordpress.comou are, Cherie!

Truly we are privileged to learn from, thank, praise, worship and serve a living, personal, relational, good, gracious, merciful, forgiving, compassionate and loving LORD!
Courageous and compassionate Jesus, the risen Jesus, is LORD!

Cherie c. said...

Nice blog Reine.

Cherie c.

Reine Gnade said...

Thank you Cherie. Somehow my note to you got "eaten up"! Here are two other picture websites that I just loved having the privilege with God's teaching, blessing and strength to offer to readers.

Keep enjoying your studies in the book of Hebrews. What a book it is! And thank you for always sharing with us from a heart desiring to bless us all!