Dedicated to the Glory of God Amighty and the Lord Jesus Christ

Dedicated to the Glory of God Almighty and the Lord Jesus Christ


Monday, June 25, 2012

ALIGN YOUR HEART WITH THE HEART OF GOD

The miracle of conversion frees us from any and every religious system. The distinctive mark of the new faith is not a set of rules, lists of requirements to maintain, or even special words to say every day. The miracle is that Christianity is simply a man or woman who has been granted a relationship with the exalted Christ. This relationship we are vigorously to pursue and develop by seeking the things above. 

When we seek the things above, we begin to live holy lives. Holy living is one of the results of being raised with Christ. One of the practical implications of being raised with Christ is that believers have no private life of their own. Your life is the life of Christ. Your life no longer belongs to you. And God gives to you everything you need to live a life that is aligned with His.
Do you know what it means to align your heart with God’s heart? It’s very simple: your interests must be His interests. It’s true because we as believers have already been resurrected in Christ.
 
Whoa! “Do you mean to tell me, Pastor Ken, that the resurrection has already happened? I thought that was in the future!” Yes and no. There is a resurrection of our physical bodies that is still to come. But Christ has already been raised from the dead. And if you are in Christ, you should be sharing in that resurrected life right now! Check out Romans 6:4, We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. Paul is talking about being united in Christ. Salvation throughout the Bible is about grace through faith alone. It’s never about DOING SOMETHING to get God’s favor. Baptism is significant. No, it’s not necessary for our salvation, BUT it is a big deal! It’s not a sacrament, but baptism is not merely a symbol either. If a person is baptized on the basis of a real experience of conversion, it will be both a confession and a commitment.
 
Before Jesus returned to heaven, He told His disciples, “Go make disciples…teach them everything I told you…baptize them.” There’s a reason He chose baptism. Baptism is the perfect physical picture of the spiritual reality that takes place when someone moves from being IN ADAM to being IN CHRIST. You do not have to be baptized in order to have salvation. That would make it like you did something to get it or earn it. But baptism gives you a way to identify with the Lord Jesus in a significant and meaningful way.

When we trust Christ, nothing happens to our bodies. We are still the same. We look the same. We don’t get slimmer or taller or even better looking! We are the same physical person we were before we became believers. But baptism gives us the opportunity to show what has happened on the inside. There’s a picture of laying them back into the grave. It’s a picture of death. Bringing the person out of the water (the grave) shows the picture of brand new life. It’s God’s life in us! Baptism is the perfect physical picture of that spiritual reality. Baptism gives us the opportunity to declare that clean break with the past and the beginning of the new.
 
But here’s the question: what happens to that sin in us? What happens to that sin that enslaved us before we were in Christ? This is the good news! This is what sets Christianity apart from every other man-made religion. Christianity is not about making you a better person. It is not about an upgrade. It is not a slight improvement. Christianity is a death of the old life and a birth to the new life.
 
Christianity does not make you a better person. Christianity makes you a brand new person.

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