THE ONLY REAL HOPE

Politicians rant about how they will fix health-care, drug addiction, the cost of education, minimum wage, gun control, etc. All the while they talk as if changing, or fixing, these things will bring real hope to people. The truth is it wouldn’t matter if someone did bring about all the changes they promise because real hope only comes from Jesus Christ.

In Jesus’s day He miraculously fed thousands of people so they attempted to make Him King by force. After all, who wouldn’t want a leader who could multiply food and end all fear of hunger? Jesus responded to their attempts by pulling away. It wasn’t His intention to be King of an earthly kingdom. In fact, after the crowd caught up to Him the next day, He scolded them saying, “You only follow me because I fed you.” Then He said, “Don’t work for food that perishes but rather work for food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you…” He then proclaimed, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me will not hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst.”

The fall of man rears its ugly head in many ways. One of the ways is politicians and voters thinking they can solve mankind’s wickedness by legislation. God understands only a new heart can fix mankind’s real problem and God Himself is the only one who can fulfill that kind of promise.

Of all the promises made by politicians, I think I’ll stick with the one God Himself made. He promises, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

Put your trust in Jesus and He will give you a new heart and His Spirit which is the only real way to transformation that leads to a real and lasting hope. A heart filled with the God who is love is the only real lasting solution to all of man’s troubles and the only real hope we have.

“Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27)

Advertisements

THE HEART OF THE MATTER

Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?”

Ezekiel 36:26-27 – “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

Jeremiah says, the heart is wicked but Ezekiel says God will give us a brand new one. So Christians can stop talking as though their heart is wicked because the very nature of being a Christian means we have a brand new heart and God’s very own Spirit within to “cause” us to do what He has for us to do.

In the New Covenant God says, “I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts…” (Jeremiah 31:33 & Hebrews 8:10)

Christ in you is the hope of glory! (Colossians 1:27).
Christ is your life! (Colossians 3:4).
You are a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

The real you, the you God made you to be “in Christ” wants what your Father, God wants. When a Christian moves over into selfishness and even sin, they are operating as someone they’re not! This is what the Apostle Paul discovered when he said, “If I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me” (Romans 7:20). So we see that Paul, the real Paul, who he is in Christ, wants to do what’s right but can find no ability in himself to do it so he finally sees there is someone else that is the real source of his sin problem.

In Ephesians 2:2 we find out fallen man’s real trouble is that he is being operated by “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working “in” the sons of disobedience.” In John’s first letter he names this spirit the “spirit of error” (1 John 4:6). He tells us the people of the world or, those without Christ have a “he” in them and we, Christians, have The “He” in us. So there is always someone else living in us. No matter what, we are never just “I” as if operating independently. We are always in union with another!

Now we come to the reason for the Cross. Jesus was made like us in that He was a flesh being, a vessel/temple, for the Spirit to live in. We know that He did this without fail, or sin, therefore He was the exact image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15&19) and He went to the Cross to die the death of us sinners (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus, as a vessel, took the “spirit of error” into Him, and died. Death separates spirit from body, so when He died and was buried, the disobedient spirit, the spirit of error, came out of Him. We too by faith have been crucified, buried and raised with Him in order for the disobedient; “spirit of error” to come out of us too! You “were” an “idol temple” but now you are the “Temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells in you” (1 Corinthians 3:16). Through our being co-crucified, buried and raised in Christ, we have been freed once and for all from the “spirit of error” the one operating in the sons of disobedience.

To summarize: through the Cross, God has removed your heart of stone, given you a new heart, given you God’s very own Holy Spirit in place of the spirit of error, forgiven you, made you righteous, transformed you from an idol temple into the temple of the Living God, made you into a brand new creature in Christ and restored to you the “hope of glory!”

THE NEW COVENANT PERFECTS THE WORSHIPER

According to Hebrews 10, the Old Covenant of animal sacrifices could NOT make the worshiper perfect. In fact, the animal sacrifices only served as a reminder of sins. If animal blood took away sins there would have been no need for Jesus to die.

The Good News is God has initiated a brand new way! The New Covenant is in Jesus’ blood and will not only bring forgiveness of sins but it will also cleanse your consciousness of sin (Hebrews 9:9 & 14).

God didn’t find fault with the Old Covenant rather the fault was in the worshipers inability to perform up to its perfect standard. Therefore God has given the New Covenant. In it we are told God Himself says, “I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts.”

In Ezekiel 36:26-27 God said, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”

The Apostle Paul put it this way, behold “the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man “PERFECT” in Christ (Colossians 1:26-28).”

Notice the goal is to “present every man “PERFECT” in Christ! Christ in you is the hope of glory! He in you has been God’s plan all along. He gave the first Covenant with no thoughts that it could “PERFECT” His people. In fact, it seems it was always and only a means to an end and not the end in itself. It was a prerequisite to condition and prepare Israel for its Messiah.

Once we see that Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection and ascension is enough, there is no need to look for anything else to finish the job of PERFECTING the worshiper.

Louie