Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Sunday, February 19, 2012

God's Indwelling is the "Pearl of Greatest Price"

Dear Father,
We glorify Your Name for You have chosen to dwell in Your people through the Holy Spirit. You have purified us by the Blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ, so that You could live in us. Please help us to fully comprehend Your indwelling in us.
In Jesus Christ's Name,

45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. Matt 13


     At the beginning of our Spiritual journey, we found that our mortal bodies were defiled and corrupted. We had all come from a different path of godlessness. Some were classified as godless by their own choices of immorality. Some were made to be defiled by the corruption of others. We were all sinful from the time of conception. Even our mortal flesh was disgraceful and the very inmost parts of our being were drenched in moral filth of every kind. Surely our deceptive hearts had hidden this truth from us so that we did not see our own unrighteousness.

12 those who are pure in their own eyes
and yet are not cleansed of their filth; Prov 30

     Many of our godless attitudes were a result of our inward attempt to hide our shame and defilement. But we only became more corrupted. Our guilt was ever increasing with our hearts' contemplation and words.

Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.Surely You desire truth in the inner parts; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Ps 51:5-6

     Our bodies were unclean and there was no hope of coming near to the Presence of the Living God. Our souls cried out in fear for the "rocks to cover us" rather than to fall under the due condemnation of God the Father. We were far from Him for He could not look upon our wickedness in His holiness.

13a Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
You cannot tolerate wrong. Hab 1

     The God whom we so earnestly dreaded and needed for our salvation is righteous and holy in all of His ways. He alone dwells in inapproachable light. His temple is filled with glory, majesty and power. Countless heavenly beings worship before His throne day and night crying out "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty. The whole earth is full of His glory". Not one man could stand before Him in his sin and live.

     His perfect justice required that we be completely destroyed. For our very bodies which He had created to be the temple for His own Spirit were destroyed. We had destroyed them. We had deliberately rejected His laws and hopelessly destroyed the bodies that He had given us by our impurity. If we were to foresee our deserved destiny, our eyes would behold the complete destruction of our bodies and the torment of our souls in the place from which no one can escape...separation from God forever in hell. We would behold the destruction of the inmost parts of our bodies in the fire. Surely the beast and all who worship him will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The Pearl: His Indwelling

     From the very beginning, He has chosen the members of His Bride to be consecrated and set apart to proclaim His praises and bring Him glory. He adopted as sons and daughters, men and women from every nation, language, people, and tribe. He consecrated them to be a Kingdom and Priesthood to serve the Living God.

Even the bodies of these chosen ones were not fit to be inhabited by the Living God.

     We know that our Father has provided the way for our purification. For the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, has made atonement for our impurity. The Living Water has cleansed us daily from our moral filth. Unless we let the Master wash our feet, we have no part in Him.

To prepare us for His indwelling, He poured out His Spirit on His sons and daughters.

The Work of the Spirit

     The growth of the Kingdom of God occurs through the work of His own Holy Spirit whom He sent as the Counselor, the Convicter, and the Comforter. His Kingdom grows only through the work of the Spirit. And the work of the Holy Spirit is precisely to build the Kingdom of God among His people. God wants us to understand the work of His Spirit. He wants us to have discernment to know what is the work of the Spirit and what comes from the flesh, the world, and the evil spirits present around us.

8 When He [the Holy Spirit] comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in Me [Jesus Christ] ; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see Me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. John 16

Jesus is clearly telling us how to distinguish the work of the Spirit which is to convict the world of guilt in regard to:

1. sin, because men do not believe in Jesus
     Since men did not believe in Jesus, who is the revelation of the perfection of the Father, they could not see their own sin. They did not know that their ways were evil. They tolerated perversion and impurity because their eyes were not yet opened to see how short they had fallen from the glory of God. The Holy Spirit convicted the people of the world of sin. He opened their eyes to see that they had "missed the mark". Until the people of the world believe and receive Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior, their guilt consumes them and culminates in their deep fear of death and judgment. In their blindness, some did not even acknowledge that their every breath was filled with fear and hatred towards God.

2. righteousness, because Jesus went to the Father, where we could see Him no longer
     After Jesus arose from the dead, was seen by His disciples and many others, and ascended into heaven, we could not see this God-man. We could not see the perfection of God in this man Jesus. The Holy Spirit was sent to reveal the righteousness of the Father shown through Jesus Christ. He shows us the grace and mercy, love and forgiveness, justice and power, authority and Sovereignty of the Father in heaven. Indeed we had no eyes to see this glory of the Father apart from the Holy Spirit's work. The Spirit opens the eyes of men to behold and acknowledge God and to give Him glory.

3. judgement, because the prince of this world now stands condemned
     Though in our former wickedness, we did not contemplate or understand our deserved eternal destiny of judgment and separation from God, the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of men to see the true and right judgment of God for their deeds. We could not have perceived it apart from Him. But for us who are in Him, the judgment of God against His enemies means victory and salvation. For God's enemies are those evil forces that had deceived us: Satan, demons, death, Hades, sin itself. If we had not understood that the prince of this world is condemned, even the elect would be deceived into worshiping Mammon and the lusts and pleasures of this world. But the Holy Spirit has opened the eyes of the Bride to see the eternal fate of the world and all who live according to its principles. With the Holy Spirit's given knowledge of the outcome of the prince of the world, the Bride puts her faith in the eternal living God who has saved her by His own Life in Christ. Her understanding of God's judgment gives her power and victory over her flesh.

Where is the work of the Spirit? His work is wherever we see the conviction of guilt in the human soul with regard to sin, righteousness, and judgment. Look around, dear Bride, where do you see the Spirit working?

The Spirit's Purging of our Bodies

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. I Cor 3

     The Spirit has come and circumcised the hearts of God's people through the work described above that their souls may be forever clothed in the righteousness of Christ. He has worked the message of the Gospel into the hearts of His people and cleaned them. He has entered into our bodies, even to our inmost parts, and cleansed each part by the fire of the Word of God spoken to us and the Water of Cleansing: the "washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit".

     Let us consider those defiled, contaminated, impure parts of our bodies before the Spirit had cleansed us. Was there even one of us who would call themself free from the prostitution of heart that came from our moral blindness? Could even a virgin by name be called a virgin? Could even those who the world viewed as righteous be anything other than a filthy dwelling place for the holy God? And yet, the living God has chosen to purify us through His own Spirit!

     Jesus has undergone the baptism of the cross, whereby our moral filth and impurity was placed on Him. Surely death could not hold Him down and the Father has raised Him to life so that we all may live in Him and so that He will live in us.

6 While the man was standing beside me, I heard someone speaking to me from inside the temple.7 He said: “Son of man, this is the place of My Throne and the place for the Soles of My Feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever. The house of Israel will never again defile My holy Name—neither they nor their kings—by their prostitution and the lifeless idols of their kings at their high places. Ez 43

God's temple is the place where He chooses to dwell. God has chosen to live in the bodies of His people individually and collectively.

16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.”

17 “Therefore come out from them
and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you,
and you will be My sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Cor 6

     God is calling us as His Bride to purify ourselves from "everything that contaminates our mind and body, perfecting holiness out of reference for God". Let us think of those defiled parts of our bodies, and remember that we have been cleansed and washed. Now the Holy Spirit dwells in our bodies. He has chosen to make our bodies as His dwelling place. He is intimately close to us for the Father's lavished love is so very great!

     We have grieved Him so very often by allowing the satisfaction of the flesh rather than "humbly accepting the Word planted in us which can save us". He is calling us to pursue Him, the Pearl of Greatest Price, and to forcefully and zealously put the world aside and pursue the indwelling of God in us and among His people, His temple.

20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 Tim 2

His Blessing of Life to our Mortal Bodies

     The flesh of the mortal body is fading and will soon be laid aside. And yet through the Spirit, our mortal bodies are given life. We are no longer subject to the slavery to the flesh. Apart from God, humanists have classified men as being controlled exclusively by their fleshly desire for pleasure, physical survival, and reproduction. But the Spiritual man is not subject to such slaveries of the flesh. Rather the Spiritual man is given power to control his flesh and to use His flesh to acquire heavenly prosperity. A Spiritual nobility enters into even his countenance and physical frame. This nobility is a result of the physical body's subjection to the Living spirit of the man walking in faith and love...walking by the Spirit.

     When we pursue the Pearl of greatest price, we find Jesus. As we walk and live in love as Jesus did through faith, the indwelling Spirit leads and guides us, and we are no longer slaves to the mortal flesh. Your flesh is a slave to you as you walk in His Spirit. In this way, you were made in the image of God and not the other living creatures.

9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.Rom 8

The Spirit's Revelation of Oneness Among His People

    As you live by His Spirit who lives in you, you will be transformed to see the Bride of Christ with heavenly eyes. All of those fading aspects will become dim and you will see with Spiritual eyes the Bride of Christ. And you will see her as your very self. When you see the Spirit working in the souls of those around you, you will know that the Bride truly is one and the Spirit's work in her will resonate with your being. You will start to pursue God on behalf of your own good as well as the good of the Bride. You will worship God and plead with God for your own Spiritual victory, advance, and sustenance. In the same manner you will make these pleas for the Bride of Christ throughout the world. She is alive and she is growing and changing. She is being made pure and holy in Christ. You are a part of her and we are not apart from you.

I’ve found the Pearl of greatest price,
My heart doth sing for joy;
And sing I must, for Christ is mine;
Christ shall my song employ.

Christ is my Prophet, Priest and King;
A Prophet full of light,
My great High Priest before the throne,
My King of heav’nly might.

For He indeed is Lord of lords,
And He the King of kings;
He is the Sun of righteousness,
With healing in His wings.

Christ is my Peace; He died for me,
For me He gave His blood;
And as my wondrous Sacrifice,
Offered Himself to God.

Christ Jesus is my All in all,
My Comfort and my Love,
My Life below, and He shall be
My Joy and Crown above.

author: John Mason, 1683

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