Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Unity # 6: The Perseverance of the Saints

Unity # 6: The Perseverance of the Saints

Dear Father,
    Thank You that Your Son is the Author and Perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of Your throne. Thank You that as we consider Him who endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, we do not grow weary and lose heart, but rather lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles. Help us to run with endurance the race set before us as we fix our eyes on Your Son. May it be that one day you will say that we have persevered and endured for Your Name’s sake until the end.
In Jesus Christ’s Name,

Dear Beloved,

By a single offering our Savior has perfected for all time us who are being sanctified (Heb 10:14). We are being sanctified right now, all of us who are His chosen people, regenerated by the Spirit and Word. His call to us each day is to endure until the end. Jesus promised us that in the last days brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. He told us that we will be hated by all men because of His Name, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matt 10:21-22). If we do not endure in our faith, we will not be able to endure in the days when God deals with mankind in His fierce, righteous, and just anger against the wicked (Ez 22:14). Our goal is to have hearts that are as the good soil which hear the Word of God, accept and retain it, and bear fruit 30, 60, and 100-fold. He does not want us to fall away when trials, persecutions, and the deceitfulness and pleasures of the world come our way. (Mark 4)

As truly regenerated servants, we cannot remain the same. Rather, His Spirit of freedom transforms us into Image of the God with ever-increasing glory (2 Cor 3:17-18). This transformation is created by the Spirit, though we could not bring it about on our own, He works in us to will and to act according to this good purpose of His for our ongoing and certain transformation into His Image: SANCTIFICATION.

His Spirit continually convicts us of our sins; both willful and hidden sins are brought into the Light as we abide in Him. When we forsake His Law and do not walk in His judgments, when we violate His statutes, and do not keep His commandments, He punishes our transgressions with His Rod and our iniquity with stripes (floggings). Our Savior has been wounded, flogged, and crushed by His Father for our sakes, and the discipline which we endure is nothing compared to His infinite suffering for our sakes. We endure through His chosen types of discipline, because in them, God treats us as His own children. What beloved child is not disciplined by his Father? But if we are not being disciplined, we would be illegitimate children and not sons. Through His discipline, He does not break off His loving kindness from us, deal falsely in His faithfulness towards us, nor alter the utterance of His lips. For He has sworn long before by His own holiness, which never changes because He cannot lie, that the throne of David, that is, the throne of our Lord Christ, will endure forever like the sun and moon before Him. The witness in the sky is faithful. His discipline is for our good, and it is effective, because we have a perfect Father. The result of His discipline is that we share in His holiness, the same holiness that He swore by. All discipline seems sorrowful rather than joyful at the moment, but when we are trained by it, it yields a peaceful fruit of righteousness. And thus we are not continuing in sin, but we are being made into His Image. (Ps 89:30-37, Heb 12:7-11). We know that in our struggle against sin, no temptation has overtaken us but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that we will be able to endure it (1 Cor 10:13).  The love which He pours into our hearts by the Spirit bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things (1 Cor 13:7).
For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. I Peter 2:20
Paul wrote to the Thessalonian saints about the persecutions and afflictions that they endured. He said that these trials were a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that they would be considered worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which they were suffering. It is just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict us, and to give us relief when we are afflicted as well as when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire. At this time He will deal our retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not OBEY the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed. (I Thess 1:3-10)

11 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thess 1

Do we truly suffer as it has been appointed for us as followers of Christ? God has exhibited the apostles last of all as men condemned to death, a spectacle to the world, to both angels and men. They are fools for Christ’s sake, weak, without honor, hungry, thirsty, poorly clothed, roughly treated, homeless, toiling, and working with their own hands. When they are reviled, they bless. When they are persecuted, they endure. When they are slandered, they try to conciliate. They have become the scum of the world and the dregs of all things, even to this day. (I Cor 4:9-13) After we are enlightened through the Spirit, we endure a great conflict of sufferings, partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who are so treated. We ought to show sympathy to the prisoners and accept joyfully the seizure of our property, knowing that we have for ourselves a better possession and a lasting one. So, we should not throw away our confidence, which has a great reward. (Heb 10:32-35) Remember Moses who, by faith, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharoah’s daughter, but chose to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ to be greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward: Abraham’s Shield and very great Reward. By faith he left Egypt not fearing the wrath of the king, he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. (Heb 11: 24-27) But we are blessed when we persevere under trial, for when we are approved, we will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12).
Why do we persevere? We pay close attention to ourselves and what we speak, persevering in His Word, for as we do this we will ensure salvation for ourselves and our hearers (1 Tim 4:16). We endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the Gospel of Christ (1 Cor 9:12). We imitate one another as we endure and share in the sufferings of Christ. We endure all things FOR THE SAKE OF THOSE WHO ARE CHOSEN, so that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory (2 Tim 2:10)
10 As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the Name of the Lord. 11 We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful. James 5
Excellent Messages:
1.     What is the Gospel? by Paul Washer, 10 minutes
2.     Preaching Practical Holiness by John Piper
4.     The Doctrine of Man by Paul Washer
Praise: God helped Anand to give an excellent sermon (10/7) at Battleground Bible Church (his church in IN) on preaching the Gospel in the community.

Love in Christ,

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