Friday, December 10, 2010

The Purifying Effects of Our Hope in our Future Glory

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise...when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation - but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, "Abba,  Father."  Now if we are children, then we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.  I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed....Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved  But hope that is seen is no hope at all.  Who hopes for what he already has?....But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.  For in Christ Jesus neither [following the law] or [not following the law] has any value.  The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Are you suffering?  Are you suffering the effects of sin either from within or without?  We see sin in our own hearts and lives and we feel the sin from those around us that hurt us or discourage us.  These verses from Galatians and Romans remind us that our current sufferings are only temporary, and are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  Did you know that the glory of Christ will be revealed in you?  Does your heart and soul groan under the burden of sin?  Does your spirit groan within you, begging God to remove sin from your life and from your heart?  Be reminded and encouraged that by faith we eagerly await, through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.  We will receive a future glory, we will be transformed into the image and conformed to the likeness of Christ.  Right now our chains are gone, but then our sin will be gone!!  Hallelujah, what a savior!  What a promise.  What a redemption.  We were bought from slavery, we were set free from death and the grasp of sin, and one day we will be brought into perfection.

So be encouraged, keep fighting sin because yours is the victory in Christ Jesus.  Walk in the Spirit, putting to death the misdeeds of the body.  Commune with God in prayer, eagerly expecting and awaiting the glory that is to be yours.  In the words of John "I write this to you so that you will not sin, but when you do sin we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense - Jesus Christ the Righteous One.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins...We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands."  And he goes on to say "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known.  But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.  Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure."

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