Tag Archive for Obedience

In Communion with God

Communion or fellowship is the act of sharing: it is the condition of things held in common with others. God’s desire for humanity is that they can share with Him, His divine nature.
From the creation of Man God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness,” so God created man in His own image. In the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:26, 27).
Unfortunately, the fellowship became tainted because of sin, and man became separated from God (Isaiah 59:1- 2; Rom. 3: 23).
But because of the great love with which He loved us, It pleased the Father to bruise His only begotten Son by whom all things were created, and in whom all things consist, to put Him to grief, by making His soul an offering for sin, so that the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. (Eph. 2:4; Isa. 53:10-11; Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:15-17).
And now, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these, He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires”(2 Pet.1:3-4).
However, for man to have communion or fellowship with God the Father, four (4) things are of paramount importance. They form the prerequisites for communion with God, and the medium by which we share the life of God.
Now the four prerequisites are:-
1. Reconciliation.
To renew the relationship man had with God before the fall of man. A huge sacrifice had to be made to pay the wages of sin, which is death. God in His manifold wisdom and love for humanity, sent His Son in the form of sinful flesh, on account of sin, so as to condemn sin in the flesh, knowing that His death was sufficient to pay for all humanity’s sins, and reconciled them to Himself.(2 Cor. 5:14-15, Heb. 2:14-15; Rom. 8:1-4).
God reconciled humanity to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing or reckoning their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-19).
We then have both the ministry and the word of reconciliation.
The ministry of reconciliation is, “The act of service by which we are reconciled to God.” The actual sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, and the actual partaking of the bread and wine which Christ left to represent His broken body, and His shed blood. According to the Apostle Paul, “I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion (fellowship) of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many, are one body; for we all partake of that one bread” (1 Cor. 10:15-17).
It is the ministry or service of reconciliation that reconciles and unites the body of Christ which is the church as one.
And this communion or fellowship of the saints is also with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1:3).
The word of reconciliation is the word Jesus spoke to His disciples saying, “I tell you the truth, unless you can eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is real food, and My blood is real drink. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him” (John 6:53-56).
And so the night before He was crucified, He took Bread, gave thanks, and broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matt. 26: 26-28).
On Christ’s behalf, we implore you to be reconciled to God, because God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).

2. Acceptance of Jesus Christ and believing in Him

Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
There is a practical application to this saying, and Jesus Christ is the one and only Mediator between God and man. He was taken from among men, and appointed as High Priest to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins (Hebrews 2:5, 5:1; 8:3).
It is stated quite categorically that, if we say that we have no sin, or have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word and truth have no place in our lives. But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8, 10).

Our boldness and confidence to enter the Most Holy Place is only by:-
a. The blood of Christ, His life, in the form of the wine.
b. His body, the new and living way, in the form of the Unleavened Bread
c. Christ Himself, the word, the truth, officiating as the Great High Priest over the house of God.

Then and only then can we draw near to God with a sincere heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience” (Hebrews 10:19-22).
The crux of the matter is, God is light; in Him there is no darkness (sin) at all, and if we claim to have fellowship/communion with Him yet walk in the darkness (sin), we lie and do not live by the truth.”
Therefore, before coming to God sin has to be confessed, forgiven, and cleansed. And it is only by the blood of Jesus His Son that we are purified from all sin. (1 John 1:7, 9; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1;14; Matt.: 26: 28).

3. Obedience.
Obedience to God is paramount. Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” Again He said, “If you love Me keep My commandments” (John 14:23, 15).
Now the test by which we know that we love God is by keeping His commandments. For, “He who says, “I know Him” and does not keep His commandments is a liar and the The truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-5).
It is also important to note that The Holy Spirit, our Teacher and Helper is given only to those who obey Him. (Acts 5:32).

4. Holiness.
We are admonished by the Apostle Paul saying, “Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).
To have communion with God, one has to separate him/herself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, and perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord. Righteousness has absolutely no fellowship with lawlessness, light has no communion with darkness, Christ has no harmony with Belial (useless things without worth); and the temple of God which is our human body has no agreement with idols” (2 Cor. 6:14-18).
The good and exhilarating news is that, Jesus Christ has made all the provisions for man to have communion with the Father through the cup of the New Covenant. Alienation or separation from the life of God, is as a result of “Ignorance, and hardening of the heart. (Eph. 4:18).
But truly, in the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent.I therefore urge everyone to have daily communion with God, and offer the Lord the food for His offerings at the times He has appointed, because our calling is a holy calling.
With love in Jesus’ name.
Lucius Joseph

Why have we become slaves of Righteousness!

We have been admonished saying; “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness (Romans 6: 16-18).

As clearly shown man is not an independent being; he is either a slave to sin, or a slave to obedience which leads to righteousness. Therefore man has to denounce one master and be loyal to the other, as Jesus clearly says; “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13).

So why have we become slaves of righteousness? The answer is clear, it is to practice or be obedient to what leads to righteousness, for we have been instructed saying; ‘Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.” It is further stated; “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother” (1John 3:7, 10).

The children of God who have denounced their former slave master of sin, and have become loyal and obedient to Righteousness their new master, have been admonished saying; “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him” (1John 2:28-29).

To understand why we are to become slaves of righteousness, it is imperative that we first understand righteousness in its true perspective. There are three aspects of righteousness just as there are three aspects of sin, which are, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, and similarly to the three that bears witness on earth, which are the Spirit, the water [flesh] and the blood and these three agrees as one.

The three-fold aspects of Righteousness are:-

1. Christ [the Spirit] our Righteousness

Christ has “Became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption —that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD” (1Corinthians 1:30-31).

This is a partial fulfillment to a prophecy which states; “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

The Lord is our righteousness because he made things right with us with the Father, by paying the price of sin in our stead, and imputed to us the gift of righteousness by begotten us and creating in us a new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

2. The Act of Righteousness [the Blood of Christ]

For it is written; “For if by the one man’s [the first Adam] offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s [Christ the last Adam] righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also

It is the righteous acts of the saints that makes their garments white; as it is written; And to her [the church] it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. This righteous act is the application of the blood of the Lamb, which Jesus Christ offers as High Priest when interceding on our behalf (Revelation 19:8).

It is only the blood of the Lamb that can make one’s garment clean, for it is written; “Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me; “these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’
“Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:13-17).
One becomes enslave to this aspect of righteousness by taking heed to offer to the Lord the food for his offerings at the appointed time. For thus says the Lord; “Command the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘My offering, My food for My offerings made by fire as a sweet aroma to Me, you shall be careful to offer to Me at their appointed time” (Numbers 28:2).

The church is a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own special people, that we may proclaim the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light; and we also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

3. The law of righteousness

This aspect of righteousness is applicable to the flesh: it is to be obedient to the law of God, for it is written; “My tongue shall speak of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteousness. Let Your hand become my help, For I have chosen Your precepts. I long for Your salvation, O LORD, And Your law is my delight.
One becomes enslave to this aspect of righteousness by:-

a. Loving God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind’

This aspect of righteousness is openly manifested by “Giving to the LORD, O families of the peoples, Give to the LORD glory and strength. Give to the LORD the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth” (1Chronicles 16: 28-30).

b. Loving our neighbor as ourselves

This aspect of righteousness is openly manifested by applying the Lord’s principle which states; “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).

And by applying the practical example of love which says; “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1John 3:16-18).

So why are we servants of righteousness? We have become slaves of righteousness in order to serve the Lord in his temple day and night, to become righteous just as Christ is righteous, and to serve one another. Therefore we have been admonished saying; “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24).

The sad thing is, instead of being slaves of righteousness, many choose to remain slaves to sin, and fail to fulfill the purpose for which Christ has been delivered us from sin.

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