A Privileged People (Pt Two)

Yesterday’s post A Privileged People (Pt One) was about the Privileges we enjoy as followers of Jesus Christ. Today’s post is a reminder that with such Privilege comes responsibility.

We have responsibilities in our daily walk with Christ in how we behave and how we represent Jesus. A disciple is someone who is learning to be like the Master. We are encouraging each other as believers to be more Christ like every day. We are called to be Salt and Light to the world and to walk worthy of our calling in Christ. Christ is calling us to walk in righteousness and holiness and to obey His commands. It is a lifestyle that requires sacrifice and for many it means to endure persecution but the bible tells us that there is no better life.

We are not perfect people though. We know that. We struggle and all make mistakes and the Lord understands that. He is merciful and gracious, but we should not behave as presumptuous people. Grace is not a licence to continually sin and live as we like. That is abusing God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice for us. God knows if we are genuine in our repentance, our faith or just paying lip service. The Word of God will judge our hearts and motives.

The good news is that Jesus can empathise with our struggles and weaknesses and help us through the power of the Holy Spirit to overcome sin in our lives. Jesus intercedes for us continually before Gods throne. Jesus has given us all the ability in him through the power of the Holy Spirit to live righteously. We are fully equipped. The Word teaches us that through Jesus we have the power to overcome sin in our lives.

Paul stated the truth and consequences if we treat Christ’s sacrifice with disrespect and contempt in these bible verses.

For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:26-31

There is a story in the bible about a presumptuous man who did not treat God’s holiness and commands with respect.

He was a contemporary of Moses, also of the tribe of Levites, who dared to presume that he could just become God’s priest like Aaron and offer sacrifices to God and enter into God’s presence. He was called Korah and we read his story in the Old Testament in the book of Numbers in Ch 16. Korah was jealous of Moses and Aaron and wanted what they had.

God had specifically set aside Aaron and his sons from the tribe of Levi to be priests to Him, to minister in the sanctuary and bring the blood offerings and sacrifices for the offering of sin.

The other Levites (Korah included) had been assigned roles to play in ministering to the people and looking after the tabernacle but it was only the priests who could go into the Sanctuary and only the High Priest who could go into the Holy of Holies once a year. The Israelites had to keep making the blood sacrifices to God to cover the sins of the people.

Korah was a man who made a fatal mistake. He presumed that he could come to God his way rather than God’s way. He led others astray with such blasphemy as well. Korah lied to the people and told them everyone was holy and could minister to God and come into God’s presence. God had said no such thing.

Korah was envious and jealous of Moses and Aaron and wanted the prestige of the priestly position. He made the fatal error of presuming that he could do what the priests did and not suffer the consequences. Korah’s heart was full of sin and God knew that. He ignored God’s commands and fell into the trap of presumption – quite literally – God opened the ground and swallowed him up alive because of his rebellion.

The terrible thing was that his rebellion and God’s judgement was not only against him but also his family and those who sided with him. It led to all their deaths.

Don’t be deceived by teachers or people who tell you that as a follower of Jesus you can continue to behave as you like, ignore Jesus’ commands and continue to sin and it will be ok. It won’t. Don’t be led astray by them. Sin has consequences. Jesus is to be the Lord of our lives.

Jesus Christ became a priest unto God for us and established a new covenant. The bible teaches us that we can only come to God through Jesus Christ to be forgiven of sins. Jesus was God who became an offering for us. He was sinless and the perfect offering –blemish free and without spot.

Jesus told us that He is the way, the truth and the life and no-one can come to the Father except through Him.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6

We can try (like Korah) to presume to come to God a different way but the Bible says that righteousness and holiness through forgiveness of our sins only comes through faith in Jesus Christ and in His death and resurrection.

Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken let us have grace by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire” Hebrews Ch 12 v 28

Amen.

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A Privileged People (Pt One)

The dictionary defines Privilege as an advantage that only one person or group of people has, usually because of their position or because they are rich.

As followers of Jesus we are privileged people. We are individually privileged and also belong to a group of privileged people – the church or body of believers of Jesus Christ.

We can sometimes forget how privileged we are. It’s good to remind ourselves. Let’s take a heavenly perspective today.

We are privileged to live under the Grace of God (our advantage) and to have free access to him as our Father (our advantage) and be in relationship with Him (our advantage) because of what Jesus has done for us through his death and resurrection. The same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead now lives in each one of us (our advantage).

The blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed us and set us free from the bondage of sin and death and given us life everlasting (our advantage). We have been reborn (our advantage). Our sins have been completely forgiven us – blotted out (our advantage).

Colossians 2 v 13 “and you being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”

We are now seated in a heavenly position of security only found in Christ Jesus, who God has raised to the highest place. The Lord has through His great love also seated us with Christ Jesus in that position. I can’t even get my mind around the enormity of that promise.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:4-10

We have found true riches in the Kingdom of Heaven and in the grace of God. The unmerited favour of God. We are the richest people around. We all may not be materially wealthy as the world judges wealth but we have spiritual riches in abundance as heirs to the promise of Jesus and children of a Kingdom that never ends.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44

“Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” James 2:5

With Privilege though comes Responsibility.

There is a story in the bible about a presumptuous man who did not treat God’s holiness and commands with respect. You can read about him in Part 2 of Privileged People which will be posted tomorrow. His name was Korah.

Have a blessed day my Privileged friends. Count your blessings, name them one by one, and you will be amazed at what the Lord has already done.

There are true riches in heaven
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