How should we view God? Does it make any difference how we see or perceive him? I certainly think it does. If we think we know who God is, yet do not understand his true character, then we may find we are worshiping a false god, and not our true Savior.
John4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. This verse states we must worship God in spirit and in truth. How can we do this? First we must worship him in spirit. John 6: 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Jesus said the words he spoke are spirit. The flesh profits nothing. We think with our minds, and our minds are flesh. We may think we know God and his character, but thinking is fleshy. God’s word is spirit, and through it we come to know him, and his character. How do we worship God in truth? Can we know truth from lies or fables? Jesus had this to say to his disciples, John 17: 6 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. So from these two verses we see God’s word is spirit and truth. From the word of God we can come to know God, and worship him in spirit and truth.
What does God reveal to us about himself in his word? If we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are children of God. God is no more angry with us, then he is with Jesus. Exodus 34: 6 And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. Make no mistake, God is angry with and hates sin. But we are cleansed from all our sin’s. When God looks at us, he sees the righteousness of Jesus in us. We do not have to work to earn his love. God does not love us based on anything we do. Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. God loved us before we knew him, before we were his children, how much more after we have become his offspring.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. If God’s love toward us were based upon anything we have done or not done, then why send his son to die for us? If we could please God by our own actions and righteousness, then God could create a family from the good people that have lived throughout history. The problem with this is, no one would be seen as deserving of God’s love.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
We are justified by grace through the work of Jesus, and not by our own actions. God loves us, in the same way he loves Jesus, and Jesus loves us the same way he loves our Father. Knowing God’s love for us, and how much he wants all mankind to come to him, through his son Jesus, is to begin to know God. When we know God’s love for us, we can more accurately begin to share it, and show it to others. And we will begin to worship God in Spirit and in Truth.
The Passover and Easter season are approaching, and I have been thinking more on the Lord’s suffering and crucifixion. The Holy Bible indicates that Jesus was beaten for our healing, and crucified for our salvation. 1 Peter 2:24 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. Jesus was the creator of all we see, the vast universe, the Earth, all life, and also those who abused and crucified him. Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Jesus who created all things humbled himself and became a man. Philippians 2 : 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Why would the creator of all things do this? Hebrews 2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. Jesus is a merciful and faithful high priest, because he was made like unto his brethren. He calls us here his brothers and sisters. Imagine the very creator of the universe, referring to us as close family members. He wanted to know what the human experience was, and was willing to take on all the punishment and curses that come from disobedience to his laws, upon himself. Isaiah 52: 14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: How difficult it must have been, to have been buffeted and abused, physically and verbally, slapped and spit upon, whipped, beaten, mocked and crucified, by his very own creation. What if, in the midst of it all, he had shouted, ENOUGH !! What if he had decided that this mankind he had created, was not worth it after all. That he would start over. He could have instantly vaporized the Earth, and man along with it. Lets be thankful, that our Lord and Savior was humble and obedient. If you have not made him your Lord and Savior, he wants you to be a part of the very family of God. A family that he has paid such a price for you to be a part of. None of us can be a member of this family on our own. Like any family, we have to be born into it. How can we receive the priceless gift that Jesus has paid for, with his own body and blood? By accepting and acknowledging what he has done for us. By coming to a realization that, having never been God our self, we cannot with any of our own efforts, become a part of his family. Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Finally to receive this gift, we simply tell God, this is our desire, that we want the gift he has paid for. Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. There it is. Lets be thankful this Passover season, and each and every day, that Jesus last word were not Enough! But after having been an obedient servant, to his very own creation, having done everything necessary for our salvation, he cried on the cross. “It is finished.”
Daily we sin, and daily we are forgiven. Daily we fall, and daily we are lifted up. Daily we come short of the mark, and daily we are helped and guided toward it. Lets remember that each day, a born again Christian, is washed clean by the blood of our Lord Jesus. None of us have reached perfection, and none of us will in this life. Even though we may see are selves as much improved over where we started from, we should never become puffed up, and look down on anyone, who’s sins may be more apparent then our own.
1 John 1: 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
I think back at the many times I have turned on the television, to see a TV preacher pounding his fist, and proclaiming judgement upon sinners. I am not advocating that any of us willfully sin because we are forgiven. I just believe that willfully or not, each day, in thought, word, or deed, we sin against the high standards of a perfect God. And in so doing, we become as guilty of the punishment we deserve, as the most lowly sinner we might come across.
James 2: 10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
It was always the Pharisees that Jesus condemned. Not corrupt politicians, not harlots or thieves, not the brutal regime of the Roman Empire. The Pharisees were the ones who thought they were above sin, that they were righteous because of their strict adherence to the law of God.
Galatians 2: 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Why would God give us such a strict law? Why place something before us, that he knew we could not keep perfectly, and then punish us when we are unable to meet his high standards?
Romans 7: 12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
God gave us the law, to help us recognize our need for a Saviour. Christ did not come to do away with the law, he came and amplified it. He actually made it stricter then it was under the Old Covenant. The Pharisees thought they could keep the letter of the law, and by so doing gain favor with God. Jesus then gave them not only the letter, but also the spirit of the law. If they had not committed adultery, Jesus told them looking at a woman with any lust in their hearts was adultery. If they had not committed murder, Jesus told them yelling at their neighbor, or calling him a fool, was as good as murder, with hatred, or a lack of love in their hearts. He was trying to bring them, and us, to the point of hopelessness. A recognition that, only God, in the form of man, could keep the law perfectly. And only God, in the form of man, was worthy to take away the punishment that we all deserve, for falling short of such a high and holy standard.
There is an old saying that seeing is believing. If someone tells us something we can choose to believe it or not. This is often based upon what we know about the person. If they are prone to telling lies in the past, we might be skeptical that they are telling the truth this time. We may in fact want them to show us the proof of what they are saying before we believe them. This unfortunately is also the way we treat God at times. In fact when it comes to real truth and spiritual matters, it is just the opposite with God. Our eyes can lie to us. They are only one of our five senses that we use to decipher the world we live in. But none of our senses can be relied upon to tell us real truth concerning a matter. The Bible says God’s word is truth. John 17:17 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. God’s word can be relied upon to direct us to real truth, God can be trusted to never lie to us, or lead us astray. Hebrews 6:18 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation… God is incapable of lying, his word is truth, through it we can filter what we take in through our five physical senses, and determine the truth of a matter. Satan on the other hand, is the god of this world. He delights in telling lies and trying to deceive the whole world, including the elect of God. John 8:44 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. When we hear or see something on TV, or in the news, our first reaction may be to believe what we are seeing or hearing. Even our eyes can deceive us, but God’s word never will. Satan can make evil appear righteous and good, and good appear evil. He can turn truth into an apparent lie, and lies appear to be the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. Satan can make you believe what you are seeing is the truth. This is why it is so important to know the word of God, and believe it. Even what we are taught from the pulpit of a church may be far from the truth. 2 Corinthians 11: 3 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. Now more then ever we must filter all we see and hear through the word of God, and determine real truth from deception.
It is difficult to remain calm and trust in God during difficult times. Our human nature is to panic and try and take control of the situation. The fact is, during the most trying times we face, we usually have the least amount of influence on the situation. If the nation we live in is at war, or our regional or world economy is in turmoil, we have little or no control. If a worldwide pandemic were to occur, or we find we are facing a personal medical, financial, or emotional trial, there is often little or nothing we can do. This is why it is so important to trust in Jesus in good times, and in bad. The more we learn to trust in Jesus for our needs in good times, the easier it will be to rest and trust in him during difficult times. Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. This verse from Jeremiah gives a picture of a man or woman trusting in the Lord, and it states, they shall not see when the heat cometh. Notice it does not say the heat will not come. It indicates this person, trusting in God, does not see it when it comes. This would seem to be contrary to good common sense. Shouldn’t we be aware of all the dangers and difficulties we may face in the future? Is this saying we should hide our heads in the sand as an ostrich, and not be aware of the world we live in? No, this shows a person who is not focused on the world we see, but rather has set his focus and trust on a world that cannot be seen. Hebrews 11:1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The person who trusts in God receives there deliverance through an unseen source, just as the tree pictured in Jeremiah receives its nourishment through its roots. A river is pictured in scripture as symbolic of God’s Holy Spirit. Jonah 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. Lying vanities are the things we see in this world, that are contrary to God’s word. Lets try and learn to trust in God, in good times and in bad, and receive our nourishment from the living river of God’s spirit.
The promises of God seem almost to good to be true. The Gospel is, The Good News! There is an old saying, if something seems to good to be true it probably is. We have been conditioned our whole lives to be sceptical of something that appears to good. Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. We must renew our minds by studying God’s word. In this way we begin to see God for who he really is, and not the way a sceptical world sees him. God hates sin, and commands that sin be punished. The Good News is, Jesus stepped in, and took the punishment that we deserve, upon himself! God is righteous, sin is punished, and we are set free. 1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: Christ the just, suffered for us, the unjust. God wants us to be happy and at peace. John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. He wants us to be prosperous and in good health. 3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. He wants us to be confident, and in good mental health. 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. God wants us rest in the finished work of Jesus. Hebrews 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. God wants us to be content, not striving and struggling for worldly gain. Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. He wants us to know that we already poses all things. 1 Corinthians 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your’s;22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your’s;23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. God wants us to know we are righteous and perfect in his eyes, simply by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. God loves us more than we can possibly imagine. But through his Holy Word, we can begin to imagine it. The better we understand how loved and forgiven we are, the more perfectly we will begin to reflect this truth to the world.
2 Corinthians 1: 20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
Romans 8 : 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
Hebrews 13: 5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
Isaiah 53: 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
Galatians 3: 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
Isaiah 54: 17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
Psalm 91: 3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
Psalm 91: 10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
Psalm 23: 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
2 Corinthians 8: 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
Deuteronomy 28: 3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.5 Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.6 Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
Philippians 4: 19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
Isaiah 40: 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
Psalm 128: 2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. 3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
Psalm 118 : 24 This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
Psalm 1 : 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
2 Timothy 1 : 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
Hebrews 8: 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
Revelations 21: 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
John 3: 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ” For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen.”
I find I still have trouble with idols. Anything we put our trust in above Jesus becomes an idol for us. For me I always fall back on trusting money, or not trusting when there is lack of it. I came across a verse in Isaiah that spoke to me about this problem.
Isaiah 44:14 He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.15 Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.16 He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire:17 And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god.
The above verse describes the foolishness of an ancient person who cut down a tree, warmed himself with one part, and with the other he carved an idol, fell down and worshiped it and declared, “thou art my god, deliver me.” This seems similar to how we treat money. We go to work and earn it, just as this person went to work to cut down the tree. We take one part of our money and use it to provide our basic needs of food and warmth and shelter, and with the remaining part we declare “thou art my security, deliver me.” Lets stay focused on God our Father and the Lord Jesus, especially as times get tougher, to be our God, and deliver us from all our troubles and afflictions.
Romans 8: 31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
The Bible says God had respect to Abel’s offering of the firstling of his flock, but had not respect to the offering of Cain when he offered the fruit of the ground. Why would God make such a distinction? It might appear as if God is not just, and arbitrarily chooses to have respect or disrespect toward whomever or whatever he pleases. An offering is brought to God to show thanks and to atone for sin. Adam and Eve had all their needs provided for them in the garden of Eden, but after they sined they were driven from the garden and God told them,
Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Man apart from God would now have to work for his food, and to have his needs met. Sin can never be forgiven through the work of the flesh. This is why Cain’s offering was rejected. It was a picture of man working out his own salvation. This is what all the major religions of the world teach. This is also unfortunately the message many Christian denominations put forth. Abel on the other hand gave an offering which pictured the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Rest and not work, salvation only through the blood of Jesus. This is why his offering was accepted. In Hebrews we read,
Hebrews 9: 21-22 21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
This story, from the very first book of the Bible, shows the contrast between those who think they can earn their way into heaven, or work out their own salvation, and those who trust completely in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Notice that Cain became so angry at Abel that he slew him. It enraged Cain to think that all his hard work was disrespected, and Abel found respect with God, by simply shedding the blood of a lamb of his flock. This is true even to this day. It angers people to think God would exclude a person from eternal salvation who has many good works to their credit, and include someone who looks to Jesus for their righteousness and salvation.
Galatians 4: 28-29 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
Good works do not earn a place for us in Heaven.
Ephesians 2: 8-9 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
There will be no boasting before God in Heaven. This angered Cain and continues to anger people to this very day. But this is truly the Good New’s of the Gospel of Christ. You do not want to be under the law, working to try and meet the standards of a perfect and holy creator. If we measure our self this way we will always come up short, and be angry that we are unable in this life, to live up to the standard of God.
I still find myself, at times, stumbling over that stumbling stone, the grace of Jesus. Why would a Christian say such a thing? A Christian can backslide by abandoning his or her morals, and getting caught up in the world, and the lust of the flesh. A Christian can also backslide by abandoning the righteousness that comes through faith in Jesus, and slipping back into an old testament mentality of rewards and punishment. When I do something I feel particularly good about, often the first thought I have is, God must be pleased with that, and I begin to expect something good to happen. And in turn, if I do something I feel particularly bad about, I think, God must be displeased, and begin to expect something bad to happen. This should not be the mindset of a child of God. There is nothing good we can do to make God love us more, or bad we can do to make him love us less. We love God because he first loved us.
1 John 4: 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.19 We love him, because he first loved us.
God’s love toward us is perfect. We never have to fear him, or be afraid. He loves us because we have accepted Jesus sacrifice for us. It is no longer a reward and punishment relationship. That is the relationship a non repentant person has with God. By non repentant, I mean a person who has not repented of their belief that, good works can save a soul. When we come to fully rest in the perfect love God has for us, we begin to walk as he walked. No longer out of a fearful heart, that expects rewards and punishment, but out of a joyful heart, that always expects good, and in return wants to do good, and share with others.
Hebrews 8:9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
This is the Good News of the New Covenant. We need to be set free from the old covenant mentality of rewards and punishment. All the punishment was laid upon Jesus at the cross. When we sin, we have already been forgiven. When we do good, we have already been rewarded! God is not in heaven testing us, to see if we are good enough to be rewarded, with either physical blessings now, or eternal blessings in the future.
1 Corinthians 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are your’s;22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your’s;23 And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.
All things good are ours now! We do not have to earn them, in fact they cannot be earned. This is that stumbling stone, that the world and even at times Christians, stumble over.
1Peter 2: 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
Christ has earned all blessings for us. This is what makes Christianity different from all the other religions of the world. It is not based on our performance. It is a Gospel of the love God has for all mankind. A perfect love. God is offended when we disregard, or take lightly, all he has given us, and all he has done for us. Lets walk in that perfect love. This is the light that will shine into a world of darkness, a world that bases everything upon an individuals performance.
Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?