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He is the Head We Are the Body October 13, 2020

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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As the body of Christ, we are His hands, His feet, and we should strive to speak His words, see with His eyes, and love with His heart. We’ve been washed in His blood and we are the redeemed.   

And this is not merely a spiritual renewal though that is the foundation of all that flows from it.  We are renewed when we reckon ourselves dead to this world and alive to God.  When we put off the old man born in sin in the line of Adam and are re-born in the likeness of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the second Adam

This action: cleansing the sinner of all guilt and making us able to stand in the throne room in the very presence of God with no shame or feelings of inadequacy may seem extravagant.  Paul tells us that we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, and that all this is not some hap-hazard addendum.  No, it flows directly from all God’s wisdom and prudence.  

This action on God’s part not only impacts the spiritual renewal of the believer.  It also leads to a physical and mental renewal which the believer experiences here-and-now.  This is the redemption of our bodies.   

And just as Christ is redeemed now so is the believer who is in Christ Jesus.  Our bodies will someday be glorified fully in the presence of God, but in the here and now we taste the first fruit of our redemption in the total renewing of our lives.   For as members of the body of Christ, as children of God, as joint heirs together with Jesus we are born of one baptism and filled with one Spirit.  We are the body and Christ is the head

However, since we are born of the flesh as descendants of the first Adam. Conceived, born, living in sin, and the members of a lost and degraded race, we must be redeemed and sanctified before we can enter the kingdom of God.  Remember we were chosen in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world.  Once we have accepted Christ as our Savior and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead this inheritance is our possession   

However, we must possess our possessions for them to do us any good.  If we don’t accept the love of God in and through Christ Jesus, they are just so many gifts lying about unaccepted. 

The Life is in the blood.  And it is the shedding of His blood that is the first action in the unfolding of our redemption.  This is the Good News and it’s the best news ever.  Christ poured out His blood so that we might be freed from our burden of sin.  There is no longer an unbridgeable gulf between God and humanity.  The sin life, the sin nature that the first Adam assumed when he disobeyed God and then passed on to all his offspring has been washed away in the blood of Calvary.  

Lord, let us see with your eyes, hear with your ears, love with your heart, and touch with your hands.  As we strive to be about Your business send us somewhere to be a blessing to someone somehow. 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2020 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens 

Believe it Confess it Receive it Live it October 6, 2020

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Here’s one of those fifty cent words we Christians throw around, Omniscient. In other words, God is all knowing.  Since He’s the Alpha and the Omega the first and the last He knows the end from the beginning and everything in between.   

All of which brings forward a question that’s a mystery often presented as a conundrum some people pose as a veiled attack against the reality of God. 

They ask, “If God knows everything doesn’t that mean He knew Adam would fall even before He created him in the first place?  So why do we make a big deal about God making a way for salvation when He created man to fail?”  Some even compare this to the fireman who starts a fire then calls in the alarm so that he can become a hero for putting it out. 

The biblical answer for this is found in Paul’s rendition of the story of Pharaoh hardening his heart against God found in Romans chapter nine

For the Lord says of Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”  Therefore, He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. 

You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 

What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 

That’s it.  “Does not the potter have power over the clay?” Remember what we were originally “God formed man of the dust of the ground. Adam was nothing but a clay mannequin until God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” It was only after this that “man became a living being.” 

We are the clay.  He is the potter. And the fact that He made one “for honor and another for dishonor” is none of our concern.  It is the fact that He made a way for the dishonorable to become the honorable is what this is all about. 

The first work of God for our salvation was His decision that He would make a way for us to become not only reconciled to Him but actually become His children.  This is not based on anything we’ve done, will do, or could ever do.  It is not because of any good which is in us.  It is based solely on the love of God. 

This truth gives us perfect security and assurance in our transitory world of sin.  For the love of God never fails, never wavers, and is always everywhere dependable, reliable, and ever present.  What can the world do to us when we’re safe and secure in the love of God? 

Paul expressed this perfectly in his letter to the Romans, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

Though all may be saved not all will be.  All of us were born in sin.  We carry embedded in our fallen bodies the burden of Adam’s original sin.  Then along the way we all contribute to that sin burden ourselves.  All these sins were paid for at the cross.  All of us can have Adam’s sin as well as every sin we have ever or will ever commit washed away by the blood of Christ’s sacrifice however, not all will avail themselves of this glorious gift. 

Look at it this way; if I purchase a brand-new car and I offer it to you.  If you accept the gift it is your car.  But if you refuse to accept it, it may have been purchased for you, it may be waiting right there in your driveway, but if you don’t accept the gift it isn’t yours. 

From the first moment that we confess Christ as our Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead we’ve walked in the kingdom of God.  Our steps may still be visible in the natural world, but we’re walking in the Spirit.  Before that, satan held the title deed to our lives.  We were born into the line of the first Adam, sold in sin and separated from God.  But, once we’re born-again we stand in the line of Christ, the last Adam

God places us in His family, and He has work for us to do.  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  

And since He has work for us to do, He has prepared us for that work.  Every gift, every talent, every opportunity we have has been strategically placed in us and in our lives to help us fulfill the mission God has for us.  He doesn’t send us on to the battle without equipping us for the fight.  We aren’t some kind of busted up, raggedy sinner who just barely scraped in by the skin of our teeth.  No!  We’re the born-again children of God bought with the precious blood of Christ.  In Him we are the righteousness of God. 

We’re washed in the blood of the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.  Believe it.  Confess it.  Receive it.  Live it.  We not only stand blameless before God our Father we stand redeemed and holy in the love of Christ, children of God received before the throne not as one who lived a wasted life of sin, but instead as one set right, accepted, and honored as a member of the Body of Christ, a living stone in the temple of God.   

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2020 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens 

We Are Accepted September 28, 2020

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Everyone from the greatest sinner to the greatest saint needs the grace of God.  Everyone who wanders through the vail of tears that is this fallen world is tested, tried, and assaulted by our adversary, the prince of the power of the air, who goes about like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour.  Our fallen body and soul are open to him and his minions.  And if that isn’t bad enough our own sinful desires lure us into trap after trap.

Surrounded and attacked by all this it seems natural that we would cry out with Paul, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

There is an answer to this cry.  We don’t stand alone before the heavenly court of justice.  If we did not even one of us would deserve anything except eternal damnation and separation from God.  Instead of standing alone in the withering judgement fire “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” and the fire of His presence becomes for us the life-giving warmth of His love.

We need to praise the glory of God’s grace, His unmerited favor because, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  We may have been the worst of sinners.  We may have cursed God and persecuted His people but once we turn from the darkness to the light, once we embrace Him and are born again all that changes.  We change and the world around us changes.

Peter sums it up well when he says, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”

The author of Hebrews goes into even greater detail showing how the eternal sacrifice of Christ is superior to the shadow sacrifices of the Old Covenant.

“Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 1And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”

This is the description of our present state.  We are accepted.  We have entered our inheritance.  Today we “see in a mirror, dimly,” but once this perishable has been swallowed and replaced by imperishable, we shall see “face to face.”  For “Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2020 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

All That Really Matters September 14, 2020

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Back when I was an atheist and I believed this is all there is I was passionately interested in politics, economics, and current events.  I was committed to working for my side and to defeating the other guy.  Now that I’m a born-again child of God, a citizen of Heaven, and merely a pilgrim here I follow the ever-changing kaleidoscope of civic events more like a soap opera.   

Yes, I understand that within this bubble we know as the space-time continuum the ins and outs of who’s up and who’s down actually make a difference.  For example, it will have a profound impact on the United States whether we hand the government over to socialist revolutionaries or if we deliver it to capitalists.  However, in the grand scheme of things this makes about as much difference as which queen bee is laying eggs in which hive. 

I came to this level of a wokeness after years of Bible study, prayer, and fellowship with God.  Just as a caterpillar goes through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly, I believe humans go through much the same process.  Only instead of a two-stage process like a butterfly we go through three stages. 

First, we’re a fetus (in Latin fetus means little one) for approximately nine months.  Second, we’re born into this world and live here for as long as we do.  And finally, we pass from this world into eternity.  Let’s see: nine months, maybe 120 years, eternity.  Which stage do you think is the real deal?  The nine months prepare us for the 120 years and the 120 years prepare us for eternity.  Two of these stages are merely steppingstones for the main event.  Therefore, I contend that humans are in fact eternal beings who pass through two stages of development to become what we were created to be. 

All that really matters in this stage of our development is the direction we’re facing when we leave it.  Are we looking to God and putting our faith in Him?  Or are we looking to the world still grasping for all it has to offer?  Think of it this way: if when we’re a fetus inside our mother the umbilical cord is wrapped wrong or if there is a chromosomal problem we could enter life with some sort of handicap that we will spend the next 120 years dealing with.  In the same way if we enter eternity facing in the wrong direction, we will spend eternity dealing with the ramifications of that choice. 

From my personal Christian perspective here’s the 411 on how we turn from the world and face in the right direction. 

Everyone can see that this world is broken.  Evil runs rampant.  The bad are rewarded.  The good are crushed.  Sickness, poverty, and oppression are on display in every direction.  If God is good, why would He create such a horror show? 

The easy answer is He didn’t.  When He was done with creation He paused and looked around.  Surveying all that He had done and it was “Good.” 

Then man turned away from God, embraced Satan, and God cursed the world while at the same time promising that a Savior would come who would step on Satan’s head and deliver humanity from the grip of the evil we chose. 

The price was a sinless sacrifice, the good for the bad.  No human could do it because none of us has ever or could ever live a sinless life.  Therefore, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to be incarnated as a human, live a sinless life, and then offer himself up as a sacrifice for us all.  After His sacrifice Jesus descended into hell and as an eternal being suffered the punishment for every sin that had ever or would ever be committed.  Then He was born-again in the very heart of darkness, triumphed over Satan, and God raised Him from the dead.  Jesus led all those who had died waiting for this deliverance out of Satan’s grasp and emerged on the third day with the keys to death and hell. 

After spending forty days instructing His disciples on how to carry the message of the best news ever to the world He ascended into heaven.  Ten days later the Holy Spirit arrived and filled the new believers so that from then on they were no longer earth bound humans. They were instead wall-to-wall God birthed children of the Most High on a pilgrimage here with a mission to share their experience to be witnesses

There it is in a nutshell.  The word Gospel means “Good News” in old English.  So, when you get filled to overflowing with all the bad news the world vomits up every day why not turn to the good news.   

Don’t worry about what you can’t do anything about.  Do you think if you missed one news broadcast or if you stopped watching them for ever it would make any difference to what is happening on the stage of the world or would the actors just keep reading their lines and playing their parts?  The bad news impacts us more than we can ever impact it. 

It’s like a joke making the rounds: 

An English asks an Amish fellow, “Why isn’t the COVID rampaging through your communities?”  The Amish fellow says without hesitation, “Because we don’t have any TVs.” 

The TVs, radios, magazines, and papers may carry the news, but only the Bible has the Good News.  It all comes down to choices: “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  In other words no matter what, we’re all going to serve somebody.  It will either be any one of the countless gods of this world or the one true God. 

How do you make that choice?  Is it by joining the right church?  Is it by attending the correct services, worshipping in a certain way, or following any of the endless rules the world invents to complicate and build a barrier between us and the God who wants us to join His family?  No!  Not only has He made it simple He has made it easy.  All we need to do is confess Jesus as the Lord of our life and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead and we will be saved.  That’s it.  Do that and we have joined God’s family.  Then we can pour ourselves into His Word so that it’s life-giving Spirit will fill us and recreate us.   

Forget about the bad news and study the Good News instead. Let’s “Eliminate the negative, accentuate the positive, latch on to the affirmative, and don’t with mess mister in between.” 

Or to put it another way, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2020 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens 

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