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

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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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 

What is Righteousness and How Do I Get It? September 14, 2018

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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The first part is easy.  Righteousness is the ability to stand in the presence of God as if we had never sinned.  When we stand in righteousness before God the Father it is without any sense of fear, condemnation, or inferiority.  We have this righteousness because we are now children of God through Christ and as children we are members of the family and have a rightful place.

Just think of Buckingham Palace as heaven.  If you walked up to the gate and said, “Let me in” the guards would turn you away.  If Prince Charles walked up and said let me in the guards would open the door and bow as he walked past.  It’s the same way with heaven.  If we show up covered in our sin we will get turned away.  If we show up in Christ, as a member of His body the gates will swing open and glory to God we will at last be home.

This was promised to us through the prophet Isaiah long ago, “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.  In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.”

As natural men we have a sin consciousness.  We inherently know that we are not worthy to stand in the presence of God.  We have knowledge of our own weakness to the sins which so easily overtake us.  This has kept us slaves to sin.  This consciousness of our own sin and weakness destroys our abilities and short-circuits our ability to live as God intends.

That is why we must be born again.  For in our re-birth, our re-creation in Christ we acquire righteousness.  Without it we could no more be children of God than an ant could be a man.  For without righteousness the Father could take no pleasure in us as His children since we would shrink away from the fire of His love since it would then be the fire of His judgement, for it is the same fire.

This righteousness is the gift of God.  It is not something we could have ever earned for ourselves.   Before we’re born again we were without Christ. We were aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  We were bankrupt, sold out to sin, and without the ability to help ourselves.

This is why God laid our sins upon Christ.  This is why Christ died upon the cross.  He paid the penalty demanded by justice.  Sin had to be paid for before a fallen mankind could be re-created and in His death, the substitutionary death of the sinless for the sinful the penalty was paid in full.  And not only did Christ pay our penalty He descended into Hell, defeated our advisory stripping of his authority over humanity.  Then He rose again to give us the promise of eternal life recreated in union with Him through faith.

In the Old Testament Israel had righteousness reckoned to them but in the new creation it actually becomes our very nature because Christ Himself is our Righteousness.

He is the vine and we are the branches.  And since the vine is righteous so are the branches.  And so should the fruit of the branches be.  So we should produce the fruit of righteousness in this world and be a blessing as we are blessed.  And we are able to bear a type of fruit that Christ could not when He walked this earth.  He could heal the sick, raise the dead, and calm the storm.  But He could not lead people to salvation for He had not yet paid the price.  He had not yet opened the way for us to be re-united with God erasing the sin debt of Adam’s fall.

So that is righteousness, right standing with God, the ability to stand in God’s presence as if we had never sinned.  We get it through confessing with our lips that Jesus is Lord and by believing in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead.

And once we have it we are tasked by Christ to share our witness so that all mankind has the opportunity to have it too.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2018 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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