Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
There are two overlying views of God or more accurately, the role of God in our society. Both are wrong, one is sinfully so.
View one looks at God as a celestial fly-swatter, lurking in Heaven anxiously awaiting the inevitable screw-up of the people below, so He can "BLAP" them.
The other is that God is a celestial Genie capable of granting our deepest desires, and moving ultimately according to our will; or that He is somehow obligated to us if we do enough good or unselfish deeds. These are the two primary views with most other views manifesting themselves in varying combinations of these.
Nugget: The truth is, God is Sovereign. This means He is the ultimate authority on ----- everything. He is in Heaven and He does as He pleases. All of your struggles within your Christian walk boil down to a misunderstanding or perversion of this fact.
The one single verse I would encourage you to wrap your mind around today is Eph. 1:11. It ties in last weeks' article, and helps to explain the above statements. "In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:" As advertised, we will look at the "inheritance" today, or as it was called last week, "the glory".
Nugget: You are either going to have a "self centered" view of your relationship with God, or you will have a "God centered" view. Nugget: God doesn't save us so we can go to heaven. We will alright, but that's not the purpose. God saves us to "bear fruit" John 15. But that's the manifestation, not the purpose. "Herein is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples." John 15:8 You see, the ultimate purpose is that God will be glorified. That's why he calls us his "workmanship" (masterpiece) in Eph. 2, and says that we will be on display in eternity Not so we can brag on ourselves, but that He can brag on what He has done in, for and through us.
His primary purpose for you then, is to restore, alter, morph, up-grade and so change our Spiritual DNA in such a spectacular fashion, that He can radiate His glory through -- even us, culminating in 1st John 3:2. "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." It is a process (slower for me than most) - "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another." Cor. 3:18 This glorification is our inheritance. But it isn't about us. Don't be disappointed, this is liberating. You have heard a hundred sermons on what heaven will be like, or what our glorified - immortal bodies will be capable of, but these are bi-products.
The primary inheritance is --- wait for it; God Himself. Romans 8:17 says we are "heirs of God". Does He inherit us or do we inherit Him? "Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail But God is the strength of my heart and my portion (inheritance) forever." Psalm 73:25-26 "The Lord is my portion (inheritance), says my soul, Therefore I hope in Him!:" Lam. 3:24 We don't hope in all the goodies He can provide (self centered) but in Him.
Illustration: When the Children of Israel entered into the promised land after orbiting Sinai for forty years, they divided up the land by tribes. The Levites (priests) got nothing- or didn't they? "But to the tribe of Levi Moses had given no inheritance; the Lord God of Israel was their inheritance, as He had said to them." I won't begin to speculate on all this entails, but in 1st Cor. 13, Paul draws this comparison. "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." vs 11 "For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." vs 12 What do you understand about the Glory of God? It can be no better than looking through a colored bottle. But when your "glorification" is complete, you will understand Him as (in the same way) He understands you now. Wow. I can't wait. God Bless