Going to the Son: The Pathway to Peace
Purity 453 06/24/2021 Purity 453 Podcast
Today’s photo of a rushing stream beneath the peaks of mountains, possibly Heaven’s peak, at Lake MacDonald’s Glacier Park in Montana is brought to us from a friend’s extensive wilderness vacation out west. A quick peak at Google Maps causes me to believe this is McDonald Creek that runs parallel to the “Going-to-the-Sun Road” that flows from the Glacier Park and pours into Lake MacDonald.
I share it because it is an awesome photo but also because I love to share pictures of pathways on Thursdays to invite people to join me on the path of Christian Discipleship by attending our Community Freedom Discipleship Class tonight at Rock Solid Church at 6:30 pm, or by joining the class remotely via the mt4christ247 podcast. We are currently teaching from Dr Neil Anderson’s the Bondage Breaker, and I feel it is a valuable teaching for experiencing your freedom in Christ.
As for our photo, McDonald Creek isn’t your typical pathway in that it is water, but I have recently made more friends who are kayak enthusiasts and had to admit that this creek would be a pathway for some. Even though there are rapids, and many wouldn’t have the equipment, opportunity, or motivation to follow this particular pathway, some would approach it and follow its twists and turns with zeal.
Likewise the pathway of Christian discipleship isn’t for everyone. When you decide to follow the Lord’s call and leadings for your life, it usually doesn’t take long to discover that there will be twists and turns and it won’t always be smooth sailing.
Christ said that the world hated Him so it will hate His followers as well. Christians are promised persecution because they have no choice but to stand upon the rock of Jesus Christ and proclaim Him as the sole means of salvation.
Regardless of the plethora of other spiritual pathways available to choose from, Christ said that He was the way, the truth, and the life and that no one goes to the Father except through Him.
So we are guaranteed to face some resistance on Christ’s path, but like the Apostles who walked it before us, we know that Jesus is the Son of God and that His way leads to eternal life, and we simply have no where else to go.
We know this truth in our hearts because God has revealed Himself to us and we follow this path not out of some perceived obligation to follow the rules, but we follow where the Lord would lead us because of our love for Him and because we know His way is not just the only way, it’s the best way.
His path doesn’t just lead to eternal life. His pathway gives us the power to experience heaven on earth by giving us increasing freedom from the dark ways of the world as we cultivate the fruit of the Spirit and know the peace that comes from living in harmony with God.
So go to the Son. Trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior and follow the path that God puts before you. The Lord is always there to hear you and to guide you, but you have to ask for His help and come along side Him by agreeing that He knows best and by trusting that He will never lead you astray.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
Today’s verse encourages us and instructs us in how we are to experience perfect peace. If we trust in the Lord and keep our minds on Him, the Lord will keep us in perfect peace!
That shouldn’t be a surprise to us for the promises of the peace that goes beyond all understanding are presented throughout scripture to be contingent on our harmonious relationship with the Lord which begins when we make Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
That’s the thing that those who are screaming for peace in our society and in the church seem to forget. There is no true peace without having peace with God. And not only that but those who have peace with God must keep the peace!
So we must introduce those who don’t know Him to the way of peace: Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, I know from my personal history and from my efforts to evangelize how hardened, resistant, and blind those outside of God’s grace can be. So don’t just present a gospel message, present yourself and the way you live your life as an enduring testimony of God’s abundant mercy, kindness, and love.
Those who are perishing need to know that we care. So speak the truth in love and be sure to share what you were like before you knew the Lord so that they will understand that the kingdom of God is for them too.
As for those in the church who are without peace, encourage them to surrender some of their worldly ways for God’s ways and to draw close to Him in regular Bible Study, prayer, and worship. It’s hard to say our mind is stayed on the Lord if we are living the way we used to before coming to faith. Our relationship with the Lord calls us to repent of the world’s course ways and to seek a righteous and holy life.
I advise caution in your attempts to transform because we can’t live the Christian life by the sweat of our brows with forced obedience. We must love the Lord and willingly decided to give more of ourselves to Him. It’s not easy and I would say not to do everything all at once and instead go in prayer and ask the Lord what He can help you with.
The chances are that you already know the problems to address. They usually have been a negative influence or ongoing dilemma of your life that you feel powerless to change. But with God all things are possible, but we might have to take the slow road to get there by experiencing and claiming our freedom and victory each new day.
When we surrender to the Lord there may be seasons of turmoil but when we keep our minds on Him and trust Him some how we have peace in the midst of the storm and find even more when the rain finally stops.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing in Chapter 4.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support His work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:
A New Master
Because we are identified with Christ in His death and resurrection, we have become new and are part of the new humanity. In this change, we have a new power of dominion in our lives. This is clearly expressed in Romans 6:5-7 (NIV): "If we have been united with him . . . in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin." "Old self" in this passage literally means old man. The old man in relation to the believer has been crucified in Christ and he has put on the new man (see Col. 3:10).
Paul says, "Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:11). We don't consider it so to make it so. We are to continuously believe we are alive in Christ and dead to sin because it is so. Believing anything doesn't make it true. God said it is true; therefore we believe it. Death is the ending of a relationship, not an existence. Sin is still present, appealing and powerful; but when you are tempted to sin, you can say, "I don't have to do that. By the grace of God I can live a righteous life."
To illustrate, look at Romans 8:1, 2: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." Is the law of sin and of death still operative? Yes, that is why Paul calls it a law. You can't do away with a law, but you can overcome it by a greater law, which is the "law . . . of life in Christ Jesus."
For instance, as mortals we can't fly in our own strength, but we can fly in an airplane because an airplane has a power greater than the law of gravity. If you don't think the law of gravity is still in effect, then flip the switch at 30,000 feet. You will crash and burn. If we walk by faith according to what God says is true in the power of the Holy Spirit, we will "not carry out the desire of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). If we believe a lie and walk according to the flesh, we will crash and burn.
Saved and Sanctified by Faith
Paul says in Romans 6:6, "our old self was crucified" (past tense). We try and try to put the old man to death and we can't do it. Why not? Because he is already dead. Because many Christians are not living the abundant life, they incorrectly reason, "What experience has to occur for this to be true?" The only thing that had to happen for that to be true happened nearly two thousand years ago, and the only way you can enter into that experience is by faith.
A dear pastor who heard of my ministry asked for an appointment with me. He said, "I have struggled for 22 years in ministry and I finally think I know what the answer is. In my devotions I read the following passage in Col. 3:3 (NIV), 'For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.' That's it, isn't it?"
I assured him it was, then he asked, "How do I do that?"
I suggested he read the passage just a little bit slower. This dear man for 22 years had been desperately trying to become somebody he already was, and so do many other believers. We cannot do for ourselves what Christ has already accomplished for us.
Too many Christians are trying to show that the Bible is true by the way they live. It will never work for them. We accept what God says is true and live accordingly by faith, and this abundant life works out in our experience. If we try to make it true by the way we live, we will never get there. Paul points out the futility of that thinking in Galatians 3:2 (NIV): "I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?"
We are saved by faith and we walk or live by faith. We have been sanctified by faith and we are being sanctified by faith and by faith alone. We are neither saved nor sanctified by how we behave, but by how we believe.
God's work of atonement changes sinners to saints. The radical change, regeneration, is effected at the moment of salvation. The ongoing change in the believer's daily walk continues throughout life. The progressive work of sanctification, however, is only fully effective when the radical, inner transformation by regeneration is realized and appropriated by faith.
As a new Christian you were like a lump of coal: unattractive, somewhat fragile and messy to work with. After time and pressure, however, coal becomes hardened and beautiful. Although the original lump of coal is not a diamond, it consists of the right substance to become a diamond. Right now, you are a diamond in the rough, but given enough time and pressure, you will be like a diamond, revealing the glory of God.
Anthony Hoekema comments, "You are new creatures now! Not totally new, to be sure, but genuinely new. And we who are believers should see ourselves in this way: no longer as depraved and helpless slaves of sin, but as those who have been created anew in Christ Jesus."
Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.
God bless you all!
Join our “Victory over the Darkness” or “The Bondage Breaker” series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, and Audible.com.
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship