AUTHORITY TO EXECUTE JUDGMENT

John 5:27 – He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.

The Father planned from the beginning of creation for His creation man to rule with Him. Jesus is called the Son of Man because He came in human form through the virgin birth. When he was anointed with the Holy Spirit as He came up out of the water from His baptism, the Father gave Him authority to execute judgment. He operated in His authority in a number of ways.

The people were astonished at His teachings because He taught differently than the religious leaders. He taught with authority (Matthew 7:29). The people also observed that His teachings were followed by supernatural evidence. “They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, ‘What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him’” (Mark 1:27). He always seemed to have the correct answer for His accusers. At the end of His ministry before enduring the cross, He judged the evil religious leaders as He stood in the Temple, which was the place of the Government of God (Matthew 23:13-39).

It was a “man” that did all these things. He is God, but in human form. In His ascension He is seated at the right hand of God. The right side is the place of judgment. He reigns as God’s man, David’s greater son upon the eternal throne of heaven. What a mighty God we serve!

It is important for believers to think upon these things. Jesus’ disciples were reminded everyday as they walked with Him and watched the work of the Holy Spirit minister through Jesus’ life. They too experienced His authority to judge. They watched Him cast out demons and heal the sick. Then, they experienced His power to judge the kingdom of darkness as they were sent out to heal the sick and given of His authority over demons (Luke 9 and 10).

Today, the Son of God continues to pour out His Holy Spirit upon those who have received His kingdom authority in their lives. The same Holy Spirit is working through believers to administer God’s judgments in the earth. Judgment on the kingdom of darkness, judgment on false teaching, misuse of authority, and judgment in the nations, as the Lord arranges things for His own eternal purposes.

Father, I thank You for judging my sin on the cross through Your Son. Thank You for giving me power to rule over sin and darkness. I thank You for the authority to execute the spoken word of God in order to see Your kingdom purposes established.  

FROM DEATH INTO LIFE

John 5:24 – Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

We learned yesterday that all judgment has been given to the Son. John 5:24 is an example of that judgment which Jesus possesses. Jesus emphatically decrees the one who hears His word and believes what they heard has eternal life. He decrees that they do not come into judgment, but pass out of death into life. What an interesting way Jesus has of saying they are saved from eternal damnation.

Jesus creates the law of grace and judges the one who hears His word; the one who believes the Father sent Jesus “has eternal life.” Eternal life in Christ is a state of being. I was lost, but now I am found. Daily I thank the Lord, “I have eternal life,” not going to have it, but indeed I now have it because Jesus has judged it to be so. 

The believer “has passed out of death into life.” Our daily walk is to be founded in hearing and believing God. Daily, the believer grows in their relationship with their Lord by drawing from the eternal life in them.  It is learning the process of discipleship. The believer learns how to walk in their salvation by not choosing death, but life in the everyday situations they encounter.

Conversion is the process of rejecting the old ways of thinking and responding through the life supplied by the Holy Spirit. The old ways came from our experiences while we lived in the death state, lost in our sins. Because we have passed out of that state of death, we are now to draw from His life in us by the Holy Spirit. Think life and not death. Draw from the eternal life that is in you, not the old life and habits from which you have passed.

Father, I have heard the word of Jesus. And I believe you sent Him for me. I receive the eternal life that the Son has given to me. Holy Spirit, I ask to be quickened day by day in the life of the Father and the Son through Your abiding presence.

HONOR TO THE SON

John 5:22-23 – For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

What a wonderful picture Jesus draws concerning the relationship between the Father and the Son. Relationship is a great deal about honor. The Father’s heart was to elevate His Son in the eyes of mankind. The Son, in His earthly ministry always gave the honor to the Father. One of the reasons our judgments are not valid many times is because they are self-serving rather than honoring another.

We live in a world filled with opinions that are rooted in emotionalism. In times past, a man’s word was his honor. A written contract was not necessary, a spoken promise with a handshake was sufficient. The honor of an individual was related to one’s upbringing. The family background was an important foundation to the honor given an individual. I personally have experienced great favor in my life because of the good reputation my parents had established among their friends, neighbors, and in the community.

The delight of a parent is to have children that can be trusted. It is wonderful to watch one’s children grow up when they have developed a reputation of trust in the community.  Our heavenly Father so trusted His Son that He gave into His hands “all judgment.” As I view earthly affairs anywhere in the world through modern day instant news, I find my hope and rest is in knowing that the Lord Jesus reigns on high and that all judgment is in His hands. He judges the nations; He raises up and puts down leaders after His own counsel. The Father has trusted all things into the hands of His Son. The Son trusts His disciples to carry out His bidding in the earth through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Father, I pray for Your grace to rest on me to be a trustworthy child of God. I pray for the Holy Spirit’s help in honoring the Son even as the Son has honored the Father.

JUDGMENT BELONGS TO GOD

John 3:19 – This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

Jesus draws a line in the sand as He begins His three and half year earthly ministry. The subject of judgment revolves around “light.” Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life” (John 8:12). Since the advent of Christ, light has been in the world. There is no more excuse for men to walk in darkness. Not only is light in the world, it has been increasing in intensity ever since the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost.

Judgment follows the light. Presently, mankind is called to repentance and to turn from darkness to the light. When individuals harden their hearts against the light of God, there is only a pending judgment that waits. The reason Jesus could say, “I did not come to judge the world” (John 3:17), is because the rejection of the Son of God brings the judgment of God. Jesus came to save. You could say His campaign was not negative, but positive although filled with clear defining lines. As one chooses the light, salvation will result. When one rejects the light, there remains only a fearful looking ahead to judgment.

Believers become carriers of the light. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). God’s plan was that the light in His Son would be lit in the believer through the Holy Spirit. It is through the believers throughout the earth, that light is now filling the planet. Many believe that darkness is increasing, but the truth is that light is spreading through the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Father, I thank You for the light of Christ which is in me. Thank You for delivering me from judgment and calling me to be a light bearer in the world today.

RECOGNIZE NO ONE ACCORDING TO THE FLESH

2 Corinthians 5:16 – Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh.

If we look at people in the flesh, it will be an exceedingly difficult task to be a person of reconciliation. Reconciliation is a work of the Holy Spirit and He keeps His eyes on the new creation in Christ and not the old which comes from Adam.

Paul informs the Corinthian believers that God committed to each of us the “word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18). Reconciliation is an apostolic function. If an individual has been given an apostolic gift, reconciliation must be manifested in their life and ministry. It is reconciliation that causes the church to be “apostolic” in its core being. Any church that does not manifest the ministry of reconciliation cannot be considered fundamentally solid.

The key to carrying the ministry of reconciliation is found in the principle of our verse for today. Paul is emphatic when he says, “from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh.” We must see through the eyes of the Spirit of God. His filter is the cross where the blood of Christ was shed for the sins of the world. In my flesh, I am filled with judgments. Some may be accurate, but judgments nevertheless. In the Spirit, I am to receive the judgments of Christ which are viewed through the work of the cross.

There will be an end time judgment for all those who have rejected God’s offer of reconciliation. But until that day when Christ returns, our judgments are to be viewed through the cross and God’s grace. If we judge after the flesh, our judgments will condemn us because of the weakness of our own fleshly failures. If we judge through the cross, then we commit all true judgment to God who will judge the heart of all men.

Father, I ask for grace to not see anyone after the flesh, but through the eyes of the Holy Spirit. Fill my heart with Your love and a desire to see all men and women brought to the cross and new life in Christ. Help me to walk in the “word of reconciliation.”

CALLED TO WALK OUT THE PROCESS

2 Corinthians 5:7-8 – We walk by faith, not by sight —  we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

We are called to walk out the process between the cross and the throne, experiencing His love and sharing His love with others, beginning with the family of God and taking His love to the lost. In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul teaches about the new creation man. That walk is a walk of faith. It is faith because we are not led by our natural senses, but by the Holy Spirit who lives in the believer. He is preparing us for eternity and living at home with the Lord.

Paul speaks of his desire to leave this present world and be with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:2). Love motivated him as he lived in his earthly body. His life was dedicated to the Gospel and reaching the lost. Paul had a clear understanding of his purpose as a result of the cross. He longed for the Throne of God, but not in an unhealthy way. He did not just mope around awaiting his death, but served the Lord’s purpose until the day he was separated from his earthly body to receive the body prepared for him by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Love and faith motivated the apostle as it did all of the Lord’s apostles. Love and faith is to be our motivator as well. We possess the kingdom as we walk out the process of love and faith. This process of love and faith includes our families, other believers, and the lost people we encounter along the way.

Father, I ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to infuse my life with love and faith in the process of my walk before You and others. Thank You for Your presence that is continually with me to give me good success.