Would you believe GOD to revive His work in California? This is what 40 Days of HOPE is about. Would you pray and fast for 40 Days and ask GOD to send a move of the Holy Spirit to our State and your region? Would you worship with others and seek the face of GOD like never before? We can believe GOD to open up the hearts of men and women in California to hear the Gospel of the Kingdom at levels we have never experienced?
Feb 26th – April 5th, 2020
The character of the New Man
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (NKJV).
In our previous lessons we have been dealing with the characteristics of the old man, the flesh, and those things we have been freed from through Christ in the power of His resurrection. The putting on of the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him. The new man is not like Greek or Jew. The new man is not like any religious practice of tradition. The new man is not like those who are slave or free. The new man is like Christ and Christ alone!
It cannot be emphasized enough concerning the absolute “REGENERATION” that produces the new man. It is a regeneration liken unto Christ, who the Father raised from the dead and seated Him beside Himself in the highest heavens over all of His creation. Adam man was made a “little lower” than the angels. The Last Adam was made above the angels. Jesus proclaims in Matthew 28:18 that “all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” All those born of His Spirit have been created in His image.
Verse 12 gives us a clear sound; those born of the Spirit of God are the “elect of God.” The election that Paul is speaking of is centered in Christ Jesus. As the Father’s children, we were born of the same Spirit as that of Jesus’ birth. We were raised up as Christ, God’s elect, was raised from the dead. As the elect of God, we are “holy and beloved.” How is that possible? We are holy because He is Holy. We are beloved because Jesus is God, the Father’s beloved Son. The Father spoke from heaven when Jesus was baptized and came up from the water as the Holy Spirit came upon Him. The Father’s voice was heard from an open heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
We are the elect and the beloved because Jesus is The Elect of God and The Beloved of God. Since this is the true testimony of God, not only through the scriptures but by His voice from heaven, we are to put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long-suffering. These are evidenced in the Lord Jesus Christ’s life, and because His life is to reign in us, they should be evidenced in every son and daughter of God.
Next, Paul admonishes believers to have a priority of “bearing with one another, and forgiving one another.” Paul recognizes that Christ’s life in us is being lived out in a fallen world and through believers that are in the process of growing and maturing in this new creation life into which we have been born. From that point, Paul continues to speak of our relationship toward one another. “If anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” This is not a suggestion but a command! We can bring to another our viewpoint, our feelings, and even our offense. What we cannot do is hold onto any unforgiveness. This is possibly the “greatest witness” of Christ’s life, living and dominating our life in Him. “So you also must do.”
I believe the Holy Spirit wants us to weigh this absolute, “so you also must do” in the light of what Jesus is continually doing as revealed by the apostle John in 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” Can you see the connection? Walking in the light is connected to our fellowship with each other. That fellowship is related to correctly dealing with challenges to our relationships. Not forgiving from the heart keeps us “divided” and also gives an opportunity to the realm of darkness to imprison us (see Matthew 18:23-35).
Verse 14 is the clincher for sure, “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” Perfection can be translated, maturity. Sometimes, there is a lot to work through in order to be able to “put on love.” This is our goal daily. We must never take our eyes off the goal. It will take consistent prayer. It will take the word of God ruling in our soul. We must daily surrender our reasoning to the Holy Spirit. We must daily be setting our affections on things above. Every day we must allow our imaginations to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We must daily make sure that we are emptying our memories of any offences. This is best done at the time of offence through the cleansing blood of Jesus, but most certainly important before going to sleep each night. Just like a computer must be checked for and if found, cleansed from viruses and malware. Every day we should strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men. The Apostle Paul speaks of his own conscience, as revealed when he testified before Felix the governor (see Acts 24:16). If these five areas of our soul are healthy and transparent before God, then we are right where God wants us to be in Christ. We will be poised for continued growth and maturity in our Lord Jesus Christ.
The second area Paul address is peace. “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts …” (Col 3: 15). Put on love, but allow peace to rule in your hearts. Jesus is the “Prince of Peace,” and the Prince of Peace wants to “rule our hearts” so that the people we interact with can experience His peace which dwells with in us. The peace for the world should be centered in every believer and affect the atmosphere all around the believer. Many years ago, while working a secular job in a service business, I heard the Lord say to me, “that my life should, in a positive way, shift the atmosphere wherever I go.” I have had many opportunities to experience the Holy Spirit doing just that. One evening, as I entered a church building for a gathering of God’s people, an individual came up to me. As she welcomed me, she said to me, “that as soon as I walked in, she felt the atmosphere shift.” Whether it did or not, it shifted for her. We are meant to make a difference wherever we go.
As this subject of peace relates to the body of Christ, Paul goes on to say, “… to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” It is not many bodies, but ONE Body. It is a body, His body of living stones, filled with thanksgiving. You will find nothing like it in any religion or in the world at large when functioning as He created His body to function. “A body You have prepared Me” (Hebrews 10:5). First, a body was created for Christ as a human who would become the intended sacrifice for the sins of the world. But also a resurrected body of which every believer is made a part. Christ’s love is to be revealed through each regenerated individual. Christ’s peace is to rule in each person that has been born again. In other words, those born of the Spirit of Christ. It is in His body, living on earth, that the word of Christ dwells. It is to dwell in the life of the believer richly and in all wisdom. Verse 16 fully stated, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Have you ever heard it stated better or more beautifully?
Pay special attention to Paul’s words, “teaching and admonishing one another.” Teaching is not only from the pulpit, but it is a “body ministry function.” God’s intent is that the body produces Christ’s life in the midst of its self. Listen to Paul as he writes to the Ephesian believers: “Speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of its self in love” (Ephesians 4:15-16).
Worship is a core value, as we see in the last part of verse 16. We are being taught and being admonished as we worship together. You minister to me, and I, in turn, minister to you through psalms and hymns. Also with spiritual songs. These are songs created in us by the Holy Spirit. It may be singing in the Spirit, which invites His presence among us. It may be prophetic songs inspirited by the Holy Spirit in our spirit. All this comes from grace in our hearts. That grace is given by God through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is God’s gifts; it is God’s anointing’s in and through His body. It comes from the inner parts, which are from the heart or deepest areas of our being.
17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (NKJV).
Here is where we will end today. Everything we do, whether in word or in deed, we are to do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, with “thanksgiving” to God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is our access to the Father; Jesus is the Father’s sacrifice for our sins. It is Jesus’ resurrection life that has raised each of us. Jesus is the head of the body of which we are a part. Jesus is our all in all, and He is the Father’s finished work.
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