It’s important to be aware that the only means by which the human race can “escape” the enslavement of Satan, sins and the law of sin and death is Jesus Christ, God’s Son Acts 4:12, Romans 8:2.
The word “escape” is synonymous with “saved or a believer”—that is, a mortal who’s engaged to God. It’s the highest honour we mortals can get and it happens instantaneously by believing in the once for all time sacrifice of Christ Romans 10:9, 1 Peter 3:18. God is not married to any mortal. Paul, the apostle affirmed this truth when He said, I betrothed you to one Husband 2 Corinthians 11:2. In God, there’s coming a due season when believers will put on immortal body and then will come the everlasting marriage Revelation 19: 6-8. This truth brings us to the controversial doctrine of “once saved, always saved or eternal security” which is sadly gaining extensive traction among Christians.
The doctrine has roots in rigid predestination and new age thoughts. For this reason, it’s worth stating that the birth, crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ manifested the reality of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world as the Book of life. Whoever believe in or accepts His sacrifice willingly receives Salvation (Is Saved). It has to be willingly because God is not a dictator although He’s sovereign.
How can totally depraved human ever be willing? This mystery is resolved because before Adam and Eve (Our first parents) fell, God had sacrificed His Lamb (Son) from the foundation of the earth (Verse 8 of Revelation 13KJV). Notice that the phrase: “From the foundation of the earth” is in relation to when the Lamb was slain and not when God determined for some people to be Heaven bound and others to damnation.
God foreknew Satan will use predestination to lie against Him therefore, God’s inspired word to His prophets and apostles as written in the scriptures is, whoever—whoever—whoever accepts Salvation is sealed (given) “not locked” — with the Holy Spirit as a deposit … Ephesians 1:13-14, 2 Corinthians 1:22. This is the new birth wherein believers stand by faith.
In a nutshell, the doctrine of “once saved, always saved” states that, ‘once a person has actually received the gift of Salvation, thereafter, no matter how he or she stray after Satan (Verse 11 & 15 of 1 Timothy 5ESV) and keeps practising sin for which Christ died and rose to sanctify believers unto obedience 1 Peter 1: 2, John 8:12, his/her salvation is secured eternally’. Some of its proponents put a proviso, ‘No one who is actually saved can afterwards go back to practising sin’. This doctrine misconstrue the phrase of verse 8 of Ephesians 2 which says, “our Salvation is the gift of God …” to mean that God gives humankinda gift named salvation because of Christ by grace through faith. This is far from the truth!
The truth is, Christ is the gift God gives to humankind as Salvation by grace through faith. In other words, Christ is the Salvation those who believe receive into their hearts and not some imaginary gift apart from Himself. That’s why He’s our Righteousness 1 Corinthians 1:30. Receiving Christ into our hearts by grace through faith is our Salvation (Regeneration, Engagement and Courtship); of which its culmination is marriage (Salvation to the utmost) Hebrews 7:25, 1 Peter 1:9, 13. Notice that intercession is still being made for the engaged people (Bride) to be saved to the utmost. That’s why Christianity is a lively relationship with the living Triune God. Because it’s a relationship and can be walked away from, believers are admonished to remain or abide (don’t disengage or stop beholding Christ’s face) as His purpose and mission to have us as His wife is being accomplished John 15:4, 2 Corinthians 3:18.
Worthy of note is this: Having difficulties in a Courtship, and walking away from the relationship are two different kettle of fish. Walk away, and there’ll be no marriage! Persevere and love will conquer all!
This picture is illustrative of how believers’ safety is only in their abiding in Christ. To come out of the safety of the car is to expose oneself to the roaring lion—it’s suicidal, no doubt! For this reason, we must abide in Him as the Holy Spirit is driving 1 Peter 5:8, Romans 8:14. Our Salvation journey is more about us being led by the Holy Spirit than we making efforts. The pilgrim journey gets sweeter everyday if and only if we accept to be led by the Holy Spirit.
Christ, our salvation and righteousness makes all whom He indwells to desire His sinless perfect life Philippians 2:13. This doesn’t mean we’ve reached “sinless perfect living” hence the need for repentant lifestyle by reason of use. Nonetheless, the desire to live daily in and as Christ by His motivation differentiates those who’re being saved to the utmost from those who choose to crucify Him the second time, the self-righteous and the wicked Hebrews 6:6.
As a people betrothed to Christ, we’re encouraged to walk in the Holy Spirit—growing from glory to glory in righteousness (Christ) Galatians 5:25, Philippians 3:9-10, 1-8. Living daily from the position and enablement of the Holy Spirit is a new way of life to all believers who, hitherto, wallowed in and were accustomed to disobedience and unfaithfulness since we were dead and had “unrevived minds”. As a result, we need renewing (Pruning) as branches in the Vine John 15:5. Although we’re believers, we can stop the almighty God pruning us by us not presenting/submitting ourselves or abiding in His Son Romans 12:1-2. How can any doctrine that deny this truth be right!?
Some may ask, “What happens to a person who gets engaged to Christ and falls dead the next minute”? Well, the question answers its self—the person was still engaged before departing to await his/her immortal body with which to enter the marriage supper in due time. Unfortunately, the concept of “once saved, always saved” says, “Christ is bound to marry those who disengaged Him while they were clothed with their mortal bodies”. This hypothesis goes against both spiritual and natural principles.
By deliberately or unintentionally misinterpreting the truth in 1 Peter 2:24, the “once saved, always saved” precept subtly saps Christians of the grace to live (submit) to God and resist Satan’s temptations especially in the area(s) of besetting sin(s) that war against our souls 1 Peter 2:11. War against our souls—meaning, wooing us to disengage Christ, court another and live to our flesh Romans 8:12, 2 Corinthians 11:3.
In Matthew 16:24, Jesus emphasised that believers’ willing submission is pivotal because God’s imputed righteousness (Christ), does not enslave anyone engaged to Him rather; all who come to Him become bond servants (followers) of righteousness willingly because of His love towards them. Paul’s point in Romans 16:7 and Philemon 1:9 is not that Christ imprisoned them but a reference that the wicked ruling people unjustly imprisoned him and others because they were faithful to their engagement to Christ, their Lord.
Christ brings His sheep into His Kingdom (Himself) full of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Notice the Holy Spirit doesn’t bring righteousness, peace and joy to anyone instead, all who are in Him enjoy these virtues. They give themselves as slaves to something they enjoy and not enslaved by something they don’t desire. That’s why the law of the spirit of life in Christ produces righteous lifestyle only in believers who thirst and hunger for righteousness Matthew 5:6, Romans 8:13b.
Emphasis! God’s imputed righteousness in believers is Christ’s nature and He doesn’t force Himself out of a believer. As a result, a person who has Christ (saved or redeemed) can decide to stop following or abiding in Him, choose to grieve the Holy Spirit and even blaspheme Him. This is the reason we Christians can still disobey the Holy Spirit to forgive one another and continue murdering one another with hatred 1 John 3:15. No believer who hate and refuse to forgive any other person on earth will be married to Christ (saved to the utmost!) Matthew 6:15.
Scriptures outline factors that make it possible for a Christian to fall away and live unperturbed as an unfaithful fiancée. In the main, it’s looking away from Christ, neglecting the voice of the Holy Spirit and not resisting Satan James 4:7. With this in mind, we’re exhorted and admonished, “Abide in me & I in you. … John 15:4” and don’t grieve the Holy Spirit Ephesians 4:30, James 4:7. Why? The Spirit’s work/fruit is cultivated only in Christ and exhibited via the abiding branches (People of the Way), the Church. While our human kind deeds can attract God’s attention, it’s not the basis upon which God puts His Spirit in us. Christ is the basis and it’s the reason God had to send Peter to philanthropic “Cornelius”. The Cornelius’ of this world need Christ to be saved and saved to the utmost.
When a person receive Salvation, he or she becomes a branch that has all it needs (All of God’s resources) because of the Vine and must abide and bear fruit. Any branch that refuses to abide (stay on bearing fruit) in the Vine is cut off. Those that abide are pruned to continue to bear more fruit John 15:2.
Christ is not only the Righteousness of believers—He is our High Priest, Evangelist, Apostle, Prophet, Shepherd and our God. As our High Priest, He understands our weaknesses having tasted all we can ever experience in our pilgrimage especially the weakness of attempting to look away from Grace and suppose we’re still on the journey. Jesus always looked to or abided in His Father and we’re instructed to look to or abide in Christ Jesus (our road map, destination or destiny). He’s always in front of us and this being the case, our “every weight and besetting sin(s)” is/are always behind us. Against this background, we must set aside (overcome)by not looking back or away from Christ. No one can be looking at Christ and sinning at the same time Hebrews 12:1-2, Philippians 3:13, Luke 9:62. You may have noticed how mere religious environments makes us pious. How much more will we be truly godly by looking to or beholding Christ’s face!
As His disciples, we can fall for any sin we imagine or consider more attractive than the Lamb because it’s with our imagination we look to or look away from things James 1:14. Hence, God inspires us to set our imagination on the perfect sinless blood of His Lamb. It’s the centre of His attraction. From His Blood, we have life and draw life. We live above any sin we don’t relish more than Christ, our bridegroom Colossians 2: 6, 2 Peter 1:3-11. However, the fact we can choose to sin, walk away or refuse to abide in Christ highlights the error of “once saved, ever saved”, and nullifies the prideful doctrine of “sinless perfection”. While a static vehicle will not reach its destiny, a moving vehicle eventually will Hosea 6:3, Philippians 3:12, 1 John 3:3.
As God’s beloved children and bride of Christ, He knows when our love is fading away from Him—when our touch of Him grows cold as if someone else controls our very soul. Although He’s patient with us, it doesn’t mean He’s not hurt seeing us flirting with the Anti-Christ. We may still call on His name and be churchy but it doesn’t stop Him knowing we’ve lost our first love for Him—He feels the emptiness inside of us Matthew 24:12, Revelation 2:5. This is why we’re lovingly and extensively exhorted and admonished in the inerrant scripture (Bible) to keep our imagination on the stature of Christ and we’ll not fulfil the sinful instincts fighting to destroy our souls Philippians 4:8-9.
It’s only when we look away from Christ that sinful instincts prevail over us. Therefore, if we get miserable, guilt ridden, depressed, confused, lose our joy and get offended with Christ because we were overtaken or fell into sin, we need to meditate on the thought below:
Was the dominion we had over the sin that has now overtaken us our own righteousness or was it the one we received as a gift by faith in Christ while we looked to Him? If it is the latter, then, we need to get up quickly! —Repent! And Stop enjoying corruption and rottenness. Pig’s pen is not meant for sheep! Get back to His blood and fix your eyes there. If our hearts (eyes) is not divided but single—centred on Christ, His temple on earth (our whole being – Spirit, soul and body) will be full of His light Luke 11:34.
But, if we choose to remain in the miry clay it’s because we’re enjoying sin and not wanting to abide in Him as a branch or fiancée. If we stay there—taken in by sin’s deceitfulness and our hearts harden, it goes fromfalling into sin—to living, practising or walking in sin (Darkness) Hebrews 3:13. In which case, we may be lured into grabbing the ramshackle doctrine of “once saved, always saved”.
Rightly, as stated by J D. Walt, “The need to convince oneself of their eternal security is itself the greatest sign of eternal insecurity” therefore, He continued “Our greatest need isn’t for a doctrine of eternal security but the graciously granted gift of Divine assurance which comes from the Holy Spirit”. We don’t convince ourselves rather, the Holy Spirit does in each believer’s heart Romans 8:16.
Our journey in and with Christ is one way and onward ever with the good luxury and privilege to run to the throne of grace when we’re becoming short-sighted and weary. The Christian soldier’s onward march is in and towards the God of love, mercy, grace and holiness. He is a consuming fire that burns away sins from all who run to Him for mercy, forgiveness and overcoming grace.
Our engagement to Christ is glorious and described as the hope of glory Colossians 1: 27. So, when comes the glory? At the consummation which is the marriage! Those who have this hope in them purify themselves (Are faithful in courtship) as He was and is 1 John 3:3, 1 Peter 1:14-15. Amen!
Therefore, the decision to abide in Christ or not is our choice. God has done and given Christ’s bride everything she needs to live godly, faithfully, justly, mercifully and humbly in this present life and to finish well (Abide to the end) 2 Timothy 4:7. The Lord’s greatest desire is to see us finish well—keep the faith. I trust and pray that you and I will finish well by His grace that’s working in us and with us. Amen!
If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new. But all things are of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17,18 ASV)
The all-inclusive rule of the new creation is that “all things are of (out from) God.” Concerning this fact the Apostle Paul uses the word “but” – “But all things are of God” – as though he would anticipate, intercept, or arrest an impulse to rush away and attempt life or service upon an old creation basis, or with old creation resource. The great question then is: What does it mean that all things in this new creation are out from God? What kind of a life will such a life be? To answer that question adequately would be a very comprehensive task and the most revolutionary thing conceivable.
To begin with, we should have to be settled regarding the difference between the old and the new creations, and then as to how far-reaching that difference is. In addition, we should need to see that God has put these two creations asunder, utterly and forever, and however gracious and forbearing He may be with us in our ignorance and slowness of apprehension, He never accepts the overlapping or intertwining of the two. Then there would be the further need of an inward, intelligent judgment and power by which we are made aware of the Divine veto upon the one and energy toward the other….
It is not what is done for God that will last, but what is done by God. The measure of spiritual value is determined by the measure in which God promotes it, not the measure of human activities according to human judgments and energies in the name of God.
Following Christ is a lifestyle of constant warfare. Though it doesn’t sound sweet, it’s the truth. Sometimes, we’re at war with “men on foot” and at other times, with “horses” Jeremiah 12: 5, Ephesians 6:10-18. We can be victorious in both cases. But How?
In Isaiah 40, it was prophesied that those who “wait on the Lord” shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. The Spirit gives the Church the strength to win the battle of “running” and “walking” as she waits on the Lord or live in patience.
Having a robust understanding of the phrase, “wait on the Lord” to mean patience or long-suffering given as the fruit of the Spirit is crucial. It’s more than setting aside time to pray and fast. It’s not a seasonal character but a lifestyle produced in those whom Christ lives in.
Is putting a time frame to our “waiting on the Lord” to do this and do that for us a mechanism that builds our faith (relationship with God) or destroys it? For starters, it’s unwise to confine Almighty God to a time of our choosing. That is not faith. Faith rather trusts God to do for us the best at the best time.
The scriptures declares clearly that our timing and God’s is not the same and His is far better. The intent behind all of God’s timing in relation to His purpose and mission for our lives goes beyond giving us temporal goods to helping us reach the end of our faith — the salvation of our souls.
As disciples, none of us sees the end from the beginning. Therefore, in some ways, we’re all short-sighted. But, as we learn to live our lives in the patient fruit of the Spirit, we’re carried into the end of God’s intentions for us both spiritual and temporal.
While every temporal thing is as grass that wither away, we know, that God’s word and every fruit the Holy Spirit bears in us represents the nature of Christ which abides or remains forever. As Paul the Apostle puts it in 1 Corinthians 13, ‘Love is PATIENT and kind and endures all things.
As disciples of Christ, we need to know that we have His virtue of patience.
It is possible you’re reading this exhortation today because God wants you to stir your heart up to exercise “waiting on Him” as a lifestyle that builds and stabilizes your faith. Selah!
As disciples of Christ, we’re exhorted to be hard-working however, possessing our inheritance is by faith and Patience (Waiting on the Lord) Hebrews 6:12.
From the minute a sinner accepts and receives Christ into his or her heart, God’s reward is waiting for that individual whether the person dies immediately after or continues to live on the earth.
The question is, will the person who repents on their ‘deathbed’ receive an equal reward as the person who remains on earth producing good deeds and suffering for Christ?
Before answering the question, let’s remember that some people who are healthy become born again and die shortly after without the opportunity of having good deeds in Christ. God will not penalize them by giving them a lesser reward. Selah! It is our belief in Him that actually gets rewarded as opposed to the works grace accomplishes through us 1 Corinthians 15:10. God rewards our faith.
Christ told Paul, ‘you will see how much you will suffer for the gospel’. What does suffering for the gospel mean? It is labouring hard in the gospel with its attendant consequences.
Why did Paul and every other believer who remains on the earth have to suffer for the gospel? It was for him, and every believer to keep on believing in Christ Jesus and not for a reward. Every work the Holy Spirit accomplishes through us is aimed at keeping us looking to or abiding in Christ to the end.
This is the reason we’re told in Hebrews, ‘Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him as righteousness’ without works. And though His faith produced good works and he was rewarded with blessings, we’re told he did not receive the thing (reward) he was believing for. What reward did he look forward to receiving?
It’s important to know what the reward is because, the body of Christ (The church) is also looking forward to the same reward though she is presently receiving blessings for her work and sufferings in the gospel like the past people of God. We know that the reward is not ebullience because, Jesus said, ‘He delights to answer our prayers now so our joy may be full’. Believers’ full felicity is for now not a reward later in heaven John 16. To enjoy it, we’re encouraged to abide in Him and ask for what we want according to His will.
In 1 Corinthians 9:24 Paul said, “in a race, all run but only one gets the prize, so run that you may obtain it”. What is the meaning of “run” in Paul’s statement?
“Run” in Paul’s speech means, keep believing aright. All who keep believing or running aright are “one” — that is, (the Church). Only the Church will receive the prize. In other words, the Church (The body of Christ) is like a relay team that includes those that have finished their laps but are waiting for the final team member to reach the finishing line. Then, the team will be declared as overcomers and receive the reward Hebrews 11:40.
So, those who walked perfectly with God while on the earth are not yet made perfect because of us, the church. Why? The reason is, the phrase “not yet made perfect” speaks of the reward and they can’t get it until the Church as the “final member” finishes her lap of the race.
John the apostle, tells us what the reward is in 1 John 3:2, “Dear friends (Team or Church), now we are God’s children, and it hasn’t yet appeared what we will be. We know that when he appears we will be like him because we’ll see him as he is”. Notice the phrase, “We will be like him” When? At His appearing! This is the reward for which the saints are being kept by grace. Our perseverance in labouring in the gospel and suffering joyfully is to the end that we may keep believing in Christ.
Our believing ties us to His work which in turn refreshes our believing. The greatest reward or gold medal we will receive is Christ! We will be like our Lord, when He appears. Selah!
Before His appearing, even the walk of those pronounced perfect by God is only partial 1 Corinthians 13:10. His appearing will give the Church her reward in full. Of all the grace the Church has received, the appearing of Christ will bring in such grace the Church has never known 1 Peter 1:13. By this grace at His appearing, we will be like Him. Then, indeed, God would have brought many sons out from Christ as the first Son. No reward supersedes this!
After the Church is pronounced winner and all her parts decorated with Gold (Him), we will serve with Him in different capacities, as sovereignly assigned by God. The capacity each part will serve with Him is not earned by us.
Jesus explained it in Matthew 20. The hired labourers worked in His Kingdom’s vineyard. At the end of the day (Time of reward), each received the same prize though they started working at different times. They as “one man”, were rewarded with “one denarius” (representing Him or the Master’s heart). Same principle applied in Matthew 25. Both the servants with five and two talents were rewarded equally, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master”. Notice their differential talents of five and two were tagged little. And, both talent and reward was sovereignly given. The person with one talent who stopped believing had no work or fruit and was condemned. His lack of faith in the Master was the real problem as opposed to his fruitlessness John 15:4.
James and John wanted to sit, one on the right and the other on the left side of Jesus in Mark 10. Jesus promised them, ‘you will surely drink my cup and get the baptism of death as me but for sitting on my right and left, God will assign it to those for whom it’s prepared. Notice, Jesus did not say it’s for those who worked for it. Whilst the working or producing fruit cannot be separated from genuine faith, the fruit is as a result of faith.
While we’re busy in the gospel worshipping and serving others by faith, we’re consciously and unconsciously keeping our faith aflame. All who keep it aflame to the end will be saved and rewarded. His pleasure and reward is not for those who refused to repent (believe in Him) or for those who draw back and stop believing.
Jesus said in Matthew 16:27 and Revelation 22:12, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. We know that what we have done means nothing without the faith that propelled us to do so. So, the reward is actually for the faith as against the deed itself. Paul clarifies it in Romans 14:23, “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin”. This is why we don’t talk of heroes of deeds in Hebrews but of faith. Hebrews 11, was careful to highlight the means over the heroic deeds. There is no good deed found with Christians that cannot be seen with some people who are outside of Christ but, it is faith that matters to God.
Our faith is our work and it is what gets rewarded. Every good deed done for the sake of doing good means nothing to God. But, good deed in the name of Christ Jesus, will be rewarded as faith in Christ. No other good deed will compare to the good deed of believing in Christ. Those who keep believing will keep His work to the end and be called overcomers. They shall eat from the “Tree of Life”, perpetually escape the “second death”, eat the hidden manna and receive a name written on “White Stone” and be clothed with “White Garment” Revelation 2:7, 11, 17 & 26.
The grand hope and reward of all believers is to be the sons of God with the first begotten from the dead (Jesus Christ) and to reign with Him in authority over the nations Revelation 3:5 & 21:7.
Believing or abiding in Christ to the end is everything! This is why all the apostles prayed and pleaded with the disciples to keep the faith to the end lest their (the apostles) labour would be in vain not that their labour will not be rewarded. It’s vital to note that if a convert turns back or stops believing and following Christ, it becomes a “labour in vain” for the believer(s) who planted and watered 1 Corinthians 3:12-15. However, their reward remains intact! 1 Corinthians 15:58.
Finally, remember, it is God, that gives the growth and not the labourers. We will be rewarded for the faith of doing the assignment and not the result of the assignment. We’ll receive the same reward because it’s our faith that’s rewarded. Therefore, the acceptance and receiving of Christ into the heart by faith though on one’s ‘deathbed’ will not stop a person from the reward of being like Him at His appearing. Selah!
What a good feeling it brings when our fellow humans praise and tell us how good a people we are. Yet, all that is nothing and should remain as nothing till we also hear God’s voice telling us we are His as we walk with Him. His testimony towards us doesn’t just bring good feelings, no, it brings unspeakable joy that has grace to keep us walking with Him to the end Romans 8:16, Hebrews 10:38-39.
The bride of Christ is made up of many individuals (sheep). He walks and speaks with each one of us, confirming we are His. God the Father gave us to him John 10:29. He engages each sheep in discussions about the kingdom of His Father who also is our Father.
Before Jesus’ death and resurrection, His disciples had little or no comprehension of the Kingdom because they only received and understood Him in the flesh Acts 1:6. Earlier, when Jesus transfigured into the dimension of the Kingdom to which He was King, James, John and zealous Peter immediately wanted to start building three booths (what many consider as church today) Mark 9:2-7.
Also, when it was time for Him to go to the cross, die and resurrect so the disciples could start understanding and enjoying the Kingdom, they were rather prepared for fleshly war Luke 22:49-50. Meanwhile, as far as Peter was concerned, this Christian business is fight to finish! So, he decided to take down someone’s ear for starters. It will send the message to the enemies he might have thought. Though Peter may have known Zechariah 4:6 in the Torah, he hadn’t yet experienced it like many of us today who misunderstand Jude 1:3.
Since Christ’s resurrection, no one receives Him after the manner of the flesh again but only after the spirit. After He rose from the grave, He spoke of nothing to His sheep except as it pertained to the Kingdom. No more was He speaking about it in parables but clearly. With Pentecost, His sheep received the indwelling Teacher whose ceaseless work is to teach them “all truth” about the Kingdom, comfort and lead them John 14:17, 16:13.
His post resurrection and Pentecost disciples therefore, are spiritual people blessed to discern the Kingdom 1 Corinthians 2:9-10.
The teaching, comfort, leading and everything else the Holy Spirit does in and through each sheep’s HEART, SOUL and BODY exhibits the Kingdom visibly on the earth Matthew 6:10.
However, God’s instruction in our spirit or heart cannot be obeyed without our mind being renewed. Why? Well, what we have in our soul or mind gets acted out through our body or temple Romans 12:2, 1 Corinthians 6:19. This is why the greatest commandment captured true worship of God in spirit and truth—thereby encompassing man’s spirit, soul and body 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
Minus anyone of these three realms and immediately you get falsehood and religion instead of relationship.
The Lord of a man’s spirit or heart must be the lord of the man’s soul and body Deuteronomy 6:5, 1 Corinthians 6:20. Therefore, everyone who receives Christ Jesus into his or her heart gives Him their soul and body to reign in. It is for this reason that although we as believers have already given our hearts to Christ, His voice of scriptures still exhort and admonish us to, “Submit to God…” and, to put on Christ James 4:7, Romans 12:1, 13:14.
Those who have not received Christ cannot submit to God. Submitting to God goes beyond keeping laws to obeying Christ’s bidding through the Holy Spirit Revelation 2:29, Philippians 3:9. It is different from being humanitarian, doing loads of good works, going to “church” and being pious etc. Though self-goodness can come out of man, man’s nature is totally corrupt.
Our own righteousness unavoidably stained with serpentine craftiness is like a filthy rag in God’s sight. This truth will keep bewildering the religious world. Self has nothing to offer God because it is deceitful and desperately wicked. It deceives its own self and dishonors its Creator once sufficient allurement is given to its eyes, appetite and ego. For this reason, God’s voice is ever with believers through His word to renew our soul and help us subdue our bodies under Christ through the working of His grace in our hearts.
The Spirit of Christ must reign over the soul else, one will be like a person betrothed but who gives his or her mind and body to another 2 Corinthians 11:2-3.
Peter’s foretaste of the Power of His voice
Peter as a weak mortal man participated in Christ’s divine walk on water and did not sink. How? Because he looked to Jesus and hearkened to His voice. Peter’s spirit, soul and body submitted to God. But, after a while, like Adam and Eve’s experience in God’s garden, this level of loyalty and concentration on Christ was severely challenged, tempted and harassed.
Unfortunately, Peter looked away and immediately started sinking (submitting to Satan). As we hear the Holy Spirit’s voice, God’s grace is sufficient to keep us looking unto Christ and walking with Him Matthew 14:28-31. The grace in Christ’s voice that Peter initially hearkened to helped him look quickly again and he cried out to Christ. Glory to God! And he instantly started to have dominion over the water’s waves. Amen!
The light that proceeds from Christ’s voice gives dominion to anyone looking unto Him. Consequently, His light moves the weak and broken from one dimension of glory to many realms of glory in Him.
Dominion by looking and hearing Christ
No matter how perplexed and struck down a believer in Christ gets, the privilege to hear and listen to Christ has power to change the situation Psalm 29:3-9. It delivers from every manner of evil and attacks: materialism, spiritual and physical laziness, gluttony, pornography, paedophilia, homosexuality, hatred, slander, fornication, adultery, spirit of pre-eminence, persecution, witchcraft, fear of death etc. How can it not be so, when grace upon grace has been given to the new creation helping her look to Christ Jesus who had victory over all iniquity!
Dear reader, this world we live in is sinking and decaying. However, there is Christ’s voice of instruction that can save us though there is also Satan’s voice fast wanting to align us with the decay.
Which of the voices are we listening to, Christ or Satan? The latter will lead to fear, sinking and death. Hence, we must encourage ourselves to look and listen only to Christ by the Holy Spirit’s voice because it leads to right-conduct (righteousness), repentance, peace, boldness, joy and life eternal.
He that truly believes (looks and Hearkens) to Christ Jesus’s voice will never perish.