Keeping an open mind to God’s word while we’re engaged in well-meaning doctrinal review is crucial for believers. Although scrutiny can catalyse differences, it doesn’t make it unnecessary. Differences can be healthy by showing us complementarity or safety lines.
Having said the above, in this exercise to ascertain God’s ultimate heart desire for humanity, let’s depend on the Holy Spirit to enlighten us through the scriptures.
What’s God’s ultimate heart desire for humanity?
The answer—is revealed in God’s two-fold purpose for breathing Life (Christ or Light) into Adam and Eve. The two pronged intent is: For humanity to have freedom to worship (talk and walk) with Him as His image bearer and from that vantage, till the ground as its caretaker (Micah 6:8, Ecclesiastes 12:13, Genesis 2:15).
Although Adam and Eve eventually lost God’s image through their disobedient choice (Genesis 3:6) and plunged humankind into darkness, God’s heart desire for humanity to worship Him didn’t change. In due time, His only Son (The Lamb sacrificed from the beginning) was sent as the Light—to light up humanity who lived in darkness and in the shadow of death (Luke 1:79).
However, because it was by choice humankind rejected God’s life freely breathed into our first parent (Adam and Eve), it’s also by choice that we’ll have to receive God’s free gift of life being offered to us in His Son.
But, given humanity’s gross depravity, are we able to choose life? Yes!
That’s what Christ’s atonement did — it tore the veil —making it possible for humankind to turn to the Light through the preaching of the gospel (2 Corinthians 5:19, Matthew 27:51, Romans 3:25, 1 Corinthians 1:21). Therefore, it’s proclaimed, ‘whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life’ (John 3:15).
God’s active desire ab initio was and still is salvation (His life to dwell in humankind Genesis 1:26, 1 John 4:14-15, Romans 10:13). It’s contrary to Calvinist predestination doctrine which portrays God as a trickster — engaged in offering a larger segment of humanity His Light — while He had predetermined by His sovereignty for them never to accept the Light. This blind spot is part of the fundamental error governing Calvinism. The scriptures to show how God have negated the rest of His attributes and used just one — “sovereignty” to act against every other thing He represents is yet to be provided.
True sovereignty of God works within the framework of His other characteristics like love, justice, patience etc. His sovereignty in perfect harmony with the rest of His attributes is displayed in His willingness to save humanity despite we were fallen. Herein, we’re shown godly sovereignty that’s not divorced from who He is. Because God’s sovereignty operates within His attribute of justice, He made the provision of His Lamb from the foundation of the world knowing He’ll never work against His own attributes. So, God’s Lamb is pivotal and inevitable since the Adamic sin that affected all of humanity had to be paid for.
Ironically, John Calvin’s discriminatory interpretation of predestination doesn’t resemble his namesake’s (John, the apostle) inspired scriptures in John chapter 1. Here’s what it says, ‘the Word or Logos was in the beginning with God as God and He created humans and the Word is the light of or for humanity (John 1:1-3, John 1:4). Notice, the Light is not for some predestined people.
‘The mission of the true Light, is to give light to everyone’ (John 1:9). The essence of John the Baptist’s ministry further solidified this truth: “God sent him as a witness to testify concerning the Light, so that through him all (not some) might believe in the Light” (John 1:6-9).
As John the Baptist made good of the ministry of being a witness to the Light, oppositions and distraction arose from the people who wanted to know who he was and his mission. But, he kept his focus on God’s heart desire and stated it repeatedly in an uncomplicated manner: “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (humanity)” (John 1:29).For all intent and purposes, this clearly speaks of Christ’s general atonement for humanity and not limited atonement for specially predestined people(1 John 2:2, Isaiah 53:6).
Let all who want to praise the glory of God’s grace reflect again and again about His sovereignty alongside all of His other attributes. As we do, hopefully, we’ll eventually acknowledge that there’s no way God’s other characteristics would’ve been dormant for sovereignty to act independently. God is self-sufficient in wisdom and counsels Himself wisely! (Isaiah 40:13).
The Scope of the Light’s Mission
The Light’s mission was to all of humankind and not to any special people (Neither the Israelites nor a certain predestined multitude). Even the Israelites as part of humanity and by genealogy Jesus’s own people also refused to recognise and acknowledge the Light (Him) (John 1:10-11). But, because the Light (The Word) came as a fresh start for humanity, as many as received Him, those who believed in His name He gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of parental decision but born of God (John 1:12-13, 1 Peter 1:23).
Evidently, God laced the apostolic ministry of John with His heart’s desire for humanity in a way that explained predestination. Pursuant to God’s desire to save all of humanity, John both faithfully and plainly proclaimed the remarkable action God took, ‘Out of His fullness, grace upon grace has been poured out to humanity’ (John 1:16, 4: 42, Titus 2:11, 1 Timothy 4:10). Unlike God’s “law of commandments” given to the Israelites by Moses as their culture, grace and truth (Christ Jesus or the Gospel) is given to humankind as a culture of Light or Redemption (John 1:17).
In Ephesians chapter 1, Paul stated repeatedly that God predestined humankind to redemption. To be holy and blameless through believing the gospel—God’s good pleasure for humankind. A pleasure He determined for humans in Christ from creation. This gospel (The Light—God’s Son) came to reveal His Father to all of humanity. Why? Because no one has ever seen or can see the Father except by seeing His Son (John 1:18).
How can the general atonement of Jesus Christ be entered into?
John stated the answer, “Make straight the way for the Lord” — meaning, believe in the Lord or repent — not from all of our sins but from the sin of rejecting the Light (John 1:23, Mark 1:15, Acts 3:19). Why do we refuse to come to the Light or His atonement? It’s because our hearts and deeds are evil and the devil uses it to blind us (John 3:19, 2 Corinthians 4:4). It has nothing to do with us not being predestined.
How do humanity that love darkness come to the Light? Jesus’s sapid explanation showed both His Father’s role and humankind’s. ‘… God takes the initiative to teach all to come to Christ, and everyone who hears, learn or agree with God accepts Christ (John 6:45). So, verse 45 of John 6 clarifies (John 6:44), ‘before anyone can come to me, they must first listen and agree with my Father’s persuasion’. Those who agree to come to me are those taught or persuaded by God and great will be their peace as spoken by the prophets and I will raise them up at the last day (Isaiah 54:13).
Whilst it’s the church that’s chiefly used by God to persuade humankind, He also directly persuades humans — including babies in their mother’s womb. Patiently, God endures with humanity so all can heed His persuasion! (2 Peter 3:9, 15). God is not devilish to be busy drawing (persuading) people He had predetermined never to accept His persuasion.
It’s clearly stated, ‘God sent the Light to humankind not to condemn us but to give us Light’ (John 3:17). This offer is to everyone everywhere (Mark 16:15). Why? Because He loves humankind (John 3:16). His desire (Predestination) is for everyone to enter into the Light of eternal life in His Son. It’s not a reserved privilege for a few elect, no! Those — few (Multitudes) who respond to God’s persuasion to go to Christ just as Jesus had to agree with God’s predestination to go the cross will be chosen or elected to abide in Christ as a new creation (Matthew 22:14, Luke 22:42, 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Encouraging reason why every human should come to the Light or Christ’ Atonement
While it’s true that when we come to the Light the darkness in our hearts and evil deeds will be exposed to us, we need not be shamed or afraid because Christ made the atonement on the cross on our behalf and resurrected to give humankind life abundantly (John 10:10). If we accept His atonement, its effect doesn’t leave us with our sin, sins and shame (1 John 2:2). He translates us to light and helps us walk in the light (Matthew 5:14, John 8:12, 14:26, Isaiah 30:21, Psalm 32:8, Romans 8:14).
Consequently, the only reason any human will be lost perpetually is the rejection of the Lamb of God and not because they were predestined to damnation (John 3:18, Mark 16:16). It accounts for why the Prophets of old prophesied that Christ is the Messiah and the Apostles vehemently insisted that redemption is found in no one else but Christ Jesus, the light of humankind (Acts 4:12).
The True Gospel
The gospel does not become good news because He’s received. In and of Himself, He’s good news to humanity. That’s why He’s not limited to any socio-political cum religious and ideological enclave. Irrespective of the religion and culture we’re born into, God is daily drawing everyone to Christ, the Light of Humankind.
Through the Church (All those who’ve accepted God’s persuasion to believe in Christ and follow Him), the gospel is being displayed and preached to all humans that God, our Creator, has the welfare of each one of us at heart, to this end: that we should be saved in Christ (Mark 16: 15). This is the theme of the book of Acts. It isn’t a narrative of God conscripting some predestined folks.
God has never been in the business of forcing humanity to worship Him else, the rich young ruler and King Agrippa would’ve been conscripted. They freely and unwisely rejected God’s persuasion (Mark 10: 17-22, Acts 26:27-29).
Jesus himself, John, the apostle and John the Baptist including the other apostles and prophets pointed to this conclusion: everyone is invited to Christ Jesus, why? Because God doesn’t desire for anyone to go to hell (The unavoidable place for those who reject Christ’s atonement).
No human was predestined to go to hell to satisfy God’s cosmic pleasure. Far from it! (Ezekiel 18:23).
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!
There are monstrous problems in our communities and they’re affecting everyone dwelling on the earth. We can’t pretend to be unconcerned. However, it’s worse to pretend we have them under control— pretending in this way can cause us to be engrossed with solving earth’s problems to the neglect of worshipping and praising the Almighty God. That’s why the heart of God’s true people (His Church) not “our church”, is sighing and crying for the Lord’s fullness. It’s a call for Him to finish His blueprint for humankind.
God is responding as the Bread of Heaven is now touching His people’s soul more than ever and persuading those who’re not yet engaged to Christ Jesus to do so quickly. For these reasons, hearts no more want to “linger in Judea’s plain but desire to flee to the mountain top”. Therefore, the objective content in the saint’s prayers in this hour is captured in the song:
Hear us o Lord, Hear our souls deep sighing
Hear us o Lord for our hearts yearn for You
As the thirsty pants for the water brook
So our hungry souls pant after You
(You’ve awoken us from sleep and being awake, we clearly see) “the wild geese fleeing—flying away from the winter’s night like the lilies striving just to reach the light”. This is inspiring us to hear the “bridegroom’s call from our innermost being” and our sincere response is:
Lord, take us to Your mountain top as you have desired to have us as Your wife (Save us to the utmost).
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.
In the Old Testament, King Saul epitomised the system and rule that failed woefully, and its adoption in our time is still failing. It was bound to fail. Why? It originated from God’s people’s desire to pursue their own purpose and mission and not God’s perfect will to be King over them 1 Samuel 8:1-10, 11-17, 18-22, 2 Corinthians 11:20.
Within God’s “acceptable will”, Saul became King over God’s people. But, God is always progressing His people towards His ultimate plan for them so, in time, the root of Jesse — David, became King according to God’s “good will”. However, David’s Kingship was a run-up to God’s “perfect will” in the Person of His Son — Christ Jesus, the true and final King of the Church (God’s people).
1 Chronicle 12, chronicled the events of David’s crowning which is a pointer to the events that will also precede the crowning of Christ as King in the Church. Hence, since the birth of the Church, from the four corners of the earth, God’s army (Often nicknamed disgruntled fellows) have been coming out of the twelve tribes of “Israel” to crown Christ as Lord of lords and King of kings. The era of types/shadows or “acceptable and good will” of God has to give way for His “perfect will” to fill all in all Ephesians 1:22-23.
The root of Jesse, the true King and a High priest forever after the order of Melchizedek has taken centre stage. All previous kingship, high priests, system and law are obsolete and no scheme of man can keep them going Hebrews 7. The functioning of the evangelists, apostles, prophets, teachers, shepherds and every other spiritual gifts is meant to invite the unsaved to seek salvation in Jesus Christ and to focus the church to walk with Christ as her leader, head and King in all things through faith. These gifts are for the fulfilment of God’s “perfect will” and not to reinstate and sustain “type and shadows” that has passed away like Moses’s glory 1 Timothy 4:16.
Now, more than ever before, God’s army is eager to grow in the stature of her true King, not through mixed reign but His alone via the law of the Spirit of life. Hence, “trendy Christianity” can no longer stop them from knowing that picking up the cross daily is imperative Philippians 3:18. The narrow way of the cross is the only way to be glorified with Christ Romans 8:16-17.
What does it mean for us to pick up the cross daily? Based on what we have heard, seen and touched in accordance with the Bible and the Spirit’s witness, it means to daily crown Christ as King over our lives by the leading of the Holy Spirit Romans 8:14 . The Holy Spirit prompts, helps and comforts us individually and collectively to hold on to the cross in our pilgrimage Luke 9:23. He accomplishes this in and with us through:
Light as well as darkness
Momentary afflictions and victories
The Holy Spirit is at work in you and me as God’s temple and when we gather together because the all-wise God seeks a mighty army not a feeble one. He will have the Church be as the seasoned troop of Zebulun and full of understanding as Issachar with singleness of purpose.
That the Church as His Son’s bride may be tested, faithful, truly loving Him and committed under every situation. In this way, all things work together for the good of the Church Romans 8:28. Despite all oppositions, the church’s experience of growth in Christ will keep her overwhelmingly joyful Philippians 4:4, Romans 12:12. There’s nothing that compares to it. It’s mentally, physically and spiritually refreshing 1 Timothy 4:8. It’s a priceless lifestyle!
With respect to this Church Christ is building, tried and true, the gates of hell can’t stop her from crowning Him as her King and has no chance of victory over her Matthew 16:18, Hebrews 12:27. Herein is our boasting — that we know the Lord (we’re a part of His one body) and a living sacrifice. As a living sacrifice, we’re thankful and appreciative of Christ’s love, mercy and grace in and through us 1 Corinthians 1:26-31. The sovereign authority of Christ in and amongst those His blood has purchased unto God is unstoppable.
As the coming of Christ Jesus, the final King of the Church draws nearer, necessity is laid upon all of us who have put Him on (born again Galatians 3:27) to crown Him King (put on Christ) over our daily lives Romans 13:11, 12, 13-14. It’s for this purpose the church is now under tremendous pressure on every side to act with understanding as the five wise virgins Matthew 25:4. The Lord is coming in the midst of the night and the Church will be ready to meet Him with shouts of rejoicing.