So wonderful to be able to continue to grow in the wonderful grace as we observe God's Holy Day of Atonement, and the depth of HIS love HE has for us through the Lord Jesus Christ... It is indeed by His righteousness we are saved from eternal death... While His Spirit in us ensure we are His, and that growth will be attained as long as we respond to His guidance through willing obedience because of our love for our Holy God...
As we enter the final stages of Satan's diabolical plan of deception to close out this present evil age, reliance upon the Spirit of God through the atoning sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ is so crucial to our endurance of faith in HIM... As God had planned long before the creation ever came to be, HE planned that for His Son's sacrifice to be the bridge that would ensure salvation would be made available for those who are awakened from what is at it's core spiritual wantonness...
We are to remember our struggle is spiritual in nature to ensure that our focus remains on the only ONE through WHOM we will ever overcome this fallen world this is beset with deviancy because of spiritual deception, and depravity... James chapter 4 reminds us:
"7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor." (New Living Translation)
Psalm chapter 68 that the Son of God is the One Who will lift us up by the power of His Spirit in order to ensure the troubles that befall us do not overwhelm us... As long as we upon Him in Spirit, and the Truth that our Savior alone defines verses 19-20 reminds us why Jesus came in the flesh:
"19 Praise the Lord; praise God our Savior!
For each day He carries us in His arms. Interlude
20 Our God is a God who saves!
The Sovereign Lord rescues us from death. (New Living Translation)
So through Christ Jesus one will find spiritual reconciliation to the Father of all creation after having been conceive in sin, and once children of the devil... Denying the Son as one's Savior means it is utterly impossible to find redemption, and atonement to be at one with His Father... We must always remember that once one is reconciled to God the Father through the atoning sacrifice of His Son, working out one's salvation is absolutely essential in order to ensure we are prepared to enter into our Creator's kingdom that is without end...
The initial atonement as one is made spiritually aware of one's carnal nature is the beginning of what must be the continued growth in the grace, and knowledge of God's Truth, and Way based on that individual's reliance upon the Spirit of God as Jesus pointed out to Nicodemus in John chapter 3:
"5 Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. 6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. 7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”
Once the Spirit of God is received as one repents through the Son, atonement through God begins... As one's spiritual journey on the straight, and narrow continues, and our High Priest, and Teacher guides us in all Truth concerning Himself as the Word of God, maturing from spiritual babes needing the pure milk of God's instruction to fully maturing to the point of being able to instruct other's concerning the Word of the Everliving One... As Hebrews chapter 5 reminds us, growing up requires reliance upon the Spirit of God, and will not occur if the flesh is too relevant:
"11 Concerning this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull and sluggish in [your spiritual] hearing and disinclined to listen. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers [because of the time you have had to learn these truths], you actually need someone to teach you again the elementary principles of God’s word [from the beginning], and you have come to be continually in need of milk, not solid food. 13 For everyone who lives on milk is [doctrinally inexperienced and] unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a spiritual infant. 14 But solid food is for the [spiritually] mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between what is morally good and what is evil." (Amplified Version)
Chapter 6 of Hebrews continues in encouraging one's grow, and maturity through Christ Jesus in total reliance upon the Spirit of God... To ensure maturity through the Spirit of God is the end result, and that as a child of our Father in heaven the full inheritance of the eternal kingdom of the Most High is attained:
"6 So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds, and placing our faith in God. 2 You don’t need further instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And so, God willing, we will move forward to further understanding." (New Living Translation)
The continuance of one's growth in the Lord Jesus Christ while relying upon God in Spirit, and in Truth, depends upon whether that individual is exercising faith in our Teacher on a spiritual level... This is why Jesus wanted to ensure we understood the vital principle that ultimately HE is our Instructor, or Teacher...
Our responsibility is to mature, and rely upon HIM as such in order to achieve what God intends within those who fully rely upon HIM via a close personal relationship... Which again requires an individual learns to discipline themself to listen, and rely upon the Spirit of God for instruction... Placing our full trust in God rather than man, or any physical organism which can take the place of what one truly needs through our Beloved Savior, and therefore stifles growth as Jesus makes perfectly clear while addressing His disciples as well as us in Matthew chapter 23...
"8 “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters. 9 And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your Father. 10 And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you must be a servant. 12 But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."
The above passages do not mean that one cannot teach of course... But ensuring that their brethren are encouraged to ultimately rely upon the Spirit of God as one's guide... This requires faith in Christ Jesus, and is very difficult for those who do not want to truly grow spiritually in accordance to God's will...
Denying Truth, or only embracing certain aspects of God's Word that appeal to one trying to redefine HIM in the image we want to believe is right, even when scripture is quite clear on WHO our Creator is, can be rather easy to do... Growth in Christ Jesus is a sacrifice, and at times can be trying because of one's carnal nature... How much one truly relies upon the Spirit of God will determine how much growth will occur...
Individual believers working out what began with the atoning blood of God's Son in order to ensure our Father's holiness is guiding one's life as this process of working out one's salvation continues upon initial conversion .. Jesus declared as recorded in Matthew chapter 5 to utilize the down payment of God's Spirit upon receiving salvation through Himself to ensure we are striving to be defined by the perfection of our Loving Father:
"43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives His sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." (New Living Translation)
Enduring suffering comes with this as God helps to fashion the spirits within all who surrender their lives for the sake of God's glorious fruit of His being... While being defined by WHO HE is, and always has been if we allow God to our Savior promises to complete what His life was sacrificed for as 1 Peter chapter 5 reminds us:
"10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be]. 11 To Him be dominion (power, authority, sovereignty) forever and ever. Amen. (Amplified Version)
Paul was encouraged to instruct us concerning the atoning sacrifice of our Beloved Savior, and that it is a process that requires a faith in God's Spirit to ensure we are working out so great a salvation... Consistency with our faith in God's Spirit as 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 declares:
"16 Rejoice always and delight in your faith; 17 be unceasing and persistent in prayer; 18 in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench [subdue, or be unresponsive to the working and guidance of] the [Holy] Spirit. 20 Do not scorn or reject gifts of prophecy or prophecies [spoken revelations—words of instruction or exhortation or warning]. 21 But test all things carefully [so you can recognize what is good]. Hold firmly to that which is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil [withdraw and keep away from it]. (Amplified Version)
This is not about just fasting on a single day as it pertains to our Savior's atoning sacrifice... It is about the Way of Truth that we must ensure we are living that is pleasing to our Creator as we live in faith by working out the unearned Gift of Life through the Lord Jesus Christ... This day serves as a reminder of just how important reconciliation to our Loving Father through His Son is to HIM, and how HE desires to want to help perfect the love that God alone defines to ensure we fulfill the purpose for our being given life...
Jesus summed it up perfectly as His atoning sacrifice brings unity to those who believe in HIM as HE prayed for all who are called to be His disciples just before His betrayal, and eventual crucifixion.. In John chapter 17 we read what should be our goal, and can only be attained through one's desire to know I AM, and submit to His sovereign will:
"20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (New Living Translation)
The greatest love story that will ever be experienced for eternity for those who become one with the Father of all creation through the ONE through WHOM all exists... I hope that this day which recognizes our need to be defined by the love only God can perfect within us through His only begotten Son, and the atoning sacrifice that HE alone could only fulfill as the Way, Truth, and Life... Obedience to our Savior the Word is crucial to us becoming one with our Father, and Savior... As God has to know we can be trusted as we show our faith through works once one is saved through His Son... Take care, and His peace be with us all...