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Delivered from Sin, part 3
Most of the theologians (when it comes to this subject of the acceptance of offerings) believe that fire came down from heaven to consume the offerings. That is also why the fat was considered the excellent part. As the fat would burn it would rise up as a sweet smelling savor unto God. That is also symbolic of the prayers of the saints in the New Testament (Revelation 8:4). Prayer represents the burning away of the carnal nature allowing the spirit to gain more and more control of a person. The first thing we must learn is that acceptance with God is available to us. This sometimes is a hard lesson to learn. People are often associating acceptance with God with how they feel about themselves. We will never become content with ourselves as long as we are occupied with ourselves. The only real way to become content with ourselves is through understanding how God feels about us. The question we must ask is; “How can we be accepted?” To answer that we must ask ourselves another question: “Has God accepted Christ?” We know that God accepted Christ by virtue of the resurrection. God would not have raised Jesus from the dead if He was not worthy of His presence. In the same way those who die without Christ in their heart will not be raised from the dead when they die. They will not go into His presence. In Abel’s case there was no mistake. God’s acceptance of his offering was what irritated Cain. It was obvious that Abel’s offering was accepted and that Cain’s was not because God in essence took it up through the fire. In order to know our acceptance with God we must not only believe that Christ died for us but that He was taken up – or raised from the dead. To understand our own acceptance with God we must accept the fact that Christ, as a man, is at the right hand of God today. God sent Jesus into the world to bear the judgment of man’s distance from God; and where is He now? He is at the right hand of God. If you are struggling with your own acceptance with God then you don’t fully understand that the Man who died for you is the Man that has gone up and who is now in the glory of God. His acceptance is our acceptance. We are in Christ. This is not about God accepting you as you are as much as it is God seeing you through His Son. The witness of our acceptance with God today is the Holy Spirit. Fire is not the witness now, but the Holy Spirit. At Jesus’ baptism, which is symbolic of death to the old life and then newness of life, it’s marked by the Holy Spirit coming down upon Him. That is the sign of acceptance today. Water and blood are the two witnesses of his death, but the Holy Spirit is the witness of His resurrection. Jesus went down under the judgment that rested on man. His perfect-ness and sinless-ness was so proved in death that He was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father. He perfectly glorified God in death, and now He is raised from the dead, as a man, and is completely out of judgment. Once you are raised from the dead you are out of judgment. So who is your eye resting upon? If it is resting on the One who is out of judgment (Jesus) then you can rest assured that His acceptance is your acceptance. This all has to be taken by faith and the proof of your faith is the Holy Spirit coming upon you. Romans 4:25 “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” If all you believe in is the death of Jesus Christ – you do not yet have the Gospel – subsequently you cannot have acceptance with God. This is why it is very common for religious people to believe in the death of Christ and yet know in their hearts they are not ready to stand before Him. They cannot see themselves in Him until they receive Him by faith as their own Savior, and it is difficult to receive Him as Savior if they do not understand that they can be accepted by the Father. Many years ago a young man was praying about his lost soul and he told those around him that he was going to focus on Christ on the Cross. A Christian lady said to him, “He is not there now.” We cannot merely focus on the death of Christ – it must be combined with His resurrection. This is why we do not promote the crucifix as something we should glorify or have in our homes. The crucifix still has Christ on the cross and that is not the whole Gospel. This is possibly why so many Christians can never really feel free in Christ – it’s because all they can see is that Christ died for their sins. Subsequently they cannot get away from the fact that they are such terrible sinners.
Medication (because laughter is the best medicine) IT'S SO HOT THAT... ..The birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground. ..The trees are whistling for the dogs. ..The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance. ..Hot water now comes out of both taps in the sink. ..You can make sun tea instantly. ..You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron. ..The temperature drops below 95 F (35 C) and you feel a little chilly. ..You discover that in August it only takes 2 fingers to steer your car. ..You discover that you can get sunburned through your car window. ..You actually burn your hand opening the car door. ..You break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m. ..Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?" ..You realize that asphalt has a liquid state. ..Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs. God Bless,
Pastor Brad Verse of the week: James 2:26 Today's Bible reading(s): Jeremiah 4 - 6