Who You Are In Christ

You Are A New Creation

”Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

You Are Justified

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 5:1

You Are Complete In Christ

“And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” – Colossians 2:10

You Have Access To God Through The Holy Spirit

“For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” – Ephesians 2:18

You Are A Saint

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 1:1


You Are God’s Workmanship

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10

You Are Hidden With Christ In God

“For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” – Colossians 3:3

You Are Free Forever From Condemnation

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” – Romans 8:1-2

You Are United With The Lord

“But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” – 1 Corinthians 6:17

You Are A Minister Of Reconciliation For God

“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” – 2 Corinthians 5:18-19

You Are Assured That All Things Work Together For Your Good

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

You Are Bought With A Price And Belong To God

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20


You Are God’s Temple

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” – 1 Corinthians 3:16

You Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens You

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

You Are Established, Anointed And Sealed By God

Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”
– 2 Corinthians 1:21-22


You Are Seated With Christ In The Heavenly Places

“And raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 2:6

You Are A Member Of Christ’s Body

“Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” – 1 Corinthians 12:27

You Have Been Adopted As God’s Child

“Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” – Ephesians 1:5

You Are God’s Fellow Worker

“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.” – 1 Corinthians 3:9

You Are A Branch Of The True Vine

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:1,5


You Have Been Chosen And Appointed To Bear Fruit

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” – John 15:16


You Are The Salt And Light Of The Earth

“You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” – Matthew 5:13-14

You Are A Personal Witness Of Christ’s

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

You Are A Citizen Of Heaven

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 3:20

You Have Not Been Given A Spirit Of Fear, But Of Power, Love And A Sound Mind

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

You Have Been Redeemed And Forgiven

“In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
– Colossians 1:14

You Are Free From Any Charge Against You

“Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” – Romans 8:33-34

You Cannot Be Separated From The Love Of God

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39

You May Approach God With Freedom And Confidence

“Christ Jesus, our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.” – Ephesians 3:11-12


You May Find Grace And Mercy In Time Of Need

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16


You Are Confident That The Good Work God Has Begun In You Will Be Perfected

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6

You Are Christ’s Friend

“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you riends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” – John 15:15

3 Things You Need To Know Before (And After) You Become A Christian

There are three things a person needs to know in order to become a Christian and then live a fulfilling life in Christ.

1) You need to know you are a sinner

The Gospel begins with the bad news that we’re all sinners:

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom 3:23)

There is none righteous, no, not one. (Rom 3:10)

And our sin places us under God’s judgment:

The wages of sin is death… (Rom 6:23)

We often make the mistake of comparing ourselves to other people. When we do that we convince ourselves that we aren’t so bad. But it’s “the glory of God” that we fall short of. God compares our behavior to His own — not other people — and all of us fall short when held to this standard.

Why this is important to know: 1) We must recognize that we need be saved from our sins in order to be at peace with God and 2) That salvation must come from a source outside of us because we can’t live up to God’s standard.
 

2) You need to know how you can be forgiven for your sins

After laying out the problem, the Gospel then give us the solution to the problem of sin:

The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 6:23)

Christ Himself fulfilled all that God has required in His Law, and paid for our sins:

What the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. (Rom 8:3)

We are saved through Christ’s work, not our own:

It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Eph 2:8-9)

As we learned above, we can’t save ourselves from our sin because our good works can’t live up to God’s standard, but where our works are stained with sin and rejected, Christ’s work is perfect and is accepted.

When we say we recognize our need to be saved, and call on Christ to be our Savior, we mean we’re relying on His sacrifice to be a payment for our sins and to make peace with God on our behalf. When we do this God credits Christ’s perfection to us, we’re justified, and we’re forgiven for our sins.

Why this is important to know: Because only Jesus can save us from the penalty of our sin, any other way we try to make peace with God will fall short (Acts 4:12).
 

3) You need to know how you should respond to God’s forgiveness

Once we are at peace with God, through Christ, we are a new creation:

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Cor 5:17)

We no longer live for sin, we live for God:

Do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. (Rom 6:13)

You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Pet 2:9)

And our lives should bear good fruit:

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Gal 5:22-23)

Why this is important to know: In order to grow in Christ we need to know how to respond to God’s grace. What Christ has done for us effects how we live. We do good works, not to be saved, but because Christ has saved us (Eph 2:10). We forgive because Christ has forgiven us (Matt 6:12). We bless because Christ has blessed us (Eph 1:3). We served because Christ has served us (Mrk 10:45). We love because Christ has loved us (1 Jhn 4:19).

3 Things Christian’s Should Know About Praying In Jesus’ Name

1. Praying In Jesus’ name means we depend on Jesus for access to God

The way to heaven is blocked up by our sins. There is no access for a sinful person to God without a Mediator.

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jhn 14:6)

Jesus Christ is that Mediator. Jesus came down from heaven, died for sinners, and gathers them to himself by His effectual calling.

“If anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” (1 Jhn 2:1)

“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Eph 3:12)

“Since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb 4:14,16)

2. Praying In Jesus’ name means we depend on Jesus for acceptance of our prayers

After Jesus intercedes for us by His work on the cross, he then tells us to go to his Father in his name, and ask what we need. He also gives us His Spirit to help us with our prayers.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1 Jhn 5:14)

“I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” (John 16:23)

“The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (Rom 8:26)

3. Praying In Jesus’ name means we depend on Jesus for a gracious answer

We don’t always get the answer to prayers we want but we will always receive whatever we need to accomplish God’s will in our lives through Jesus.

“I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” (Jhn 14:13)

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” (Phil 4:13)

7 Ways God Loves Us

1) God loves us with Atoning love.

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (Jhn 3:16-17)

God’s love for us is what motivated Him to send Christ into the world to save us. Christ paid for our sins, which had separated us from Him. This sacrifice not only brings us peace with God, it also brings us into a personal, loving relationship with Him. (Rom 5:1-5)

God’s atoning love through Christ is the source of all our spiritual blessings.

2) God loves us with Calling love.

“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Pet 2:9)

Another way God shows His love for us is by calling us out of the darkness of sin and into the light of fellowship with Him.

Even more, because God has called us to Himself, He promises to protect that relationship (Jhn 10:28) and never leave or forsake us (Heb 13:5, 1 Thes 5:23-25)

God’s calling love is a promise to always be with us.

3) God loves us with Redeeming love.

“God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Rom 8:3-4)

Because of our sinful nature, we have no power to fulfill God’s law. But God’s love is shown through Christ who redeemed, or paid, the price we owed for our rebellion. (Gal 3:13)

God’s redeeming love frees us from guilt and fear.

4) God loves us with Justifying love.

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” (Rom 3:23-25)

God’s love is shown by justifying us (or declaring us innocent) by grace through faith in Christ. Christ is treated as if he were the sinner, and the sinner is treated as if he were the righteous one. God now sees us through Christ’s righteousness instead of through our sin.

God’s justifying love allows us to stand accepted before Him.

5) God loves us with Adopting love.

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”” (Rom 8:15)

God shows His love for us by not only forgiving us of our sins, but by going even further and bringing us into His family. He has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints. (Col 1:12) This inheritance includes salvation, strength, hope, peace, comfort, providence, fellowship and so much more!

God’s adopting love allows us to call Him “Father”.

6) God loves us with Sanctifying love.

“We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb 10:10)

Still another way God also shows His love is by sanctifying, or setting us apart, for His purpose. We’re sanctified in two ways: positionally and progressively.

We’re sanctified “positionally” when we come to Christ. In the Old Testament the priests would continually make sacrifices because they never permanently paid for sin. But Christ offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice and has paid for our sins once and for all. So we’ve sanctified, or set apart, to obtain salvation through Christ.

We’re also sanctified “progressively” throughout our Christian lives. Progressive sanctification isn’t about our salvation — we’re saved by grace and not by works (Eph 2:8-9) — it’s about how we live after we’ve been saved.

Progressive sanctification is the process of dying to sin and living for Christ by becoming more like Him. It’s about producing the fruits of the Spirit as opposed to producing the fruits of the flesh. (Gal 5:19-23)

God’s sanctifying love sets us apart for His special plans.

7) God loves us with Glorifying love.

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:1-2)

Finally, God shows His love by glorifying us. Throughout our lives we’ll wrestle with sin, but we’re promised that the good work God begins in us will be completed. (Phil 1:6) When we go to be with the Lord our sinful nature will be left behind and we’ll like Him, and with Him, forever.

God’s glorifying love is the ultimate destination for Christians.

Don’t Make These 3 Mistakes With Your Salvation

One of the core teachings of Christianity is that we need to have faith in order to be saved. But what kind of faith saves us?

In a previous study we discussed what it is we’re saved from. In this study we’re going to discuss how we know we’re saved.

To do this, we’re going to look at three examples of people in the Bible who mistakenly thought they were saved, see why they were wrong, and from that learn how we can know we’re saved.

Mistake #1 – Believing you’re saved because of your tradition

“Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.'” – John 8:42-44

Our first example comes from a heated exchange between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees — the religious leaders of their day. Jesus tells them that He speaks the words of His Father, while they speak the words of their father, the devil.

These religious people felt they were saved because of their bloodline and because of the traditions they followed. They felt these things made God their Father. Many people believe this today. They feel because they were raised in a Christian home, or because they attend a church, they’re saved.

But Jesus refutes this by saying, “If God were your Father, you would love me…” The requirement for being a child of God is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Notice two things:

1) Notice that Jesus says “you”. Not your parents, or friends or your church but “you”. No one can have a relationship on our behalf. You alone must put your trust in Him to be saved.

2) Notice that Jesus says “me”. It’s not where you were born, or what church you attend that makes you a child of God. It’s a belief and a trust that Christ came from the Father to pay for your sins (John 3:16). John 1:12 tells us that “all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Let’s look at our second example.

Mistake #2 – Believing you’re saved because of your behavior

Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”- Luke 18:10-14

Our next example comes from a parable Jesus told. Here we find that the Pharisee thinks he’s saved because of his good behavior. This is probably the reason most people today believe they’re saved. Most people feel that they’ve lived good lives.

But Jesus refutes this by telling us that it’s not the Pharisee who is justified (declare innocent from sin), but the tax collector. To be justified Jesus tells us we must be humble about our condition. We must realize we’ve sinned and call on God to forgive us.

Notice two things:

1) Notice that the Pharisee compared his behavior to the tax collector.

2) Notice that the tax collector compared his behavior to God.

The tax collector did the right thing because Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It’s “the glory of God” that we fall short of. Our behavior is compared to God — not other people — and all of us fall short when held to this standard. But Romans 3:24 tells us that we can be saved because we’re “justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

Let’s look at one final example.

Mistake #3 – Believing you’re saved because of your works or deeds

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” – Matthew 7:21-23

In our final example we find Jesus talking about who will be able to enter the kingdom of heaven. Here we find people who believe they’re saved because of good works they do. Again this is something many people do today.

Jesus refutes this by saying that He won’t accept their works. As we mentioned in our last example, God’s glory is the standard we’re held to, and it’s perfect. So unless our offering is perfect, it falls short of His glory. When we try to offer good deeds to atone for our sins, God rejects that because the sacrifice is stained with sin, and falls short of His glory.

Jesus says that only those who do the will of His Father will enter the kingdom. What is His will? “He commands all people everywhere to repent.” (Acts 17:30) What does it mean to repent? It means to turn from sin, to Christ.

Where our works are stained with sin and rejected, Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is perfect and is accepted. When we repent and come to Christ to be our Savior it means we’re relying on His sacrifice to make peace with God on our behalf. When we do this God credits Christ’s perfection to us and we are justified.

How are we saved?

In this study we’ve looked at people who mistakenly thought they were saved because of their tradition, behavior or good works. Each example had one thing in common: Each tried to obtain salvation through their own strength and fell short.

God gives us salvation through His Son. Our salvation isn’t based on what we’ve done, it’s based on what Christ has done. We know we’re saved when we know we trust in Christ completely for our salvation.

Verses to remember

– “By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Eph 2:8)

– “This is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:11-13)

– He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (Heb 7:25)

4 Ways We Draw Close To God

Christians draw close to God when…

1) Through Christ, we turn from sin to His grace, for forgiveness and mercy.

God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ (Eph 2:4-5, 13)

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb 4:14,16)

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matt 11:28-29)

Learn More: What Is The Gospel?, How Do We Know We’re Saved?

2) We come to Him in prayer and lift up praises to Him.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7)

Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful. (Psa 147:1)

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. (Eph 3:17-18)

Learn More: Two Very Different Prayers, The 5 Finger Prayer

3) We read, trust and apply His Word daily.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16-17)

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (Jam 1:22)

You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word. (Ps 119:114)

Learn More: Living By Faith, 7 Commands For Christian Living

4) In faith we lay hold of His promises and live in His strength.

Abraham did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. (Rom 4:20-21)

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.(2 Cor 12:9)

His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises. (2 Pet 1:3-4)

Learn More: The Christian’s Strength, Where To Put Your Troubles

4 Things The Gospel Frees Us From

Learn more about the Gospel: What Is The Gospel?, How Do We Know We’re Saved?

The “gospel”, from the Greek word evangelion, literally means “good news.” In ancient times, the evangelion (“good news”) was proclaimed from city to city to celebrate the accession of the new king to the throne upon the death of the old.

That is exactly what is being proclaimed in the gospel of Christ: the gospel is the joyful proclamation of the reign of Christ (literally, of God’s “Anointed One”), the rightful heir to the throne of David who lived and died and rose again to glory.

The gospel is the announcement that the blessing for which all of us long – more, better, richer, purer life – is available to us, even now; and this blessing is all bound up in the person and work of Jesus, “the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

The gospel is the most powerful message of human liberation that has ever been proclaimed on earth. The gospel gives us:

1) Freedom from bondage of sin

“God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” (Rom 6:17-18)

If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (Jhn 8:36)

2) Freedom from the condemnation of God’s moral law

“Christ was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” (Rom 4:24)

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering…” (Rom 8:1-3)

3) Freedom from fear of death

“‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 15:55-57)

“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:20-21)

4) Freedom to live boldly in the assurance of God’s love for us

“We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb 4:15-16)

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)

– Adapted from JD Grisham’s Dust & Glory: The Meaning & Implications of the Gospel of Grace

5 Names of Christ (And What They Mean)

The five most important names of Christ are the following:

1) Jesus

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matt 1:20-21)

This is the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua (Jos. 1:1; Zech. 3:1) or Jeshua (Ezra 2:2). Derived from the Hebrew word “to save”. It designates Christ as the Saviour (Matt. 1:21).

Two types of Christ bore the same name in the Old Testament – Joshua, the son of Nun and Joshua, the son of Jehozadak.

2) Christ

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matt 16:16)

This is the New Testament form for the Old Testament “Messiah”, which means “the anointed one”. According to the Old Testament, prophets (1 Kings 19:16, priests, Ex. 29:7) and kings, (1 Sam 10:1) were anointed with oil. By this anointing they were set aside for their respective offices, and were qualified for them.

Christ was anointed with the Holy Spirit for the threefold office of prophet, priest, and king. Historically, this anointing took place when He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and when He was baptized. (Matt 3:13-16)

3) Son of Man

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. Mark 10:45)

This name, as applied to Christ, was derived from Dan. 7:13. It is the name which Jesus generally applies to Himself, while others seldom use it.

While it does contain an indication of the humanity of Jesus, in the light of its historical origin in points far more to His superhuman character and to His future coming with the clouds of heaven in majesty and glory (Dan. 7:13; Matt. 16:27, 28; 26:64; Luke 21:27).

4) Son of God

We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. (1 Jhn 4:14)

Christ is called “the Son of God” in more than one sense. He is so called, because He is the second Person of the Trinity, and therefore Himself God (Matt. 11:27), but also because He is the appointed Messiah (Matt. 24:36), and because His birth to the supernatural activity of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:3).

5) Lord

Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. (2 Pet 3:18)

Jesus’ contemporaries sometimes applied this name to Jesus as a form of polite address, just as we use the word “sir”. It is especially after the resurrection of Christ that the name acquires a deeper meaning.

In some passages it designates Christ as the Owner and Ruler of the Church (Rom. 1:7; Eph. 1:17), and in others it really stands for the name of God (1 Cor. 7:34; Phil. 4:4, 5).

– Louis Berkhof

8 Ways God Blesses Us

1 Corinthians 1:1-9 lists eight ways God blesses us through Christ.

About 1 Corinthians

Corinth was the major commercial center in the Roman Empire. The city was famous for its wealth and also for being filled with every kind of evil. It was home to twelve pagan temples, including the Temple of Aphrodite, which housed over one thousand prostitutes. The city was so wicked that the term “Corinthianize” was coined to describe someone who practiced sexual immorality.

It was a city many would describe as God-forsaken, but God loves the unlovable and saves the unsaveable. So He sent Paul to preach the gospel and establish a church there.

Now living in this environment you can imagine that these new Christians would have trouble – and they did. There were divisions, legal problems, impurity and scandals throughout the Corinthian church. Instead of the Christians influencing the culture, the culture was influencing the Christians. So God lead Paul to write the book of 1 Corinthians to address these problems.

The book begins with nine verses laying out the believers standing before God and Paul uses this standing as the reason why they should change their ways. He basically says, “This is who you were, but this is who you are now in Christ, so live accordingly.”

1) God blesses us by adding us to His Church

Paul addresses the Corinthians in verse 2 as “the church of God which is at Corinth”. The word church means, “The called out ones”. It refers to people of every generation, every race, every nation, every walk of life, who were called out of the world and into the family of God.

1 Peter 2:9 describes the church as “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people,” who are to “proclaim the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

It’s a group made up of people so flawed and so deep in sin, yet they’re called “the Church of God.” The reason this is possible is because of the second way God blesses us.

2) God blesses us by sanctifying us

In verse 2 Paul first calls the Corinthians “the church of God”, now he calls them “those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus.”

To be sanctified means to be set apart for God’s purpose. We’re sanctified in three ways: positionally, progressively and ultimately.

We’re sanctified “positionally” when we come to Christ. Hebrews 10:10-12 explains: “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.”

In the Old Testament the priests would continually make sacrifices because they never permanently paid for sin. But Christ offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice and has paid for our sins once and for all. So we’ve sanctified, or set apart, to obtain salvation through Christ.

Then we’re sanctified “progressively” throughout our Christian lives. Progressive sanctification is the process of dying to sin and living for Christ by becoming more like Him. Galatians 5:22 explains that whereas before we did the works of the flesh we’re now to produce the fruit of the Spirit which “is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Progressive sanctification isn’t about our salvation it’s about how we live after we’ve been saved.

Then finally we’re sanctified “ultimately” when we go to heaven. Throughout our lives we wrestle with sin but when we go to be with the Lord our sinful nature is left behind. 1 John 3:2-3 explains that “now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”

That brings us to the third way God blesses us.

3) God blesses us by making us saints

Paul continues his address in verse 2 by referring to the Corinthians as “called to be saints or literally “called saints”. The word “saint” means the same as sanctify – to be made separate or to be made holy. Those who are the recipients of sanctification are called saints. So we could refer to saints as “the sanctified ones”.

Notice that they’re called saints now. Saints aren’t canonized by the church. Verse 2 goes on to explain that saints are those “who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.” If that describes you then you are a saint right now.

Now we move on to verse 4 and find the fourth way God blesses us.

4) God blesses us by making us recipients of His grace

In Verse 4 Paul says, “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus. The reason we’re the church of God, the reason we’re sanctified, the reason we’re called saints is because of God’s grace.

To receive grace means to receive undeserved favor. Just as there are different aspects of sanctification there are also different aspects of grace that the Christian enjoys.

There’s saving grace which is described for us in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Then there’s sustaining grace which we find in 2 Corinthians 12:9 where Paul is asking God to remove some hindrance. God responds by saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” And that caused Paul to say, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

So God’s grace doesn’t just save us, it also strengthens us, encourages us, and enables us to have joy in all circumstances.

5) God blesses us by enriching everything by Christ

Verse 5 says “You were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge.” Or, as the NIV puts it, “you have been enriched in every way-in all your speaking and in all your knowledge.”

James 2:5 tells us that “God has chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him.” In 1 Corinthians 2:16 we’re told we have “the mind of Christ” which enables us to think on spiritual things. God showers us with gifts of salvation, fellowship, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness and faithfulness. We’re given everything we need to serve God and be fulfilled spiritually.

6) God blesses us by confirming us

Verse 6 says that “the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you”

When someone comes to Christ the Holy Spirit applies salvation to the believer. Ephesians 1:13-14 tells us that “In Christ you trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

We can rest secure in the knowledge that the promises of God are guaranteed to those who are in Christ.

7) God blesses us by causing us to be blameless in the day of our Lord

Verse 8 says that “you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The day will come when God will judge men according to their works. But Psalm 32:1-2 reminds us that “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity.” Through Christ we stand blameless before God because all our sins were covered on the Cross.

8) God blesses us by calling us into fellowship

Finally in verse 9 we’re told we’re “called into the fellowship.” We’re called into a relationship with God and with fellow believers. 1 John 1:3 says “That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. God grants us the gift of a relationship with Him and the opportunity to join others in praising Him.

All About Angels

What Angels Are Like

Angels are spiritual beings created by God to serve Him (Ps 148:1-5; Col 1:16). Calvin described angels as “heavenly spirits, whose obedience and ministry God employs to execute all the purposes which he has decreed,” while the writer of Hebrews described them as “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation.” (Heb 1:14)

There are countless numbers of angels (Dan 7:10; Heb 12:22), though they do not reproduce (Matt 22:30). Matthew 18:10 may hint that there are at least as many angels as there are humans who have lived throughout history.

Exactly when they were created is unknown, but they were present during the creation of the world, and shouted for joy when they witnessed God’s creative power. (Job 38:6-7)

Like humans, angels are personalities who display intelligence, emotion and freewill. But while humans are both spiritual and material beings (Jam 2:26) angels are only spirit. (Heb 1:14) They sometimes appear in the glory of the Lord (Luke 2:9), sometimes as men (Heb 13:2; Mar 16:5), and sometimes appear as strange forms (Isa 6; Ezk 1).

Angels are limited beings and are not omniscient (2 Pet 2:11). They desire to learn more about the gospel (1 Pet 1:12) and rejoice when a sinner repents. (Lk 15:10)

What Angels Do

Angels worship God (Ps 148:2; Heb 1:6) and serve Him (Psa 103:20). They announce and execute judgment on God’s command (Rev 14:6-7; Rev 16:1).

Angels also appear to be involved somehow in bringing answers to prayer requests (Dan 10:12; Acts 12:5-10), though as mere servants of God they are never to be prayed to or worshiped. To do so would be a terrible sin. (Col 2:18)

Angels observe our world, taking special interest in Christ’s work on the cross. (1 Pet 1:12) No doubt they were amazed to see the Lord step out of glory and into our fallen world.

They must have marveled at the thought of He who knew no sin becoming sin on our behalf. (2 Cor 5:21) Every day they witness His grace in the lives of believers and it cause them to praise His holy name. It should cause us, the recipients of His grace, to do no less