“The value of your life is only found in the value you put in Jesus Christ as your life.”
by: Elder Kirk E. Hillman
“The value of your life is only found in the value you put in Jesus Christ as your life.”
by: Elder Kirk E. Hillman
If a person is born without physical sight, he/she doesn’t know their condition to be abnormal. They do not know they are to see things through their eyes. The appreciation of the world around them is through their faculties of feeling, hearing, and smell. What they perceive from these inputs of sensations are what they understand to be the normal manner in which someone appreciates the world around them. Only when someone tells them that they are supposed to be able to see with their eyes to appreciate the world around them, do they become aware of this “physical deficiency” they have and denial and disbelief usually follow the introduction of that truth.
Mankind is like this blind person. Many believe their life is normal. They believe that because they are a good person, they are on their way to heaven when they die. They believe that everything is fine between them and God because this is primarily what they have been told from childhood.
Well, this is not true. Mankind has a “spiritual deficiency.” Mankind is under the condemnation of God and has been sentenced to eternal separation and punishment as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Many people hearing this truth for the first time, go into a state of denial and do not believe it; much like the blind person.
Though God is just and must carry out the sentence of punishment He pronounces, He loves what He created and therefore provides a way for mankind to be saved from this condemnation. The provision is in the person of Jesus Christ who came to earth to take upon himself God’s condemnation and the sentence of eternal punishment and separation.
This is what the Passion Week is all about from April 14th to April 21st. We should recollect how Jesus suffered mankind’s punishment and died as a substitutionary sacrifice of atonement on a cross, thereby bringing forgiveness and restoration between God and mankind.
God provides through Jesus’ death and resurrection a free gift of eternal salvation for anyone who professes an abiding faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord is saved or brought out from under God’s condemnation. They are adopted into His eternal family as a son or daughter all because of what Jesus Christ suffered during the Passion Week.
Just like how the blind person would rejoice if he/she received sight, so everyone who has received Jesus to be their personal Savior and Lord should rejoice because of what Jesus Christ has given to them; restoration and Eternal life with God the Father as a result of dying on the Cross of Calvary.
The Passion Week is our reminder of the punishment that waits for anyone who is not reconciled back to the Father through faith in Jesus Christ when the Day of Judgment comes because their name is not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life as a result of receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
The death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday and the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday are reminders of the gift of mercy and grace for those who come out of denial and believe the truth about mankind’s “spiritual deficiency” in God.
“Grace” is traditionally understood by many born-again believers to mean God’s unmerited favor. Ironically, this traditional definition has been so used and abused to where it has lost relevance in the lives of so many born again believers. Many cannot comprehend how pervasive this attitude of God is in their lives, and many cannot understand how they can be a recipient of it nor walk in it. In short, many born-again believers do not appreciate the depth nor the breath of this unmerited favor.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “grace” in a way that reflects its deepest implication. It defines “grace” as unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration and sanctification.
Well, the implication here is that both the unbeliever and the believer as human beings are beneficiaries of a divine assistance that is unmerited. Meaning, it is an assistance that is given to them, not because of anything they did that qualified them to receive it, but it was given to them because of the character of the giver.
Now regeneration is the born-again experience and this pertains to sinful man. You see, sinful man needs divine assistance from God to be saved; to convert from an unbeliever to a believer in God. Sinful man cannot do this on his own merit.
Sanctification is the process of growing and maturing in God that a believer experiences once they have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It means that transformation occurs in every aspect of their life, in a way that allows Christ to live through them, bringing glory to the Father through the multiplicity of good works God calls them to perform. Now the believer cannot do this on his own merit, he too needs divine assistance to accomplish it.
So what caused man to be in need of divine assistance?
The answer is in the Garden of Eden. It is the place where God put Adam and Eve to dwell and have dominion over all He had created. It is where they had intimate fellowship with Him. All was well. Life was good. Then something happened. Sin entered into the picture. The sin of disobedience to the command God gave, not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
God told Adam and Eve if they ate the fruit from the tree they would die the moment they did. God was referring to eternal spiritual death; eternal separation from His presence, His kingdom, and His intimacy. This separation brought the curse of physical death, the toil, and the change of their nature from godly to sinful with loss of dominion and authority over the earth. The result; man and God are separated. Eternally separated.
Well, it is at this point that the concept of assistance comes into play. God did something to bring about a reuniting of man to Himself because man could not bring himself to God due to his sinful nature. You see, sin cannot stand in the presence of God.
Therefore, man can do nothing to change his separated condition because he cannot be in God’s presence due to his sinful nature. Man is doomed to eternal separation from God.
John 3: 16-17 (NIV): 16For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.
This is God’s divine assistance for the purpose of man’s regeneration. God through His Son Jesus Christ provides rescue from eternal separation.
Scripture tells us that no one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him and that those who do come will be raised up in the last days. Many people are under the assumption that they have the power to approach God for their salvation. Well, that is not true. God calls you to Himself because of His loving-kindness towards you. You must make a decision when this call comes, either to accept or reject the invitation.
Jesus tells us that He stands at the door and knocks. If anyone hears His voice and opens the door, He will come in and eat with them and they with Him. You see, God is reaching out to mankind and asking him to accept His provision of regeneration. This is the dimension of “grace” that is of greatest importance to God. His assistance in reuniting, reconciling, and forgiving fallen mankind for the sin of Adam.
Then there is the other dimension of “grace” that provides us with the assistance to live the Christian life while in our physical body. God provides us with help to do this in the person of the Holy Spirit. He is our Paraclete; someone who walks with us until we are taken home with Christ.
Scripture tells us the work of the Holy Spirit is to teach us all things and remind us of what Jesus has taught us. The Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth and will tell us what is yet to come and will take from the Father what is Christ’s and make it known to us.
This awesome disposition of God, this “grace,” is rooted in an attitude of God, to want to extend a favor to mankind because of His love for mankind. It is unmerited because man is not worthy of such a favor. Because of what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden, man deserves to be punished. It is only through the mercy extended toward us from God that we are recipients of this unmerited favor or divine assistance.
God sees to it that not only does the assistance reunite, forgive, and reconcile us back to Himself, but it also covers us until the Day of Redemption when we will be taken out of our physical body and placed in a heavenly body that carries no corruption with it for eternity.
So as a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, walk continuously in the knowledge of the “grace” of the Father and be ever mindful that His “grace” is sufficient for you until you are taken home to eternity. Always be encouraged that God is faithful when He tells you He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Many people cannot spiritually understand nor comprehend what happens to them when they ask Jesus Christ to come into their heart and become Lord and Savior of their life. They cannot fully understand what changed in their lives. Many are looking for an outward change that shows that something is different.
Scripture tells us that a spiritual relocation takes place in the lives of all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
We are told in Colossians 1:13:
“For He has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and He has brought us into the Kingdom of His dear Son.”
Many people do not know this truth. They believe they come into the Kingdom of God by good works. They do not know that they have been “rescued” from their former lives they lived in the kingdom of Satan and have been relocated to a new spiritual home in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
It is critical that you understand, there are only some life-threatening situations and circumstances that we can “escape” from; the rest require some form of “rescue.” Why?
Because in some situations you do not possess the power to overcome those forces that are life-threatening on your own effort.
It is like a person trapped in a burning room who is unable to overcome the power and effects of the flames, heat, and smoke that are consuming every breath of oxygen. Unable to safely make it to an exit, this person will die of suffocation and burn.
In effect, this person was not able to “escape” from the burning room on their own effort or merit. They needed some form of external help such as a firefighter or Good Samaritan to come to their assistance. They needed someone who had the power to overcome the effects of the burning room.
If that had happened, we would say that person was “rescued” from the burning room by such and such; we would not say that they “escaped.”
The person who is trapped in the burning room has a final destiny that awaits them if they are not removed – the loss of their life – and they can do nothing on their own to stop it. Make no mistake about it, they are going to die from suffocation and burning. Their self-efforts are of no avail because they cannot overcome their physical condition.
This is the situation with mankind and God. Man cannot “escape” the sentence of eternal death that God has pronounced on them as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
It is a fact; man is destined to be thrown in the Lake of Fire to be eternally separated from God and eternally tormented.
The devil wants you to think that you can “escape” from this sentence of death and separation. He makes you think you are not in any danger with God. He makes you think that all you have to do is be good throughout your life and you will be able to “escape” this sentence. That goodness alone will give you eternal fellowship with God.
God tells us something different. He tells us that we cannot “escape” His sentence of eternal damnation and wrath on our own merits or efforts.
He tells us the only way to have eternal fellowship and union with Him is through faith in Jesus Christ.
He tells us when we believe in His Son for what He did for us by taking our punishment and dying on the cross; shedding His blood to provide the forgiveness of our sins; and entrusting our entire lives over to His care – only then will we be “rescued” by Jesus Christ from the sentence of eternal judgment and condemnation.
Escape Is A Deception Of Satan
Don’t let Satan continue to deceive you with his lie that you can “escape” the eternal judgment of God by your good works. It is only by believing and having faith in Jesus Christ that you can be “rescued” from God’s eternal judgment and condemnation.
The ability to “see” is a remarkable phenomenon we possess as human beings. This phenomenon is made possible by the reflection of light rays off of an object that is then transmitted onto the surface of the retina of our eyes.
When this happens we say we can “see” the object and are then able to interpret the image we “see”. Without the light rays or their transmission to our retina, it is impossible to “see” anything.
Our physical eyes give us physical sight, but our spiritual eyes give us spiritual sight. Both require the reflection of light rays.
In the physical, the light rays come from the sun or moon; in the spiritual, the light rays come from the Word of God.
Since we understand the physical sense of sight, let us gain some understanding of the spiritual sense of sight as it is told to us in the Bible.
The Bible tells us that our lives are lived in either “darkness” or in “light”.
Things that are untruths or lies are said to be “darkness”. Things that are truth, are said to be “light”.
If you were in a room that had no light, just pure blackness, and it was filled with furniture, you would probably have difficulty moving around in it without bumping into something or tripping over something because of the darkness of the room. Your movements would be hindered, tentative, unsure and clumsy. You would grope around trying to feel your way because you were not able to “see” your way around. The situation would be completely different if the room was lighted. In that case, you would be able to “see” things in your path clearly and would move freely and effortlessly throughout the room.
Well as a Christian, we see the world through our eyes of faith in Jesus Christ, who told us in the Gospel of John 14:6 that he was the way, the truth and the life.
If Christ is the truth, then He is light, and it is His light that is reflected in the “retina of our spiritual eyes” which is our faith.
Because of this, we are able to say I “see” the truth of God in this or that. Those areas in my life where I was groping around in the lies of “darkness”, have now been lighted with the “light” of truth because of my faith in Jesus Christ. I am now able to move freely and effortlessly around those “things” in my life, that were once in darkness and that caused hindrances in my relationship with Him.
Thank God for rescuing me from the kingdom of darkness and bringing me into the Kingdom of His dear Son, who has given me the ability to “see” the “light” of truth that is in Christ Jesus.
A born again believer in Jesus Christ is anyone who puts their faith totally in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. It is someone who is said to have “entrusted” Jesus Christ with their entire life; to have committed themselves to Him because of what He has done for them and what He has promised them.
He has paid the penalty for their sinful nature by dying on the cross at Calvary which satisfied the righteous requirement of the law and as a result paved the way for all who believe in Him to be eternally forgiven of their sin and to be resurrected with Him unto eternal life with the Godhead at the end of the age.
This is the foundation of the Christian faith; the rock of truth that every born again believer stands on with expectant hope.
Now, people don’t usually put their trust in something or someone who cannot deliver the “goods” so to speak; especially if it involves their very life. If the person or thing falters on what was promised, they usually will disconnect themselves from them; move away from them; give up on them; or disown them, just to name of few of the possible responses. They do this because they have lost “faith” in that person’s ability or the ability of the thing they relied on to deliver what was promised.
Though this behavior of giving up on someone or something for not fulfilling a promise is consistent with being human, it is not a behavior that is consistent with God. Though people may fail to fulfill their promises to one another, God never fails to fulfill His promises to those who love Him and who receive Him as their personal Savior and Lord.
Ponder these verses of Scripture:
Numbers 23:19 (NIV): God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?
2Timothy 2:11-13 (NIV): Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we disown Him, He will also disown us; if we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.
Why not then, consider giving your life to the One who can save you from eternal damnation. To the One who promises and always fulfills His promises. To the One who did for you what you couldn’t do for yourself. To the One who promises you an eternal life, free of sin and corruption and defilement. An eternal life of fellowship with the One who created you and loved you to the point of dying for you so you could be reconciled and made holy.
In the climate of today’s relativism, it behooves you to ponder this thought; this piece of truth that can bring you to hope with an expectant joy that the world cannot give you, or promise you.
Give your life to Jesus Christ, the only one who can save you from eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire and eternal separation from the one who loved you enough to die for you…
If you want to learn more about salvation, go to this link: “What Is Salvation”
In our lifetime, we will find ourselves engaged in many situations or circumstances that pose a threat to our safety and maybe even to our lives that we can handle by “escaping” from them. But on the flip side, there may be situations or circumstances that we can’t escape and that we find we need to be “rescued” from instead. Why?
It is because, in those situations where “escape” can be accomplished, it is due to our own efforts and merit to overcome whatever the threat or danger may be. But in those situations where rescue is needed, it is due to our inability to overcome the threat or danger on our own efforts or merit.
It is like a person who is trapped in a burning room and who is unable to overcome the power and effects of the flames, heat, and smoke that are overcoming his/her every breath of oxygen. Unable to safely make it to an exit, this person will ultimately die of smoke inhalation and asphyxiation.
In effect, this person was not able to “escape” from the circumstances of the burning room on their own efforts or merit. They needed to have some form of external help, such as a firefighter or Good Samaritan to come to their assistance. They needed someone who had the power to overcome the circumstances of the burning room. If that had happened, we would be able to say that the person was “rescued” from the burning room by either the firefighter or Good Samaritan; we couldn’t say that they “escaped”.
The person who is trapped in that burning room has a final destiny that awaits them if they are not removed from that situation; it is the loss of their life. If they cannot do anything on their own to remove themselves, make no mistake about it, they are going to die from smoke inhalation and asphyxiation. Their self-efforts would be of no avail because they cannot overcome their physical condition.
Mankind (you and I), finds ourselves in a life-threatening situation with respect to our spiritual position and condition with God. We cannot “escape” the sentence of eternal death that God has pronounced on us as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It is a fact that mankind is destined to be thrown into the Lake of Fire, to be eternally separated from God, and to be eternally tormented.
The devil wants you to think that you can “escape” from this sentence of eternal death, separation, and torment. The devil makes you think you are not in any danger with God. The devil makes you think that all you have to do is to be good throughout your life and that will enable you to “escape” this sentence; that goodness alone will give you eternal fellowship with God.
But God tells us something very different. God tells us that we cannot “escape” His sentence of eternal damnation and wrath on our own merits or efforts. God tells us that the only way to have eternal fellowship and union with Him is through having belief and faith in Jesus Christ and thereby being “rescued” from His condemnation and wrath.
We are told in Colossians 1:13
“13For He has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and He has brought us into the Kingdom of His dear Son.”
And in John 3:16,17
“16For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.”
God tells us that when we believe in His Son (Jesus Christ) for what He did for us by taking our punishment and dying on the cross; shedding His blood to provide the forgiveness of our sins; and entrusting our entire lives over to His care – only then will we be “rescued” by Jesus Christ from the sentence of eternal judgment and condemnation.
Don’t let Satan continue to deceive you with his lie that you can “escape” the eternal judgment of God by your good works.
Let today be the day you receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.
Believe that He died on the cross at Calvary to pay your sin debt; that He shed His own blood on the cross for the remission of your sins; that He was raised from the dead on the third day following His crucifixion through the justification of the Father; and that He gives eternal life to all who believe in Him.
Remember that you are in need of “rescue” from the judgment of God of being thrown into the Lake of Fire to be eternally tormented and of being eternally separated from God and experiencing a spiritual eternal death that comes from it.
Again I say, let today be the day you receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and let God do what only He can do for you to make your life reconciled back to Him.