Monday, July 8, 2024

Completely Restored

Many believers are under the influence that the main reason they have received Christ as Lord and Savior is to escape the wrath to come (which is true) and escape hell and go to heaven (which is also true) but, these things are not the sole purposes behind God's brilliant plan of redemption. When looking at the account of Adam's act of treason in the Garden, we find the first thing that happened was fellowship with God was broken, "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden." (Genesis 3:8)  

 Notice that "Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God." Keep in mind, prior to this they were tending the Garden together, naked, "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed" (Genesis 2:25), and they had no shame. The act of treason had brought shame upon them both. The fig leaves they covered themselves with was not to hid their nudity, but an attempt to cover their shame. The shame then cause them, in a feeble attempt, to hide themselves from God. Adam's act of treason had caused such a painful feeling of humiliation, the consequences resulted in broken fellowship with his Creator, the Lord God, "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17) The death that Adam immediately experienced was "spiritual death." His physical death came 930 years later, which was the consequences of spiritual death, separation from God.

The number one purpose for man's redemption in the mind of God was to restore man back to fellowship with Himself. (2 Corinthians 5:18) Everything else is an outcrop of restored fellowship. The Apostle Paul tells us, "God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:9) The Apostle John tells us, "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. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full." (1 John 1:3-4) Fellowship means, sharing together, joint participation, therefore, God has called us into a two sided relationship with Him, where we share and participate together. Our fellowship with the father is a love relationship, "We love, because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19)  

The writer of Hebrews tells us, "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) Boldly means freedom. God has given His children the freedom to meet with Him, to fellowship with Him, any time, any place. We come to Him because of His mercy, knowing that "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9), because, "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world." (1 John 2:1-2) Praise the Lord, we have a family attorney, a "Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5)  who goes to bat for us, so we can have this wonderful, loved filled fellowship with the Father. 

Once we have obtained God's wonderful mercy, we now ask Him for "grace to help in time of need." We ask Him for His favor; His strength; His help; His counsel; His direction; and His support. The reason we ask God for these things, is we recognize our utter dependence on Him and the desperate need for His grace. Jesus tells us, "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 15:5) Every believer must realize the without Jesus, we can do nothing. Every talent and or ability that we have is solely from God. The very breathe that we take can stop if not for God's grace. 

Having fellowship with God is not limited to prayer. The fact is, we have an unlimited fellowship with Him, meaning, we need to acknowledge Him every waking moment that we have, whether on the job, in a store, in an automobile, wherever, due to His desire for us to fellowship continuously with Him. The writer of Hebrews tells us we are to "offer God a sacrifice of praise, continuously." (Hebrews 13:15) Solomon tells us to, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6) The Psalmist wrote, "In his presence is fullness of joy." (Psalm 16:11) "Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms." (Psalm 95:2) "Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing." (Psalm 100:2) Do we see our Heavenly Father's desire for His children to fellowship with Him continuously?

I want to encourage you to fellowship with the Father and the Son through the Holy Spirit all the time. Honestly, this will take some practice, some getting used to, because most believers are often caught up in the distractions of life. This does not mean that we should quit our jobs or just stay home, but to remember that the Holy Spirit is in us and we are always in God's presence, though we may not recognize this fact. Once we get used to having fellowship with God at all times, we will find ourselves living in His peace, the kind that passes all understanding, no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in. We see this in the life of Jesus. Though He was God, He was still a man. Due to His constant fellowship with the Father He was able to be fast asleep in a boat, though waves were filling the boat with water and His disciple were in panic mode. (Mark 4:35-38)    

"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever." Amen. (Jude 24-25)

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