Monday, August 18, 2014

Sufferings Reveal His Glory

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." (Romans 8: 18)

We also endure sufferings today, in that there are enemies outside of us and within us, but these enemies have all been defeated.

First of all, there is the Enemy, the Devil and Satan:

13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." (Colossians 2: 13-15)

Notice that when Jesus died on the Cross, He made an open display of principalities and powers, meaning that He disarmed them. They cannot harm us, because Satan and his minions no longer have a legal basis for accusing us before God the Father.

The law has been fulfilled, and a New Covenant has been enacted, one in which we can know and believe that all our sins have been put away forever, and that God will never be angry with  us again:

"8In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
"9For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee." (Isaiah 54: 8-9)
Now, there is another source of suffering: our flesh.
We have to recognize that we are born again in our spirits, for we are spirit, possessing a soul and living in a body:
"For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day." (2 Corinthians 4: 16)
We are a new creation, in our Spirit:
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5: 17)
Now, this flesh has been condemned:
"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:" (Romans 8: 3)
"This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5: 16)
Here, "walk" is a Hebrew concept, which speaks of identity. We identify with the Spirit of God, and thus we do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
But also:
"And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (Galatians 5: 24)
Satan has been defeated, judged even (John 16: 11), our flesh has been condemned. What about the world?
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16: 33)
Jesus promised His disciples then, and to us His brethren before the Father, that there would be tribulation. Yet He has overcome the world.
And in Christ, so have we:
"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." (Romans 8: 37)
"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." (1 John 4: 4)
Whatever suffering you may face, will actually reveal the glory of His overcoming power in your life:
"Herein is our love perfected, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as He is, so are we in this world."
When we rest and confess this truth, we can understand this glory, too:
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." (1 John 5: 4)

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