The Lamb of the New Covenant, Part III
What He did ‘To’ us … ‘So that’…We Will Produce Much Fruit for ‘His’ glory
As defined in the prior chapters and posts, the main message of the New Testament is God became man, put on human skin ‘so that’ he could become the Lamb of God ‘so that’ He could die the death that we deserve, pay our sin penalty, provide ‘for’ us forgiveness, reconciliation with God, and eternal life, ‘so that’ He could come to live ‘in’ us and reproduce His ‘character’ ‘in’ us, ‘so that’ we would produce much fruit for His glory.
I write the last post of this series on Good Friday, 2017. I know you agree that what Jesus did ‘for’ us is good news, VERY good news. It was not good that Jesus suffered, endured pain and agony, and died. But it was the outcome, the ‘it is finished’ – eternal outcome that His death and resurrection produced for us that is ‘good’, VERY, VERY good!
So, what did the Lamb of God, Jesus, in His death and resurrection do ‘to’ us?
John 14:17,23 NIV Jesus said when I return to the Father in heaven “I will give you another counselor (the Spirit of truth)…the world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you….if anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (wow…heaven on earth).
After His death and resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven to sit down at the right hand of God the Father and become our high priest ‘forever’. When he ascended, He sent (gave) the gift of the Spirit of Truth ‘to’ us. God the Holy Spirit, the 3rd person of the trinity (the God-Head), comes to live ‘IN’ us ‘when’ we put our faith in Christ as our Savior. When we believe that Jesus died for us and we claim Him as Lord and Savior, we become indwelled by the Spirit of God who literally comes to take residence ‘inside’ our being..inside our internal spirit. That is what Jesus does ‘to’ us. We become ‘born-anew’. We become a new creation. It is a literal spiritual regeneration of the inner spiritual man.
Through His shed blood we have not only been forgiven, we have been ‘redeemed’. Our debt has been ‘paid-in-full’. Redemption includes a process where we are ‘regenerated’ and become a ‘new’ creation. Regeneration is a supernatural-spiritual experience wherein the Holy Spirit of God comes to indwell our bodies, comes to live inside our body in our spirit. The indwelling, or infusion of God’s Spirit, is a God given experience for all people who have been redeemed. It is the ‘gift’ from God that unitizes all of the redeemed community into one body. Scripture refers to this body as ‘the Body of Christ’. All Christians share in the Body of Christ through re-birth/regeneration. Jesus speaks of this process when he is talking to Nicodemus..Jesus said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7).
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 NIV The Apostle Paul says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. All of this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ.”
Being a Christian is having ‘Christ’ live in us ‘so that’ we will be filled to the measure of the fullness of God ‘so that’ we can accomplish His perfect will for our life.
Colossians 1:25-27 NIV: The Apostle Paul says “I have become its servant (saying he is the servant of the body of Christ..the ‘church’) by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness – the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of Glory.”
Ephesians 3:16,17,19 NIV The Apostle Paul says “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God…”
The ‘indwelling’ of God’s Spirit inside our being is identified to us in scripture as ‘Christ in you’. God’s purpose for regenerating us is ‘so that’ we can me made into the image of Christ and produce much fruit. We demonstrate our love for God by producing much fruit. The death of Christ was not just ‘so that’ we could go to heaven. (although that is a GREAT eternal benefit). It was ‘so that’ we would demonstrate our love for Him by producing much fruit.
Romans 12:1-2 NIV The Apostle Paul says “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – which is your spiritual worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
In Chapter 2, The Default Program, I explained the ‘sin nature’ and its work ‘inside’ our mind. I explained that its sole objective is to blind us from seeing the truth of God and keep us from being all God intended us to be. The purpose of regeneration is ‘so that’ Jesus can come to live inside us and give us His power to install His operating software into our internal system so that we will ‘know’ the truth and have power to deal with the ‘sin nature’ ‘so that’ we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds ‘through’ the work and power of the indwelling Spirit. The objective of Christ coming to live in us is ‘so that’ we can become like Him, ‘so that’ we will produce much fruit and please God the Father with our life. (I am not saying that good works are what provides our salvation. No. I am saying that our production of fruit (good works) demonstrates our love for God. It is the manifestation and proof of His life in us).
Romans 8:9 NIV: The Apostle Paul says “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.”
Philippians 2:13 NIV The Apostle Paul says “…for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV The Apostle Paul says “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
Romans 8:29 NIV The Apostle Paul says “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son…”
The longest recorded discourse of Jesus speaking/teaching/praying is recorded in the Gospel of John, chapters 14-17. (Do you get this?… if this is God, the creator of the universe, giver of eternal life, and He is saying something directly to us…do you think it is optional information? No..it is imperative instructions for how we are to live.)
John, verses from chapters 14-15 NIV.. Jesus said… 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” 14:21 “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.” 14:23 “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.” 14:24 “He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.” 15:10 “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love.”
So…what is He commanding in the context of this passage? John 15:4-5 NIV/NASB Jesus said “Abide in me, and I will abide in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man abides in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
On the occasion of this celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the King of the Universe…if you have not accepted Him into your life as your personal Savior…do so right now. If you are a Christian, but are not producing fruit, I encourage you to use the occasion of this Easter season to begin to ‘abide’ in Jesus and begin to implement the purpose for why you were created.
We cannot imitate Christ by simply wishing to do so. We must be indwelled by His Spirit and learn to ‘abide’ with His Spirit in order to become like Him. It is a learned discipline. It is spiritual work. The sin nature will do everything in its power to keep you distracted, comfortable, busy, to keep you from being all you can and should be in Christ.
Abide, be transformed by His Spirit, and let Him conform you to His image.
Jesus did it all for us. He did it ‘for’ us..and He does it to ‘us’. Learn to mediate on the holy scriptures (the bible). Discipline yourself and learn to pray. Spend time ‘abiding’ with Jesus through meditation in His word and in conversation with Him. Remember to thank Him and give Him praise for what He has done for you and to you.
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your mjnds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7
(This post concludes this series. I realize that the posts are lengthy. I realize that the experts say to ‘keep written information to concise and short ‘if’ you want a lot of people to read what you write. I wrote this series because it has been a building-up inside me for years…the learning of…and I have been ‘aching’ to spew it all out :). I trust that someone out there, even if it is just one, that their life will be changed and they will come to realize what they have in Christ and how to maximize their life for His glory. I do plan to begin writing ‘little daily meditations’….a verse from scripture, an observation, an application…and a short prayer. Something someone could read in 2 minutes. So stay tuned. Bless you and thank you for following this blog, thus far).