October 31, 2010

If It Is To Be, It Is Up To Me – Ray Anderson

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:00 am by kdkelly

As we mature into adulthood, sooner or later it occurs to us that if we are going to make anything out of ourselves, we are going to have to show some initiative and take things into our own hands. We certainly get help along the way, but it still comes down to our doing something on our own. We have to make a conscious effort to get out of bed in the morning and go to school or work. We have to decide whether we are going to be a good student or worker. It is up to us to decide and carry through with it.

God provided the plan of our reconciliation to him and our salvation before the foundation of the world.  (Ephesians 1:3-5). Christ said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30). The plan is in place and the invitation given. If we are to become reconciled to God through the blood of his son and become one of his children, each one of us must make that decision. If it is to be, it is up to me.

Man’s Natural Condition

We know that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23). Our sin separates us from God and therefore we need a redeemer. We are in a state of unrighteous

righteousness. Paul wrote to the Romans, “…for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” (Romans 3:9-11) It is not God’s fault that we are lost in our unrighteousness (James 1:13-14). We are drawn away by our own lust. God is able to save us if we will let him. “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1-2) If it is to be, it is up to me.

What Must We Do?

If it is up to me to be reconciled to God, what do I have to do? Will the Spirit whisper in my ear to tell me exactly when, where and how I have to act. No, I have to do it myself and start at the beginning. I first must believe that he is. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) That faith comes from a diligent study of God’s word: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17, 2 Timothy 2:15) If I want to become righteous in the site of God, I must believe that he is able to do all those things he has promised man to do. (Romans 10:10, 2 Timothy 1:12).

We have to stop listening to the world that tells us there are many ways home to God. There is only one way. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:10-12) It is up to each one of us to stop listening to the world and listen only to God through his word.

To Be In Christ

If we are to enjoy the benefits of being a child of God, we must first become one. And, yes, if it is to be, it is up to me. We must be “in” Christ. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:1-6 )

It is by the grace of God that we are saved through faith.(Ephesians 2:8) This faith is an obedient faith which leads us to  repentance. When we have become obedient to God’s will as did Jesus (Luke 22:42), we will put his Son on in baptism, we will be in Christ, and we will become his child. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:26-29)

To be in Christ is to have access to all spiritual blessings. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:3-6)

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16) It is up to you. Amen


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