In Need of a Savior
Why Did Jesus Come to Earth?3 Digging Deeper
What is the Covenant Jesus Offers?3 Digging Deeper
Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead?3 Digging Deeper
What does Jesus' Resurrection Mean to Me?3 Digging Deeper
Who is Jesus?3 Digging Deeper
Why Should I Be Like Jesus?3 Digging Deeper
What Change Does God Expect of Me?3 Digging Deeper
How Can I Find Life Through Death?3 Digging Deeper
What Does it Mean to Repent?3 Digging Deeper
How Can I Be Born Again?4 Digging Deeper
Understanding God’s Covenant with You and Me
Because we are in covenant with God through Jesus, God sees us in Christ as his children (1 John 3:1). He loves us even as he loves his Son Jesus (John 17:23). We are his inheritance purchased with the blood of his Son Jesus (Ephesians 1:18; Acts 20:28). Our many sins against him are forgiven and forgotten (Hebrews 8:12). He is not ashamed to be called our God and we his people (8:10). He “equips us with everything good” so that we can do his will and he works in us the things that please him (13:21). He moves in us both in our wills and in our lives for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). He strengthens us through his Spirit so that we can endure all things (4:13). He supplies “every need of ours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (4:19). He blesses us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). He chose us so that we can be “holy and blameless in his sight” (1:4). He adopted us, redeemed us, forgave our sins, lavished his grace upon us, gives us his presence and fellowship as our inheritance, and seals us with the Holy Spirit who guarantees our heavenly inheritance with him (1:5-14). He has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” and through his precious promises we are “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:3-4). He shares himself with us through the indwelling of his Spirit within us (Acts 5:32; Galatians 4:6). His Spirit pours his love into our hearts (Romans 5:5). In Christ, he is for us and no one can be against us or condemn us (8:31-32). Nothing in heaven or hell or on the earth, or things past, present or future, or in life or in death, “can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (8:38-39).
Prayerfully think about all the ways named above (and there are many more) that God loves us and helps us. Doesn’t all this move you to love and serve God in return? The “goodness of God leads us to repentance” (Romans 2:4). We know what real love is because he first loved us, even when we did not love him, or even knew he existed (I John 4:9-10, 16-19). Isaac Watts phrased it so well in his hymn, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”:
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Someone has well said, “If Jesus be God and died for me, then no sacrifice I could make for him would be too great.”
If the truth of God’s love in Jesus and reflections on it does not change us, then nothing else will. What more can God do? What more could God give than himself? It’s our turn now to live for him who died and rose again for us.
Turning to God changes everything about the way we live our lives. Because we have been baptized “into the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,” we do not belong to ourselves any more (Matthew 28:19). We belong to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The confession “Jesus is Lord” means that he rules or controls our thoughts, motives, attitudes, words, the way we regard and treat others, and how we use our time, money, and resources. He makes a difference in our marriages, our families and our work (Ephesians 5:22-6:9). Since he never leaves us or forsakes us, he is part of and present in all that we are, say and do. Whatever we do, in word or deed, we are to “do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). In life or death, we belong to the Lord (Romans 14:8). Jesus died for all so that “those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:15).
Having a right relationship with God helps us to form positive and healthy relationships in a manner pleasing to God. In fact, when we enter into God’s New Covenant through Jesus Christ, God gives us a spiritual family, His church. Relationships formed within his spiritual family are built upon all of the same healthy principles I have in my relationship with God. What a great starting point for healthy friendships and even marriage!