Saturday, May 28, 2022

The Sustainer

The Lord God Almighty is good!
Mark 10:18
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.” (NIV)
This is a hugely important revelation. God is good. I mean, you might say to yourself, yes clearly God is good, but do you really know the fullness of what this means? What would happen if God was not good? Where would we be then? Yikes! We would be done for.
The thing is, is that good is a nature that is necessary for eternity. Love is a nature necessary for eternity too, as are faith and hope. Unless you are good, that is, having the properties of love, faith, and hope, you will eventually dissolve into corruption.
1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)
To be good you must have love and faith and hope. If you are selfish then you cannot be eternal, because given enough time your nature (selfishness) will consume and destroy you. Love endures and sustains—forever and ever.
Sin, any amount of it, consumes and destroys. If you find that you are cut off from God’s sustaining power of love because of sin, then the sin in you will eat you up. The spiritual definition of death is to be cut off from God the Sustainer. What happens to anything that was alive and then it dies?
Someone once told me a joke that went like this: There was a man that jumped off the top of a very tall building and all the way down people heard him say, “So far, so good.” That, my friend, is a person disconnected from the Sustainer because of sin. When sin comes it is like the smallest of diseases that grow and grow until the body is no more. There is no cure for the disease of sin. It is fatal 100% of the time. It is transmitted down the male line.
2 Samuel 14:14
Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. (NIV)
I love this passage. This says it all. We must die, but God devised a way that we might reunite to him—the Sustainer.
Jesus Christ was born of a woman, but not of the seed of man, therefore, he did not have the sin disease. He lived a life of love, faith, and hope and was illegally killed and buried. Death had nothing on Jesus, and yet he died—illegally. I say illegally because it was completely accurate to say so. God hung Jesus on the cross as bait. God dressed up Jesus with all of our sins in order to make the bait look ripe for the pickin’. Satan saw him up there on the cross, all covered in sin, and thought that he was guilty of sin, but he wasn’t. Satan covered Jesus in death and took him to hell. But, Satan had been fooled.
1 Corinthians 2:8
None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (NIV)
Jesus was not guilty of sin. Death could not hold him. Jesus arose from hell and ascended up into heaven, in what is called the resurrection. Jesus defeated death and therefore death’s cause too, sin.
Revelation 1:18
I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. (NIV)
But, how does that help us? You might be wondering. You and I are born of the male line. We are guilty of sin. We have the incurable disease. Because of this incurable disease, there is no hope for you, that is, your body. Your body is a goner. Toast! But, as it turns out, you are not your body. You are a spirit being that lives inside a body like an astronaut lives inside a spacesuit while in space.
God, through Jesus, has made a marriage-like proposal to you. He desires your hand in a marriage-like union, which like human marriage is a union of faith. You must give up your diseased body and accept God’s proposal with a confession of faith on your part. A marriage takes the faith of both parties to make the union.
As we give up our bodies to death and unite ourselves to the Bridegroom we are resurrected to life in Christ’s resurrection.
Romans 6:1-5
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. (NIV)
This is the meaning behind the symbolic custom of baptism. We die to the world by faith. We are buried under the water but are then resurrected to new life. Wow! We, ourselves, are not resurrected, but rather we are married to Jesus who has been resurrected.
So, what we see is that because of sin our bodies are dead, but because of faith, we believe the method devised by God to bring about our reunion with him.
Romans 8:10
But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. (NIV)
Because we believed the ‘marriage proposal’ made by God, we are, in a sense, married to Jesus, and are as a result, a sharer of everything that is his, so we are no longer cut off from the sustaining power of God. We have crossed over from death to life as the Scripture says …
John 5:24
“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (NIV)

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Mark Heaney
This is my greatest desire: That the eyes of my heart may be enlightened in order that I may know the hope to which he has called me, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. Ephesians 1:18–19


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