Friday, March 1, 2013

Laboring to Enter the Rest -- Implications

"11Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." (Hebrews 4: 11)

So, if we have entered the rest of righteousness, then peace and joy are the supernatural results which follow.

Our sins are put away forever, and thus the New Covenant comes into effect:

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

"And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. " (Hebrews 8: 10-12)

The original reference for this verse contains something else, which we must also take into account:

"I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:" (Ezekiel 11: 19)

Later on, the Lord is more specific:

"And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD." (Ezekiel 37:14)

This "new spirit" is the Holy Spirit:

"Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear." (Acts 2: 33)

The Holy Spirit brings Christ into every believer:

"20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2: 20-21)

The same Holy Spirit brings forth the following fruit in our lives:

"22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (Galatians5: 22-24)

This fruit breaks forth in every believer without our help. In fact, to the degree that we try to manifest these fruit in our efforts, we will frustrate the grace of God in our lives (Galatians 5: 4), and give off the diverse and damning works of the flesh (Galatians 5: 19-21)

The Holy Spirit convicts us of our righteousness in Christ (John 16: 8-11). The Holy Spirit brings to us the Kingdom of Heaven:

"For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." (Romans 14: 17)

Righteousness is a gift (Romans 5: 17), peace is the person of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2: 14), and the joy of the Spirit is our strength (Nehemiah 8: 10)

This joy springs from the knowledge that we need not work to earn God's righteousness, that we have His love and favor forever with us.

We can now permit His peace to rule in our hearts (Colossians 3:15), and because His laws are now within us, the Holy Spirit by the gifts of righteousness, peace, and joy, cause us to work out His salvation with "fear and trembling", i.e.  great joy and awe.

He is our God, meaning that we can go to him for any need, and any desire of our hearts. The growing knowledge of Himself and His grace is made manifest, so that we no longer have to follow certain steps or do certain things to "know the Lord".

All of this is based on our acceptance of the truth that Jesus has purged all of our sins, that God the Father will remember them no more, and that we need not do anything to make ourselves right with God.

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