Friday, April 6, 2018

               Max Solbrekken praying in Gethsemane in 1972, where Jesus 
              Christ prayed just before His vicarious death for us all on
              Golgotha (place of the skull) outside Jerusalem's city walls.
                              ~ CHRIST HAS CONQUORED ~
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
   "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ Who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in Glory."(Col.3: 1-4)
   As Believers, we live by faith and are being transformed by our Heavenly Father into the image of His Son (Rom.12:1,2). It is miraculous, indeed, that we who were sinners by birth, nature and choice, can be born again through faith in His shed blood. (John 3:3,7)
    The Bible says: "And you hath He quickened (made alive) who were Dead in trespasses and saints; 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 works in the children of disobedience.
    "Among whom we also had our conversation (life style) 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 are ye saved; And hath raised us up together, and made us to sit in Heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
    “That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His Kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." (Eph. 1:1-7)
    The Word of God states: “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a Liar." (1 John 5: 10-15). We who were slaves to the old Adamic nature, have received the Nature of God and are now the children of God!
   In Christ Jesus, we are safe and secure for time and eternity! In His holy presence, our safely is assured throughout the timeless future. We are protected by the precious blood of the Lamb. Through Christ, we are preserved unto the Heavenly Kingdom by our adoption into God’s family. We are sealed with that Holy Spirit of Promise. We are hidden with Christ in God!
    He has given us His Holy Word. He has given us His Holy Spirit. He has given us His Holy Name. He has given us His Holy Nature. And He has given us His Holy power. He has given us His Holy Gospel. We are seated together with Christ in Heavenly places. We are hidden with Christ in God!
    We fell at His feet in repentance. We blurted out our remorse with tears. We begged for forgiveness and mercy. We renounced our sins and failures. We received His extended hand of pardon. We bowed our knees in humility.  We embraced His love in gratitude. We partook of His grace with thankfulness. 
   We received His Holy Spirit eagerly with joy. We walk with Him in peace.  We are hidden with Christ in God!
      An old Gospel song puts it all in perspective:
The windows of heaven are open, The blessings are falling tonight; There's joy, joy, joy in my heart, Since Jesus made everything right; I gave Him my old tattered garment, He gave me a robe of pure white; I'm feasting on manna from Heaven, And that's why I'm happy tonight.
   St. Paul repeatedly brings out the amazing truth of our oneness with Jesus Christ through His vicarious Death for us on Golgotha's Hill and His victorious Resurrection from the dead. He also stresses that Satan is still busy undermining the work of God, wherever possible.
    He states: "But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world Blinded the eyes of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
    "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus our Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus sake. For God, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
   "But we have this TREASURE in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2 Cor.4: 3-7). And what a Treasure that is, which is none other than Jesus Christ Himself. No wonder the Holy Scriptures calls Him the, "Unspeakable Gift." (2 Cor.9: 15)
  SATAN is the Prince of Darkness. He is the epitome of Evil and Unrighteousness. He is the citadel of Horror and Pain. He is the architect of sin, falsehood, lies, treason and murder. He is the purveyor of stress, sickness, disease, death and destruction!
    Jesus called Satan by three names; Satan, Devil and Beelzebub. The word Satan means enemy, opposer and adversary. Devil means liar, slanderer, traducer and Beelzebub means god of flies. Satan is the enemy of God and man.
   Satan is a Defeated Foe, a Vanquished Enemy but, nevertheless, a Ruthless Tyrant who uses every opportunity to advance his lying, deceptive and corrupting agenda of hatred, fear, violence, sickness, disease and death!
     He has been soundly and eternally defeated by our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, Who purchased our FREEDOM from the powers of Darkness by paying the ransom price of His own precious Blood to meet the demands of divine Justice on our behalf.
    Almighty God was satisfied when His own dear Son took our place on the ‘Cross of Shame’ as our propitiation, thereby liberating us from servitude to the Evil One, and placing us into the Kingdom of His Eternal Son, Jesus Christ, forever and ever!
                     PARTAKERS WITH CHRIST!
    Could anyone in a million years, even fathom the greatness of that Gift? Indescribable, unspeakable and incomprehensible, are a few of the words my mind is able to grasp in describing what St. Paul meant by those memorable words, "Thanks be unto God for the Unspeakable Gift".
    Every thing that Jesus is, we partake in. He is the Gift of God to us! He is in us and we are in Him! St. Paul stated: “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives 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.” (Gal.2: 20)
     We were crucified with Him. We identify with Him in His death, because He is our Substitute. We were guilty. He was innocent, pure and holy. His compassion forced Him to EMBRACE the Cross for us! (Phil.2: 5-11)
    We should have gone to the cross. We couldn’t, however, because only a truly sinless, righteous man could die for the sins of the world. Anyone else desiring to die for us would NOT have been able to rise from the dead, because Death would have held Him fast until the Day of Judgment!
     The Blood of Jesus Christ not only purged our sins, but His blood empowered our Lord to break the chains of Death, and opened the Gates of Heaven for His entrance with the captive souls from Abraham’s bosom. (Psalms 24: 7-10).
    Water Baptism speaks of walking in the newness of life. After Jesus arose from the dead, He said: “All power is given Me in Heaven and in Earth” (Matt. 28: 20). When believers come out of the waters of Baptism, they are immediately candidates for the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and Fire! (Acts 2: 4, 38, 39)
    Water Baptism also speaks of the ‘resurrection from the dead.’ As He arose from the dead, we will also Rise from the Grave at His Coming! We identify with our Lord’s death, burial, resurrection and ascension and being seated with Him in Heavenly Places!
     The Bible says: “Therefore we are buried with Him by BAPTISM into death: that like Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in the newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.
    “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” (Rom.6: 4-6).
    St. Paul's Epistles are bulging with thanksgiving, honour, glory and praise for Jesus Christ our Lord: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in Heavenly Places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph.1:3)
    He reminds us of the marvellous transformation that takes place in a sinner’s life through the Redemptive work of Jesus Christ! We are lifted into Heavenly places in Christ. God CHOSE us in Christ us before the foundations of the world were laid, so that we, “should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” (Eph.1:4)
    Jesus Christ has ADOPTED us as His own children, “according to the good pleasure of His will and to the praise of His glory” and the Father has, “made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Eph.1:4,5)
    He said: "I am the TRUE VINE, and My Father is the husbandman. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye ABIDE in Me. I am the VINE, ye are the branches:
    “He that abideth in Me, and I in Him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. If ye ABIDE in Me and My Word ABIDE in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." (John 15:1-7)
   The Bible says: "And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth.
                        GO INTO ALL THE WORLD!
    "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (Matt.28:18-20)
     The word ALWAY is a measure of distance, while ALWAYS is a measure of time. He will be with us for the entire distance until He carries us Home to Himself. He won't leave is nor forsake us even if we get old and frail. He will walk with us, talk with us, strengthen us and lead the way until we see the lights of that City and enter into our Heavenly Home!
     The BIBLE says: "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things which ye have: for He (Jesus) hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." (Heb. 13:5). Jesus used a double imperative here. He actually said: "I will NEVER, NO NEVER leave thee. I will NEVER, NO NEVER forsake thee."
    Our Lord stated: "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.
    "That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (John 5: 21-14)
    Jesus Christ said: “Ask and is shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened: For everyone that asks receives, he that seeks finds and to him that knocks, it shall be opened.
     “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son asks bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how give good gifts unto your children, HOW MUCH MORE shall your Father which is in Heaven give good things to them that the ask Him? “(Matt. 7: 7-11)
    God has obligated Himself to keep His Word and He will! God has not changed. His Word has not changed! God has not lied. He cannot lie and He will not lie. God has not failed and He will not failed. Our Lord is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever. (Heb.13: 8)
     He stated unequivocally: “Look unto Me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by Myself, the Word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” (Isaiah 46:22, 23)
     “So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the things whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)
    Jesus Christ stated: “I am the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” (John 14: 6). He said: "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." (Matt.11:28); "All that the Father giveth Me shall come to me: and him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out." (John 6: 37).
    He offers us His Peace, Rest, Strength and Eternal Life! (John 3:16). Amen.