Friday, June 28, 2013

a study in Philippians 4: whatever is noble (part 5)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

Whatever is noble...

Paul was correct to remind the Christians at Philippi to think about whatever is noble. For every follower of Jesus is elected to receive a royal inheritance in God's eternal kingdom when we claim His Name as our own. Because of Christ's sacrifice, we are no longer slaves to death, but rather we receive noble privilege as adopted children of the Most High God and co-heirs with Christ.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:14-17)

To understand how significant a gift this is (as we are clearly sinful creatures undeserving of such an honor), we must recognize the exalted status of Jesus in accordance to Him being the true King of kings who has overcome death and the evil path of Satan.

They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings - and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers. (Revelation 17:14)

You see, history has produced the rise and fall of many leaders, emperors, and kings, but none have ever been so illustrious, distinguished, and worthy of all our honor and respect as Jesus. Yes, Jesus who walked amongst lepers and prostitutes. Jesus who looked past the wretchedness of men and loved the unlovable and healed the broken. Jesus who was crowned in thorns while beaten and scorned by His people. Jesus who was rejected by mankind and still paid the price for the sin of men by dying on the cross. Jesus who fulfilled the requirements of God's law and raised Himself from the dead so that we might have the opportunity to live in the glory and freedom of His loving presence.

Yes, this King of kings came to sacrifice rather than seek pomp. This King humbly offered Himself as the only royal priest willing and able to intercede on behalf of His people. He came to save His beloved, as a knight in shining armor would save his princess from a dragon. He did this, so that we might live happily ever after with Him. Sounds like a fairy tale, doesn't it? Sounds too good to be true, don't you think? But as we established yesterday, God's Word is always true! So, we can indeed rejoice and be glad as we think about such things. All praise and glory to our King! For our God loves us enough to redeem and restore us to His kingdom! His covenant Word is made complete in Jesus' sacrifice. And the best news of all - His Word is eternal... the same yesterday, today and forever! Yes, those who receive Christ are secure in His Name because His Word, His oath to us, will never be broken! YEA!

People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. (Hebrews 6:16-20a)

Hallelujah, for those who have received Jesus' Name as their own have become the bride of Christ! We are a redeemed family destined to enjoy all the blessings of His home and walk in His courts forevermore!

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 19:6-9)

Ladies, knowing that this good news is indeed true, we must live in preparation and expectation of our King's return. No matter what trials we are here on earth to endure, we must remember it is all in His Name, and everything is intended for His glory and good. He is overseeing every detail and decree in our lives. So, let us consider His nobility in all circumstances and trust His reign. For as Christ's bride, we too are made noble as we represent His family name. As such, we are to stand firm in our eternal position and conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved - and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him. (Philippians 1:27-29)

I encourage you to think on these wonderful, marvelous things...

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children." (Revelation 21:1-7)



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