Wednesday May 20, 2020
We have been darting around in Luk 6. Let’s now notice this passage in its entire context.
Preamble: As we continue in this study, know that it is the highest calling every given to man by far. It is heaven itself. It is perfect, and it cannot be compromised. Know that all believers are called to commit to it 100%. There are no compromises.
Also know that when you commit to it two things will alarm you and the second thing much more so. The sins you commit will alarm you. But then secondly, a little farther on the way, the sinner you are will alarm you. And only committed to this way will we actually see what sinners we are.
Coming to see the type of people we are is more troubling. Paul openly revealed his horror at the fabric of his person in Rom 7. “Wretched man that I am,” was his conclusion. But then comes Rom 8!
What do I do when I see my sin for what it is and myself for the man or woman that he is? Confess all things openly to God and know that through the blood of Christ you have been forgiven and cleansed of all unrighteousness. Don’t hide a thing from the God who sees all. Confession before God works so well because God is going to reveal to you that in grace He is never going to leave you and that He is going to do everything to make you the heavenly creature He desires. No matter how much pain it causes you, and no matter how much pain it causes Him, and it has, He is going to turn you into the image of His son or daughter. It will take time, and another thing He will reveal to you is that you must not give up your commitment like the Corinthians or the Galatians, either in immorality or the works of the law. You began in grace, and in grace you go before God.
In light of the holiness of God seen, it is frightful to see what people we really are. But then comes the good news. God does not look upon our sins or iniquities. He remembers them no more. He has cleansed our soiled consciences for the production of good works from the good treasure in our hearts. In hope and faith, allow God to show this to you, and with that, don’t be afraid of your calling which is heavenly holy. Do not water it down or compromise it to make it more familiar and less scary. Certainly the unknown is scary to all people, but like courageous pioneers we must step out onto the landscape and pick up our crosses and follow Christ, and when we do, overcoming our fear, we will discover over time that the burden of our cross was lighter than we thought it would be.
LUK 6:20-26: Blessed are you who hunger, weep, are hated for His sake. All things in our lives are under God’s authority. We never seek our own way.
Jesus is not teaching us to be ascetics, though there are ascetic aspects to this life in terms of self-denial. He is teaching us to be like Him, a new humanity from heaven, though God in the flesh.
The entire time He was here it must have been a temptation of such a serene form that we could not know. Everything about Him seemed so unlike the place that He had left. There were times, most emphatically on the cross where everything around Him was so far away from heaven, so unlike heaven, yet He continued to live as One from heaven. When He was lifted up on the cross, anticipating being separated from His Father, forsaken, He knew that His death would be temporary and that very soon He and the Father would be reunited.
And He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered and said, "The Christ of God." 21 But He warned them, and instructed them not to tell this to anyone, 22 saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day." 23 And He was saying to them all, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 "For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.
Jesus is teaching us to live beyond this world where heaven is, filled with holiness. He came from that world, but didn’t leave the life of that world behind. This is repeated frequently in the epistles of the NT, that we are called so that we will be holy and blameless. Living as a heavenly son on earth will mean hunger, poverty, and persecution since we will defer to God’s way and not the world’s way.
And yes, we are still sinners. We will not reach continual perfection in this life. It is a matter of commitment, which is obedience. If it weren’t real, to commit to Jesus’ life would be the height of megalomania, when in fact it is nothing more than obedience to a life that we have been blessed with; the life of heaven.
God’s Son possessed the love of God and was kind to the ungrateful world, while that world hated Him, persecuted Him, and killed Him.
That is not the prosperity gospel. One can see the insidious fingers of Satan in the prosperity gospel.
And then, it is stated, for the son is like the Father, and specifically, you will be kind to the ungrateful. Many don’t see that as a reward, but it is the greatest reward. God is making you like a creature the world had never seen before Christ. He’s making you like His Son, and that is the reward.