Together with Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistle of Romans reveals that Jesus Christ was our complete substitute for sin, and that in Christ we were (spiritually) baptized with him, and that we were raised with him to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). Romans shows us that the sinner is totally forgiven from the sin nature, and that we will never again be separated from God, from Christ, and from their love. The first three chapters of Ephesians continue with the newness of life that Romans reveals, further accentuating that we are spiritually quickened, raised, and seated together with Christ at the right hand of God. Ephesians shows us that God has set us up on high with Christ Jesus. Yes, we are physically here upon this earth. However, Ephesians also reveals God’s true spiritual viewpoint of us, that we are already spiritually seated in the heavenlies with Christ. Ephesians guides us with heavenly insights on how to enjoy our new life together with Christ having all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 2:4-5:
-4:  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
-5: {This next verse shows the immensity of the great love that God has for us:} Even when we were dead in sins, {God} hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Although we originally came to God as sinners and were on a course that would eventually end without God and without hope in this world, yet with God’s mercy and great love He has “quickened us together with Christ.” “Quickened” here means to be made spiritually alive. We are spiritually alive, and saved, being now eternally made whole with Christ before God in His love. This is a wondrous gift given to us by the divine grace of God.

Ephesians 2:6a – And {God} hath raised us up together, . . .

We were first quickened with Christ, then Ephesians says that we have been raised up together, and that is to our rightful heavenly position in Christ as the children of God. Spiritually we are already quickened and raised up together to be with Christ. When we begin to see ourselves through the eyes (with spiritual understanding) of what and whom God’s Word says we are, then we will freely partake of the true spiritual life that we have and share together with Christ!

Ephesians 2:6b – and {God} made us sit {at rest} together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

As we believe God’s healing Word regarding our true heavenly standing, we will begin walking with tremendous understanding and power, for God will literally enable us to enjoy the spiritual truths in all that we are in Christ, and in all that we have together with Christ. We were first quickened (made spiritually alive) to live together with Christ. We next have been raised up together with Christ to a heavenly standing, equally proportionate to that of Christ Jesus’ own standing with God. We then have been seated together with Christ in the heavenlies, giving us inner rest that comes to us without works (Ephesians 2:8-9). God will continue to reveal to us our perfect union and serenity because we are finally and truly at home together with Christ, and spiritually we are already at the right hand of God Almighty.

The Spoken Privilege (Of What Is in You)

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear– I Peter 3:15. Fear in this verse does not mean fear in the way that we normally use this word fear, to be afraid of something, rather it means to speak honorably and respectfully for God. When we acknowledge the blessings and presence of God in the depths of our hearts, where we have placed His healing Word, then we are truly ready to enjoy the honorable privilege to speak for Him with purposeful reason of the hope that is in you.” ~LMJ~

Psalms 119:11, and 50-51:
-11: Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
-49: Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.
-50: This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.

The Creator’s Masterpiece (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Before our salvation, we were living our lives in the very nature of sin that was implanted in man since the fall in Genesis (Romans 5:8-12), for without God and the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, there is no everlasting forgiveness. Thus, humanity lived in a state that the Bible calls being “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). But when we become saved through the work of Jesus, we are completely forgiven and are given a new life in Christ. This new life completes the Creator’s Masterpiece because our God creates Christ in us (Colossians 1:27)! When men and women accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, they become spiritually one with God’s love – in Christ – in them (John 17:11, 21-23), and members of God’s illustrious family (Ephesians 2:13-22).

Ephesians 2:1-2:
-1: AND you hath he quickened who were {once, before our salvation} dead in trespasses and {in} sins;
-2: 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 worketh in the children of disobedience:

The Epistle of Ephesians shows us that we have been quickened. This word means being made alive (spiritually) which is the opposite of being (spiritually) dead in trespasses and sins. “Even when we were dead in sins, {God} hath quickened us together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:5), giving us a life in Christ to enjoy in the present world. God has totally forgiven and cleansed us of sins and He has presented to us a new life in Christ, a life that is more than abundant; as Jesus said, “I am come that they have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

This new life in Christ is separate from the course of this world because we have been totally released from the prince of the power of the air who is the Adversary. Without God in Christ in us, no matter what direction in which we were headed and regardless how wonderful that course may appear, it was a course of trespasses and sins when we were living our lives without God. However, after our salvation God presents to us a course that leads us to the light of His Word, a course to His right hand, a course into the righteousness of God, and a course that is quickening our very lives to be the honored children of His Holiest. This spiritual course becomes recognized through Jesus Christ, the golden thread who, when followed, will lead directly up to God and His eternal promises.

Yet for so many people, Jesus Christ is not understood outside of the confines of the four Gospels, and is the reason why so many people miss many of the reasons for man’s purpose on earth and his eternal destiny. Coming to an understanding of Jesus from the whole Word will identify him as the genuine link to the life more abundant he promised to deliver. This is the theme of our series on The Golden Thread. This is not a series on the subject of history from the Old Testament, but it IS on the subject of his‑story from the Old Testament. Jesus is the singular thread connecting both Testaments to himself, and through him we are introduced to our heavenly Father by crystal clear, present day revelations! He is our Savior right now and we can bring him off the pages of Scripture and into our everyday lives as our necessary refuge from the spiritual storms hidden along the course of this world.

Ephesians 2:10:
For we are his {God’s} workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

The word workmanship is the Greek word poyeema and means a thing made, a thing produced, with effort and design; our English word “poetry” is derived from poyeema. In Ephesians 2:10 the word poyeema literally is in reference to us being God’s masterpieces. We can literally define the word poyeema as poetry in motion, for our lives are ordained by God to live in fellowship and harmony with Him Who has given to us a spiritually revived life so that we may walk with God and experience true heavenly joy.

Romans 8:29-30:
-29: For whom he {God} did foreknow {you and me}, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son {i.e., created in Christ Jesus}, that he {Christ Jesus} might be the firstborn among many brethren.
-30: Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

The Epistle of Ephesians shows us that we are God’s new creation, created in Christ Jesus, and we are those who can live our lives not in the course of this world but in good works that God makes available to us through an understanding of His healing Word. Being God’s workmanship is a tremendous privilege, wouldn’t you agree? In Deuteronomy 32:4 we read, “He {God} is the Rock, his work {or God’s workmanship} is perfect,” and since we are, according to the Bible, God’s workmanship, then we certainly have been called into something perfectly wonderful! It is a calling into fellowship with Christ Jesus and set upon a course to enjoy his resurrected life in us, for we are created in Christ Jesus, “as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).

Every craftsperson is pleased with his workmanship, and it is the same with God – He is completely thrilled with us! The Epistles (Romans through Thessalonians) shows us the good works that God would have us walk in, but the choice is obviously ours in this life. This is why the verse states that we should; this is not a commandment but a loving request. When comparing walking (or living) by the course of this world as is shown in Ephesians 2:1-2 with what is made available to the believer in Ephesians 2:10, that we may live our lives by the good works that God has already ordained for us, we cannot be anything but thankful because we are already pleasing to God. This is an awesome place to start because God has already, “made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6), the beloved being our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and we have been accepted to stand with him and our heavenly Father from this moment onward.

Let us again read Ephesians 2:10 from the Amplified Bible:

Ephesians 2:10 (The Amplified Bible):*
For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

Being God’s workmanship is an awesome present, freely given to all believers, and God be lauded and praised today as we recall the blessed life of our Savior, Christ the Lord. He made it available for God to work this miracle for you and I to be The Creator’s Masterpiece, His workmanship, “recreated in Christ Jesus,” as we continue enjoying the blessings of living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to enjoy with Him for all eternity!

“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” ~John Ruskin~

* Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Ezra – Revealing Our Spiritual Revival

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When the children of Israel (or more specifically the tribes of Judah and Benjamin) were finally released from their Babylonian captivity of seventy years (II Chronicles 36:21), they returned to Jerusalem to begin rebuilding their temple and the walls of the city (the Babylonians had destroyed their city and temple).

With the joy they had in knowing that it was God Who saved them (from bondage), they took courage to rebuild not only their lives but their relationship with God and His house, the Temple. Because of this, they began experiencing their own God-given revival. In the Book of Ezra, we can see Jesus Christ as our spiritual revival.

A spiritual revival bypasses the physical realms, for it emanates directly from God, and is manifested out from our own hearts.

Revival becomes known in our lives as the healing Word of God begins appearing real, and we actually begin relying on our God as our true sufficiency. When this happens; our believing begins growing with spiritual effervescence because God not only is holding us up and delivers us from bondage, but He is also directing our steps and we absolutely know this in our hearts.

The more we find (and discover) Jesus Christ in the Scriptures, the more he begins revealing his heavenly Father to our spiritual lives, as our spiritual revival begins growing within our lives.

Ezra 9:8-9:
-8:  And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in {from} our bondage.
-9:  For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem.

“For a little space grace” does not mean that God has given us a little grace for only a moment in time, rather it means that God’s grace came quickly in a moment of time. At one time in their lives (by their own rejection of God’s Word and the rejection of His instructions given to them by His prophets), they refuted God’s divine grace and care upon their lives and went into captivity. Yet when they began looking to God again, then, at that moment God’s grace was manifested to them in great abundance.

The phrase “give us a little reviving” again does not mean a teeny little reviving, but rather an instant reviving. Reviving literally means to be quickened and spiritually made alive with holy spirit.

Romans 8:11 – But if the Spirit of him {God} that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit {God’s gift of holy spirit given to you (Romans 5:5)} that dwelleth in you.

This is why our revival is spiritual, it is not just having a good feeling, but more so it is enjoyed as our hearts and lives begin changing from the inside out. It is an inner awakening to the truth that we have received Jesus Christ and that he is our Lord. He is the rebuilder of our spiritual lives, and the spiritual reviver of our souls.

As the temple in Jerusalem was rebuilt by the believers, today we allow the Master-builder, Christ Jesus into our lives.

In Christ we (collectively) make up the true Temple of God. The “nail in his holy place” (Ezra 9:8 above) means a sure guarantee, for we have Christ within for eternity.

We can become rooted, grounded, and built up into the spiritual temple made without hands (Acts 7:48 and 17:24; and Ephesians 2:21), eternal in the heavenlies, and revealed through the spiritual revival that comes to us by knowing our Christ within.

Today in God’s grace, we can believe on Jesus Christ who already has completed the work (John 2:19-22), and he freely gives to us our spiritual revival that continues blessing us.

Awakened

“We originally came to God as sinners and were on a course that would eventually end without God and without hope in this world, yet with God’s mercy and great love, He has quickened us together with Christ– Ephesians 2:5. Quickened here means to be made spiritually alive. We are now spiritually alive, awakened and saved, being now eternally made whole with Christ before God in His love.” ~LMJ~