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Aug 10, 2006
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“For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:1-7 ESV).

If we truly love Jesus Christ with our lives, we are also going to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. We will hurt with them when they hurt, and we will rejoice with them in the purity of their rejoicings in the Lord Jesus. But it will burden us greatly when we see them going astray, living by the flesh instead of by the Spirit, getting caught up in the trappings of the world instead of living holy lives pleasing to God. For what grieves our Lord will grieve us, and what is pleasing to our Lord will also be pleasing to us.

And this is one of the reasons I do what I do, not only because this is what my Lord called me to do, but because I deeply care about all of you, much in the same way Paul did and that Jesus did, because it is the love of Jesus which is putting this burden within my heart to be concerned for those who profess the name of Jesus that they would walk in the ways of the Lord and not in the ways of the flesh, and that they would live holy lives, pleasing to the Lord, and not walk in sin. For this is what we are called of God to do.

And I say this, too, that no one may delude you with plausible arguments, for there are so many liars and deceivers out there who are convincing those who profess faith in Jesus Christ that they can ignore our Lord’s commandments and still be heirs of his promises. For all God’s promises have conditions, beginning with the one he gave to Abraham and to his descendants, and then the law that he gave them through Moses, and then the New Covenant we have with Jesus Christ as children of God.

We cannot just live however we want and expect to be recipients of God’s grace and of his promises. Whether Jew or Gentile by physical birth, we can only be recipients of God’s grace and of his promises if we obey him, and that includes the promise he made to Abraham (Genesis 17:7-9; Genesis 18:19). And that is why the majority of the Israelites who left Egypt and wandered in the wilderness for 40 years did not get to go into the Promised Land, because they refused to part from their sins, and they refused to obey God. Same today. If a Jew does not obey God, he is not heir to God’s promises. So all Jews who deny Jesus are not heirs of God’s promises.

And all throughout the New Testament we are taught that we must obey the Lord and we must forsake living in sin, or we will also not inherit our “Promised Land” (heaven). But so many liars and deceivers out there are deceiving people by the masses that they can “believe” (not usually defined) in Jesus Christ, have all their sins forgiven, have heaven guaranteed them when they die, that nothing can take that away, but regardless of how they live. For they do not teach the conditions of God for those to be fulfilled.

Therefore, if you have truly believed in Jesus Christ, then so walk in him according to his word. Do what he says. For he said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (die daily to sin) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self we will lose them for eternity. But if for Jesus’ sake we deny self, die daily to sin, and follow him in obedience, then we do have eternal life (Luke 9:23-26). But we have to continue in those walks of faith until the end.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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