1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,
The same power that raised Christ from the dead is at work on those who believe in God. Ephesians 1:19-20 This power enables us to be sanctified; which is to live in righteousness. It frees us from the sin/death in our lives and brings us into abundant life here on this earth. John 10:10 Sin creates hardships, afflictions, pain, addictions, and suffering in our lives. Many feel bound by sin; even many professing believers. They know they are forgiven, yet still suffer bondages to sin and its consequences. There is a way out, the full gospel.
Hebrews 4:2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.
We are no longer have to be slaves to sin/death; Christ made a way out of this bondage. He is the way, the door, the Word of God. The path out of sin/death in our lives is the narrow path, the path of truth. Its one few find because few truly seek truth from God Himself. Matthew 7:13-14 But for those who do travel the narrow way, they seek God in truth and learn spirit to spirit, He writes His truth on their hearts and it changes them, sanctifies them, He fills them and makes them into new creations. As a new creation, they have a new mind, new desires, new thoughts, and above all desire to be totally governed by God’s Spirit inside-out. 2 Corinthians 5:17 They walk the path of life, thus experience abundant life.
The purpose of going the narrow way of truth is receiving God’s spirit, which is the gift of life, eternal life, and abundant life. When He is directing us, He leads us to the fulfillment of the desires of our hearts as He intended to fill them. We experience joy, peace, rest, blessing, comfort, and righteous love because God’s spirit resides within us manifesting Himself in our lives.
Our part is to seek. Matthew 6:33 The lies and deception of the world has filled our minds, so we must seek for the truth and as we do it sanctifies us. John 17:17
Our part also is to cultivate trust in God above all things. Luke 14:33 We do this by trusting Him to be our Teacher and Counselor. We seek and listen to His instruction, act on it, and witness His faithfulness. In time, as we learn to trust His wisdom and will, we forfeit our self-will in every way and embrace His will. On this journey of the narrow path, we let go of our self-will and desire God’s will as He shows us His righteous love and goodness. Luke 17:33
This narrow path journey has been ignored by many. Ephesians 1:4 The doctrine of grace has been misunderstood. It’s by grace that we are able to live as new creations; a life we must seek and learn from God as how to walk. As we seek, He empowers us to walk it for it’s Him making His home in us. John 14:23 When it is Him working through us, His commands aren’t burdensome, but easy, a delight, and our desire. 1 John 5:3 They are how to live and are life, so we live an abundant life. In grace, we have tremendous power working for us and freeing us from the bondage of every sin. Ephesians 3:20.
1 John 3:24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
Many have been taught that the resurrection of Christ is the end. It’s just the beginning. His resurrection and life and the power it demonstrated are what God pours out on us. It’s the power that moves us from the pit of sin/death and into an abundant life here and now. Yes, it’s a journey, but every seeking step brings us more into life and out of death. People aren’t living an abundant life because they are living in sin. They believe it is what it is until they die and go to heaven. Conversely, God is offering us His righteousness and His Kingship in our souls if we will seek.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
February 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm
When Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God – I’m sure this was the message of life he offered. A very powerful post.
February 28, 2012 at 9:25 am
Rachel, as always you have some great things to say here. Salvation isn’t a magic prayer (though we are certainly saved from our sins), but a journey in which we must FOLLOW Jesus. As we follow and are transformed into His image more and more, we also walk in His kingdom more and more HERE and NOW, not some sweet day in the future (though of course we do look forward to that day also.) We are saved from our sins; we are being saved from our sinfulness. Thanks for this post!
February 28, 2012 at 5:08 pm
Hi Cindy – Christ reconciled us back to God .. what a gift to have Him come to us as a loving Father helping us learn to abide in Him and thus in abundant life. May we abide deeply in the vine.
February 28, 2012 at 11:16 am
Praise God Rachel! We are not just forgiven we are set free!!!!
February 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm
Hi Jelillie – He certainly has given us all we need … and that freedom can be a very real experience as we draw near to God in truth and spirit.
February 28, 2012 at 8:01 pm
Thank you, Rachel, for sharing this. I love that we can have abundant life here and now. it’s not over yet! God bless you as you keep seeking and encourage us to too!
February 29, 2012 at 11:47 am
Hi Debbie – it’s truly the gift of God to be governed by Him. 🙂
February 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm
Hey Rachel – this post and something I recently listened to recently is confirming a lot of the ideas coming to me lately – a constant reminder than Jesus died to set me free. This “full gospel” is so much more than just being forgiven. It’s amazing and humbling to think with His help we can be free!
It’s ironic too that so much of our lie-filled culture promotes and encourages “freedom” that is political, vain, and unreal. The freedom that Jesus offers, this freedom from self, freedom to be what God intended is so different from the freedom we hear about all the time – it’s so much better.
Your post and the other one I mentioned above came at the perfect time to help me seek the difference between what the Word refers to as the tribulation that will be in the world vs. the peace and power that can/should be in us. It’s easy to fall into looking at our experience as a learning tool more than the Word, but if we’re not yet on this path (i.e., “We seek and listen to His instruction, act on it, and witness His faithfulness.”), our experience can’t testify to God’s Truth because it hasn’t been led by His Spirit.
Thank you for your prayers!
March 1, 2012 at 1:55 pm
The world offers bondage, only on the narrow path do we find true freedom in coming slaves of righteousness – for then we are delivered from the destruction our will creates.
When you grasp what God is offering you understand His love goes far deeper than you ever realized.