“Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight. Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.”
Hosea 6:1-3 NKJV
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
Colossians 3:1-4 NKJV
When the natural man encounters the supernatural God, there is an interaction that changes one completely. Things alive in sin, actually being dead in sin, are finally slain and buried. Like Jesus on the cross, we are crucified, stricken. The old person we were, is buried in the grave, never to arise. Unless we dig it up…
Just as Christ arose, we are raised up to newness of life, with the power by virtue of the Holy Spirit to turn from future sin. Though we have been made dead to sin, we, all too often, go back to that grave and with our own hands, seeking to dig up the purifying remains of the life we once knew.
In Hosea, chapter six, I read a call to repentance that has strong relevance to the lives of believers today. Hosea was written as call to the children of Israel to repent from their sins, as Hosea had been instructed to take a harlot as a wife, and woo her to repentance, as Israel had gone on to harlotry from God, her husband.
We who call ourselves the church have found ourselves living as the harlot, as we have sought to gain power in the world, neglecting the one thing that can transform every beating heart and soul: the Gospel. We have also, myself included, been drawn to personal harlotry, personal sin, as we have sought to solve our problems and satisfy our appetites in ways apart from what is set forth in the Scriptures.
In the midst of our sin, we are seeing the Lord begin to allow us to feel the consequences of our neglect of the things of God. As we have sought to do battle over the culture, we are increasingly overwhelmed, as sinners outnumber saints, and all too many Christians are no longer in the business of seeking and saving the lost.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.””
Galatians 2:20-21 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, we have been crucified with Christ, no longer to live by the means of the world, bound to the rules of the earth dwellers. We must put our eyes on things above, seeking our guidance from the King of Heaven and the book of love letters He has left for our instruction.
We must repent from our sins, and put on Christ. Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord, opening our bibles, and welcoming the Holy Spirit to come in and transform us from the inside out.
We do not do this to save what we have in this world, because this world is lost, but we do it for the coming of the Lord, who will return to transform the world. We do it to lead as many people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, sparing them from the wrath of God.
With the power of the Gospel, dead men and women can be raised from the dead, and lives now lived in sin, can be reclaimed for Jesus, and destined for glory.
Let us live as if we have been raised from the dead, as if we have benefited from the resurrection, and made new. The souls of many are hanging in the balance. When we get to heaven, there will be no flags, no campaign slogans, and I suspect all of the men and women of flesh and blood that we have supported will be somewhere else. Let us set our minds on heaven.
We are dead to this world as it pertains to anything beyond our calling: to go into all the world and share the Good News.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”
Philippians 3:20-21 NKJV
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