We are nothing like God

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6, 35-36, NASB.)

Do you love your enemies?  God does.  He loves His enemies because He is kind.

“For He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” (Verse 35)

Is all of your behavior good?  God’s is.  He always does good.  Our attempts at doing good, on the other hand, are called “dead works” (Hebrews 6 and 9.)

How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:14, NASB)

Are you a merciful person?  Are you full of mercy and compassion and forgiveness toward others?  Well, hallelujah!  God is!  He is the only One who is merciful.  That is good news because we really need His mercy!

The first verses listed above, from Luke 6, are part of the famous “Beatitudes,” a.k.a., The Sermon on the Mount.  In that sermon Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, trying to get them to see that they needed Him as their Messiah, their Saviour.  But the fact is that they had already rejected Him and at that point in the story, they were already planning to destroy Him, to do away with Him.  Why?  Because, according to them, He “worked” on the Sabbath Day.

Yes.  How dare Him, right?  He actually walked through a grain field and allowed His disciples to pick wheat and eat it.  In addition, He healed a man who had a withered hand . . .  on the Sabbath day!!!  Shocking, huh?

The Pharisees were like, “You evil unrighteous person!  You picked wheat!  You healed a man!”  . . . uh?  Okay.

It’s ridiculous to us, of course.  But to them, it was audacious and wrong and against the rules!!!

And yet, all of us, at one time or another were just like the Pharisees.  Blind, rule-following, religious, prideful jerks who rejected Jesus and saw no need for His love, His goodness, His mercy.

But . . . I can take a deep breath, take a sigh of relief and rejoice in His mercy to me.

“He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” (Luke 6:35)

I can be thankful today and every day, no matter what my circumstances are, because He has saved me by faith through grace.

I just want to praise Him today and remember that I am NOTHNG like Him.  Neither are you, if you’re honest, and that is good news!  Because He is God, and we are not.

 

 

Do Christians need to “take every thought captive”?

While visiting a Christian counseling ministry last month, I skimmed through one of their booklets.  The author mentioned his thought life, and the way he reacts when he catches himself thinking pessimistically.  He urged his reader to do likewise.  “We must take every thought captive and make them obedient to Christ,” he commanded, “or else we will be guilty of having a weak mind.”

He went on to discuss the various verses in the Bible that urge us to think about things that are true and praiseworthy – excellent advice to be sure – but, it was that phrase, “take every thought captive,” that remained in my mind for days to come.

Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ? Really?  Because in reality, it would be maddening to pause and pay attention to every single one of the thoughts that race through your brain.  I do not think that a Christian should or even possibly could accomplish such a feat.

Those who disagree with me will say, “but this verse is in the Bible!”  . . . Okay.  But where, and in what context?

The verse is found in 2 Corinthians 10 verse 5.

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Does this section in Corinthians have anything to do with a person’s thought life?  No.  Paul is describing the spiritual warfare he is involved in, and how he is working to “capture” every false teaching and “make it obedient to Christ.”  In case it has been a while since you have read that section, here it is:

By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

You are judging by appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do. So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it. I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.  (2 Corinthians 10:1-11)

Christian leaders pull the phrase “take every thought captive” completely out of context and they turn it into a command.  That command becomes a law, and law leads to sin. Since this ‘law’ is impossible to obey, the Christian has now become a law-breaker, a sinner, and is left feeling even more miserable than before.

“…the power of sin is the law.”  1 Cor 15:56

And law-breakers feel ashamed, so now the person trying to obey this principle has been driven away from what they really need to help them overcome sin – they have been driven away from the love and acceptance of their God.  Right?  ‘Cause they assume God is ashamed of them!  Not only is that NOT true, it is the exact thing that Paul was fighting against.  (I’ll expand on that in Part 2 of this message which I’ll post in a week or two.)

Going back to 2 Corinthians, Paul uses the phrase “taking every thought captive” to talk about the battles he fights in this spiritual war.  Like any war, there are captives, or prisoners of war.  The captives that Paul and Timothy take are thoughts, arguments or false assumptions that set themselves up against the truth found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Paul says that he takes these false ideas captive so that he can lock them up as prisoners, so that they can’t escape.

Paul is discussing this topic in 2 Corinthians 10 because the people in Corinth had been judging him, and saying that he is timid in person, but bold in his letters.  Paul argues that, first of all, what he is in his letters is the same as what he is in person, in his actions.  And second of all, the judgments that people are making against him are not important because his real work is in a war (that cannot be seen).

He tells the Christians from Corinth that it doesn’t matter whether they think he is bold or timid.  What really matters is that he is fighting to proclaim the gospel.  He is tearing down strongholds of lies and falsehoods, and making them obedient to Christ, to the truth.  He is working alongside the Lord Jesus and using the power of the gospel to capture false ideas —  false ‘thoughts’ that are disobedient to Christ — and through his teaching ministry he is making these erroneous thoughts and ideas obedient to Christ, who is the truth.

Paul says that his weapons have divine power, because the gospel that he preaches is the power of God.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. (Romans 1:16)

The power of the gospel is found in the fact that Jesus Christ took away the law.  He accomplished the Law for us, so that we may rest in Him.  We are obedient to Him if we are resting in the finished work of Jesus Christ.  There is no work for us to do; we do not have to take every thought captive, and we do not have to do anything else to make ourselves complete.  All He asks of us is that we believe Him (trust Him, rely on Him, depend on Him).  That is the only work that He requires.

The only work left to do, is to fully believe in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”  Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.””  John 6:28-27

Let’s Count our Spiritual Blessings

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God.”   1 Corinthians 2:12

My husband pointed out this verse to me yesterday.  What a great verse!  It reminded me of a list that I made 9 years ago of all the things that have been freely given to us by God.

I have copied the list below.  It is divided into two parts: Part 1 – We have been given, and Part 2 – We have been…

For example, we have been given sanctification.  And, we have been born again.

The list consists of 79 spiritual blessings that are OURS as children of God, who have been saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ Jesus.  These 79 blessings have been handed down to us through the will of God – His Last Will and Testament – that went into effect when Jesus died. (Hebrews 8 & 9)

Let’s consider His will to see what the children of God have inherited in Christ.  Let’s count our blessings, and see all that we have been given . . .

Part 1 – We have been given….

  1. Acceptance: Christ has accepted us (Rom 15:7); acceptance in the beloved Son (Eph 1:6, KJV); assurance to draw near to God (Heb 10:22); we are the type of person He has chosen (2 Tim 2:10); we are the elect chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father (1 Pet 1:2); we’ll never be ashamed before Him (1 Pet 2:6); we are true worshippers who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24)
  2. Adoption as God’s own children (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:5; Eph 1:5); He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself
  3. An Advocate with the Father: Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1); who will separate us from the love of Christ? (Rom 8:35)
  4. Bread of life: Jesus, the word of God, we will never go hungry (John 6:35)
  5. Baptism of the Holy Spirit: baptism into Christ and we have been clothed with Christ (Gal 3:27); He baptized us with the Holy Spirit (Matt 3:11); we are in Him who is true – in Jesus Christ (1 John 5:20); we are in the Spirit because the Spirit of God lives in us (Rom 8:9)
  6. Baptism into His death (Rom 6:3); burial with Christ (Rom 6:4,5); we died with Christ (Rom 6:8); buried with Him in baptism (Col 2:12); we died (Col 3:3)
  7. Blessings: Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm (Eph 1:3); graciously given all things (Rom 8:32); everything we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3); all of our physical needs will be provided for us (Matt 6:33)
  8. Boldness to access to the Father (Eph 2:18); boldness and confidence to enter God’s presence (Eph 3:12); confidence to enter the Most Holy Place (Heb 10:19); assurance to draw near to God (Heb 10:22); the Lord is our helper, we will not be afraid; what can man do to us? (Heb 13:6); we worship God in the Spirit (Phil 3:3); we are no longer afraid, because we do not have a spirit of fear, but one of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7)
  9. Christ Jesus our Lord: We are in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1); we are members of His body, parts of His body (Eph 5:30); We received Christ Jesus as our Lord (Col 2:6); we are hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3); we are in Christ Jesus (1 Cor 1:30)
  10. Circumcision: We have received the true circumcision (Phil 3:3); Christ cut away our body of flesh (Col 2:11)
  11. Citizenship: We are citizens with the saints; we belong to God’s household; we are no longer foreigners and aliens (Eph 2:19); we are God’s holy nation (1 Pet 2:9); once we were not a people, but now we are the people of God (1 Pet 2:10)
  12. Comfort: God comforts us in all our tribulations (2 Cor 1:4); we will never be left nor forsaken by God (Heb 13:5)
  13. Completeness (perfection): In Him we have been made complete (Col 2:10); we are perfected forever, made complete, by His one offering (Heb 10:14); God will perfect us, render complete (1 Pet 5:10)
  14. Confidence in death knowing we will be going home with the Lord (2 Cor 5:6,8); we will be blameless in the day of our Lord (1 Cr 1:8); to die is gain; to depart and be with Christ is far better (Phil 1:21, 23); great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us (Heb 6:18)
  15. Eagerness for the Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed (1 Cor 1:7); eagerly waiting for him to come again and bring salvation (Heb 9:28); looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells (2 Pet 3:13); when Jesus returns, those who have died will come with Him (1 Thes 4:14)
  16. Eternal glory: Our present troubles are producing for us an eternal glory (2 Cor 4:17); eternal glory (2 Tim 2:10); called to God’s eternal glory (1 Pet 5:10)
  17. Eternal life (Matt 19:29); we have eternal life in Him (John 3:15); the gift of God is eternal life (Rom 6:23); eternal life (Titus 3:7); He has promised us eternal life (1 John 2:25); eternal life in his Son (1 John 5:11)
  18. Fellowship: Called into fellowship w/ Jesus (1 Cor 1:9); fellowship of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 13:14); fellowship with the Father and with His Son (1 John 1:3)
  19. Freedom: We have freedom from sin (Rom 6:18); we died to the law so that we could be married to the resurrected Christ (Rom 7:4); set free from the bondage of the law (Rom 7:6); freedom from the law of sin and death (Rom 8:2); all things are lawful (1 Cor 6:12); liberty in Christ Jesus (Gal 2:4); we died to the law (Gal 2:19); redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal 3:13); it was for freedom that Christ set us free (Gal 5:1); called to freedom (Gal 5:13); freedom from the basic principles of the world (Col 2:20)
  20. Forgiveness: Forgiveness from our lawless deeds; our sins will never be held against us (Rom 4:7,8); therefore there is no condemnation for us, no damnatory sentence or verdict (Rom 8:1); no one can bring an accusation against us (Rom 8:33); God does not count people’s sins against them (2 Cor 5:19); forgiveness of sins in accordance to the riches of His grace (Eph 1:7); forgiveness of all our sins (Col 1:14); forgiveness of all our trespasses (Col 2:13); cancellation of the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us by nailing them to the cross (Col 2:14); Christ forgave us (Col 3:13); our sins and iniquities He remembers no more (Jeremiah 31:34 and Heb 8:12 and Heb 10:17); we are dead to sins since He himself bore our sins in His own body: by His wounds we are healed (1 Pe 2:24); our sins are forgiven us for His name’s sake (1 John 2:12)
  21. Gifts (evangelists, pastors, etc.) to equip us for works of service (Eph 4:11); made into fishers of men (Matt 4:19); each member of His body receives different gifts (Rom 12:6); we are not lacking in any gift (1 Cor 1:7); He uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere (2 Cor 2:14); anointing from the Holy One (1 John 2:20, 27)
  22. Glorification in the sense of praise or honor (Rom 8:30); we are being transformed into the image of the Lord with ever-increasing glory (2 Cor 3:18)
  23. God as our Father (Rom 8:15); He is a Father to us, and we are His sons and daughters (2 Cor 6:18); we are the children of God (Gal 3:26); the Spirit of his Son within us calls out, “Abba, Father” (Gal 4:6); we are dear children of God (Eph 5:1); Jesus is not ashamed to call us his brothers and sisters (Heb 2:11); we are children of God (1 John 5:19); “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 Jo 3:2);
  24. God’s Temple: We are the temple of God, a holy temple (1 Cor 3:16, 17); we are the temple of the living God (2 Cor 6:16); we share our bodies with the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:15); our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19); we are living stones that are being built up as a spiritual house (1 Pet 2:5)
  25. Grace in which we stand (Rom 5:2); abundance of grace (Rom 5:17); we are not under law, but under grace (Rom 6:14); we have been given the grace of God in Christ Jesus (1 Cor 1:4); grace poured out on us (Eph 1:6); God’s grace has been lavished upon us (Eph 1:7,8); the gift of God which is His grace (Eph 2:8); grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift (Eph 4:7)
  26. A High Priest: a great high priest who has passed into heaven, Jesus the Son of God (Heb 4:14); the ministry as priest that Jesus has received is much greater than the one of the earthly Levitical priests since the New Covenant is established upon better promises (Heb 8:6); Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come (Heb 9:11)
  27. His Power: The exceeding greatness of His power toward believers (Eph 1:19)
  28. His Will/ an inheritance: He made known to us the mystery of His will (Eph 1:9); we have received an inheritance (Eph 1:11); the riches of His glorious inheritance for the saints (Eph 1:18); the right to be heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17 and Gal 4:7); Paul prays that we will be filled with the knowledge of His will (Col 1:9); qualification to share in the inheritance of the saints (Col 1:12); we will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward (Col 3:24); we are Abraham’s descendants and heirs of the promise (Gal 3:29); we are made heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:7); the promise of the eternal inheritance (Heb 9:15); given an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade, that is kept in heaven for us (1 Pet 1:4); Jesus the King will say to us one day, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” (Matt 25:34)
  29. Holiness: We are saints, His holy people (Rom 1:7); the branches are holy since the root is holy (Rom 11:16); we are saints by calling, his own holy people (1 Cor 1:2); chosen to be holy and blameless before Him (Eph 1:4)
  30. Holy Spirit: Holy Spirit of God dwells in us (Rom 8:11, 1 Cor 3:16); God’s Spirit was put in our hearts as a down payment guaranteeing what is to come (2 Cor 1:22); Spirit given to us as a pledge (2 Cor 5:5); received Holy Spirit (Gal 3:2,5); the blessing promised to Abraham: we have received the Spirit (Gal 3:14); the Spirit of His Son sent into our hearts (Gal 4:6); the promised Holy Spirit (Eph 1:14); the Holy Spirit who has been poured out upon us abundantly (Titus 3:5, 6); He has given us his Spirit (1 John 4:13)
  31. Hope: the hope of His calling, our inheritance (Eph 1:18); hope (Heb 6:18); hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Rom 5:5); this hope is an anchor to our soul, firm and secure, allowing us to enter the inner sanctuary behind the curtain (Heb 6:19)
  32. An Intercessor: the Spirit intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings (Rom 8:26); the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God (Rom 8:27); Christ Jesus is at the right hand of God interceding for us (Rom 8:34); Jesus is alive forever and will always make intercession for us (Heb 7:25)
  33. Joy: His joy remains in us, and our joy is full (John 15:11); we rejoice in Christ Jesus (Phil 3:3)
  34. Justification by His grace (Rom 3:24; Titus 3:7); justification by His blood (Rom 5:9); He justified us (Rom 8:30); at salvation we were justified (1 Cor 6:11); justified by faith in Jesus (Gal 2:16)
  35. Knowledge (understanding): knowledge of the things that are freely given to us of God (1 Cor 2:12); all knowledge (Rom 15:14); the veil that covered our minds to keep us from understanding the Old Covenant has been taken away (2 Cor 3:16); we no longer evaluate people from a worldly point of view; we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer (2 Cor 5:16); we are taught the truth by Jesus (Eph 4:21); knowledge of the mystery of His will (Eph 1:9); we know the truth (1 John 2:20); we have knowledge of the truth (1 John 2:21)
  36. Knowledge of God: We know Jesus our Shepherd (John 10:14); we know what it means to fear the Lord (2 Cor 5:11); we know the resurrected Jesus (2 Cor 5:16); may we grow know Him even better (Eph 1:17); we know the Lord (Heb 8:11); the Son of God has come and given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true (1 John 5:20); knowledge of Him who is from the beginning (1 John 2:13)
  37. Life: He has given us abundant life (John 10:11); we have a new life (Rom 6:4); we are alive to God (Rom 6:11); He gave life to our mortal bodies by giving us His Spirit who dwells in us (Rom 8:11); we were dead, and God made us alive with Christ (Eph 2:5); made alive together with Him (Col 2:13); new life that is hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3); Christ is our life (Col 3:4); we now live in the Spirit (1 Pet 4:6); passed from death to life (1 John 3:14); life (1 John 5:12); we died with Him, we will also live with Him (2 Tim 2:11)
  38. Light: We are light in the Lord; we are children of Light (Eph 5:8); we shine as lights in the world (Phil 2:15); we walk in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7)
  39. Living water: we will never thirst (John 6:35); living waters flow from our heart (John 7:38)
  40. Love from God: God so loved us that He gave His Son to save us (John 3:16); we are beloved of God (Rom 1:7); the love of God was poured into our hearts (Rom 5:5); nothing can separate us from His love (Rom 8:35); Christ’s love constrains us, holds us together (2 Cor 5:14); Jesus loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God (Eph 5:2); “God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:9); He shows his love for us by being the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10); we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us: God is love (1 John 4:16)
  41. Love for God: We love Him, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19)
  42. A Master: We are no longer slaves of sin (Rom 6:14); we are slaves of righteousness (Rom 6:18); we are servants of God (Rom 6:22); we are a people of His own possession (Titus 2:14); we are God’s special possession (1 Pet 2:9); we are bondservants of God (1 Pet 2:16); we belong to God (1 John 4:6)
  43. Mercy: His mercy (Rom 11:30); mercy from God (1 Tim 1:2); His mercy (Titus 3:5); His great mercy (1 Pet 1:3); we have received mercy (1 Pet 2:10); mercy (2 John 1:3); mercy in abundance (Jude 1:2)
  44. The Mind of Christ: we can know His mind, because we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16); Christ lives in us (Gal 2:20)
  45. The Ministry of Reconciliation; He has given us and committed to us the message of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:19); we are ambassadors for Christ as God makes His appeal through us, “Be reconciled to Me.” (2 Cor 5:20)
  46. A New Covenant: He has made us ministers of a new covenant (2 Cor 3:6); we are recipients of a new covenant (Heb 8:8); the old covenant is obsolete to us (Heb 8:13); the new covenant allows us to receive the promised eternal inheritance (Heb 9:15); we have come to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant (Heb 12:24)
  47. New Identity: we were once sinner, but we are no longer labeled by our sinful behavior (1 Cor 6:11)
  48. New Law: we serve in the new way of the Spirit (Rom 7:6) the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:2)
  49. New self: We walk according to the Spirit (Rom 8:4); prepared by God for the purpose of being clothed with our new body (2 Cor 5:5); given a new life since we have been made into new creatures (2 Cor 5:17); new self created in the likeness of God in righteousness and holiness of the truth (Eph 4:24); we have taken off of our old self, the old man, with its evil practices (Col 3:9); we have put on the new man which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created us (Col 3:10); we have no confidence in the flesh (Phil 3:3)
  50. Peace: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you,” (John 14:27); peace with God (Rom 5:1); the God of peace is always with us (2 Cor 13:11); He Himself is our peace (Eph 2:14); He made peace through the blood of His cross, we are no longer God’s enemy, alienated and hostile in our mind towards God (Col 1:21); the Lord is able to give us His peace in every circumstance (2 Thess 3:16); peace given by God (Eph 1:2); peace in abundance (2 Pet 1:2)
  51. Promises: We will be presented before Him as holy and blameless and above reproach (Col 1:22); promise that all things work together for our good (Rom 8:28); promise that when Christ is revealed, then we also will be revealed with him in glory (Col 3:4); we are children of Abraham (Gal 3:7); promise that He who began a good work in us will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil 1:6); after we have suffered for a little while, God will perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish us (1 Pe 5:10); His very great and precious promises so that by them we may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (2 Pe 1:4); heirs of the promise (Heb 6:17); He is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy (Jude 1:24)
  52. Promise to suffer: We are joint-heirs to suffer with Christ (Rom 8:17); the sufferings of Christ abound in us (2 Cor 1:5); the privilege to suffer for him (Phil 1:29) will suffer a little while (1 Pet 5:10); we will suffer persecution (2 Tim 3:12)
  53. Propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10)
  54. Reconciliation: we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son (Rom 5:10); God reconciled us to Himself through Christ (2 Cor 5:18); He has reconciled us through the death of Christ’s physical body (Col 1:22)
  55. Redemption (1 Cor 1:30); redemption for us who were under the Law (Gal 4:5); redemption through His blood (Eph 1:7, Col 1:14); redemption of the transgressions committed under the first covenant (Heb 9:15); redeemed with the precious blood of Christ (1 Pet 1:18,19); Jesus Christ, our great God and Savior, gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed (Titus 2:14)
  56. Rest: In Jesus we found rest for our souls (Matt 11:29); we who have believed have entered the promised rest (Heb 4:3); we have entered God’s rest and therefore we have rested from our works (Heb 4:10); the fulfillment of the Sabbath Day rest has been found in us because the Sabbath Day rest was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, and Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28)
  57. Riches: the unfathomable riches of Christ (Eph 3:8); we are made rich in all speech and knowledge (1 Cor 1:5); made rich (2 Cor 6:10 and 2 Cor 9:11); we will receive the unfading crown of glory at His return
  58. Righteousness: our faith is credited as righteousness (Rom 4:5); “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Rom 10:4), “our righteousness can only be accomplished in us by our belief and trust in Him because of what he has accomplished” (Aaron Budjen on Rom 10:4); made righteous (Rom 5:19); the righteousness of God (2 Cr 5:21); righteousness of the law fulfilled in us (Rom 8:4); we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness (Gal 5:5); we have righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith in Christ (Phil 3:9)
  59. Salvation: Jesus saves His people from their sins (Matt 1:21); saved from the wrath of God (Rom 5:9); saved by His life (Rom 5:10); we are saved (Rom 10:9); saved by the gospel (1 Cor 15:2); salvation through faith in Him (Eph 2:8); we are appointed to obtain salvation, not wrath, so that we shall live together with Him (1 Thes 5:9, 10); God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace (2 Tim 1:9); He saved us according to His mercy, by renewal of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5)
  60. Sanctification (we are set apart): we have been sanctified in Christ Jesus (1 Cor 1:2); we were sanctified (1 Cor 6:11); we are sanctified (Heb 2:11); sanctified, made holy, through the offering of His body once for all (Heb 10:10); sanctification by the Spirit (1 Peter 1:2); we are set apart by God the Father (Jude 1:1)
  61. Seal of ownership: we belong to Christ (1 Cor 3:23); He has sealed us (2 Cor 1:22); sealed with the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13); sealed with the Holy Spirit of God unto the day of redemption (Eph 4:30)
  62. Security: Jesus is the chief leader and perfector of our faith (Heb 12:2); we have been given protection by the power of God for a salvation to be revealed at the end (1 Pet 1:5); God will make us firm, strong and steadfast (1 Pe 5:10); He is able to keep us from stumbling (Jude 1:24)
  63. A Shepherd: Our Lord is the good shepherd who gave His life for His sheep (John 10:11); we were once lost sheep, continually straying and wandering, but now we have turned to the Shepherd of our souls (1 Pet 2:25)
  64. The Truth: We have been given the power to stand for the truth (2 Cor 13:8); we know the truth (1 John 2:21, 2 John 1:1); we walk in the truth (3 John 1:3)
  65. Unity (and equality): we children are one body in Christ (Rom 12:5,6); the Jews and Gentiles have been made into one group no longer divided by the barrier of the Law of Commandments (Eph 2:14); Jews and Gentiles have been reconciled in one body to God through the cross, the enmity between us has been put to death (Eph 2:16); Gentiles are now fellow heirs with the Jews, members of the same body and partakers of the promise in Christ (Eph 3:6); in the family of God; we are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:28); we will no longer marry or be given in marriage after we receive our resurrected bodies (Matt 22:30)
  66. Victory: We are more than conquerors through Christ (Rom 8:37); we have overcome the wicked one (1 John 2:13); overcome the lying spirits that are in the world (1 John 4:4); “Everyone born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” (1 John 5:4, 5), “In the world you shall have tribulation, but take courage, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33);
  67. Wisdom: Christ Jesus has become our wisdom; wisdom is available by God who gives to all generously and without reproach (James 1:5)
  68. Works prepared for us by God: We are God’s workmanship, his product, that is, His fabric or His tapestry; we are a thing that He has made, created, and He has prepared good works for us to do (Eph 2:10)

 

Part 2 – We have been….

  1. Blessed: We have been given the blessing of Abraham (Gal 3:14); He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing (Eph 1:3); blessed is the one who reads and hears the words of this prophesy (Rev 1:3); have inherited a blessing (1 Pet 3:9)
  2. Born again: He saved us through the washing of new birth (Titus 3:5); born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Pet 1:3); born again – not of corruptible seed like the life that our parents gave us, but of incorruptible seed – through the living and enduring word of God (1 Pet 1:23); born of God (1 John 3:9; 1 John 5:1, and 18)
  3. Called: we are the called of Jesus Christ (Rom 1:6); called into his kingdom and glory (1 Thes 2:12); have been called (Heb 9:15); called out of darkness into His wonderful light (1 Pet 2:9); called to inherit a blessing (1 Pet 3:9); called by God (Jude 1:1)
  4. Crucified: We are dead to sin (Rom 6:2); crucified to our old self so that our body of sin might be destroyed (Rom 6:6); crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20); we have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Gal 5:24)
  5. Equipped: we walk in the good works that God has prepared for us (Eph 2:10); God works in us both to will and to do his good pleasure (Phil 2:13); equipped by God to do His will in all that we do as He works in us that which is pleasing in His sight (Heb 13:21); by knowing the Scriptures we are thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:17); made eager to do good works (Titus 2:14)
  6. Made Priests: We are a priesthood that offers us spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God (1 Pet 2:5); we are a royal priesthood (1 Pe 2:9); we will reign with Him (2 Tim 2:12)
  7. Obedient: We have obeyed Jesus Christ (1 Pet 1:2); we have turned to the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls (1 Pet 2:25)
  8. Predestined: We are predestined to be conformed to His image (Rom 8:29, 30); He predestined us for adoption (Eph 1:5); predestination (Eph 1:11)
  9. Raised with Him: We will be resurrected just as He was (Rom 6:5); we will be raised up by His power, just as the Lord rose (1 Cor 6:14); we will receive a resurrected body that is incorruptible, immortal, spiritual and will bear the image of our Lord (1 Cor 15:42-490; as opposed to this earthly tent we now live in, we will one day have an eternal house (2 Cor 5:1); God has raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realm (Eph 2:6); we were raised with Him because we trusted the mighty power of God (Col 2:12); raised with Christ (Col 3:1); transferred to the kingdom of his dear Son (Col 1:13); will be caught up in the clouds and meet the Lord in the air (1 Thes 4:17); we have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, and to God, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant (Heb 12:22); “It has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” (1 John 3:2)
  10. Rescued from the power of darkness (Col 1:13); rescued from this present evil world (Gal 1:4); rescued from the wrath to come (1 Thess 1:10); the evil one can not harm us (1 John 5:18)
  11. Washed at salvation (1 Cor 6:11); saved by the washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5); our bodies have been washed with pure water, our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean (Heb 10:22); Jesus purified us to be a people of His own possession (Titus 2:14); purified/cleansed/purged from our past sins (2 Pet 1:9)
  • Scripture verses are from either the KJV, NKJV, NASB, NIV, or NLT
  • Many thanks goes to Aaron Budjen who inspired me to begin this project (2007) by his continual exhortation to us at his weekly Bible Study to search the Scriptures to discover all that we have been given in Christ.
  • UPDATE! 11/30/2018: I have updated this list which now totals 99 spiritual blessings!  All of the Scripture verses are spelled out in full.  I’d be happy to mail you a copy for $15, which will cover the cost of the printing (37 pages), front and back plastic cover, spiral binding and finally the shipping charge (within the U.S.A).  Email me at MomForFreedom@gmail.com if you are interested.  😊