Friday, May 11, 2018

Home Church Video: Staking Our Claim on Freedom in Christ ~ Part 14 ~ “The Valley of Freedom: Step One ~ Facing Our Poverty”

Okay, so my titles are getting ridiculously long, but I hope that just makes it all seem endearing instead of troublesome!

Oh well, on with the show, as they say.

One reason many people fail to attach to the work of God is that they assume anything he does would be in an upward direction. Makes sense. We’re growing “up”, right?

Except that, when Jesus gave us the Beatitudes at the beginning of his Sermon on the Mount,[1] he began in a downward direction. Not downward in the sense of becoming less mature, but in the sense of humbling ourselves to see how immature we really are. Or how broken, or messed-up, or sinful, or spiritually bankrupt we are in relation to God.

There is a very clear picture in God’s word that we must, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”[2] This means that we can expect God’s work in our lives to begin with humbling ourselves in some area in order that he can do a work that lifts us up.

This is true in our salvation where we must humble ourselves in repentance and faith so God can exalt us into the adoption of sons[3] in which we are seated with Christ in the heavenly realm.[4] However, it is also true in our freedom where we must humble ourselves regarding who is in charge of our lives, and open our hearts to what God promises to do for us according to his good pleasure.

In this home church video, we consider how Jesus’ gracious declaration, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,”[5] invites us to experience the full freedoms of the kingdom through knowing our own poverty of spirit. The proud in spirit who cannot face anything that is wrong with them miss out. The poor in spirit who readily admit what is still not like Jesus, humble themselves under the mighty hand of God and experience his gracious work to daily transform them into the same image as their Savior from one degree of glory to another.[6]

Join us for a humbling consideration of our need for God that is saturated with blessing because it causes us to call on the name of the Lord and be delivered.[7]

© 2018 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)

[1] Matthew 5-7 is the Sermon on the Mount, with Matthew 5:1-12 the Beatitudes.
[2] James 4:10; I Peter 5:6
[3] Romans 8:15,23; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5
[4] Ephesians 2:6 (context: Ephesians 2:1-10)
[5] Matthew 5:3
[6] II Corinthians 3:18
[7] Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13

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