Chapter 1. The Great Expectation

CCIM College Course: Chapter 1.  The Great Expectation

( per — Capturing God’s Heart Volume #19 )

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.  The government will rest on his shoulders.  And he will be called:  Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6 NLT 

The story of Christ is a simple one. 

Long years back God created heaven and earth, land and sea, animals, fish, birds, and human kind. Men and women, male and female, we were created in the image of God. 

God, being love, orchestrated a great multiplication of love as the Spirit of God was breathed into and through us and as humans were mandated with filling the earth and taking great care of this world. These first humans were Adam and Eve.  Genesis 1:26; Genesis 2:7

There was though, one injunction, one command,  “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”  Genesis 2:17 ESV

But, as we know, Adam and Eve did eat of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil.  The Bible tells us that immediately they became aware of their sin in crushing self-consciousness; they lost their innocence and ability to live life freely as children of God.  We are told they hid themselves, ashamed and broken. 

Yet, we then read the most amazing thing.  God came walking in the cool of the evening as was his habit. God came toward Adam and Eve, seeking them out to fellowship and walk together as in the days before. 

We then read that God, the creator of heaven and earth and everything in it, the one who birthed every good thing we know, killed one of his creations in order to cover over the shame and nakedness and embarrassment, the self-consciousness and sense of condemnation that Adam and Eve were experiencing. 

And God has been coming toward us ever since.  Even though our sin may seem offensive to God, he takes no offence. It is impossible to offend God because offence lies in the heart of the offended. 

Proverbs 19:11,  Ephesians 4:1-16,  Proverbs 17:9

God emulates his scriptures where we read in Ephesians, 

“.. with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  Ephesians 4:2-3 NLT 

And we must not forget this amazing passage in Romans, 

“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 

No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

Romans 8:38-39 NLT

We know that we all have sin as the Apostle Paul testified, 

“And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t.” Romans 7:18

But, God says, 

“ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ Says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’ “   Jeremiah 29:11 NLT 

The heart of God is for us.  God is for you!  God is your solution.  God is the solution to our dying, chaotic, broken, weary, world.  Matthew 11:28;  Jeremiah 31:25;  Revelation 22:17 

As we read in Romans, 

“For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.  Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 

For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”   Romans 5:17-21 ESV

You see, God is bigger than your sin.  God’s love washes away a multitude of sins.  1 Peter 4:8

God took care of the sin problem some 2000 years ago.  

“He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.”  1 John 2:2 NLT 

And so, we remain in expectation of God’s heart for us, over us, in us.  Jesus has done a great work for  us!  The gospel is NOT about what we do for God, but the gospel is about what God has done for us!

“For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,”  Ephesians 2:8 ESV

“So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.”  Romans 5:11 NLT 

All through time God has continued to come toward us.  The Bible is the story of God intersecting our human experience, meeting us as people in all our various contexts and cultures.  

God is always communicating to you and to I.  Jesus is our priest and Holy Spirit is our leader and guide.  Look to the Lord. Cry out to God.  Call on the name of the Lord and things will go well with you.  

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:6-8 ESV

God is on for you.  God loves you.  God is restoring you.  Call on the name of the Lord. 

Application

The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ (really, love and light and life) spilled out for us on the cross of Calvary, is the investment of God in our freedom, healing, transformation, and protection in this world and in the spirit realm. 

We can choose to come under the blood covering of Christ, or we can refuse.  All this means, is to accept that Jesus Christ has taken care of the death requirement that sin always demands (and mightily overcame it with life!).

Within the covering of Christ we are saved and kept in God. Outside of the covering of Christ we are on our own and without the protection of the Lord and without new life. 

When we accept Jesus as Saviour we accept his covering.  To accept his covering we put down our own best efforts, our striving, and our law-based thinking and behaviour.  To receive Christ is to turn from our own keeping of law and religion. 

Jesus Christ came to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.  We must get this. 

Religion says, “You must sacrifice” — Jesus says, “I am the sacrifice”  Hebrews 9:11-15

Religion says, “You must try harder” — Jesus says, “Rest in me”  Matthew 11:28-30

Religion says, “You have failed” — Jesus says, “I am making all things new”  Rev. 21:5

Religion says, “You must obey your pastor” (1) — Jesus says, “I am your priest”  Hebrews 7:15-28

Our part is to stop trying to make ourselves right with God.  We cannot.  Galatians 2:18-19. 

Instead, we enter into His rest.  We truly accept and receive deep into our inner being the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf.  Galatians 5:4

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you answer these next questions:

“Holy Spirit I come in the name and the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ.  I ask that you would reveal to me where I am still trying to keep the law and to make things right on my own.  Show me my errors of self-effort and of refusing to come into your grace.  Amen”  (2)

Find a quiet place to sit before God.  Ask these questions one at a time, waiting to hear what the Holy Spirit wants to show you.  Then write down your response to each question. 

1.  Holy Spirit, where am I still trying to make things right with God? (3)

2.  Holy Spirit, is there something in my life that I think is too big for the grace of God? 

3.  Holy Spirit, what area of my life am I holding back from God? 

The answers to each of these things must be brought to the cross of Jesus Christ and left there. 

We bring our self efforts, we bring our striving, we bring our pride that would want to be good and right, and we enter into Christ, for he alone has made (and is making) all things right. 

Galatians 5:1 (4)

“Jesus I enter into the blood covering that you provide for me.  I put down my striving and my self efforts. I am sorry.  I move from law and religion to your salvation which has paid the price for me.  I am free and I ask that you bring your freedom and life to my heart in a new way today.  I enter into your rest in the name and the blood of my Lord Jesus Christ.” 

Summary – the great expectation 

The gospel is the story of God loving and making away for the restoration of all people. 

Isaiah 42:1-4,  Jeremiah 29:11,  Luke 4:18

We are caught in sin and brokenness.    Romans 3:23,  Proverbs 6:16-19,  Romans 1:28-31

God comes toward us in forgiveness.   Isaiah 1:18,  1 John 1:9,  Isaiah 53:5

God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Romans 5:8,  Isaiah 40:28-31,  John 1:1-5

God offers himself as our sacrifice.   John 3:16,  1 John 2:2,  Revelation 1:5

When we accept Jesus we accept his help.   2 Corinthians 5:17,  John 5:24,  Psalm 23:3

In Jesus, and Jesus alone, we are renewed. 1 Corinthians 15:22,  Galatians 5:1,  

Ephesians 2:8-9

We stop trying to make our lives good.   Acts 13:39,  Romans 5:1-5,  Titus 3:5-7

We stop trying to keep the law.   Proverbs 3:5-6,  Galatians 3:3-10,  Ephesians 2:8

We live unto God.   Jeremiah 24:7,  Romans 10:4,  2 Peter 3:18

 

Footnotes:

  1. We must take the passage about obeying our leaders and weigh it against all other scripture. The primary heart of this passage is about receiving what our leaders have for us. It is encouraging us to have a heart that is eager to hear their perspective and to take their wisdom into account. Do our leaders have good stuff for us? Certainly. Do our leaders have our best in mind? Of course. But this does not mean that we are to obey them as children obey their parents. It is not this kind of relationship. Acts 5:29 And good leaders will not demand obedience from their people. They know that each person is accountable to the Lord for their unique calling and gifting and to weigh-in too heavily in matters that do not belong to them is to risk touching the glory of the Lord as it is revealed in each other. We take great care in telling others what to do or not to do for we know that when we are working with people we are on Holy ground before the Lord. At the same time, for those increasing in the things of the Lord you must have a mentor or mentors. Learn from those older than you, those more advanced in the things of the Kingdom of God. Your humility and ability to receive from others is part of your protection in the Lord. Do not rush ahead of those who have wisdoms to extend to your life and spiritual growth and ministry.
  2. Note: this is very important as you cannot know this yourself. 
  3. NOTE: there are right things to do, but we cannot make ourselves right with God, only he makes us right with him
  4. Take the time to read the entire book of Galatians

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