Apart From Sin

What can we expect with God at our side? It is common that believers have varying expectations from Him. And it is not wrong, if they are according to His will. But, as His children, there are special things we can certainly expect to be filled with throughout our life. In fact, He has made us His children and longs to make many more the same that we have them permanently. We have them only when He is in us and He is in us when we are in Him. Everything we seek from Him depends on them. They not only pave the way for the things we desire, but also give the confidence in obtaining them apart from sin. In short, whatever we receive from Him is pure. Those special things are understood from the following. “To whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace” (Heb. 7:2).

Abraham realized who Melchizedek was. He attested his realization by giving Him a tenth of all his gain. Because it was by faith, God made it a norm to all believers since his time. [That Abraham tithing to God is mentioned in the above text means tithing is a valid principle. It purports the continuance of offering to God a tenth of our portion]. No one gives a tenth of his gain, unless he knows the one receiving it is someone special and mightier. For this reason, we too give a tenth of all our earnings to the one who is the Almighty. We do not give it to any priest, but to the One who is according to the order of Melchizedek. The Bible says that Melchizedek was a priest of the Most High God. He was a priest as King with two special things – righteousness and peace. Every man in the flesh, who has been a king, has been a king of earthly things alone. Melchizedek was a king of heavenly things. Abraham realized this at the sight of Him; for His name is King of righteousness and peace. And that we give a tenth of our portion to God by faith through the work of Abraham reflexively indicates that we give it to the Lord God, who was Melchizedek.

Now, having said the above, what benefit did Abraham receive? He was blessed by the King of righteousness and peace. Therefore, he had righteousness and peace throughout his life. And this is what we too can expect with God at our side. For there is no one else present with righteousness and peace that can keep us confident, safe, calm and energized in life. Hence, we ought to honor Him with all our spirit, mind and might and not just the giving of the tithe. See, when God appeared to Abraham to receive a tenth of all his gain, He appeared after Abraham was made righteous by faith. Furthermore, Abraham was walking with Him wherever he was being led. There is a spectacular benefit in being the sons of Abraham. It is that we hasten the Lord to execute His righteousness and peace toward us. Then, He does not delay His works and plans toward us; He fulfills His promises. And, we see this as true of Him from the Word proclaimed. So, the angel appeared “and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, WHO CREATED HEAVEN AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE EARTH AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE SEA AND THE THINGS IN IT, that there will be delay no longer” (Rev. 10:6).

Just as God hastens to finish the mystery, which He spoke to His servants, even so, He hastens to complete all the things He spoke to us. It is His utmost desire to act as quickly as possible toward us; for He delights to see us rejoice. Yet, He chooses to fulfill it by our relationship with Him. As we become like our father Abraham, it becomes all the easier for Him to perform works toward us. The key here is to remain with His righteousness and peace all the time. Hence, the Spirit through Paul pleads for the following. “That each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor” (1 Thess. 4:4). He knows the wonderful outcome it brings; He does not want us to miss it. When Paul continued to remain in God’s righteousness and peace, He performed the will of God toward him. Each one of us has the duty of understanding how God wants to keep our bodies for Him. If we are sanctified through Christ, we know what it is like to be without sanctification. Choosing to be blind to such knowledge will have dire effects on us. Although we may have God’s will and promises, our blindness to the Spirit’s urging delays God to act for us. Furthermore, because we have been sanctified, God is willing to unfold His Word to us and the Spirit is willing to strengthen us for it so that we continue in sanctification and honor.

As Paul and his associates were constantly strengthened for sanctification and honor, they reaped the benefits of having the King of righteousness and peace at their side. So, in good and harmless times they enjoyed life. In hardships they were led to eventually rejoice in Him. The power of righteousness and peace is that those who are with them will be victorious; they have to be with joy. For this reason, they are not of this world nor are they born of anyone born of the flesh; they are special. Most Christians’ weakness is the fear of hardship. Because of it, they entertain negative feelings. Then, they become weak in spirit that leads to being insipid for God’s righteousness and peace. But, we ought not to be like them. We are called to look at life positively – not because of any of our ability, but because of the One who is at our side. So, when you face hardship, whatever it might be, say to yourself, “Let it come, what it will do to me? God is at my side.” Paul and Silas knew this, and it worked for them. “And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household” (Acts 16:34). God as the King of righteousness and peace cannot be unjust, partial or uncaring. After everything Paul and Silas went through what a night it must have been in the jailor’s house!

So, here is what you experience when God is at your side.

  1. Amazement. Because He has all the understanding of your situation, He also has the answers to all your problems and queries. “And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers” (Luke 2:47). He is still the same.
  2. Confidence. God already has plans to bring you out of any hardship; be calm and let Him work through you. “But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say” (Matt. 10:19). When the enemy attacks, be positive; God will equip you.
  3. Justice. “I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land” (Joel 3:2).
Posted in 2013, Archives and tagged , , , , .