Monday, July 13, 2009

Our Advocate: Jesus Christ the Righteous

The Lord is so good to me. He instructs me constantly, even in my faults. Over the weekend, He has taught me even more the value, meaning, and joy of sanctification: living daily in the grace of God by applying the same faith that brought justification -- faith in His Son.

This past week at Family Camp, Dr. Fox brought a great message on advocacy of Jesus, and how that relates to our daily forgiveness for sin. I really enjoyed the messages all week, and was greatly instructed in the Lord; and that message was no exception.

So, of course, I got an opportunity to apply that teaching. Unfortunately, I yielded to temptation in a certain area, and in doing so I sinned! (Don't look at me in that tone of voice! cf. Matt. 7:1-5; Rom. 2:1; 1 Cor. 4:5, James 4:11, 12; 1 John 1:8-10)

Instantly, the Holy Spirit worked me over with conviction, and assured me constantly that my fellowship with the Father was going to be pretty much nonexistent until we got this thing taken care of.

At once, having been reminded of the surpassing, eternal joy of fellowship with the Light, I greatly desired to be restored to Him. But I also greatly feared His wrath at having yielded to a temptation so obvious (and clearly warned against!). (Don't even ask -- I'm not going to tell you. As you are about to see, even God doesn't make it His business anymore, so why should you? :) )

After all,

...make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of mean sold his birthright.

For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to the them any more (for they could not endure that which was commanded, 'And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be soned, or thrust through with a dart:' and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, 'I exceedingly fear and quake'): but ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things that that of Abel.

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, 'Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.'"

And this word, 'Yet once more,' signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire.

And again,

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is their any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

(Yikes! If you don't have a healthy fear of the Lord after understanding those passages...well, check your salvation. cf. 1 Cor. 2:14, Php. 2:12, Heb. 12:8)

Anyway, with the concept of being separated from fellowship with my wonderful Lord, and over something so stupid and temporary, the Holy Spirit brought me to my knees in godly sorrow and repentance.

But I was yet afraid to even "enter into his gates...into his courts" -- forget coming before Him with singing! Like the Hebrews before me, I could not look on the brightness of His glory and holiness.

Then the sweet Comforter (once His job of conviction was accomplished, He switched roles) reminded me that the wrath of God that I had brought on myself through my sin (Eph. 2:3, etc.), has already been poured out on Jesus at the Cross, and that, "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." He encouraged me to "...therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that [I would] obtain mercy."

Furthermore, He assured me that "the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin...And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitation for our sins."

Additionally, He reminded me that I do not have to stand naked before the judgment bar and face the fierce wrath of God, which "cometh on the children of disobedience" (for Jesus is my advocate, standing at that bar for me, having already face that awesome wrath and "propitiated" [satisfied] it through His blood), and that "Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God."

You see, it is only by living this life in the flesh "by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" that I can overcome the world.

God promises that, when we come boldly1 to the throne of grace, not only will we receive mercy, but we will also "find grace to help in time of need." In other words, if we remember all this in future temptation, He will supply our need for strength and grant us grace to stand. "Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him to stand." For it is only by His grace that we will overcome the world, and we have access into said grace by our faith (which is also a gift -- so don't get a big head about it. :)

Once reminded of all this, the blessed Holy Spirit lovingly came along side me and brought me into the courtroom (through prayer), where He helped me to confess my guilt. As promised, Jesus also came along side and stood for me against my Adversary, the Devil (who was constantly railing against me, and accusing me before our Father).

Now, I am once again restored to fellowship with Him -- and how sweet it is! He continually makes me to rejoice in His love, and I sing with David:

"But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice:
let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them:
let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous;
with favor wilt thou compass him
as with a shield." (Ps. 5:11,12)

Sing with me!

"O come, let us sing
unto the LORD:
let us make a joyful noise
to the rock of our salvation.

Let us come before his presence
with thanksgiving,
and make a joyful noise unto him
with psalms.

For the LORD is a great God,
and a great King
above all gods.

In his hand
are the deep places of the earth:
the strength of the hills
is his also.

The sea is his,
and he made it:
and his hands formed
the dry land.

O come,
let us worship and bow down:
let us kneel
before the LORD our maker.

For he is our God;
and we are the people
of his pasture,
and the sheep
of his hand.

To day if ye will hear his voice,

'Harden not your heart, as in the provocation,
and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.

Forty years long was I grieved with this generation,
and said,

"It is a people that do err in their heart,
and they have not known my ways:"

Unto whom I sware in my wrath
that they should not enter into my rest.'" (Ps. 95)
" (Ps. 95:1,2)
1(trembling, for our God is a consuming fire, yet bold in the faith that the righteous Christ [who alone, because of His righteousness, can approach the throne] is our advocate and high priest, having satisfied the wrath of God through the shedding of His blood, to which God gave witness by raising Him from the dead by His Power)

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