Happy Saturday, and Happy Mother’s Day weekend!
I hope this finds you well with your soul today.
WELL WITH YOUR SOUL
The truth is, being well with your soul is a big deal. And the further truth is that true wellness of soul comes only from Jesus.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”
Jesus, the Son of God, said these words in the book of Revelation (Rev. 22:13). He created all things and by Him nothing was made that has been made (John 1:3, Heb. 1:2). This means He created you, your soul, your spirit, your body. He created every part of you, and as our Creator He loves you tenderly. Not only has He created you and planned you from the beginning of time, He also is the Creator of the new race of people any of us can become part of (2 Cor. 5:17). He’s created and He can recreate. He gave life and He can give eternal Life. He gives justification, and He gives sanctification. He loves you, and nothing could ever separate you from His deep love for you.
WHEN HUMANITY CHANGED
Today we’re going to discuss who we are “born again” or “born from above” (the more literal rendering of the Greek) to be. After the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden mankind changed, they fell, they were sold under sin, and there instantly came a great need to be made anew—to be born from above. All of humanity held in the body of Adam changed in that moment (Gen. 3:6-7). Adam and Eve began life under the beautiful ruling power of God who loved and cherished them, who made them King and Queen over the earth. But everything changed the day they were coerced from that great height to become slaves under the authority of God’s enemy, the devil. When this took place, it was their bodies that became perpetually susceptible to the voice and commands of their enemy (Rom. 7:14). Thus, humanity’s need to be spiritually born from above commenced. And simultaneously God’s promise, plan, and provision for this was set in motion.
To this day that same enemy who lied to Adam and Eve lies to us. And it is these lies which wreak havoc in our soul. It is these lies which make our soul unwell… every single one of us. These lies, these whispers we perceive in the inner man, continue to penetrate our thinking, and thus, they penetrate our souls. They make our souls unwell, troubled, fearful, insecure, unhappy, unloving, unlovely, angry, bitter, unforgiving, wounding to ourselves and others, depressed, envious, lustful, jealous, arrogant, selfish, and the list could continue. But this is no longer how we have to live, nor who we have to be!
NONE OF US IS EXEMPT
The truth is we’re all under the curse of sin in these bodies. We’re all stuck to be slaves of our enemy because of these bodies. The curse pronounced in Eden was promised to last on all mankind until “dust returns to dust”, until our bodies go to the grave (Gen. 3:19). This means that all of us, every single one of us reading this, has a sin issue because we’re still alive on planet earth. Your body is not less susceptible to the enemy than mine, and vice versa. Your heart is not less susceptible to his lies than mine is. And vice versa. The very fallen nature of the human body is the reason that we all hear the lies of the enemy. And there is nothing that can change this fact of the human body in which we all dwell while on planet earth.
And this is why Jesus came to earth, to live and walk in a human vessel of flesh and blood. He came into one of these vessels to set us free from these vessels. But it must be stated from the very mention of this that Jesus didn’t come to change your human body, or to make it gradually become less susceptible to lies. This would be a contradiction of the very curse pronounced in Eden. And God cannot lie. These bodies shall remain cursed until dust returns to dust. The end.
As stated, Jesus came to set us free from these vessels. Since He’s not making them better, He came to give us a way to live wholly apart from them. Oh this glorious truth! Jesus, the Son of the Most High God loves you. He came into this world, into bodies like these because He loves you so very much. Hear Him tell you, “I love you so much!” He does. By leaving everything—all the glorious riches of heaven—He made Himself the perfect candidate of love to set the human race free from the lordship of their tyrannical enemy in the flesh. He did this because He loves you. The end.
OH HOW HE LOVES US
When the Lord Jesus took on flesh like ours, God became man. You and I are a human soul and spirit inside a human body. But He was GOD inside a human body. Because He was in a body, He was privy to the lies of the enemy as well. Matthew 4:1-11 tells us about the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. The Bible tells us this is so. However, He was God, and God who cannot lie did not bend to the lies of His enemy, though He surely suffered against them. And that great day, when Jesus carried His cross up Calvary Hill, He did so as a “Lamb without spot of blemish”. He did so as the perfect, sinless, Son of God and Son of Man. When Jesus took that cross upon Him and drug it up the mountain, He also carried our sins upon HIm. Sins which man was cursed to be subject to. Sins which man could not escape from. Sins which held man prisoner to the body in which he lives. In which every single person lives. Again, it cannot be overstated, He did this because HE loved you even then, long before you “got your stuff together”. While you were yet a sinner—that is, one under the authority of sin.
And so, this great King who’d come to earth, condescended to take on a human vessel, to do a job that would change the trajectory of humanity, and change history forever. He was lead to the slaughter, as a lamb without blemish, willingly, not by force. Because He loved us so much. He was nailed to that cross, with the lies, the sins, of our flesh upon Him—not in Him! His blood was pure and spotless. He did this, not to change our physical bodies (though His was certainly about to change), He did this to free us from living according to our bodies while still planted on earth. When he gave Himself up for us, He was loving us to the end. And when He said, “It is finished”, it really was. The work to free us was complete, the battle against His enemy and ours was WON! He did this for us. That lovely, earth-shattering day, victory was won. Chains were broken. Slavery was abolished.
THE HOLY SPIRIT OF LOVE
The very moment we believed in Jesus (that He and His death, burial, and resurrection was alone sufficient to save/free us from sin), we were given the Holy Spirit to dwell within us (Eph 1:13). It is the Holy Spirit of God who now connects us to Jesus in Heaven. After the cross and curse-annulling burial of Jesus, Jesus lay in the tomb until the third day. On that third day, the Holy Spirit of God raised Jesus from the dead by the glory of God (Rom. 6:4, 8:11). The precious day that you believed in Jesus, that same Holy Spirit came into you and transferred you from having to live under the authority of sin in these bodies, to now being able to live according to the glory of God in Christ’s resurrected, heavenly body.
All that happened to Jesus’ body through His death and burial is not transferred to your body. Your body is not changed because of the cross. Your body still is privy to the unending lies of the devil; but now your soul, because of the Holy Spirit in you, is able to take in the truth of Jesus instead. And as Jesus is seated next to His Father in glory, High above this present darkness, so your soul can live from His victory, His position in the Light of Heaven over the darkness of earth. Even right now. And all this, because Jesus loves you.
WHO YOU REALLY ARE
Dear friends, if you’ve believed in Jesus, this is who you are now. You are no longer who you used to be. You have been “born from above” (John 3). You are set free from forced slavery to the enemy of our souls, and given a new identity in and full access to Heaven-life in Jesus above. This is what the Holy Spirit was given to you for, and the reason for our blessed Hope… both in this life, and for the one to come.
You and I need to know that apart from consciously, deliberately “reckoning” on Jesus’ eternal LIFE in Heaven, we cannot live free of the curse on these bodies. When we trust the Spirit in us to have connected us to Jesus—baptized us into His death, burial, and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-4)—we live free. This is called “walking in the Spirit” as Romans 8:4-17 so stunningly lays out. But if we do not consciously, deliberately walk by faith in our oneness with Christ via the Holy Spirit, depending on the Holy Spirit to impart the truth of God to us from Jesus in Heaven, we can and will only walk “according to the flesh” as Romans 8 also sets forth. “Flesh” is not a word that has much of a place in our every day language, but it is a word that refers to these human vessels in which we dwell, and which are “under sin” (Rom. 7:14). Thus, we either “walk in the flesh” or we “walk in the Spirit”. We either walk bound, unwell in our soul, or we live in the splendid freedom of the living, resurrected Christ, via the Holy Spirit in us, and all is indeed well with our soul.
WORKS VS. FRUIT
You, friend, are intensely loved by the God who created you. You friend have been set free in Christ Jesus for good works. The only real good works on this earth are those which have been wrought in Jesus Christ. All others are a mere mirage, a delusion of the enemy who masquerades as an angel of light. Don’t believe those works wrought in your flesh are good or make you good. There is no wellness of soul apart from Him, and there’s no wellness in our works unless they are originated and energized by the Holy Spirit in us. Earthly works are earthly and cannot please God—even if they look nice. Heavenly works—fruit—come from Heaven, and not only please God, they bring Heaven to Earth, people to God, and peace of soul to the person through whom they enter the world.
COUNTING GAIN AS LOSS
Our Savior, our Jesus left the glories of Heaven to bring us freedom, peace, and joy. You and I need to leave behind all the glories of our flesh—our bodies—to receive Jesus’ true freedom, peace, and joy. The Apostle Paul, in Phil 3:7-8 said, “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ”. When Paul chose to count his earthly gain—the applause and gain of the flesh—as “loss”, he gained exponentially more from Heaven. You guys, He gained JESUS! All earth’s “glories” pale in comparison to the true glory of Jesus in us! Jesus temporarily left His glorious life in Heaven to gain us, and we must forsake all the strength, beauty, and glory of these vessels of earth to gain Him!
Friends, you and I are loved so much. His giving THIS to us is unfathomable. It’s available and ready for us now. Recognize the lies of your flesh that might be keeping you from true Life in Jesus—the lies that whisper you’re already good, already strong, already beautiful, and increasingly so. Don’t forget that these bodies cannot improve. (In fact, by simply being aware of their aging and decay, we can know this from experience too.) But oh, Heaven is available to us through the Holy Spirit who places us in Christ Jesus! And Jesus is fully perfect. Our flesh indeed wastes away, but in Him our lives are secure, and His eternal Life is never fading, reserved in Heaven for you (1 Peter 1:4). Won’t you sow to the Spirit and not to the perpetually evil flesh today? Won’t you be humble as the Savior was humble, to deny, your current life and enter His. He left Heaven for us, won’t you abandon life strengthened by our earthly bodies to find His wonderful Life? What other way is there to live? Truly, there is no life apart from Him.
“In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.” (John 1:4)
IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL
by Horatio G. Spafford, 1873
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.