TEEN TREE         OF LIFE

Our Heavenly Citizenship

Part 1

February 23, 2020

 

 

Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1JOHN 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

 

All privileges which belong to the Royal Family of God come from Heaven. As you probably know, in the Cosmic System, a royal family refers to the immediate family of a king or queen. In the Christian life, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is Divine Royalty. He is Our Sovereign (Supreme) King, as part of The Trinity and possesses the same attributes as God the Father and God The Holy Spirit.

 

Jesus Christ is also The Son of David and because of this, He’s considered to be Jewish Royalty. As we learned a few weeks ago, David was carefully chosen as Israel’s second king by God Himself. Additionally, Our Lord and Savior was given His third Royal Title – King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, after His Resurrection, Ascension, and Session: Then I saw Heaven open wide—and oh! a white horse and its Rider. The Rider, named Faithful and True, judges and makes war in pure righteousness. His eyes are a blaze of fire, on his head many crowns. He has a Name inscribed that’s known only to himself. He is dressed in a robe soaked with blood, and he is addressed as “Word of God.” The armies of Heaven, mounted on white horses and dressed in dazzling white linen, follow him. A sharp sword comes out of his mouth so he can subdue the nations, then rule them with a rod of iron. He treads the winepress of the raging wrath of God, the Sovereign-Strong. On his robe and thigh is written, King of kings, Lord of lords. (REV 19:11-16 The Message Bible)

 

With Our Savior as “King of kings, Lord of lords” – believers are the kings and lords over which He is King and Lord! Isn’t that exciting to know? At the moment of Salvation, every Church-Age believer is adopted as an adult child into the Royal Family of God. This is taught in EPH 1:3-6 (The Message Bible): How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. The Royal Family of God is comprised of every Church-Age believer, regardless of background, race, gender, etc. All distinctions are erased at the point of Salvation and the believer is Royalty forever!

 

So, think about it! Because you live in the Church-Age, you have the greatest privileges that ever existed in any other dispensation! Better privileges than David or Moses or Noah! And these privileges are extended from Heaven. Awareness and consistent use of the benefits which these privileges offer, keep us moving forward in our Christian Walk. It’s the use of these heavenly benefits which allow us the opportunity to take advantage of our heavenly privileges while living on earth. Now, let’s look at what these incredible privileges are.

 

Did you know that God has provided forty things for only those believers living in the Church-Age? These forty things are received at the moment of faith in Christ. They are grace gifts from God assigned to every believer at the moment of Salvation. You receive these forty things at the very moment of Salvation before you have had a chance to do anything! So, you obviously receive these things by grace; you don’t earn or deserve them.

 

One of these forty things is The Baptism of The Holy Spirit. At the moment of Salvation, The Holy Spirit, by means of His Omnipotence (power), puts the believer into union with Christ, making him or her a part of The Royal Family of God forever. This is taught in EPH 4:4-6 (The Message Bible): You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly. You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

 

Paul also explained it this way in 1CO 12:12-13 (The Message Bible): You can easily enough see how this kind of thing works by looking no further than your own body. Your body has many parts—limbs, organs, cells—but no matter how many parts you can name, you’re still one body. It’s exactly the same with Christ. By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain—his Spirit—where we all come to drink. The old labels we once used to identify ourselves—labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free—are no longer useful. We need something larger, more comprehensive. That “larger, more comprehensive label” is The Royal Family of God!

 

            The fact that you have to baptized to be saved is true but it’s The Baptism of The Spirit which identifies you with and places you in union with Christ. Water baptism – which sadly, is still being done in churches throughout the world today – is a ritual and holds no eternal value. The purpose of water baptism, in the Bible, was to teach by illustration the following doctrines: the believer is identified with Jesus Christ in His death and Resurrection; the believer has victory over, and rejects, human good; the believer is positionally seated with Jesus Christ at the Right Hand of God The Father; and the believer must have a clear understanding of how to produce Divine Good from within the Pre-Designed Plan of God. (Divine Good is only produced when the believer is filled with The Holy Spirit through rebound.) Water baptism was never intended to be a means of Salvation. Salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone, with nothing added to it. Nor was water baptism intended to be a means of spirituality. It was never anything more than a teaching aide – a way of illustrating the doctrines related to being identified with the death and resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

Look at how The Message Bible translates JOH 3:5-6: Jesus said, “You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit. The water spoken of in this verse is the Greek word “hudatos” which refers to the cleansing of The Word of God.

 

This cleansing is referred to by Jesus Christ in JOH 15:3: You are already clean [pruned like a branch] because of the word which I have spoken to you. Do you see how water has nothing to do with this cleansing? TITUS 3:3-7 (The Message Bible) puts it beautifully: It wasn’t so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit. Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously. God’s gift has restored our relationship with him and given us back our lives. And there’s more life to come—an eternity of life! You can count on this. So, do you see it’s The Baptism of The Spirit which identifies you with and places you in union with Christ and it has nothing to do with actual water?

 

Only one baptism is effective for salvation and that is The Baptism of The Spirit. Through this baptism we are placed in union with Christ and are created New Spiritual Creatures: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, [there is a new creation] he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2CO 5:17)

 

The apostle Paul in GAL 6:14-16 (The Message Bible) puts it this way: For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! All who walk by this standard are the true Israel of God—his chosen people. Peace and mercy on them!

 

We have a very unique relationship with Jesus Christ!! As Church-Age believers, we’re given the very same privileges and power to execute The Spiritual life that The Lord Jesus Christ was given during His Life on earth! Look at ROM 8:29 The Message Bible: God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.

 

As a result of our first heavenly privilege, we are in Christ and are considered by God to be higher than even Michael the Arch Angel! God’s opinion of His Son, Jesus Christ is His opinion of every Church-Age believer. This privilege is accomplished through The Baptism of The Spirit.

{to be continued}

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