TEEN TREE OF LIFE

Our Heavenly Citizenship

Part 4

March 15, 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.”

 

Our next Heavenly Privilege is Equal Privilege and Equal Opportunity. To understand Equal Privilege and Equal Opportunity, we first must learn the difference between Election and Predestination.

 

Election is the expression of God’s Sovereign Will under the principle of Equal Privilege. God’s Sovereignty means His Authority. Election was completed by God for the believer in Eternity Past. 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.

 

Our Election consists of our Royal Priesthood (which we’ll learn about later), as well as God’s Logistical Grace Support. Logistical Grace Support consists of the things we need to live our lives. Both our Royal Priesthood and Logistical Grace Support are provided to both winner and loser believers alike. To understand your Election, you must first function as a member of The Royal Family of God in Grace Orientation – the fourth Problem-Solving Device (tool). Grace orientation is being tuned into God ‘s Grace Policy through the continuous study of Bible doctrine. You must study and learn His Word with genuine humility and under the Filling of The Holy Spirit, in order to be grace oriented.

 

A grace-oriented believer doesn’t judge and always offers other believers privacy. A grace-oriented believer minds his or her own business! When you operate in Grace Orientation, you offer others the very grace that God offers you! Grace Orientation is described perfectly in COL 3:12 (The Message Bible): So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

 

Being Grace-Oriented is part of the protocol for The Royal Family of God. If, as believers, we’re ignorant of this protocol, we’ll do things from our own free will. This will have us doing things with human viewpoint, not Divine Viewpoint. This is a BIG MISTAKE because without Divine Viewpoint, we’ll easily fall for the deception of Satan’s Cosmic System. And if you do fall for Satan’s deception, remember, it’s not God’s fault – it’s your own fault, because all believers have Equal Privilege and Equal Opportunity to grow in God’s Grace and Knowledge. What stands in the way of our growth, is refusing to learn God’s Word and to utilize our Divine Assets.

 

Under Election, God wills His Highest and Best for each of us. This is taught in 2PE 1:3-11 (The Message Bible): Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust. So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books. So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

Look at the specific things which the apostle Peter instructs us to add to our faith: “good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love.” This is such an important list to learn since these are the qualities which you have to strive for in order to advance to Spiritual maturity. Election is the expression of God’s Sovereign Will in Eternity Past, in which He elected every person who would believe in Jesus Christ to Eternal Life along with tremendous blessing and privilege. {See EPH 1:3-6 (The Message Bible) above.}

 

Predestination is the provision of God’s Sovereign Will under Equal Privilege and was given to us in Eternity Past. It is one of the many blessings in our portfolio of Invisible Assets with which to carry out God’s Pre-Designed Plan. He provided everything we will ever need to execute His Perfect Plan, Purpose, and Will for our lives. However, this doesn’t mean that God violates our free will. He has predestined a plan for each believer, and we can either accept His Plan by faith or reject it by negative volition.

 

Every believer has been elected to Equal Privilege and Equal Opportunity by means of God’s Infinite Grace. This means that every believer, regardless of genetics or environment, has every ability to receive his or her Escrow Blessings (see last week’s Teen Tree of Life) and to glorify God to the maximum. It’s extremely important to remember that this doesn’t mean that each believer will receive God’s Highest and Best, since many believers stop dead-in-their-tracks after Salvation and don’t do what’s necessary to make God’s Calling and Election a reality in their lives.

 

Under Equal Privilege, we are also placed in union with Christ as part of a new spiritual species. If we take advantage of our Equal Privilege and Equal Opportunity, we will be rewarded in time and in Eternity. Of course, we can also expect to meet up with opposition in time. But if we have strengthened ourselves with Bible doctrine, resident in our souls, the opposition, or enemies we come up against in our lives, will not intimidate us or distract us from God’s Perfect Plan for our lives.

 

The next Heavenly Privilege is the believer’s Two Royal Commissions. A commission is defined as a duty given to a person or group of people. These two Divine appointments consist of our Royal Priesthood and our Royal Ambassadorship. Our Royal Priesthood is universal and a part of every believer’s Equal Privilege: you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1PE 2:5) Peter goes into further detail about our Royal Priesthood in 1PE 2:9: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light

 

We have this Royal Priesthood because we are in union with the Resurrected Christ. Now that is an amazing blessing!! In our Royal Priesthood, there are four Spiritual Sacrifices we are required to offer up. The first one is the sacrifice of our body which is taught in ROM 12:1-2 (The Message Bible): So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. This verse is also a reference to the function of rebound.

 

Second, we have the sacrifice of giving which is found in HEB 13:16: And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Remember that when you do good, it isn’t Divine Good unless you are filled with The Holy Spirit through Rebound.

 

Third is the sacrifice of praise which is taught in HEB 13:15 and The Message Bible translation is fantastic: So let’s go outside, where Jesus is, where the action is—not trying to be privileged insiders, but taking our share in the abuse of Jesus. This “insider world” is not our home [because our citizenship is in Heaven!]. We have our eyes peeled for the City about to come. Let’s take our place outside with Jesus, no longer pouring out the sacrificial blood of animals but pouring out sacrificial praises from our lips to God in Jesus’ name.

 

The fourth one is the sacrifice of placing oneself under the authority of the local church. This is taught in HEB 13:17 (The Message Bible): Be responsive to your pastoral leaders. Listen to their counsel. They are alert to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of God. Contribute to the joy of their leadership, not its drudgery. Why would you want to make things harder for them?       What a great lesson to learn!!

 

Before the Church-Age, the Royal Priesthood existed within physical temples and altars; now, the priesthood resides within each believer who is living in God’s Plan. Under our Royal Priesthood, we represent ourselves before God! A perfect example of this is 1JOH 1:9 (New International Version): If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 

Under our Royal Ambassadorship, we are God’s representatives in a lost and dying world. What an honor!! The believer’s Royal Ambassadorship is described in 2CO 5:16-20 (The Message Bible): Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives [ambassadors]. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

 

The question you need to ask yourself is who do you represent to the world? Do you want people to see you only thinking of yourself, grabbing all you can get for yourself? Or do you want to be seen as a person who is going after God and His Riches? We don’t appoint ourselves – God does and because of this, we aren’t representing ourselves to others, we’re representing God! As believers, we represent ourselves to God and God to others! That’s an incredible privilege!

{to be continued}

Scroll to Top