Priority #6 : The Atonement is Everlasting

Chapter 34 - Your Potential and God

When God gave me this song, I just relived my justification. And it was very exciting to me because I began to really realize what Christ did, what Pastor Buck spoke on last Sunday. (Song, a lady sang) "I wasn't pardoned, I was justified today. For the precious blood of Jesus, well it washed my sins away. There's not one sin left to remind Him of the old nature that just died, because I wasn't pardoned, I was justified. He didn't sign a piece of paper stating I was free; instead He took my sins and failures with Him to Calvary. Not a charge stands against me when I come before His throne, and what people say doesn't matter I'm not facing them alone. I can stand so in His righteousness, I no longer have to hide; for I wasn't pardoned I was justified. Now I'm a citizen of heaven and my rights, there all in tact. In Christ I stand complete and there's not one good thing I lack, well it's just as if I've never sinned. I'm clean deep down inside, for I'm not pardoned I was justified."


Wasn't that a beautiful song? Praise God. It wasn't only beautifully done. But God really took the heart of that message and dropped into your heart and mine. Praise God. The greatest need of men today is to know God, to really know Him. I would say the second greatest need which goes right along is to know our position as His children. And for some reason, I don't know why, these truths have escaped God's people. In all honesty and sincerity, much of the teaching, much of the preaching has really missed revealing God as He is. God's intention, God's purpose for believers, true saints of God whose lives have been exemplary, who have obeyed God, who have lived for Him, often times have lived in fear, constant fear because they did not know where on the scale with relationship with God they would reach a point that would please Him. Or if in their thinking or their attitudes they would somehow waver just a little bit below the line of acceptance and it's created real problems to them. Bondage has come to many saints of God who have failed to realize that they have not only been pardoned with sin being remembered again every year, but when they can realize that the memory of it in God's eyes from God's position has been destroyed. And we have been restored back to that place that man originally held with God. A state before sin began. When we know that this is what God has in mind for us it's His plan for us, we can rest.


I felt that during this week God definitely put all the pieces of the meeting I held in Everett and also Spokane. I've had several people when I've talked about what the Lord did in ministering to those people in the Philippine islands. And I mentioned how the Spirit of God moved and the eager expectancy in the Word of God. I had a number say it's just too bad that the people here in the United States are so closed to God that there isn't that same eagerness and there isn't that same excitement. But I have discovered through taking this same meeting to areas where they are still in bondage to fear and problems that they want to know, that they're just as eager. And I saw a building that normally is very rarely filled with people on Sundays.


On Tuesday night, the first night one half hour before the service was to start, because of the messages that people had listened to on tapes through the area and they brought their friends in, that building was packed. There was not another seat. The second night it was the same way, it was literally packed with people. Following the service on Wednesday night there was a lady who came up the isle, a lady who had been serving the Lord for many, many years. A real true saint of God. One that the Lord recognized and loved very, very much. But she came up just beaming. She said, "I have been serving God for over 50 years. But to be real honest with my own heart, I had fear. I never knew quite for sure and I would cry and ask God to help me. And I would pray sometimes at night, dear Lord don't come during the night, maybe tomorrow I can do a little bit better. Maybe my thoughts will be a little bit more on You." And there was a constant strain within her of trying to find what could be termed an acceptable spot on the scale where she could be accepted of God. She didn't know just where it was. But she told the people and she told me that tonight I could go to bed for the first time and say Jesus I can trust you. It's all taken care of. Praise God.


There were about 40 young people lined up who wanted to talk to me. I got them in a circle and they shared with me their feelings. They said, "This is the greatest thing we ever heard in our lives, this is what we can take out and tell people. Our friends have to know this because they heard it all wrong. They need to know that God wants them and that they're worth something to Him. And that His highest plan for them is to make them acceptable in His sight." This is what the Word tells us. God's plan was before He ever made the earth was to make people acceptable in His sight. Praise God. This does not do away or remove our responsibilities of our obedience to Christ. There are some people that are a little fearful when they hear this kind of a message. I had a number of people come to me and try to caution me and say, "Pastor you better watch this, some of these people are going to go out and live for the devil if you tell them that their lives are covered. They're going to feel that there's no responsibility in living for God. You have to kind of keep them afraid or they won't live for God." I was glad I could tell these men, I could read something here. The apostle Paul you know had this beautiful revelation, he's the one that God first gave it to and he gave it to the world through the Pauline Epistles. But he had a little problem with some folk too and listen to what they said to him. This is in Romans chapter three from the living Bible, he was talking about how great it was to have this great justification that God brought to the world. And in verse five in the Living Bible, he said, "but some say our breaking faith with God is good and our sin serves a good purpose for people will notice how good God is when they see how bad we are. A bunch of nonsense if I ever heard of any. But that's what they were saying in those days and there are still some people that might say that. Then he went on to say "is it fair for Him to punish us when our sins our helping Him? That is the way some people talk, God forbid. Then what kind of a God would He be to overlook sin? How could He ever condemn anyone, for he could not judge and condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty brought Him glory by pointing up His honesty in contrast with my lies." If you follow through with that idea you come to this, the worse we are the better God likes it. But the damnation of those who say such things is just some claim that this is what I preach. They were saying hey Paul this is what you're saying.


I've heard some people say hey the pastor doesn't believe that we have responsibility with the Lord because now he's preaching a little bit of a different message. Do you know that the message of man's responsibility with God has been covered; it's been ingrained in people's lives. It is there. The neglected area has been the message of justification of what God has done. And this is one reason that I believe that God has sent this message by divine messenger because, to bring His body back into balance. I would like to say today that because of what Jesus has done, does not give believers an excuse or a license to sin. Here's what Paul tells about this in the same chapter in the last verse. He said if we are saved by faith does this mean that we no longer need to obey God's laws? Just the opposite, in fact only when we trust Jesus can we truly obey Him. You just can't quite do what you wanted to do without this trust and this knowledge. That He, knowing what His plan is and what He has accomplished. All of your energies that God desires and your trust and your faith and your service for Him are used in a struggle to try to reach a certain point. And you may climb a foot and slide back two feet. You reach for handholds to climb up that cliff to get up to that spot that you know God has for you and you keep sliding back. You know this is the truth, but as you recognize that you're not having to struggle for your acceptance with God because God desires to make you acceptable to Him, you can use those spiritual energies to live for God. And that person who wants to use this truth as an idea to go into sin, hasn't really met God, doesn't really know and cannot really say, "God I love you more than anything else." That person can't say, "God I appreciate what you're doing and here's my life." They have not caught a glimpse of what the Lord has really done. But I wanted to share this with you today.


God's purpose is so beautiful. In that experience that the Lord gave me it will be two years ago the 22nd of this month. The Lord allowed me to see, to go through the Bible with Him from Genesis to Revelation. And this particular truth was the first that God wanted me to see, was how much He loved people and His desire and His plan to make them acceptable in His sight. You look into Ephesians chapter one and verse four where He tells you we were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. That we should be acceptable. In the Living Bible that is so beautiful. "Long ago before He made the world, God chose us that we should be His very own because of what Jesus would do for us and He decided then that He would make us holy in His eyes so He could accept us. God's plan was then that we should be accepted by Him."


He's not looking for reasons to disown you, but God is looking for every reason to accept you. He has so much invested in you. And even now in order to hasten men to Himself He has a force of angels through this earth that are drawing people pushing and pulling them to the Lord. I had a number of people this week who definitely told me that they were there because they knew that God had put the real pressure on them to bring them that they might find Christ. Praise God. And this overlay of truth first is like covering the scriptures that had nothing to do with the believer but would highlight those scriptures that would prove His acceptance and we went through the Word. And my heart was filled and thrilled as I could follow the path that God had drawn and that He intended to use in bringing His people to Himself.


Then He gave me another overlay of truth, and this overlay of truth showed His desires for people when they knew Him, His desire for what they should be underneath the covering, they were already recognized and He saw them because of their faith in the blood, He saw them looking like Jesus justified, but under the covering He has a beautiful plan for them. And as I went through this from Genesis to Revelation the truths stood out, beautiful truths that because we are Christ' then He added these various things. Then another overlay was an overlay of service. What God's desire was that we might be effective in our service for Him. Then there was a fourth one which showed God's interest in the details of every individual's life and I talked about this one to you. That each plan, each life was so detailed, so complete that when we link arms with Him and accept our position, those things that happen to us, the Word says that we are foreordained to experience these things. The events that transpire are definitely predestined, they have to happen. But those of us who are a part of what God is doing. We are foreordained we can choose or we can not choose. If we choose we will be blessed, if we don't choose we will be selling ourselves short of the things that God has for us. But just a little bit of the overlay of truth in being prepared to serve the Lord. And I believe it is the desire of every believer to be used of God.


Have you ever cried out in your heart as you had been praying, "God use me, God see something in my life that you can use." Well God wants to use you. I'm going to read a verse from second Timothy, chapter two and verse 21; in fact we might read several verses here. "Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal the Lord know those who are His. And let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity." The first thing is to depart from those things that you know displease God. This isn't to be accepted. This is because you belong to Him you see. Then he goes on to say, "In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and earth. Some to honor and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from those that would be dishonorable or hurt or bring dishonor to the great captain of our salvation, to our Master. If a man purges himself from these he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified and meet for the Master's use and prepared for every good work." You're ready for the Master's use when you recognize some things that dishonor God that would be a hindrance to you in your walk with God. Then he tells us some other things that would be a hindrance and there are many young people and many adults, and I'm sure that you're aware of this. Not only young people are troubled by youthful lusts did you know that. Some of you fellows 50 years old, some of you 60, maybe 70 still have some youthful lusts. You ladies too. Youthful lusts don't just belong to young people. Here's what he said to be used of God, "flee also youthful lusts, but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace with them that call on the Lord with a pure heart." Fellowship with other believers and following after righteousness, that word righteousness actually means the right way the right things, those things that God has laid out before us.


I've had several young people come to me and say oh this is such good news that there is a covering there because I'm real weak and there's some things that I can't just help doing and now I won't mind so much. There are a lot of people who are looking for some reason to sin. God didn't give you that reason. What God has done was to give you a reason to come to Him and to be accepted. But often times like Paul said "do not use God's grace as an excuse to sin." So you see there are two sides to the coin. And this side people know and they should know. But so that you all know in the Lord's message and in His desire that people could see their position in the Lord that they do not feel that the Lord is condoning sin and those things that would be displeasing to Him. Then he went on to say "foolish and unlearned questions avoid knowing they do gender strife. And the servant of the Lord must not strive but be gentle unto all men, Apt to teach and patient," here's some traits that He said that are part of the nature of Jesus that the Spirit of the Lord will build up in your life as you wait in His presence. "And in meekness instructing those who oppose themselves if God peradventure would give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. That they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil that are taken captive by him at his will."


So he's asked us to prepare ourselves for the Master's use. Then in Philippians 2:5 he tells us to let the very mind of Jesus be in us which was in Christ. And there are some people who take this completely wrong. He tells us what he's referring to here; it's his attitude toward God, toward the world, toward believers, toward those who needed God, and even towards themselves. But he said, "let this mind be in you which was also in Christ who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God but made Himself of no reputation, took upon him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of man and being found and fashioned as a man he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow of things in heaven, things in the earth, and things under the earth and every tongue should confess Jesus is Lord to the glory of the Father."


When he tells us here, this mind that compassion, those attitudes of Jesus towards God, towards self, towards others, He's not saying here that you're going to know everything that Jesus knows. I heard a man speaking about this on the radio one day, that because God said to have the mind of Jesus that that means that we know everything Jesus knows. But it makes people feel good I guess to have built a little fantasy out there and say well I know just as much as Jesus knows but I'm certainly glad that He has access to a little more knowledge than what I have. If I didn't know anymore about what's coming and the days ahead, and if you didn't know, we would have an awful time relying on Him to know those steps before us and be able to link arms with Him and trust Him. I'd be a little leery of saying "well Lord if you don't know anymore than I know why I'm wondering whether I should link arms with You or not, I'm going to keep searching, maybe I can find somebody that knows a little more."


But let this mind be in you, he did not refer to the knowledge but he referred to the attitudes of Jesus, Jesus' mind, Jesus' heart towards the things of God. Then he said another thing that the Lord wanted in preparing us was that His Spirit might dwell in us completely. Oh, what a beautiful portion of scripture, Colossians three. There's a whole chapter telling us God's desire for us. Do you remember the message that the angel brought to me some months ago when he said that God's desire for our lives was actually our potential? What God desired for us we can have. And he said it should be our goal. Well his desire for us is that the mind of Jesus be in us, that the Spirit of Jesus lives within us, that His Spirit that caused Him to act as He acted. Then he said not only the mind and the Spirit, but he said the deeds of Jesus, the example of Jesus.


I'd like for you to read from Colossians 1:9-10. "For this cause we also since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you and desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. That you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, walking, pleasing God being fruitful in every good work." Those works will not make you accepted of God. But when you're accepted of God then those works please God. You follow? This is very important that you have it. And increasing in the knowledge of God He wants us to learn to know more about Him. Then in Titus 3:8, these verses I'm bringing to you have been brought to me by revelation from the Lord. This is part of the dual message of grace.


That covering has two messages, one goes upward to God and says these people are justified according to the song we heard this morning, they're justified. Titus 3:7-8, that being justified by his grace we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. God seeing us looking just like Jesus. Hallelujah. Then he said "now since that's the case this is a faithful saying, in these things I will that you affirm constantly that they who believe in God, those who are justified, might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto man." Those people that you want to bring to the Lord, those people that are looking to you and that God has put under your influence, those things that point them to Jesus that make them realize what God is really like. I could give you many, many more scriptures on the things that the Lord desires of us but I'm just going to give you one more before we have a chance to open our hearts and ask God to help us be more like Jesus, and that is, God's desire is that the very nature of Jesus, His love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith all of these things he calls them the fruit of the Spirit. That is the nature of Jesus, and the beauty of Jesus might be seen in your life.


In second Peter 1:4 he tells us that we are partakers of the divine nature by the things that he has given to us. Then, 2 Corinthians 3:18, if you have your bibles open, it would do you well to read this verse and do some underlining. He tells us how this happens, how we can get the beauty of Jesus and the nature of Jesus. But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Even as you wait in His presence drawing from Him and His Spirit and His nature, suddenly the characteristics of your face and your image change. People may not see what your features are, but they sense, I see the beauty of Jesus. And we've sung so many times "let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me" and that beauty will be seen as you wait in His presence and allow the Spirit of the Lord to change you and it's not going to be a drab uninteresting time but He said you'll go from one point of great glory to another from glory to glory as by the Spirit of the Lord. The very thing that your heart desires will be found and underneath the covering in the view of man's eye something will be happening, and man will be able to see the likeness of Jesus formed in you.


Paul's prayer was this, after he had shown them the great covering of God and told them about the beauties of Jesus and he said "I travail again, I agonize again that Jesus might be formed in your body." Hallelujah. Can you see it folks? I want you to know, I don't want anybody to leave this place to say the pastor has ignored all of those writings and the word of God that tell us to live lives like Jesus. God wants us like Jesus and it's only as we recognize what He's done for us can we ever attain being like Him. Right where you're seated I'd like to have you lift your hands towards heaven and we're going to sing that chorus ‘let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me," while you sing open your heart to Him and allow an infusion of His Spirit to come while you behold the glory of the Lord. "Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me. All of His wonderful compassion and purity. Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me."