Jesus Has Won the Victory
“For your obedience
is come abroad unto all men”
In the early church, the Body of Christ was known for her obedience – not only on the earth but also in heavenly places. The overriding prerequisite for the moving of His Spirit, for His Faith inhabiting and expressing the Life of Christ, was obedience.
“Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith…”
Let these words strike our hearts: “according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith…”. The purpose of true ministry is to bring “all nations” to the obedience of faith! God is not looking for adherents – He seeks disciples! He wants lives who have no other purpose on this earth but to exhibit His qualities and character through the power of faith, a pure manifestation of His wonder to the world.
Faith that does not exhibit obedience and a growing sense of His Lordship within is not faith! Faith has only one purpose and that is to make known its Author. The Author of our Faith lived His Life here in perfect obedience.
Jesus the Perfect Lamb
He became the Author of our Salvation (Hebrews 5:9) because of His perfect obedience. It was because He overcame all things as a MAN that He won the right to take the sealed Book of Life from the right hand of the Father and to loosen its seals. His perfection as a man, living in perfect obedience here, is how He became our Salvation. That same Faith imparted into our lives is to produce in us an obedience of faith whereby we live for His Glory.
May the grandeur of this heavenly transaction stir our hearts in gratitude for all God has accomplished for us and in us because of Christ’s obedience (Revelation 5:1-.5).
“And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?”
The fate of all humanity was bound in the sealed book. John, though in heavenly places, was weeping over this sealed book! He was beholding the glory of God, the Cherubim, the heavenly hosts, and yet instinctively he knew that his own fate, and all of humanity’s, was dependent upon someone being found worthy to loosen the seals. The Book of Life was sealed because of Adam’s disobedience. Jesus as the Son of God could not open it; its closure was due to the disobedience of man and only an obedient and worthy MAN could open it.
“And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.”
What was John’s response to no MAN being found in heaven who was worthy to “open the Book”?
“And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.”
As this eternal event unfolded John was caught up in the drama and the spirit of all that was transpiring.
“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed* to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” (*won the right)
As a result of His overcoming all temptations and the wiles of the enemy, through the perfection of His obedience, He alone was ABLE to open this book! Oh, may we praise Him as we begin to comprehend all that was required of Him to become our Savior! Faith has been given to bring us into the same victory He has secured for us!
A gospel that declares that we need only to believe, without the corresponding wonder of His Life within bringing us to the same obedience which so glorified His Father, is the height of deception.
May we hear the promises of God and the condition required for us to reign with Him in heavenly places.
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
To sit with Him in His throne will require us to overcome AS He overcame, walking in the same obedience. Our ability, our hope, and surety of these things is His Faith enabling us through obedience to live unto the Glory of the Father.
The Good News is “weep not” for the MAN Christ Jesus has won the right! He has prevailed and has fully satisfied the legal requirements to open the Book of Life within which are written the names of those who have been redeemed.
This does not mean that we can live unholy and disobedient lives and presume to be in that book. Let us heed the pleading of Paul after his exposition found in Romans chapters 9-11 in which the sovereignty of God is revealed in such depth and clarity. He sums up the message of God’s sovereignty by imploring the people of God to respond correctly to the truth of God:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
This is the response of those who know of the wonder of faith. Those who simply hold a doctrine of faith feel no compulsion to be a “living sacrifice”; they are content believing in Him. It is the LIFE of the Son which pleased the Father. It is the LIFE of the Son reigning in us which alone can please Him; not a belief which produces nothing accomplishes nothing and changes nothing. Those who walk by faith understand the cost involved. Faith, true faith, will bring us to the way of the Cross.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye DO these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 1:5-11
Let us give diligence to “make our calling and election sure” and may the Lord save us from presumption, apathy, and mediocrity! Allow His faith to embrace our hearts and lives that we may show to all nations “the obedience of Faith”.
Note the very words of this proclamation: “the obedience of faith”. It is faith that originates the obedience. The flesh no matter how sincere, how strong, and how intent it is, will never please God. The obedience spoken of here is the miracle of His Life, His Heart, and His Obedience becoming our own through the power of His Faith at work in our heart.
This is why James declares “Faith without works is dead”. For faith is given to cause the life of Jesus to be made manifest in our MORTAL bodies.
“For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.”
2 Corinthians 4:11
Let us not stagger at the enormity of our call…
“because as He is, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17
The faith of God begins as a little seed and in our response to its impulse it grows and develops. Wherever we are in our journey of faith God’s word to us is to “give all diligence” to heed His promptings within our hearts. As children, we grow as did Jesus. The scriptures tell us of His humanity whereby “He learned obedience”! (Heb. 5:8) So is it with us! The Church in our land is coming out of a very dark time, His Spirit is moving and making known afresh to all who have “ears to hear” that the faithful are obedient. The disobedient, the lukewarm, and the tares will talk about faith but it is a faith in word only, for it lacks the substance of obedience resulting in the works and the ministration of the Living Christ. May we all take heed today… and “Hear His Voice”.