Does it ever seem odd to you that Christians are often so weak and powerless when we have the omnipotent, all powerful Creator dwelling inside of us? Shouldn’t the sons and daughters of the King of the universe be walking in and demonstrating Kingdom rule and authority? This blog addresses one major reason I believe Christians are living much lower that we are called.
Listen to what is says in Revelation chapter 12 where it tells of a war that is going on in heaven. Michael and his angels are fighting Satan and his angels over rulership of heavens. When Satan is defeated, he is cast out of heaven, and then the following is announced. “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” (Rev.12:10) Did you get the magnitude of what that said? I have read this verse many times before but I never noticed it until recently when the accuser was cast down in my own life. It say now “salvation” has come, now “power” has come, and now Kingdom rule and “authority” has come. When did the power and authority come? Immediately after the “accuser” was cast down.
I believe that the fore mentioned scripture was an actual event which took place in history, but this scripture teaches us a deep truth related to our spiritual journey. If we expect to walk in Kingdom power, and authority, the “accuser” must be cast down and hurled out of our life and mind before Kingdom power and authority can come and operate freely in our lives. We cannot live with the constant guilt and condemnation of sin and the law hanging over us day after day and yet walk in the fullness of Christ’s freedom, having full access to His power and authority. The weight of Satan’s accusations and the resulting shame will keep us in bondage. It is not Jesus who accuses and condemns, but Satan (using the law) who constantly accuses and condemns us of our sin. Jesus said in John 3:17-18a, “God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already.” Furthermore the scripture teaches believers to, “Consider yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Jesus Christ.” (Rom.6:11)
Once we have been born again through faith in what Jesus’ blood has accomplished on our behalf, we are “made” righteous by God. “Now being made free from sin..” (Rom. 6:20) Salvation is a gift we receive through grace, not something we do or earn. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9) If we are without this proper understanding of grace and what Jesus has purchased for us on the cross, but instead are looking to our own actions to be holy and good enough to obtain Gods approval: we will feel as though we are clinging by our fingernails onto the edge of a cliff which overhangs hell, living in constant fear that we might slip up and plunge into the fiery pit. Even though I was a born again Christian, I lived this way for many years, trying to be good enough and live holy enough to meet God’s holy standards. Unfortunately religion wasn’t helping to set me free but instead was reinforcing my bondage. Each week the law was placed before me and I was reminded of all my sins and failures. Each week I would come away depressed but determined to grasp the edge of the abyss a bit more tightly less I fall to my demise. Guilt and condemnation were my constant companions and the peace and freedom the Bible spoke of were ever elusive. Walking in Kingdom power and authority was impossible, for just staying saved from week to week took my full attention. To have Kingdom power and authority one must abide in Jesus and walk and commune closely with Him. But no one likes to hang out with someone who makes them feel guilty or is constantly pointing out their failures. We will avoid them instead. So believing that God is constantly accusing us of sin and expecting us to perform the perfection that the law requires, makes it nearly impossible to truly love Him or commune with Him.
But the good news of the gospel is this. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:1) Once we are “In Christ” condemnation ceases. Though, “the wages of sin is death,” Jesus has paid that death penalty on our behalf. He has fulfilled all the law’s requirements by living the perfect, sinless life. Jesus has finished all that needs to be accomplished to secure our redemptive pardon and has now sat down at the right hand of the Father to intercede for us. Through the blood of Jesus, grace has set us free. Now when Satan comes around accusing me of sin, I turn to the cross where I fall to my knees in gratitude, boldly and joyfully declaring that all my sin and failure has been placed upon, and born in the body of Jesus. So Satan, take a hike, I cast you down! Salvation and redemption is a free gift of grace that flows down upon us from the pierced hands and feet of Jesus. So go be free, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” (Col. 3:15)
I know there are some who will say, “Doesn’t giving that much grace give people a license to sin?” My answer is simply this, anyone who would continue to purposely live a sinful lifestyle after receiving the gift of grace, certainly does not understand grace and therefore probably has not truly received the gift of grace in the first place. Grace will set you free, and no one who has ever been in bondage and is truly set free, ever desires to return back into their chains. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal.5:1 NIV)