"Do you believe God is for you? Do you believe in the love that sent Jesus to the cross? Do you believe in the power that raised Him from the dead? Do you believe in the compassion that has Him seated at the right hand of the Father?"
These four core questions can position us for victory. At one point of our walk or another, the enemy will be keen on getting us away from our foundational beliefs. He knows that if we are strong in our stance of God's Word and we are unmoveable, we are unstoppable against his kingdom of darkness.
"Do you believe God is for you?"
Do you believe that God has your best interest in mind? Do you believe that He desires for you to succeed, to be prosperous and blessed?
The enemy likes to shoot fiery darts of doubt at our minds to get us to second guess the goodness of God. Questions like "are you sure God really loves you, especially after you've done that?" and "remember your past, God can't really use someone like you" pass through our mind. If we are not solid on knowing that God is for us, we will waver when this question of doubt comes. We must understand, and stand on knowing that God is for us; not according to our goodness, but according to HIS. He makes us righteous, because Jesus became sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). He gives us what we need to be successful in this life, in walking in the fullness of His kingdom. By His Holy Spirit, He leads us in the path of righteousness. Our human flesh tendency is sin and death, but as a Child of God, our sins are forgiven and we are washed white as snow. As His children, we participate in the promises, and are given the Holy Spirit so that we may no longer walk by the flesh, but by the Spirit. (Read Romans 8)
"Do you believe in the love that sent Jesus to the cross?"
The love that sent Jesus to the cross is deeper than any love that we can ever experience here on earth. God sent His ONLY Son to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16). After the fall in the Garden, God's creation was separated from communion with Him. They were unable to commune and communicate with Him the way He desired. In the Old Testament, only priests were allowed to enter the Holiest of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was held. Each year, lots were cast (think dice) to see which Priest would serve there. Those that went in had to wear ropes around their ankles in case they died while serving. Any one else who went in would experience physical death.
Throughout the OT is the hope of the Messiah coming. In the New Testament, we read of Jesus and His ministry while He was here on earth. He came to DIE for our sins. He knew what a sinful people we were, and He knew the desire of connection the Father wanted with us. The death of Jesus provided more than salvation, it saved us from eternity in hell, it qualified us for the promises of Abraham, and it restored that broken connection that once was there. We can now boldly approach Him with our requests. We can commune with Him, just as He desires. We can learn of His mysteries through Him.
Here's the deal: God didn't have to save us. He could have left us in our sin and awaiting the day of judgment. But because HE LOVED US, He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. All because Jesus loved us, and gave Himself up for us..(Galatians 2:20). He desires that NONE perish, but all come to a knowledge of Him. (2 Peter 3:9)
"Do you believe in the power that raised Him from the dead?"
Did you know that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power at work in our bodies? (Ephesians 1:19-20) In Romans 6:4, 11, Paul tells us "“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.... So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus." This resurrection power includes the power to gain victory over sin in our lives, the power to for the work of ministry for the kingdom. After Jesus' resurrection, He tells His disciples to stay in Jerusalem until they are clothed with a power from on high. This new, intensified power for proclaiming the gospel and working miracles and triumphing over the opposition of the enemy was given to the disciples after Christ’s resurrection from the dead and was part of the new resurrection power that characterized their Christian lives.
"Do you believe in the compassion that has Him seated at the right hand of the Father?"
Jesus' ascension into heaven did two things:
- Showed the completion of His work of redemption.
- The act of sitting at God's right hand is an indication that He received authority over the universe.
What significance does this hold for us as Christians?
- Since we are united with Christ in every aspect of his work of redemption, Christ's going up to heaven foreshadows our future ascension into heaven with Him.
- Jesus' ascension gives us assurance that our final home will be in heaven with Him,
- Because of our union with Christ in his ascension, we are able to share now (in part) in Christ's authority over the universe, and we will later share in it more fully.
Watch the sermon here