MPGC37- DELIVERED FROM THIS PRESENT EVIL AGE - PART 2
In the first part of our study on being delivered from the world and this present evil age, we studied the need to be "in Christ". We learned that it is God, our loving Father, who put every man and woman (in all centuries) into Jesus so that when He died our old nature would die with Him. It was God's plan to allow every person to start over.
When Jesus died He did so as "the last Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:45) but when he rose from the dead He became "the second man" (1 Corinthians 15:45) -- the head of a new race -- a God-man race. Just as we have been united with him in death and burial we were also raised with Him so we could start life over with a new nature.
While it is God who puts us into Jesus and through the process of the cross destroyed our old sin nature, it is now up to each of us to believe what He has done for us and to declare it (Romans 6:11). When we do so, the Lord Jesus gives each of us His Spirit (called the Holy Spirit) to live within us -- and He becomes our new nature. We are "in Christ" but He is now also "in us". The Holy Spirit within us is our personal guide and helper throughout life here on earth. This is the meaning of having a "new birth" and is the necessary requirement if we are to walk in this world while staying in the atmosphere of Heaven.
Let's continue now to study how we are .......
Delivered From This Present Evil Age - Part 2
Day 1- We need to start with a reminder from our previous studies that at the cross Jesus administered to Satan and his kingdom a total, eternal, and irreversible defeat.
Satan can do nothing about this defeat except to blind the eyes of the church to it.
Day 2- For a time, until the end of the age, who does the world belong to?
1 John 5:19
This "evil one" that John speaks of in 1 John 5:19 is called "the god of this world" and according to this verse what is one of his main objectives?
2 Corinthians 4:4
Day 3- Until Christ returns to establish his kingdom, or until we die, we live in "this present evil age". What is God's purpose for us in regards to living in this age?
It is God the Father who delivers us, by the vehicle of His Son, from the "dominion of darkness" and into the Kingdom of his Son.
SIDE NOTE: We might ask the question why if Jesus totally defeated Satan didn't he also totally annihilate him so that the world would be free of him?
Even in his defeat, God uses Satan for a time to be a sifter among men. Just as Adam and Eve used their free will to choose to believe and act on Satan's lie, so now all men must use their free will to choose to believe and act on what Jesus has done for us. That is the only way our sinful nature can be reversed.
God never violate man's free will and free will means that there must always be a choice. All men and women have one lifetime to choose alignment with Jesus or to stay with Satan.
WHY DO WE NEED TO BE DELIVERED FROM THIS PRESENT EVIL AGE?
Day 4- For starters this age has an evil god --Satan. Reread....
2 Corinthians 4: 3-4
Day 5- If we are "in Christ" we have been transported to the Kingdom of God's Son and therefore where is our citizenship?
Day 6- To be aligned with this world -- with all its misery, sickness, darkness, ignorance and cruelty is the losing side. Why?
Matthew 13: 40-42
Day 7- It makes the life we live here on earth unfruitful.
"The cares of this world" might be better translated "the worries of this life" as the New Living Translation puts it.
Day 8- We must be clear that to be delivered from this present evil age does not mean that God takes us out of the world. Satan and his demons still roam this world acting like "they own it". We contend with them daily.
Ephesians 6: 10-12
Day 9- To be delivered from this present evil age does mean that if we are "in Christ" God will answer Christ's prayer for us.
This is important because the church is God's instrument to bring this evil age to an end. That is why Satan hates the church so much and works tirelessly to destroy it. What must the church accomplish before this age can end?
THE WORLD SYSTEM
Day 10- The world, especially in a physical sense was made by God and belongs to Him. It is all good.
Psalm 24:1 / Psalm 50: 10-12
You and I are earth's tenants, living and working on the earth that God made.
Leviticus 25:23 / 1 Chronicles 29:15
Everything that we do here on earth or give back to God happens because He gave it to us in the first place.
1 Chronicles 29:16
Day 11- Man was given the earth to rule in partnership with God. But when Adam and Eve sinned they forfeited their authority and Satan became the ruler of this world.
John 12:31 / John 14:30 / John 16:11
Day 12- The world (cosmos) represents this present world system run by Satan and all who refuse the righteous government of God in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus told a parable that gives a picture of the world system. It refuses to recognize Jesus as the reigning king and will not submit to him as Lord.
This world system includes anything man does apart from God. Anything done apart from God -- even good things -- has Satan at the back of it guiding and directing for his own evil purposes. Satan does not object to good if it eventually serves his purposes. All governments for example are part of Satan's world system, and that includes the best of them.
Day 13- The way to find out if someone is part of the world system is to challenge them in their commitment to Jesus. If they belong to Him what is their heart and attitude towards events in this world?
And in their personal lives what becomes a daily practice?
A person committed to Jesus walks through life in divine fellowship with God.
Quite often the rebellion inside a person will be exposed when they are challenged by their commitment to Jesus. For their are many people who want the Kingdom of God but they don't want THE King. Israel was a sad example of this. They wanted the Kingdom of God but they rejected Jesus as King and therefore they lost the kingdom.
Day 14- What determines whether or not we are part of the Kingdom of God?
It is not knowing a certain doctrine but whether or not we have a relationship with Jesus Christ and are submitted to Him. God doesn't offer us an alternative government. It is Jesus or nothing.
Day 15- We can't have our feet in two kingdoms. We either belong to the Kingdom of God by submitting to its King (Jesus) or we belong to the Kingdom of this world by submitting to its king (Satan).
1 John 2: 15-16
Day 16- It is not smart to reject Jesus because God's judgment is on the entire world system. During the time of Noah all men not submitted to God ( and hence were in the world system) perished in the flood. Only Noah and his family escaped by being in the Ark (symbolic of being "in Jesus"). So also at the end of time God's judgment will again be on this world system.
2 Peter 3:5-7 / 1 John 2:17
Day 17- If we align ourselves with the world system in any way it will not hate us. But once we take our place firmly in Jesus we'll have quite another reaction.
Sadly, the world today feels quite comfortable with the church, and seldom hates it.
Day 18- At the time of this writing (2012) the world at large often speaks of God. But seldom, even in the western world do we hear in public the name of Jesus spoken. It's avoided because its divisive and violates the will of all those who feel they have the right to believe and come to God anyway they want. But these startling words from Jesus should give all men and women pause.
Day 19- Here is one clear example where the great deceiver (Satan) doesn't mind us talking about God as long as we leave Jesus and all that he has done on the cross out of the picture. The apostle Paul refused to follow this deception and did exactly the opposite.
He knew that following man's rules and regulations made no difference in regards to being accepted by God and being part of God's kingdom. What was all that really mattered?
He plainly preached as we must today that there is only one person that can ever really set us free from the Kingdom of this world.
THE WAY OUT
We got into Satan's kingdom because we were born into it -- through the sin nature that we inherited. We have stayed in Satan's kingdom because our old sin nature keeps us sinning. Now, how do we get out of it?
Day 20- There is a root problem that keeps us part of Satan's kingdom.
First we see in these verses that many are not so much enemies of Jesus but enemies of the cross. They want all they can get from Jesus but not the application of the cross.
Second they set their minds on the things of this world continually. Sadly many believers fall into these traps as well as unbelievers. What should we do?
Day 21- The only way out was clearly presented by John the Baptist.
This is the first requirement for entrance into the Kingdom of God. Then Jesus picked up where John left off.
Note: To repent means that I lay down my rebellion. I don't set my own standards or do my own thing. Instead, I turn my back on that and submit to Jesus our righteous ruler. I literally turn around and walk 180 degrees in the opposite direction.
Day 22- If repentance is one side of a coin then Christ's words recorded in the gospel of Mark give the second side.
And what specifically are we to believe?
John 6:29 / John 14:11 / John 20:31 / Romans 10:9
Notice the progression in these verses----
1. We believe in Jesus, the one God has sent.
2. We believe that Jesus is one and the same with God.
3. Therefore we believe that Jesus is the promised Messiah.
4. And because Jesus was a man that was also God his resurrection means that he is all that we need for a savior. Therefore we can believe and proclaim that Jesus is Lord. If Christ had not risen from the dead all we would have had was a historical figure that was a good man that went about doing good. Instead, we have a living savior that still works for men to do them good. He is a living Christ -- a living Messiah and deserving that all men should call him Lord.
Day 23- Once we repent of our sin and rebellion and believe all that Jesus has accomplished for us on the cross then we start our new life in the Kingdom of God. It is a progressive walk that can only be walked a certain way.
Often this walk as God's children in his kingdom will be contrary to what makes sense to us in the world system.
2 Corinthians 5:7 / Hebrews 11:1
Day 24- Paul sums up this walk of faith that every believer must walk.
Notice that Galatians 2:20 is a statement of facts as to what God in Christ had accomplished for Paul enabling him to live in the world but not belong to it.
May I suggest that you memorize this verse by turning it into a personal prayer. It might go like this:
"I (say your name) have been crucified with Christ. I no longer live because my old nature died with Christ. Christ now lives in me -- in my new nature -- through His Holy Spirit. Therefore the life I live in this body here on earth is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
The NLT (New Living Translation) translates this verse like this:
"My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20
Repent -- Believe --- Walk by Faith. We are snatched out of the kingdom of darkness by Jesus and brought into the Kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13). But now we need to advance in our walk with the Lord.
A NEW MINDSET
It might surprise you that religion is part of Satan's world system. That means all religions -- including what's called Christianity. Religions all formulate man made rules and use them to make changes. Religion cleans up the outside of us. It puts new clothes on us and tells us not to eat this or do that.
But Paul says, "For me to live is Christ" and that is the difference. True Christianity is a relationship with Jesus Christ and not a set of rules and regulations. This brings us to the final point in this study. God changes us from the inside out -- exactly opposite of the way religion goes about it.
Day 25- Once we have repented, believed and started on our walk of faith we have a decision to make.
WE make the choice to surrender our bodies to God so that GOD can renew and transform our minds.
Day 26- God changes us from the inside out. When we think differently we live differently. If we want a renewed mind we must present our body so that the Holy Spirit can use it to continue God's work on the earth without us being part of Satan's world system. How will the Holy Spirit guide us to live?
Day 27- To do this our minds must be set like a dial to the things above -- NOT on earthly things.
This is only possible for us because.....
We end this study as we began. Being "in Christ" and staying "in Christ" is the key to our walk in this world without being part of Satan's world system and this present evil age.
Next Study: MPGC#38