Friday, 10 August 2012

The Greatest Promise: 10th August, 2012. Devon UK

I have been painting with a broad brush. I have wanted to capture the great sweep of God's purpose in his modus operandi, his way of working. We have examined why God has chosen to insist on our co-operation in his thrilling plans. We have examined a little of the character of the God who has staked his name and reputation on his power to perform what he has promised. We have seen God's goal in using everything that touches the lives of his people to further his plan of revealing the likeness of Christ in them. This can all be summed up in The Promise.

Calvary's work was done; the great triumphal shout echoes still down the centuries; it is finished. John 19:30. And now Luke sets the scene for the triumphs of the ascended Christ to begin;
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; Acts 1:4 NKJV.
This is not a promise, this is The Promise. Even as the shadow of the cross hung over the Passover meal in the upper room he had looked beyond its sufferings to the glories that would follow;
And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:16–17 NKJV.
The coming of the Spirit would be the ultimate proof that the sacrifice of Calvary had been accepted and that Christ had ascended to his Father's throne. Listen to the way in which Peter explains the events of the Day of Pentecost;
Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. Acts 2:33 NKJV.

It is the inauguration day, among men, of the New Covenant. The indwelling Christ would be the result of the indwelling Spirit. No longer only 'with us' but now 'in us'. Now those Old Testament promises would find all their fulfilment;
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, “Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jer 31:33–34 NKJV.

Emmanuel, 'God with us' had become 'Christ in us, the Hope of Glory'.
…His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature,having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith... 2 Pet 1:3–5 NKJV.

The solid foundation is laid, now we can begin to add...

If you would like to follow up more of the implications of this 'greatest promise' check out my book; The Better Covenant

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