United in Christ
2 Corinthians 6:16-18
For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: (Paul quoting Lev., Jer., and Ezek.) “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God and they will be My people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters”, says the Lord Almighty.
If anyone has told you that salvation through Jesus will take away all of your problems, they simply did not tell you the truth. In John 16:33, Jesus tells us, “In this world, you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”. First off, what is tribulation? Tribulation is grievous trouble; severe trial or suffering; an affliction. We can all think of a laundry list of things that match this definition of tribulation. We all face tribulation, most of us, on a daily basis. We suffer, we hurt, we hunger, we are in pain, we experience loss, etc. The good news is that, for the believer, we can be of “good” cheer. What is cheer? Cheer is a shout of encouragement, approval, congratulation, etc. Wow! When we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we are able to face the tribulations of life because our assurance in Him encourages us to press on through the challenges knowing that we are victors, not victims! Jesus could have just said “be of cheer”. He emphasized it by saying, “be of good cheer because I have overcome the world”.
God tells us to “come out from them”. Who is them? - The world. What does that mean? Does that mean that we should lock ourselves in our homes and never leave? Of course not. It means to detach ourselves from the world, not the people, the world and worldly living. Our relationship with Christ causes us to take our confidence out of the things and ideas of the world and put our confidence in Him. It is the things that the world says is ok that puts an enormous load of heavy burdens upon us. Sin is what makes our lives miserable. It’s not a mental disorder, it’s not anxiety, it’s not stress, and it’s not fear that makes life unbearable; it’s sin! I’m not saying that these things do not exist; they do exist! What I am saying is that these are all bi-products and results of one main issue- sin. Sin produces sorrow; Jesus gives joy! 1 Peter 1:8 proclaims, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy”. Verse 9- “for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls”.
This is where we are today. People are getting to a point in life where they feel like they can bear no more. They can’t take it anymore. A lot of these people end up on clinical drugs, street drugs, addicted to alcohol, bound by sexual desire with the idea that they will find fulfillment and satisfaction. Many people become addicted to work, addicted to exercising, the internet and all other kinds of temporary satisfaction. They never find an end to their means because they are trying to fill a void that the world cannot fill and they are trying to experience joy that the world cannot give.
If we are to “come out of the world”, what of the people in the world? The world teaches self-reliance and that life is “all about me”. Jesus commands reliance upon Him and unity among believers. These 2 elements is what made the Unites States a global power for many, many decades-our forefathers knew that they could not build this country on their own strength, so they put their faith for their success and the success of the Nation in God; they knew that a country divided would fall, but a country united would stand. This is where our enemy, the devil, has tried to drive the people of God to- not being united! It is easier to be divided and conquered than it is to be united and conquered. If the devil can divide us, he can conquer us much more easily; but if we unite under God, through His Son Jesus, the bridge to life, we can stand victoriously! Will you unite with us in Jesus Christ today so that you may experience this joy and release from the world?