Sunday 5 April 2015
Key Passages: EPHESIANS.3:1-10, 3:7-11.
INTRODUCTION: permit me to say with Myles Munroe, as follows: that the potential of anything is determined by its Source. Everything derives its essence from its origin. Thus, when purpose is not known in any endeavour, abuse is inevitable. So then the difference between a Christian that is bearing fruit and the one that is not is that of revelation of purpose: you cannot grow beyond the revelation you have.
You cannot impart what you have not experienced. Also, the saying ‘what you cannot die for, you cannot live for’ is unarguably true. When your life becomes irrelevant to you, it will be relevant to God. The cross was conditional. He didn’t have to die, but He chose to die.
..so a man in honour and understands it not, is a fool (Psalm 49:20).
There is this song by Keith Green, which says and I quote, “I don’t know why Jesus loves me, I don’t know why He cares; I don’t know why He sacrificed His life, but I’m glad, so glad He did”. The question is if we indeed do not know why He loves us, cares for us and sacrificed His life (the purpose), how can we ever pay Him back with the right attitude? But is it not really the truth that we do not know why He sacrificed His life, and we more or less careless to know but we celebrate the fact that He did. Man’s weakness in losing touch with Purpose predates our generation.
Now I hear you say He died, so what? Why did He die and by the way, did He have to die?
To answer your questions, it will be good we reflect on how we came here, or; why man was created in the first place.
- Kingdom Extension: God was interested in extending His kingdom of heaven to earth, since the earth was void, formless and covered with darkness (Ephesians1:4-5 and 9-10).
- God gave the earth content and material nature and decided to hire it out to managers to manage for Him, so He created man in His image and likeness (having spirit, soul and body). The spirit was to relate with God and receive from God and deliver to the soul, where the seat of intelligence would process the information and relate it to the body, which has physical contact with the earth, for implementation. The Unseen God wanted to use His spirit in man (unseen) through the seen (man) to rule the seen (the world).
- Man’s terms of engagement were to manage the earth, run it in such a way that God’s heavenly government will be on earth, making the kingdoms of the earth one with the kingdom of heaven. Man was then put in charge, with all the independence he required to operate.
- Since God has independence of thought and action, He allowed the god-man to share in the same. God chose not to interfere with man, nor impose His wishes on man. He allowed man a soul to think and choose for himself, to decide whether to love God or not.
- God set limits/boundaries to man, just as God set limits to Himself. God sets limit to Himself in that He cannot do wrong, He cannot lie, He can never change His mind to do evil, He cannot be tempted with evil nor will He tempt man with evil. God set limits to Himself; He has chosen to be eternally good and He does good eternally. The day God changes His mind and does evil, He ceases to be God, and light and life will not emanate from Him again. This is the same way God set boundaries for the god-man. God did not make it imaginary, he set the tree before man in material essence; the tree of Life and death. All that was needed was a choice that determines to let God be God and let man remain His workmanship. But no, man would have none of that. He joined forces with God’s arch enemy to deny God reward of His investment on earth. It turned out to be at a treasonable felony. Man condemned himself to death. He has crossed the boundary that God Himself cannot cross (because God cannot do wrong),man has done wrong, like Lucifer , who was a sinner from the word go (1 John3:8). Man joined Lucifer’s company, his love game with God was gone, he became God’s enemy, using God’s property illegally. And guess what? Man was ejected from the same estate he was solely created to tend for. He turned a fugitive in his own domain and lost all bill of rights to both represent God and manage God’s estate. He can’t go to heaven because his nature was not in heaven, man became a living dead on earth. God as God could not help him, because God does not have his nature (man had a unique nature that is earthy though covered with God’s likeness). God has never known sin, sin is repulsive to Him. Man became helpless and hopeless. Why? Because of man’s heart which is deceitful and desperately wicked beyond knowing (Jeremiah 17:9).
- God went to work to help man. After the fall of the first man, God experimented on redeeming earthly creation from the original stock. In Genesis 6:8, the first mention of grace came to Noah. So, when Adam’s company failed, Noah’s company came into existence when Noah found grace before God. That company also failed and Abraham’s company came on board. They failed as well, then the Law and Prophets took over and yet there was no answer to the original sin, because at the original sin, the heart of man got corrupted so terribly that God lamented; ‘the heart of man is so evil and desperately wicked and no one can know it’(Jeremiah17:9). Each of these companies lost their purpose so they became corrupted and could not fulfil the will of God.
- David prophesied about Jesus in Psalms 40:6-8 and it was referenced in the book of Hebrews 10:5-10; that his desire was to do the will of God on earth and so a body was prepared him for the assignment. Whenever our heart is set to do God’s will, God gives us a body. That is why the scripture says that in the days of His power His people shall be willing. What we cannot die for( desperate for) we cannot live for.
So Why did He Die?
- To do the will of His Father and to finish it, by establishing the Father’s dominion on earth (Psalm 40:6-8; Hebrews 10:5-10; John 4:34; Ephesians1:10b).
- To restore man’s sonship/fellowship with the Father through His blood of reconciliation (Romans9:26; Galatians 4:6-7; Romans 8:14; Ephesians1:5).
- To take away the devil’s ground for offence against man (sin), by paying its price in full ( Luke 1:74-75; 1 John 3:8-9).
- To restore man’s bill of right over God’s estate (the earth), restoring authority to man (Matthew 28:18; Luke10:19).
- To destroy death and the power of death thereby moving us from life to life (Hosea 2:14, Revelations 6:8, Revelations 20:6).
- To give us relevance on earth as we access grace through Him to attract heaven on earth (Ephesians2:10; Romans8:19; Romans 8:18)
- To use us to spoil principalities and powers and teaching them the manifold wisdom of God in using the weak things of this earth to confound the wise.
- To purchase a place for us in the coming kingdom (Ephesians1:13-14).
But hear the most interesting part- He did not just die, He arose and lives forever more. That He arose means that;
- The sacrifice was accepted. It was sufficient. He paid it all in full. The Father was satisfactorily pleased. No debit was left anymore to be paid. The work of salvation is complete and the door of grace is now wide open, not in little measures but in mega doses; from one level of glory to another. As a foretaste, He gave us the Holy Spirit as a down payment or surety. If we are short-changed henceforth, it won’t be because He has not done it, but because we allowed ignorance to play us the fool. And so a man in honour and knoweth it not, is like child (Psalm 49:20). There is not just potential in God, God is potential personified, and through the death and resurrection of Christmas Jesus, a door of mega grace has opened unto us to access God’s full potential in this life, and eternal rest in the life to come. My prayer is that in this season each and every one of us will reach out to His grace, and become all we can ever be in Him. I therefore declare that everything in us that is meant to showcase His glory here on earth, which has died as a result of our old nature, by the workings of His grace and the power of resurrection, may the four winds blow upon them all and may they receive life and resurrect today, to serve God’s purpose for our generation in Jesus name. Amen. The floodgates are open, enter into His Mega Grace. Happy Anniversary, He’s Alive Chapel.