Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
Agreeing With God
“Therefore, the law is indeed holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”
Paul, in Romans 7:12
“Everyone who commits sin also transgresses the law, for sin is lawlessness.”
John, in 1John 3:4
Jesus is coming again to reign on the earth for a thousand years, and the saints of God are ordained to reign with him, but we must first prepare to reign with him. Just because we are born of the Spirit does not mean that we have the wisdom to reign with Christ. We must humble ourselves to learn the ways of our heavenly Father so that we agree with Him in judgment! We will not be prepared to reign with Christ until we grow in the knowledge of God and agree from the heart with His judgments. We who believe are supposed to be in the process of developing the mind of Christ so that we judge circumstances and people as he judges and are prepared to execute his righteous judgments. If we humble ourselves to our Father’s ways, His Spirit transforms our minds and trains us to reign with Christ. That is why God sends difficult situations our way; we need to learn to depend on His Spirit to reveal to us what is right in hard situations. And that is also why Paul taught that only those who are led by the Spirit are the children of God. He knew that children of God who do not obey the Spirit will not reign with Christ, and may in fact be disinherited altogether and cast out of the kingdom of God (cp. Mt. 24:45–51).
The Son of God occupies his position so well because he completely agrees with everything his Father thinks. And how well you occupy your place in the kingdom of God is determined by the same thing. I am an acceptable pastor and teacher only to the extent that I agree with Jesus. Any time I think one thing when he is thinking another, I am wrong, and I become a stumbling block to every saint under my care when that happens.
Jesus always thinks the way the Father thinks. That is the reason Jesus is always right. Now, do we think the way Jesus thinks? Jesus has the mind of his Father, but do we have the mind of Christ? If we have the Spirit, we have that mind within us, but have we developed our senses to hear what the Spirit within us is saying? The beauty of the law of Moses is that we are given a glimpse into the Father’s mind by it. Moses’ law was the most precious insight into the heart of God the world ever knew before the Spirit of God was poured out from on high. And the excelling beauty of the Spirit being given to us is that it wrote on our hearts those perfect, eternal thoughts. Have you learned to read what the Father has written on your heart? This was the promise of God, through Jeremiah (31:31–33):
Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke even though I had married them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says the Lord, I will put my law within them and write it on their heart and I will be their God and they will be my people.
We are all familiar with the moral judgments of God contained in the law: “Love your neighbor as yourself”, “thou shalt not steal”, “thou shalt not bear false witness”, etc. Practically all men, believers and infidels, would agree that the moral commandments found in the law are “holy and just and good.” But what about the other judgments of God contained in the law? Would all men agree with God’s judgments concerning civil matters, the judgments which reveal God’s thoughts concerning civil justice and that made for perfect government when executed according to the will of God: public whipping of the wicked, the cutting off of a woman’s hand if she grabbed the private parts of a man during a fight, the forced double or quadruple repayment of stolen property? How do those judgments seem to you? Too harsh? Unjust?
Have we grown in the knowledge of God to agree with Him that kidnappers should be put to death? Jesus will agree with his Father and will carry out His judgment when he returns. Or,
1. Do we agree with God, that rulers should put to death the owner of a dangerous animal if that animal kills someone and the owner knew the animal was dangerous? Jesus will, when he returns (Ex. 21:29).
2. Do we agree with God, that every witch should be stoned to death? Jesus will, when he returns (Lev. 20:27).
3. Do we agree with God, that every person who worships any God but Jehovah should be executed? Jesus will, when he returns (Dt. 17:2–5).
4. Do we agree with God, that every homosexual should be put to death? Jesus will, when he returns (Lev. 20:13).
5. Do we agree with God, that every adulterer and adulteress should be put to death? Jesus will, when he returns (Lev. 20:10).
6. Do we agree with God, that every son or daughter who rebels against his parents and becomes grossly self-indulgent is to be stoned? Jesus will, when he returns (Dt. 21:18-21).
David said these things about the law and the judgments of God (Ps. 19):
7. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
8. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
10. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Wise people throughout the ages have felt exactly as David did about the judgments of God. It is imperative that we learn to do the same, for to the extent that we do, we have the mind of Christ and are prepared to reign with him. To the extent that we do not, we are carnally minded and unprepared to reign with Christ, and we will doubtless be a stumbling-block to some child of God along the way.
God’s ways are not our ways, and we may stumble at them sometimes, but they are right. And if we will patiently “continue in the word”, we will learn that they are perfect. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, but they are perfect and true. Just wait on God, and you will see that they are. This is important, for only those who think as God thinks will reign with His Son when he returns to earth.
May God give us all the grace to grow in His knowledge and be prepared to reign with his Son on this earth, and on the one to come.