“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:10-12
We have read and have seen, (“THINK – Part 5”), that God is preparing us as heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven through His process of sanctification, that is the process of making or becoming holy, being set apart, consecrated for God’s purposes.
Sanctification is a supernatural work of God, and most of us work hard to avoid this process because it is difficult, painful and bewildering. Actually, it is an amazing, supernatural work of God transforming us into His Own, children of Light. It is a difficult process that transforms and transcends.
The Apostle Peter reminds us about this process and its rewards, in 1 Peter 1:3-7, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Many hear Jesus’s words in Matthew chapter 5 as something we must do on our own. But, this is NOT what He is saying. He is NOT telling us what we are to do. Jesus is telling us, prophetically, what we have become or what we shall become because of His work of sanctification. THIS IS YOUR POTENTIAL – You are an heir of the Kingdom of Heaven!
Matthew 5:13, flatly states, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”
His statement, (Matthew 5:13), will not fit into any doctrinal position of any earthly church. Jesus is saying that, having been entirely sanctified, “YOU ARE NOW THE SALT OF THE EARTH”. It is the Greek word, ‘eimi’, which is the same as Christ’s great “I AM” statements. It states, ‘straight-forward, existence without limit’.
Without pausing, Jesus continues by proclaiming, ‘but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.’
How can this be? How can you, at one moment, being fully sanctified by God, set apart for His use, lose your ‘savor’ and saltiness? How can you go from entirely sanctified to be suddenly declared, worthless?
The picture drawn here is harsh and impudent, and it is the sternest of warnings for those who would follow Jesus and then turn away or withdraw.
NOTE: Most people do not say, “I am leaving you now, Jesus.” They simply stop doing as He has said; they stop submitting to His Lordship. They fade back into their old lives and their old ways of doing things. They still ‘go through the motions of going to church and practicing their religion’. These have lost their savor and their saltiness.
Take from this what you will, but, be warned: Jesus has said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
What is the answer to this dilemma? The answer is submission. Humble, meek, dependent submission to the Hand of God.
This was and is the purpose and the result of being sanctified by God. This is the purpose of being grieved by various trials. You will be trained during your lifetime to be a disciple, a living example of Jesus. You are being transformed into the likeness of Jesus by the renewing of your mind. This is your spiritual service of worship to prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God!
But, you must remember, it is no longer you who does these things, but the Spirit of God working within you. (Galatians 2:20).
So, when tests, trials and temptations come, submit to God. Surrender your will and your desires to Him. If it means suffering a loss – then suffer it gladly. If it means suffering mistreatment, then suffer with humility.
These are the great oracles of the Word of God. They cannot be understood by the natural mind. They are discerned by the Spirit which dwells within you.
This is your calling. It is hard as it is amazing. It is unstoppable. It is unshakable. Now, nothing shall be impossible.
Your Brother and Friend,
NEXT: THINK – Part 6 – This is your Power