We are living in dangerous times and the message of doom is always preached to us by the world. Impending disasters and wars, diseases, economic collapse, persecution, cataclysmic weather events and seismic events all threaten us. In Bible days the young Church faced the same kinds of pressures and threats as we do today.
In Bible days the young Church faced the same kinds of pressures and threats as we do today. All around the Roman Empire Christians were being hated and hunted. But Jesus had called Saul of Tarsus to care for His Bride while she was in the beginning stages of growth.
Saul who changed his name to Paul was taught the Gospel by Jesus Himself. Not the fleshly Jesus, but through the indwelling Jesus, the Holy Spirit of God. This process of revelation took Paul years of wilderness time to process and stand firm in, until years later he went to the other Apostles and preached his revelation to them. Having shared his Gospel with the Apostles, Paul continued teaching and preaching what he called “my gospel” to all who would hear and to all he was a father to.
Paul said at one point that the church has many teachers but not many fathers. The caring attitude of a father is different than a mere teacher as Jesus said that a shepherd cares and gives his life for the sheep, whereas a hireling flees at the first sign of trouble! Paul was such a father or shepherd of Jesus sheep. His heart was the heart of Jesus caring for the flock of God, wanting to see the people of God grow and be established in the faith.
The shepherd sees the wolf coming and protects the sheep, he does not flee away. This ability to see the wolf coming is what all fathers are given as they walk in Jesus. The Lord foresaw that persecutions would come and raised up men and women to establish His people in Him. I do not want to focus on the pressures that are surrounding us, but upon the way the Shepherd protects His sheep.
Let me tell you how Jesus protects His sheep from all wolves. He establishes them in Him. How does He do that? Through the Gospel. Not just any gospel though, Paul’s Gospel.
Rom 16:25-27 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
The Gospel of Paul and the preaching of Jesus Christ is what establishes us.
What was revealed to Paul was the New Covenant God made with Jesus Christ. God’s desire is to establish us in His New Covenant made with Jesus. This New thing that God did has brought us near to Him, even to His heart….and this Covenant of Blood has brought Him near to us- even to our heart.
Being established in the Blood covenant of Jesus Christ is where true rest and peace are found. God has brought us into His Son and granted to us the divine nature – Jesus Himself.
“In Him” is how Paul describes us….and ” in you” is how He describes God.
2Co_1:20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
2Co_5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Rom 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
Rom 8:10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
The Believer is in Him…and God is in him.
God already sees us established in Christ. He already sees us complete and perfect and fully saved. These things are already accomplished since Christ is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. We are reconciled to God. We are in Him. We are His temple and dwelling place in the spirit. God in us the hope of glory.
Being established and made firm in the faith is what God does through the preaching of Paul.
The danger in not being established is that we shall be moved away from the hope that is in the Gospel. Therefore we pray that God would indeed establish us and give us eyes to see and ears to hear Paul’s good news.