In these last days of the Church age, the age of grace, there are many who claim to be aChristian, but yet Jesus stands at the door and knocks for the Laodicean church to let Him in.
Jesus addresses seven churches in the book of Revelation (chapters 2-3). These were real churches in Asia Minor that Jesus spoke to through the apostle John. These seven churches also are representative of seven different eras of the church age. We today are in the Laodicean church age, the last church, number seven.
The letter to Laodicea is recorded in Revelation 3:14-22. In the 20th verse Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Those who comprise the Laodicean church claim to be Christians, but it is obvious by the words of Jesus that most are not. Jesus stands outside the church, knocking on the door of their hearts for those who will come to Him in belief and be saved.
Many today in the church need to be saved. Thousands, if not millions, are attending “church,” but are not the “Church.” It is good they are going to “church,” but are they actually being introduced to the true Gospel? Sadly, in far too many instances, they are not. This is one good reason, among others, that those who truly are Christians need to live as though we are “God’s workmanship,” because we are. We may be their only witness.
In speaking of this, I’m stepping all over my own toes, recognizing my own failures in this area. Is it possible that true Christians sometimes forget who owns them? That’s right. We have been bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ and are not our own.
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 7:23)
The sixth church that Jesus spoke to in the book of Revelation was Philadelphia. The letter to Philadelphia is in Revelation 3:7-13. This church is also still present today, consisting of true Christians. Jesus had no word of condemnation for this church, and even promised that He would “keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” (He is referring to the Tribulation.) This is the witnessing church, and we certainly need to witness to a confused, lost and dying world. Therefore, let’s rekindle our spirits by reviewing the following passages in Ephesians that are shown below.
Ephesians 1:7, 13-14, 22-23
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (7)
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (13-14)
And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” (22-23)
Our salvation is provided “in Him” because we were bought (redeemed) through His blood. Our sins were forgiven because of the riches of God’s grace that He lavished upon us.
We heard the message, the gospel of salvation, and we believed. When we believed we were sealed with the Holy Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing our salvation and eternal life with the Lord Jesus. We are His possession.
God the Father placed everything under the feet of Jesus and appointed Him head over everything, including the Church.
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (1-2)
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (3)
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (4-5)
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (6-7)
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (8-10)
We see in verses one through four that before we were saved, we were spiritually dead. We used to (“in time past”) live in a state of sin because we followed the ways of the world. It is very important that we don’t skip by the “used to.” We used to gratify the cravings of our flesh and follow its desires and we deserved God’s wrath.
In verses four and five we see that because of our belief and His grace, He made us alive. We became spiritually alive with the gift of eternal life.
Verses six and seven show our salvation through Jesus Christ caused God to elevate us to the Heavenly realm with Christ. Our home is now in Heaven. Why would God do such a wonderful thing? He provided this for us to show the “incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
Verses eight and nine make clear the gospel of salvation:
· We are saved by grace through the mechanism of faith in Jesus Christ;
· We cannot save ourselves;
· It is a gift from God;
· We cannot work for salvation;
· Therefore, we cannot boast, except to boast in Christ.
Verse ten is about works. The two previous verses, eight and nine, make it very clear that our works cannot save us. However, verse ten makes it very clear that we are expected to produce good works after we are saved, but they can only be accomplished by Christ living through us.
Those who come to Christ are God’s handiwork (workmanship) and are created in Christ to do good works. This is so because God predetermined it to be so.
Many come to Christ for salvation and stop there. They think that is all that is required of them. Get saved. Go to church now and then. Go to Heaven when you die. That isn’t it. God has predetermined that we should produce good works through the power of His Son, and we do that by living for Him on a daily basis.
We know we are His child. We know we are the bride of Christ. This is all good, but let us not forget that we are also His workmanship. We are not our own. If we have been saved, and that is between each person and God, then we must acknowledge His right to lead us in our lives as He has predetermined on our behalf.
Some may be failing in this manner because they falsely think they’re saved. They just need to come to Jesus as the Scriptures above have stated and truly trust Him for legitimate salvation.
Others may be Christians, who just simply need to grow in their Christian understanding of their relationship with God. He is God. We are His work. Ask for understanding. Ask for knowledge by prayer and Bible study. Seek His will.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com