Jesus Christ, Savior, Lord, and King

Hebrews 12:11-17 ESV

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.”

A Running Theme

I have been seeing a running theme in pretty much all the Scriptures I have read with regard to Jesus Christ and his birth (not in reference to the Scripture above), and that is that Jesus is to be Lord and King of our lives. He is to reign as Sovereign, as Lord, and as King over everyone who professes him as Lord and as Savior. And this is to be the focus as we read about his birth and as we consider why he came to the earth. Yes, he came into this world as a baby, but he is to be KING of our hearts and lives.

Well, this is what this passage of Scripture above is focusing on, too. Jesus did not come into this world just to live and to die in order to remove the punishment of our sin so we can go to heaven when we die. He came to die so that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He came to die so we would now live for him and no longer for ourselves. And he came into this world to shed his blood for us (to buy us back for God) so we will now honor God with our bodies.

[1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:15; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 6:1-23]

Failing to Obtain the Grace of God

Now, we who are followers of Christ will all go through trials and tribulations to test our faith, and sometimes, too, in order for the Lord to teach us self-discipline and to train us in righteousness and holiness, and sometimes to rebuke and to correct us when we go astray in order to bring us back to him in surrender to his will. And this discipline is for our good to keep us on course and to keep us focused on Jesus Christ and not on ourselves. And it is that we might share in his holiness and not walk in sin.

So, if we are failing to walk with the Lord in obedience and in surrender to his will, and if we have fallen back into sin, and if we are not drawing on his strength and power to overcome the enemy of our souls and to resist the devil and to flee temptation to sin, then this is an encouragement to get back on track, and to strengthen what is weak, and to rely on the Lord and his strength, and to now make straight (upright, righteous, holy) paths for our feet (for our walks of faith), and to now walk in his righteousness.

Now many people have this mistaken idea of God’s grace that it just saves us from the punishment of our sin so when we die we get to go to heaven. But God’s grace, which is bringing us salvation, trains and instructs us to renounce (say ‘No!’ to) ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. And God’s grace frees us from our slavery (addiction) to sin and he empowers us to live godly, holy, and obedient lives (Titus 2:11-14; Romans 6:1-23).

So, when this talks here about those who fail to obtain the grace of God, it is because they did not believe in Jesus with God-given faith, which involves us dying with Christ to sin and to self and us living to God and to his righteousness. But they accepted a false grace which teaches that all one has to do is to profess faith in Jesus and now all his sins are forgiven and now heaven is guaranteed him regardless of how he lives, and regardless of whether or not he forsakes his sins and follows Jesus in obedience.

But as already mentioned, God’s true grace delivers us out of our addiction to sin so we can now walk in holiness and righteousness, and in obedience to our Lord, in the power of God and in his strength, and according to his purpose for our lives. But many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ are rejecting his plan of salvation for our lives. They are rejecting walks of purity and of righteousness, and they have granted themselves permission to keep on in their sinful practices, in direct defiance to the Lord.

For they are the self-indulgent who are lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. They are the addicted to sin who are refusing the Lord and his righteousness in order to pacify the sinful cravings of their flesh. So they are pushing Jesus away rather than inviting him into their lives to be Lord and King. They are rejecting his true grace and his power to resist the devil and to flee temptation, and they are regularly yielding to temptation because they love their sin and not God.

And many of them are so captivated by sin that they are also spurning any help from other Christians who are there to help them to have victory over sin and to walk in holiness and righteousness, for sometimes they will say that is what they want, but then later it is obvious that is not what they truly want, for sin is what they want more than anything else. And many of the addicted to sin are those who are engaged in sexual immorality and/or in substance abuse, and/or spousal or child abuse, too.

So, even though they profess Jesus as Lord and Savior of their lives, they are failing to obtain the grace of God because they refuse and reject the grace of God when they choose their sinful lifestyles over God and over walks of faith and obedience to Jesus Christ. For the Scriptures teach that if sin is what we practice, and if righteousness, holiness, and obedience to Christ are not what we practice, that salvation from sin is not ours to have, and we will not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

And oftentimes those who are in this position are those who are holding on to bitterness, unforgiveness, hatred, pride, their sinful idols and their secret sins, and they are refusing to let go of them. And so they will never be free, even if they claim that they want to be free, and even if they say that they desire God and his salvation. For shedding tears or having emotional experiences is not what saves us from our sins and gives us eternal life. We must die with Christ to sin and now walk in obedience to his commands.

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

There’s a Song in the Air

Author: Josiah G. Holland (1872)

There’s a song in the air!
There’s a star in the sky!
There’s a mother’s deep prayer
and a baby’s low cry!
And the star rains its fire
while the beautiful sing,
for the manger of Bethlehem
cradles a King!

There’s a tumult of joy
o’er the wonderful birth,
for the virgin’s sweet boy
is the Lord of the earth.
Ay! the star rains its fire
while the beautiful sing,
for the manger of Bethlehem
cradles a King!

In the light of that star
lie the ages impearled;
and that song from afar
has swept over the world.
Every hearth is aflame,
and the beautiful sing
in the homes of the nations
that Jesus is King!

We rejoice in the light,
and we echo the song
that comes down through the night
from the heavenly throng.
Ay! we shout to the lovely
evangel they bring,
and we greet in his cradle
our Savior and King!

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