Robert Read's Thoughts

Pre-Qualified

We are in an election season, so we hear a lot about a candidate’s qualifications for an office. As an informed voter one must consider a candidate’s qualifications. You must qualify for a loan, college, health insurance, food stamps and club memberships. If you are seeking a new job, you must meet the position qualifications to be considered for the job. If you want to compete in the Olympics, you’ll have to qualify. In the years prior to the Olympic Games qualifying meets and matches are held. These qualifying rounds are held to determine the best possible team to send to the games.

Hilltop Lakes is a golfing community and I’m certain there are a number of golfers that live here. And, I’m sure there are some pretty good golfers that live here. Let’s say Hilltop had an exceptional golfer that lived here, and let’s say he wanted to play in the Master’s at Augusta. Since this is an invitational tournament do you think it may be possible that this exceptional Hilltop golfer would receive an invitation to play in the Master’s? Well, it’s possible I suppose, but he would still have to qualify before receiving an invitation. He would have had to of won the US Open in the last five years or the British Open or be a PGA Championship winner, to name a few. You see in order to be invited you still have to meet certain qualifications. Well you may not be pre-qualified for the Master’s at Augusta, but you can most certainly be pre-qualified for the Kingdom of Heaven.

Colossians 1

10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Please notice verse 12, there is one thing for which you have earned pre-qualified status – an inheritance in Heaven. What then is this inheritance? Let’s look to -

 Ephesian 1:11-14 11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Jesus Christ qualified you for that inheritance… with His own blood, and the Holy Spirit guarantees it. God wanted you to spend eternity with Him so much, He allowed His own child to die for you to be deemed worthy. You qualify! There isn’t a list of requirements for you to receive salvation. All you must do is accept the gift.

Privileges and Responsibilities

 “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him (1 John 3:1 NKJV).”

When John says “behold,” he uses the Greek word eido (I-do), which might well be here rendered “focus your mind because this fact is important! Pay attention!” We are called “sons of God.” Or in some translations children of God. The world can’t know this because the world does not know God.

We are a highly privileged group as Christians. Oh, I know that throughout the ages and in different settings Christians have always been persecuted, and are still being persecuted today, that’s true, but even in that persecution, we are highly privileged! After all we are children of God! We have an inheritance as believers in Christ. Even more explicitly Romans 8:17 says, - here I might use that Greek word (eido) or in other words – Pay Attention, this is important – 8:17 “and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,” or joint heirs with Christ. Joint heirs with Christ – that’s the Son of the Living God and you and I are joint heirs with Him – now is that privileged, or what?

So, do we see what an awesome privilege we have as heirs with Christ as children of God, as sons of God? As sons of God we are guaranteed these awesome privileges. But as sons of God we have certain responsibilities as well. We are made righteous in Christ according to 2 Corinthians 5:21, but we are also called to holiness.  

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”(1 Peter 1:13-16).”

The word "Holy" or Holiness" is one that is as misunderstood in our culture and language as "Love". To be holy is the opposite of being "common" or "profane" or "worldly". God is holy because He is utterly distinct and different from His creation. His people must also be distinct, separate from the heathen attitudes and actions that characterized them as unbelievers. Peter says for us to not be conformed to the passions of our former ignorance. Or, in other words, as we were as unbelievers. We must be separate or set apart from the world - that's our holiness, and in return what awesome privileges we have!

Children of Light

Ephesians 5:6-17 (New International Version, ©2010)
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
In today’s scripture we see that we must also walk in light, for we are children of light.
In the intellectual sense, light symbolizes truth. In the moral sense, it refers to holiness. Living in light means living in truth and in holiness.
In contrast, darkness refers to ignorance in the intellectual sense and evil in the moral sense.
Intellectual darkness represents an ignorance of God and His truth, which results in moral darkness--doing evil deeds. But intellectual light represents knowledge of the truth and results in moral light--living the truth.
There's no middle ground: when we were saved we were taken out of darkness into light. When we sin, we may do deeds of darkness, but we do them in the light so they will be exposed.
Therefore, walk as Children of Light!

Posted by Robert Read