Jesus: Blessed And Only Potentate
This evening we cry out to Jesus:
1 Timothy 6:12-16 instructs US along with Pastor Timothy ...
12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.
The Apostle Paul tells Timothy and I believe us as well:
Fight the good fight of faith.
Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called
Keep the commandment (maybe from 1 Tim 1:3-5 ?)
Be faithful until the return of Jesus —
we need to be looking to and working for the return of Jesus
These are all actions that we need to take.
We can’t coast into heaven.
We have to be intentional about going there.
About others going with us.
A couple of days ago I was looking at a post that a Jeremy Dahlberg wrote on the AG Theology FaceBook page. He said:
Salvation is not 100% God and 0% us...so many say, it's all God. Reformed theology is taking a stranglehold on Jesus' church in the U.S., and should be soundly rebuked. Obedience matters. Discipleship matters, and no, God doesn't do all the work for us. Yes, the Holy Spirit will provide strength, and willingness to do the will of God, but men still must repent, believe the gospel, and continue of their own free will to follow Jesus--enduring until the end.
I think the Bible tells us that is a true statement since we have so many admonitions to DO things that go with salvation:
The Apostle Paul told us:
What we see here: fight the good fight of faith (and in 1 Timothy 1:18) and take hold of eternal life, etc.
Run the race to win the prize (1 Cor. 9:24)
Do not receive the grace of God in vain (2 Cor. 6:1)
One with which we are ALL familiar:
12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. 14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.
What Jesus Himself told us (He has given us MANY commands that we are studying, but consider just one command, one action that requires effort on our part):
4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
Abiding in Christ, producing fruit requires effort on our part. It requires intentionality.
The Apostle Peter:
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. 10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The writer of Hebrews (whoever he was):
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
The Apostle James:
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
The Apostle John:
2 We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. 3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
So, NO it’s NOT all God with no effort required on our part.
Otherwise Jesus and His apostles were instructing us to no end.
We have a part in salvation.
We make choices everyday concerning our relationship with Jesus.
To read the Bible
To love and forgive others
We make choices everyday on whether to be a partner with Him for the salvation and discipleship of others.
But how can we accomplish the commands here in 1 Timothy 6?
By looking to the Source. By holding onto the Source in faith. By remembering what Verses 15 and 16 tells us about the Source — that Jesus, the Source is:
The Blessed One (Highly favored of the Father)
As we pray in His Name we enter into His blessing, His favor
He is the Potentate, the Sovereign of all creation
He is in charge.
I will be the first to admit:
I don’t always understand WHAT God is doing
I don’t understand HOW God is going to accomplish His eternal purposes.
But this I do know: God is in control, He is sovereign
He is the King of any and all who are self-appointed or rightfully kings or queens
He is the Lord of all lords
He is immortal — He rules and reigns forever
He dwells in unapproachable light
His presence is powerful and glorious that no one in mortal human form can view Him in His present and eternal glory
He is worthy of all honor
His is an eternal dominion.
I’m sorry, but I am just absolutely bowled over by what author Charles Rolls says in his commentary of Jesus as revealed in this passage in 1 Timothy 6. He reminds us that:
The very blessedness of Christ as a Potentate reveals that personally He is morally suited, judicially qualified and rightfully entitled to rule and reign forever. Nowhere else in the Bible is the inaccessible majesty and indescribable glory of Christ so fully explained and so concisely expressed.
He is described here in His self-existent, self-efficient and self-effulgent Deity, irresistibly glorious and infinitely lustrous in His being, wisdom and power. His throne is the origin of harmony, honor and holiness.
The foundations of His throne are not shallow and superficial. The far-reaching suzerainty of His sovereign state pervades and prevails eternally. The fullness of His celestial court is not sustained by the contributions of earthly kinds. The faithfulness of His covenant does not depend on the merit or manpower of nations. The fame of His name is not taken from the renowned institutions of earth. The flame of His fervent constancy requires no fuel from human resources for its maintenance. The final consummation planned was not determined by the decision of world councils.
The fame of Christ transcends the far-flung renown of the foremost among the famous, His name exceeds the notability of the more noble of this world’s nobility, and His claim supersedes the titled claimants of all the centuries. Seeing we have such a Potentate as our Peace-maker, such a Lord as our Life-giver, and such a Justifier as our Joy-bringer, let us ever sing,
He is my prophet, priest and king
Who did for me salvation bring,
And while I live I mean to sing
Christ for me, Christ for me!
So, until Jesus appears let’s fight the good fight and come alongside others who are engaged in that fight. Let’s appeal to the Blessed Potentate, the Blessed Sovereign of all creation that He will intervene as we intercede.
To that end I asked us to bring the Worldview Magazine and use it for a prayer guide this afternoon.
Pages 14 &15 (put your finger on countries and call out their names, battle demonic forces)
Pages 17, 18, 19
Pages 26 & 27
Page 29 - Missionaries who MUST find their joy and delight in the Lord — NOT the harvest
Also, today is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.
I printed a prayer guide to help with praying for those who persecuted for their faith in Jesus — who labor amongst the persecuted — who labor to share the Gospel in hostile territory.