Summary: A great truth of Scripture is that God is a personal God from grace to glory. He is not an abstraction or mystical “higher power.” He meets us where we are and on our level. He is a personal Savior, a personal Lord, a personal Sanctifier, a personal De
A PERSONAL GOD FROM GRACE TO GLORY
A great truth of Scripture is that God is a personal God from grace to glory. He is not an abstraction or mystical “higher power.” He meets us where we are and on our level. He is a personal Savior, a personal Lord, a personal Sanctifier, a personal Deliverer and His very life is appropriated on a personal basis. What a testimony to God’s grace toward us who believe.
Listen to Paul’s words in Romans 8:16: “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.” GOD GIVES US HIS PERSONAL IDENTITY. Paul says the Spirit Himself gives evidence to us that we are children of God. No second hand provider here! God becomes our personal witness so we never have to doubt who we are, to whom we belong too or where we are going. What better witness could you call on to verify your identity? The one who testifies on your behalf never lies, deceives or tempts. He never sleeps or slumbers and He serves as your personal defender and justifier. Paul writes, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth (Romans 8:31-33).”
God knows we need a personal identity. We need to know we are His children, that we belong to Him and we are glory bound. This identity is essential if we are going to serve God with a heart of love (1 John 3:1) and liberty (Galatians 5:1).
Not only is our identity found in a personal God but also our inheritance. GOD GIVES US HIS PERSONAL INHERITANCE. Listen to Paul’s words in Romans 8:17a: “And if children heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ…” What high standing we have as Christians. Since we are children of God we are heirs of God and fellow heirs of Christ. As heirs of God, heaven’s glory and a great inheritance await us. The Apostle Peter exclaims, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you (1 Peter 1:3-4).” The Apostle Paul also confirms this in Ephesians 1:1: “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”
As heirs, we must walk worthy of the high calling we have in Christ Jesus so we can lay up treasures in heaven and not make void the grace of God that leads to the glory of God. Matthew warns us: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is there your heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-21). As fellow heirs with Christ, we come into possession of all His Life (read Colossians 2:10). This is true in the “here and now” not just the hereafter. That is why Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) The Apostle Peter further confirms this truth: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (1 Peter 1:4) Thus, we can by “grace through faith” have a taste of our inheritance here on earth as the Spirit imparts it. What a beautiful example and encouragement for what will one day be fulfilled for all eternity in glory!
How wonderful to know we can partake of the Lord’s peace and love and joy. How wonderful to know Him intimately in this life and experience the power of his resurrection while in his service. How wonderful to have a personal inheritance! But what about the fellowship of his sufferings? Not only is our identity and inheritance found in a personal God but also our sufferings. GOD GIVES US HIS PERSONAL SUFFERINGS. Romans 8:17b says, “…if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” We would all eagerly say we want to be glorified with the Lord but we are a bit hesitant to say we want to suffer with Him. That gets too personal – we want the gain but not the pain. Yet, we tend to forget that when Jesus prayed “Father the hour is come: glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee” he was going to the cross of suffering. To be glorified with Him means we must suffer with Him. The writer of Hebrews says of Christ: “…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2). “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12). But Jesus says, “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” (John 14:1) Thus, Matthew tells us not to mourn or be fearful but rather: “Rejoice and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:12)