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>Living Faith: Life in the Kingdom

Claiming Christ's Inheritance

Jesus told of a lord who entrusted his vineyard to stewards, only to have them reject his servants and kill his only son in order to claim the vineyard as their own. “Let us kill him,” they said of the son, “That the inheritance may be ours.”

The Russian author, Dostoevsky, wrote the famous story of the Grand Inquisitor, who represents the church. In the story this inquisitor tells Jesus, in essence, “We’ve gotten along very well without You in Your absence. The one thing we can't afford to do is let You come back and ruin all our successes.”

This attitude toward Christ has entered into many churches that give lip service to the Lordship of Christ. These churches, like the vineyard keepers, have excluded Christ so that they can manage the vineyard inheritance themselves. Preoccupied with growth strategies and church politics, tolerant of sin and completely compromising in areas of obedience, their church doors are closed to Christ because He has become an interference to their “ten-point plan for church growth.”

But instead of focusing only on our neighbor's churches, we need to be honest with our own hearts to ensure that Christ is absolutely welcome in His vineyard. What are the marks of individuals and churches who have allowed Christ control of His vineyard?

1. Surrender to Jesus’ Lordship. As believers, we accept Christ as the absolute, unquestioned Lord of their lives. Broken, we desire His direction and lovingly do what He has commanded. His vineyard is no place for those who profess to be His stewards but resist His Lordship; Christ must reign.

2. Sensitivity to the Spirit of Christ. In an age of superficial spirituality, much of it attributed to the Spirit, it is imperative that true believers are open to the Spirit’s work of conviction. We cannot learn how to live—how to deal with anger, how to think about ourselves, how to handle our possessions—from the society and churches around us. Only Christ can give us the direction we need for real-life issues. And only sensitivity to Christ’s voice will ensure His Lordship over the vineyard.

3. Actively Seeking the Will of Jesus. When Christ controls His vineyard, we ask Him for direction on how to best keep His vineyard. In the church this means that the real issue in decision making is the will of the Head of the Church. The questions of what other churches are doing or “how we've always done it” pale beside this ultimate question—is it the will of Jesus? The body of believers who can truly bow before the Word and His will, completely open to His direction, is a brotherhood where Christ still keeps His vineyard.

Have we allowed Christ into our hearts to rule in His vineyard? Or do we, like the vineyard workers—or the Grand Inquisitor—feel more comfortable with Christ at a distance?

If so, “What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others.”

—Arlin Weaver

2 comment(s)

20/20In hindsight I view tnighs lost or given up for the Lord as true blessings. It is true that at times letting go of something (or someone) is what opens you to what God has for you, that otherwise you would have no room for.I prayed continually for the Lord to speak to me, teach me, mature me. It did not begin to happen until I gave up worldly music and stopped watching TV and secular movies which had content unbecomng a Christian.The result was hours of free time in which I persued the Lord through Bible study and prayer. I asked for good Christian books and theological study material, and soon I had hundreds of books from thrift stores and yard sales, which I got for a quarter here, dollar there. I was able to use the time most waste with TV to put several thousand hours study behind me in just a few years.I would urge any who are serious and madly in love with God to just ask Him, and be willing to let go of the world. He will turn your world upside down. I would have it no other way now, and the loss I do consider gain indeed.In godly love brothers and sisters- AMEN

Posted by Lesego on Mon 15 Oct 2012, 6:53am

Dear friend,

Who taught you that your good deeds can help save you? The Bible says that all the sinner’s “good” deeds are nothing but filthy rags to God. The Bible also says that there is none righteous…not even ONE! That means you, my friend. God says that all men are dead in their trespasses and sins and that none seek righteousness. What makes you think, therefore, that you have the capability to make a decision for God, to make a decision that you want to be righteous, when God says that you are incapable of such a deed?

Someone has taught you to believe that God needs your assistance, or at a minimum, God needs your cooperation to save you. That is not scriptural. It is false doctrine. Not only does God not need your assistance in your salvation…he does not ALLOW it!

If God requires you to do ANYTHING prior to giving you the “free gift” of salvation, then salvation is no longer free…it is a REWARD for your “good” decision, which is just another way to say that God is rewarding you for your GOOD DEED. Good deeds cannot save you, friend. Only the FREE gift of salvation, given to those whom God has predestined, before the world existed, to be his children, can save.

So how does salvation happen? It is very simple:

1. God predestined you, before the world existed, to be his child.

2. At some point in your life, at a time of God’s choosing, he uses his Word to quicken your spiritually dead soul, give you the free gift of faith, and you believe.

That’s it! THAT is salvation!

Salvation is not dependent on your decision to be a good person.

Salvation is not dependent your decision to be baptized.

Salvation is not dependent on your decision to “accept” Christ.

The sinner believes because God has chosen him to believe, not because the sinner makes a free will decision to believe. In salvation, the sinner is a passive participant. GOD does all the work! God initiates, performs, and completes ALL the necessary requirements for your salvation. Your belief and repentance are not decisions; they are passive reactions to God’s redeeming, all-powerful, saving grace.

Sinners do NOT make the decision to be saved. God makes the decision to save the sinner! ants_22.html

Posted by gary on Fri 23 Aug 2013, 21:27pm

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