What are we to learn from a review of the Bible when we read about the life of Jesus? He tells us that He came to save us and to draw us into a relationship with God. He tells us that He is the LIGHT, TRUTH and THE WAY. The four Books of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) give us a glimpse into the three years of Jesus’ ministry. They tell us about:
1. His birth and early life
2. Baptism by John the Baptist and His divine anointing
3. Temptations by Satan
4. Teachings and sermons
5. Calling and equipping His disciples
6. Eye-witness accounts of miracles (feeding the 5,000, walking on water)
7. Healing the sick; raising the dead; casting out demons
8. Arrest, torture, and crucifixion
9. Resurrection; appearances to the disciples
10. Ascension to heaven and His promise to return
When we examine the Gospels to look at His words, two statements stand out. Let’s examine the teachings of Jesus’ ministry and focus on the first and last things He said:
1. Matthew 4:17: “From that time Jesus began to preach, crying out, Repent (change your mind for the better, heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
He was saying: Change your thinking and you change your life; every success in life is based on right thinking and every failure is based on wrong thinking and wrong actions.
2. John 19:30: “When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished! And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.’”
In other words, He was saying: My work is done; I did my part now it is up to you; receive all I have given you and walk in my finished works.
WHAT ARE THE FINISHED WORKS OF CHRIST?
The Bible teaches us that on the cross, Jesus did His part. Now, as Believers, we must do our part; that is, believe that everything we will ever need in life was given to us when we accepted Jesus as our personal Savior and received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. God’s Word tells us we have been given:
1. Fullness and abundance of Christ; grace, favor and every spiritual blessing. (John 1:16)
2. A new identity and new spirit in Christ. (2 Co 5:17)
3. Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm from the Holy Spirit. (Eph 1:3)
4. Spirit of power, love, a disciplined mind and self control. (2 Ti 1:7)
5. The mind of Christ, His thoughts, feelings and the purposes of His heart. (1 Co 2:16)
6. God’s DNA (love) is in us. We are God’s children and we grow in our understanding of Him. (1Jn 4:6-8)
7. Unlimited grace (God’s unmerited favor) and power to meet any test, trial or temptation. (2 Co 12:7-9; Eph 6:10)
8. A deep, solid, and unshakable foundation that is rooted in God’s love. (Eph 3:17-21)
9. Abundance, wholeness, completeness, health, prosperity, and success in every arena of our life. (John 10:10)
BELIEVING AND RECEIVING THE FINISHED WORKS
What does it mean to walk in the finished works of Christ? We must understand that God is at rest (Gen 2:3) and Jesus is at rest (John 19:30). God and Jesus have done their part and now it is time to do our part with help from the Holy Spirit. Let’s examine Scripture to see what God’s Word has to say on this subject and see what He tells us to do:
1. Rest in His truth and be Spirit-led. We must labor to rest in the truth and promise of God’s Word. We must be Spirit-led; directed by the Holy Spirit instead of driven by our desires, thoughts, and emotions.
• We must strive and labor to enter and rest in the promises of God and not give in to unbelief. (Heb 4:11)
• Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit would be our Comforter, Counselor, Guide, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby, and Teacher and that The Spirit of Truth would never leave us (John 14:16-17).
2. Commit to walk in Faith vs. Unbelief
FAITH is not something I do to get God to respond to me — to move, to fix my problems or meet my needs. FAITH means I appropriate or receive what God has already done — the finished works of Christ. On the other hand, UNBELIEF is doubt, questioning, or refusing to accept the Word of God as truth. We don’t need more anointing, grace, or faith — we need less unbelief. It is unbelief, not sin that stops the power of grace and cancels out the finished works of Christ. Can we have faith and unbelief at the same time? Let’s look at 2 examples:
• Matthew 14:29-31: “He said, Come! So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water, and he came toward Jesus. But when he perceived and felt the strong wind, he was frightened, and as he began to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me
• Mark 4:35-40: “On that same day [when] evening had come, He said to them, Let us go over to the other side [of the lake]. And leaving the throng, they took Him with them, [just] as He was, in the boat [in which He was sitting]. And other boats were with Him. And a furious storm of wind [of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled. But He [Himself] was in the stern [of the boat], asleep on the [leather] cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, Master, do You not care that we are perishing? And He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush now! Be still (muzzled)! And the wind ceased (sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was [immediately] a great calm (a perfect peacefulness). He said to them, Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no firmly relying trust)?”
When we pray according to the Word of God, we can confidently be assured the victory of answered prayer because we are speaking God’s promises back to Him. Will you receive His promises in His Word? Stop waiting for God to move — believe and receive the finished works of Christ. Christian life is a process of believing the Word, renewing the mind, and receiving the finished works of Christ.
3. Renew our minds with God’s Word to receive His finished works
How do we do this?
• Paul tells us in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”
• Solomon says in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Lean on, trust in and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.”
SELF REFLECTION & APPLICATION
Remember, Satan (the thief, accuser of the saints) cannot steal what you do not allow him to have. I encourage you to develop a new mindset or perspective — be Christ-minded. Commit today to walk in the finished works of Christ. Commit to:
1. STUDY and LEARN God’s Word. His promises are real. They originate in the spirit realm and we receive them in the physical realm.
2. PRAY for UNDERSTANDING and WISDOM as you study God’s promises. Ask Him to help you apply His Word to your everyday life.
3. BELIEVE that God is a God who cannot lie. BELIEVE and RECEIVE the unconditional love He has for you, knowing that He only wants the very best for your life.
4. SPEAK God’s Word out loud daily as faith confessions and begin to experience the manifestations of His promises.
5. TRUST God and labor to rest in the finished works of Jesus. Continue to do the last thing He told you to do while He works out all the details.