Wednesday, October 18, 2023



It is daily popularized in most of the Christian television channels. It proliferates profusely in many Christian radio programs. It is prevalent in a lot of open-air crusades, but this is only a scrap of the vast depth and breadth of the “Saved but not Delivered” phenomena. You will find it everywhere: “Deliverance” moments and testimonies in worship services, “deliverance” books in book shops, “deliverance” rooms in conference meetings, “deliverance” classes and training in YouTube etc. So, the begging question is, is this Biblical? Is it true that one may be saved but not “delivered”? Are there instances in the Bible where people were saved but not yet “delivered”? Do we, ever, see the apostles practicing deliverance? 

Explanation of terms and examination of biblical texts

On being saved

Let me start with what it means to be saved. Being saved means that the Lord Jesus has delivered you from man’s greatest problem, which is sin. Sin brought man into a state of guilt, as he falls short of God’s glory (Rom 3:23). To be saved, therefore, means that you have been clothed with Christ’s righteousness (Eph 1:7, Col 1:4; Rom: 3:1-26 & Rom 5:1ff). Friend, it is impossible to be clothed with Christ’s righteousness and yet, not be delivered. How can the Lord take away your guilt and not deliver you?

To be saved is to be released from the slavery market of sin. The Bible describes sin as a bad monster, domineering over all men, all of whom have been brought under its grip and power and are incapable of breaking from it by their own volition (Rom 3:9). In Rom 6:17-18, Apostle Paul praises God for the believers in the Roman church - that they were, ‘formally, servants of sin but God set them free and now they are servants of righteousness.’ Paul is thanking God because He has done to them that which they could not do by their own power. God rescued them from sin.

Before salvation, we were separated from God because of our sin. Sin alienated us from God. In fact, the Bible puts it strongly that before salvation, we were God’s enemies (Isaiah 59:2, Eph 2:12, Rom 5:10). However, when we are saved, the opposite happens. Instead of separation, we are now reconciled with God. In other words, we now have fellowship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 2:13). We are now at peace with God (Rom 5:1-2). Can you, then, say to such a person who has been reconciled to God, having peace with God and enjoying fellowship with God that he or she is at the same time not delivered?Before salvation, we were all under the wrath of God (Rom 1:8ff, Eph 2:13) but when we are saved, we are now under the love of God (Rom 5:5). We are not under condemnation (Rom 8:1, Jn 3:18).

A saved person is referred to as, born again. This means that he or she is a new creation. God the Holy Spirit has made him or her a new creation (1 Cor 5:17). The Holy Spirit brings a great change in the life and the heart of a saved person. The heart of stone is removed and a heart of flesh given (Eze 36:22-28). The Bible refers to regeneration as quickening of the dead (Eph 2:1-5). Before salvation, we have no life in us but when we are regenerated by God the Holy Spirit, then, we have life. To be saved means that the Holy Spirit has opened your heart as He did the heart of Lydia (Acts 16:14-15). You now have power to live in a new way.

Read Titus 3:3-6 and see the great change that occurs in the life of a believer as a result of being born again. It is a lie to say that one can be saved and not yet having the power to be delivered from a life of sin. This passage describes a believer in Christ Jesus. Those who have been regenerated by God the Holy Spirit are adopted into God’s family (Jn 1:12,13). They are begotten of the Father (1 Pet. 1:3, 1 Jn 3:1-3). The Father has bestowed a great privilege to believers.

Dear friend I contend that, you cannot be adopted into God’s family and at the same time, not be delivered from being controlled by sin. The doctrine of “saved and not delivered” is unbiblical. It contradicts God’s word and we need to shun it. You cannot be a child of God and of Satan at the same time.

About being “Delivered”

Deliverance” as practiced today is a charismatic ministry concerned with offering assistance to Christians to ostensibly release them from what is known as demonic possessions. To those who hold such beliefs, getting saved is just one step  of the journey of faith; step two is deliverance, without which salvation appears incomplete. To this belief system, though sin is forgiven at the point of conversion, the power of sin remains essentially unbroken: remaining sin or any form of besetting sin is viewed as being caused by the control of a demon or spirit. In such cases, there will be a spirit of sexual immorality or a spirit of anger, a demon of alcoholism or lies. 

In this belief system, extreme difficulties of life are viewed as instigated and controlled by the devil. In that regard, there’s a “spirit of poverty” (where one lives in total want of material goods), a “demon of  stagnation” (where one is not expanding his business nor getting promotion at work); a “spirit of rejection” (where one is not getting a job or getting married on time).  They also view all forms of sickness or deaths as demonic where they talk of the spirit of cancer, premature death,  the spirit of road accidents  or the demon of suicide. All these ‘demons’ and ‘spirits’ demand special prayers, superintended by the ‘man of God’ - waging a spiritual warfare, casting out demons and generational curses and bringing “deliverance” to the prayer warrior. 

The “deliverance” preachers claim to be dealing with the remaining sin or persistent evils in the life of a Christian. Christians who are taught about the need for “deliverance” or a second experience usually have such questions as, ‘Why am I struggling with anger, bad thoughts or laziness? Am I saved?’ These questions show, clearly, how many have misunderstood the doctrine of progressive sanctification. It is true that we have been saved but, also, it is true that we are continuing to be saved. Sanctification is an ongoing process until we see our Savior face to face. A true believer in Christ Jesus still sins both knowingly and unknowingly. The Bible says that, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn 1:8). In Rom 7:14ff, the apostle talks of the battle within. He is telling us about an experience of a true believer. The Bible does not tell us to go for deliverance classes but rather to put to death the remaining sin, by co-operating with the Holy Spirit who is given to him (Rom 8:12ff, Col 3:5-10). 

Now because we are in Christ, the grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness (Titus 2:11-14). We are called upon to fight and battle with sin and put to death the works of the flesh. Believers are called upon to put on the whole armor of God (Eph 6:10ff). The Holy Spirit helps us to progress in sanctification. 

The problem with the doctrine of “deliverance” is that it gives an easy yet fruitless way of dealing with sin or evil. We passively submit to “deliverance ministry”, and are then delivered! But friend, there is no easy way. We must pay attention to the means of grace like prayer, fellowship, preaching the word, attending Sunday service etc. Rom 6:11ff says as follows – note how each of these is an instruction to activity, to personal effort and application:

i. Reckon yourself dead to sin;
ii. Do not let sin reign over your mortal body;
iii. Do not yield your members as instrument of unrighteousness;
iv. Offer yourselves to God; and
v. Offer your members as instruments of righteousness.

The promise, however, is that sin shall not have dominion over believers. Dear reader, you have a responsibility to fight against sin but you are not left on your own. God the Holy Spirit is helping us. Whereas justification is the beginning of our salvation, in between we have progressive sanctification and the end of it is our glorification. We cannot have our best life now. The best is yet to come. 

The Lord Jesus said that in this life we will have many troubles. The saved ones, even though fighting against sin, the world and the devil, are eagerly waiting, expecting and anticipating the return of the Lord Jesus. This excites them in the midst of all trials, that they can say ‘Even so come Lord Jesus.’ (2 Tim 4:7, Phil 3:20-21, 1 Thes 1:9-10). The hope of the Lord’s return revives the hope in us in the midst of trials and difficulties. The saved are prayerfully watchful (Lk 12:35-40). They are described as the ready servants (Mt 24:46). Can such a person be regarded as not delivered? A person who agrees with the hymn writer “Watching and waiting looking above, filled with His goodness lost in His love”?

How about demonic attacks? Some of you will ask this question. Yes, the devil is our enemy and he still attacks and tempts the saints, but he cannot indwell a believer (1 Jn 4:4). He cannot control him – he no longer has that power. There are two extremes we must guard against concerning Satan:

i. There are those of us who undermine him, despise him or think that he does not exist; and
ii. There are those of us who fear him beyond limit and are in bondage to him.

Here are what some passages in God’s inspired word tell us about Satan; 

i. He is described as our adversary; a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and we are told to resist him in steadfast faith (1 Pet 5:8-9).
ii. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7).
iii. That the Lord Jesus became flesh so that through His death, He might destroy him who has power over death that is the devil (Heb 2:14).

In the passages cited above, we see that the devil is our enemy, the Lord Jesus has defeated him on our behalf and we need to actively resist him through faithful, patient obedience (not through the one-off and passive activity of “deliverance ministry”)

Implications for the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ

The doctrine of saved and not delivered undermines the Lord Jesus Christ. The bible reveals to us Christ as the only Savior, the one who is mighty to save and who saves completely. This is why He came into the world: “The Son of man came to save that which was lost.” (Mt 18:11). He came to deliver lost sinners; why then do you say that one can be saved and not delivered (Lk 19:10).

The Lord Jesus came to ransom many “for even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mk 10:45). You need to be asking yourself if you are a true believer in Christ that is it possible a true believer in Christ that is it possible for Christ to ransom me (1Tim 2:6) and I still remain in bondage, under sin’s daily power? Is it possible that He purchased you by His precious blood but you’re still on sale in the slavery market of sin, compelled to obey another master? When the children of Israel were ransomed from the Egyptian captivity, did they remain in Egypt, and have no choice but to use their strength to make Pharaoh’s bricks

The name “Jesus” means “Savior” and the promise was that He will save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21). The promise here is not that He will make salvation possible or to save half way for preachers to complete the work but that He shall save entirely, completely and adequately. Apostle Paul under inspiration put it like this, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tim 1:15). Again and again, you are seeing that man’s greatest problem is the problem of sin and that our greatest deliverer is none other than the Lord Jesus. Why did the Lord Jesus give Himself willingly? “For He gave Himself for our sins, that He delivered us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” (Gal 1:4). Dear friends, the death of our Savior was to make us right with God, bring us into a daily walk of fellowship with Him. Read (Titus 2:14). The Lord Jesus is Mighty to save (Heb 7:25). The intercession of the Lord Jesus at God’s right hand means that, “He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him”: 

● He is able to save to the uttermost in the face of hindrances and difficulties. Nothing can stop the Lord Jesus our high priest from saving.
● He is able to give a new heart, put away the stony heart and give the heart of flesh (Ezk 36:26).

Apostle Paul, before salvation, trusted these things; and even though they were great obstacles, they did not stop the Lord from saving him. He trusted (Phil 3):

● Circumcision
● Being born a Jew
● A wonderful background 
● A pure Jewish ancestry
● A pharisee who sat under the best teacher of the day - Gamaliel
● Persecuting the church, thinking he was serving the Lord
● Outwardly he was perfect and respected

But my dear, the saving grace of our Savior overcame all these prejudices. Indeed, He is able to save to the uttermost, such that nothing is left for these false deliverance preachers to deliver from. Even persecution could not stop the Lord from saving the Thessalonians, “They received the word in much afflictions” (1 Thess 1:6).

The Lord Jesus has delivered us from all these obstacles and I am contending the He will not allow you to be tempted beyond your bearing (1 Cor 10:13). He is able to save from the lowest moral condition, situation and decay – not only the guilt, but also the power. His greatest work is to take away sin (Jn 1:29). He is able to take away both original sin and actual sin. Original sin simply means that we are born sinners. In other words, when Adam fell into sin as our head, we fell with him. Actual sin means that we ourselves have broken God’s law. Look at the kind of people He offered His mercy, grace and love.

He calls those who labor and heavy laden (Mt 11:26). He calls those who thirst (Rev 22:7). Those with great and heavy guilt. This is what He says to them: “Though your sins be red as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” (Isa 1:18).

The following passages show the kind of people that the Lord saved and they became part of the church, with their lives being changed:

i. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor 6:9-10)
ii.  For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (Eph 5:8)
iii. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving diverse lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (Titus 3:3-5)
iv. That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: (1 Pet 4:2-3).

Dear reader, with all that Christ has done, it is evident that there is no need for a new event of deliverance. Christ completed it once and for all! Our task is to walk in the Holy Spirit day by day to work this salvation out (Philippians 2:12-13).



The Lord is not limited in saving. He is able to meet all believers’ needs spiritually speaking. Edgar Andrews quoting Lanes put it like this, “Christ saves, finally, completely, perfectly and utterly.” There is no partial salvation as many people today are teaching or preaching. No place for the “man of God” to make himself necessary, and insert himself into the work which has begun. There is no temporal salvation. 

Dear friend, it is wrong to teach or believe that you are saved but not delivered yet the Lord Jesus has satisfied God’s justice on your behalf, and earned the right to give you the Holy Spirit directly, with no other man as his agent. Charles Wesley got it right when he sung, “No condemnation now I dread, Jesus and all in Him is mine. Alive in Him my living Head and clothed in righteousness Divine.” To be saved means to be delivered from spiritual death and everlasting death. Read Eph 2:1, Rom 6:23, Jn 3:16, Jn 10:28-30, 1 Pet 5:10, 1 Jn 5:11 and Jn 17:3. Do these passages describe a person who is saved but not delivered? The answer is No! Once you are in Christ you have passed from death to life. You have been delivered from the power of darkness and have been translated into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col 1:13).


Saved but not yet delivered’ is a false teaching! You are, either, saved and living with a new power inside you or not; you cannot be saved and not delivered from the domination of sin. If, indeed, you are a true believer, I appeal to you to run away from such teachings, including churches that perpetrate such teachings.  The Bible tells us to put on the whole armor of God and to fight against sin; not to run around to some men to deliver us with a power that they control, if indeed we are true believers. As a believer in Christ, you do not need to scream, sweat or froth from the mouth in order to be delivered. You need not fall backwards, or prostrate on the ground, in order to be delivered from the greatest danger – eternal damnation and spiritual death. The Biblical description of a saved person clearly shows that you cannot be saved and yet not be delivered at the same time. “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (Jn 1:13, James 1:18, 1 Jn 3:9).

For fellow pastors who teach this doctrine, kindly note that the Biblical stand is that, once a person is saved, they are therefore reconciled to God, and have direct access to God themselves, as kings and priests (Rev 1:6). I, therefore, appeal to you to stop and start teaching the truth afresh. All the more, “deliverance” classes and centers should be closed down because they confuse Christians and create a lack of assurance in the lives of those that are true believers whilst giving false hope to non-believers. My prayer is that you will diligently and prayerfully study this subject afresh. 


For further reading, I recommend these books that deal with the subject:

1. Precious Remedies Against Satan Devices by Thomas Brooks
2. The Healing Epidemic by Peter Masters (page 39-55)
3. Martin Bussey Commentary on Romans chapter 3
4. William Hendriksen Commentary on 1Timothy 1
Contact  information Or +254724394422.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Seeking Great Things For Yourself? Seek Them Not.

 And sleekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, smith the Lord: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.( Jeremiah 45:5)

What a timely rebuke to our society! 

We live in a society which is self-seeking. Individualism has taken over and can be observed everywhere, even in prayers. Prayers begin and conclude with ourselves. One seeks, only, for one’s own blessing, but not for others. So selfish are we, that good or godly things like marriage are deemed to be a bother, something that hinders personal development. Children are fighting over their parents property and taking each other to court. No one is willing to consider others as better than themselves. 

I, once, asked a dear sister in Christ to give me some of the worldly reasons why some couples deliberately delay having children. This is what she had to say:

a) The woman wants to pursue her career and be as competitive as her male colleagues, for as long as is possibly achievable;
b) Children are a strain and therefore, their arrival should be delayed for as long as possible;  
c) Having children is an expensive venture; therefore there is a need to, first, be financially stable;
d) The woman wants to maintain a youthful body/ retain a radiant figure;
e) Children, upon their arrival, kill romance and interrupt the seemingly idealistic love between a husband and a wife;
f) It is ideal to delay in having children so as couple can get to know each other better; and 
g) It is fashionable as this is what everyone else is doing.

Dear reader, we, indeed, live in the times described in 2 Timothy 3:1 ff. These are the difficult, hard or perilous times, “for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.

In Jer 45:5, we see great Jehovah rebuking Baruch who was murmuring saying, “Woe is me now for the Lord hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing and find no rest.” (See Jer 45:3). The Lord who searches our hearts and sees our thoughts before they are formed (Ps 139:1), diagnosed Baruch’s problem. He was seeking great things for himself. 

Nevertheless, there is hope for Baruch because God’s word came to him. He was both reproved and encouraged to seek not great things for himself and God, thereafter, promised to spare his life wherever he would go.

What a great warning to this selfish society in which people are seeking big things for themselves!

Are you seeking fame? Seek it not! Are you, only, after riches, wealth, honor, personal peace, and prosperity in this passing world? Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, “For what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mk 8:36).

The apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote these words to the Philippian church, “For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ.” (Phil 2:21). This is such a sad statement because Christ is the only savior, the only mediator between God and man, the only way, truth and life, the only one who can clothe us with a righteousness that satisfies God’s justice. Christ who died and rose again for our justification. Christ who is exalted at God’s right hand and who is coming back again as King of kings and Lord of Lords. Yet we read these words, “all are seeking their own interest.” 

Dear friend, are you seeking your own interest? Are you seeking big things for yourself? I plead with you, by the mercies of God, to seek the things which are of Christ, just as Timothy sought Him. Jesus Christ has promised not to cast away anyone who comes to Him. Jn 6:37b says, “…and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” 

See how the scripture appeals to you to, primarily, seek the Lord, “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near.” ( Isa 55:6). “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” (Mt 6:33). Ask, and it shall be given to you, seek and ye shall find.” (Mt 7:7). Therefore, seek ye the Lord before it is too late as during the times of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah. 

As a result of Human depravity caused by sin, man is willing to seek all things except God. (See Rom 3:10-12). Men seek to be honored by people and acknowledged by those in power, be it in the government or in the opposition. This is how far sin has blinded us. Yet God’s word remains true that failing to seek God is a serious sin. (See the first four commandments in Ex 20 and Deut 5)

Here are some examples of people who did not seek the Lord and what happened to them, thereafter:

a) The parable of the rich fool (Lk 12: 16-20); that very night his life was demanded from him
b) The parable of tax collector and the pharisee (Lk 18:9-14); The pharisee went home not justified;
c) One malefactor on the cross who mocked the Lord (Lk 23:32) and did not have the Lord telling him that he would enter paradise; and
d) Adam and Eve immediately after the fall, who were ejected from God’s presence and favour.

Here are some examples of people who sought Christ and found Him: 

a) The parable of lost coin: a lady searches for a lost coin. She finds it and rejoices (Lk 15:8-10). 
b) Hannah, Samuel’s mother (1 Sam 2:15,17); Then Eli answered and said, go in peace and the God of Israel grant thee they petition that thou has asked.”
c) The blind Bartimaeus who cried unto the Lord Jesus (Mk 10:46-52) and received his sight.

Some of the great things that people seek for themselves as the primary thing in life are:

a) The lust of flesh.
b) The lust of the eye.
c) Pride of life (1 Jn 2:16).
d) Gold or the love of money.
e) Pleasures of this fallen world.
f) Power.
g) Self-indulgence.
h) Entertainment.

Dear friend, heed to God’s warning not to seek great things for yourself. Seek the Lord of glory, He who can present you faultless before His Father’s throne.

The Lord be with you.

Tuesday, August 8, 2023


Many in Kenya preach that Christ brings believers prosperity in this life. By this, they mean the prosperity of this world – money, success and comfort. It is easy to show that this is a false teaching. Jesus himself owned no house (Luke 9:58) and had to borrow a donkey when he wanted to ride one (Mark 11:2). When he died he had nothing to leave behind except his clothes and his mother (John 19:24-27), and he was buried in another man's grave (Matthew 27:57-60). The apostle Paul warns us against desiring riches in this world,  telling us that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and  commanding us to be content with food and clothing (1 Timothy 6:5-10).

When the Bible is so clear about this, we  have to ask “Why do so many preachers teach these false things?” The answer is easy. It is implied in 1 John 2:15 – men love this present world. Why do they love this present world? Because they do not love God: “Do not love the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

If we know about the true riches in Christ, then we cannot love this present world any more. We can use the Bible to see that the “prosperity teaching” is wrong. But we can also use the Bible to discover something much better. We can see the true spiritual prosperity that Jesus gives us. You will not see the President or Prime Minister riding to work on a matatu or boda-boda. They do not need matatus or boda-bodas, because they own much better cars. In the same way, no Christian needs to love earthly riches, because there is something so much better in Christ.

What are some of those riches which believers have in Christ? We will look at three of them.

Justification – Being right with God

The first great blessing we have in Christ is “justification”. This means that we are accepted and forgiven by God. Because Jesus died for us, God looks at us and sees no sin. Instead, he sees all the beauty and perfection of Jesus himself. God looks at the believer and sees the goodness and holiness of his own beloved Son. Jesus' perfect life is given to us instead of our sinful life. Jesus died under God's anger so that we would never see that anger. Justification means that in God's court-room, God has said “this person is not guilty – he is perfect in my eyes”.

This is a blessing worth more than all the money in the world. All people everywhere will one day come to God's judgment (Acts 17:31). On that day, our greatest need will be to be forgiven and accepted by God. That blessing comes only to believers – not because of being rich, or powerful, or famous. Nobody can buy it with money, or use their powers to force God to give it to them. Peace with God comes only through trusting in Jesus. Without Christ, unbelievers are facing an eternity of God's anger (Mark 9:43-48). But if we have justification through faith, then we have peace with God now and forever (Romans 5:1-2). The rich people of this world will have to die one day, and their money will be given to someone else. Those who have the blessing of knowing God will lose nothing at death, but will begin to know him more and more forever.

Sanctification – Becoming more like Jesus

The second great blessing which believers have is “sanctification”. Sanctification is a work which the Holy Spirit does in every believer. It is the work of making us holy – of teaching us to walk like Jesus walked, and to love the things which Jesus loves, and to hate sin as Jesus hates it.

“Sanctification” means that God makes us more and more like Jesus himself. In 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul says that we are being changed into the image of Jesus, going from one stage of glory to another. When we are born, we are like our first father Adam – choosing sin and disobedience. When we are born again, we begin to become like our Saviour, the “last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45), the Lord Jesus.

It is a fact that Jesus not only had greater sorrow than any other man, but also that he was the happiest man who ever lived. He never knew sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), or guilt, or regret (John 8:29). He never wished that he could change himself. He never wished he could change his past or his decisions. Everything he did was perfectly pleasing to God the Father. The full delight and joy of God the Father always shone upon him. The only misery he knew was the misery that came to him when he took our sins. The only suffering he faced was the suffering that we deserved.

Jesus was happy because he was holy. There is no true happiness without true holiness. God made our souls, and our souls can never rest happy without God. The night is a time of darkness, but as the sun begins to come up, we can see more and more clearly. Sin is like darkness, and prevents us from seeing the truth. As we learn to sin less, and to obey God more, it is like the coming of the light. We can begin to truly live in the way that God desired for us.

Glorification – Being made perfect

The third blessing we will discuss here is to be glorified. Everything in this world is rotting and decaying and everything needs repairing or replacing after a time (Romans 8:20-21). But there is a better world which is coming. It is a world of glory, of eternal life and perfect joy in God. It is a world where “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). It is a world where everybody who is there sees Jesus Christ and is completely like him (1 John 3:2).

This coming glory is so great, that Paul wrote “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Paul really knew about sufferings. He had a lot of experience of them. He was a man who was often beaten, imprisoned, who was stoned and shipwrecked, who was continually in danger, hungry, thirsty, cold and without clothes and much more (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). We could ask him - “Paul, is it really worth it to suffer all this? Should we really be ready to suffer in following Christ like you do?” Paul's answer is clear. He says that these things are not even worth comparing with the glory that is to come. The glory is so great, that we could suffer them all one hundred times over and still it would be worth it.

We cannot describe the coming glory, because of its greatness. It is far beyond what we can even imagine. In another place, Paul said that it was like comparing seed with the final plant. A seed is so small, and looks useless. But when it goes into the ground and the plant grows, we see something very different – so much greater and wonderful that the two seem completely different. In the same way, even our bodies will be gloriously changed at the future resurrection, being “sown in corruption … raised in incorruption … sown in dishonour … raised in glory … sown in weakness … raised in power” (1 Corinthians 15:35-43).

This is the treasure which is waiting for the believer in heaven. Every treasure on earth can rot, or be taken away by thieves who break in to steal (Matthew 6:19-20). But our inheritance in heaven is “incorruptible, undefiled, and does not fade away” (1 Peter 1:4). We enter this world naked, and will leave it naked (Job 1:21). But in heaven we shall be clothed, and death shall be overcome with life (2 Corinthians 5:4). Therefore Jesus told us to make sure that our real treasure is not on earth, but in heaven, “for where your treasure is, there will your heart also be” (Matthew 6:21).

How shall we now live?

This is the teaching of Jesus. He tells us that if we follow him, then we shall have the true riches of justification (being right with God),  sanctification (growing more holy) and glorification (being made perfect at last). To be given these riches, though, we have to make a choice. In this life, we have to take up the cross to follow him. We have to deny ourselves and give up our own lives. Instead of seeking our own desires, we have to obey Jesus' commands. We must repent and trust in Jesus alone for salvation, and then follow him.

We cannot love both money and God. No man can have two masters (Matthew 6:24). Jesus warns us that if we try to keep our present life, then we will lose everything. “Because whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever will lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, that person will save it” (Mark 8:35).

The light of the sun is much better than the light of a candle. A king's feast is much better than a handful of old beans. And the true, spiritual riches of the gospel are much better than the empty, fading riches of this present world. Only a blind man would choose a candle to light the world instead of the sun. Only a man with no taste would choose some old beans instead of the king's feast. And only those who have never known Christ at all could prefer the riches of this present world to the glories which are in Jesus.