As we live a life of faithful discipleship, things begin to happen in our lives. Those areas that used to be a major battleground for us slowly, but surely, disappear. First we experience victory. Those sins that we used to be bound to, unable to control, say, for example, impure thoughts or laziness, no longer control us. We have them beneath our feet, and no matter how many times we are tempted, our own will is put to death. We no longer have to sin!
And then we realize that, although we are still tempted to those sins, the battle begins to show results. Giving up isn’t even an option. And as we overcome, sin has less and less power in our life, until the day eventually comes when we realize that we are no longer even tempted to that particular sin. That is true and glorious liberation. There is no timeline for this development. Every disciple develops at their own pace. But the end result is guaranteed. It may take weeks, months, years, but you will experience liberation.
Fruit of the Spirit
When we put off the works of the flesh, and put to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit (Romans 8:13), the sin in our flesh is gradually eradicated, and in its place we bear fruit. Fruit of the Spirit, such as love, joy, peace, longsuffering, etc. becomes our nature. (Galatians 5:19-24) We become a light and a salt here on earth. God created each of us with unique gifts, talents, and personalities, and as we are purified we can use these to better serve Him and others. We become instruments of righteousness for God. (Romans 6:13)
To be saved from the sin that has been a fundamental part of mankind since the fall in the garden of Eden is the greatest and most glorious salvation that any human could ever experience. When we are faithful to put to death sin, just as Jesus’ did in the days of His flesh (Hebrews 4:14-15), we experience fellowship with Him in the sufferings. (Philippians 3:10) We get to know Him in this way. We are drawn together with Him and the rest of the faithful disciples in a brotherhood that will last for all eternity.
“But He answered and said to the one who told Him, ‘Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?’ Ad He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.’” Matthew 12:48-50.
Heirs of the promises
It is through suffering in the flesh and becoming finished with sin, as Jesus did that we become heirs with Him of the eternal promises. (1 Peter 4:1)
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:16-18.
Disciples are heirs of God and fellow-heirs with Christ! Together with Christ we will share and own everything that God has. We cannot possibly comprehend how infinitely great that is.
He has already, here and now, given us all things for life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3) We lack nothing. “Things present, or things to come – all are yours.” 1 Corinthians 3:21-22.
We experience an overwhelming goodness and generosity from God. A fantastic richness and glory for us. We can never say that it is not worth it for us to give up everything for this. It will never be the case that the reward is too little!
It is the disciples of Jesus Christ, those who have given up everything of their own, who love God and keep His commandments, who walk in the footsteps which Jesus has left in this world, those who obey Him, who are the rightful heirs and possessors of everything.
God blesses such people with all His goodness and all His possessions. His unspeakable goodness is staggeringly great!
To those who kept nothing back when it came to sacrificing everything in faith and confidence to God, He will keep nothing back when it comes to giving them the glory of the inheritance as a reward. They sacrifice everything, and God gives them everything.