Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Two Journeys – Part 1 - To Know Jesus

This week, Michael writes: We often have a problem living what we say we believe. That's the problem about living the Christian life. However, there is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus for the law of the spirit of life in Christ has made me free from the law of sin and death – Romans 8:1-2. Our challenge is to live according to the Spirit of Christ in us instead according to the law of the flesh. There are two separate journeys in a Christian's life. The Christian's first journey is “to know Christ”. To know Christ is to realize the love that He had for us: for He who knew no sin became the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in Him. Love begets love. Do you love Christ? To know Him is to love Him. We love Him because He first loved us. Jesus said, "If you love me keep my commandments." If our identity is in Christ our foundation is built upon the Rock: the foundation is Jesus Christ himself, the chief cornerstone.   

A Christian's second journey is “to become like Jesus”. A disciple is a disciplined follower of Christ. In this context, 2 Corinthians Chapter 3 talks about the hope we have in Christ. God did not call us to merely deliver the message. Rather, he called us to “be the message”: 

2 Corinthians 3:2-3 “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.”

We can speak with boldness because we know Him. We're not like Moses who had to put a veil over his face when he came down from Mount Sinai after receiving the law of the Ten Commandments. Israel didn't know Christ because the veil still covered their hearts so they could not perceive God. However, we who have been “born again” of the Spirit of the living God have the veil lifted. Those born again Christians can see clearly from the spiritual perspective of the Holy Spirit. The old man has passed away and the new man is renewed in the spirit of Christ in us. We need to fellowship with others within the body of Christ. They will show us where we need to grow to become just like Jesus.  If we live in denial and say "I've arrived and achieved perfection in the flesh," the Holy Spirit will convict and convince us to become more like Christ. A loving brother or sister in Christ will show us where we fall short of the glory of God. The Word of God is profitable for reproof and correction. God gave us His Holy Word so that we can walk in fellowship with Him ... so that we can turn from darkness and toward the light of the truth of the Word. When we, by the freedom of our will, turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away. In my flesh dwells no good thing ... however in the Spirit of life in Christ, He has made me a new creation. 

Now the Lord is that Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty ... there is true freedom. The freedom is that we are no longer bound by the chains of sin and death. We have changed lords ... I'm no longer lord of my selfish self. To be a man or woman of God is to be God's man or God’s woman. Freedom is to be His possession, bound by His boundless love. Every moment is a moment of decision ... to walk according to the flesh or according to the Spirit.  The challenge is to surrender my will to His will ... to make His will my will.  

Let continue Michael’s messages on “the “Two Journeys” on the next post.

In Christ, Brian

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