Monday, October 18, 2010

Christ is our Model and Dwelling!

Read John 15:9-17

Have you considered that the love Jesus puts in us molds and shapes us and appoints us to be His orchards and fruit stands? So, how can you and your church be His fruit stand? Why can’t a church function without fruit such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness… and forgiveness…?

This is why the Christian life and our church is not about us, it is about Him and them we abide in Him! That Christ is all, for obedience and everything else! Our relationship with God is through Christ. Christ's redemption is that He took away our sin and preserved us in faith for God's glory.

Have you considered that God is our dwelling place? We are dependent on Him for both life and salvation, and to think otherwise is foolish. This is a prime fulfillment of a promise of God from the Old Testament and it refers to those who are already saved. This also means in synergy to stand for and abide, to be unwavering and sure of the supremacy of Christ that gives and builds our life and intimacy in Him. The purpose is that we have a binding and effectual relationship with Christ that transcends our comprehension; we have a relationship with God that we do not deserve by means we cannot fully understand (Ex. 25:8; 29:45; Lev. 26:11-12; Ezek. 37:27-28; 43:9; Psalm 96:10; Isa. 42:9; 48:6; 51:15-16; 65:17-25; 66:22; John 2:21; 6:54-56; 8:31; 14:1-23; 15:1-8; Rom. 8:24-25; 1 Cor. 2:9; 4:5; 15:35-57; Gal. 2:20-21; Eph. 1:3-14; Col. 1:23; 3:18-4-1; Heb. 2:7; 3:6-19; 1 John 2:19-24; Rev. 7:9; 21:1-8; 22:3-5, 12).

Christ takes the initiative in our relationship; He comes to us by first loving us, then we are free to exercise our will and be enabled to know and receive Him. If He did not choose us, we would not have the desire, will, or ability to receive Him; this is by His work on the cross. In Jesus’ time, a committed learner would seek out a rabbi to teach him; here, Jesus picks us to teach. Did you know that as growing and mature Christians, we belong exclusively to Christ (Eph. 1:4-11; John 2:23; 14:13)?

Christ brings us Real Love, that He died in our place and then infuses us. The love that flows from us is not from us, but from God through His Spirit. We cannot prove love; we can only respond to and obey it. Once we fully realize that the love of Christ has been poured out in us, we can then identify ourselves in Him. We will be able to identify Christ's interests in others over against our own interests (John 15:3; Rom. 9:3; 1 Cor. 9:22; 13:13).

Discipleship is our response to His love—to be passionate, submissive, and obedient to our Lord. As a committed follower of Christ, I must attest that I belong completely and entirely to Christ. He purchased, restored, and renewed me, and He now empowers me. And what how are we going to live and express being His slave or servant? What would that mean to your spiritual formation and relationships? How will this help you lead and manage yourself, family, and church?

It should be to “Go,” this is an aspect of our “Great Commission” and “fruit” is what characterizes our Christian service and points others to Christ. When we indentify ourselves in Christ, we will obey and we will be effective in loving and strengthening each other for His service—something so few of us actually do! A proper witness to Christ will be identified by the distinction between good and false teaching and/or good versus bad love, Fruit, and character and/or a good or a failing church (Psalm 66:18; Matt. 22:1-14; 25:1-13; 28:19; Acts 1:8; Rom. 1:13; Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 4:15-16; 1 John 4:1-6; Rev. 1: 2; 2:20; 6:9; 22:9).

All Jesus asks of us is to receive Him and His love so we can pay it forward to others, to show His love by our display of love so we succeed at His will. His love is the sap that flows and what causes us to know Him and have His love working in and out of us; it causes us to make Him known to others even more diligently. We were sinners; now, because of His love, we are His people—united to Him, reconciled to God, and filled with the Spirit. This love now becomes the process of continued blessings for us and others. All it takes is our dedication to Christ, so we can respond by faith, worship, and spiritual formation to carry on His love. Growing in Christ is what the Christian life is all about. It is the life-long process of discipleship and spiritual growth that builds our faith and knowledge in Him so we can take hold of His love and produce even more of it, giving it back to Him and onto others. This helps us with our assurance, maturity, character, and spiritual formation. We become changed because we have received Christ and we can keep on loving. If this is not so, there is something fundamentally wrong in our Christian operating system, because love helps us have more hope and reassurance of faith (Rom. 12; 1 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 5; Heb. 10: 26-39; 12:14; 2 Pet. 1: 5-11).

The love that Christ has for us is demonstrated by His ultimate sacrifice. What have you done with this truth?


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