Tuesday June 2, 2020
The life every believer lives is unto the Son of God as sons of God. There is no other life. God states this as a fact.
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.
It’s seems to me, at least at this point in my own journey, that Paul leaves it up to us to discover what it means to say, “I no longer live, but Christ lives within me.” Such an astounding statement of life must have unfathomable repercussions.
It turns out that healthy societies have frontiers to explore. They have a meaningful goal to achieve. The spiritual life has Jesus Christ as the frontier. We never get to the end of it. We always have more to explore and more to find. A decadent society focuses on health and wealth. A non-decadent society focuses on meaning and purpose. The Christian life is full of meaning and purpose to every believer.
The teaching by Christ in His Sermon, which amounts to a life of dedication to the will of the Father as He did, is simple, but its realization is life changing to the core. Yet its simplicity has been attacked for 2,000 years. Just think of how many times you have heard or have yourself concluded (as I have many times) that taking literally complete self-denial, as the Lord has stated it, is too harsh, or too strict. It was fit for martyrs of the past. Think of how much of the ecclesiastical Christian church has become a light Sunday affair without mention of:
In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. 7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which He will bring about at the proper time — He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords; 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.
Even during Paul’s ministry, such Christians were hard to find:
For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.
Jesus called us to this heavenly life and then He warned us not to accumulate any other teacher than Him and the Holy Spirit.
He knew that many would come into the church and claim to know what the heavenly life was and how to attain it. Paul would warn the early church that savage wolves would hide themselves in the flock.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
“I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.”
God gave the pastors to the church so that they could spend the time reading, comparing, investigating, but to do this only with the scripture. The pastors were warned in the word to feed the flock, not under compulsion, not for unjust gain, in humility and gentleness, with eagerness according to the will of God, not lording it over them, and proving to be examples to the flock. The pastors were warned not to build on any other foundation than the one that Paul laid down, which is Jesus Christ. The pastor is a shepherd, a leader, and a teacher, but he is never a substitute for the authority of the Lord, the Holy Spirit and the inspired scripture. His example is to be of Christ and his teaching is only to be of Christ’s mind. When you hear him you should be hearing the Lord, and his identity should fade into the background. The pastor is dispensable while the word, the Lord, and the Holy Spirit are always vital.
This truth makes each believer responsible for his own knowledge and learning of the accurate truth from God.
He does not worship a pastor. If he worships the Lord then he cares to know the word of God alone, and not someone’s opinion about it. As he accumulates the knowledge of the inerrant scriptures, he can determine the veracity of the pastor’s teaching.
“A pupil is not above his teacher. When fully trained he will be like his teacher.” Jesus and the Holy Spirit alone lead us to the truth that makes a good heart which produces good fruit.
GAL 2:20. Follow Jesus on this wonderful journey of discovering what you are as a son of God.
Writing of separating from the world:
“We must become as little children, and Christ must be born in us. We must learn of Him, and … see things as He saw them, regard them as He regarded them. We must take the will of God as the very life of our being … The world must be as nothing.
I would not be misunderstood if I may avoid it. When I say the world, I do not mean the physical world as God makes and means it… By the world I mean all ways of judging, regarding, and thinking, whether political, economical, ecclesiastical, social, or individual, which are not divine, which are not God’s ways of thinking and regarding. I mean all ways of thinking which do not take God into account and do not set His will supreme as the one only law of life. I mean all ways of thinking which do not care for the truth of things but exalt the customs of society and its practices.” [George MacDonald, Your Life in Christ]
Good treasure or bad treasure?
“For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit; nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
Treasure - thesauros = a place of safe keeping or storehouse. In a heart it can be good or evil.
It is what you guard as most valuable to you. It could be possessions, time, admiration of others, and what all of them and more point to: self.
Christ told us to remove the log: self. He told us to deny it daily, to lose it, and proclaiming all of this He knew that He was heading towards the cross to crucify it.
"For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. 31 "But seek for His kingdom, and these things shall be added to you. 32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. 33 "Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purses which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys. 34 "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Moses had the treasures of Egypt in his grasp, but he saw something far more valuable, even though it came with reproach.
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin; 26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.