Experiences of death into eternal life

The first lines of the prayer model, given to us by Jesus, highlight the need for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. I have not got the statistics as to how many Christians there are in the world.  But, suppose each of those Christians allowed God’s will to be done in their lives, what would be the effect?

Blessed are those who allow Christ to fulfill His mission in their lives.  In His physical nature, Jesus displayed the attributes of Godliness.  This was designed to help those inspired to imitate everything Jesus did, for God’s will to be fulfilled.  Jesus was God with us, solely for the purpose of helping us to adopt His behavior in allowing Christ to fulfill His mission.

Jesus is alive today, and continuing with the work which He started in the first century.  The man called Jesus, demonstrated living a way of life that is not common in this world.  The opposition that He faced was triggered by the fact that His way of life was not commonly practiced in this world.

That way of life does not need deep theological studies to understand.  It simply needs the Holy Spirit, as promised to those who would commit their lives to Jesus. Those guided by that Spirit do not need supervision, as Christ would be the one in charge of their behavior.  In fact the Spirit of truth, given to those people, would be the Christ living in their lives.  See [Revealing the Christ in Jesus].

The value of Jesus was different from the value of the Christ.  The person who received the acerbic treatment on the cross and got killed only to be resurrected after three days was Jesus.  This was not necessarily the Christ who was identified by Peter at the district of Caesarea Philippi (Matthew 16:13-20).

This Jesus was commonly known as the child of Mary, being the one who, at His point of death, cried with a loud voice:  “’Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ Which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”  (Mark 15:34) (ESV)

That person called Jesus was the living temple of the Christ, the Son of the living God. In other words Jesus was the temple that was destroyed, but resurrected on the third day (John 2:19-21). This information is extremely important, as removing all confusion, associated with Christianity.

Christ is normally appreciated in His physical historical context, and regarded as someone who is no longer with us.  But His presence ought to be appreciated similarly to how He existed in the first century.

The only difference is that before His crucifixion, Jesus was the only one identified as the Son of the living God, whose title was the Christ.  Scholars have battled with this reality, from time immemorial.

Their failure to grasp this is caused by focusing on Trinity, which removes the possibility of Christ existing in the lives of those to whom He promised the gift of the Holy Spirit.  See [Trinity has got no pedestal on which to stand].

I suppose the confusion arises from failure to distinguish between Jesus and Christ, the Son of the living God.  The Prophet Isaiah clearly provided this distinction, when he stated:

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) (ESV).

A child that is born to us and a Son that is given are different.  They all represent the phenomenon of Jesus Christ. But the child born to us is known for what He did up to the time of His crucifixion.  We need to be clear in that Jesus was the son born to us, while Christ was the Son given to us. Jesus is physical, while Christ is Spiritual.

While Jesus was the child of Mary, born to us as Jesus, the Son of God was given to us as the Christ.  The earth has a claim on the child born to us, but has got no claim on the Son given to us.  What was given to us could not be crucified, being Spiritual that could not be seen or touched.

The child born to us is the one who was nailed on the cross, died and was resurrected on the third day (John 2:19-21).  That same Jesus was observed as ascending up to Heaven by the disciples (Acts 1:9-11).

What scholars identify as a member of Trinity is confused in failure to distinguish between the child born to us and the Son given to us.  The fact that in His time Jesus could not be viewed as representing the Christ, the same applies today.  In the same way, those representing Christ cannot be identified.

True Christians cannot be popular, just as Jesus was not popular:  “Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.  But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me” (John 15:20-22) (ESV).

The Son of the living God, who was identified by Peter, is the one that those religious leaders did not know, as implied by Jesus in verse 22. They could see Jesus, the child born to us, but they could not see the Christ, the Son of the Living God, given to us, according to Isaiah 9:6.

By ill-treating Jesus, they were ill-treating the Son of the living God. In the same way, the Son of the living God gets ill-treated through Christians, who carry the Spirit of truth—the replica of the given Son of the living God.

While Jesus could not be identified as the Son of the Living God, true Christians can also not be identified as the sons of the living God (Romans 8:15-17).  Yet these can be identified by behaving like Jesus. To Paul, on his way to Damascus, Christ said it was Jesus who Paul was persecuting:

“Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him.  And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”  And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:3-5) (ESV).

Paul was certain in that he was persecuting the followers of Jesus, not the Son of the Living God.  But, in his encounter with Christ, near Damascus, the same Christ says Paul was, actually, directly persecuting Jesus?

In other words, while the physical Jesus left for Heaven, Christ, the Son of the living God is still in our midst. He operates in the lives of true Christians, who would have committed their bodies as temples for the Son of the living God.

Those who persecute true Christians, even today, would be persecuting Jesus who lived in the first century.  If Jesus was not recognized as the Christ, in the first century, the same Christ cannot be recognized among true Christians.

Image result for suffering savior pictures

While Jesus, the child born to us left the scene and went to Heaven, Christ the Son of the Living God lives among true Christians (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  Those Christians receive ill-treatment on behalf of Jesus Christ.

True Christians know that Christ lives in them. Those who cannot identify the Christ in their lives cannot be Christians, as Christ declared: “In that day you will know that I am in my Father and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:20) (ESV)

Those who are truly God’s children have got no mistaken identity.  They know Christ, who also knows them as Jesus and His Father dwell in them.  People in this world cannot know true Christians, in the same way that they could not know the Christ in Jesus when He was here.

The majority of Christians, knowing Jesus, only through the miraculous benefits that would have been received from their charismatic Church leaders, may not necessarily be Christians.  Those idolizing Church leaders due to miraculous healing benefits may not know Christ and can, therefore, not be true Christians.

This is just as the majority of those who followed Christ for benefits accruing in their favor, could not have been Christians (Luke 14:25-33). To be a true follower of Jesus means living and practicing what Jesus taught, when He was here.

This is not intended to degrade fellow Christians, but simply stating the truth, according to Scriptural revelations.  Those who are in Christ know Christ and Christ knows them (John 14:20).  Their understanding of Jesus Christ is outside the general understanding of ordinary people.

Such Christians cannot put their allegiance to fellow Christians, but directly to Christ who lives in their lives.  As our perfect example, Jesus did not communicate with God via somebody, expecting those following Him to do likewise.

The God, whom Jesus kept referring to as His Father, is the same God that true Christians refer to as their Father.  The character of Jesus is reflected in that Jesus kept repeating words, as recorded in the following passage of Scripture:

 “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.  For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will” (John 5:19-21) (ESV).

Just as our connection with God is through Jesus, we imitate everything said by Jesus, the child born to us.  Those desiring to be God’s children need to look to Jesus, to appreciate the attributes of being God’s children without considering what prevails in this world.

It is also important to keep in mind that God does not play second fiddle with anything, for those intending to become God’s children.  Christ says He is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:1-10).  No other consideration can be regarded by those allowing Christ to dwell in their lives.

The principle of vine and branch reveals that the vine and the branch cannot be separated, if any fruit is to be borne.  The fruit that the branch produces comes directly from the vine. There is no branch that can produce anything without the nutrients of the plant  that flow from the vine.

Therefore, no-one can be a Christian without being connected to the vine—Jesus Christ. Jesus did not indicate that there would be any other person to fill up His position.  He remains to be the only vine, and without the vine, we can do nothing.

All those believing in Jesus are branches, which produce fruit, only because they would be connected with the vine—Jesus Christ. Our commitment to Jesus, therefore, implies that we behave according to His will, in all our daily activities.

The only requirement of a Christian is to allow Jesus to do His will in one’s life.  There is no credit or glory, expected to be experienced by a person who calls him/herself a Christian.  Our business is to allow God to do His will, through Jesus, because Jesus is the vine that has everything required to produce fruits.

For true Christians, the present life is not intended for personal benefits, necessarily.  It is intended to ensure that other fellow human beings benefit from Christian services. What true Christians refer to as benefits accruing to them, are only when observing other people benefiting and, accordingly, praising God.

The life of a Christian is enjoyable, only as other people enjoy the fruits borne, where Jesus would be, accordingly, glorified.  A True Christian does not conform to the expectations of the current civilization.  His/her life is transformed to the life of Jesus, our only example of living a Christian life.

Actually, to achieve this fiat, the unprecedented sacrifices are required, on one committing him/herself to follow Christ (Luke 14:25-33). This goes according to the costs that Jesus referred to.  To some people, this commitment may mean losing everything, including their own lives.

The best way for a person who comes to Christ is to figure out oneself as dead. All aspirations demanded of this life would have been set aside, to walk the path of Jesus. Obviously, this cannot be a casual matter, especially to those with possessions, including fame and good life. The Christian way is a ridiculous way, in the eyes of common men.

Human beings proved that they did not need God, who was surprisingly rejected, even by the religious people of that time.  Anyone allowing Christ to live in his/her own life today, risks being ostracized by own relatives and acquaintances. But it would be Christ in that person being rejected.

Death is the most dreaded enemy in our human existence. Allowing Christ to do His will in one’s life may be comparable to committing suicide, because there is nothing of glory that remains with a person taking that move. I suppose Paul succinctly described the significance of Christianity, to the Romans:

“Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.  We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.  For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.  So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:8-11) (ESV).

True Christians are those renouncing their lives, preferring to be united with Christ, through Jesus’ sufferings. That behavior is what is called sacrifice.  But, blessed is the person who allows Christ to use him/her.

What naturally holds people back, as far as true Christianity is concerned, is the fear of death.  Christianity is only applicable to those who no longer fear death. All is well with them, as long as they commit themselves to do God’s will. See [The only way through is going through]

The problem with deception is that it is so sweet to renounce easily.  Most people would remain under deception due to sweetness and allures of the status quo. But the call of Jesus requires sacrifice, without which, there is no Christianity.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing reliefs to those having witnessed strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long awaited providential oasis of hope.

The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99

Also available as an e-copy at Lulu.com  for $6.99

  

 

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