The Gospel of Christ
Finding the "Presence of God" in us: I love sharing this for when I discovered this treasure, it changed my complete perspective in living my life in Christ. Finding out that the "Promise of the Father" (Acts 1:4) wasn't just about salvation but finding a divine relationship that we could enjoy today. To me, John 14 through 17 is one of my most favorite Scriptures because Jesus was trying to tell His disciples of what He would be doing for all of us "at the cross". Finding this has made the rest of the writings of the apostles and disciples lives understandable and applicable to my own life. The bible, which has held in reserve for us the written testimonies of the early followers in Christ, is certainly a treasure, but finding our own personal relationship within the gospel of Christ, the fullness of God, is the greatest treasure ever to be found.
There is no better place to look for the gospel of Christ than to look at the words of Jesus that He shared with His disciples just prior to His sacrificial execution. This favored Scripture is found in the gospel of John, chapter fourteen through seventeen. Chapter fourteen and the first part of chapter fifteen are similar in the fact that Jesus uses different symbolisms to describe the divine relationship that would result from His sacrifice for us. Jesus describes in more detail the events in chapter Sixteen that were about to happen, to include the purpose and function of the Holy Spirit. Truly the Lord's prayer is found in chapter Seventeen which also contains some of the greatest treasures that are given to us through the blood of Jesus. Through this sacrifice, the divine relationship that will be experienced in eternity can be realized today, through the Holy Spirit of God. That "Prepared Place" is our relationship within the fullness of God, the gospel of Christ, so that we can, today through faith, cling to the promise of that new earth, where righteousness dwells, forever!
2 Peter 3:13. Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Finding that "Prepared Place" in Christ: Let us begin in Chapter fourteen. John 14:1. "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2. "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3. "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
First one must remember that in the Genesis of time, because of sin, all mankind was separated from God. But, thanks be to God, He had a plan for reconciliation. But because of this sin, sin had to be dealt with before this reconciliation could take place. Earlier in this Gospel we have these words of Jesus.
John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
This believing in Jesus has a lot more depth that just believing He is. In chapter 14, Jesus begins by sharing with His disciple that He was going to "prepare a place" and I believe this place would be a reconciled relationship within the Father as demonstrated by the life of Jesus. Take note that Jesus promised that He would come again and receive us to Himself that we could also be where He was. Well, where was Jesus? We read in verse 10 that He was in the Father and the Father in Him.
"That where I am, you may be also" Jesus said ..."I am in the Father":
John 14:10. "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11. "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
Because of sin, man could not be the temple of God, God could not dwell in us nor we in Him. Sin separated us from being able to do that but Jesus was getting ready to give His life for the remission of our sin so that we could be included into this relationship. At this time Jesus begins to explain to His disciples about this divine relationship and how it works. He tells them that there is a Spirit of truth that will come from the Father and that this Spirit will abide in us forever, the promise to eternal life. He continues to tell them that this Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit will dwell in them and be in them.
Chapter14:16. "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, 17. "even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. Think about this, this was not possible without the sacrifice of Jesus, for His blood prepared the "way" to this divine relationship.
Jesus' promise of the "truth revealing" Holy Spirit: Jesus continues in Chapter 16 that He has many more things to share with them but without the Holy Spirit they would not be able to understand. Jesus knew He had to "prepares that place" by His death, so those that repented could be reconciled into this divine relationship which would guide them into "all truth", giving them understanding in these matters.
Chapter16:12. "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13. "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
That "Prepared Place" which is the fullness of God's glory manifested in us: Jesus expands more on this divine relationship in Chapter 17. These are powerful words spoken by Jesus and should be of special interest to those that desire to be included into this divine relationship within the fullness of God. First in verse 20 take notice that this prayer that Jesus prayed is perpetual. For those that are willing to seek the depth of believing in Christ will find this prayer personal and applicable yet today.
John 17:20. "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who (including you, today, who) will believe in Me through their word; This prayer is still in effect!
Jesus clearly defines that all that believed in Him would become "one in Us".
Verse 21. "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Jesus clearly defined the timeline in this intimate relationship and that is now, so "that the world may believe", signifying that this relationship is for today and would be witnessed by the world so that they may also believe. And the glory that God had given Jesus, Jesus gave to those that would believe. And again this was done that the world may know .
Verse 22. "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23. "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
Paul understood this divine relationship: The apostle Paul understood and wrote about this relationship in Ephesians 3:14. For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15. from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16. that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17. that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18. may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height 19. to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Notice how the apostle Paul placed greater significance in our reconciled relationship through Christ.
Romans 5:8-11 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
That "prepared place" with God through Christ: Also in 1 Corinthians 6:17, Paul makes this statement: "But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him".
Jesus said that He'd "prepare a place" for us and He proclaimed from the cross that he had completed what He'd set out to do, when He said "It is finished!". The bottom line to the gospel is that Jesus prepared that place for us, by His death, for the remission of sin, so that those that are repentant could be reconciled into a divine relationship within the fullness of God and be led into a righteous life by the Holy Spirit, destroying the works of the flesh, therefore glorifying their heavenly Father to the world, by their repentant life.
Simplicity of the Gospel: Being born into the family of God is actually quite simple. It's as simple as a choice. The simple choice of looking to God for direction. The word "Repent" simply means to change directions, or the turning to God and living the rest of your life, doing it God's way. This decision needs to be sincere and from the heart.
There is always significance in the words that Jesus used as He ministered to His disciples. God has always had a plan for man and those that refuse to do it the way God has laid out will not receive the blessings that He had reserved for them. When Jesus said that He was the "Way", the Truth", and "the Life, study will show that it is in that order.
The Way to Salvation: When Jesus proclaimed He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life, He was being very selective in His words. The Way is through Christ and His anointing of the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit is the source of all truth, including any truth that we need today to help us in our daily decisions. In one's dependency upon the Holy Spirit, one will find success in the things that are truly important to include their relationship within the fullness of God and their relationships within their circle of influence. In this they will of found a rich and abundant life, everlasting in Christ.
The Way: Acts 2:38. Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 3:19. "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,
The Way of Christ reveals all Truth: The Way to salvation is to repent or turn away from the independent life from God to total dependency upon God! When a person truly repents from the heart, they are then willing to take advantage of the Holy Spirit which will then guide them into all truth. The interesting thing about truth is that the more the Lord reveals, the more the value of truth is realized. In this dark world of deception, truth is veiled, that is until one accepts the anointing of Christ. Deception is similar in the fact that without truth, the danger of deception is not realized. For those that are deceived, the value of truth is simply not realized. Instead truth will face resistance. No one can recognize deception without truth and truth is only revealed through the Holy Spirit. Truth is the foundation to righteousness. It brings reality in the Spirit led life. To the repentant heart, the truths, the Lord reveals, become one’s personal treasures and strength. .
Fellowship in the Gospel: Fellowship is relationship, and our divine relationship that is available today, is that "Prepared Place", the promise spoken by Jesus which was fulfilled at the cross. The following Scripture speaks of this relationship that is found in the gospel of Christ, having that "fellowship in the gospel".
Philippians 1:3. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4. always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5. for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6. being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
1 Corinthians 1:9. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
1 John 1: ...you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:7. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Bottom line: John 17:21. "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us,
Jesus did in fact, prepare a place for us within the fullness of God where we can place our trust and enjoy today. And upon that cross He spoke these words of accomplishment: "It is finished !" He had given His life so we could be reconciled into this divine relationship, to the saving of our soul, our salvation through Christ.
Warning: Galatians 1:3. Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4. who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5. to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (How can He "deliver us" apart from experiencing and being obedient to this divine relationship with God?) verse 6. I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7. which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
Warning: 2 John 1:9. Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11. for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
Christ, the only Teacher: The word Christ came from the word Messiah which means "Anointed". Take note that in the bible, sometimes the word "Christ" is used alone, sometimes it's used following the name of Jesus and sometimes it's used before. In the bible, names have special meaning, and I personally believe that the placement of the word Christ is referring to what Jesus is doing in our lives. I do not argue that Christ, is not referring to Jesus, but rather that there is significance to how it is used. For example the bible confirms that all the children of God are led by the Holy Spirit so when we take a close look at the following verse:
2 Corinthians 13:5. ...Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? ...
I view apostle Paul's comment in this way: Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus' "anointing" is in you? With this thought in mind consider other verses such as:
1 John 2:27. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you,...
It's my belief that we don't have just Jesus in our heart but rather the anointing of the Holy Spirit, which includes all the fullness of God, the presence of the Father, and the Son through Christ. And Jesus said: Matthew 23:10. "And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. The bible teaches that it's Jesus that baptizes with the Holy Spirit and it's through the Holy Spirit that God reveals all truth to those with an open heart. The Way that Jesus was referring to, includes, having a willing heart, to be led by the Spirit of God, and being obedient to His word which is found in the hearts of those that are His.
Romans 8:14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Christ wants to be our Teacher through our close relationship with Him!
1 Corinthians 2:9. But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.'' 10. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
Verse 13: These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1 John 2:27. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. 28. And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
Divine anointing of Christ: God has promised you that you will not be deceived if you listen to Him!
1 John 2:26. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. (that prepared place)
Matthew 7:13. "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is "the way" that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.14. "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is "the way" which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
The key word here is "find". To "find" that narrow and difficult gate, one must be searching for it. Rest assured that God has given us a "Way" to "find" that gate and that is through the true direction that is found within our relationship with Him through His Holy Spirit.
The church of God in Christ: The word "church" translated from the Greek, ekklesia simply means assembly or a gathering of called-out ones. When the apostle Paul refers to the church of God, he is speaking of the assembly of the called-out ones that are committed to Christ, which is founded in the home with Dad and Mom where the children are taught the Ways of the Lord by example. When a home is God centered, their children will be raised in the ways of the Lord and then they themselves will begin their families and the church of God will grow as intended by the Lord. These godly families are the foundational church of God in Christ, that are led by the presence of the Lord in their lives. When these families and other members that serve the Lord, get together, this is the "assembling" of the committed believers, the church of God, sharing their lives and the love of God can be manifested to the World. Take notice that Saul persecuted the church which was found in the homes of those following the Way of Christ.
Acts 8:3. As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.
Rest assure that Jesus did not die on the cross for a building or a denomination. Actually Paul spoke against that type of thing in 1 Corinthians. It's my perception that Paul felt denominational preference brought contentions amongst the body of Christ. I know in our hearts we desire the fellowship of others and enjoy the music of corporate worship but many times doctrinal issues can take focus off the truth. One must be very careful that corporate worship does not veil the truths that Christ has reserved for each of us.
The Glory of God: The word "glory" could probably be described in a variety of personal interpretations and I would like to share with you one view that I personally treasure. We all have people that we know or know of that would be impressive to be seen with. I view that as a form of glory. Such as, being seen with the president of the United States. For most, if they were seen with the President of the United States, that would certainly be impressive to most of their friends. Their friends would be in some kind of awe as to how they had such a close tie to be seen with the highest ranking Officer of our Nation. Well let's take this thought a little further, if possible, what if you were seen with God, wouldn't that be much more glorious than the President? What could possibly be more impressive than that? Being seen with God!! But it gets even better! How about God dwelling within one's heart. Wouldn’t that be even more powerful, to have your life shared within the fullness of God all the days of your life lasting throughout all eternity!! Think about that. I believe this is what Jesus has. That God the Father and His Spirit dwells in Him. We are told in Colossians 1:19. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, This glory, the presence of God, by way of His Spirit, this Jesus gave to His disciples to include all that are willing to repent and accept such a valuable and incredible gift!
John 17:22. "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23. "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. 24. "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
Paul explains in this manner: Ephesians 3:8. To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9. and to make all people see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; … 14. For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15. from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16. that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17. that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18. may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height 19. to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
As Jesus prayed "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them,
This Jesus Christ did for you!: If you have not already found this relationship, but desire to do so, then there is no better time than right know in making that decision. All one has to do is to make that decision to live the rest of their life for the Lord and He will manifest Himself to you. Place your trust in this word of Jesus.
Jesus said: John 14:20. "At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21. "He who has My commandments (Divine direction revealed by the Holy Spirit) and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.
Where there is a repentant heart, there is no sin too great to be forgiven, for through the blood of Jesus Christ, all sin is forgiven
1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
All one has to do is believe God and act upon your beliefs and it will be accounted to you as righteousness. This imputed righteousness is one of the many divine gifts of God that will be manifested in your life in Christ. As James wrote in chapter 2:18 ..."I will show you my faith by my works", is believing God and acting upon one's beliefs.
Romans 10:9. that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.
It's in the flesh of man to resist the Holy Spirit of God as Stephen pointed out to those that thought they were right in the eyes of God that moments later stoned Stephen.
Acts 7:51. "You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
But, living in the gospel of Christ brings divine strength and confidence in our everyday lives, conquering the depressing emotions and challenges of life. Romans 1:16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith.