"Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
|I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
Christianity in our churches is not unique, but it is diverse. There are religious, spiritual, fake and false Christians. People who follow tradition, ceremonies, and sentiment are religious. Most Christians prefer themselves to be known as spiritual Christians. But, the spirit world is as real as material world, to spiritual Christians. Those who have a little touch in the spirit world are spiritual babies. They must grow. Spiritual people are very small in number among Christians. But, if we take a poll, we may find them as the majority, since every Christian like to be known as spiritual, even if they do not have a spirit from God in them. These group of Christians are fake Christians. False Christians are those who do not believe in God, or may not believe many things about God, may not believe the Bible, and so on, but put up a show as if they are for God and for the church. Here we saw four group of Christians. They are religious, spiritual, fake, and false Christians. Here, we will study how to become a spiritual Christian. Let us study it from the Bible, with understanding, and with patience.
History says that Jesus was crucified 2000+ years ago. The Bible says that Jesus was raised from his death in three days, ascended to heaven, was made Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36), and was anointed as God (Hebrews 1: 8-9). So, the Lord Jesus Christ is God for the last 2000+ years. But, the word of God also says that his death (Revelation 13:8) and his resurrection (John 17:24) has happened from the foundation of the world, (as a continuous act) until the end of the world, as if, it is happening now. Let us study this spiritual phenomenon and apply it to us.
Acts 3:26 says "Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." Ephesians 1:19-20 says "19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places," Here, 'God the Father' has sent him to us (so, Jesus Christ is with us), as well as he has seated Jesus on his own right hand in heavenly places (so, Jesus Christ is with God also, at the same time). It is possible because Jesus Christ is now in the Spirit and he is God (so, he is omnipresent). But, look at this verse: Ephesians 2:6 says, "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" See, it says that God has raised us (a few Ephesians) and seated them also in Jesus Christ in heavenly places, as they are live on earth. How could these Ephesians live in this world and at the same time sit in heavenly places? This is because, they were born again and have received the holy spirit in them. As they (soul) follow their spirit (it is holy spirit), this spirit will be seated with Christ in the heavenly places, as they are on the earth. So, it is spiritual reality that these Ephesians are seated with Christ in heavenly places, as they live on earth. So, they are spiritual Christians. It is the true spirituality. We can also be in heavenly places, in the same way as these Ephesians were there.
Can we also become spiritual Christians? In John 3:6-7 Jesus Christ says: "6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." When we are born to our parents, we are born of the flesh. When God gives us the Holy Spirit to be a part of us, we are born of the spirit, or born again. Then we are flesh, soul and spirit. If our soul follow the spirit, but not the flesh, then we are spiritual. For more details, you may click on this link and study the article. Link is: "born again".
In general, people like to receive precious things for free, even from God. But, nobody can cheat God, or exploit God. But, preachers pretend that they are agents of God and make deals with Christians. These preachers are false agents, as in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, and they exploit men. Sure enough, Christians end up with pieces of colored glass, and think that they got high caliber diamond. 'God' advises them to check what they have got and tells them to reconcile with God, before it is too late. Colossians 3:1 says, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." If they are risen with Christ!, but they cannot be risen until they die with him. If it is done, they can sit with him and see heavenly things. Then, God tells them to love the things on heaven, but not the things on Earth. Do you see the things in heaven? What are they? Do you love them? If you love them, then verses 3&4 are in play. "3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." If they are really dead to sins, then their life will be in Christ, and they will be in the rapture. If you are not dead to sins, but dead in sins, the advise is to kill the body of sin with the spirit of God. "5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:" Usually preachers say that God hates sins, but he loves sinners. This is the lie of the devil. But, God's wrath is upon sinners. If you have unrepented sins, God hates you. "6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:" God hates disobedience, it is sin. So, obey God. This is the true price for the precious heavenly things. If we check and correct ourselves, then we will no more be fake Christians.
Revelation 13:8 says "... the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Even though Jesus was crucified 2000+ years ago, God says in his word that he was slain from the foundation of the world. So, the crucified Jesus belongs even to the Old Testament. In other words, Jesus is being crucified for our spiritual access, any day from the beginning to the end of the world. Along with his death, his resurrection is available to us. If we unite ourselves into his death, God has united us simultaneously in his resurrection. Romans 6:3-8, says "3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:" So, let us mortify our old man (body) of sin, immerse or baptize or bury it with Jesus so that our sins are destroyed. If we have united our sins into his death and burial, God will raise us (our spirit) with Jesus Christ and we will live with him in heavenly places, simultaneously. So even though Jesus has died 2000 years ago, because of the universality of his death, burial, and resurrection that is presented to us, we can die to sins and unite ourselves with him. If we have done this, it is our spiritual reality.
Colossians 2:11-13 say, "11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;" Let us notice a few points in these verses. 1) They were living in the sins. 2) Jesus Christ has cut the body of the sins and discarded it, (God convicted, they repented, and Jesus Christ turned them from sins). It is also called buried in baptism (immersion). 3) Now, since they allowed God to destroy their sins (buried in baptism), God has raised them from death with Jesus Christ. 4) God has forgiven their past sins, since now they do not sin anymore, according also to Romans 3:25, "God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;"
Ephesians 2:1,5&6 say, "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" Again, people who are in sin and trespasses are dead people to God. Those, who are raised with Jesus Christ, are saved. They are made to sit with Jesus Christ in heavenly places. It is spiritual reality, but not an empty cliché. Now, many 'stray Christians' with an intention to show off, use this cliché, that "they are in Christ", but in reality they are not. So, they are fake. How do we know the difference between the real and the fake? Ask them whether they were, OR, they are in trespasses and sins? If they are still in trespasses and sins, then they are fake, because God has not quicken them from death and so they are not (saved) in Christ. Let us also see the verses between 1&5: "2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." Their previous life was: "they were in sin and they had fellowship with sinners." But not now. If this change had not happened in their life, they are not in Christ, so they are fake, and they lie.
2 Corinthians 4:7-11: "7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;" Apostles went through much tribulations and persecution and they endured them happily. How was it possible? 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. The secret is that they were always united with the death of Jesus and so the resurrected Jesus Christ was always united with their physical body. So, they were living as Jesus Christ lived. So, it is the real spirit life of Jesus Christ, and they were true spiritual Christians. Those who do not have the spirit are not spirituals, but are fakes.
Jesus Christ told his disciples to pick up their own crosses and to follow him. "Matthew 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." A disciple may loose his mortal life, but he will gain eternal life. But if a man has gained the whole world, but if he has lost his soul in hell, he lost it all. The more we loose for the sake of Jesus, the more we gain according to what we have lost in the kingdom of God and it will be eternal.
But, how can we die for Jesus Christ? We are all born of the flesh, so we all live for the things of the flesh, or for the things of the world and, we will all die. But, those who are born (of the spirit) again, are lead by the spirit. "Romans 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness." This spirit leads them to the things he sees in heaven, but not towards the thing on earth. So, they actually sacrifice their worldly life for the heavenly life, as Romans 8:35-37 say, "35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Someone may even kill them, Or, the spirit may lead them to mortify their body of sin, and in both cases we will become the sons/daughters of God. Romans 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
One most important thing is that we must be the children who walk in truth. There are so many fake Christians claim that they are in Christ. But if we say that we are in Christ, then we must walk as he walked. Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 1 John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. So, we must be honest and tell the truth. If we are in Christ, the proof is, we will live like Christ.
We saw that the death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is presented to people from the foundation of the earth to the end of this world, so that we may join him by dying to our body (flesh) of sin, so that God may raise us from death with Jesus for us to live in the spirit with Christ, so that we may not sin again. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. … 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: So, let us be dead to sin, and live in Christ. "2 Timothy 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:"
I will reply promptly.Thanks.
God Bless You