Friday, May 16, 2014

FROM HERE TO MATURITY. The rest of the gospel

Read I John 2:12-14

I hope almost all believers want to become mature Christians.  In John's first letter he talks about three kinds of Christ-followers: children, young men and fathers.  Children need rules.  They need to know that they are loved and they need to be told what to do.  Spiritual children are similar.  They need to know what the rules are and they need to learn the consequences of disobeying.  But they understand that they are loved and forgiven.  The one basic thing they come to understand is God is on their side(Christ for me).

Young adults(I' making the term inclusive) are discovering who they are and they are realizing that they have power to do things.  They can make most of their own decisions, drive a car, vote, solve their own problems, and many other things.  Spiritual young adults  are finding out that they have great power in prayer and in spiritual warfare.  They can tell the devil to get lost!  They are beginning to see that Jesus is not only for them, he is also in them.  In the fullness of the Holy Spirit they can exercise His gifts.  They realize that the power within them is God Himself(Christ in me).

Parents("fathers" and mothers) have a perspective on life that lets them know that there are times of difficulty but things usually turn out OK.  Parents enjoy intimacy--an intimacy that can result in children.  Spiritual parents have wonderful intimacy with God the Father.  They know that, while life can have its problems, God is in charge and is working things out for our and His best.  Parents have an eternal perspective.  They have found that knowing God and producing more spiritual children is what life is all about.  They also know that having children also involves rearing children.  These parents are the mature Christians.  They know that the Lord's purpose for them is to express Himself in and through them(Christ as me).

The only authentic life is the one that Jesus lives in and through us.  Yes, I am forgiven.  Praise the Lord!  Yes I have great power available to me.  Praise the Lord!  But bearing fruit is the goal for all of us and that can only come as He lives and loves through me.  Out of a wonderful intimacy with the Father I come to allow Christ(who dwells in me by the Holy Spirit) to be my life--in all of life. 

I am meant to be a container of Christ.  "We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the surpassing greatness of the power may of God and not of me." (II Cor. 4:7)  He is my life!  The expression of life is His life in me. ("I am the Life")  He lives in me and desires to live through me.  "I am crucified with Christ, never-the-less I live, yet not I 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 gave Himself for me."  (Gal. 2:20)  That Life is maturity.

The gospel(good news) is that I can't live the Christian life.  Only God can.  And He wants to live it in and through me. 

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