Beginning the Authentic Life – first draft Pt. 5

Posted: September 23, 2013 in Discipleship
Tags: , , , , , , ,

(Part 4 here)

Living in Hope, Faith and Love.

Being a Christian is not, like many religions in the world, assenting to a set of beliefs and following a set of rules. It is a dynamic, living relationship with God. It is knowing the powerful working of the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Father’s purpose for you in making you like His Son.

Jesus said:

‘Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.’ (John 5:24-25)

A little while later he gave a vivid picture of this when he attended the grave of his friend, Lazarus:

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odour, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go”. (John 11:38-44)

What happened here is a picture of what happens to every person who hears the Gospel and trusts Jesus as their only saviour. Lazarus was stone dead. A dead person cannot bring themselves back to life. Likewise, we were spiritually dead; slaves to sin, and completely helpless and unable to revive ourselves spiritually. When the word of Jesus (the Gospel) came to us, the Holy Spirit supernaturally brought us back from the dead, and enabled us to hear, believe and respond to Jesus.

When Lazarus was brought back to life he did not stay lying on the stone slab. A tomb is no place for a living, breathing person, and so, understandably, he came out of the tomb in obedience to Jesus’ call. He as restored to his family and friends, and he would have got on with the active process of living life. In a similar way, spiritual life is active and dynamic. It involves engaging with God and with those around us. It means being participants in the work that the Father is doing in His world.

““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.” (John 5:19-20)

Because Jesus is on about his Father’s business, when we are united with him we share not only his status and relationship with the Father, but we gat involved in what he is doing.

The next three studies unpack what that looks like.

(Part 6 here)

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