Reflections on the Christian Life
Reflections on the Christian Life
The first thing about the Christian life is that you need to have a first-hand experience of Christ. It is possible for Christians to hold on to Scripture, and yet not know Christ. It is possible for many to believe, falsely, that they are the children of God, because they endorse certain creeds or beliefs, or have signed a decision card, or mentally accepted certain truths about Christ. The Jews who followed in Christ (because of His miracles) believed in Christ, John 8:30, 31. But their lack of the revelation of Christ, their lack of an immediate first-hand experience of Christ, and their clinging to tradition and second-hand truths led them to almost stone Christ, John 8:59.
In John's Gospel we see the contrast between true faith and false faith. Read John 2:23-25. These people believed in Jesus' miracles, but their hearts were not changed. In John 6:66, many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him, because His words exposed their hollow beliefs. They were not willing to be set free from sin, self, and empty religion. They would not, could not, face the truth about themselves. No wonder our Lord uttered such terrible and scathing words to them in John 8:44. "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do."
Luke 8:14. What chokes the word of God from bearing fruit in our lives? Weeds and thorns. Our heart has other 'seeds' (other desires) in it, that sprout up as weeds and thorns. We are obsessed with earthly cares & worries; we focus too much on temporal
& material things. Our Lord said, 'Seek ye first the kingdom of
God.' Matt 6:33. We harbor secret desires for riches and pleasures. Our mind is
set on earthly things; our belly seeks self-satisfaction. Phil 3:19. No wonder the word of God is choked in our lives. That is why the Spirit of God uses the cross to empty us, to weed out all these fleshly desires, and to keep us focused on Christ.
If one is 'in Christ', he will live above the world and in the heavenly places. The earth may be covered with storms, but about the clouds the sky is clear and the sun is shining. We need to rise above our troubles, by learning to wait upon the Lord. If we wait upon the Lord, we shall renew our strength; we shall mount up with wings like eagles. Isaiah 40:31. How important it is to have communion with Christ, through meditating on His word and spending time in prayer! The effect of peace and tranquillity in the heart is immediate.
Our communion with Christ is suggested by the stones in a building, all standing together. That speaks of our communion with fellow-believers. The entire building stands upon the foundation, and that foundation is Christ. Taking another image, our communion is seen in the branches holding on to the True Vine; that speaks of a communion of life. We see fellowship and communion in the different members of the body all knit together, all working in harmony. That speaks of a healthy and harmonious assembly of believers. But the best image of communion is seen in the marriage union of husband & wife; that speaks of Christ & His Bride. It is the intimate union of love. There is one more picture - seen in the union of the Father and the Son, a divine unity which God seeks to realizes with every individual believer and with the Body of Christ.