The Key to Experience Christ
The Biggest Obstacle to Following Christ
Mark 7 through 8 unveils some very basic principles of pursuing a genuine spiritual life in Christ. They all involve a common theme—getting away from our daily routine to experience the reality of Christ. Are you ready?
This nine part series has shown the key principles in experiencing Christ. In this final section, the Lord Jesus reveals the ultimate obstacle to the experience and enjoyment of the reality of Christ----it is OURSELVES! Some people love themselves. Some people abhor themselves. Most of us are somewhere in between, realizing that we are a composition of Good and Evil. Let us read:
“He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He spoke to them openly. Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But he, turning around, and seeing his disciples, rebuked Peter, and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you have in mind not the things of God, but the things of men.” (Mark 8:31-33)
Christ not Religion
Peter symbolizes us: we have good religious ideas, and bad ideas. Peter really thought he was helping Jesus out with his suggestion. But Jesus shocked him by revealing his idea was actually of the evil one.
It is interesting that the first story in the Bible is about mankind placed before two trees: the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen 2:9). This signifies God’s eternal purpose was for us to partake of Him as Life. But instead we chose the other tree, which gave us knowledge of Good and Evil instead. Ever since then we are confronted with this daily truth: we are a composition of good and bad, virtues and vices. Religion serves to expose and condemn the evil in us, and to cultivate the good things of humanity.
Jesus Christ is completely different than religion. He is the TREE of LIFE for us to live by today. If you are a believer in Christ, Christ as the Spirit now indwells you. But to live according to Him, we must deny ourselves daily, which means denying both Good and Evil, allowing His Spirit to crucify ourselves, as Paul wrote: “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me.” (Gal 2:20)
How to Experience Christ Daily
Let’s read what Jesus said next:
"He called the multitude to himself with his disciples, and said to them, “Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake and the sake of the Good News will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? For what will a man give in exchange for his life? For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man also will be ashamed of him, when he comes in his Father’s glory, with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38)
To follow Jesus we must deny our self, with the good and the evil. The only way to do that is to learn of the Christ who lives in us. He is the Spirit in our spirit, and to contact Him daily as our morning nourishment, light, cleansing, speaking, and enjoyment will strengthen our inner man. Then during the day we will be empowered to live by Christ, not ourselves. As Paul wrote:
“those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace;” (Rom 8:5-6)
To set your mind on the flesh is to be like Peter: thinking and responding to his own ideas, which come from the tree of good and evil. To set our mind on the Spirit is to enjoy Christ as the Tree of Life, which gives us life and peace. Pursue such as life today!