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Glory to God!
As a Kingdom community that is called to be a spiritual, relational, maturing, healing, generous, outward-focused, serving, creative and multiplying church, we are seeing how essential it is that we live Christ-centred lives - lives that depend on Jesus, live for Jesus and are governed by Him to be Christ-like. The believer's goal, therefore, is to be Christ-like, since, "Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did" (1 John 2:6).
Yesterday, Richard spoke to us about how we can live Christ-like lives by avoiding the Jesus Diet and living the Jesus Life. You can listen to the message here. This is what Richard showed us:
- Diets have a temporary goal and are externally motivated - one follows a set of instructions (external influence) for a short period of time (temporary). Diets might help for a short term solution but usually fail long-term!
- A long-term goal of being healthy, for example, requires an internal motivation - one desires to be healthy (internal influence) one's whole life (long-term).
- Colossians 2:20-23 describes the Jesus Diet that inevitably fails because the motivation is external and is based on rules and regulations for trying to be like Jesus.
- Colossians 3:1-17, however describes how the believer can be internally motivated to accomplish the long-term goal of living like Jesus.
- The process of learning to be Christ-like begins with repentance.
- Repentance involves both a decsion to "cut off" what is harmful to one (and offensive to God) and a renewal of the mind according to the realities of heaven - the reality of the believer's new life in Christ.
- Paul describes the realities of heaven in Colossians 3:1-17:
Position: We have been raised to new life in Christ in heavenly places –
“You have been raised to new life in Christ.” 3:1
Entitlement – we have access and authority in Christ.
Identity: We have a new life in Christ –
“Your real life is hidden with Christ in God.” 3:3
“God chose you to be the holy people he loves.” 3:12
“For as members of one body you are called to live in peace.” 3:15
“And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus.” 3:17
Existence – we come into being as new creations in Christ.
Life: Christ is our life –
“Christ, who is your life.” 3:4
Empowerment – we live in dependence on Christ for life.
Hope: The hope of glory –
“And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.” 3:4
Expectation – we live from the hope that is ours in Christ.
Knowledge of God: the knowledge of God renews our minds
“Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.” 3:10
Encounter – we grow in our knowledge of God as we encounter Him.
- When our internal reality changes, then our outward behaviour and life will change.
- We cannot change on the outside what has not been changed internally!
- When the realities of heaven become real to us, we will put on Christ and live as Christ did.
We praise God for revelation of the realities of heaven; for the position, identity, life, hope and knowledge of God we have in Christ! Hallelujah!
12.04 - Bengt Wedemalm @ KLF
03.04 - Good Friday Reflection - a time to get together for worship, communion and reflecting on the power of the cross @ Leipzigerstr.60