Thought for the Week - 31st MarchPastor Gareth Watkins
Romans 8: 10-11
10 Your body will always be dead because of sin.
But if Christ is in you, then the Spirit gives you life,
because Christ made you right with God.
11 God raised Jesus from death.
And if God’s Spirit lives in you, he will also give life to your bodies that die.
Yes, God is the one who raised Christ from death,
and he will raise you to life through his Spirit living in you.
As we come closer to the passion of the Christ, I felt led to write a series on Jesus; who He was and who He is. Jesus Christ is wonderful. The dimensions and the depths of Christ is something we can’t even comprehend. As a man, as God, He is way bigger than we can comprehend.
Last week I wrote about John the Baptist, who announced into the world that this is Jesus, this is the Messiah, and whoever believes in Him as God’s son has eternal life. He announced Jesus to the world. He said that he must decrease, and that this man Jesus, must increase. John, as great a prophet and person as he was, he knew that this man Jesus Christ came into man’s time to become the Christ to us. That’s incredible.
A lot of things go on in time. We’re so busy, going her and there. The news and aspects of human life are going on. But Jesus Christ broke into time. John the Baptist announced it. Mark said it. John said it. John the disciple said it. They spoke about having faith in Jesus Christ as a saviour, as foolish as it would be to the world, they spoke about having faith in Jesus and that faith will find you saved as part of God’s eternal plan.
Last week, I wrote about the finding of Christ as like being finding a treasure – a pearl of great price. Something worth selling all that you have to obtain it. Yet today people don’t seem too sure about their faith, they don’t seem to value their faith. The bible describes it as something of great value and something worth selling everything you’ve earned in your life to obtain this relationship with Christ.
Christ is a wonderful person and God. To possess Christ and to be part of that eternal relationship, in some ways we don’t even know how to understand it.
Isaiah trumpets out incredible words about Jesus, describing Him as the prince of peace, wonderful counsellor, and mighty God. He writes how He will rule for all of eternity (Isaiah 9: 7).
It’s important that we know these facts and are mindful of them as we approach Easter. We must know in our hearts that Christ as the son of God is absolutely incredible. John the Disciple told us that all that receive Him are given rights to become children of God. It’s for all of those who have faith and believe in Him.
It’s an incredible point in our lives when an experience of salvation comes into being within us. We don’t think as we used to, we don’t feel as we used to. We’re knowledgeable that we are His child. We’ve been saved. That is an experience, an inward and spiritual knowledge that God has brought into this time. Jesus Christ has given you something that isn’t just for this time now, but lasts right into eternal. That for me is one of the most central, most wonderful that a soul can ever have; incomparable with any other.
John the Disciple wrote in John 1:1:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
This a verse that stops you still. If we read that passage, we find we have to read it several times. John describes Jesus Christ as the Word. The son of God being part of eternity in the beginning. Nothing in Him that was made that was not made. He’s describing how Christ is part of the Holy Trinity. We have to think of the Trinity, who God is within that Trinity, and who the Holy Spirit is within that Trinity. That verse always stops me because there’s so much in there.
This is one of the parts of who Jesus is. He is part of God.
That separates the true Christian church from other faiths, who don’t separate them out. This part includes Him in the Holiness and the figurehead of God Himself. I always have to rest myself from my own thinking after reading this verse to reflect on what it really means. It’s such a big subject. Jesus is higher than any words or any form of history or any man. He’s bigger than it all. If He was there before time, if He was part of creation, and if He broke into time as a man, then what does He mean to us today?
Jesus is so big. But people are so flippant about Him. They use His name in vain. They use His name as a swear word. But He is the channel of all created activity! He is a part of everything that was made, and everything that will be made. All the universe, stars, plants, bugs, you and me. Jesus was part of all that was made! People are quick to chip away at Him and the devil is happy to help that happen. The devil is happy when something attacks the deity of Jesus Christ, and brings Him down from His exalted position down to a place where man can accept Him.
Christ will never be at that level, unless He wants to bring Himself down there. He’s only down at that level with us on this earth, in His time, because He wanted to be. When He came as a baby that was for Him to choose. After that, He broke into this time, and the world was never the same again. Our destiny depends on this event. How do we relate to Christ breaking into this world?
All of creation recognises Him. The wind and the waves obeyed Him (Mark 4: 35-41). Nature knows Him. When He died, the sun stopped shining (Luke 23: 45). The stars and the elements knew Him. He’s broken into time and yet the natural things recognised Him. He rode into Jerusalem on a new colt. Unridden, it let Jesus ride on Him. The colt recognised who Jesus was and let Him do it. Creation – the elements, the stars, nature and the animals – recognise who Jesus is.
Do we truly recognise who Jesus is?
Our response to who He is does something to our soul that takes us on to eternity. The answer is we either to accept Him as who He is, or we don’t.
Many people would argue. People don’t accept who Jesus Christ is. Lent, for example, is a time for spending time on reflecting. The Anglican Church spend forty days reflecting on fasting, repentance and preparation. It’s a time for self-examination. The early Church used to use this time to prepare people for baptism.
We read in Romans the words “if Christ is in you”. If Christ is in you, this Jesus that we’ve just read about, there will be an effect in your life. What effect does He have in our lives? What effect does He have if He’s not in your life?
If He’s in our lives, we read that something will happen. We read that our body will be dead. We’ll die in a natural sense – our natural life that we would live in a sinful way will stop. What happens then is that the faith that we have will start to begin. That faith that we have will start to bring out an obedience in us, and a new life starts to come in amidst of something that in itself is naturally dead in sin.
Paul says that if Christ is in us, the flesh will be dead (Romans 6). We are alive, but our spirit become alive because of the righteousness given to us by Jesus Christ. The benefits of the believer, if Christ is in them, is that righteousness will be given to them. This righteousness will bring life. The spiritual life of God will come into that person, and they will become alive in a way that couldn’t do in their own way. If Christ.
There’s the question for us all. If Christ.
We are the evidence today of that fact. If Christ be alive, then He is the one who’ll give life to our mortal bodies that will die. That life isn’t only in a physical sense, it’s in a spiritual sense, because as we read:
and he will raise you to life through his Spirit living in you.
Who does the Spirit live in because of Jesus Christ? You. It’s not just the church or the person in charge. It’s the ordinary everyday folk like me and you. The Spirit through Jesus Christ will live in you. Life! The old, sinful life will have to die, but a new spiritual life in God will be born. That life will grow. It’s a wonderful thing for those who are being saved, that new life will come.
Are you finding that life in God? If Christ. If Christ is in you, then there will be a result.
We may still be killing off the old man. We may have to kill off the old man many times. He’ll definitely try to pull us in different directions away from God. We may have to wrestle with him. But eventually, that old man will die away. Praise God for that life – He who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will give us life through that Holy Spirit. It’s a promise of God, through Jesus Christ.
So when people say what point is there in going church and following Jesus Christ, there the answer is. If Christ be in you, He will give you life.
How many people do you meet who are disappointed in their lives? They live shallow lives, and they drift around trying to satisfy themselves in different types of ways. They may be rich or poor, but they’re not satisfied. In Christ there is a new life. This life is given by God Himself. I would promote that for anyone. Many, many people aren’t happy with their lives and would redo their lives given the chance. But here we can find here an answer for that whole subject of why be alive. If Christ is there, there will be a life. An abundant life, a full life, and a blessed life. Many aspects of life because of what Jesus Christ promises to the believer. It starts off with saying, if Christ.
Think on Christ.
He has promised so much to us because of Jesus. He gives life to us, in our mortal bodies and in spiritual terms. He’s given us more than we can think or ask. In 2 Corinthians 4: 16 we read:
16 We don’t give up. Our bodies are becoming weaker and weaker. But our spirits are being renewed day by day.
We do not give up. Those of us who have been on the path a little while, a few years or many years, we don’t give up. When do we stop this life that God has taken us on? We don’t. That is the life of the Christian. We do not give up. If we’ve sinned, we say sorry. If we’ve backslidden, we pick ourselves back up and we follow on after Christ. If we’ve gone on the wrong path, we bring ourselves right under God again and put ourselves back on the right path. God doesn’t leave us in a place where we are lost. We don’t give up.
We follow after the one who has taken us on a path unto eternity. He’s done it for us. He’s showed us the way.
Our physical bodies become older and weaker. But spiritually, this is where Christ comes. He puts something into us through the Holy Spirit, and our spirit is made new every day. Something of God comes in to bring joy, peace, and emanate something of God. We cannot buy that. It’s what God Himself has promised us as Christian believers.
See different aspects of Jesus Christ. Does Christ want more for us in 2019? Yes He does. He wants more from you in 2019 than He had from you in 2018. He wants more again off you, because you’re getting stronger and getting closer to that day.
I want to encourage you to seek Him more, and to desire Him more, and want more of Him. He won’t disappoint you. I don’t know anyone disappointed after finding Christ. The disappointment comes from seeking and finding the things of the world. There’s no satisfaction in the things of the world. This is about stuff that’s eternal and gives you lasting satisfaction. You’ll never be disappointed in Christ. Go on further in following after Him.