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A man by the name of Lee Strobel was an investigative journalist in Illinois in the 1980’s. Lee was an atheist when his wife converted to Christianity and he took on a journey of investigating the claims about Christ to find out if his wife was not under some kind of spell or influence. At age 29, prompted by his investigation that took him to many cities and historical monuments and the Bible itself, Mr.Strobel became a Christian through conviction and later pastored a small church in Illinois, hosted a television show and lives a life of ministry to this day in his 70’s. He is the one whose story inspired the movie ‘The Case for Christ’.

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. John 6:43-45

Salvation is the act of willingly welcoming Christ into our hearts, acknowledging his sacrifice and its meaning and following him in obedience and without counting the cost. Many people, even believers, think that it is something that can be achieved when the person desires it which is contrary to our theme scripture above. John echoes the words of Christ telling us that unless the Father himself brings us to the Son, there can be no willingness in us. The prophet Jeremiah tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure and indeed it is so because we recount that the very people whom Jesus walked with, ate with, healed, taught, were the very same crowd screaming crucify him, crucify him! Jesus says that those who have heard the Father, and learned from Him, come to Christ. There is an implication of first hearing, then learning then lastly, coming to Christ. This answers the question around whether God speaks.

Suppose you hear a faint sound of fireworks being shot, a retired soldier with PTSD might get into panic thinking the same shots you heard could be gunshots and it is justified according to his experience. It makes both of you right because the sound your mind has interpreted is only that which is familiar. It is the same with the voice of God, a spirit that is completely oblivious of the existence of God will always find a way to box everything supernatural into coincidences, karma, luck and all other things that ‘science’ has been able to justify. Separating God from the supernatural is implying that God is not who He says He is: omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, all knowing, and all other attributes we know of The Father and inevitably missing the chance to hear Him.

The Essence Of Relationship With God Through Christ

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:17-19

The man that has heard God and learned from Him, immediately becomes a new creature and has no reason to drag around the shame and guilt sin brings to the believer. Many of us hear these words so often but they might sound so vague to those who are still growing in the things of the spirit and become discouraging for these individuals to run the race of faith. When the Bible talks about ‘all things’, Paul implies that everything and anything, anyone and every place, any thought and any deed, all these things must take abode within the person of Christ and only then can they be made perfect. For example, there is no direct relationship existing in this world apart from Christ, not parents and children, not husband and wife, not soil and seed and all that you can imagine. Throughout the scriptures, the gospels of Mark, Luke, John and Matthew we hear Jesus say words like ‘let the dead bury the dead (Luke 9:60), if anyone loves the father and mother more than me they are not worth being called mine (Matthew 10:37), if anyone loves the world the Father’s love is not in him (1 John 2:15) and what does Christ mean by this? Christ is the human incarnation of God. This is the first reality that we must acknowledge in order to understand this mystery.

In becoming flesh, He could not count equality with God a thing to be grasped (Phil 2:15) because his human body gave him physical limitations and natural human needs that God on his throne and majesty does not have. But every other attribute about Christ, is perfect in all its entirety and points to love, which is God (see previous article on the love of God). That is why you cannot claim to love anyone, not your child, not your spouse, not your life, not the poor, not even your business if you have not loved Christ first and let him take full presence in you. Jesus lived on earth poor, yet He never lacked anything. He was born of a woman and parented by both Mary and Joseph, He never disrespected nor disobeyed them but He always put God first even before his parents. He prayed for the people that visibly loathed him even as He was hanging on a cross and could have decided to curse at them at last but He chose to finish the purpose for which He was brought to this earth and obeyed God (Matthew 16:39). Therefore, if you love Christ you must allow Him to be like a filter to sieve through anything that can cause you to fall into idolatry, manipulation or obsession and love for material things.

Perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18) and Christ is perfect love, and with Him as a filter, He straightens your love to be sacrificial, forgiving, patient, holding no grudge, kind, putting the other first, making you less conflictual, mindful of what you say to the other etc. This also means, there is no problem if Christian born again believers become wealthy in possessions and successful in their businesses because this wealth does not become the definer of their fate, Christ is, and from his fullness have we all received. It also means that we could have no divorces because every spouse would be mindful not to be impatient, unkind, unloving, holding grudges, selfishness etc. It inevitably implies that no parent would abandon their child, or feel like they do not desire them, or disown them for any mistake they can ever make because love forgives all things.

Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. Mark 11:14

The cussing of the fig tree is a fascinating story in scripture that reminds us of the initial dominion given unto man in Genesis, whereby he was given the beast of the world to name, the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky. It shows us that initially God had intended for all things present in the world to serve man, not the other way around. Jesus, although walking in the human body, does not subscribe to the fallen understanding you and I have that we must tend to the ground for it to serve us. He turns to a tree with divine and undoubtable knowledge that this tree He turned to must have what he needs (figs) at the moment, and the tree did not have what the Son of God needed in that moment. The Son of God, who is Lord over the man and the tree and the beast and the birds cusses the tree because it failed to fulfill its duty but most importantly because Jesus did not have the mind of a fallen man. Think about it as a servant failing to obey an order given by his master, is he not dismissed? It is the same as Jesus cursing the fig tree for it failed to serve its master. Therefore, if our love for the ground and its seed is not well directed, the ground itself will fail to respond to us because there is nothing in us (Jesus) that they revere.

His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church), [That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him. Ephesians 4:12-13

In conclusion, Christ is the only point of connection standing between God and every other thing in the world and in the heavens. Christ is the standard of what man should be, live, speak, walk, talk, act, think, do, obey, serve and love like in order to have reached perfection. Christ is the human model through which every believer should aspire to follow, to study, to understand, to mimic, to look to, to be complete. Christ is whom the church should look to, welcoming everyone, having no material gains, excluding no man or woman or child, serving every one with the same respect and patience, standing firm in the face of politics and authority while respectfully doing so, being gentle with the meek, hard as rock with the arrogant and patient with the foolish. Once this has been understood, it will be achieved, and the King shall return. This is how desperately in need of Christ, we are.

If you have never given your life to Jesus Christ, and you feel that this is the perfect time, pray this prayer:

“Lord Jesus, I thank you because you died for my sins and you were raised for my glory. Today, I receive you as my Lord and Savior. I am born again. Amen.”

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