Second part of Lesson:
Adolescence in Christ. It Is the Maturing phase.
A classic example of this is the fact that many Christians know better than to walk in an unequal yoke with an unbeliever, and then appears an opportunity to make a business with a person who does not walk with God, on the contrary; he is as far from being equal yoked as possible. Then the person begins to reason within himself, I prayed to God to send me someone, and then this person came. We begin to analyze, this person has everything I need to open a business and is everything else all is in place to work out right; and the person prays and says: “If this is Your Will Lord bless me”. Then he goes and starts the company before listening to God whether he speaks: "yes" or "no". This would be to live in Spirit and to walk in the flesh.
God will never send a person to us in an unequal yoke, for us to partner with them. In Gods’ Word it says: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” 2 Co. 6:14.
In Amos 3:3 we find a question, which is: “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” This verse is not in the Bible just regarding marriage, it also applies to work, partnership and so on. In all areas of life, we must guard ourselves with whom we associate; and in what situation, without consulting God and His Word. When God gives you the peace that surpasses all understanding, is because He approves it. God will never approve something when the Bible says; it is not of God. God cannot contradict Himself.
Let us analyze the context.
In 1 Corinthians 15:29-34 the author enlightens us about the resurrection regarding practical life.
29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?
30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour?
31 I die every day--I mean that, brothers--just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord.
32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."
33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God--I say this to your shame. 1 Co. 15:29-34.
Prior to this passage he says:
“20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.
22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive”.
Teaching to the Corinthians Paul explains: For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man; which is Christ. (1 Co. 15:20-22). In verse 25 He continues to teach that "For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet". Living in the flesh in a way is an enemy of ours, and this one Jesus will also put under his feet. It is impossible to walk perfect and accurately on our own efforts, and whatever causes us to stumble in our life’s’ journey; needs to be put under the feet of Jesus.
We can take all things that surround us or that are in us, captive to the obedience of Christ; everything that hinders us. These enemies to which he is referring here are the ones who fight against the children of God, and he speaks here of the last enemy; that is spiritual death. Death is the last enemy to be defeated by Jesus. Jesus, he fights for us. You see, Jesus had already died on the cross, and ascended to heaven when this was stated by the apostle. This death that he speaks of is a spiritual death of which every human being on this earth is part of, and this death is the last enemy to be defeated when Jesus takes His Church, all His children to heaven. Once we are in heaven we never need to fight this battle again, than it will be over forever; in heaven we will have eternal life.
At the maturing stage, we do have an intimate walk with Christ. The apostle highlights a great truth in this teaching, and he was used by the Holy Spirit of God to admonish us in the truth. In verse 34 he tells us: "Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God--I say this to your shame".
In the King James Version, it says: "Awake to righteousness and sin not." Watch and do not miss the target. Analyzing these two versions, we see that in context God is teaching us to be careful with whom we speak, and how to proceed not to sin. Why does he say that some Christians do not have knowledge of God? Surely because they are still children, mere infants, in their walk with the Lord our God, not having yet learned or understood this fact yet that we need to grow up spiritually as well. As we mentioned before: Our life with God starts as spiritual children, as the Apostle Paul writes to the church in Corinth saying that he could not address them as spiritual but as worldly – mere infants in Christ. He explains to them that he gave them milk, not solid food. In his letters he says to them: for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed you are still not ready. You are still worldly.
When a person’s mindset is still worldly he cannot understand the spiritual lessons contained in the Bible. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?” (1 Co.3:1-3). God uses his Scriptures to admonish us that we must become sober. This is because, we are not aware of the fact that we are asleep or unconscious of the fact that we are acting or walking in accordance of a sinful life; that leads to spiritual death.
"Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God -- I say this to your shame". To come back to your senses in another words is: Becoming sober, indicating that there was a time where we were not sober, or a time where we were not in our senses; as it ought to be. As long as we walk worldly as the apostle names it, we do not have yet the mindset of Christ, and at this time the apostle calls our attention that we must come back to our senses; become sober. Waking up to the fact that once we are in Christ we must begin to think and reason as He taught us to think. This is the stage of childhood and adolescence in the spiritual life with God; receiving knowledge of what the difference is in walking with God or without Him.
According to the Collins COBUILD Dictionary Mindset is: “If you refer to someone's mind-set, you mean their general attitudes and the way they typically think about things”.
So if our general attitudes and the way we typically think is the way were thinking when we still were not in Christ yet; in this case we are worldly. The Apostle asks them: Are you not walking like mere men? Some people after receiving Jesus as their Savior still do not have the knowledge of God; and this he says, is to their shame. He refers to mere men who live according to their general attitudes and thoughts in daily life just the same as prior to coming to Christ. When we are infants in Christ, we conduct ourselves as someone who does not have the maturity in his knowledge of God. Paul says that some people after they become God's children they still walk in their own way, as if they are not aware what God teaches us; he concludes emphasizing that this is to the shame of the person who does so.
God expects from His children that they have thirst and hunger of God's righteousness, word and love; so that we conduct ourselves as spiritual in accordance with the Word of God. It is necessary that each of us "Awake to righteousness and sin not." WE need to have the desire and hunger for the Word of our God, and to learn how to walk worthy of our Him.
While we are in the spiritual maturing phase many times we still speak and walk in the practices prior of knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior. The verse in 1 Jn. 1:7 explains that many still do not have the knowledge of the whole truth. "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanse thus from all sin". Whenever we find the word “if”, it means that there might be a situation that it might not be. It says: but, if we walk in the light.
We ought to walk in the light as God is in the light to see all things as they are patent before the Light, which is Jesus. One of the things that Jesus teaches us and taught his disciples is the fact that if we want to be like Him, we must walk of faith, as He did. Jesus clearly demonstrated that he as the Lord and Savior of the World could have taken over the position as absolute leader; but this was not how He did it. Jesus left us a beautiful example, he had complete power and authority over the entire Universe; and even though being God he subjected himself to a servant’s position. Jesus washed feet, fed the poor, healed the sick, rose the dead, and preached the good news unto all.
According to Collins Dictionary absolute is:
“Adjective: An absolute ruler has complete power and authority over his or her country. He ruled with absolute power.”
Let's read the following passage:
Jesus Washes His Disciples' Feet
1 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.
3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;
4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
7 Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand".
8 "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet". Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me".
9 "Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well"!
10 Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you."
11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them.
13 "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am.
14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.
15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. Jn. 13:1-17.
As we read in this passage: It was just before the Passover Feast. I find it interesting that God makes a point of stating it here that Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Then it says: Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. When I observe Jesus’ life I think He always loved them since the beginning. So, why at this point the emphasis: that having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love? It says there at the supper, He showed them the full extent of his love. Does He mean with this, that He showed how important it is to have this close relationship with Him?
Then John goes on to say that: Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God. Jesus was aware if everything that He was doing, and what was going to go on. He knew what was going to happen the upcoming days. So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. Jesus was an example as well as how we should do things; when we are persecuted, even though we know and are aware that some people mistreat us; we need to submit to God the Father who is in heaven through Jesus Christ all things.
Once you and I have received Jesus into our lives as our Lord and Savior; we do not need to be washed anymore as the whole body. Since Jesus has already washed us, we only need to become clean in areas where we still walk in our worldly custom; when we were not yet in Jesus.
1 Jn. 1:9 it says if we confess our sins He will purify us. It can happen to all of us that we do mistake; and we do. Than we need to be purified, be washed as Jesus washed their feet. In verse 10 Jesus said to Peter: "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you". I believe that in our days not everyone is clean either; Jesus would probably say to us as well; it is necessary that I wash your feet.
As we mature we need to allow Jesus to cleanse our lives. God knows everything that goes on in our lives, in our hearts and therefore we must seek Him so that He can purify us and wash us thoroughly. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose”- Php. 2:13. If we allow God to work in us, He will work according to his good purpose. We learn in every stage which we go through, and God teaches us step by step in His Word.
In every situation we need to learn to leave the childish things behind us; and start to act like adults. “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me”- 1 Cor. 13:11. As long as we are truly infants, we do not have better knowledge; and God does not expects us to act upon something we do not know. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me; says Paul. In our life with God it is expected that we grow up spiritually and we start to act as a grownup person. Every time a sentence starts with the word “when” that means there was an occasion where it was different. Insofar as we achieve knowledge in the Word of God, we learn to walk in love as "God is Love" and not in our selfishness.
The psalmist teaches us this in a very interesting way. He says: Make me know thy ways! "Make me know thy ways, O Lord: teach me thy paths. Lead me in Your Truth and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation, I'm waiting for you all day" - Ps. 25:4-5. Make me know, is an affirmation that expects the other party to do so. God make me know. In my understanding you can only make the person by leading him whether he wants it or not. According to the Collins COBUILD Dictionary: To make means: If you make someone do something, you force them to do it.
So in this case, the psalmist is asking God to force him to know... Teach me... Lead me... I am waiting.... How beautiful it is to pray with the psalmist: Make me know thy ways "God is Love"! "God is love" leads us throughout our journey, and we may be convinced of the fact that God never abandons us, he never leaves us alone. In Hebrews 13:5b we read: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you". So it does not matter where we are, or what circumstance we go through, God is with us, and He makes us know His way, His will.
In the Lord's Service
I greet you in His Love
Copyright 2012/11/26 by: “Ministério Visão de Águias”.
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