Adam is Dead!

20 08 2017

genealogyTracing our genealogies has become all the buzz. It’s even fashionable to give genetic test kits to family and friends. According to Wikipedia, Ancestry.com has become the largest for-profit genealogy company in the world. As of June 2014, the company provided access to approximately 16 billion historical records and had over 2 million paying subscribers. One writer says that genealogy is the second largest hobby in the US behind gardening. (1)

Why all the interest in our “roots”? It may well be part of the overall quest by people to find their true identity and personal meaning. Having an understanding of their lineage seems to offer them understanding as to who they are and why they function the way they do.

From the Bible, we know that all human nature has its origin in the first man Adam. This is why we are often referred to as the Adamic race. As descendants of Adam, we all acquired his “fearful” disposition toward God. Through Adam and his wife’s choice in the garden, he passed on to all succeeding generations that God was hard to know and trust.

But the Bible also says that that Adamic nature has been cut off, ended, killed. (2) It stopped at the cross of Christ. If you want to trace the origin of your human disposition you won’t find it after the Roman crucifixion of Jesus. From that point forward the human race has a new ancestor – Christ. He is the origin of the renewed human nature. The Adam in us is dead and we are now descendants of a new race, the Jesus race. (3)

But, if that is true then why do we still see people acting like their old Adamic ancestor, doubting and living independently of God? Did Christ’s death only change some of humanity? The fact is that All have been changed, made righteous, they just don’t know it!! And, until they know it, they are still under the illusionary bondage of the “dead” Adam.

Let’s start believing the facts about our true dispositional genealogy. We have died with Christ and have all been made alive in Him. We are people of life, not death. Let’s stop trying to “understand” or search out our old Adamic nature and start believing that we are now part of a new, free, alive humanity in Christ.

Be Jesus

(1) Gregory Rodriguez, Time, May 29, 2014
(2) Rom. 5:19, 6:6-8
(3) 1 Cor. 15:22





What is your “CQ”?

30 07 2017

The Apostle Paul’s greatest ambition was to know Christ (Phil. 3:10-11). He had come to realize that nothing compared with personally knowing Jesus, not his family heritage, religious fervor, or any traditions or values of his religious affiliation. Not only did this desire consume Paul but he encouraged us to do the same (v.15).

In our day we pride ourselves on our knowledge of other things such as earthly matters. This is known as our “IQ” or our intelligence quotient. Psychologists are also now measuring people in terms of their emotional quotient, which they call “EQ”. But what we should be seeking to increase is our “CQ”*, our Christ quotient, or our knowledge of Jesus.

In many Christian environments, the quest is for Bible or religious knowledge. Pastors are trained to “expound the word” and people feast over the weekly offering of Biblical truth. But there is a difference between knowing the “letter that kills” and the “Spirit that gives life” (2 Cor.3:6). All of the Bible is meant to reveal Christ, a real, living person (John 5:39). Unfortunately, what we are improving is our Bible or religious knowledge but not the revelation knowledge of Jesus.

It was Paul that also emphasized that Christ is our life (Col.3:4). He also stated that to live is Christ (Phil. 1:21). What more important thing in life can there be than Christ!? And yet, few people, even Christian believers, know Christ as the basis for their existence, their very strength, vitality, and freedom.

Our need is to increase our “Christ Quotient”, our personal revelation of the One who lives in us, as us. The more I speak with men and women about how much they know Jesus, not just how much they know about Him, I realize how much we have overlooked this vital element of our faith. We ask that the Father may give us/you the “Spirit of revelation and knowledge of Him” (Eph.1:17 NKJV). Let’s be consumed with knowing Him.

Dennis

*I realize that there are numerous other meanings of this abbreviation, but I have taken the liberty to suggest its use for this description.

 





Followers or Be-ers?

4 07 2017

Jesus-DiscipleshipFor years men have been challenged to be “followers” of Christ. That imperative is generally taken from the “Great Commission” found in Matt. 28:18-20. But, the total truth of the Gospel is that there is more to the Christian life than just a being a Jesus follower.

When Jesus used the term “follow me” He was speaking to His admirers before His crucifixion and Pentecost. You won’t find the command in the New Testament after Pentecost. Following someone around the Judean landscape was typically what people did when they liked a certain rabbi or teacher. Even after the teacher died they would still practice the teacher’s precepts and principles. Today, many Christians are still doing the same thing, following the teachings of Jesus as though He were a dead person. It’s not unlike any other religion.

The full truth of the Gospel is that, of course, Jesus is not a dead guy! He rose again and now after coming in the Spirit lives in every believer who has received Him. They are not just followers of His external teachings or commands but are living by the internal, spiritual expressions of Christ Himself. They are not trying to be like Jesus, or do things like He would have (WWJD), they are the very vessels of His life and glory. Plus, in view of the fact that all have died with Him on the cross, we exist or live not as our old selves but as Him (Gal.2:20).

Jesus never intended that people would just be His followers but be His temples, containers, and branches through which He would live out His life. This is the mystery of the Gospel, Christ IN us, not apart from us (Col. 1:27). We are no longer just followers of Jesus, we are “be-ers” of Him, living His life as He expresses Himself through us.

Be Jesus, not just His follower.





Do you really want to know Jesus?

26 05 2017

Phil 3-7

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. What is most important, your personal well being or knowing the person of   Christianity?

2. Are you concerned more about the things of your life or knowing the person who is your life?

3.  Are you trying to be a good person or trusting in the goodness of Christ?

4.  Are you anxious for your future or resigned to the future of Christ in you?

See Paul’s answers in Phil. 3: 7-11





Is there more to salvation than “getting saved”?

26 04 2017

iStock_000007201305XXLargeOne of the primary aims of evangelical Christianity has been for people to “get saved”. It’s been the purpose of evangelistic meetings, crusades, and Sunday morning sermons. People are invited to repent of their sins, seek God’s forgiveness and then receive the free gift of eternal life. The message is that unless you do these things your chances of winding up in hell after death are pretty good.

While this message is essentially true it has greatly confused one’s understanding of what salvation is all about. There is more to becoming “ok” with God than clicking off the boxes, following certain steps of repentance and confession or performing a series of disciplines. It is more than having your ticket punched for heaven or a get-out-of-hell card. Read the rest of this entry »





Where is God when I need Him?!

7 04 2017

hqdefaultPerhaps you have experienced this frustration with God, “I have asked and asked and I don”t get any answers. Where is God when I need Him?!” All of our Christian lives we have been taught how to pray to a God we are told is full of love and grace. We are told that we can ask Him and He will gladly help us. But, then, why at times doesn’t He seem to answer?

The faith teachers say that the answer is in knowing how to properly ask in faith. If we only had enough faith we would receive more from God, they say. Still, others tell us that it’s a matter of simply trusting that God’s seeming denials are actually His way of testing us or helping us develop patience. We just need to love Him more by total submitting to His will.

But there is a much deeper issue in place here having to do with the understanding of our basic existence. Read the rest of this entry »





Have you seen God lately?

27 03 2017

the-shackoctavia

The movie, The Shack, has touched thousands of people with emotional healing, redemption, and forgiveness. It has also helped restore people’s trust in a loving and caring God. But at the same time, it has also opened up a multitude of questions about our conventional understanding of God and the Trinity. As a result, there has been no lack of criticism and warnings that the film should be considered heresy, even though it is only a fictional story.

The debate mostly centers on who God is or how He (or She?) should be perceived. But that overlooks the bigger question. Read the rest of this entry »








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