Christ is our all-in-all. When will we begin living like it’s a reality rather than just a concept?
1 My child, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you;
Yesterday, we discussed the Beatitudes and how the first half of each one is about Christ and the second half is about us in Christ. “Each blessing describes our participation in the resurrection life of Christ–the life of the age to come as it breaks into our lives now.”* The Beatitudes point to Christ and our life in Him. “They are Jesus’ version of the fruit of the Spirit and signs of the Spirit-filled life.”*
- We learn that we bring nothing to the table spiritually. We become humble.
- We learn that there is a balm for our “wretchedness, miserableness, poorness, blindness, and nakedness” (Revelation 3:17). He comforts us with His presence. It’s part of our humility.
- We learn to be meek and gentle. Again, it’s part of our humility.
- We learn to be hungry and thirsty for the right things. We are satisfied.
- We learn to treat people as we want to be treated: With mercy.
- We learn to look for God and nothing else (it’s hard to do, but we’re learning). The more focused our vision, the clearer we see God.
- Peacemaking happens when we quit fighting fire with fire. Instead, we hold out forgiveness and an olive branch of peace to those who are trying to fight with us. It’s how we are most like Christ (think “cross”).
- Being persecuted for His name’s sake means that we are, indeed, citizens of the kingdom of heaven.
The Beatitudes also speak of our glorification:
- Ours is the kingdom of heaven (in us).
- We are comforted by the Holy Spirit.
- We will inherit the earth as the Church fills it up.
- Our hunger and thirst for righteousness will be satisfied in Jesus.
- We have received mercy!
- We will see God!!!
- We are called His children.
- Great is our reward in heaven (the kingdom of God–which is in us).
We usually refer to glorification as the last step in salvation (we are made new creations), sanctification (we are being made into the image of Jesus), and then glorification (we receive our glorified bodies in the kingdom). But, it’s not the only use of the term. Romans 8:30 says, “and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” Taking the sum of the Beatitudes, we become like Jesus when they are manifested in our lives. Bradley says, “Rather, glorification by the Holy Spirit is humility, meekness and mercy. Glorification turns worldly power on its head with a force more powerful: self-giving, cruciform (which means, “cross-like”) servant-love.”*
To summarize, “The whole Sermon is a finger pointing to Abba’s love, made resident by the Spirit in human nature and manifest in Christ and his followers. The [early Christian] Fathers go so far as to say that we will become by Grace what Christ is by nature…”*
Abba, becoming like Jesus is my highest goal–it’s my only goal! If I am like You, then I know that I will mature, whole and complete (the definition of being perfect). I know I can only do it by following You and allowing You to transform me day by day, even moment-by-moment. Thank You once again for inviting me to share in the Fellowship of the Trinity. Amen.
*Bradley Jersak, “A More Christlike Way,” pages 151, 153, 154, 155