Pretend for a moment that you know nothing about Jesus Christ, and have heard nothing, and have read nothing from any Christian church or ministry. You overhear me talking about Jesus, and you ask, “Who is Jesus?” Without saying a word, I hand you a piece of paper containing five verses of Scripture…
Christ & The Kingdom of God
“Jesus will not change Who He is to accommodate your thinking; He will change your thinking to accommodate Who He is.” – Chip Brogden
Demonstrating a victory that is already won is quite different from wrestling to achieve an uncertain outcome. There is an elegance and simplicity connected to preeminence. This is something God wants us to experience for ourselves.
When He tried to hide Himself, He could not be hidden. I want you to think about that. When God was ready to reveal Him then He could not be hidden. He could not even hide Himself. I tell you, this idea of Christ increasing is the most powerful reality in this universe! Nothing can stand before it, nothing can resist it, nothing can stop it.
God is not moving backward, but in the Son and through the Son, He moves steadily forward. Christ MUST increase. Just as we cannot have gravity without having the law of gravity, so it is impossible to have the Life of the Lord but not have the Law of that Life. And the Law of Life is that Christ must increase.
Christ is revealed or hidden from men as He so desires. So many professed disciples of the Lord Jesus fail to recognize Him. The Lord tells them to go to Galilee, but they go to Emmaus. Many people sitting in church would not discern the Lord Jesus if He walked up the aisle and sat down on the altar.
It should be obvious that Paul is talking about something other than a physical crucifixion and a physical death, burial, and resurrection. Although he says, “I was crucified with Christ” he does not mean that he was present with Christ in the flesh at the moment of crucifixion; instead, he intends to show us something much more profound.
As we grow out of infancy and begin to wrestle with the deeper questions and issues of the Christian faith we will learn to say, I know WHY I believe. The ultimate experience, however, is to be brought to a place where we can say with confidence, I know WHOM I believe. Knowing WHAT is a beginning. Knowing WHY is progress. Knowing WHO is maturity.
Some Christians think they have to have the right book or the right man of God or the right formula or the right church or the right this or that before they can be victorious. My friend, you already have all the resources you need to live a victorious Christian life. Trust in His Life, yield to it, rest in it, revel in it, rejoice in it!
Christ is a deep well in which every spiritual blessing and treasure can be found, but we need something with which to draw upon those depths and bring them up to the surface so we can partake of them. How can we draw upon those depths?
The branch who abides in the Vine does not have to know how it abides. So long as it abides, it shares in the Life of the Vine. It does not have to ask how it works, and it does not have to be concerned with producing the fruit. It does nothing but abide, and the Life of the Vine keeps it.
So many times I do something thinking it is Good, thinking it is really Spiritual and Holy and Pure, but it results in Death. It is Death because it is “me” doing it. For many years that was the way I pursued the ministry. I was very busy doing things for God, and of course I thought I was a good, spiritual person. But I am in the flesh whenever “I” am doing anything apart from Jesus.
There is something more significant to be seen in Mary who sits at the feet of Jesus versus Martha who is “much serving.” Jesus is not contrasting service and worship and saying that worship is better. No, Jesus is contrasting “many things” with “one thing.”