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By the Spirit–Part Two

 

I truly believe that you will never know who you are until you know who the Father is. But you will never know who the Father is until you walk in the identity of the Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus declared this truth Himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me.” (John 14:6) Jesus didn’t say that no one gets to heaven but by Him. He said no one gets to the Father. Heaven isn’t the point or the goal…the Father is. And Jesus declared that He was the way to the Father. He is the truth—the fullness—of who the Father is. And He is the life…both the life that was sacrificed to redeem us to the Father, and the life we unite ourselves with in covenant with the Father.

God is love, and everything that He has done has been done because of love. Unity with Christ is the way into that love. He is the full expression of the Father’s love, and the life we live out experiencing that love.

Knowing the Father’s love is about knowing (uniting with) Jesus. Because as Jesus said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” (John 14:9) But herein is our disconnect: We haven’t seen Jesus…at least not physically. So, how then can we know the Father? How will we know His love? The answer to this is still, “Through the Son”…but…by the Spirit. And Jesus even said that this was a better way. (John 16:7) Instead of looking upon the Son, or upon God on top of the mountain, we are learning who Christ is and being transformed into His image by the very Spirit of God inside of us.

Look at it this way: It is the Spirit that searches and reveals the depths of God. (1 Corinthians 2:10-14) It is this same Spirit by which we are adopted as sons and daughters. (Romans 8:15) And it is this same Spirit that works through us to accomplish infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)

Now, there is a practical point that I am trying to get to. It is my singular purpose to help you know the Father’s heart towards you…that you would know your identity in Christ and live it out so that God’s love is perfected in you, as well as through you into others. I want you to walk in God’s power and love, and daily bring it to others. But here’s the thing: If you try to perform as the Son in order to get to the Father, you will only live in condemnation and failure…or arrogance. Because living by performance is not living by the Spirit. Living by the Spirit is trusting the Father’s heart—that He already loves you. He already desires you, and wants to draw you deeper into intimacy with Him. When you embrace this fact, you will understand that following the Spirit in order to become like Christ is in itself a mutual act of love. And in this place, you will reach out to others—you will step out in audacious faith—because of the Father’s love, and not for it.

-JG-

 

3 thoughts on “By the Spirit–Part Two Leave a comment

  1. Heaven is truly the reward, not the point. I agree with you on that. God gives us a reward to look forward to, he gives us a grandiose vision of Heaven in its majesty and it is OK to want to be in Heaven, but God the Father is the far greater reward. It is difficult to look forward to spending time with the Father, because we can’t grasp how truly special the relationship is!

    I know this is an off-topic thought, but I have heard before that we as Christians are not supposed to look forward to Heaven, that we aren’t supposed to be doing things to earn rewards in Heaven, but if that were the case, why did God describe the great rewards that are to come? Looking forward to Heaven pushes us further toward knowing God, looking forward to Heaven only magnifies God’s brilliance and power, looking forward to Heaven makes us more expectant of the coming of our King. Perhaps God’s full intention was to do these things!

    Back on-topic! You speak of “living in the Spirit” but often times I think that this is a Christian buzz-phrase. It sounds great! It should be our goal! But… how do you do that? What does it mean to “Live in the Spirit”? I can give you my own understanding of it, but I want to know what you think the Bible means by it. I hope that further posts answer that question.

    Outside of that, I agree with what you have said fully. We ought to develop our identities in the Spirit, such that we prepare our souls to be with the Father and the Son.

    Always speak out in Jesus’ name, good word Jarrad.

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    • Thanks for your thoughts. I don’t mean to diminish heaven in any way, or imply that anyone is wrong for looking forward to it. I’m just thinking from a relational perspective. Marriage has many benefits as well as joys to look forward to. But when it all comes down to it, I just want to be with my wife.
      As far as “living by the Spirit”…I will get more into this in a pragmatic sense. I foresee this going for at least two more weeks. What I want people to see is that living out our faith (which cannot be separated from sharing it with others) is all about living in the Father’s love…and sharing that love with others. And living in and experiencing the Father’s love is for our lives right now…not just for someday in heaven.

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