LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Christ-Likeness: Growing from Glory to Glory

by Mark Pierson

In the Parable of the sower, as recorded in Mark 4, we see that what is sowed is the word; yes that same "implanted word" that we are to receive with meekness in James 1:21. As we see in Mark 4:8 the seed that fell on good ground yielded a crop that sprang up, some 30, some 60, some 100.

Question: what is that which is yielded in this crop? I believe it to be the fruit of the Spirit, mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. In short the crop is Christ-likeness in varying degrees from individual Christians.

Where FGT and I disagree is what salvation is all about. From what I have observed FGT seems to believe that Justification is the be-all and end-all. I believe it only holds to part of the over all big picture provided in the word.

The New Covenant is to be considered.

Jesus said "This cup is the New Covenant in My blood, which is shed for you". If we look at 2 Cor. 3:3-18 we get some insight into this new Covenant...

1)Christians are epistles of Christ to the world. vs.3

2) The Spirit of God is the writer, and our hearts are what He writes on. vs.3

3) Paul was a minister of that new covenant, that one by which the Spirit gives life. vs 6.

4) the ministry of the Spirit is more glorious than the old covenant. vs. 8.

5) the new covenant is called "the ministry of Righteousness" in verse 9.

6)Entrance into that new covenant means a veil is taken away from our eyes in Christ. vs.14-16.

7)Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. vs.17.

And now the clincher: as we look with unveiled faces at the Lord, through His word, we are transformed into the image of Christ by the Holy Spirit... Sanctification, Christlikeness.2 Cor.3:18.

I believe that the Holy Spirit applies the whole of the new covenant to every believer in Christ. Part of what Christ accomplished on the cross was our being set free from slavery to sin in order to be slaves of Christ, no middle ground. See Romans 6:18, also Acts 3:26. We are now in Christ's kingdom,under His rule in our lives, having been put there by God the Father. Col.1:13-14. See also 1 Peter 1:2. We are now temples of the Holy Spirit and evidences of His presence in the Christian life will show. Over time we grow from glory to glory, due to the Spirit's ministry to us through His Word. The seed (the word, attended by God the Holy Spirit, for they are always in concert) once planted begins to grow, grow towards its intended end, Christlikeness. Romans 8:29.

If we look at Luke's rendering of the sermon on the mount, 6:40, we see Jesus say that a perfectly trained disciple will be like his teacher. May I suggest that here we see the whole intent of Christ for His people?

Look at the great commission, Matt.28:18-20...We are to:"make disciples, baptizing them, teaching them to observe all that Christ has commanded.

Look at Eph. 2:1-22. The progression begins with our having been quickened, having once been dead in tresspases and sins, having walked according to the course of this world, walking according the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience, and were by nature children of wrath. Then God makes us alive with His Son (regeneration)and enables us to believe. We then become His workmanship (poema, His work of art)as He causes us to walk in good works. He causes Jew and Gentile to be one new man in Christ. We now have access by the Spirit to the Father. We are now a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. I believe this to be the very appex of redemptive history. It is the glorious work of God on once dead sinners comparable to the great scene in Ezekiel 37, the valley of dry bones. God's Spirit brings life where there was none, that life being Christ-likeness, coming to full fruition when we see Him in the air. 1 John 3:2.

Remember, God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. An individual, once reconciled, will then experience the glorious working of God the Father as He paints the image of His Son on the canvas of his or her life. Man can now truely look like he was created in the image of God.

As we consider 2 Cor. 3:3 we see that we are now epistles of Christ to a lost world, written by the Spirit of God. We are the Father's workmanship (poema), Eph. 2:10, created unto good works. We are to let our lights so shine that men will see our good works, and glorify our Father in heaven. Matt. 5:16. Christ gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works-Titus 2:14.

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2 Comments:

Blogger mark pierson said...

Contributors:

Please leave this post to stand until 12/12.

Thank you

November 11, 2007 1:15 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
Beautifully said. I especially liked the dry bones reference. God does not save a pile of dead dry bones only to leave them as a pile dead dry bones. No, he transforms and conforms them into the image of Christ where they will more and more show the fruit of the Spirit as you pointed out.

November 11, 2007 2:53 PM

 

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