Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Old and the New Creation Through Christ


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All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
(Joh 1:3 ESV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
(2Co 5:17 ESV)

In the first creation, God made all things through Christ. In the same way, God has made the new creation through Christ. The work of the new creation was done on the cross, the death, and the resurrection of our Lord. Out of the death of Christ, we were created anew and in His resurrection we were given eternal life. Christ is resurrection and eternal life. And He has been given to us and we have been given to Him.

The old creation has already passed away in the eyes of our Father. We still see it around us, but to God, it is already gone. In the new creation, Christ will fill all things. He has started by filling us with Himself. When the old creation is utterly destroyed, and the new universe is made, Christ will fill all. His image will be seen in all. He will fill all things through His Body, which He has filled in this present age. Everything is Christ’s and we are in Christ and have inherited all things through Him.

Fire in the Charcoal

Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929)

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“Take a piece of charcoal, and however much you may wash it its blackness will not disappear, but let the fire enter into it and its dark colour vanishes. So also when the sinner receives the Holy Spirit (who is from the Father and Myself, for the Father and I are one), which is the baptism of fire, all the blackness of sin is driven away, and he is made a light to the world (Matt. iii. 11, 14). As the fire in the charcoal, so I abide in My children and they in Me, and through them I make Myself manifest to the world.” – Sadhu Sundar Singh, At the Master’s Feet

The Hideousness of Hollywood

Elderly woman's hands - Bangkok, city of angels

Image by Sailing "Footprints: Real to Reel" (Ronn ashore) via Flickr

Many people look to Hollywood to see beauty. They see through the eyes of the flesh. But, through the eyes of the Spirit, you will see little that resembles beauty there.

I actually don’t want to dwell on how ugly Hollywood is. Instead, I want to point to beauty, not the lack of it. Where can true beauty be found? It is a rare thing in this world. If you want to see beauty, go to the bedside of a frail and dying person, who has spent his or her life loving Christ. The world hides these people away because the world is blind. The world can’t possibly see the beauty of such a person. The beauty that Jesus sees in them. Hollywood can’t compare to the glorious beauty that shines in these Children of God. The beauty in these beloved ones is Christ Himself, and the world does not recognize Him.

Christ is Our Life

Photo of Watchman Nee

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“How easily we make things as way, truth, and life. Or, we call hot atmosphere as life, we label clear thought as life. We consider strong emotion or outward conduct as life. In reality, though, these are not life. We ought to realize that only the Lord is life. Christ is our life. And it is the Lord who lives out this life in us. Let us ask Him to deliver us from the many external and fragmentary affairs that we may touch only Him. May we see the Lord in all things-way, truth, and life are all found in knowing Him. May we really meet the Son of God and let Him live in us. Amen.” – Watchman Nee, Christ the Sum of All Spiritual Things

How Many Truths Have Made Us Free?

Watchman Nee

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Brothers and sisters, just consider how many truths have actually made us free? The word of God states that the truth shall make us free, but how many times truth is merely a doctrine to us. Our eyes have not been opened to see Christ.” – Watchman Nee, Christ the Sum of All Spiritual Things

The Beauty of Jesus and His Bride


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“To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah; a love song. My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe. You are the most handsome of the sons of men; grace is poured upon your lips; therefore God has blessed you forever. Gird your sword on your thigh, O mighty one, in your splendor and majesty! In your majesty ride out victoriously for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; let your right hand teach you awesome deeds! Your arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; the peoples fall under you. Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness; you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad; daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir. Hear, O daughter, and consider, and incline your ear: forget your people and your father’s house, and the king will desire your beauty. Since he is your lord, bow to him. The people of Tyre will seek your favor with gifts, the richest of the people. All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold. In many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions following behind her. With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king. In place of your fathers shall be your sons; you will make them princes in all the earth. I will cause your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore nations will praise you forever and ever.”
(Psa 45:1-17 ESV)

Oh, the wonders that are in this Psalm. It is a beautiful description of Jesus and His Church. Notice that this King is called Son of man and God Himself. He is anointed by God with oil, which symbolizes the Father anointing Jesus with the Spirit. His Queen is clothed in gold. Gold is only made by God. This shows that She is clothed by God. She wears many-colored robes, which I think shows the many races of people that are in Her. The Name of Jesus Christ will be remembered in all generations and the nations will praise Him forever and ever.

Ministries and Occupations

Watchman Nee

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Watchman Nee once pointed out that when the Lord called people to His work, their God-given ministries were often prefigured by their secular occupations.

For instance, when the Lord called Peter, he was casting his net and bringing fish onto the shore. What was true in the natural ended up being true in the spiritual. Peter’s ministry centered on fishing for men. His emphasis was evangelism, and he brought many lost people to Christ (just think of Pentecost in Acts 2).

When the Lord apprehended Paul, he was building tents. And his future ministry reflected this. Paul was more of a spiritual builder, a “master builder” as he put it in 1 Corinthians 3. His emphasis was to build the church into the fullness of Christ. So Paul spent most of his time grounding and enriching the believing communities to gather under the Headship of Christ, establishing them deeply into Christ, unveiling to them God’s eternal purpose – or “the whole counsel of God” as he once put it.

When the Lord apprehended John, he was mending a torn net. We see in John’s later writings (1 John, 2 John, and 3 John) that he is bringing the church back to center . . . back to first things . . . back to “the beginning” of Christ as life, love, and light in a time when these elements had been lost. The tent that Paul built was falling apart during John’s day, so John prophetically began to repair it by restoring God’s original thought, bringing His eternal purpose back into view.

So Peter casts the net, Paul builds the tent, and John mends the tent. All three men were Christian workers in the Lord’s vineyard, but each had a different emphasis and disposition.

In my observation, Neil is a lot like Peter. His major focus seems to going out to the sea, casting the net, and bringing the fish on dry land and encouraging God’s people to do the same. Some have described my on-the-ground ministry to be more like Paul’s – the building of the tent – the constructive work of building the house of God to fulfill the eternal purpose “from eternity to here.” By contrast, my writing ministry in books like Pagan Christianity and Jesus Manifesto are very much along the lines of John’s ministry of repairing the torn net.

Whether that’s accurate or not, here’s my point. The ministries of Peter, Paul, and John are not to compete with one another. Instead, they are to complement one another. The body of Christ needs the ministries of Peter, Paul, and John. And each person needs the other.” – Frank Viola, Neil Cole & Frank Viola Discuss Missional Organic Church

In my opinion, this is a very interesting idea. How does your God-given ministry correspond to your secular occupation?

Learning Christ in Organic Church

This is what I took away from our organic church meeting this week:

– When we live by Christ, there will be persecution.

– When we let the Holy Spirit live through us, we are a place of rest for God.

– We must learn to see all things in Christ.

– Christ is all and is in all.

Our Heart Failure

Most of our troubles are due not to our mental failure, but our heart failure really to grasp and apprehend the greatness of the Christ to whom we have been introduced, and to whose fellowship we have been brought by the grace of God. Is it not the need, the greatest need today everywhere, and particularly in the church of God, to recover something of this immensity of Christ?” – T. Austin Sparks, That He Might Fill All Things

Everything in Christ

God has through Christ, His Son, by the Eternal Spirit, created all things in Christ. That is, He has made Christ the encompassing, encircling sphere of all things in creation itself. The creation is bounded by Christ in the thought and intention of God. Eventually there will be no created thing in this universe outside of Christ, because they were all created in Him. If they have gone out, they have been given the option in this dispensation to return into Christ. If not, they are for ever expelled from the whole domain of Christ, and all that does remain is found, as was intended, in Christ. – T. Austin-Sparks, That He Might Fill All Things

Whatever You Do

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
(Col 3:17 ESV)

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
(Col 3:23-24 ESV)

Whatever you do, do it for Jesus. We should devote all of our actions to Him. If we go to work, we should work for Him. If we brush our teeth, we should brush them for Him. If we fellowship with one another, we should love each other for Him.

We should not live our lives for Jesus out of guilt or a sense of duty, but out of joy. Doing everything for Jesus should be the natural outflow of our love for Him. As we walk in His presence, He will be increasingly on our minds. The more we speak to Him and delight in him, the more we will remember Him. His Spirit will always ensure that our minds are drawn back to Him. Soon it will be natural to devote everything we do to Him.

We can dedicate all of our actions to Him, letting our lives be a pleasing sacrifice to Him.

Learning Christ

For far too long, I have focused on learning theology, evangelism methods, end times prophecy, and etc. I didn’t realize that there is only one thing that is needed: to know Jesus. Knowing Christ comes as a process. In order to know Him, we must spend time with Him. We spend time with Him through prayer and His people. By knowing Him, we also learn Him. Learning Christ is learning to walk in the new life that He has given us: His own life. He changes us from the inside out. It doesn’t take any work of our own, because His Spirit is the worker. The Father forms and molds us into the likeness of His Son, through His Spirit.

A Window to Christ

Window to the

Image by SamikRC via Flickr

The purpose of every Christian’s life is to be a window to Christ. Whether they know it or not. When the world looks at us, they should see Him. They should see parts of Christ in each of us, and His fullness in all of us. Whether it leads them to love us or hate us, does not matter. It is their response to Jesus, not to us. They will either love Him or hate Him. Let’s surrender ourselves to our Lord. Let the world no longer see our old man, but let them see our new man, that is in Christ. He has washed us clean, so that the world may see Him.

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