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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : The Missing Link

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billy1980
Member



Joined: 2016/3/9
Posts: 246


 The Missing Link

“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20

Crucified? As in, put to death by nailing or binding the self life to the cross? The terms born-again, regenerated, and new experience all come to my mind. I speak in the spiritual format now; Holy Spirit help me! Paul said plainly, “I have been crucified with Christ.” How? Our flesh, that which was insubordinate to God, was crucified spiritually; it died or was crucified with Christ over 2000 years ago. In other words, the self life was crucified with Christ! “…it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” So, who Paul used to be was no more. Now as I’m progressing, I’m seeing this pure message has been watered down. When did it happen church of Christ? I fear we have a lot of very much alive people running around in ministry. Uncalled, uncrucified, unregenerate, never fully coming to the truth experientially folks proclaiming a message that can only be delivered rightly and completely by born-again/crucified people. Those filled with Christ’s own life and set apart by God the Father, Himself are the only ones truly empowered to share a message so opposed to that of the world! Let us carefully consider what Paul shared about his calling with the Galatians in the preceding chapter.

“For you have heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it; and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.” Galatians 1:13-14

How many do we have today who have excelled and taken positions over God’s flock, uncalled, uncrucified, and unfilled with Christ’s life? Yet Paul says…..

“But when [God the Father] who had set [Paul] apart even from [his] mother’s womb and called [him] through His grace was pleased to reveal His Son [Jesus Christ] in [him]…” Galatians 1:15-16a

Revealed Christ within Him – Not a head knowledge, church of Christ, but Christ really living and breathing within Him! It’s a calling, which reveals a crucifixion which already took place 2000 years ago with Christ. Meaning, through the new birth, a coming into the knowledge that Jesus now lives inwardly with us and we are free to enjoy a life that can be fully sustained by Him. Sadly, I believe many have missed the mark on God’s expectations concerning the cross and calling for ministry. We have labeled God’s calling as a job nowadays and given it a dignified degree at that. Filled with the Spirit now just means Bible knowledge of Christ within our heads instead of filled with Christ Jesus within our very being. You can’t pay a Bible school to get Christ within you! You have to be crucified. Paul continues…

“…so that I might preach Him [Christ] among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; [No college, Paul?] but [instead] I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. Then three years later I went up to Jerusalem to become acquainted with Cephas, [the Apostle Peter] and stayed with him for fifteen days.” Galatians 1:16b-18

Has God called you, broken/crucified you, set you apart, and filled you with the very life of Christ? Paul said “…the life which I now live in the flesh [present tense] I live by faith in the Son of God.” There was a desert experience before this, there was a brokenness, a seeing the crucifixion as already happened, a revelation, and an inward filling before this. The tent Paul now lived within was by faith, through the very life of Christ energizing it. If God did not set you apart, and Christ be not in you, step down from ministries. Fear God, repent and seek Christ! God forbid you go to the lake of fire over money, over filthy lucre. Find a new career. This is eternity- it’s not a game, souls are at risk. The accountability is total and if you are not born again and coming into the knowledge of your being crucified with Christ you are not qualified. If you are not called by God, then you are frighteningly in the way of God!

We must be broken! The cross must have its way with us. You cannot learn that in a Bible school, or Sunday school, nor in many pulpits at this time! We live so far below the level of New Testament Christianity because we are living in the flesh instead of through the Holy Spirit Christ-ward! For many, the reality of the cross stops with forgiveness of sins. Yet this is an incomplete gospel message. The blind leading the blind only brings about more blindness! It can but produce more flesh. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit of God gives birth to spirit! John 3:6 Look through the biblical record, God called everyone of them to the ministry; there was no doubt to them that their calling came from Almighty God! And then He broke them. He calls them, He breaks them, He fills them, then He sends them out. Our age has found a way around this – we call it Bible school! It’s contributed in sending a great multitude within our country to hell! Few find the regeneration within such institutes. Few bear the marks from the cross within their lives, no Christ within to be found, but great knowledge to share, about Greek, Hebrew, and vast facts about Christ within heads, instead of experiential reality within spirits. Without being called, without being born again, and then learning of our actual being crucified with Christ, and allowing Christ to take over from within us through His Holy Spirit, we lack the full Gospel. Such a Gospel is devoid of bringing forth Christ’s life within the speaker and thus the hearers. [Knowledge just adds up, it puffs up, and on the day of judgment it pops when tossed in the lake of fire. It’s devilish, it's Devilish! Look at at the Pharisees!] There must be a rebirthing, or a regeneration, then a learning of our own crucifixion on that cross long ago. Without which, there can be no real service to God given. Because without the cross of Christ, there is no real transformation within the speaker, so they cannot teach what they themselves know nothing about. Paul said, “I went away to Arabia, and returned once more to Damascus. Then three years later…” What happened when Paul was in that desert?

“For I would have you know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel which was preached by me is not of human invention. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:11-12

William, are you saying we need a revelation of Jesus Christ? Yes we all do, and I want a deeper one! Paul was blinded by Christ, yet that in of itself did not qualify Him to preach Christ to others. He gained knowledge through that interaction; he came to Christ. But, the reality of the crucifixions/empowerment or the very life of Christ dwelling within Him didn’t come intuitively until later. After sometime in the desert life. Paul said we need a …

“…true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive arguments…”Colossians 2:2b-3

Now some of you may argue, “William, we can’t really walk in Christ; we have a sin nature. God knows we are just human. God the Father doesn’t really expect us to be holy.” I’m not about to listen to doctrines produced by demons, nor the flesh! Christ said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24 Christ wins out, everything else is sinking sand. It’s going to be washed away by hellfire, in the Lake of Fire! Though we can all fall at anytime, when we do, we were not abiding in Christ, or would not had fail. A truly holy life through Christ’s finished work on the cross is attainable through Christ for any who will pick up their cross and follow Him daily, abiding in Him daily.

Paul was serious when He said through the Holy Spirit, “Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him…” Some may say, “Brother William, Paul didn’t really mean that.” To those I would emphatically reply, “Yes, beloved, He meant every Word of it.” That’s why He kept pointing the Corinthians and all others to Christ and Him crucified and us crucified in Christ. Similarly, the apostle Peter meant it when he said, “…like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written: “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16

And though I seek to heed the Apostles concerning all things, God the Father Himself said plainly. “I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, because I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44

Thus Paul urged, “therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship,” Romans 12:1

“Pursue peace with all people, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14

“….having been firmly rooted and now being built up in [Jesus] and established in your faith… See to it that there is no one who takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception in accordance with human tradition, in accordance with the elementary principles of the world, rather than in accordance with Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over every ruler and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision performed without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.” Colossians 2:7-11

“The removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ” – have you, dear friend, grasped hold inwardly of this truth in Christ yet? By faith you have been crucified with Christ,(if in fact you are in Christ) born again, born anew! If Christ live not in you yet, then you are not Christ’s. John 3 Run to Christ friend, heed not the deceptions of this fading world, nor those who would shut the door to keep you out, when they themselves will not go in!

“Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with [Jesus Christ], in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.” Romans 6:6

Spoken another way, using the Message translation, “Our old way of life [our life connected to the first Adam] was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer are we captive to sin’s demands.” Instead, we are now to be captive to Christ Jesus, to His righteousness and His holiness, in and through Him, by the Holy Spirit who lives within us, if, in fact, we be in Christ! Does Christ live in you? If so, abide, abide, abide! Or, dear friend, are you still living through the first Adam, living within sin, living in that unregenerate life, where no power, but the power to sin has it’s dominion in you? Christ opened a new way the cross, to anyone whosever will believe on Him in repentance, and through Him receive the Holy Spirit, then obey God reckoning yourself dead to sin and alive in Christ. It’s the narrow way, but it’s the only way. Find a prayer closet, a forest, a park, your back yard, or even a car! Get alone with Christ, and confess, repent and seek Him for forgiveness. Run to Christ! For when we “were dead in [our] wrongdoings and the uncircumcision of [our] flesh, He [God the Father] made [us] alive together with Him [Jesus Christ], having forgiven us all our wrongdoings, having canceled the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross…” Colossians 2:13-15

If all you have heard and learned concerning Christ is forgiveness of our sins and those sins being nailed to the cross, then you have heard an incomplete Gospel, church of Christ. The gospel is also about a new glorious birthing into the body of Christ. As you deepen your relationship with Christ, you will see not only did He die on that cross, but that you did too! For the Gospel also states vividly and frequently that our old man also died on that cross, and sin, through abiding in Christ, has no more dominion over us. Thus, now we can live in obedience to Christ, through Christ, His very life living within us! For “those who belong to Christ Jesus crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:24

Have you seen this revelation yet? I pray He will reveal it to you! Paul, blinded by Jesus Christ, when He regained His sight, was led into the desert to get alone with God so that this great truth could be revealed within Him: Christ was not only crucified for our sins, but Christ is victorious within us over sin. Any less is an incomplete Gospel. There is freedom in Christ – have you heard? Not only is sight given back to see the light, but light that penetrates down deep within us then is redirected outwardly to a lost world. Such a world is in desperate need of a beacon to light the way to Christ where victory upon victory upon victory is given. When the enemy loses his rights because we are crucified with Christ, we can live a victorious life through Him who lives within us.

“I [The Apostle Paul] was made a minister of this church according to the commission from God granted to me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which had been hidden from the past ages and generations, but now has been revealed to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what the wealth of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles is, the mystery that is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every person and teaching every person with all wisdom, so that we may present every person complete in Christ. Colossians 1:25-28


_________________
William

 2021/3/24 20:44Profile
Platy
Member



Joined: 2019/10/5
Posts: 98


 Re: The Missing Link

"Knowledge just adds up, it puffs up, and on the day of judgment it pops when tossed in the lake of fire. It’s devilish."

Knowledge is devilish? Would you be able to clarify what kind of knowledge you are referring to here? Is it bible knowledge? Looking around today the issue seems to be the opposite as there seems to be an utter lack of bible knowledge.

I'm a lay christian myself and also a pentecostal. I used to attack seminaries and professional ministers. Also I was the type that wanted the Holy Spirit to take control of church meetings. This all changed until I actually read the bible for myself and specifically the epistles and saw my error. The epistles which changed my mind specifically were 1 Timothy and Titus.

It is true that there are seminaries which have gone astray and this is becoming an increasing trend it seems. But it is also true that God calls people and sends them to seminaries or lesser bible schools to be trained for ministry.

Btw this isn't just head knowledge I give messages occassionaly as I'm allowed and you know something God confirms the messages usually in the same meeting or if not later on.

Hearing from God primarily comes from studying the word of God and then delivering the message. Sometimes he will give you specific message and other times its just delivering what you have been studying or meditating on. Again I speak from experience as I have seen most of the messages I've given as a layperson be either confirmed in the same meeting or later on.

There are two extremes we need to avoid. One is formalism and the other is fanatacism. Always take middle of the road. And by middle I mean balanced and not compromised. We need order in the church that allows for freedom but we cannot have a dictatorship on the one hand and on the other hand we cannot have chaos. Both are deadly.

 2021/3/25 8:37Profile
Platy
Member



Joined: 2019/10/5
Posts: 98


 Re:

Also look up William Tyndale. This is another man whose life forced me to change my positions. God ordained this man's life so that he went to the best schools and was skilled in many languages so when the time came he was able to translate the bible into English.

What would you do with a Tyndale? Was it not God who directed his entire life and prepared him for his life's work which was translating the bible into English?

There are so many other people who have been used by God like Tyndale.

 2021/3/25 8:40Profile
JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1528
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: The Missing Link

brother William wrote; “ A truly holy life through Christ’s finished work on the cross is attainable through Christ for any who will pick up their cross and follow Him daily, abiding in Him daily.”

Yes Amen!

We all love Christ’s cross,... but we tend to not think so much of ours and yet it (our cross) is essential in actually following Christ. Without it we are mostly following our ideas about Him. The Lord has been quite direct with me on this and other points over the recent weeks. He told me unless I was willing to nail even my ideas about Him, who He is, to the cross.... how else can He reveal the truth of who He is according to Himself and not be limited by my ideas of Him-


_________________
Fletcher

 2021/3/25 10:58Profile
Platy
Member



Joined: 2019/10/5
Posts: 98


 Re:

Fletcher,

Where do you find truth?

 2021/3/25 11:45Profile
Caleb4life
Member



Joined: 2012/7/22
Posts: 126


 Re:

Brother Fletcher said:
__________________________________________________________
"The Lord has been quite direct with me on this and other points over the recent weeks. He told me unless I was willing to nail even my ideas about Him, who He is, to the cross.... how else can He reveal the truth of who He is according to Himself and not be limited by my ideas of Him."
___________________________________________________________

Wow, brother! I am still kind of in shock reading this, but at the same time I should not be too surprised, given we both are indwelt by the same Holy Spirit! But this is nearly EXACTLY what I have been going through recently as well!

So many of my ideas of who He is are being shaken, tested and questioned lately.

While it can be unsettling and even perplexing at times, there is an unmistakable peace in my soul and spirit through the process.

Brother William, your zeal and passion is absolutely contagious dear brother. Thanks for pouring out your heart and spirit to us through your posts!

Platy, I really appreciate your question to brother Fletcher about ""where do you find truth?".

That too is a question I've been wrestling with personally, and with local brethren!

I further wonder, how do we even define truth in these days?!?

For a few years my working definition of "truth" has been:

Truth = "Everything from God's perspective"

But then that begs the question "how do we know God's perspective with absolute certainty on any given matter?".

So much of how we think, speak and act boils down to faith doesn't it?

I'm also left with the reality that there is SO MUCH that remains a mystery (when it comes to longing to know and walk in the truth).

A passage I have been meditating on lately explains it so well:

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways.
and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Quite humbling!!!

Love you all so much!!!


_________________
Caleb

 2021/3/25 12:59Profile
Platy
Member



Joined: 2019/10/5
Posts: 98


 Re:

Where has God revealed the truth about himself to us? I can think of two places and he is the author of both.

 2021/3/25 13:16Profile
JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1528
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: brother Platy

Truth isn’t a thing (only) ... it’s a person and His name is Jesus :)))
He reveals Himself (Truth) as the word both written (logos) and revealed (rhema) both are living and active -

Often we are strong in one and weak in another... we need both to come to maturity:)

Hope that helps to clarify


_________________
Fletcher

 2021/3/25 13:53Profile
JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1528
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: brother Caleb

Yes dear brother there are several of us who have heard the call to a closer more intimate, reliant walk with Christ :)

I’m thankful for His mercy and patience with me, for without it I wouldn’t last 1 hour 🙏🏻


_________________
Fletcher

 2021/3/25 13:55Profile
Platy
Member



Joined: 2019/10/5
Posts: 98


 Re:

Yup that was where I was going with the questions. Objective truth (fact based) and subjective truth (experiential). Need both.

The two places I was thinking was the Bible and creation. See Romans 1 for the latter.

 2021/3/25 13:58Profile





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