7 Steps in Christian Life :: Step 3 – Abide

Christian life begins with Christ and continues with Christ, but as we live for Christ, what are some of the steps one has to take.

Upon taking the step of confessing our sins and acknowledging that Jesus is Lord, the word of reconciliation is committed unto us and we are ordained to be ambassadors for him (2 Corinthians 5:20). But in order for us to be effective ambassadors of Christ Jesus the King, we need to first ‘abide’ (submit and be grafted) in him.

Step 3 in Christian life is to Abide in Jesus. Jesus said, that he came into the world so that whoever believes in him should no longer abide (remain) in darkness (John 12:46) and prayed that God’s Holy Spirit may abide with us forever (John 14:16). He cautioned that unless we abide in him, we will be ineffective (fruitless) in our commission as his ambassadors (John 15:5). In order for us to abide in him, we need to allow Jesus to abide in us, so that the Spirit who is willing overcomes over the flesh that is weak and contrary to the Spirit.

When we do not abide in Jesus, we are only fit to be cast out (John 15:6). We need to keep our fleshly lusts and desires under subjugation, lest by any means, when we have shared God’s words with others, as his ambassadors, we ourselves should be a castaway (1 Corinthians 9:27).

Points to ponder:
Do you and I abide in Jesus? In other words, do we have Jesus abiding in you? Step 3 is to Abide in Jesus Christ, lest we be a castaway!

Romans 10:2-11 (KJV)
For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession [acknowledgment] is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

1 John 1:8-10 (KJV)
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess [acknowledge] our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 Corinthians 9:27 (KJV)
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

According – to faith, to commandment

When Paul introduces himself in his letter to Titus, he introduces himself as an servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, not based on his own works, but according to the faith of God’s elect (Titus 1:1) and according to commandment of God his Savior (Titus 1:3). Unfortunately, today we see many who claim to be “called” to serve God, but in their modus operandi reflect little to no faith, in word or action, or any obedience to God as a response to his commandment to be his ambassadors of reconciliation (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 5:20).

Points to ponder:
When we function as servants of God and apostles of Jesus Christ, let us make sure that it is not motivated because of some personal emotion or on our works, but let it be according to faith, in God, which makes God our Savior and let it be according to the commandment of commission that we receive from God and God alone. It is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6) and obedience to be commandment.

Titus 1:1-3 (KJV)
Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

Jesus in the NT :: 2nd Corinthians

The book of 2nd Corinthians gives us a glimpse of who Jesus is in the New Testament (N.T).

Apostle Paul in his second letter to the Church in Corinth, refers to all those who have believed in Jesus Christ as an ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). Come to think of it, we are ambassadors, because Jesus Christ himself was an ambassador; in fact, the greatest ambassador of all time – the ambassador of God to man.

An ambassador is one who has a mission; who belongs to the king/county he/she represents; who is an alien in the country where they are sent to serve; who is armed and dangerous; and who is willing to die for his mission. As aforementioned, the greatest ambassador of all is Jesus Christ himself, for He is God’s ambassador to mankind. Jesus had a mission (to save sinners). He belonged to God (for He and God the Father are one). He was an alien on earth (for he came to the world he created, and it knew him not; his very own rejected him). He was armed (with the power of God) and dangerous (against the spiritual forces of wickedness) and He willingly died for the salvation of mankind (He said, I lay down my life).

Apostle Paul also refers to Jesus as the priceless precious treasure hidden in jars of clay (earthern vessels) (2 Corinthians 4:7). Three of the four gospels records the story of the woman (Mary) with an alabaster jar full of perfume, with which she anoints Jesus symbolic of his preparation unto death (Mark 14:3-9; Matthew 26:6-13, John 12:2-8). The scripture records that the perfume was valuable and that she broke the jar. See the perfume is what is valuable, not the jar itself. The sweet aroma of life that is in Jesus Christ within us is what is valuable and not our bodies (the jar of clay) itself. In India, you will find piggy banks that are made of clay and the only way you can take the contents that are stored within is to break the pot. Likewise we must be broken so that Jesus Christ, the priceless treasure, within us can be shared and experienced by others.

In 2nd Corinthians, Jesus is the Ambassador of God to man; the hidden treasure in us, the jars of clay.

2 Corinthians 5:19-21 (KJV)
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (KJV)
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.