What is Life?Lk.12:13-21 - And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.
14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?
15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
What is life? Is it just the beating of one’s heart? Is it just breathing? Is it the enjoyment of things? Jesus, the Creator of all life, makes it very clear that life is none of those things. And yet, in this day of extreme hedonism the church has slowly but surely adopted a world view of life.
We have millionaire preachers flying in private jets. We have believers accumulating much money. We have believers surrounding their lives with all sorts of earthly accoutrements. And the church has assimilated material prosperity into its theology. Poor Abraham, he never realized his experience would be used and abused in order to make it seem like God desired all of us to have what God gave him. Gone are the spiritual lessons. Everything is now material and self centered.
“Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”Even in the face of such a direct and clear admonition preachers can manipulate and twist it to accommodate their worldly lusts. And in so doing not only are they promulgating error, but they are missing life itself.
Col.3:1-4 - If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Did you catch that phrase? “Christ who is our life”. OK, let me add some words from His own sacred lips.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”Come on, how much clearer can it be? And unless you have a personal agenda of lust you cannot deny that our life is Christ. And yet millions upon millions of professing believers walk around draped in death and without the life that can only be found in Christ. The church has relegated Jesus Christ to a redemptive theology but has kept Him outside the daily life experience of His professing followers. Houses and cars and clothes and success and salaries have crowded Him out.
Jn.15:4-5 - Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.To abide in Christ entails much more than embracing an orthodox doctrinal statement.Rev.2:2-4 - I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:(And I know you have uncovered false teachers like Bell and Osteen and that you are diligent to confront evil men…)3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.(And you have remained faithful to my Word and the faith once delivered to the saints.)
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
And here we find an admonition to us who embrace an orthodox theology and even rebuke false teachers and heretics by name. Sometimes in our clear sighted energy to warn others of the errors of false teachers we neglect to lay ourselves before Christ. We sometimes are satisfied with defending Biblical truth. But the Spirit recognized the labors and patience of the Church at Ephesus, but reveals a serious flaw in their spiritual walk.
They had left their first love. This is no minor or fringe issue. In fact, the Spirit warns the believers at Ephesus that their candlestick is in jeopardy if they do not repent and return to their first love. Do you not think that this is a solemn issue that must be identified and addressed? What does the Spirit mean when He says “thy first love”? The word love is used loosely as a pronoun and obviously refers to Christ Himself. That much is clear.
But how can we who boldly espouse an orthodox doctrinal statement leave Christ, our love? That is the penetrating question that is rarely addressed within the church and within the hearts of individual believers. But it is not just an important question, it is the paramount aspect of a disciple’s life. Jesus must be our very life, and he must be our first and continuing love.
All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.We must guard against getting so caught up with chasing error that we fail to see how far we have strayed from Christ Himself. That is not only possible, but it is a very slippery slope. Our relationship with Christ should be much more intimate and personal than just checking theological boxes. He is not just some doctrinal fort to be defended.
“Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.”We are His bride and His wife. That metaphor is meant to indicate an intimacy in the Spirit that surpasses head knowledge alone. God has left behind the stone tablets and has placed His very being inside the believer. How intimate is that? And yet how often do we live with a spectacular awareness of that immeasurable reality? And with that incredible truth, Paul makes this sweeping statement.
Gal.2:20 - I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
So class, Who IS our life? Is it not obvious that we have allowed all sorts of distractions and sins to rob us of the surpassing glory of His life in this present spiritual subsistence? Again Paul states a unfathomable truth.
Phil.1:21 - For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Say it out loud. Meditate on the veracity of its words. All of us know this sentence, yet how many know its experience? In light of just the verses I have shared in this post, does it not seem obvious that there must be more - MUCH MORE - to the life of a believing follower of Jesus the Christ? And if our love for Jesus should make our love for our mothers look like hate, then where oh where has such love gone? Have we not allowed that love to be parsed out among the things of this world?
Brethren, we have much work to be done with God and the road ahead can be a glorious path of repentance and revelation. To know Him is to love Him. And if our love has waned it is because we have relied on knowing Him from a past understanding and not a revelation of Christ that is as fresh as today. Our life is not just a string of adjectives.
Our life is the Lord Jesus Christ.