Tag Archives: Jesus

Our Spiritual Maturity is Evidenced by the Liberty We Extend to Others

6-22-2013_543574_28914537One of the trends in Emergent Christianity and in the other novel expressions that are a part of this run-up to the establishment of Christianity 3.0 is the exploration for greater expressions of love and liberty. As we members of mainline Christianity begin our expedition for something more in our relationship with Christ and our fellow humans we will soon encounter two very different sensations as a response to our search for the hope we have for the next generation of Christianity. We are not people who are giving up on Christianity but we are a people who are desperate to find and be a part of spiritual communities that will love all humans equally.

Romans 8:20-22 (NLT) Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

As people emerge from their traditions they begin to seek Christian thought which is presented in a way that remains truthful to their beliefs but provides fresh expressions and novel ways to communicate the main point delivered by Jesus, our leader of this two thousand-year old movement. That main point being is love of God and love for all other humans equal to the love we have for self.

This sensation that people will encounter is either one of more bondage or one of freedom. As we grow spiritually we are no longer fooled by words. We begin to rely on a deep relationship we have with God who lives and speaks to each person equally on the inside. This voice continually speaks into every little detail in our lives, guiding us on how to bring liberty in every relationship we take part in. From the cashier checking us out at Target, to all of our co-workers including our bosses, to our neighbors and friends we interact with when taking our kids to ball games and to every member of our many spiritual communities old and new, we hear God’s voice saying love deeply.

As we all move from childhood toward spiritual maturity we no longer need the rigid outward rules to guide us. We can live, dress, eat, and pierce or tattoo any part of ourselves and still remain pure in our ability to sense the difference between spiritual liberty or spiritual bondage. Can you imagine the students on a college campus holding on to a rope being led by a teacher to get from one class to another? No we can’t because with maturity of any type there is an implied expectation of responsibility and devotion to purpose.

Jesus made one point very clear. Love is liberty. So if we have a loving relationship with God, one of mind, heart and strength then we will achieve max freedom with God. Jesus also places almost equal importance on this love/liberty that we experience, be at the root of every relationship with any human. And the point He makes is that this experience of love/liberty be shared equally with everyone.

Jesus the master teacher, even while bound by his Jewish tradition, was able to communicate this love/liberty relationship and start a new movement in the fabric of humanity which we have all inherited. Under the tradition of rabbinic Judaism after a disciple has completed his training he can become a rabbi. Like the kings and presidents of old these rabbis were itinerate but they would use their understanding of the Old Testament theology and Jewish law to help settle disputes in their region. Each rabbi had what was called a rabbinical yoke. It was his personal prioritization of the laws according to his understanding and relationship with God. Each rabbi used their understanding to help resolve conflicts of either spiritual or material nature when rendering his judgments concerning these disputes. Also each rabbi would also train a set of disciples that he chose to carry on and advance his yoke. Jesus willingly died that we all might be His disciples.

My encouragement for every Christian, is to more lean on the yoke of Jesus, because he has chosen us to carry on His interpretation of love and liberty. Rabbi Jesus summed the 613 laws down to 2 laws and when asked which of the 613 laws was most important to He responded “love God with all that you are and love everyone else with the same love you have for yourself.” As each year passes we become more spiritually mature and we come to understand God better and the result is that we will come to love and live in more liberty and understand ourselves and God better. Therefore our love/liberty relationship with all other humans should be maturing equal to the love and liberty we each experience with God.

So today in your mind take an inventory of everyone you personally know and then think of every group of people known to you including groups formed because social status, racial, religious, cultural and national characteristics. Then begin over the next few months as the situations rise in your conscience, to evaluate your thoughts, actions and words you express about these people you know and the people who make up these groups. What is it that you say and do with any of these persons. Everyday multiple times a day spiritually mature people work on their relationship with God. So I know we are all always changing in our relationship with God. And this personal change is the main cause of the Christian emergence.

In case you missed the memo we live in a global community. In my opinion the main reason for the move of those that are emerging is that our traditions require us to relate to other humans in ways that we sense remind us of bondage. Jesus however wants us to learn to love until we can see every human we meet as our brother or sister. Jesus does not want us to fall back and become like the enemy but He encourages us to express love and liberty in new ways that will create new lovers of God and lovers of humanity.

So my friends keep emerging by dropping the yoke of bondage and become more deeply yoked with Jesus. We Christians are disciples of Jesus, first and foremost. He alone is our Shepherd, Master, Teacher, Everything, in other words He is our All in All. Our evidence to the fact that we are disciples of Jesus is that we freely give the liberty that we were freely given and personally experience.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

2 Peter 2:19-20 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Acts 15:8-11 So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9 and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”

Matthew 23:1-5 Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. 4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 But all their works they do to be seen by men.

 

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Evidence Not Understood

CAM00814The material process of evolution implies that things move from a state of simplicity toward more complex state. As attorneys compile evidence to present to a judge and jury the chain of custody must be preserved on all pieces of evidence as they build a case which may be very complex. The bible in the Old and New Testaments implies that all humans are children of God.

However for the humans alive today believing such a complex truth will require an understanding of a lot of simple truths that have been in evidence for over six thousand years of recorded biblical history. For me one simple text of scripture implies the potential condition of all humans.

Luke 6:40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.

In contrast the Spiritual process of enlightenment moves in the opposite direction of material evolution. Spiritual revelation should strip away confusion and make things more simple and clear. And thus we humans always have two paths that lead to truth. God encodes truth in material reality and reveals the same truth through spiritual enlightenment.

Today some humans participate in the Christian faith for various reasons. I do as well and for me it is all about the maximizing of both human material and spiritual potential. Most Christians believe that the work God sent Jesus to do is intended for all humans. But in practice many Christians interpret and bestow favorable treatment to those people that have chosen to be identified as Christian and bestow a somewhat unfavorable treatment to those who have yet to identify with Jesus. Furthermore within the Christian religious sect favorable honor is rendered based on people’s position in the organizational hierarchy.

In the heart and mind of every human judgments are being made every day based on their beliefs and understanding of which human is truly a child of God. Today people react viscerally to the charge that one person is a child of God and another person is not. Common to western culture and know by other cultures is this belief that some people are counted among God’s chosen people and others are not.

It is these beliefs that shape political platforms and social fabric of people all around the world. There are many battle lines that are that are being fought today and many of them have to do with the interpretation of this single truth. If we are all truly children of God then would we ever find justification to harm one’s own sister or brother?

Is there evidence that the average person could present in their daily response to the many situations that make up the social fabric of our communities? In a normal familial relationship people do not carry around birth certificates to prove their relationships. Husbands and wives do however wear rings. But not everyone has the same skin color or eye color or residential address, or economic status, or cultural language or accent. So can we judge without using the site of our eyes or the hearing of our ears?

 

Galatians 4:1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all,

 

One easy way to tell whose child someone is by the stuff they have inherited and their use of that stuff. Every culture has inherited something unless it is a new emerging culture and even then it emerges from a previous source of life. This is the testimonial status of Jesus who is the inheritance for all humans. The biblical testimony is that He was the first spiritually born child to introduced humankind to its inheritance. And after two thousand years we humans are still discovering what we have inherited.

The purpose of my words in this post is to encourage a change in our beliefs. Jesus inherited the love of our Father in heaven and that alone should be our identity because it is the totality of what we inherit with Jesus. It is the truth upon which all of Christianity is truly founded. The current social order we find in the world today provides evidence of fact, that humans hold a belief that is contrary the truth of God love for all His human children.

If we who call ourselves disciples and citizens of God’s kingdom we need to understand this single message we have been given to present as evidence. Love alone should be the message and yet people of the world are confused because we the messengers are unable to communicate it with clarity.

It is my hope that the truth of God’s love for all humans as His children, no longer remain as evidence that is not understood by everyone. If God is truly our Father then every human is either our sister or brother and we should treat each other with the equality and respect that our relationship has inherited. Jesus is the “first fruit” and that implies that there is an expectation on God’s part that there is more fruit to be realized. This means that more of the human population needs to understand and relate to one another in this truth.

May the eyes of our understanding be enlightened and may we present truthful evidence that is simple and understood.

 

Romans 8:14-17 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Galatians 3:26-29 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

Galatians 4:4-7 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

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The Evidence of Entanglement

2012_04-15_900410_65609984 In this material world we humans are connected in very strange ways. Quantum physics is confirming many scripture verses that indicate that we truly are all a part of the human family and that we are our brothers and sisters keeper. In other words I am only free as my siblings. What we now understand from scripture and science is that our present generation can awake and choose to become empowered and set a course of freedom for our next generation.  It also means that the opposite is true and our generation can choose to pull the covers over our eyes and stay asleep thus handing down as tradition more bondage to our future generations.

 For me several questions quickly come to mind. The first, who is my brother or my sister? Secondly, can the choices of my life really free others or cause bondage to come remain them? The Old and New Testaments reveal how interrelated we humans really are. It also reveals just how powerful the individual is as well. If there is any reason to become a disciple of Jesus it is to learn how our lives can positively affect the lives of others.

 Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

 Romans 5:18-19  Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

 John 15:12-13 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

 Every human since the death and resurrection of Jesus has been empowered to use love, the greatest force on earth to bring about liberty to others. We humans are never more like God our heavenly Father as when we look into the chaos and darkness in our fellow human’s heart and speak light and life to that heart. But too often we grab the easy scriptures of war and try to destroy darkness instead of just turning on the light.

 Repentance and Forgiveness are the two edges on the sword of light. Liberty is simply a state of mind but its effect on our perception creates the very material world we live in. The mind of Jesus was at liberty from all material entanglements and scripture testifies that He overcame this material world.

 Today many humans remained separated from God in their thinking even though the work of Jesus as the Christ has been complete for over two thousand years. Romans 8:31-39 clearly illustrates that all obstacles between God and humans have been removed and that from God’s point of view we are all His children. But many religious interpretations still perceive human reality as separate from God and bound to this material world and only if we meet the requirements of organizational by-laws can we obtain liberty and become one with God.

 If forgiveness and repentance has the power to free us then why do so many remain entangled by an offence that has already been removed?

 Matthew 6:14-15(NIV) For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

 Matthew 18:35(NIV) This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

 2 Corinthians 2:5-10(NIV)  5 If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely.6 The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient.7 Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.8 I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.9 Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything.10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake,

 Luke 17:1-4 (NLT) One day Jesus said to his disciples, “There will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting! 2 It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to fall into sin. 3 So watch yourselves! “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. 4 Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”

 Luke 3:8-9 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 9 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”

 My goal for this post is to overwhelmingly bring to the front of our consciousness that we have already been empowered to change the world. This is not a job for our Priest, Pastor or Spiritual Leaders this is our job as humans, and children of God. At some point in our existence of reality it will be made clear that each of us has no excuse. Remaining asleep or becoming awake will produce fruit or evidence that each of us will have to live with as we proceed on into eternity.

Therefore I want to encourage us all to take responsibility and show forth the evidence of repentance and forgiveness. We all must awake to the fact that we are entangled as humans and we are all members of the same human family. It is easy to remain asleep and hide behind the borders of our skin. But as the interpretation of scripture and the exploration of science continue to make truth more understandable, we must be willing change our perceptions and shed some old traditions.  

 God has given each human a gift through the life of Jesus.

 John 20:22-24 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

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