Jesus Christ was the first begotten Son of God and the best of heaven and sent forth from God. His coming forth is for the sake of fallen man because of the Father’s love for His creation. The shining crown and glory of the ministry of the Son Christ Jesus fulfilled the needed sacrifice as He hung on the cross for the sins of all humanity. In addition, prior to His death, the scriptures attest to the fact that God was well pleased with Jesus in the fulfilling of the ministry He was sent forth to complete. Matt. 17:5, “While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, saying, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” Again in 2 Peter 1:17, “For He received from the Father Honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. The son’s sacrifice for humankind and it’s acceptance by the Father is the results of the Son’s obedience, in a total and complete sense as the Father showed His will to Him. For this cause, He is the way, the truth and the life, and no man comes unto the Father but by and through Him. Thus, unto the Son, we owe complete obedience and a faithful following after Him.
Faithfulness, that which increases in knowing Him, is the requirement ask of God unto all who would become His disciples. For just coming into knowing things about God is not good enough. We must enter into a relationship with Him that promotes a life-style change from a darkened soul into one receiving God’s nature, the results of knowing Him. Herein, Jesus warns us against self-deception, that which comes as the results of knowing about Him without having a relationship with Him and staying in obedience to the will of God. Matt. 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders in your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.” A lack of relationship with Christ is that which causes many people to cease from following Him because just knowing about Him only causes many to declare, it just does not work.
Obedience to God and His Word then becomes the agent that promotes a knowing Him relationship. Obedience is better than sacrifice, for in obedience, we began to know the sacrifice and that He is available to teach us to know His voice. In His obedience, Jesus learned to be perfect. Heb. 5:8-9, “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” This word “obedience” signifies attentive hearing, to listen with compliant submission, assent, and agreement and used for obedience to God’s commands, and for Christ’s obedience. The word “obey” in verse nine has the meaning of, “to hear as a subordinate, listen attentively, obey as a subject, answer and respond, submit without reservation.” Obedience then is better than sacrifice that involves the works of the carnal religious mind. In this, we must know His voice. We must obey and in obedience we shall be taught of Him and learn His ways. In the promises of God, and for man to see them fulfilled, we must meet the terms established for each promise. Thus, in obedience we obtain the promise. The terms of the promise that God speaks to us are not based upon preaching, prophesying or casting out devils, but, again the Lord says unto us, obey and I shall fulfill.
Because we are God’s people, the arena of being thankful to God in all things motivates us. Herein, we receive from God His nature and His glory that we might manifest Him. So often, Christians find it hard to be thankful unto God as He deals with us to bring maturity to our witness for Him. We like to rejoice in the things that bring blessings to our wants, while complaining when the dealings of God wars against our own desires. However, unto the obedient and by learning to be thankful in all things, God enlarges us in the spiritual things of God, the things of the heavenlies. God enables us to dwell in the heavenlies while walking on the earth. Colossians 3:15-17 states, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word and deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Note, “giving thanks,” means “to give freely, to be grateful, to express gratitude, to be thankful.” In like manner, Jesus prayed this prayer for us that we might likewise glorify the Father even as He did. John 17:1-5 and 20-22, “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I have glorified you on the earth. I have finished the work, which you have given me to do. And now, O Father, glorify me together with yourself, with the glory, which I had with you before the world was. ….. I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which you gave me I have given them, that they may be one just as we are one”.
Let us recognize that the work of Jesus on the cross and His being glorified by the Father will not be finished in a people until the whole man, spirit, soul, and body has been born again. Know that he, which is glorious, will truly be born again of the spirit even as the whole man is completed. The heart cry of the true saints is that they glorify God. In this, we conform to His glorious body, as the saints know a transformation. Phil. 3:21, “Who [Jesus Christ] will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself”. Here man does not depend upon His own abilities or strength to accomplish these things for self. It is not by man’s own works, but by God’s power and authority alone, in which, He is well able to fulfill. By the Holy Spirit, which has freedom through obedience, we know change by a new birth. This speaks of a continually transformation until being conformed to the heavenlies. John 3:3. “Jesus answered and said to Him, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This word “again” has the meaning of “from above,” a from above birthing that is brought about by the power of God. A birthing that is from above, the heavenlies, which means for us that a people shall take off this robe of corruption, which we have worn from our natural birthing, to finally be dressed with another robe. John 3:30-31 also reveals this as John the Baptist declares, “He [Jesus] must increase, but I [the old man] must decrease. He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.” The word “from above” in verse 31 is the same Greek word as “born again” in verse 3. This reveals for us that unto those who are born again, they are born from above, from the heavenlies, to put on Christ that He might manifest Himself through man, spirit, soul, and body, unto all the earth.
By a vessel becoming “born again from above,” spirit, soul, and body means that vessel is filled with light. No darkness remains in him, as he becomes the light that comprehends all things. Matt.6:22, “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.” Luke 11:34-36. “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore, take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light”. The word “darkness” in the above verse is from a root word meaning, “to cover.” This darkness arises from error, ignorance, disobedience, willful blindness, and rebellion. Darkness is an evil system opposed to the light. Nevertheless, as we purpose to walk in the light, our thoughts will become single to God’s glory. 1 John 3:2-3, “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” This word “pure” is from a root word meaning “holy,” describing a person or thing as clean, modest, pure, undefiled, morally faultless, and without blemish, meaning a death to the fallen soul of carnal man while being resurrected to become the “living soul” breathed into man by God.
Herein, God incorporated Himself into the body of Christ with the purpose of manifesting that which He is. The basic foundational truth of God is that He is love. Therefore, the law of love shall cause each yielded vessel to receive of the fullness of God. Eph. 3:19, “to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” All the fullness of God speaks of more than a one-time experience or only knowing one aspect of His truth or power. It points to a broad-based spirituality, balanced through participating in all of God’s blessings, resources, and wisdom. Therefore, as God’s word commands in 1 John 3:18, “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but indeed and in truth.” It is now time for a people to become the visible manifestation of our invisible God.