Journey Together In Christ


Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:19, " So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God..." Paul compares the Christian life to that of a travelor.To begin the journey together in Christ one needs to answer two basic questions. Who is Jesus and how do we respond to him in the Biblical way? We find answers to the identity of Jesus in the birth naritives and in prophesies of the Old Testament. Read Mt 1:18-23 and Lk 2:11. Also read Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 8:10, Isaiah 9:6-7 and Micah 5:2. We learn that Jesus was named by God the Father through an angel and that he is the savior, Christ the Lord. He is Emmanuel-God with us. Jesus asked his disciples," who do men say that the Son of man is?" Peter answered, "you are the Christ, the son of the living God"(Mt 16:13-16). When Jesus was baptised by John in the river Jordan God spoke and said," this Is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased" (Mt 3:17). We see from the prophets and from the New Testament that Jesus is clearly identified. He is known by many other names such as Lord, savior, rabbi, physician, master, teacher, judge,and king of the Jews. Having a clear understanding of the names of Jesus(Christology) is very important in the journey.

The next step in the journey in Christ is to learn the teachings of Jesus which are part of the righteousness of God or the righteousness of the kingdom. As we learned this kingdom is close by or present. It is upon us. Jesus plainly taught that his teachings are from the Father. He reaffirmed the teachings of the Old Testament and the law of God. Jesus said," Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets;I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them" (Mt 5:17). We see from this that his teachings were in accordance with what was taught in the Old Testament as well as what he received directly from the Father. We know he is from the Father , therefore he had direct information from him.This is seen clearly in John 5:19. Jesus said, " Truly,truly, I say to you, The Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these will he show him , that you may marvel." Jesus taught many things. All the gospels and Revelation should be read to see them all. A few examples will be given to show the themes of Jesus' teachings. Jesus taught about the Father. In the Lord's prayer Jesus taught that the Father is in heaven and should be honored (Mt 6:9). Elsewhere we learn that he is Jesus' Father, and we are his children. The Father has a household and we as believers are destined to be part of his household and kingdom (Jn 14:2).
 
The next part of the journey in Christ is to determine what is the biblical way? The answer is both simple and complex. The simple answer is to say it is the way of Christ or it is the way that the bible teaches. Christianity is sometines called "the way". The complex answer is to say that the biblical way is all that the bible says about Jesus and his teachings. To understand the journey in Christ one needs to know some of the basic doctrines of the faith. Jesus begin his ministry by saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdon of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel" (Mk 1:15). The prophets in the Old Testament had predicted the coming of Jesus.( See Isaiah 9:6.) Jesus said "the time is fulfilled". It is here and now.The kingdon of God is at hand. This kingdom is the rulership of God.  Along with this kingdom will be a system of righteousness called the righteousness of God or the righteousness of the kingdom. Much that Jesus taught explained what this righteousness is and how it is perfected in our lives. Jesus taught repentense which is turning away from sin and making positive changes in our lives. Our goal is to cease from sin, but if we do sin we immediately pray to God to forgive our sins. The next part of the formula is to believe in the gospel or the good news of God.  Belief is an important part of being saved. Being saved is our goal. It is called salvation or redemption. This raised the question. How am I saved? This has already been explaned on the website. So the journey in Christ that Paul spoke of is getting off on the right start. It is acknowledging that God's time of redemption and salvation is here and now. It requires to to respond to him  by acknowledging the kingdom of God and God's righteousness. It requires us to repent and believe. If we do these things by confessing our sins and asking God and Jesus to come into our lives we shall be saved. We receive power from the Holy Spirit . He will sustain us and teach us what we need to know and do. We  should respond by studying the Bible and learning more about God's word. By doing these things we are well on our way on our journey in Christ.