Christ in You, the Hope of Glory
By: John Blake
Are you a “Christian” or a “Disciple”? That is the best way I can think to word the most important question you will ever answer. I hope that this article challenges you to find out.
Right now, as a result of splits and disagreements in and out of scripture, there are currently around 41,000 Christian denominations in the world. One of the most prominent reasons there are so many debates among Christians is because in our day and age there two types of Christians. There are “Christians”, those who profess Christ with their lips but their hearts are far from him. And there are “Disciples”, those who die to themselves and are crucified and have been resurrected with Christ. The two are radically different.
Usually you cannot tell “Christians” apart from the world and they do not stand for much of anything that Christ would stand for or against. These “Christians” are basically playing church and many are sadly deceived into believing it is enough to just profess alone. I believe that Jesus was real and I believe he died on the cross and was raised again but this belief alone will not save you. Even Satan himself believes and knows this to be the truth. He believed it so much that he did everything in his power to try to stop Jesus.
On the other hand there are “Disciples”. These “Disciples” strive to be Christ-like, which is where the true meaning of the word Christian comes from. Christian means: to be Christ-like or like Christ
These believers have been reborn. They are new creations that are intentional in renewing their mind to the word of God
. As they do this they begin to look less like the world and more like Christ. They have been given the authority of Christ and the ability to demonstrate the very nature and power of God to healing the sick, raise the dead and set the captives free by preaching the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
The word “believe” is powerful. If you truly believe in something you will walk talk and act as if it is reality. You will live it.
(Set apart in article – in bigger letters) Saying you believe in Jesus and not following him is like saying you believe in air but not breathing.
It’s not a mystery if you believe or not. It is obvious by your lifestyle.
What do you fill your days with? What do you do in your free time?
What do you think about? What do you talk about?
Matthew 6:21 (NKJV) says: “21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Where you spend your time and money is usually what you worship. Being a “Disciple” is so much more than saying you think something happened 2,000 years ago and that you get to go to heaven because of it.
Jesus has lots of “fans”. He doesn’t want fans…he wants disciples. To put it in modern terms you could say: (Set apart in article – in bigger letters) Jesus doesn’t want you to “Like” his page he wants you to follow his page.
Jesus said in John 14:15: “15 If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—” This is not just a commandment, it is a promise that we will have a helper to keep his commandments and be true disciples.
“If you love me, keep My commandments.”
This is the one qualifier Jesus gave to us to know if we really love him. But what were the commandments that he’s asking us to keep? And why do most of us only know the Ten Commandments? The answer is usually because it’s what we were taught in Sunday school and in the pew. Instead of reading and devouring Jesus’s own words we were taught rules and regulations instead of learning the nature and character of God.
I believe the most important things in the Bible to learn and memorize are his character, life and commandments. His commandments enable us to become like him.
Jesus gave two commonly known commandments that he said: “all the Law and the Prophets hang on these two.” Which basically means if you keep these two you have kept them all.
Matthew 22:36-40: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
But He also gave many other commandments that are over looked and not applied or practiced in the much of the Church today. Here are a few of the commandments that he gave to his disciples that are instrumental in our walk as disciples of Jesus.
Place God First:
Matt 6:33: “33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
The Golden Rule: Matt 7:12: “12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
Settle matters quickly with your adversary: Matt 5:25: “25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.”
Let your light shine before men: Matt 5:14-16: “14 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Get rid of whatever causes you to sin: Matt 5:29-30: “29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”
Do not swear at all: Matt 5:34-37: “34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”
Do not resist an evil person: Matt 5:38-39: “38 You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
Giving more than is demanded: Matt 5:40-42: “40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.”
Love your enemies: Matt 5:43-45: “43 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Give to please God, not to be seen: Matt 6:1-5: “6 Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”
Pray privately, not to be seen of men: Matt 6:5-7: “5 And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”
This is how we should pray: Matt 6:9-13: “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread.12 and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
Forgive: Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Fast in secret only to be seen by God: Matt 6:16-18: “16 Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
Do not store up treasures on earth: Matt 6:25-26: “19 Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Do not worry about your needs: Matt 6:25-26: “25 Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
Do not worry about tomorrow: Matt 6:34: “34 Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Do not judge: Matt 7:1-5: “7 Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Keep what is holy, sacred: Matt 7:6: “6 Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.”
Keep asking, seeking, and knocking: Matt 7:7-12: “7 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
Why what you do matters: Matt 25:33-36: “33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”
This story was not a lullaby. It was Jesus telling about the day of judgment. The day when all men will be judged and it tells how they will be judged.
James goes further into this and says this: James 1:27: “27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”
Enter Through the Narrow Gate: Matt 7:13-14: “13 Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
Watch out for false prophets: Matt 7:15-20: “15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
Exercise spiritual power and give freely: Matt 10:1: “1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.”
Matt 10:8: “8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”
Do not despise childlike believers: Matt 18:10-11: “10 Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”
Do not exalt yourself or give yourself titles or lord over one another: Matt 23:8-12: “8 But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ,[b] and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Dealing with a sinning brother: Matt 18:15-17: “15 Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”
Do not oppose other Christian groups: Mark 9:38-41: “38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us. 39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is on our[a] side. 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”
Have faith in God: Mark 11:22-24: “22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
Be merciful to all and be like the good samaritan: Luke 6:32-36: “32 But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.”
Again in Luke 10:30-37: 37: “And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Therefore you also be ready: Matt. 24:44: “40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
Do this in Remembrance of Me: Luke 22:19-20: “19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”
You must be born again: John 3:7: “7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”
You should also wash one another’s feet: John 13:14: “14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”
Remain in Christ: John 15:4: “4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
Love one another: John 15:12: “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them: Matt 28:19-20: “18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”
Obey Christ’s Commandments: John 14:15: “15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
Our goal in this life should be to walk, talk and become as much like him as we possible can and the best way to achieve this is by writing his commandments on our heart. His character was so much more important than his works.
His works were simply a by-product of his character… love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
The following sums up why his commandments, his life and character are so important and should be adhered to and followed above and beyond anything else. John 15:9-15: “9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 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. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
Basically, its as Jesus said himself: there are tares and wheat. When they are fully grown it is easy to see what is real and what is fake. He also said not to tear them out before the harvest because you cannot tell the difference between the two until they are full mature.
The Word says in 2 Corinthians 13:5: “5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.” My question to anyone who professes to be a believer is: Are you merely a professor or a disciple? Are you a wheat or a tare? A fan or a follower? Are you here for the food and miracle show? Or are you here to be with Jesus?
We are called to be disciples and to disciple others. To be reproducers who reproduce reproducers.
Jesus explains what it means to be his disciple in Matt 28:19-20: “19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.”
So go study and keep his commandments, spend time with him and be like him.
My prayer for you is that you may know Jesus like a spouse, love others more than yourself, and spend your life teaching others to do the same.
In closing it says in Colossians 1:26-29: “26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
“Heroes are Rare, Become one!” – John Blake www.facebook.com/wherethingsareclear