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Friday, July 29, 2016

Our Christian Identity

What does being a Christian mean to you? If going to church on Sunday & putting on a good face before a watching world is all that it entails, then you should rethink your Christianity! Add to that good works & you're starting to understand. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, a Christian is 'one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ'; while this definition certainly fits the bill, it by no means fills the bill, or even adequately describes the true Christian. Other definitions assert, more to the point, that a Christian is a follower of Jesus ( who was the Christ ). You may have heard that, in the beginning, it was a term of derision aimed at His disciples; in other words, to call a disciple of Jesus a 'little Christ' was to remind them that theirs ( as the unbelievers saw it ) was a false Messiah, or Christ.

To call a Christian a 'little Christ', however, is the most apt & greatest compliment that you can give them! Jesus told His followers, 'You are the light of the world' ( Matthew 5:14a ); later, He proclaimed that He was the Light of the world ( John 8:12 ), so, using purely biblical reasoning, we may safely assert that we are, at the very least, His representatives on this earthly plane, whether we simply reflect that Light or are bearers of it ( John 14:23 ). It has been said that we are the Christ to the world; in other words, as He was to the Jews & Gentiles, so are we to a dark & dreary world!

A Christian, then, is not simply one who professes belief or faith in Jesus as the Son of God; a Christian is one who does, as Jesus Himself said, 'greater [ works ] than these' ( John 14:12 ), speaking of the works that He did. Those who simply profess belief, even faith in Jesus are simply fooling themselves if they do not the works that He did! This is by no means to say that, to be a true Christian, one must perform, in detail, the physical miracles that Jesus did, though we must, as James wrote later ( James 1:27 ), visit orphans and widows in their trouble' & 'keep oneself unspotted from the world'. 'To heal the sick & feed the poor' may be read several different ways, but when we do these things, we are continuing the work ( of redemption ) that Jesus inaugurated & in that sense at least, doing greater works than He Himself accomplished!

In this day & age, thanks in part to the advances of Science & Technology, the dead ARE being raised, the sick ARE being miraculously healed & the lame ARE being made to walk again! Those who have never before seen the light of day are seeing it for the first time & one only has to do a simple search on Youtube to watch the unspeakable joy on a baby's face as he or she hears their parent's voice for the first time.  We must be clear here that none of this occurs without our Almighty Father's Guiding Hand; only with the Wisdom that comes from Above ( James 1:17 ), even though some may not acknowledge it, can these doctors perform these miracles. Jesus told His first-century disciples, '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' ( Matthew 7:21 ); though, in context, He was speaking of those false Jews that claimed to be God's people yet crucified their Messiah, it stands to reason yet, that many who claim the name 'Christian' are false brethren & have not entered the Kingdom of Heaven!

Our Christian Identity says that we, as Jesus was, are Messiah to the world; as Bearers of the Light, or, as I have fondly asserted of late, Aquarian Water-Bearers, we, including those doctors, are spreading the Life & Light of Jesus, both in this early realm & in the heavenly one! Our focus on this physical realm & our attachment to it has caused biology to define the life of the average man or woman, but it has become clear to this blogger that is our Life in the Spirit that defines us. A life lived without the Spirit of the Living God, our Heavenly Father, is no Life at all & is reflected in our earthly existence!

'Christians don't go to church, we are the Church!' Though we meet together with others of like faith, usually at least once a week, for the purposes of corporate worship & fellowship, this is not what defines us; what defines us is that we do what Jesus did, going out & gathering in those who were not a part of the established religion, those in fact, who would be shunned by the establishment & condemned as sinners. We are identified as Christians, not by water baptism, not by going to a certain house of worship on Sunday, not even by wearing 'Christian' t-shirts & such, but by the way we live our lives, according to the Spirit Within. We are all spirit-beings having a biological experience, but when we follow the Wisdom of the Spirit of the Creator, we are blessed; when we follow the wisdom of mere men, our existence in this biological realm will be cursed!

Charles Haddon Shank

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