Baptism gives us a vocation as representatives and co-workers with Christ in his work preparing this world for the world that is coming.
The vocation of Christians is to live as resurrection people. The apostle Paul describes the resurrection life as exchanging one set of clothes for another. We set aside the old clothes the world says we need individualism, self-centeredness, envy, greed, anger, sexual gratification, etc. In their place we are clothed with a new self, in the image of Christ:. Bear one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. The task of Wesleyan leadership is to help the congregation to embrace thinking and practices that enable it to be a resurrection people.
Living in Resurrection Life
A major obstacle to resurrection living is the common belief that the church is the place we go to be served. It is the building where we go for Sunday school and worship. The church becomes and behaves like a commodity. It reflects and caters to the fads, attitudes, and expectations of the culture it desperately seeks to serve. It is contrary to resurrection life because it expects the church to serve the church goers.
The church becomes a community akin to a country club in which dues paying members expect to be served.
Living in the Resurrection Life of Christ to be in the Reality of the Body of Christ
While the club provides excellent facilities to help members to enjoy and improve their golf or tennis game, there is no expectation that they even use the facilities. The club exists to serve and make the dues paying members happy. In fact the standards of membership are even lower for the church than the country club. Love is the culture of this church.
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Allow yourself to be searched by God for hidden and dark places He needs to renew. Invite God to be a searching light by bringing your whole life into the presence of God. There is no darkness in God at all, so we may turn to Him to be the light in us. He must expel from his heart everything that is out of accord with the character of God…There can be no tolerance of evil, no laughing off the things that God hates.
If we are all sleepwalking next to each other, it feels like we are all awake.
Click To Tweet. Many aspects of this world are trying to woo us away from seeking the Lord. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. Anything with which we try to fill the void in our life will not be as satisfying as knowing the Lord. In our walk with God, we need both spiritual breakthrough, and slow and steady processes.
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These writers are much more concerned with resurrection as a present reality. I would argue that Pentecost and Easter are intimately connected, inseparable. The presence of the Spirit of God is synonymous with the presence of resurrection life. In post-exile restoration Israel, the scribes and theologians of Judaism lamented the perceived absence of the Holy Spirit and yearned for a day when God's Spirit would return and give renewed life to the people of Israel -- a theology full of social, economic and political implications.
Living the Resurrection Life
The Gospel writers, who were Jews, in answer to the lament, are making the claim that the resurrection of Jesus has begun a new age of the Spirit, a new age in which God is active in the world -- doing the things that God does: raising up the shamed and dispossessed, healing, bringing justice and well-being. Resurrection, the life of the Spirit, is not about going to heaven after death, though we have hope for some sort of life after death. Scripture speaks very little about the hereafter. But scripture has everything to say about how we live now and how we as people of faith have the gift of choice as to whether we live into the present reality of resurrection, which is to live into the life of the Spirit, which is to be about the things that God does: raising up the lost and the least the word for resurrection in the Koine Greek literally means to "stand with dignity" , caring for the orphan and widow, feeding, healing, visiting those in prison.
The gospel message ain't about me; it's about bearing God's raised life to the world in need of kindness and goodness and restoration to what God intends it to be. If the resurrection of Jesus is merely a fanciful magic trick unique in history, unique to Jesus alone -- only so that we who believe and which Gospel account?
And worse, such a belief, I think, leads to an abdication of our own responsibilities as people of faith to bear God's life to the world. Resurrection life has always been.
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