This week in our Ironic series, we talk about proof for the resurrection, the ascension and the Holy Spirit. No other King ascended into Heaven or could even imagine a way they could fill their followers with their presence. If we’re going to be like Christ, we have to know who He is. When we know who Christ was, how he lived and what he sacrificed, we can’t help but spend our lives trying to live like He lived.
Our key verse for this series is:
“…whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
What is the point of believing in the Resurrection, Ascension and Receiving the Holy Spirit?
The disciples got to see Jesus when he Resurrected from the Dead. They also knew what the presence of the Holy Spirit felt like because they knew Jesus. Their faith had been fortified by all these events and they had absolutely nothing to doubt.
The Holy Spirit reminded the disciples of all that words Jesus had spoken and empowered them to preach and do miraculous signs – all for the purpose of bringing people to Christ.
But what about us? We didn’t see Jesus’ resurrected body with our own eyes. For those of us who have accepted Christ, we have been baptized with the Holy Spirit, but we don’t have the benefit of having had Jesus’ physical presence with us to know for sure what that felt like.
And yet, the command for us is still the same. We are to be Christ’s witnesses of the Truth. We are to go into all the world and make disciples. We are live righteously and fruitfully.
Just as all the followers outside of Jerusalem who believed. They believed because of the ministry of an apostle or missionary. There are those who will not believe unless we are their missionary.
It is all the more important for us to be ones who love and study and devour God’s word. We have everything we need in the scriptures to be able to life this life the way we ought to as well as to be able to be missional in the way God intended us to be. Since it is Christ in us, the hope of glory – Christ must be in us.
But if we are not well acquainted with the truth, how will we know how to live? How will we know what to say when we find ourselves in a God-planned conversation? When life gets complicated and confusing, how will we respond? And when life hits us hard and we’re down for the count, where will we find the faith to get back up and keep walking and being Christ to our world?
That’s the point, we are to be Christ to our world. The world we live in every day. The world we’ll all wake up in tomorrow. We need to be Monday Morning Missionaries. We need to wake up on Monday with the intent to be Christ to someone we work with, live with or walk with this week. We have to be in their lives in a significant way, not in a casual way, but significant. And there are already people that God has put in our lives in that way. All we have to do is be Christ to them.
Then when they see the way you live, they will want to know more about who and why you live like you do. And when they see you live, you will be able to have conversations with them about their lives and the problems they are facing. If you don’t know the word, if you don’t know the truth – how will the Spirit of Truth remind you of it when God needs you to speak truth into this person’s life? To be like Christ, we have to know Christ. To know Christ, we have to know His word. For the Spirit to speak to us, we have to give an opportunity to do so by reading and studying His word. For the Spirit to speak through us, we have to have enough word in us for the Spirit to remind us of.
We need to live the abundant life Jesus talked about, live life in the vine – attached and bearing fruit.
“He prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit. 3 You are clean already because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me—and I in him—bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing.” … “Just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you; remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete. 12 My commandment is this—to love one another just as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends.” (John 15:2-13)
“In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)
Or as Peter puts it:
“Dear friends, I urge you as foreigners and exiles to keep away from fleshly desires that do battle against the soul, 12 and maintain good conduct among the non-Christians, so that though they now malign you as wrongdoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God when he appears.” (2 Pet. 2:12)