Crucified with Christ, how so?

Crucified with Christ

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Among many of Paul’s writings, this verse in his letter to Galatians has powerful connotations that express his beliefs. Other verses provide an exegesis that may still defy credulity and have to be taken contextually. Here is my take:

Crucified/dead

As Paul was still alive when this was written, it is without question that he was speaking allegorically or metaphorically. And, this is how he considered himself, as we should.

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4)

He was referring to “water baptism” as beingburied“,signifying “second eternal death”,(from sin), that as Christ was raised (spirit-composed resurrection) by the Father from the dead, so shall we have a “new life“, as promised through a process of “ongoing creation”.

Christ lives in me/current body, how?

We were created an “image/likeness of God, not after plants or animals

And we turned ourselves from Adam, into “marred clay. But we have this treasure in us given as a gift(Holy Spirit) from the Father to Son then in us to re-form this jar of clay to be “one” with him, as in:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7).NIV

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13:5) NIV

But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. (Romans 8:10). NIV

And this Holy Spirit is gifted “to me” through being “in me” and “writing his laws in heart and mind“, (no longer in stones) to form us.

But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human beingGalatians 1:15-16

My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,(Galatians 4:19)NIV

“…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love“(Ephesians 3:17).NIV

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.“(Colossians 1:27) “Christ in you”NIV

Live by faith, how?

Faith is “confidence, assurance and conviction” based on “reality, substance and evidence as in:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen Hebrews 11:1KJV

Faith is different from belief, hope or trust which are all “evidenced-based“. And faith comes from our eyes/ears being opened to truth through the gift of “in-dwelling Holy Spirit” that leads us to believe and trust.

End-point

And, the long and short of it all is to build the “kingdom of God, and not a plant or animal kingdom. And, Jesus Ian the “author and finisher” of our faith. He is the, carpenter builder.

Summary

Indeed, we have to consider ourselves “crucified with Christ“, buried and “dead in sinaccounted from Adam’s sin. This is reflected/symbolized by “water baptism”. We could have been dead eternally were it not for the “faith OF Jesus” in the promise of the Father to him that resurrection to life is achievable.With this faith, evidenced-based as Jesus was with the Father from the beginning as WORD, he then had the assurance and conviction of his belief to trust that what the Father promised would be delivered.

And this promise to build the “kingdom of God” is a process that was authored, being built by Jesus and will reach fruition in due time.

God Bless 🙏😇

Original Post: 5/13/2019

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Faith OF/IN Jesus or Both?

Faith OF/IN Jesus or Both?

Different translations from original Greek to English, whether faith ”of and in” Jesus, caused people’s confusion. What is the truth? The answer has major effect on Christian teaching. It is therefore a question that deserves an answer. Here are the verses referred to:

Faith of Jesus?

  • Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
  • Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
  • Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
  • Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Faith in Jesus?

Acts 20:21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

Galatians 3:26
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 1:4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people–

Faith “of” and “in” Jesus

Taking all things into consideration, one can see the harmony of the truth behind these verses. It is clear that faith has to be started by a man (anthropos-Jesus), not a spirit-being like an angel. From Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and on through centuries, no human was chosen to be the Passover” for man’s sin but a man, Christ. For which reason, incarnation came about. The El Shaddai/Yahweh (God Almighty/Lord God), aka Logos(Word), became man. He was the only man chosen by the Father to be the “author and finisher of faith“, (Hebrews 12:2). By “faith of Jesus” was the righteousness of God anchored on, not by works. And, this righteousness of faith is for propitiation and justification through his death, by taking the consequence of mankind’s sin accounted from Adam , as in:

Romans 3:22-31 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Jesus is the “carpenter and builder” of the “God-Kingdom“. And rightly so, this has to start with faith of Jesus, which is evidence-based and process-planned. He was with the Father from the very beginning as Word to see evidence of the Father’s wisdom, power and love. He was the God whose name was El Shaddai (Almighty God)to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob but to Moses he was known as YHVH (Lord God/Yahweh/I AM), as in Exodus 6:3.

As he started our salvation as faith-based through the “faith of Jesus” so shall we follow this “trailblazer man” and have to anchor our salvation by havingfaith in Jesus” as well. As the scriptures said, “from faith-to-faith“(Romans 1:17).

Summary

The death of the Passover-Lamb (anthropos-Jesus) is imputed as payment and consequence of mankind’s sin which was accounted to Adam’s sin. This promise that Jesus’ death will pay for the sins of mankind has been made by the Father. This promise is the pathway/trail to achieve justification for mankind’s sin, reconciliation of mankind with the Father, Jesus’ resurrection (our’s,too) and for Jesus to receive this gift of the Holy Spirit to in-dwell subsequently in us. All of these were based on the “faith of man-Jesus” who was the only man chosen specifically for this immense task on “hope” that he would follow his Father’s will, and he did, most especially in the most pivotal moment at the garden of Gethsemane. The “faith of Jesus” is his “faith in the Father” that what was promised would be fulfilled. Being the pioneer/captain/author/trailblazer, Jesus will help us go through the same path by being empowered by the Holy Spirit (Helper/Advocate)which guides us, as hislaws are written in the fleshy tables of our heart“.

The “faith of Jesus” is the predicate (based on evidence) for his “faith in the Father”, that made him believe and trust with confidence and assurance. So should we also have “faith in the Father” which is predicated by “our faith in Jesus” . Indeed, “from faith-to-faith”.

Ultimately, both “faith of and in Jesus” are a requisite towards our immortality and salvation from eternal death.

God bless 🙏🎂

Original post: May 14, 2019

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Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day

If there is any particular person who has done more for the future of humanity, it is the mother. An overwhelming number of people will undoubtedly recognize and put her in that pedestal. And rightly so, as her sacrifice for the children (and spouse) will never be surpassed. As written in a poem by William Ross Wallace, “the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world“. Therefore, as a token of gratitude, a special day was set to commemorate her immense role in society. For 2019, it is celebrated May 12 in the USA.

History

Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the motherof the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May. The modern Mother’s day began in the United States, at the initiative of Anna Jarvis in the early 20th century. Many traditional celebrations of mothers and motherhood have existed throughout the world over thousands of years, such as the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration (originally a commemoration of Mother Church, not motherhood). This is to honor all mothers because she believed a mother is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”.

“The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. St Andrew’s Methodist Church now holds the International Mother’s Day Shrine.

 “Her campaign to make Mother’s Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues.”

“However, owing to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, by 1911 all U.S. states observed the holiday, with some of them officially recognizing Mother’s Day as a local holiday?(the first being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state, in 1910). In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.”

Religious Celebration

“In the Roman Catholic Church, the holiday is strongly associated with revering the Virgin Mary. In some Catholic homes, families have a special shrine devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In many Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, a special prayer service is held in honor of the Theotokos Virgin Mary.”

“In Islam there is no concept of Mother’s Day, but the Quran teaches that children should give priority to loving their mother over their father.”

“In Hindu tradition, Mother’s Day is called “Mata Tirtha Aunshi” or “Mother Pilgrimage fortnight”, and is celebrated in countries with a Hindu population, especially in Nepal. The holiday is observed on the new moon day in the month of Baisakh, i.e., April/May. This celebration is based on Hindu religion and it pre-dates the creation of the US-inspired celebration by at least a few centuries.”

“In Buddhism, the festival of Ullambana is derived from the story of Maudgalyayana and his mother.”

Metaphorical Mother?

“The symbolism of the “church as mother” is used throughout early church writings, continues into the medieval period, and, though it may surprise some, was embraced by the reformers. John Calvin quotes Cyprian and refers to the motherhood of the church throughout his Institutes.

While motherhood is gender-specific, and refers to female parenthood, metaphorically, it includes all of humanity, as a composite of mother Jerusalem above, betrothed/prepared for a wedding as a church and individually. This is what the Bible prophetically renders us all to be.

Consider, what was the takeaway understanding, of Paul regarding “mother” in:

Galatians 4:26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.

Our “mother” is identified as “Jerusalem that is above”. She is the spiritual nurturing city/place for all, an allegorical place where we are now. We were “born after the flesh”, of the bondwoman/slave (flesh-composed); but our future is to be born (again)by promise” as “children of the free“(Galatians 4:22-31), spirit-composed. This is figurative and being in the “womb of the church“, we are now considered “children of promise“. Those still “in fetal development” are considered “children” before “born/delivery”.

Moreover, the function, responsibility and role of the church is expressed in:

Proverbs 31:26-27 “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

Proverbs 31:25Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come

Ezekiel 16:44 “Behold, everyone who uses proverbs will use this proverb about you: ‘Like mother, like daughter.’

1 Thessalonians 2:7.”But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children”

Proverbs 31:25-31(ESV) “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

Wedding of the Lamb

Being in the “womb of the church“, we are being nurtured for a “wedding“. Like any wedding ceremony, the “virgin bride” (spiritual members of the church), .”has made herself ready, as in:

Revelations 19:7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.”

And this preparation now is for us to be in “oneness with God” through the guidance and presence of the Holy Spirit in us, “writing the laws not in tables of stone but in the fleshly tables of heart and mind”.

Members of the spiritual church are being “formed“(Galatians 4:19), for the prophesied wedding ceremony at the “last trump” when our “flesh-composed body” will change into spirit-composed firstfruits and will meet Christ in the air to come down on earth with him towards Jerusalem. Together, they will have more children to be “formed” in the Millenium and post-Millenium as “latter fruits”.

Summary

No one has influenced the family more than our mother. It is therefore fitting to commemorate a special day for her, a gesture of respect and acknowledgment of her role in humanity.

Figuratively, the mother is a “spiritual church that nurtures and develops children from cradle to grave. And this is in the context of the power of the Holy Spirit in us and given by the Father to Christ as a gift for our “oneness“. This Holy Spirit is a “Helper” to the weaknesses of our “flesh-composed body” as emphasized three times in the narrative of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane. Thebride” has to be prepared with the help of the Holy Spirit. After having formed” us from a “marred clay” to one befitting a “virgin bride”, the spiritual wedding ceremony will manifest at resurrection as “firstfruits” in a “twinkling of an eye” at Jesus‘ second coming. The “spirit-composed” mature children, his body/church, will meet Christ in the air and descend on earth to rule a Millenium and forever in the “new heaven and earth”. After firstfruits had manifested, more children will be prepared/formed from “marred clay at their own time for the marriage between the “bride and the Lamb” as “latter fruits“. Then will be fulfilled the promise to the seed in:

Genesis 22:17: I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. …,(NIV).

All those in the family of spiritcomposed God-kingdom that came out from an “image” are no longer temporary like a temple, but eternal/immortal beings. This is human destiny as members of the God-Kingdom ; not plant nor animal kingdom.

God Bless 🙏😇

Original post: May 12, 2019.

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Dedicated to Motherhood.

Firstborn, what is,who is, why, when, for what and how to?

Firstborn, what is,who is, why, when, for what and how to?

What is, who is and why?

Students of the Holy Bible have encountered this word firstborn“. First off, to take up this subject, it is essential to know its derivation and what it entails in both books of the Holy Bible.

In the Old Testament(Tanakh), “firstborn” is translated in English from Hebrew” bekor“, It refers to whofirst comes out of the womb”. The Hebrew root bkr has the general meaning “(to be) early“. It is used of people and animals, cognate terms being employed for firstfruits, person or animal, male or female, singular or plural, collective or. figurative.

The first-born was regarded as “the beginning of strength, see Genesis 49:3Psalms105:36) and ‘the opener of the womb’ see Exodus 13:2 of human or animal; redeem the unclean Numbers 18:15,(as we all are and needs redemption)!from both paternal and maternal lines. The pre-eminent status of first-born was also accorded to Israel as in Exodus 4:22 and the Davidic line as in Psalms 89:27.

This generally refers to the fact that this son is the first son to be born of his father. Also, it refers to the rights and authority of a person, because they are the firstborn. In the Old Testament, the firstborn son was the one who normally received a double inheritance, and was the one who would inherit his father’s role as head of the family. God sometimes reversed this order, as he did with Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25:21-26), and as Jacob later did with Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:13-22). Reuben was the firstborn of Jacob, but his rights as the firstborn were taken away because of his sin (Genesis 35:22; Genesis 49:3-4.). This is notactual reversal“, as though this change was a mistake. Rather, the Father planned and wanted us to see that He is sovereign, the only one, through the example made by YHVH-Creator, who chooses who the “firstborn” should be.

As to human sacrifice done by non-Israelites at that time, consider these quotes from https://bible.org/question/what-significance-“firstborn”-bible

Jeremiah denies that the offering of human beings could have been an instruction from Yahweh (Jeremiah 7:31; 19:5). The prophetic conception of God had rendered such a doctrine inconceivable. Clear evidence of the spiritualization and humanization of religion among the Israelites is furnished in the replacement, at an early stage, of the actual sacrifice of the firstborn by their dedication to the service of Yahweh. At a later stage the Levites were substituted for the firstborn. Just as the firstlings of unclean animals were redeemed with money (Ex 13:13; 34:20), for the dedication of the firstborn was substituted the consecration of the Levites to the service of the sanctuary (Nu 3:11-13,15). On the 30th day after birth the firstborn was brought to the priest by the father, who paid five shekels for the child’s redemption from service in the temple (compare Lk 2:27; Mishna Bekhoroth viii.8). For that service the Levites were accepted in place of the redeemed firstborn (Nu 3:45). See note. According to Ex 22:29-31the firstborn were to be given to Yahweh. (The firstborn of clean animals, if free from spot or blemish, were to be sacrificed after eight days, Nu 18:16 ff.) This allusion to the sacrifice of the firstborn as part of the religion of Yahweh has been variously explained.

it is interesting that the service of Levitical priest substituted for redemption of the firstborn and remember that the High Priest enters the Holy of Holies once a year. Moreover, that the clean firstborn animal is sacrificed, while the sinfulfirstborn (all firstfruits) has to be redeemed. Why? This is predictive of Jesus sacrificed as “passover” and the future redemption eventually of all, as “all have sinned”(Romans 3:23).

When, for what and how to?

In the New Testament, the word firstborn is referred to, from the Greek “prototokos“. This Greek word is translated twice asfirst-begotten” (Hebrew 1:6Revelations 1:5) in the KJV, but otherwise, and always in the RV as firstborn“. Jesus Christ was Mary’s firstborn (Luke 2:7; Matthew 1:25 ) before her other children. It includes men and animals (Hebrews 11:28). This is in contrast to “monogenes” which translates to only child in the New Testament or Septuagint.

Not only was Jesus, the firstborn of Mary historically and literally, but also (prophetically) is the “firstborn of many brethren” (brothers and sisters;make and female) as in Romans 8:29

Christ, is “the firstborn of all creation” (Col 1:15), not only in time, but also in power and authority. “All things have been created through him, and unto him” (Col 1:16). He is “sovereign Lord over all creation”,

Jesus was identified, named and described as “Son“(first begotten/firstborn) of the Father in Matthew 3:17, which was revealed to Matthew and written by him after Jesus’ resurrection. But, time wise, when did Jesus actually become “firstborn“? When was he declared firstborn? It was after resurrection, as in “declared/appointed/shown firstborn from the dead” (Romans 1:4). And, for what? So he will have “supremacy” as in Colossians 1:18. He is the “first of the firstfruits” as in Leviticus 23:20, the 1 lambs representing the sacrificed anthropos/flesh-composed Jesus and the resurrected, victorious spirit-composed Christ.

And how to be “firstborn” is a process that Jesus, the “captain:author/source (trailblazer)”, has gone through. Remember what he said, “I am the way , the truth and the life”(John 14:6). Jesus was the “first” who received the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit of power at river Jordan (John 1:32). From then on, as a human, (anthropos-Jesus 1 Timothy 2:5) he was empowered to overcome Satan’s temptation, (1st expression of power of HS against spirit-being) and convert water into wine in the wedding in Cana, (1st miracle about non-spirit matter) suggesting that before in-dwelling of this Holy Spirit of power, he would not be able to do this. This was a new-power, in the sense that it was not in-dwelling to humans before. After his death and resurrection, he was then given this gift-power directly by the Father to be gifted back for/to us-ward, as in John 16:7. In like manner, with this in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit into us which started at Pentecost, we will then be empowered to overcome evil as we walk “in the spirit, not the pull of the flesh”.

We were created flesh-composed and therefore “weak“, on “hope/confidence ” based on Jesus’ faith and works(our builder and carpenter) so we need a “Helper/Advocate/Comforter“. At the end, we will then “be clothed with immortality“, in “a twinkling of an eye” if we “persevere” in following the will of the Father as Jesus did, especially and profoundly in the garden of Gethsemane.

Together with Jesus, we will be “firstborn/firstfruits”. Salvation from eternal death requires the “real uscurrently with mortal bodies to be changed into immortal-spirit-composed bodies, becoming members of “God-kingdom”

The “marred clay” that mankind became because of Adam is being re-shaped (as planned) by the “Potter” and our re-creation with the new power given by the Father to Jesus to “re-create” is still “ongoing“.

Summary

The introduction of the word “first born” has been defined in Genesis. This knowledge has been developed for us to understand the depth and breath of this word.

The “anthropos-Jesus, is the first man to receive the Holy Spirit at river Jordan, empowered to overcome evil and pull of the flesh, died and resurrected to receive the gift of Holy Spirit, directly from the Father, for us to be re-shaped by “writing the laws in our heart and mind” (not tables of stone) using this Holy Spirit-power, to be “firstborn” from the dead. We will then be “church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven” (Heb 12:23).

God bless🙏😇

Original Post: 5/2/2019

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Dedicated to my firstborn:

Blessing and AJ