A Model for Human Relationships

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- A Model for Human Relationships

Post by Christ is My Life! on Sun Aug 19, 2007 11:40 pm

A Model for Human Relationships


Paul, writing to the church in Philippi,
presents a model for human relationships that is beautiful and practical. "Make
my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord
and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard
others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests,
but to the interests of others" (Philippians 2:2-4, New Revised Standard Version).
Then he describes the perfect example of this giving, serving attitude. "Let
the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form
of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied
himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found
in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death-even
death on a cross" (verses 5-8, NRSV).
Jesus Christ, who before His human birth was part of the Godhead, with unimaginable
power and splendor (John 1:1-4, 14), willingly gave that up for our sakes. He "emptied
himself" of that glory and magnificence, was born as a physical, mortal human
and humbled Himself to the point of enduring a cruel and bloody death so we could
ultimately share eternal life in God's family with Him (2 Corinthians 6:1).
For those sanctified-set apart for eternal life through Jesus' sacrifice-He "is
not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters" (Hebrews 2:11, NRSV). This family
relationship is made possible through Christ's courageous surrendering of His own
life.
Notice the key to this attitude: "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition
or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself"
(Philippians 2:3). This requires that we be willing to submit to one another, showing
respect and honor to the other person.
Paul recognized this as a key to successful human relationships. We are to be
continually "submitting to one another in the fear of God" (Ephesians 5:21).
The same principles of respect, honor and love combine to form a successful marriage
relationship (verses 22-2). A successful marriage is based on each party's willingness
to submit to the needs and the well-being of the other, rather than seeking his or
her own way.
Paul instructed the Philippians, "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit
... (Philippians 2:3, NRSV). Those motivated by "selfish ambition"
seek things for themselves. In their conceit, they want to be placed above others.
But, as Christ makes plain, that is not how His followers are to be. "...
Whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you
desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to
be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:43-45).
If we are to rule over or lead others in the way God desires, we must in reality
be below them. We must be servants. Like Jesus Christ, we must be willing
to care for the rest of the sheep of the flock, giving to them, shepherding, pasturing
them-or "pastoring" them, as we derive that term today. These are truly
the acts of a Christian life-submission and service to others.
A Christian does not control others, nor is he independent of others. As Christians,
we are to be interdependent. We are to depend on one another, being mutually
concerned about one another.
This voluntary attitude of submission to one another is a result of our calling,
because we want to be in God's Kingdom to help the rest of mankind. This is not a
selfish motivation, to be there just for ourselves. It is because we want and are
willing to help others be there also. GN
-- Peter Nathan
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- Re: A Model for Human Relationships

Post by Christ is My Life! on Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:58 pm


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- Re: A Model for Human Relationships

Post by Christ is My Life! on Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:35 am


A half-hearted disciple is like the half-finished tower in today's gospel that cannot serve its intended purpose.


Patricia Takeda
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- Re: A Model for Human Relationships

Post by Christ is My Life! on Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:37 am

by Jerold Aust


Jesus Christ's death was crucial to our salvation. Without it, we would
all still bear the guilt—and the penalty, eternal death—for
our sins. Jesus, however, is not a dead Savior, but a living
one. What is the importance of that fact to us?
When Jesus died, Joseph of Arimathea helped place His body in the tomb.
". . . There was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and
just man. He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from
Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom
of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then
he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn
out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before" (Luke 23:50-53).

Three days and three nights later, just before sunset on the weekly Sabbath,
God resurrected Jesus from His grave (see "Does Easter Really Commemorate
Jesus Christ's Resurrection?,". Coming to the tomb before
dawn the next morning, Mary Magdalene found it empty and beside it an
angel who explained that Jesus had been raised from the dead (Matthew
28:1, 5-7).
Standing before the tomb, Mary lamented the loss of her Master and Teacher.
She noticed someone nearby she thought was the gardener and spoke to Him
about the body of Jesus: "Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell
me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away" (John 20:15).

Jesus simply spoke her name. Suddenly she realized who this was—Jesus
Himself, alive again! She must have spontaneously tried to hug or grab
Him, for He told her: "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned
to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning
to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God'" (John 20:17,
New International Version).
Later that day Jesus ascended to the Father; He then showed Himself to
His apostles, who observed His wounds (verses 19-20). Eight days later
He appeared to them again and asked doubting Thomas to come forward and
touch Him—to place his hands and fingers on Jesus' scars and even
place his hand in Jesus' side—so that he would believe Jesus had
indeed been resurrected (verses 26-27).
The resurrection of Jesus was an enduring act of love on the part of
the Father. Amazingly, His ascension to and acceptance by the Father was
acted out symbolically in an annual ritual known in the Old Testament
as the wave-sheaf offering. This harvest metaphor tells us much about
the living Christ and His role in God's plan for the rest of humanity.

Firstfruits of the harvest


Many centuries earlier God had instructed the Israelites to keep His
annual Holy Days and festivals (Leviticus 23:1-4). During one of these
festivals, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, God instituted a special ceremony
called the wave-sheaf offering (verses 10-14).
In Israel, before the spring barley harvest could begin, this ceremony
was to be conducted on the first day of the week during the seven-day
Feast of Unleavened Bread (verse 11). The first sheaf of barley from the
spring harvest was cut and given to the priest, who would then wave it
before God as a special offering. This sheaf is directly tied to and represents
Jesus' resurrection, His ascension to God's throne, His acceptance by
the Father and our hope for salvation.
It clearly was "of the firstfruits of your harvest" (Leviticus
23:10), the very first part of the crop harvested. Remarkably, this wave-sheaf
offering shows Jesus' role as the firstfruits of the salvation of all
mankind.
Notice the apostle Paul's statement about Christ in 1 Corinthians 15:20:
"But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits
of those who have fallen asleep
" (emphasis added throughout).
He goes on to explain: "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ
all shall be made alive.
But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those
who are Christ's at His coming" (verses 22-23).
Notice that Paul uses the term "firstfruits" to describe the
relationship of Jesus Christ and His resurrection to that of all the other
godly believers who will follow Him in the resurrection at His return.
Jesus is the first of many who will be resurrected to immortality
just as He was!
Jesus' sacrifice makes possible the harvesting of all humanity, and His
resurrection begins the harvest. Just as the wave-sheaf offering had to
be offered before Israel's spring harvest could begin, so Jesus Himself
had to be offered—and accepted by the Father as the only acceptable
sacrifice for sin—before God's harvest of humanity could begin.
He thus became "the origin of God's creation" (Revelation 3:14,
New Revised Standard Version) and "the author [source and sole agent]
of eternal salvation to all who obey Him" (Hebrews 5:9).
Jesus taught that God's plan for harvesting all humanity would begin
with Himself. Shortly before His death He told some of His disciples:
"The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most
assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground
and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain"
(John 12:23-24). He would have to die and, like a seed, be planted in
the ground. But through His death and resurrection, ultimately many others
would be given life in their own resurrection from the dead.
No human being could be harvested to salvation until after Jesus was
resurrected. Jesus likened salvation for His Church to a grain harvest:
"The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore
pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest"
(Matthew 9:37-3). We must never forget that the death of Jesus Christ
justifies us before God and reconciles us to Him, but we must also remember
this: We can only be harvested or saved by His life. Paul makes
this very clear: "For if when we were enemies we were reconciled
to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled,
we shall be saved by His life" (Romans 5:10).
Why Christ must live in us


Christ's life is of unparalleled importance to all humanity. God accepted
His death as the atoning sacrifice to pay the penalty for all of humankind's
sins. But the story doesn't end there. If we are Jesus' true followers,
God the Father views us as righteous through the living Christ
living in us—through the power of God's Spirit.
This is vital to understand. The Bible tells us that the normal human
mind simply cannot obey God in the way that He requires (Romans 8:7).
We need spiritual help. And that help to obey comes through the
Spirit of God, by which Christ and the Father live within the hearts and
minds of true Christians (compare 1 John 5:3; Romans 5:5; John 14:23;
Ephesians 2:22).
By living in us through that Spirit, Christ assists us in living according
to God's truth in our everyday lives. Paul explains it this way: "Now
if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing
that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no
longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin
once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise
you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to
God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Therefore do not let sin reign in your
mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts" (Romans 6:8-12).
He expressed this thought in slightly different words in Galatians 2:20:
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but
Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live
by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me"
(King James Version).
In other words, Paul had surrendered his will to that of Jesus Christ,
and he saw his life as one in which the living Christ was also living
and working mightily within him through the indwelling presence of God's
Spirit (Colossians 1:29). He did not rely on his meager efforts to obey
God on his own, "but that which is through the faith of Christ, the
righteousness [obedience] which is of God by faith: that I may know him,
and the power of his resurrection . . ." (Philippians 3:9-10, KJV).
Continually serving His saints


King David, in an inspired prophetic psalm, indicates what the Father
said to the living Christ at His ascension to the throne of God following
His resurrection: "The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right
hand
, till I make Your enemies Your footstool'" (Psalm 110:1).

Christ Jesus is now making intercession for us at the Father's right
hand (Romans 8:34). "Now this is the main point of the things we
are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand
of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a Minister of the sanctuary
and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man" (Hebrews
8:1-2). We can access His help for many needs. Probably none of those
needs is more important than our need for help to continue in God's righteous
mind-set and behavior in the face of Satan's continual assaults and efforts
against us (1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:10-17).
In summary we are told: "Since then the children share in flesh
and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through
death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is,
the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject
to slavery all their lives.
"For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help
to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren
in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest
in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the
people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered,
He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted" (Hebrews
2:14-18, New American Standard Bible).
"For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our
weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain
mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:15-16).
We now can see that both Jesus' death and life are indispensable to our
salvation. They are complementary. One is not complete without the other.
If your understanding stops with Jesus' death, you are missing out on
the benefits of Christ's life—as our High Priest and constant help.

Study your Bible diligently and discover the profound truth of the
living Christ
-alive not just in heaven, but within His people. GN
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- Re: A Model for Human Relationships

Post by Jo on Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:08 am

I loved reading your posts as I am recently reborn and I really felt it an impossibility for me to be Christlike and to live like Christ. It is a process and I will keep on keeping on.

Jo

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