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Saturday, February 23, 2008

What Have We Received?

Colossians 2:6-7, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”
For far too long the importance of Christ Jesus the Lord has been underscored and minimized within the confines of many Christian congregations. Rather than preach Christ, and Him crucified we insist on preaching anything else except Him. I don’t think I need to go into detail as to what is being preached in most churches today, because most if not all of you already have a sense of what I am alluding to.
Today I would like to explore the contrast between receiving the person of Christ, and receiving the teachings of Christ. I know that it is debatable whether or not most churches are even relaying the teachings of Christ, but this is a topic for another time.
I often hear men pontificating and extolling the virtues of their chosen denominations, implying if ever so subtly that their denomination, their set of teachings, is the only way to get to heaven, all the while omitting the person of Christ from the equation. To receive Christ is not to receive a set of teachings, no matter how true and noble those teachings might be, but rather to receive the person of Christ into our lives, that He may restore, heal and bring to life that which was dead in sin.
As controversial as the following sounds, it must be said, the teachings of the gospel can save no man if the sinful soul has not received Christ Jesus the Lord into their hearts as a living person, allowing Him to transform them. Good people go to hell. Moral people go to hell. Why? Because they have not received the Christ into their hearts, they have not made Him Lord over all, and as the Bible so aptly puts it, no amount of good works, or charitable deeds, can sway God’s righteous judgment if His Son is not found in the individual heart. Jesus did not come to bring a set of moral codes; He did not come to be just another teacher; He did not come to be just another prophet; He came to give life!
It is true that faith comes by the hearing of the Word, but if once having heard the Word the soul does not move toward Christ, if salvation is not sought, all the soul is left with is the hearing, and the hearing without the intended result, is in vain. When Jesus is received, He saves. The teaching comes after that one crucial juncture in the life of every man.
Too often those who have come to know the person of Christ, who receive Him as Lord and Savior of their lives, begin to distance themselves from Him, and endeavor to fill their hearts with teaching. As believers, we must, at all cost, retain the intimacy with Christ throughout our lives. Ask most believers if their intimacy level with Jesus is as great as when they first knew Him, and if they are honest they will say it is less. We may have grown in knowledge, we may have grown in wisdom, but it cannot be at the cost of sacrificing intimacy with our Lord.
Our primary objective as children of God cannot be the study of prophecy or end time events; it cannot be the ceaseless participation in new movements and outpourings, but rather to walk in Him, to be rooted in Him, built up in Him, and established in the faith.
Movements fade, prophecy comes to pass, but intimacy with Christ is a constant experience, one that can be built upon, one that gives us strength and boldness, peace and joy.
If we have received Christ, and are rooted in Him, though the storms of this life might tear off a few branches, they will not uproot us altogether. The deeper our roots in Christ, the stronger we are as individuals, the more able to stand against the onslaught of the enemy. We can have knowledge of future events, we can have knowledge of the newest teaching and the most recent dogma, but if we are not rooted in Christ, we will be swept away with the first storm, and all the knowledge was for naught.
Christ nourishes us, and if we are rooted in Him, we are also continually built up in Him. When a soul is rooted in Christ, it cannot help but grow, for that which he is rooted in gives life, and life more abundantly, constantly building up the inner man, making him stronger with each passing day.
In the end we must all ask ourselves what it is we have truly received. Was it Christ, or was it the teachings of Christ? Do we have a true and intimate relationship with Him, or are we simply following a set of moral laws like so many others in the world who have never known His love or His grace?
If it is not the person of Christ that we have received, there is still time to bend our knees, gaze toward the heavens, and ask Him into our hearts. Only then will we know the depth of His love, and the reality of His presence.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

14 comments:

A Seed Sower said...

A voice of Godly Reason, founded on the Word of God, Praise God! Lest we forget where we came from, and who brought us from that place by HIS own precious blood.
It is truly HE who keeps us, He who enables us... just to get through each day, let alone what is to come. Sufficent to the day is the evil thereof...Amen.
Thank you brother Michael for re-focusing us to what our lives are all about... Jesus Christ and Him crucified, He who justifies, sanctifies, and makes us righteous through the shedding of His blood. May more come to a saving knowledge of Him before it is too late.
God Bless
Helen B

Anonymous said...

Mike,
Thank you for keeping me focused on Jesus!!!! I love your writing.
Sue

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Mike. I needed to hear this. I really appreciate you and pray for you and the orphanage.

Anonymous said...

it is good to have you back in the land of cyberspace!!!

may i add my -amen- to your current teaching!!!

---p.g.---

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear Michael, it was certainly worth the wait. You should be shouting this from the housetops, but then, they'd probably take you down and stone you.
I need your encouraging words. I need your direction. I need you pointing me back to the Son. Your words are fountains of Living Waters.

Anonymous said...

Amen Brother Michael!

It is so easy to get caught up in the new "thing" of the day. The next verse in your chosen scripture says is all.

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
Col 2:8

With Christ as our center, all things will follow.

Mrs. Pugh

Anonymous said...

Abide in Him for there is no other way...

Thank-you so much bro micheal, we can do nothing without Him. I always ask the inmates when I go into the jails. Do you know Jesus and alot of them tell me yes, then I ask them does He know you personaly. Also for Him to know them and them to know Him, they have to spend time with Him, alone...

blessings,
debbi

Amy said...

Amen and thank you, brother Michael.

James Kinsman said...

Luke 8:13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.

The authenticity of the joy may in fact be legitimate, but not being rooted in Christ led to their downfall when they were tempted. They fell away. Blessings in Christ,
Jim

Anonymous said...

'I often hear men pontificating and extolling the virtues of their chosen denominations'

Oh Michael .. I dont know whether to REJOICE or WEEP! You began today's blog with that, and that is what I find everywhere I go!

I visit several chatrooms, and those who run them truly HATE me. They cannot tolerate any variance in interpretation of God's written word.

One visitor is a chaplain with a hardcore Baptist doctrine. If I deviate even slightly from his beliefs, and I DO, he doesnt believe I am saved.

RAPTURE and SIN
I do NOT believe in a pre-trib RAPTURE. This seems to be one of the main reasons I am hated. Another reason I am hated is that ... GASP!! .. I dare say there is such a thing as SIN ... and (faint here!) ... HELL EXISTS for humans!

I went for a dash of humor there, so as not to appear to be whining.

Michael ..
You have no idea how comforting you are to the True Believers. Its kinda like being wrapped in a soft warm blanket. (Its cold here!)

What you say that is 'harsh' to the world is balm of Gilead to the true Church.

LUKEWARM
The church in Laodicea in Revelation 3 is lukewarm. What is lukewarm?

The church today is apostate - lukewarm -
NO DIFFERENT FROM the WORLD

TRAGIC
and DAMNED
UNLESS THEY REPENT

Pastor CJ, Editor of ZionsCRY NEWS

A Seed Sower said...

This is for Pastor CJ,
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

If they hate you Pastor CJ, remember they hated HIM first...
Amen & God Bless
Helen B

Anonymous said...

How does one truly know one is rooted in Christ the Person and has a true and intimate relationship with Him vs. simply following a set of moral laws or religion or being actually deceived? What is the best evidence of person-to-Person intimate relationship beyond a shadow of a doubt/deception?

How does one know one has accepted the Person out of love and is not merely turning to Him and using Him out of fear in order to escape tribulation, etc.?

Don't want to be self-deceived or deceived by deceived others.

Your thoughts?

Elm Street Chapel said...

Michael you said:
Today I would like to explore the contrast between receiving the person of Christ, and receiving the teachings of Christ.

Christ Anointed, the Greek translation of the Hebrew word rendered "Messiah"

The promised Deliverer is twice called the "Anointed" or Messiah (Ps. 2:2; Dan. 9:25-26), because he was anointed with the Holy Ghost (Isa. 61:1), figuratively the "oil of gladness" (Ps. 45:7; Hebrews 1:9). Jesus of Nazareth is this anointed One (John 1:41; Acts 9:22; 17:2-3; 18:5, 28), the Messiah of the Old Testament.

The things we speak of, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

John the Baptist said; I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost (Anointing), and with fire:

Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with:

And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship,

Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Some are saved by love, some by fear. Everyone who believes starts someplace. It's where they get off that matters. Not doing God's will or sinning, doesn't matter, both get the same reward, eternity apart from God. Only those who love truth, who seek to know God's will, who ask in faith expecting God to answer will receive. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given to him. Jesus is the way, he said the Holy Spirit would lead into all truth, which leads to life, fellowship with the Father. It is so simple if one believes. Unbelief runs your ship aground as fast as sin. The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Michael you said: Was it Christ, or was it the teachings of Christ?

If we have truth, Christ, Anointing, the Holy Spirit, know and do the will of the Father is there a difference? If we miss any part we have nothing.

L,J,P&HG
Dave

Bonny said...

Yes, the Word is a Person, and His Name is Jesus! True words, Brother Michael. I knew His teachings for years, and thought I loved Him, but one day He revealed to me that I did not know Him. I sometimes think it is like having a husband whom we know all about, we read all his love letters.....but we have never had an intimate relationship with him. We must be grounded, rooted and built up in Him or we will never stand in the days to come. Thanks, Michael.