th-19

These last two Catches have inspired some of you to think about being first century Christians. It’s really all about living fresh every day with your faith. But it’s important for you to realize this is not hard. It’s not about going back to school and learning how to say everything in a new and different way. And if I gave that impression, I was wrong.

What makes Christians first century is pretty much wrapped up in one word: experience.

First century Christians were experiencing Christ, and the reality of that experience spilled over into their relationships with each other, and their relationships with those outside of the body of Christ.

That’s the piece we can carry over from the first century into our lives now — it’s the experience of Christ in our lives. And by our lives, I mean wherever we are in our lives now. It has nothing to do with having your life together or being a good example, or anything that even smacks of things like that. It has to do with the real Christ living and moving in our lives regardless of what’s going on. It has to do with our experience of Christ right now, in this moment.

Think about it: that’s all the first century Christians had. They didn’t have seminary degrees; they didn’t attend seminars. They had some teachers teaching them, but that’s no different than you and I have. What they did have was the living Christ in their lives, and that was a reality that was undeniable. Did they alter their lives in any way? Did they try to be different? No, they merely let Christ into their lives, and let Him out to others. Grace turned in, and grace turned out.

This is the essence of our purpose and place in the world — to let Christ in, and let Him out. And the best way to do that is by simply walking alongside people. As we walk and talk, our experience of Christ becomes their experience of Christ without even trying. God purely and simply wants us. He wants access to our lives so He can live His life through us, and touch the lives of others through us as we walk together. That’s it. It’s no more complicated than that.

We’re either experiencing Christ in our lives moment by moment — loving us, forgiving us, comforting us, empowering us — or we are faking something someone called the Christian life. That’s what the first century Christians didn’t have. They didn’t have anything to fake. They were experiencing Christ in community and in the world. Just like we can today.

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8 Responses to

  1. bobnearseattle says:

    Remember what it was like to be a small child?
    Eager to explore the world, to learn and grow.
    One minute little kids can be angry or sad, with tears running down their precious little faces, and the next moment they are all smiles and sunshine. Children know how to live in the moment. They don’t worry about where their next meal will come from. They fully trust that their mom, dad, or caretaker will see that their needs are met. They have simple faith and a love for life.

    Rachel Bluwstein Sela was a poet in the early 1900s. Though she herself never had children, she wrote this poem about her observation of children:

    If we could be but children, small children
    Blessed is He who could make us forget the distress of our years.
    With a long road yet ahead to our becoming,
    Becoming older, sadder, and nostalgic.

    But rose-souled children
    Plucking joy like wildflowers
    Whose world is not yet over,
    With the sun laughing in the glint of their tears.

    If only we could connect to that childlike innocence that we once possessed.
    If only we could teach our inner child that hope still exists.
    If only we could remember that no matter how old we are, the rest of our life can be the best of our life.
    We can.
    We can reconnect to our Creator with simple faith, knowing and believing that all our needs will be met, whatever comes our way.
    We can recognize that God is protecting us at all times – so why should we fear?
    We can clear away the gray clouds and darkness that settle into adult life.
    Tell your inner child about God’s miraculous redemption and be inspired to trust and pluck “joy like wildflowers” again.

    Excerpted from Holy Land Moments Daily Devotional: http://www.holylandmoments.org/devotionals/teach-your-inner-child-2

  2. Mark Seguin says:

    I luv this let Christ in & let Him out… 🙂

  3. lynda allen says:

    When Christ left this earth, he told his disciples that he was returning to his Father. He said he had to do that so the Holy Spirit could come, and then he said that with the Holy Spirit, we (his disciples) would be able to do far greater works than he did. Paul says in Romans that letting the Spirit control our minds leads to life and peace. He says that we are controlled by the Spirit if we have the Spirit of God living in us. We received the Spirit when we were baptized, right? So i appreciate all you have said, but i continue to believe that the Holy Spirit does not ever seem to get the respect and praise due Him. I am not saying all of this to interfere with the conversation here or to be a legalist (a Pharisee), It’s just that Jesus said does not, in my small brain, seem to square with what we think today, and so i remain confused. Jesus is in heaven with the Father, right? it is the Holy Spirit who lives in me, right? isn’t that what Jesus said?

    • jwfisch says:

      Yes, Lynda. It is the Holy Spirit who does all this. However, the Holy Spirit is the agent through which the indwelling is accomplished. We still say it is “Christ in you” because that’s what the Holy Spirit does — reveal Christ. The Holy Spirit is not supposed to get any credit. He is perfectly happy with that because it is his job to basically be Christ in our lives.

  4. lynda allen says:

    it is ever so slowly becoming clearer . . . your enlightening thoughts will percolate in my mind all the day long! . . . thank you for helping me to understand, John.

  5. Kevin Krabbenhoft says:

    Good picture “The Holy Spirit is perfectly happy without getting credit” I have also heard it put this way. “The Holy Spirit points us to Jesus and Jesus points us to the Father.”

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