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The Life Of Christ In Us, Excels

 

Minister Kola Taiwo

 

 

 

 

By Min Kola Taiwo
New Wine Church, London 

Foundation Scriptures: 1 John 1:1-3, John 1: 1-4, John 10:10, Ephesians 2:19-22

Sunday 15th February 2015

God’s word and mandate to us in New Wine this year has been simply tagged ‘Excel’. I declare that in this year, you will experience ‘Excel’ in Jesus name (Amen).

 

Pastor Michael, our spiritual father in the house has been teaching us over the last few weeks about how to kick start the year to Excel – how to lay the foundation for an exceedingly fruitful life: some of the messages we have listened to have included; ‘Excel through the Holy Spirit’, ‘Following the promptings of the Holy Spirit’, Breaking the Barrier of Limitations, Distractions and Comfort Zones’. My prayer of us all is that as a result of these teachings, we will experience ‘Excel’ in our lives in 2015 in Jesus name. In those areas of your life that things have proven difficult or even impossible, you shall excel in Jesus name, Amen!

 

Let’s define what it really means to ‘Excel’. To ‘excel’ is to surpass others. Deuteronomy 28:13 reads; ‘the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom’; I declare you surpass all those that compete with you, and you will rise above those situations that want to put you down in Jesus name (Amen)! To excel also means to be superior in some respect. Psalm 119:98-99 reads: You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep your precepts. May the Lord make you wiser than your enemies and surpass them in every area of life. May He make your understanding surpass your teachers as you meditate on the Word of God. Your age will not be a barrier; I declare that your understanding surpasses all school of thoughts in Jesus name.

 

Here are a few more definitions of ‘Excel’. To excel also means ‘to do extremely well’. I declare that you shall do extremely well in your career; promotion upon promotion in Jesus name. I declare the best employers will beat their path to your door to offer you opportunities. The Lord will make your name great in your profession. The wisdom of The Lord will cause you to excel where others have failed, in Jesus name. You shall also do extremely well in your businesses. I declare that your businesses will be profitable, it will thrive and expand across borders; The Lord shall make your businesses a "household name". As people applaud businesses like Microsoft and Google, so shall it be concerning your businesses in Jesus name! You shall do extremely well in your ministry, your family life, and in every sphere of influence in Jesus name. Lastly, to excel is outdo; I declare that your 2015 shall outdo your previous years in Jesus name.

These declarations are not meant to excite or cajole you. Why? Because God has committed Himself to us in His word! The word from God for us this year as revealed to us in Genesis 17:6 reads: "I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you".

 

Hence, it is God not me or the stock market that will make me exceedingly fruitful! It is God not me or the so-called power brokers of this world that will make nations of me. It is God not me or the kings and queens on this earth that will produce the royalty that is in me!

 

It is important that we do not, nor any man or systems of the world, whether tried and tested or not, take the place of God in our lives. Anything besides this becomes an idol, and we stand the danger of usurping God’s rightful position in our lives. His word has made this clear in Isaiah 42:8 which reads; ‘I am the LORD, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images (anything created).

 

Hence, as we go through 2015 and beyond, let us fix our gaze on The Lord, He is the author and the finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus is author (the originator, or as I like to put it, the life giver) and finisher (completer, consummator - one who brings to perfection) of our faith. So, in order to disallow idols into our lives, we must continually ingest words and messages that point us to Christ! This is how Colossians 1:28 put it: ‘Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus’. Some versions record that phrase like this: ‘We proclaim him’ or ‘We speak about Him’. Sadly, oftentimes in the body of Christ, you hear a lot of teachings that are devoid of Christ or at most, He is given a mere footnote at the end of the message. You hear a lot of teachings on character formation, values, instincts, principles, steps and laws and these are taught as keys to successful living and sometimes they are tied to our relationship with God. But you can hardly count the mention of the name of our Lord or even reference to our Lord in these messages. However, if we are going to experience the perfection that Apostle Paul referred to in Colossians 1:28, we must develop an appetite for the teaching and preaching that is all Christ at its very core.

 

Now, let’s spend some time discussing Christ as highlighted in our foundation scriptures. Firstly, from Ephesians 2:19-22 which reads: Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household (family) of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

 

To dissect this scripture, let me turn your attention to three questions, namely; ‘What does it mean to be a member of the family of God? What is the foundation of the Apostles and prophets referred to in verse 20? Who and why is there a cornerstone?

 

Let’s start with the answers to each question: Members of the same family share the same DNA as a result of life being given birth to. Hence, as children of God who are born of God, we are members of the family of God – and God’s DNA runs through us. In other words, the same life of God runs through us. Before these verses, verse 14 reads: ‘For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation’. So, besides being a citizen of the kingdom of Heaven, we are also members of the family of God.

 

Secondly, the foundation of the Apostles is the teachings that the apostles taught the early church. Acts 5:42 reads: ‘And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ’. Thirdly, Christ is the cornerstone and the foundation upon which we (our lives) are built. It may interest you that the cornerstone is the starting point for the foundation and the subsequent construction of a building. So to experience ‘Excel’ this year, our lives must reflect Christ as the cornerstone. Why is Christ the cornerstone? It is because the Father only commits himself to the Son. Ephesians 1:10 reads ‘that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He (God) might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him’. Colossians 1:13 also reads: ‘He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love’. So, having become children of God due to the DNA of God in us, we are now built up or matured by the teaching and preaching of Jesus as the Christ (the Messiah).

 

Our second and third foundation scriptures gives us more to ponder on: 1 John 1:1-3 reads: ‘That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

 

John 1:1-4 reads: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men’.

 

Let’s expatiate the verses by reminding ourselves, that the day we became Christians by receiving Christ in our hearts, was the day God’s life (DNA) began in our hearts – and providing us with light (or illumination). This life (or light) is absent in the lives of non-believers. Since God is committed to Christ, He is invariably committed to us as well in whom Christ dwells, and as such we can be rest assured that we will excel, this year.

 

John opens up his first epistle with a throwback to a timeless, dateless time in the past, called "that which was from the beginning" - saying that they (the Apostles) heard Him, saw Him, looked upon and even handled Him all in the physical. And the ‘Him’ we are talking about is the very Word of Life. Later when John would write his own gospel to the unbelievers, starting in the same fashion stating that the Word was in the beginning, the word was with and was God.

 

Let’s take a journey to Genesis 1, which starts with God, the originator of life right at the beginning – He created angelic beings, and proceeds to re-create the world. In the course of the re-creation of the world, certain life forms are being created: On day 3, God created plant life as recorded in verse 11. On day 5, God created water living life (see verse 20). On day 5, God also created bird life (see verse 20). On day 6, God created animal life (see verse 24) and human life (see verse 26). The uncreated life (God) that created these created beings is the life in us!

 

This explanation would become even more crucial in understanding John 10: 10 which reads: ‘The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly’.

 

To the whole of humanity, there are two doors. One operated by the thief and other by the Good Shepherd. The thief's operation is to steal, kill, and destroy. However, the Good Shepherd has given us the highest life, the uncreated life! This uncreated life in us is the theft-conquering life, death conquering life and the destruction conquering life!

 

John 10: 9 reads: “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture". This pasture talks of open heaven. This is what Apostle Peter was referring to in 2 Peter 1:11: ‘for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom (manifest rule of God) of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ'. God’s grace has also been abundantly released to you from that point when you received Christ as Lord and Saviour.

 

It is important though, that we know this, otherwise this ‘open heaven’ and ‘grace’ will not be utilised as needed. Hence the words of Daniel 11:32 becomes even more imperative: ‘Those who know their God shall be strong and do great exploits’. (The word for ‘know’ is "Yada", the same as in Genesis 4:1 - Adam knew his wife Eve!). Again, it must be reiterated that God will not commit Himself to those who are not bearing His uncreated life – man’s thinking and reasoning hardly, if at all, gets His attention. This was evident in Jesus’ life as explained in John 2:24-25: ‘But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man’.

 

As I round up, let me remind you of these truths:

 

(1) God commits Himself to the Righteous: John 16:7-11 reads: Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. The only sin that separates the world from God is none other than their rejection of Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. (1 John 5:16 elucidates more on this). In going to the Father through the cross, Jesus initiates the arrival of the Holy Spirit into our lives who reminds us always that we are righteous. And we can be rest assured, that the devil will be judged. As God righteous children, let’s be committed to being led by the Spirit.

 

(2) God commits Himself to a life where Christ is enthroned: Matthew 6:33 reads: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. It is vital that we seek first the manifest rule of God and His character. Christ must take first place and centre stage in our hearts, as this is the prerequisite for receiving all other things that will be added to us.

(3) God commits Himself to a life in which Christ is glorified: John 7:38-39 reads: He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. Thank God, we now enjoy the benefits of Christ being glorified as he has been crucified, resurrected and ascended into Heaven. Now, he sits on the right hand of the Father and rules on the throne. As committed members of the family of God, He has also committed Himself to us.

In conclusion, God commits Himself to life of Christ in you! Colossians 3:1-3 reads: ‘Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honour at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God’ (NLT). Make this year all about Christ by yielding to the Holy Spirit and see God commit Himself to making you being exceedingly fruitful; and making nations of you, and bringing out kings from you.

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