Manifesting the Glory with Christ

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Colossians 3:3-4

Understanding the essence of being a Christian is no easy task when we use the mentality of the world. Trying to interpret our relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ through human emotions does not help us to understand it either. It is necessary to put the spiritual senses in order to perceive the meaning of receiving Christ. Being born again gives us a completely different nature from that of the old man and the glory of Christ, in its fullness, will be manifested in us when He returns.

The earnest longing of those who love Christ is to see him return to the earth full of glory. The Lord himself announced His return in Matthew 16:27, For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. And He described it in more detail in Mark 13:26-27, Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.

We see from Mark 13:27 that believers, the elect of Christ, will partake of the glorious coming of our Lord. He will send His angels to gather all who have believed in Him. That gives us a great hope that we will be a part of His glory. And that glory implies a transformation, as 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 says, Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Revelation 19:11-16 describes in detail the glorious coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Also Revelation 20:4 says what will happen to the Lord’s return with those who have remained faithful to Jesus Christ, even at the cost of his own life, And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Returning to the beginning of this message, we cannot interpret our participation in the glory of Christ only in terms of what humans call success. In the process of following Christ, we can even lose our lives, be persecuted and troubled; But if we persevere, there awaits a throne next to Him, a reward, a crown and to be partakers of His glory. God bless you.

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Fullness of Life in Christ

In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Colossians 2:11-15

There is a well-known verse, John 10:10, which sets the contrast between what Christ came for and what the thief came for. The last part of John 10:10 says, I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. Many people love to hear this and imagine that abundant life with a fabulous mansion, a collection of luxury cars, millions of dollars in bank accounts and enjoying the acceptance of everyone. In Colossians 2:11-15, Paul describes the fullness of life in Christ, which does not necessarily coincide with material prosperity.

Abounding a little more about the supposed abundant life with which many people dream, I think it prudent to remind them that many have possessed all that: mansions, cars, money, popularity and fame; but whose lives have been so empty that all they had was money. Instead, there are people with limited resources who lead full lives. Material goods are not the key to an abundant life. Wealthy people often have the concern to protect their property and end up confined in their mansions without enjoying the fullness of nature.

If Christ came to give us an abundant life, that is, fullness of life, that abundance must be associated with something far more valuable than the riches of this world. From Colossians 2:11-15 we can see what that fullness of life consists of. In the first place, Christ cast the sinful, fleshly body from us. By receiving Jesus Christ we are being born again of the water and the Spirit, we are new creatures and we are no longer dominated by the flesh but by the Spirit. He made us free from sin.

When we are baptized, we are making an act of faith symbolizing the death and resurrection of our Lord. We are identifying with Him, who is the resurrection and the life. Thus we affirm the hope of being resurrected to reign with Him. And when we were dead in our trespasses and sins, He gave us life with Him. In that new life in Christ, we will share His glory when He returns triumphant. But above all, in rescuing us from filth, the Lord forgave all our sins and cast them to the bottom of the sea,

In the cross the act of the decrees that condemned us in payment for our sins was annulled. That sentence of death that in justice deserved to have sinned against God was canceled on the cross, where it was nailed. And the accuser and his spiritual hosts were defeated also on the cross where they were stripped of their control and dominion over those who have believed in Christ. Therefore, the new life in Christ is full, abundant, and complete. Now we are free from sin, from death, and from the kingdom of darkness. God bless you.

The Hope of Glory

The mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Colossians 1:26-27

Reaching for glory is the yearning of many. In the earthly world, those engaged in the arts or sports struggle vehemently to achieve glory or stardom. The artists of the music have put their hope in being awarded with a Grammy; film artists dream of the Oscar; the athletes with a gold medal or that their team wins the championship. Christians have the hope of glory that Christ is in us.

To bring a little more light to what Colossians 1:26-27 says, let us see what Romans 8:9-11 tells us, But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Both the letter to the Romans and the letter to the Colossians were written by Paul addressed to Gentile audiences, that is, to peoples outside Israel. We see in both biblical texts the use of Paul’s pronouns: Christ in you, the hope of glory. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. In both uses the pronoun you, in which, he himself is not including.

Does it mean then that the Jews are excluded from this hope of glory? Let us not lose sight of what the whole of Scripture says. In John 4:22 he stated something very clear, You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. And we see that again the same Lord uses the pronoun you, speaking, like Paul, to a Gentile audience. The problem is not whether or not the Jews are excluded from the hope of glory, it is we, the Gentiles, who, without Christ, are excluded.

Fortunately, God is inclusive and has opened the doors for us to have all human beings the opportunity to be part of His family. Our Lord Jesus Christ will soon return with glory and He wants to share it with those who have believed in Him. John 17:22 says, And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one. With Christ in us, we are partakers of His glory.

As we wait for His coming, we can go through difficult times; but the best thing for us is to come. Romans 8:18-19 says, For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. And 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. Christ in us is the hope of sharing in His glory. God bless you.

To live Is Christ

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Philippians 1:21

When Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians, he was in jail. The reason for Paul’s imprisonment was to have preached the gospel. His physical integrity was not assured and the same could achieve his freedom than to be sentenced to death. In the midst of his affliction for the great trial he suffered, Paul said what is in Philippians 1:21, For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. There is no doubt that Paul was very clear that he had given his life to Christ and knew full well that he had put it in the best hands.

Paul was not the only one who thought that way because each of the apostles and early Christians lived it in their own flesh. They all lived for Christ and did not hesitate to lay down their lives rather than to deny their faith because they knew that to die was gain because they would meet with the Beloved Jesus. For two thousand years, millions of Christians have lived according to Philippians 1:21, for them to live was Christ and to die was gain. Even that continues to happen today in many parts of the world.

What has led Christians through the centuries to be able to even give up their lives for the name of Jesus? When you really know who Jesus Christ is and what he is capable of doing, there is no fear of risking everything for him. In John 11:25-26 the Lord says, Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” Those words, like all the words of the Lord, will continue to have validity for ever and ever.

We are living in a time when a large part of those who claim to be Christians are not living according to what Philippians 1:21 says. These people do not live for Christ or think that death is gain but cling to this life and its delights as if they were destined to dwell in this world forever. They are people who jump from their seats and shout with joy when in the churches they speak of blessings, prosperity and happiness; but that the deaf are made when they are told of the price to be paid for following Christ.

It is a pity that such people are engaged in similar positions. That is the opposite of what the Word says. Remember what the Lord says in John 12:25, He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. The most difficult times that humanity has ever lived are approaching. Matthew 24: 9-10 prophesies what will happen to the Christians, Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.

Many who call themselves Christians boast that before the time of the great tribulation comes, the Lord will come in secret and deliver us from it. I’m sorry, my brother; but that is not what Matthew 24: 9-10 says. Unless you are one of the many who will stumble and betray to their brothers, you run the risk of losing your physical life because of the name of Jesus. If you love your life to the point of being able to deny your faith by saving the skin, remember John 12:25. It is better to hate our life in this world and to keep it for eternal life. May our lives be Christ and if we die for Him, we do not lose, we win. God bless you.

A New Creation

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.

Galatians 6:15

Jesus Christ has the power to transform us when we give him our heart. No matter what we have been before surrendering to the Lord, from that moment forward, we become a new creation. Circumcision, that is, dependence on Law or uncircumcision, dependence on worldly customs, ceases to be important because we have become new creatures, we have been born again.

It is interesting the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus found in John 3:1-7, There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

It is impossible to apply human logic to the things of God. While it is true that our Lord used known earthly comparisons to explain the Kingdom of God in a simple way, that does not mean that with our own reasoning we will find the right understanding of divine things. Remember what Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

To be born again to see the Kingdom of God does not mean that we will enter again into our mother’s womb. The new birth is a step of faith, it is a renunciation of our sinful past to give way to the direction of the Spirit of God over our lives. That is only achieved when we surrender our life to Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

He who walks in Christ has left behind all the old things, his past is behind and God has already forgotten the sins of that person and cast them into the depths of the sea. For God, there is no difference between great and small sin, because every violation of His Law is just as serious. A murderer, a rapist, a terrorist or a sorcerer who has repented and confessed before God their sins are no less worthy of forgiveness than someone who only said white lies.

Every repentant sinner has washed his transgressions with the precious blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. It is no longer that man or woman who lived with her back to God, now is a new creation. His works condemned him; but the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross gave him the opportunity, by faith, to be born again of the water and the Spirit. God bless you.

We Are One in Christ

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28

Beginning with the French and American revolutions, the world has gradually moved towards the principle of equality among all members of the human race. Today it is presented as a great socio-political achievement and such revolutions are considered as the origin of the civil liberties that we enjoy. The truth is that true freedom occurred many centuries before the French and the Americans carried out their revolutions. Galatians 3:28 says clearly: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

The French revolution was a social and political conflict, with various periods of violence, which convulsed France in the late eighteenth century. It began with the self-proclamation of the Third State as a National Assembly in 1789 and ended with Napoleon Bonaparte’s coup d’état in 1799. The revolution marked the definitive end of feudalism and absolutism in France and gave birth to a new regime where the bourgeoisie became the dominant force of the country.

For its part, the revolution of the thirteen English colonies of North America was, at the same time, a revolutionary process and of decolonization that carried out the first independence in the American continent. From this process came a new nation, the United States of America, which was legally established in texts of great importance, such as the Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) and the Constitution (September 17, 1787). The American example was decisive in influencing the French revolution and Spanish America.

And although the French revolution was based on the principle that all men are born free and equal in law, the truth is that this principle was not applied in what was the richest colony of the Americas, Saint Domingue, i.e., the western part of the Spanish island or of Santo Domingo. France obtained great benefits from this colony by the extreme exploitation of slaves from Africa, who demanded their freedom after the change of regime in the metropolis. The denial of this right resulted in the bloody Haitian revolution and the second free nation of America, the Republic of Haiti, on January 1, 1804.

While the revolution in North America brought a new political system different from the one in force at that time, the truth is that, even in the absence of a monarchy, slavery prevailed for almost a century. The differences between slave owners and anti-slavery sharply divided the nation and a civil war between both sides had to take place, which was won by the northern states that opposed slavery. And although slaves were liberated in the United States since the 1860s, it must have been another century for their descendants to attain full liberties.

It is clear that true equality in the human race is not possible under the initiative of humanity itself. It has been God’s initiative, through His Son Jesus Christ, to destroy the differences between being a part of His chosen people or of the Gentile nations; being born slave or free; or being male or female. We are all one in Christ Jesus. God bless you.

Clothed with Christ

For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Galatians 3:27

Galatians 3:27 tells us about baptism and says, For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Actually, true baptism is a conscious act performed by people who have given their lives to Christ and want to be clothed with Him. Baptism is not advisable to do so when one does not have conscience or when one does not do it voluntarily. That is why baptism of infants is not biblical. This is one of the many anti-biblical traditions.

John the Baptist, who came with the spirit of Elijah to prepare the way for the Lord, baptized for repentance. Mark 1:4 says, John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Jesus Himself was baptized by John as outlined in Matthew 3:13-15, Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.

Certainly Jesus did not need to be baptized, but He did so by showing humility and serving as an example for all after Him. Jesus was not baptized as a child, but when He was already 30 years old, right at the beginning of His earthly ministry. Neither was Jesus baptized by pouring a few drops of water on His head, but He was submerged by John in the Jordan, as Matthew 3:16 says, When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.

This is the biblical form of baptism, by immersion, not by sprinkling; it is done voluntarily, not by imposition of the parents; takes place in adults aware of what they are doing, not in small infants who know nothing about what is going on. Is it necessary to be baptized? Let’s see what the Lord says in Mark 16:16, He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. You have to believe to be baptized and believe is the requirement to obtain salvation. If Jesus Himself set an example by being baptized, what prevents you from doing so?

Baptism is part of the great commission given by Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:19-20, Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Baptism is part of the process of becoming disciples, just as we must learn to follow the Lord’s instructions.

The function of baptism is explained in 1 Peter 3:21-22, Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now that He has gone into heaven, He is at God’s right hand with angels, authorities, and powers subject to Him.

Baptism does not take away sin, only the blood shed by Christ on the cross does so. However, as the apostle Peter says, baptism is the aspiration of a good conscience toward God. And from the words of Jesus it is clear that to be baptized is part of fulfilling all righteousness, therefore, when we are baptized, we are clothed with the King of righteousness, Jesus Christ. God bless you.