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Light-of-the-World

 

What was judged on the cross? I’ve heard some odd teachings on this, especially about Jesus being lifted up.

John 3:13 And, no one, hath ascended into heaven, save he that, out of heaven, descended, – The Son of Man. 14 And, just as, Moses, lifted up the serpent in the desert, so, must, the Son of Man, be lifted up, – 15 That, whosoever believeth in him, may have life age-abiding. 16 For God, so loved, the world, that, his Only Begotten Son, he gave, – that, whosoever believeth on him, might not perish, but have life age-abiding. 17 For God, sent not, his Son into the world, that he might judge the world, but, that the world might be saved through him. 18 He that believeth on him, is not to be judged: he that believeth not, already, hath been judged, – because he hath not believed on the name of the Only Begotten Son of God. 19 And, this, is the judgment: That, the light, hath come into the world, – and men loved, rather the darkness than the light, for, wicked, were their, works. 20 For, whosoever doth practise corrupt things, hateth the light, and cometh not unto the light, lest his works should be reproved; 21 But, he that doeth the truth, cometh unto the light, that his works may be, made manifest, that, in God, have they been wrought. (The J.B. Rotherham Emphasized Bible)

John 12:31 Now, is there, a judging, of this world, – Now, the ruler of this world, shall be cast out; 32 And, I, if I be lifted up out of the earth, will draw, all, unto myself. 33 But, this, he was saying, signifying, by what manner of death, he was about to die. 34 The multitude, therefore, answered him – We, have heard, out of the law, that, the Christ, abideth evermore; How then dost, thou, say, – It behoveth the Son of Man to be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man? 35 Jesus, therefore, said unto them – Yet a little while, the light, is, among you: Walk, while ye have, the light, lest, darkness, on you should lay hold; and, he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he drifteth. 36 While, the light, ye have, believe on the light, that, sons of light, ye may become. These things, spake Jesus, – and, departing, was hid from them. (The J.B. Rotherham Emphasized Bible)

Some are saying that it is judgment Jesus drew, not men (the word “men” is not in the Greek). I’m not so sure this is a good understanding.

[Numbers 21:8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived. ~The J.B. Rotherham Emphasized Bible]

The serpent is considered to represent eternal life, or even resurrection. They looked because they believed they would not die. We look to Jesus and his finished work. But the lifting up probably refers to his ascension. Some say it is Jesus lifted up on the cross, but we don’t see him there today.

Only if we see God as angry and full of wrath, needing to punish sin, can we see Jesus as drawing all judgment to himself. But this idea does not harmonize with the teaching of the New Testament. In context, the judgment would seem to be on the ruler of this world – which we understand to be Satan and whose works Jesus came to destroy.

John 16:7 But, I, the truth, am telling you – It is profitable for you, that, I, depart; for, if I should not depart, The Advocate, would in nowise come unto you, but, if I go, I will send him unto you. 8 And, having come, He, will reprove the world – Concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment: 9 Concerning sin, indeed, because they are not believing on me; 10 But, concerning righteousness, because, unto the Father, I go my way, and, no longer, do ye behold me; 11 And, concerning judgment, because, the ruler of this world, hath been judged. (The J.B. Rotherham Emphasized Bible)

No where does the New Testament speak of Jesus being judged, or receiving the wrath of God. The penalty / punishment of death was paid / taken, because Jesus was made to be frail and flawed human flesh, no longer able to live forever. He was without transgression of the law and so was the Lamb, and his death paid the penalty imposed on human beings in Eden. He did it all at once, becoming also the high priest, and so much more!

God did not abandon His son, and was never angry with those He made in His image. At the cross, Satan was judged and mankind was rescued from death. By belief in Christ, man can receive eternal life – Jesus is the true tree of life. But Jesus did not draw judgment to himself as some say. It does not fit.

What Does the New Testament Say About Surrender?

Not much!

We often hear that we should surrender our all to Jesus in order to live a Christian life. Is this something we should do? What does it mean? Do we do it so God can use us? So we can be more spiritual or holy? Hardly! He does it all, not us – so none can boast, is how Paul says it. That is grace. Besides, we could never surrender our all. We aren’t capable.

We are imperfect and would always leave something out. God doesn’t set us up to fail.

What does scripture say? Well, the word, surrender, only appears once in the New Testament, and that is in the New American Standard Bible. 1 Corinthians 13:3, And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing. The King James Version says, “give”, by the way.

So where do we get this idea of surrendering to God? Romans 12:1 says to present our bodies as a living sacrifice (for there is no more killing of sacrifices) holy and acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service. We are now transferred into the kingdom, clean and holy. That is not exactly the meaning of surrendering. What Paul is saying is that in His mercy He gives us grace, so our lives are acceptable and He works through us. By His compassion and grace, this is the new and living way. He is not served by human hands, and His temple is not made with human hands.

We serve in the body of Christ. This is our logical way of service.

In the gospels, Jesus talks about a grain of corn falling to the ground and dying. In context, he was speaking of his own death, not our surrendering.

John 12:20-20 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: 21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. 22 Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

In verse 25, the word for life is psyche, in the first instances, and zoe in the last, in connection to eternal life. Psyche is the breath of life, or soul. When Jesus lay down his life, the word is psyche.

He never lay down his eternal life, or zoe! Hallelujah!

Back to surrender, then. Where do we get that idea? When we believe in Jesus, our old life is exchanged for a new one. That is not surrender either. It is receiving zoe eternal. It is freedom. It is joy. It is grace in action. We have a spirit of adoption, where we can cry out, “Abba, Father”!

This is not surrender, but is coming home.

We come into the light and walk in the Spirit, as children of God – with Jesus as our brother. We are born again of the Spirit, our old man dies, and we walk in newness of life (zoe) and spirit.

Ro 6:4 – Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Ro 7:6 – But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Surrender? I think it is the powers of darkness that have to surrender – not that it is necessary, since they are defeated and triumphed over openly!

Christ is in us and we are in him. We live an exchanged life, not a surrendered one, and are more than conquerors in him. We do not surrender.

Surrender may sound good – but it is actually the language of religion, rearing its head. It is bondage, and this is key, for we can never totally surrender.

We can never do it, for we are not capable of total anything.

Like trying to confess all our sins – we could never remember them all! That’s why Jesus died to take them ALL away….. Surrender becomes a mindset that will defeat us every time. We merely rest in Him and trust Him to live His life in us.

An afterthought: perhaps we should choose our lyrics more carefully in the songs we sing. Real change begins with a renewed mind, and I do know that I often change the words when I sing. However, lyrics are poetry and express emotion. Our relationship with God is one of passion. If it isn’t passionate, something is wrong. But to say we have to cut out all songs that don’t match our theology is to become the very thing that we are not wanting to be – legalists.

Transformed By the Renewing of Your Mind

Romans 12:2(New International Version) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

The Greek: Kai mE suschEmatizesthe tO aiOni toutO alla metamorphousthe

And no be ye being together figured to the eon this, but be ye being after formed

Again: tE anakainOsei tou noos humOn eis to dokimazein humas ti to thelEma

to the up-newing of the mind of you, into the to be testing you any the will

And: tour theoru to agathon kai euareston kai teleion

of the god, the good and well pleasing and mature

(Interlinear Scripture Analyzer)

Romans12:2  (New Living Translation) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think……

Romans 12:2  (Easy-To-Read Version) Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world. But let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what things are good and pleasing to God and what things are perfect.

Romans 12:2 – (The J.B. Rotherham Emphasized Bible) In other words, do not let yourselves be conformed to the standards of the ‘olam hazeh. Instead, keep letting yourselves be transformed by the renewing of your minds; so that you will know what God wants and will agree that what he wants is good, satisfying and able to succeed.

We know from the gospels that God’s will is to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Neither the Gentiles of that age, nor what the Jewish system had become, walked in God’s ways.

To see God’s ways and will, we look at Jesus and what He did on earth.

He is the revelation of the Father to us, as many scriptures testify. Jesus did the Father’s will on earth. When we begin to understand this, we are being transformed. Our minds are being renewed. We stop looking at things through the eyes of the world’s system in our age, but we see things as God sees them. For, as the scripture states, we have the mind of Christ.

Bill Johnson is one who teaches that God’s will on earth is to do what Jesus did. There is no sickness, for instance, in heaven. Sickness is not His will. That is one reason Jesus healed all who were sick who came to Him.

Jesus has given us all authority to do the same as He did. We are to heal the sick; not just pray for them, but heal them. If this blows your mind, it is still not renewed! And I confess, it blew mine at first. I think I’m still picking up the pieces. But I have seen one healed since my transformation began.

A renewed mind sees and understands like the mind of Christ. A renewed mind does not come from doctrine, but from being with Jesus. A renewed mind is doing what He did, loving like He did. If we are His, we have been crucified with Him, and raised to new life. If we have been baptized by Him with the Holy Spirit, we have the same power in us that raised Him from the dead. We can do the works He did, and greater. That is His promise; His love working in and through us, being expressed in the earth.

Don’t be thinking that you have to memorize scripture or follow the laws of God or even make new rules from the statements made by Jesus and the apostles – no “five easy steps to spirituality”. The scriptures speak of Jesus, and He is the source of our new life – in fact He is our very life. The power and the life come from Him. He is the word – which was made flesh.

We are changed by beholding Him, not by trying to follow texts from scripture; not even by trying to be like Him.

We are already like Him. Get this truth into your heart and spirit and you will see change in your spirit walk – and you are walking in the spirit, and therefore spiritual, if you are His. When you see this is true, you will see it written on nearly every page of the New Testament. And that will indeed blow your mind.

I hear preachers and teachers talk about how Christians can have the power of God in their lives. Most get it wrong.

True power is not love, or surrender, or service, or speaking fine words – or yelling a lot.

Here is what it scripture says:

Matthew 9:8 – But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.

Matthew 10:1 – And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

Matthew 28:18 – And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Luke 4:14 – And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

Luke 24:49 – And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Acts 1:8 – But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts 4:33 – And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.

Acts 6:8 – And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.

Acts 10:38 – How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Romans 1:16 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 15:19 – Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

1Corinthians 1:18 – For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

1Corinthians 1:24 – But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

1Corinthians 2:4 – And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

1Corinthians 2:5 – That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

2Corinthians 4:7 – But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

2Corinthians 6:7 – By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

2Corinthians 13:4 – For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.

Ephesians 6:10 – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

2Timothy 3:5 – Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Hebrews 7:16 – Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

Why is it that we think there is power in anything else?

I’ve heard some say our power lies in loving one another. Or that power lies in surrender to God. Or the baptism of the Holy Spirit (and this is actually right – if we walk in it). And on it goes.

Power comes from God through the Holy Spirit, and from the preaching of Christ crucified and risen – and the power is for healing, delivering, demonstrating the kingdom here now.

In that power, we do all things, including loving one another.

It’s not our power, but Christ in us, by grace and the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Grace is the divine influence on our hearts.

The full expression of grace looks a lot like the fruit of the spirit, in fact. Hmmmm…….

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