A Climb Free Post. Free climbing, which is to climb unaided by artificial supports and human contrivances, whether on lead or following, is the purest and most satisfying expression of the climbing spirit. Free climbing illustrates for us the passion and purity we should have for living each day unaided as much as possible by dependence on artificial supports and our human contrivances. We are creatures of an almighty God, created expressly to live in His presence and power. To do so is the highest expression of our living. It is our “free climbing,” if you will. The posts labeled “Climb Free” will focus on the thinking and practices that allow us to live in the presence and power of our God, with as few encumbrances as possible. Image via Pixabay.
This series of post is exploring the Gospel of that Kingdom of God. Below are a few additional commitments required of those who would walk with God in His Kingdom today. The previous posts on this topic can be found here, here, and here. So what does it take to enter the narrow path into the Kingdom of our God?
The path into His Kingdom that Jesus Christ laid out for us is, as we have seen, a narrow path that leads to life. That life is our new life in Christ as children restored now and forever to the relationship our God has held in store for His children. It is a life of repentance, self-denial, and consuming love for our God. And while these descriptors may sound austere, we have no idea the wonderful and fulfilling life that awaits those who enter that kingdom…until we enter it ourselves. Then unfolds the grand and wonderful life of the child of our God as promised by Jesus and modeled by Him and by His followers in the Bible.
Sadly, the religion of men that is found in the institutional church in most of the world bears little resemblance to the Kingdom of our God as Jesus and His early followers lived it. Yet there has always been an ongoing movement of our God, the true ekklessia (called-out ones), who have lived this life and entered the Kingdom life while here on earth.
Finding that path is not hard, for it is laid out in the New Testament. That path constitutes our call to follow Christ Jesus. That call is the call to forsake all else. We must sell out completely to be His disciples, which is the logical expression of the repentance, the self-denial, and the great commandment love already identified.
Matthew 13:44-46 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells everything that he has and buys that field. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold everything that he had and bought it.
Luke 9:57-62 “As they were going on the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.” Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say goodbye to those at my home.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Our new Kingdom life is the life of Christ lived in place of our old lives. Jesus is not to be added to our living or used as a model for our living. His offer is only to indwell us and replace our living with His life. This is a a giant trade-up, and is what is meant by Jesus when He called it being “born again” and “born of the Spirit.” Here as well is the fulfillment of our God’s great eternal purposes, the installation of His life in us for eternity.
John 3:1-8 “Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus at night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus responded and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a person be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which has been born of the flesh is flesh, and that which has been born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it is coming from and where it is going; so is everyone who has been born of the Spirit.”
Romans 8:1-5, 9-14 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who are in accord with the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are in accord with the Spirit, the things of the Spirit…However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living in accord with the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons and daughters of God. “
Galatians 2:20 (Paul writing) “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
The next Climb Free post will discuss the purposes of our God for us in His Kingdom.