The Process of the Christian Journey
process of the Christian life can be described in stages that flow
from one stage to the next. We see this in the physical realm
where there are points in time that we describe the same person as
a baby, a child, a juvenile, a teenager, a young adult, an adult
and a senior. We cannot pinpoint an exact time when any of these
stages are completed, but we are aware that growth is taking
In like manner the Christian life may be described by the
following three stages:
1). Living in Relationship With Jesus Christ
2). Becoming More Like Jesus Christ
3). Living More Like Jesus Christ
in Relationship with Jesus Christ
Have A Relationship With Jesus To Be Saved
Most humans are hung up on the
false idea that we earn acceptance from God by being members of
the right religion, practicing the teachings of that religion and
doing a sufficient amount of good works. The Scriptures make it
clear that acceptance by God is not based on religion and good
works but on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that
the world through Him might be saved.”
explained what the dividing line is between the condemned and the
“He who believes
in Him (Jesus) is not condemned, but he
who does not believe is condemned already.´ John 3:17,18.
John 3 ends with an explanation
of the dividing line between those who have (spiritual) life and
those who don’t. . .
“He who believes in the Son
has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son
shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
John 3:36. (See also 1st
The apostle Paul gave this strong
exhortation to all who make the profession of being a Christian:
“Examine yourselves as to
whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know
yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?---unless indeed you are
2nd Corinthians 13:5
If we desire to have assurance of
our salvation it is absolutely essential that we establish a
personal relationship with Jesus.
We Must Have Jesus Living Within
To Live In Fellowship With God
On the night before His
crucifixion Jesus gave the promise to His disciples that He would
send the Holy Spirit to live within them. (See John 14:16, 17).
He also promised that although He would bodily be with His
heavenly Father in Heaven He and His Father would come and live
within them. (See John 14:18-23).
Was this a promise meant only for
the apostles or for all true believers? The following Scriptures
The apostle Paul wrote to the
Christians at Ephesus:
“. . .That He would grant you, according to the riches of His
glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the
inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
. .” Ephesians 3:16, 17.
To the Christians at Colosse,
“. . .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 the mystery among the Gentiles: which
is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Colossians 1:26, 27.
The apostle John wrote these
“Now he who keeps His (Jesus Christ) commandments abides
in Him and He (Jesus) in him. And by this we know
that He (Jesus)
abides in us,
by the Spirit whom He has given
John 3:24. (See also 1st John 4:12, 13).
The apostle John would later
relate these words of Jesus to those living at the end of the
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My
voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him
and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20.
Jesus will come and live within
any person who in sincere faith gives Him an invitation to do so.
We Must Be In Fellowship With
Jesus To Be Spiritually Fruitful.
On that night before His
crucifixion Jesus made this truth crystal clear.
“Abide in Me, and I in you, As the branch cannot bear fruit of
itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you
abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches, He who abides
in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do
nothing.” John 15:4, 5.
When we abide in Jesus a channel
is provided for the Holy Spirit to flow from Jesus through us to
produce spiritual fruit. The apostle Paul gave us a good sample
of what that fruit is:
“But the fruit of the Spirit
is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no
I humbly suggest that we start
the beginning of each day with a sincere prayer something like
this: “Dear Jesus, we have another day to walk together. I know
that as long as we stay in close fellowship that Your purpose and
Your power will flow through me.”
BECOMING MORE LIKE JESUS CHRIST
Our example of perfection is
Jesus Christ. We look into the Scriptures to learn about the
God/Man, Jesus Christ. We ponder the examples He set and the
teachings He gave. Our goal is to become like Him.
The Goal Is Perfection
Jesus Was Without Sin.
The apostles, Paul, Peter, and John, inform us that Jesus was
1st Peter 2:22 and 1st John 3:5).
The writer of the book of Hebrews
confirms this in Hebrews 4:15.
Hebrews 2:17, 18 gives us the reason why.
Jesus Was Perfect.
We are informed that Jesus was made perfect through sufferings in
Hebrews 2:10 and 5:8, 9. It is probable that the followers of
Jesus will experience progress towards the goal in the same way.
Jesus Set A Goal of Perfection
In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) Jesus taught His
followers to have the goal of perfection.
“Therefore you shall be
perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew
Bible scholars differ on their
understanding and teachings on the Sermon on the Mount. May I
simply describe these teachings as “the perfect spiritual and
moral standards of the Kingdom of
We must understand that to this day the church has existed in The
Kingdom of God In Mystery Form.
“To you it has been given to know the mystery of the
of God…” Mark 4:11.
Every person who receives
spiritual birth by the Holy Spirit is born into the family of God
and becomes a citizen of God’s kingdom.
(See John 3:3-7; John 14:2, 3; Luke 10:20;
1st Peter 1:4).
As citizens of God’s Kingdom we
are to embrace the moral and spiritual standards of the Kingdom of
while battling a fleshly nature warped to some degree in every
aspect. Along with the apostle Paul we say, “Not that I have
already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on . . .”
Also, like Paul, we look forward
to the day when our King, the Lord Jesus Christ, returns and
establishes the Kingdom of
In power. We join with Him in saying,
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for
the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly
body, that it may be conformed to His glorious body...”
Philippians 3:20, 21
With a glorified body like Jesus
we will rise to the level of perfection for all of eternity.
LIVING MORE LIKE JESUS
The more we learn about Jesus and the attitudes and actions He
taught the more we embrace the practice of the apostle Paul,
“Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well
pleasing to Him”, “. . .For the love of Christ constrains us. . .”
2nd Corinthians 5:9, 14.
After surveying the cross on
which Jesus died, the man named Isaac Watts concluded,
“Were the whole realm of nature
were a present far too small
Love so amazing, so divine
Demands my soul, my life my all.”
When we continually survey all
that Jesus was and all He did and continues to do, we too will
feel constrained “to be well pleasing to Him”.