Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Great (07/06/06)
- TITLE: God’s Prerequisite For Greatness
By Doug Laird
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Only the Lord Jesus Christ, as the spotless â€śLamb of Godâ€ť (John 1:29 NASB), was capable of giving His life in payment of the worldâ€™s sin debt when He died spiritually, separated from God, during the hours of darkness (Psalms 22: 2b) from 12 noon to 3 pm, while physically ALIVE on the cross. The original languages of Scripture teach that during those three hours of darkness, He repeatedly cried out, â€śMy God, My God, why have You forsaken Me (Matt.27: 46 NASB)?â€ť
AFTER having COMPLETED the work of salvation (John 19:30), He THEN died physically. Apart from the Rapture generation, physical death is the mechanism that God provided for the soul to leave the body that will be later resurrected at the appointed time. The Work of the Lord Jesus Christ did not free us from physical death. The Work of the Lord Jesus Christ frees all believers from spiritual death (separation from God) in Hades (Rev.20: 13) and an eternity in the â€ślake of fire (Rev. 20:15 NASB).â€ť
If the supreme sacrifice is the hallmark of greatness, then how is it that we are to achieve greatness since only a minority of believers is called to martyrdom?
The answer is found in the words inspired by God the Holy Spirit, and written by Paul. â€śâ€¦I die daily (1Cor. 15: 31 NASB).â€ť It is obvious that Paul was not speaking of physical death, as physical death is not something that can be repeated daily. Dying daily requires a two-fold plan of action (Luke 9:23) if it is going to result in the achievement of greatness.
Before we can pick up our cross daily, we must first free our hands of anything or anyone who would hinder us from doing so. All self interests and plans must be set aside. This does not mean that we are to enter into some form of aloof lifestyle, but it does mean that we are to learn and apply the principles of the Word of God in ALL of our daily situations, circumstances, and activities wherever we are and whatever we are doing. Before we can apply the Word of God, we must first develop the â€śâ€¦mind of Christ (1Cor. 2: 16 NASB). Once learned, we must then apply it (James 1:22).
The English word â€śdiscipleâ€ť is translated from the Greek word â€śmathetesâ€ť which means to be a technical student in a teacher-pupil relationship.
The Great Commission was not to go about assisting the devil in cleaning up his world (Luke 4:6) through human works. The prophesied world environment that is to experienced just prior to the Second Advent hardly describes a world in which evil has been overcome by good (Matt. 24: 22). The establishment of a productive kingdom minus God has been part of Satanâ€™s agenda before the creation of Man (Isa.14: 13, 14).
The Great Commission (Matt.28: 19, 20) is to spread the Gospel to unbelievers and to make disciples (students of the Word of God) of those who are â€śborn again (John 3:3 NASB).â€ť
Each and every one of us has a part to play is the fulfillment of the Great Commission. We were created for the glory of God. We glorify God when we believe in the Person (who He is) and the Works (what He did on the cross) of the Lord Jesus Christ. Once born again, the believer THEN has the opportunity to further glorify God by developing and applying the â€śmind of Christ (1Cor. 2:16 NASB) as we go about our daily routines. This is what givens purpose, meaning, and definition to each and every day that God gives us to glorify Him.
In doing so, each one of us becomes a â€śteacherâ€ť by way of word, illustration, or example and thereby fulfills the prerequisite for greatness in the Kingdom to come, for â€śâ€¦. whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matt.5: 19 NASB).â€ť
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