Ten qualifications for the rapture – Part 8
Because Christ is spiritually supreme in the universe, surely we should give Him first place in all our thoughts and activities. Col 1:24 my sufferings for you. Paul sees Christ still suffering, not for our redemption, but in fellowship with His people, as they carry the gospel to the lost (cf. Acts 9:4).
Paul rejoices because he is allowed to share in the sufferings of Christ (Phil 3:10; cf. 2Cor 1:4-5; 4:7; 11:23). When Paul says, “I …. fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ,” he does not mean that Christ’s suffering was inadequate to save him, nor does he mean that there is a predetermined amount of suffering that must be paid by all believers. Paul could be saying that suffering is unavoidable in bringing the Good News of Christ to the world. It is called Christ’s suffering, because all Christians are related to Christ. When we suffer, Christ feels it with us. But this suffering can be endured joyfully, because it changes lives and brings people into God’s Kingdom (see 1Peter 4:1,2, 12-19).
“Be Pure” (1 Jn 3:2-3)
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1Jn 3:2-3)
The Christian life is a process of becoming more and more like Christ (see Romans 8:29). This process will not be complete until we see Christ face to face (1Corinthians 13:12, Philippians 3:21), but knowing that it is our ultimate destiny should motivate us to purify ourselves. To purify means to keep morally straight, free from the corruption of sin. God also purifies us, but there is action we must take to remain morally fit (see 1Timothy 5:22; James 4:8; 1Pet 1:22).
“Be Without Spot Or Wrinkle” (Eph 5:27)
“that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph 5:26,27)
Christ’s death sanctifies and cleanses the church. He cleanses us from the old ways of sin and sets us apart for His special sacred service (Hebrews 10:29; 13:12). Christ cleansed the church by the “washing” of baptism. Through baptism, we are prepared for entrance into the church. It is God’s Word that cleanses us (John 17:17; Titus 3:5).
“Live And Walk In The Spirit” (Gal 5:22,23)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (Gal 5:22,23)
The fruit of the Spirit is the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit produces these character traits that are found in the nature of Christ. They are the by-products of Christ’s control—we can’t obtain them by trying to get them without His help. If we want the fruit of the Spirit to grow in us, we must join our lives to His (see John 15:4,5). We must know Him, love Him, remember Him, and imitate Him. As a result, we will fulfil the intended purpose of the law—to love God and our neighbours. Which of these qualities do you want the Spirit to produce in you?
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