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(Matthew 4:18-20; 16:13-26)

Lesson 8 -- first quarter 1997
January 19, 1997

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1996, Christian Light Publications

"Thou art the Christ." A simple statement. A profound statement. A statement which brought what sounds like an exuberant response from the Lord. Jesus sounds so overjoyed upon hearing Peter's testimony of His identity. Have you ever paused to consider the Lord's reaction when you also publicly identify Him for Who He is? I am sure He experiences great joy when He sees and hears His people testify of Him.

Peter received a great blessing because he clearly and correctly identified Jesus. We, too, will receive a tremendous blessing if we live lives which consistently proclaim Jesus as the Messiah. Listen: "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32).

Did you notice I didn't limit this proclamation to our speech? Not that the spoken declaration isn't important . . . I just want us to think of more than mere words. So let me ask you: What about your life this past week has emphatically declared Jesus to be the Christ, the Anointed One? He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, therefore even the routine, normal moments of our lives should be lived in subjection to Him and in accordance with His Word and ways. Let these unminced words penetrate so deeply into your heart that they affect how you live:

"And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).

If Jesus is Lord in your life, then He is your Anointed One. Let Him operate in you as a true sovereign. Various countries today still relish the trappings of royalty, but their kings and queens wield no significant authority. They are mere figureheads, pathetic efforts by declined kingdoms to retain some of the glory of their distant past. The Christ will hold no such position in your life. Don't deceive yourself into thinking He will! You will pay dearly for such self-delusion:

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).

If you truly believe that Jesus is the Christ, the testimony of the Word of God is that you are born of God (1 John 5:1). On the other hand, if you deny by word and deed that Jesus is that Anointed One you will identify yourself as an opponent of the Master (1 John 2:22). So there you have it: child of God or opponent of God. Your life; your choice--what's your decision? Remember, carelessness in this matter constitutes a choice!

"The Son of the living God." The lives of some Christians have to bring great reproach on the One with Whom they identify. They claim to follow the One who is life, but theirs seems more an existence of drudgery, defeat and death. Hardly what you would expect of someone who maintains contact with the One Who came to give life more abundantly!

So I ask you again: What about your life this past week has emphatically declared Jesus to be "the Son of the living God"? You will find no Scriptural endorsement for listless living. The sagging, stagnant Christian is not a spiritual Christian. If you are struggling with these things right now, be quickened! No, not by hoisting mightily on your spiritual and emotional bootstraps, but by turning to the Quickening One (John 5:21; 1 Corinthians 15:45; Ephesians 2:1) and by meditating on the quickening Word (Psalm 119:25,50,107,154)!

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