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Can You Tell Me The Way?

In But Not Of The World

We are preparing now to come back into the world. In one sense of course we have not left it, though when we turned to Jesus we had a sense that we were turning our back on the world. The ideals and methods of Christ's church are different to those of the world, even though the two exist side by side. We have to be in the world, but not of the world. Jesus said in effect, "You are not now of the world, but I am sending you into the world" (John 17 : 13 to 18). We cannot avoid contact with the world, but we can resist accepting its values. Jesus calls us back into the world to confront and challenge its ways. As well as the sin which we seek to overcome, we have to be aware of the suffering, and this we try to alleviate. Being called back into the world, we go with God's solutions, his empowering and under his protection.

Part Eight

Commission and Obedience

When we are "in Christ", it means that all his experiences, including dying to sin and resurrection to new life, are ours. It also means that we are to be open to the call and command of God. Like Jesus, we have to be obedient to all God requires of us. Jesus said, (John 12 v. 38), "For I have come down from heaven not to do my will, but to do the will of him who sent me". Jesus also said on another occasion, "For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it", (John 12 v.49). We need to attend with care everything that Jesus tells us to do, because these are commands of God.

We need to look with special care at the instructions Jesus gave to his disciples. These instructions he told them to pass on to others, commanding them to do the same. We have become part of that chain, so what Jesus commanded them to do, he commands us to do.

Here are five passages of Scripture in which we read of Jesus calling and commissioning the disciples. Read each one, and study them all carefully. Later we shall be drawing out some of the points, but first consider and weigh these words for yourself, and let them speak to you directly.
1. Luke 9 verses 1 to 6.
2. Luke 10 verses 1 to 20.
3. John 20 vv. 19 to 23.
4. Luke 24 verses 36 to 49.
5. Mark 16 verses 15 to 20.

What Jesus is telling us to do would appear to be a task of some magnitude, and we might feel rather daunted. However there is the promise that Jesus would be with the disciples, and that means he will be with us. Firstly we can be sure that Jesus will equip us, and secondly that he will empower us for all the tasks to which he calls us and sends us out. Let us understand something of this equipping and empowering which are available to all who are obedient to him.