AUTHORITY AND SUFFERING
Jesus himself said, “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.” (John 10:17 ESV).
HE DID NOT MEAN THAT THE LOVE OF GOD WAS CONDITIONAL, BUT THAT THE EXPERIENCE OF THAT LOVE DEPENDED ON OBEDIENCE.
Jesus was always sinless, but came into the fullness or maturity of the indwelling presence of God’s glory only through submission to the death of the cross.1)“Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Luke 24:26 ESV cf. John 17:5
It is suffering which challenges our belief that God is a faithful, loving and good Father.
Paul’s apostolic testimony moves in this sphere, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:9-10 ESV cf. Phil 4:11-13).
As Paul knew supernatural presence and power through frailty our faithful obedience through sacrifice for Christ’s sake intensifies the indwelling presence of his Spirit and grows our functional spiritual authority. Another way of putting this is: Jesus disciples us in exactly the same manner as he was discipled by the Father (John 15:10).
THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS MODE OF LIFE.
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