Over the past few months we have heard a lot of talk and debate over what is essential. What is essential to life, to our well-being, to our existence, for our happiness, and on and on it goes.
Operations which were considered non-essential were shut down. Those deemed as essential remained open and operating pretty much as normal. Who determines what is essential over non-essential? When it comes right down to it, what is essential for you may not be what is essential for me. While that holds some validity, if those criteria decided the essential from the non-essential, then each person could determine what his or her essentials are.
Several essentials come to mind for our physical livelihood. Water. Food. Air. Light. Shelter. No one would argue otherwise. We need those for survival.
But there is another essential which is overlooked by many and never considered as essential. That is the spiritual life.
Those who are reluctant to even consider a spiritual life refer to eternity in heaven as a delusional dream. These are the so called intellectuals and the enlightened ones who make every effort to sway others away from believing in an afterlife in heaven. They see life here on earth as all there is. Once you die, you rot and that is that. That is the view of atheists, humanists and skeptics. They become fools who declare that there is no God.
The Word says something about that in Romans 1:21-22: “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.”
To know God and who He is is to know that there are essentials in this life in Christ. Those essentials are necessary to pleasing God and to enter into eternal life. These are vital fundamental truths. They are not ideas to be debated upon, or to have their validity decided by a popular vote of persons.
Consider these as to whether they are essential to life here and after death, or the coming of Christ; whichever He decides will occur first.
Faith, Love of God, Conversion, the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, Living Daily in Christ, Confessing Christ, Seeking Unity and Holiness.
Faith – Hebrews 11:6 – (NIV) And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Love of God – From the mouth of the Greatest Teacher ever known: Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Conversion – “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
“Unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God” – John 5:3 (NIV). Everyone has sinned. Sin cannot enter into Heaven, so repentance is essential to salvation. A new birth is necessary.
Acts 2:38-39 tells us how that is accomplished. Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” (NIV)
The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential to the Christian growing to maturity in Christ. Romans 8:9 says this: “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ he is not His.” It is by the Spirit, when it is rooted in us, fruit is produced. This fruit grows to become the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (NIV).
Another essential is Abiding in Christ. Jesus is very clear about the importance of abiding In Him when he says, in John 15:5 - “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (NIV)
The see the importance of Confessing Christ in Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:32-33: “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. (NIV)
Finally, we are taught from Hebrews 12:14: “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (NIV). And the Psalmist put it like this: “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (NIV). You see there that peace doesn’t just happen. We are to seek peace, pursue it, which means we are to eagerly run after it.
These 7 truths are not meant to encompass all the essential truths of the spiritual life. But they show us that God is serious about His expectations of our living the life in Christ.
What is essential in your life today?
Gary K Fair
July 1, 2020