One thing I’ve learned for certain is that the presence of Jesus in your life will change your life. That is, if you desire to change. It is impossible to show up to Jesus’ table hungry and not be fed. The Bible says blessed are those who thirst and hunger for righteousness for they shall be fed. (Matthew 5:6) When a man eats from Jesus’ table, he is nourished from the inside out, begins transforming into the likeness of Christ, and bearing the fruit of righteousness. There is literally a transformation. Scripture says, “If anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, old things have passed away and all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Currently, I am studying the book of Acts. The church in Acts is a sight to see to say the least! Have you ever noticed that everything about the disciple changed after they welcomed Jesus into their lives? And, that their lives changed even more so after Christ ascended into heaven and sent his Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2) Nothing about them stayed the same! When reading Acts, it’s easy to forget that the disciples were not casting out demons (Acts 19), healing the sick (Acts 3), seeing visions (Acts 10), and being transported from one place to the next (Acts 8) before Jesus, but they were not. Their lives changed the day they met Christ, and much more after his crucifixion, ascension and out pouring of the Holy Spirit. Talk about going from glory-to-glory and faith-to-faith! And though the Church in Acts had no shortage of persecution, it also had no shortage of the presence and power of Jesus! In fact, much of their persecution was because of the power and authority they displayed when they used the name Jesus! Signs and wonders followed the Acts church and they overcame persecution by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony!
The Acts church had the identity of Christ. When a person was in the presence of a Christ follower back then, they knew it! There was no guessing or blending in or fitting in with the ungodly. The Acts church had come out from among the world (2 Corinthians 6:17) and they had the fruit to prove it! They were not ashamed of the gospel, for they knew that it was the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: to the Jew first, then to the Gentile. (Romans 1:16)
Contrary to popular belief today, the Church of Jesus Christ has an identity and it is that of Christ himself. God’s bride is not faceless, she does not blend in and she is not silent. She looks like her Savior and she behaves like him too, because she has been transformed into his likeness according to Romans 8:29. She is full of power and might, boldness and courage, strength and dignity—miracles, signs and wonders! She is like a city that is set upon a hill and cannot be hidden. (Matthew 5:14). She is steadfast and unmovable, always abounding in the works of her beloved Lord! (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Bride of Christ! Take your rightful place in your Savior and do not be deceived! As it is written, those who practices righteousness are righteous, just as Christ is righteous and those who practice sin are of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. (1 John 8:7-8) The bride of Christ is not only known by her confession, but also by her fruit because she has the identity of Christ.