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by Bill Oberdorf

"Therefore, when He (Jesus) comes into the world, He says, "sacrifice and offering Thou has not desired, but a body Thou hast prepared for me.." (Hebrews 10:5-6) "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son (Jesus) which is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared (or revealed) Him". (John 1:18

God had no desire for 'sacrifices and offerings', but for a body through which to reveal or manifest Himself as HE IS....not as man has imagined or presented Him to be. Jesus, who is referred to as "the firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:29b) was "the Word that became flesh and tabernacled or dwelt among us" (John 1:14)....a Son in whom He was well pleased! God now had "the Man" or body through whom He would be able to fully reveal Himself to His creation. His creation would now be able to behold with their own eyes what God was like. God still desires and will have those who present their bodies as "living sacrifices" for Him to once again manifest Himself through in this earth by being their Life.....not by them "living for Him, but for Him to be "living in them, through them and as them, yet it will be Him manifesting Himself. That is why we find that Paul, the apostle was urging the believers in Corinth (and us!) "to present their (our) bodies a living and holy sacrifice. acceptable to God. which is your (our) spiritual service of worship. (Romans 12:1).

When God desired to express and reveal Himself in this world, He did not just send us a book. It would appear that under the old covenant, that is exactly what He did by giving the law through Moses. The law served its purpose by being "our schoolmaster" in bringing us to Christ. The law, as good as it was, could not bring us into the image of Jesus Christ, yet even today, there are multitudes who are struggling daily trying to fulfill the "law". As good as the Law is, it cannot bring Life. Life is only found in the Son! The law does serve its purpose in making us sin conscious, but all too often it places our attention on the keeping of rules and regulations and will stand as our "accuser" rather than pointing to the One who came to deliver us from the curse of the law. Many of God's people are so 'sin conscious'. You can no more speak in two languages at the same time, than you can be both God conscious and sin conscious. It is either one or the other! We will be changed into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ by "beholding HIM"..not ourselves, nor our sin.

He came in order that we might have 'Life"...His! He did not come to improve us....He came to replace us with HIMSELF. This was done at the cross when He was not only crucified for us, but also as us and now "the life that we live in the flesh, we live by the faith of the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself for us". We (corporately) become the Body of Christ through whom He now expresses Himself and "lives and moves and has His being".

Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life". To those who are seeking 'ways to live the Christian life', I point you to Him, who is The Way. To those seeking after 'truth'; you will not find it apart from Him, who is The Truth. And to those who are longing to manifest Him in your every day lives, I direct you to HIM, who has become our life." We need to realize that in Christ, we have been "set free from the law of sin and death" and are now invited to "live by the law of the Spirit of LIFE in Christ Jesus". Life needs no explanation or defending, it simply IS. We will find no "life" in systems, methods, or laws regardless of how "good" they appear to be. More often than not, it takes us coming to "end of our ropes (ourselves)" in order to make the discovery that has been available to us all the time and that is simply. "it is no longer I that liveth, but Christ who liveth in me" me, through me and as me, but "yet not I, but CHRIST."

May God grant us all, spiritual wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of HIM (not just about Him!). May He stir up within us a desire to become "...a living sacrifice" and a heart to remain on the altar until "we" are reduced to ashes in order to be the recipients of that promise that He made in the scripture when He said, "...I will give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord,.....(why?)....that He might be glorified." (Isaiah 61:3) God is still incarnating Himself in flesh (bodies)...yours and mine. A groaning creation awaits this manifestation that shall "set itself free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God" (Rom. 8:21). To God be the glory.....Amen!