By Larry White
March 30, 1979

   A while back I took a course in philosophy at De Anza Jr. College and in my text book I read things like this:

Materialism: "Organisms are nothing but machines. Mind is nothing but matter."
Nominalism: "Universals are mere words."
Ethical Skepticism and Relativism: "The original matrix of nature is the space-time continuum." "Life is therefore resoluble without remainder into physicochemical processes.

   Every human being who is born into this world must sooner or later be confronted with this very personal, yet nevertheless common and ancient problem - The question of "Who am I?" The time we live in and the inadequate answers that the intellectual giants of our day have come to, does not make our quest for solving this fundamental question any less difficult.

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

   The usual point made here with these verses is that we should look into God's word and see all our imperfections and go our way and not fail to correct them. But I would like to look at the positive side of this idea. We can look into God's word and see ideally who we are, what we were meant to be, who we really are - and then go our way and not forget what manner of man we are, but apply that knowledge to our lives.
   So, what I would like to do is examine this question in the light of what the Bible says about it. I'll be covering three basic areas to which this question relates and that causes us to make an application.

1.) Who am I in relation to my God?

    Like it or not, we live in the world to which Darwin and his theories has led us. From the time we are born to the time we die, we are steeped and indoctrinated and we absorb the idea that man is nothing but an animal. The whole world is inundated with all kinds of humanistic philosophies because of it.
    The completely arbitrary and unprecedented decision of the Supreme Court that the human fetus has no constitutional right to life is a direct result of this philosophy.
    We are taught that man is just a product of his environment - that is Humanism. That there is no definition for man. Man is meaningless and without purpose, so he has to invent a purpose for himself. There seems to be a great push in our country to make the official state religion Humanism.
    I was visiting the world's fair in Spokane in 1974 and I was amazed and ashamed that the Slogan over the U.S. Pavilion was, "The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth." This may sound nice and pretty to an atheist, but the practical result of a humanistic philosophy is an amoral society. Murderers who presumptuously take the life of another human being are protected from the just punishment for their crimes by saying that the society or their environment made them kill.
    The obvious horse-sense of it all escapes the philosophers - and that is this: When you teach a man his whole life that he is just an animal, then he's going to act like one. The worth of human life becomes very cheap. The murder, the rape, the child abuse, the abortions, the promiscuous sex and divorce rate, the abandonment of the Home structure, are all caused by not believing in God; and one of the major causes of that is the theory of evolution which has led people to the religion of Humanism.

    But who am I really in relation to God?

Gen. 1:27-28
"So God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Then God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

    We were created in the image of God. But what kind of image is that?

Jno. 4:23-24
"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship him.
God is a spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

    If God is a spirit - the only thing that can be created in the image of a spirit would be another spirit. So man is a spirit.
    We also see from these verses in Genesis that man is not just another animal or species in a long line of evolution. But he is the top of God's creation. He is to rule over every living thing that moves on the earth. The earth belongs to man - he has dominion - he has been given glory and honour by virtue of the fact of who he really is - he holds the image of God.

    Many people, by not understanding that man is in the image of God, have sought for some God that is less than personal, less than intelligent and less than loving.
    Francis Schaffer in his book He is There and He is Not Silent gives this illustration.

    "Often in the Swiss Alps there is a valley filled with water and an adjacent valley without water. Surprisingly enough, sometimes the mountain spring leaks, and suddenly the second valley begins to fill up with water. As long as the level of water in the second valley does not rise higher than the level of the water in the first valley, everyone concludes that there is a real possibility that the second lake came from the first. However, if the water in the second valley goes thirty feet higher than the water in the first valley, nobody gives that answer. If we begin with a personal beginning to all things, then we can understand that man's aspiration for personality has a possible answer.
    If we begin with less than personality, we must finally reduce personality to the impersonal. The modern scientific world does this in its reductionism, in which the word "personality" is only the impersonal plus complexity."

    It's the same with God. How can God be any less than man who he created? If man has personality and intelligence and emotions - our creator will not be some pantheistic void or some impersonal force, but he will, to a great extent, resemble our own image.

Acts 17:24-29
    "God, who made the world and everything in it, since he is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is he worshiped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, since he gives to all life, breath, and all things.
    "And he has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us; for in him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also his offspring."

    So, if we have this understanding, we can find the one true God - because he will not be any less than the many godly and noble aspects that make up man's nature.

    Now, someone might very well ask, "If I am a spirit in the image of God, then why do I have this physical body?" This question is really asking why we are here on this earth - why does physical things exist at all?
    Solomon said in Eccl.12:13 that man must "fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." The word duty is italicized in the KJV, so we could read, "this is the whole of man." So it does answer the question of who we are. This is why we are here.
    In Acts 17, Paul said that God had appointed the bounds of our habitation that we should seek the Lord if haply we might feel after him and find him. We are here to learn - and gain a proper relationship to God before we are ushered into his presence. And that proper relationship is found in the grace and mercy of our Father through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    But why a physical body? Well James said we can see who we really are in God's word - let us see if we can understand this.

    "The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together.
    "For I account that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory about to come which shall be revealed unto us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
    "For the creation was subjected to vanity, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also, who have the first-fruit of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, to wit the redemption of our body."

    Paul says if we suffer with Christ we will be glorified with him, and that glory cannot even be compared with what we have suffered. In a related passage in 2Cor.4, he says that our suffering works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
    But we were made subject to vanity. Not because we wanted it. I know all of us would have wanted Heaven immediately when we were created if we had had the choice. But God has a reason - he has subjected us also to hope.

"For in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance."

    There is no telling what kind of evil beings we would have become, if God had just given us all the glories of Heaven on a silver platter. But now we with patience wait for it.
    James says, "But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire lacking nothing." It's endurance. It's a learning situation - we are here to grow. Does the thought of inheriting the glories of Heaven give us a big head? Does it make us proud? Just look at your body. Can anyone glory with the body they have? or glory in what they have accomplished with that body?
    Paul calls it our "vile body" in Phil.3:21. The body of our lowliness, of our humiliation.

"Because God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthenware vessels, so that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us."

We also have a great and divine knowledge. We are partakers of the divine nature through this knowledge. But we have it all contained in a bottle made of dirt. Our bodies are perfectly suited for the position we hold in this universe.
    David prophesying about the Son of Man in

"But I am a worm and no man, a reproach of men and despised of the people."

Looking at our physical body - no one would ever come to think of the glory that will be revealed in us.

"But we have had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that indeed he will yet deliver us..."

    Not trusting in ourselves, but trusting in God. We are here in a physical body to gain a proper relationship to God before eternity. I have heard of people who were going to be formally introduced to the Queen of England, who had to go through a school in order to learn how to act in her presence. What they were learning is, who am I in relation to this woman? How do I act? What do I say?
    We are here to be introduced to the creator of all the universe and to live with him for an eternity. We will live with God forever. But first we must learn. We must have the character of the king before we receive the crown.
    Having utter selflessness and love is the only way beings can live together for eternity. Having a trusting and loving obedience is the only way that we can live with God.
    Do you think we can live with God for an eternity with our bitter envying of other people - with our selfishness (our "me first" attitude) - with our petty griping - with our hatred of those who cross us? It behooves us brethren to put off these things and prepare ourselves to live with God, to purify ourselves, even as he is pure.
    There isn't anyone else we have to please. There isn't anyone else with whom we must perfect a relationship. God is the final point of integration for all that we think, for all that we can accomplish, and for all that we can desire.

"For of him, and through him and to him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

    It is in the Lord God that we find the only answer to who we are.

2.) Who am I in relation to my fellow man?

"For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if one died for all, then all died; and he died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for him who died for them and rose again.
    "Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him thus no longer.
    "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

    These statements of Paul introduces the next application with which I would like to deal. Who am I in relation to my fellow man?
    The understanding that we are eternal spirits and not these bodies, has a profound effect on our behavior. As a Christian grows spiritually, he should be a person who consciously, more and more, brings his thoughts of what is real into agreement with what the Bible says is real, therefore making application.
    Christians do not glory in the flesh. They don't glory in appearances. They don't know any man after the flesh.

"Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are openly known to God, and I also trust are openly known in your consciences. For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, so that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart."

    We glory in heart, i.e. the real inner man. That is with whom a Christian is impressed. When we understand that we are made in the image of God, we not only know who we are, but we also know who everyone else is. This can be the basis of understanding and loving your neighbor. Look at your brothers and sisters in Christ and understand that they hold the image of God. There is a deeper respect and honor there for all of us.
    Who are all these people sitting in this room?

"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect..."

    The spirits of just men made perfect. Our respect and honor for our brethren and for those older in the faith and for our elders can be brought to an appropriate level when we remember who they are - and who we all are.
    This can also bring an enriching depth to the understanding of our relationships as husbands and wives. When we realize our mate is an eternal spirit created in the image of God - we can move from a physical affection and get into the area of real love. Surpassing our physical bodies - the love of one spirit for another - having it based in the reality of who we are.

"Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered."

    Peter says that the husband and wife are vessels. These are their bodies. Like Paul says that he had the gospel treasure in earthen vessels - he was speaking of his body. The wife's body is relatively the weaker of the two. But just because you can overpower her and excel in strength does not mean that she is your property or that she is treated like your slave. This is the problem they had in the First Century.
    "But dwell with her according to knowledge." This is the realization that in that vessel is housed a fellow-spirit and is the husband's equal, his equal in the most important respect; she's a fellow-traveler to a higher world and is entitled to every blessing that redemption provides as well as the husband.
    "Heirs together of the grace of life." No doubt, this is one of the keys to a successful marriage.

    Understanding who we are in relation to our fellow man can be a small revelation to a teenager struggling with peer pressure and popularity cliques. There's great peace in knowing who you are. Not worrying about social position or prestige or popularity. You are the child of the almighty God. You don't have to compare yourself with any man. You don't have to rally under the banner of any man or of any fad.

    "Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, 'He catches the wise in their own craftiness'; and again, 'The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.'
    "Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things about to come – all are yours.
    "And you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s."

    There isn't any man that you have to run after or follow to get anything that you do not already have. You don't have to worry about your looks - how ugly you think you are. You are actually more beautiful than anything you could possibly imagine. John says that we shouldn't even try to imagine what we'll look like.

1John 3:1-3
    "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know him.
    "Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when he is revealed, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure."

    To content ourselves with looking like Christ is enough. Is Jesus beautiful? Then so are you.
    Now lest I give the impression that Christians think that they are better than anyone else, the Christian who knows who he is, isn't going to walk in pride or a vain show, but he will clothe himself in humility and walk in lowliness of mind.

    "Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
    "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
    "Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."

    We know we hold the image of God. But Jesus is equal with God and look how he acted.

vs. 5-8
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."

    For us also, being in the image of God isn't something to be boastful about. That is just the facts. That's who we really are. So both feelings of inferiority and superiority will be taken care of when we put into practice the knowledge of who we are.

  "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your rational service. And do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may discern the will of God, the good and acceptable and perfect.
    "For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith."

    Just as no one else in the world is more important than you - neither are you more important than anyone else. This should have its fruit in the way we treat others also.

    "My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
    "Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called?
    "If you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors."

    So we should not be impressed with the way people appear. But be impressed with their heart, who they really are.
My last point is:

3.) Who am I in relation to myself (specifically, who am I in life, and who am I in death?)

"according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.
    "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

I would like to use these two statements to develop my point.

    (First):  "To live is Christ."
    We have a song that we sing:

"Oh to be like thee blessed redeemer
This is my constant longing and prayer
Gladly I'll forfeit all of earth's treasures
Jesus thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh to be like thee. Oh to be like thee
Blessed redeemer, pure as thou art.
Stamp thine own image, deep on my heart."

    There is in the Christian a deep longing to be like Jesus. But I would like to point out however, that in order for this to be possible - Jesus had to become like us. And in this very thing, we find our insight into who we are.

Heb. 2:5-8
"For he has not put the world about to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels.
But one testified in a certain place, saying:

    “What is man that you are mindful of him,
    Or the son of Man that you take care of him?
     You have made him a little lower than the angels;
    You have crowned him with glory and honor,
    And set him over the works of your hands.
    You have put all things in subjection under his feet."

    Angels are ominous creatures with dazzling and blinding light - full of enormous power. But God hasn't put the world that is to come in subjection under them. He has put it in subjection to us. Who are we?
This is the same thing David asks in the verses quoted here. What is man that you are mindful of him? God has set us over the work of his hand. He crowns us with glory and honor. He puts all things in subjection under our feet.
    But there seems to be a problem here. All things are not in subjection to us - and where is the glory and honor spoken of here?

v. 8
"For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him."

And here is the answer.

vs. 9-11
    "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that he, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.
    "For it was fitting for him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason he is not ashamed to call them brethren..."

"But we see Jesus." Jesus became and was a man. He was made a little lower than the angels. We see him suffer and die. But after that we see him crowned with glory and honor. The point here is that in the humanity of Jesus, he brings to a completion all that was designed for man. He is the second Adam.
    God is bringing us to Glory, and in Jesus we see our ultimate end. He is the captain of our salvation. Captain means literally, one who goes first, the leader, the author. Jesus became what we were always meant to be, that by his example and his atoning sacrifice and his life that he gives to us, we might follow him as our captain and obtain that completeness of who we are that can only be found in Jesus. That intended end and goal - that perfection of the sons of God.
    Everything that we are, is involved with and centered in Jesus. He is our life.
    "To live, is Christ." The Christian should find his total identification in Jesus.

Col. 3:1-4
    "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory."

 (Second):  "To die is gain."

Heb. 2:14-15
"Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared in the same, that through death he might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."

    There are many reasons for Christ's death - this is just one of them. He died to show us what death is. He delivered us from the bondage of fear.

1Thess. 4:13
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope."

    When death is referred to in the New Testament scriptures, it is described as going to sleep. The Christian's confidence is that he can lay down in the sleep of death someday and know that the same God he has trusted all his life; the same God that has forgiven all his sins; that has given him a new life in Jesus through his mercy and grace, is the same God who he will stand before in judgement. It is the confidence that from this passing he will awaken to the glorious dawning of an eternal day in God's presence with comfort and joy.

I've often wondered at the courage of the apostle Paul when he was on his way to Jerusalem with benevolent funds. Everywhere he went, prophets told him that he would be captured and suffer there.

Acts 20:20-25
"...how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.
    "But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
    “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more."

    Then on his way he stopped in Tyre where some more disciples told him through the Spirit that he should not go to Jerusalem. Then he stopped in Caesarea where he met a prophet (Agabus) who told him he would be bound and delivered to the Gentiles. Then everyone there begged him not to go. Then he said,

Acts 21:13-14
“What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.”

    One thing I question is - if it was God's will that he go, then why did the Holy Spirit keep warning of the danger? It could be that the Spirit was getting him prepared for what was going to happen so that he would not be surprised. Also he may have used Paul as an example of confidence for all the churches to see. Whatever the reason, from this we see that Paul was not afraid of any consequences.
    Our lives as Christians and our service are hampered by our fears. We will not speak up in compromising situations, because we are afraid to suffer. We are afraid of the consequences of being faithful to God.
    But we do not have to be afraid when we have faith in God and remember who we are.

    Look at Jesus' walk in his earthly life. Could he have accomplished all that he did if he had been afraid to die? Because of his preaching he met death in the face everyday. But Jesus had the confidence of knowing who he was.
    ("Now wait a minute preacher. Have you conquered your fear of death?") Jesus shows me that I can! and by God's grace I will. As I said before - a Christian is a person who consciously, more and more, brings his thoughts of what is real into agreement with what the Bible says is real. It's a growing process. Paul accomplished it. Paul had confidence about death because he knew and was sure of who he was and who his maker was.

2Cor. 5:1-9
    "For we know that if our earthly house of this tent is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Indeed, for in this we groan, greatly desiring to be clothed with our dwelling-place which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked.
    "For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, in order that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
    "Now he who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the down-payment of the Spirit. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
    "Therefore we make it our aim, whether at home or absent, to be well pleasing to him."

    His meaning is clear. We know that this body is simply a tent - and when we die we leave this body and are clothed with an eternal body made by God which is not physical. This is what all of us at one time or another have longed for. This is the very thing that God has made us for. For a Christian, death is not something to be feared. But it is God's design - being clothed with life is our completion, our expectation and hope.
    I was watching Mork and Mindy, a sitcom on TV that I have only caught once, and in this episode Mork had a caterpillar as a friend. Then suddenly his friend "dies" and so Mork puts him in a little coffin made of a match box intended for his burial. When the funeral is observed, Mork takes one last look at his friend and opens the matchbox. Out comes his friend with new wings and flies away as an amazed Mork looks on.
    Well, of course we aren't that amazed, knowing that God has designed that into the life cycle of the butterfly. So it is with us - God has designed death into our life cycle.
    That is why the Psalmist can say in Psa.116:15, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." It is his children coming home. If God views our death like that, then we can also.
    Paul was confident, (of good courage) in his preaching, his teaching, his obeying God in every way, because he wasn't afraid to die. Plainly spoken, he would rather be out of his body and be present with the Lord. For to die - is gain.

    Longfellow wrote to a Christian friend of his:

"To me the thought of death is terrible having such hold on life. To you it is not more than a step into the open air from a tent already luminous with light which shines through its transparent folds."

Who am I?
    I am a spirit, housed in this body. I had my beginning when God created me. From this time on, I will have an eternal existence sustained and watched over by my creator. I understand that at a point called death, I will leave this body and go on to a place prepared for me by my creator, to share the glory and joy he has with him throughout all eternity.

    If you are not a Christian, you are missing out on life itself. By faith that Jesus Christ has died for your sins; by repentance to lead a godly life and baptism into Christ, you can become a Christian and share that life with him. We are not asking you to be anymore than what you really are - what you really can be. By giving your life completely to Christ, you can partake of the divine nature and so be what you were always meant to be - nothing more, nothing less - a Christian; holding the image of Christ who is the image of God.

(Originally delivered as a sermon in Sunnyvale, CA. March 30, 1979)


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