Being Christlike frees creation, because Jesus never did any of the things that corrupt creation, and this is not limited to ending pollution, but ending the violence that causes millions of humans and billions of animals to suffer and die every year.
We also need to remember that Jesus was sinless and eliminating our sinful ways of life would also help restore creation to the way that the Lord created it to be.
Another thing to remember is that Jesus taught us to bring God’s heavenly will to earth as it is in heaven, since there is no pain or suffering or death in heaven, we need to do everything in our power not to do or buy anything that causes any living being to suffer or have pain or to die, and in addition Jesus told us to follow all His commandments.
Let’s now take a look at Genesis 22:1-14, and even though it took place some 2,000 years before Jesus was born and see if we can apply “being Christlike frees creation” to what we are told in this passage.
1. Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."
We believe that because Abraham and Sarah didn’t fully believe God when He told them that they were going to have a son in their old age, He is now testing Abraham.
2. And He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."
The literal meaning of the Hebrew word Moriah has had different meanings from “bitter” or “God is my teacher,” but that might not be so different, because when God has to teach us a lesson, it can seem quite bitter.
The other interesting thing about Mount Moriah is that it became the Temple site in Old Jerusalem.
We also know from other teachings in the Bible that God does not want the sacrifice of any living being, instead He wants our obedience; thus, the origin of this sacrifice must have originally come for Abraham’s Babylonian heritage.
3. So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
Just think about the mental anguish that Abraham suffered on this three-day journey.
4. On the third day Abraham raised his eyes and saw the place from a distance.
This was the place he dreaded, and must have been praying for God to change His mind.
5. And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship and return to you."
6. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son, and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.
They are walking to the place of execution, which well fits the meaning of “bitter” as well as “God is my teacher,” because fully trusting in God can be a bitter lesson.
7. And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." And he said, "Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
We also see in this passage that Isaac got concerned, because he didn’t see any lamb, as was their tradition, but we need to remember that this would not be happening if they were truly living in the heavenly will of God, because being Christlike frees creation, which in this case would completely eliminate the sacrifice and anything else that would not have been in the Eden of God’s creation.
8. And Abraham said, "God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together.
Again, we believe that Abraham was the one who originally wanted to sacrifice to God, because God doesn’t want sacrifice; He simply wants our love and obedience for all that He has provided for us.
9. Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there, and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood.
By this time Isaac must have known that he was the sacrifice, but he still let his father tie him up, and it is very curious that there is no mention of these details.
Both Abraham and Isaac must have felt the horrors of the whole sacrificial system from a personal point of view, and yet nothing about this is mentioned.
10. And Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
This must have been absolutely horrible for both of them, and still nothing is written about their feelings; to us this seems to be even more important than the event itself.
11. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."
12. And he said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."
This is the end of God’s test of Abraham, and to us, we don’t understand why there would have been any further need of a sacrifice.
13. Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.
To us, this story would have been a lot more inspiring if Abraham had released the Ram and thanked God for there was no “need” for any death, if there ever was.
14. And Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, "In the mount of the LORD it will be provided."
Yes, the Lord did provide; He gave life back for there was no need of death, but Abraham still felt the need to kill.
If Abraham had realized that being Christlike frees creation, he would have freed the Ram to live.
Think about how being Christlike frees creation as we look at Psalm 13:1-6…
1. How long, O LORD? Wilt Thou forget me forever?
How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me?
The only time a person should feel this way is when they have deliberately sinned against the Lord or are asking for something that isn’t in the heavenly will of God.
To us, feeling this way is a sure sign that something isn’t right in our own lives that we need to correct.
2. How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
We feel this way about the corruption of this earth and all the horrible suffering of both humans and other animals, and the destruction of our environment, and to us the corrupters of God’s creation are the enemy.
Like so many things, God has already told us the solution to the problem, but most people don’t seem to want to listen; for example, when God gave us charge over creation it also made us responsible for correcting the problems, which we believe that being vegan is a start in correcting the problem.
3. Consider and answer me, O LORD, my God;
Enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
It we allow the Holy Spirit to speak to our heart and soul, we have the reminder of what God has already said about the problem or He will direct us to see the answers elsewhere.
4. Lest my enemy say, "I have overcome him,"
Lest my adversaries rejoice when I am shaken.
I know there are corrupters of God’s creation who are saying this about us all the time, but we are never shaken; we get more encouraged, for we know that these people are really afraid of our position, and with a little more effort we will overcome them, and this is true of most things.
5. But I have trusted in Thy lovingkindness;
My heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation.
This is the way it should be for all true believers.
6. I will sing to the LORD,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Again, we believe that this is true for all believers, and it’s something that we all should be doing.
As we continue thinking about being Christlike, let’s see how it could apply to Matthew 10:40-42…
40. "He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.
In essence, if we are not Christlike, Jesus is saying that the Father may not receive us.
41. "He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
We are not told what these rewards are, but we can easily understand that there are true and false prophets and that these rewards would be different; however, when we come to a righteous man it can more difficult for we can have a righteous person according to the church, who is not truly righteous in the eyes of God, because the church accepts many worldly ways and God does not.
Therefore, in our opinion the only truly righteous people are those who are Christlike.
42. "And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you he shall not lose his reward."
These disciples are the only truly righteous people, and it is also why being Christlike frees creation from its present corruption, for it is the corruption that causes the little ones to be in need.
Let’s conclude our discussion on how being Christlike frees creation by looking at Romans 6:12-23…
12. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts,
13. and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
This is being Christlike, and sin and unrighteousness are part of this corrupt world; thus, being Christlike frees creation from corruption caused by sin and unrighteousness.
14. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.
Since Jesus is sinless, being Christlike puts us under this grace.
Remember also that the law was established to limit the degree of sin in the world, and hopefully free it from sin, but the law also became corrupted, so our only solution is through being like Jesus Christ.
15. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!
People who are not truly Christlike ask silly questions to try to justify themselves, and we believe that Paul is addressing them in this passage.
16. Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
The major problem we face today is that the majority of people are living in the world with all its violence and sin, and fail to recognize the fact that they are living in the sin resulting in death, and they likewise fail to see that they are slaves of the devil.
We are to be the bondservants of the Lord our God and live in His heavenly will.
Then Paul speaks to the true believers whose being Christlike frees creation form its present corruption.
17. But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
18. and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
But this kind of slavery doesn’t even feel like slavery.
19. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
And, since this is also being Christlike we are helping to free creation from its present corruption.
20. For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
But such people lack true love, compassion, and empathy, and being in that state leaves us empty.
21. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.
Some of the benefits people who live in the world derive are having chronic diseases, spending a lot of money on health professionals and on pharmaceuticals.
22. But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.
Besides this obvious benefit, we now as vegans have good health, and spend very little on health care.
23. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We think, why doesn’t everyone want this, and then we look back and see how hard it was to convince us to change into the peacemaking children of God, for now being Christlike frees creation, which benefits all of us and the animals as well as the environment in which we all live.
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