Jesus Christ defines our lives
“Egoism, egocentrism, and individualism are incompatible with the gospel,” declared Chief Apostle Schneider. Following are some concrete examples of a life with Jesus Christ.
Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider gathered with young Christians from Northern and Eastern Germany from 15-17 June 2018 on the grounds of the Trade Fair Centre in Leipzig, Germany. The weekend culminated with a divine service attended by over 9,000 participants. The sermon was based on a passage from Galatians 2: 20: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, wo loved me and gave Himself for me.”
We live — in belief in the Son of God
Belief does not prevent the believer from enjoying life! New Apostolic Christians are part of society. However, their conduct of life is guided by their belief in the Son of God.
We respect our life. “No matter what I must live through, I believe that God loves me!” And this also means “that I do not despise myself. I do not think myself so low or insignificant that no one could possibly be interested in me.” — This statement does not apply to people who suffer from depression or other mental illnesses.
We set priorities. Jesus Christ said, “But seek first the kingdom of God.” Do not be so focused on the earthly. With the sacrifice of Jesus comes a new perspective: eternal fellowship with God. This does not make wealth, prestige, or pleasure obsolete, however. “All of this is in order, but we do not content ourselves with these things alone. We know—and here we are quite demanding—that we can have more.”
We long for fellowship. “We prepare ourselves for the future. This perspective that God has given us is something we really want to achieve: eternal fellowship with God! Already today we desire to have fellowship with Him in the divine services and in our fellowship with the children of God.”
We live — but not in the cult of the ego
“It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” — “What is this ‘I’ that we must put off?” asked Chief Apostle Schneider. “God does not expect us to renounce our personality or will, but He does expect us to renounce the ego cult.
We renounce egoism. “Egoism consists of pursuing one’s own needs and doing all one can in order to assure one’s own wellbeing—but without any consideration for others.” This is not consistent with our belief in Jesus Christ, however.
We renounce egocentrism. “What is egocentrism anyway? That is when I make myself the focus, and when everything revolves around me. Everything is all about me. And I evaluate everything from the perspective of my own person.” This is definitively the dark side of the ego—and it is not consistent with Christian faith.
We renounce individualism. “My person and my needs are more important to me than the needs of the community to which I belong.” — This is not compatible with following Jesus Christ either.
We live — this changes our conduct
“Christ lives in me” — The Chief Apostle made it clear that the cult of the ego is absolutely incompatible with the Christian faith. “Living in Christ—this visibly changes our conduct!”
We take on responsibility in the community. “A Christian who truly follows Jesus Christ is well aware: ‘I am part of a greater whole. I also have certain obligations with regard to society.’ Jesus said, “Render […] to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” By this He meant to say, “You have an obligation toward society.”
We do not shy away from relationships with our neighbour. “There are people who say, ‘Oh, I do not have anything to do with anyone else. I do not need anyone. Everything is in order in my life. And after all, I’m not doing anything evil.’” But this is not a Christian way of thinking, said the international Church leader: “The attitude of Jesus Christ is: ‘I have come to serve my neighbour. I have come in order to approach my neighbour and do good things for him.’”
In matrimony we do all we can for the happiness of our spouse. “I am happy because you are happy.” That is the mind and spirit of Jesus Christ: “I want things to go well for you.” One of the problems in our modern age is that many merely regard matrimony as an interest group of sorts, said the Church’s leading clergyman. Another problem is that—because of the many separations—the prevailing opinion is that matrimony is no longer possible to manage. The advice of the Chief Apostle: “Build your matrimony on the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is all about love, patience, and forgiveness.”
We involve ourselves in the congregation. “Our belief in Jesus Christ tells us, ‘I am a member of the body of Christ. I am a member of the congregation. I am jointly responsible for the wellbeing of the congregation. Things will go well for me when they go well for the congregation.’”
The Chief Apostle made it clear: “The dear God is not interested in negating our person! He does not want us to be weak-willed puppets on a string. Not at all! Alexander is to remain Alexander, and Sophie is to remain Sophie—with all of their personality, with all of their gifts and talents, and with all of their desires. They are to remain as they are—but perfect in Jesus Christ. They are capable of loving with the love of Jesus Christ. They have the power of Jesus Christ within themselves. They radiate the peace of Jesus Christ. And they long and strive to be a blessing for their neighbour.”