The second characteristic of the first century church (visit the 1st one here) was an eternal perspective was taught on who we are, where we’ve come from, where we are here now, what we should be doing, and where we’re going. That would be the prophetic timeline that is found in Scripture. But more than that, because of what happened in the first century, the church began to realize they weren’t just human beings that were the seed of Abraham. They were a chosen people out of a people, but they began to understand that they were eternal spirit beings. They were taught that they were a spirit, they had a soul, and they lived in a body, and there and there was a place that they understood that their spirit men needed to be sanctified.
Jesus began to teach in the beatitudes in Matthew 5 of what we should look like in their spirit. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness. What’s righteousness? God’s nature in us, and if we do, we shall be filled. So when Jesus began to teach, setting the standard for the journey, he began to teach what we should look like, how we should think, how we should speak, and how we should act in this world - in it - but not of it. He also began to explain to us, especially in the teachings of Paul and the teachings of Jesus, that we are a spirit being, we must come to God, no question, but sanctification was taught soon after.
I’m reminded of one scripture by Paul,
"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." - 2 Corinthians 7:1
I learned God’s nature very clearly in the fruits of the Holy Spirit in Galatians - the nine-fruits of the Holy Spirit - but who needs to show those fruits? We do. They are God’s nature, which lost in the tragedy of the garden of Eden, but now reclaimed as a work of the Holy Spirit. The man Christ Jesus, and anyone in the church age following His words participates with the Father’s nature as well. If God is love, what should we be? Love. If God is faith, we should be full of faith. If God is long-suffering, which should be full of long-suffering. So these nine attributes of God’s nature are part of our spiritual identity. Who are we, and who will we be?
The Bible says ‘in that day’, that would be in the eternity after we go through the Judgment Seat of Christ and the marriage supper of the Lamb, we shall be known as we were known.
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." - 1 Corinthians 13:12
I’m trying to work on my identity today. How about you? So that I can be more an emulator of the nature of my Father. Jesus came to show us the Father. He came to show us the Father’s nature. He began to show us how God thinks and how we should think. And so the first century church came out of this rote ritual and into the New Testament church age, and begin to have an eternal perspective. Who are we? Why are we here? What’s going on and where we’re going? If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re at today, and you don’t know where you’re going, your somewhat lost.
In Christianity, we get born again and end up waiting to die to go to heaven for something to begin. The first century church, they started right then. They began to work out their own salvation. They began to understand how to living in eternity present tense. They began to make the change. The ignorant & unlearned began to live as a king & priest while they still had a non-glorified body. They began to practice something called reformation, and great transformation occurred. You know, I have seen people instantly healed of stage four terminal cancer when they just forgave one person. That’s an eternal perspective.