Becoming a Revelation of Jesus

By Francis Frangipane
(En EspaƱol)

"For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ" (Gal. 1:11-12).

The Bible is not merely a "how-to" book. It is not just a history book. Nor is it a type of religious "crystal ball" to peer into the future. At its core, the Bible is the revelation of Jesus Christ. Indeed, we will learn many things reading the Bible, yet the central focus, first and foremost, is the unveiling of the Son of God. We will learn, the Old Testament was written in anticipation of Him (1 Pet. 1:10-11), while the New Testament was written because of Him and to make Him known.

The biblical word revelation means "to unveil" or "to uncover." When the Holy Spirit directs us in the Scriptures, His goal is not only to give us religious knowledge but to actually, in some life-changing way, unveil Jesus Christ to us. Recall, the Lord rebuked the Pharisees who assumed the place of "experts" in their scriptural interpretations. He said, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me" (John 5:39). Eternal life is in Christ. The Scriptures "testify" of Him, and the Holy Spirit breathes through the Scriptures, but we must come to faith in Jesus to actually find life.

The Book of Christ's Unveiling
Many books deal with interpretations of end-time events. All of them, invariably, include the author's opinions concerning the last book in the Bible, the Revelation to John. But the Revelation is not merely a forecast of end-time events. Its primary purpose is stated in the first verse: this book is the "Revelation of Jesus Christ." Without seeing Christ as the triumphant Lord, manifested through end-time events, this book becomes a book of speculation rather than revelation. In every warning there are those who possess the revelation of Jesus Christ, and through Christ, they triumph over "the beast," "the false prophet" and "the dragon."

As for the opening of the seals and the events that followed, each judgment heralds Christ's triumphant return to the world! Revelation's final chapters then speak of the age to come and the New Jerusalem, where the unveiled glory of the Lord replaces every other form of light. You see, just as John wrote, this book is "the Revelation of Jesus Christ"!

The Purpose of the Church
Yet not only is the Bible a revelation of Jesus Christ, but so also is the church. Indeed, the church is called the "body of Christ." The purpose of a physical body is to reveal the thoughts and intentions of its head. Thus, Christ's body is to be the revelation of Christ, the Head. When people see us, the presence of the Lord Jesus should be clearly discerned in our attitudes, words and actions; the world should behold Christ living within us.

In other words, Jesus' hands cannot help others if our hands are in our pockets. His love cannot reach others if our love has grown cold or bitter. His victory cannot be manifested if our prayers are silent. We are His body -- the actual means He has chosen to express and reveal Himself to the world!

"Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?" (1 Cor. 6:15).

Because the Spirit of Christ actually dwells in our spirits, the expression of His will through us empowers us to serve as His body. Even as the purpose of the Bible is to reveal Jesus, so the primary purpose of the church is to give Jesus arms and legs, lips and a heart -- a functioning body -- to make His nature known.

You see, there are two beings living in your body: you and the Spirit of Jesus Christ. As we yield to Christ, we grow in "all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ" (Eph. 4:15). Spiritual maturity is nothing less than growing up to the "stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13). Consider Paul's great proclamation: "I have been crucified with Christ; and 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, who loved me" (Gal. 2:20).

Jesus does not only dwell in Heaven; He also dwells in us. As He is in Heaven, so also is He in us (1 John 4:17). We embrace the death of our old nature, "always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus," with one goal compelling us: "that the life of Jesus also may be manifest in our body" (2 Cor. 4:10). We do not embrace self-denial for mere religious reasons, but that "the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh." (2 Cor. 4:11).

Do we see this? The life of Jesus Himself is to be manifested, revealed and shown forth through our mortal flesh! This is not some deep teaching; this is basic to true Christianity! Nor is this a hope only to be realized in eternity. Those who say they abide in Him ought to walk even as He did walk (1 John 2:6). If the vision of Christ living in you is not a burning truth in your heart, you may have accepted a false version of Christianity.

Consider Paul's warning:

"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you -- unless indeed you fail the test?" (2 Cor. 13:5).

Beloved, just as the Bible is a revelation of Jesus Christ, so also are we. The church is called to be a revelation of Jesus Christ!