CRS

Characteristics of the new life in Christ

len Alfred Ajibola - 25th September, 2023 @ 04:38 PM

Topics in CRS

Fruit of the Holy Spirit: Modesty and Continency Fruit of the Holy Spirit: Goodness, Longanimity and Mildness Characteristics of the new life in Christ New Life in Christ Concept of justification by faith The Supremacy of God Supremacy of God Lessons learnt from God's supremacy Jesus as the Living Bread explained Lessons learnt from Jesus' teaching as the Living Bread Why does suffering and pain exist? Forgiveness: Jesus' teaching on forgiveness and its importance What is Forgiveness? Jesus' teaching on forgiveness Jesus' teaching on giving The Prodigal Son, Moral lessons learnt Moral lessons learnt from the parable of the prodigal son Scheme of work, CRS, SS1, 1st Term Scheme of work, CRS, SS1, 2nd Term Scheme of work, CRS, SS1, 3rd Term Biblical account of Creation


Academic Questions in CRS

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

The feeding of five thousand men with five loaves of bread and two fishes paved way for Jesus' teaching on _____.

  • A. The sermon on the mount

  • B. The living bread

  • C. Prayer, fasting and almsgiving

  • D. The prodigal son

  • E. The good samaritan

  • F. Giving

According to Christianity, Jesus Christ suffered for us all. As a result, Christians do not have to suffer on earth.

  • A. True

  • B. False

In the gospel of Matthew chapter 18 verse 21-35, Jesus tells what story?

  • A. The story of the prodigal son

  • B. The story of the good Samaritan

  • C. The story of the fig tree

  • D. The beatitudes

  • E. The story of the vineyard

  • F. The story of the unforgiving servant

What is Jesus' last word on the cross?

  • A. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing

  • B. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me

  • C. I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise

  • D. I am thirsty

  • E. It is finished

  • F. Father, into your hands I commit my spirit

With regards to giving, Jesus made the statement below:

Do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. If you do this, you will have a reward from your Father in heaven.

  • A. True

  • B. False

At last, he came to his senses and said, 'All my father’s hired workers have more than they can eat, and here am I about to starve! I will get up and go back to my father and say, Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired workers'. So he got up and started back to his father.

The above statement was made by the prodigal son when he took up a job in a distant country. What job was that?

  • A. Care of cattle

  • B. Care of sheep

  • C. Care of goats

  • D. Care of pigs

  • E. Care of cattle and sheep

  • F. Care of cattle and sheep and goats

The parable of the prodigal son is found in which of the following bible passages?

  • A. Matthew 15: 11-32

  • B. Mark 15: 11-32

  • C. Luke 15: 11-32

  • D. John 15: 11-32

  • E. None of the above

  • F. All of the above

Jesus was born specifically in _____.

  • A. Jerusalem

  • B. Bethlehem

  • C. Nazareth

  • D. Israel

  • E. Capernaum

  • F. Calvary



New life in Christ:

The new life in Christ has its source in Jesus. It is for this very reason that God the Son, who reigns supreme in heaven, took the nature of man in the womb of Mary. He was born in Bethlehem, and named Jesus as instructed by Archangel Gabriel.

 

By the standard of the law, we all deserve to be condemned. This is true because we are born into the old life as seeds of our first parents, Adam and Eve. Meanwhile, recall that our first parents committed sin when the disobeyed God in the garden of Eden. Interestingly, this sin of theirs and the eventual curses attached to their disobedience were inherited by us. This is summarized in the bible verse below:

  • To the woman he said, 'I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.' To Adam he said, 'Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, You must not eat of it', Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return. Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living - Genesis 3:16-20.
  • Please read on the consequences of Adam and Eve's disobedience here.

 

St. Paul, in his letter to the Romans confirmed our sinful state. He further established our new life through the grace of Christ. This is quoted below:

 

Characteristics of new life in Christ

The new life in Christ is excellently expressed via the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew he would ascend to His father, leaving his disciples behind to propagate his mission on earth. To help them further in this mission, He promised to send forth the Holy Spirit upon them.

 

The fruit of the Holy Spirit may be defined as the summation of the characteristics (or visible signs) of the new life in Christ. In simple terms, these fruit of the Holy Spirit makes us Christlike, and will be typically visible to others, or felt by them.

 

The fruit of the Holy Spirit are conspicuous in the lives of those living in God's grace, and not under the law. Once again, the fruit of the Holy Spirit are visible on people living the new life in Christ, thus making them the basic characteristics (or expression) of the new life. To indeed be a christian will imply the visibility of these fruits in an individual, making him or her to become like Christ.

 

The fruits of the Holy Spirit are generally put into twelve. Below are explanations on some of these:

 

  • Charity (Love)

Charity refers to an unconditional love for God and our neighbors. Such love requires us to voluntarily make sacrifices, thus putting the need of others before ours. Charity is indeed a love that know no bounds.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 1st Corinthians 13:4-7

 

According to St. Paul in 1st Corinthians 13:13, charity is the greatest of all theological virtues. In fact, Jesus himself narrowed all the commandments and laws towards charity, hence making it the fulcrum of our new life in Christ. Therefore, the new commandment as instituted by Jesus is a function of charity.

  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these - Mark 12:30-31.
  • Please read on Jesus as the Living Bread here.

 

  • Joy

Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and it is permanent in the lives of christians possessing it. It is not dependent on our mood or state; rather, it is a result of our constant dependence on Jesus. In this regard, christians become fulfilled since they understand that their pains (or sufferings) are for Christ's sake. For this reason, the joy of the Lord (Jesus) is the strength of christians.

  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything - James 1:2-4.
  • You can read interesting facts for students here.

 

Christians had given up their lives (with joy) because of Jesus. For example, St. Peter died through crucifixion in his mission for Jesus. However, he told his killers that he isn't worthy to die the same way as his master (Jesus); and was subsequently crucified upside down.

To simplify the concept of joy, you can think of it as a lasting happiness. The situation of things around us cannot affect our joy since it comes from the Lord. St. Paul was indeed joyful for being abused and persecuted in his letter to the Corinthians.

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2nd Corinthians 12:10

Please read on the beauty of suffering here.

 

Below are a few bible passages concerning the joy of the Lord amidst suffering and persecution:

  • When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely; and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them - Acts - 16:23-25.

  • So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name - Acts 5:41.

  • Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions - Colossians 1:24.

You can attempt questions and answers in crs here.

 

  • Peace

The peace that God gives is quite different from that which comes from the world. The peace of God brings about tranquility of soul and body. We become unbothered by the waves of life through God's peace.

The peace of God is always eminent, even at the point of death. The dying person may be seen to be tranquil, calm and joyful, without any form of anxiety. One who dies in this state is often considered to 'rest in peace'. St. Stephen showed this peaceful spirit even when he was stoned to death.

  • When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 'Look,' he said, 'I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.' At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.' Then he fell on his knees and cried out, 'Lord, do not hold this sin against them.' When he had said this, he fell asleep - Acts 7:54-60.
  • You can read on the attributes of God here.

 

Jesus knew the importance of peace in our world. He didn't want his disciples to become overwhelmed with worldly affairs and other issues of life. For this reason, he gave them his very own peace.

  • Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid - John 14:27.

The peace of Jesus has a special calming effect on both the soul and body. It gives us a sense of relationship with God and our neighbors. In fact, the peacemakers will be referred to as children of God (Matthew 5:9).

You can read key points for students in crs here.

 

The peaceful coexistence among christians is an important aspect of our new life in Christ. Without peace and unity within the church, the body of Christ will indeed be divided. In fact, one of the longest prayers of Jesus in John 17:6-26 (just before his passion) points to the unity of His belivers and their peaceful existence. It was this peaceful and united existence among the early believers in Antioch that brought forth the term 'christian'; which means, like Christ. Such peaceful atmosphere is a reflection of the heavenly kingdom.

 

  • Patience

Patience is one of the virtues that reminds us of our imperfect state, thereby helping us to tolerate the imperfections of others.

Patience is a virtue that is often exhibited in difficult situations. It puts negative emotions in check, and can be of great importance in certain instances. For example, a lack of patience during periods of great anger and rage may lead to regrettable actions like murder.

Although Jesus suffered and died on the cross (for our sake), he still continues to be patient with us, while also praying for us. For this reason, the acts of being merciful and gracious becomes a component of patience. 

  • I answered: 'I know, Lord, that the Most High is now called merciful, since he has mercy on those who haven’t yet come into the world. He is called gracious, since he has mercy on those who convert to his Law, and patient, because he shows patience to those who have sinned, since they are his own creation - 2nd Esdras 7:132-134

 

The patience of God is reflected in His unfathomable mercies, and this happens to be one of God's attribute. After the destruction of man via the flood (during Noah's time), God promised never to destroy human with water. In fact, God subsequently used the waters as an outward sign of remitting sin, (while also granting an inward grace) through baptism.

 

God has always kept his promises, and thus has been so patient with humans, to an extent of giving up His only begotten son for our redemption. Therefore, we must be patient with others just as God has been towards us.

To become patient with others requires sacrifices for the sake of Christ. Being patient requires that we die to our selfish inclinations, while considering others with the love of Christ.

 

Patience as a core characteristic of the new life in Christ can help us overcome sins like murder, envy, idolatry, backbiting, use of abusive words, false accusations, adultery, stealing, and so on. On the contrary, it promotes virtues like brotherly love, endurance, perseverance, peace, forgiveness, and hope in God.

 

  • Benignity (Kindness)

Kindness or benignity encompasses the acts of being friendly, gentle, generous, tolerant, and considerate. It also refers to various acts of compassion which can become overwhelming, and could even win souls to Christ.

Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, 'Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?' 'No, Lord,' she said. And Jesus said, 'Neither do I. Go and sin no more.' - John 8:10-11.

 

Jesus showed kindness to the woman who was caught in adultery. The beautiful and kind words of Jesus towards this woman melted her heart. He told the woman that 'he did not condemn her', and such beautiful words meant everything to her. In fact, it is believed that she treasured those words in her heart, returning a great act of kindness to Jesus after some time.

  • A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them - John 7:37-38.

Please read motivational quotes for students here.

 

God wants us to be kind to our neighbors regardless their state of life. A story was told of a poor muslim woman who begged for alms. Kindness was shown by an individual to this woman, as she was given a cup of rice. When this muslim woman got home, she knocked the doors of her christian and hindu neighbors who were also poor. She furthered the act of kindness by equally sharing the cup of rice with them regardless their religion.

Please read on Jesus' teaching on giving here.

From the above story, we can deduce that an act of kindness can bring about the unity of people regardless their religion, race, or tribe. Remember, the will of God is for all people to become united as one body, with Christ as our head.

 

As stated earlier, the characteristics of the new life in Christ are expressed through the fruits of the Holy Spirit. In addition to those explained above, other fruits of the Holy Spirit include:

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Amazing facts in CRS

Salvator Mundi - Len Academy

Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci is the most expensive painting in the world. It is valued at 450.3 Million Dollars.

This painting depict Jesus Christ with his right hand raised in blessing, and his left hand holding an orb

There are a total of 188 named women in the Bible

Mahershalalhashbaz is the longest word in the Bible

The shortest verse of the Bible is John 11:35. It reads:

Jesus wept

 

The longest verse in the bible is Esther 8:9. It reads:

Then were the king’s scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language

The last word in the Bible is 'Amen'.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen

Revelation 22:21

The shortest verse in the bible is found in John chapter 11 verse 35. It reads:

Jesus wept

If you translate 'Jesus' from Hebrew directly to English, the correct translation will be 'Joshua'. The name Jesus was actually a translation from Hebrew, to Greek, to Latin and finally, English


Notable points in CRS

The parable of the prodigal son as narrated by Jesus himself is one that shows God's incomprehensible mercy and love. This parable is present in the gospel of Luke 15: 11-32.

Jesus began by saying:

There was once a man who had two sons. The younger one said to him, 'Father, give me my share of the property now'. So the man divided his properties between his two sons.

Luke 15: 11-12

From the above passage, it is quite clear that the younger brother had lost interest in the family's affairs. He must have pondered in his heart the sweetness of complete independence on a life of financial abundance.

To actualize his thoughts, he had the effrontery to go to his father to request for his inheritance even though his father is fully alive and active.

Please read a detailed explanation of the parable of the prodigal son and its moral lessons here

Adam and Eve disobeyed God while in the Garden of Eden. Below are the consequences of Adam and Eve's disobedience:

  • All God's creature became guilty of original sin.

  • Human perfection was lost.

  • God's judgement was pronounced on the snake, woman and man.

  • Chaos and disorderliness came upon earth.

  • Suffering, pain and death was introduced into the world.

  • The first prophesy was made. 

  • Clothing was made.

  • Paradise was temporarily lost.

  • Their disobedience brought about the relevation of Jesus Christ.

  • Please read a detailed explanation on the consequences of Adam and Eve's disobedience here

Wise men from the east came to visit the infant king. Upon their arrival, they saw the child with his mother Mary. They knelt down and worshiped the infant (Jesus).

Notice that the bible recorded that the wise men knelt down and worshipped the infant (Jesus), according to Matthew 2:11.

Only God can be worshiped. Jesus is always God, even as a baby.

It is important to state that Jesus remained God at every point in his physical existence, even when he was in the womb of the virgin; throughout his life on earth, death on the cross and eventual resurrection.

The wise men from the east opened their treasures and presented the infant Jesus with three significant gifts. These are gold, frankincense and myrrh.

  • Gold represents a symbol of Jesus' kingship. Jesus is the King of kings, even at birth and throughout eternity.

  • Frankincense represents a symbol of Jesus' divinity and a sign of worship. Only God can be worshipped; and as such, Jesus is fully God.

  • Myrrh represents a symbol of Jesus' death. Jesus is truly man, and this is why he was able to suffer and die on the cross.

Please read on the early years of Jesus here.

God created human beings for the following reasons:

  1. To know Him

  2. To love Him

  3. To serve Him

  4. To be happy with Him forever

Our first parent, Adam and Eve enjoyed a life of complete happiness before they committed sin. They never knew what pain nor sorrow was until they disobeyed God. In short, both were perfect beings until they committed the sin of disobedience against God.

Disobedience may simple be defined as the failure to obey rules, command or someone in authority.

Adam and Eve were the first human beings to disobey God.

Please read more on the biblical account of first human disobedience here