Legacy that Lasts
Do you remember the common saying that aside from taxes, the only thing certain in life is death?
Indeed, our time to “kick the bucket” is sure and the only question is when.
So then, what should our legacy be for those we leave behind? Many have opted to store wealth for the bereaved and have taught human decision-making, wisdom and their moral values to their children. However, as good a legacy these are, even these children will die at their appointed time and will not take an iota to their grave. Anything that we leave behind does not last. One only has to go back in the history of heads of human kingdoms, viz., Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Roman empire and other governments, David, Solomon, to see the evanescence of our human legacy. To quote from Ectopic Murmur, Dr Philip S Chua(1), it has to be “…more valuable, ..lasting and more powerful than material things we could leave behind….their impact on …humanity as a whole…..a capsule of memories that people would remember us by”.
So, as a challenge to all of us, what should our legacy be that is eternal?
No library, books or people can we muster to help us unravel the key to lasting legacy. Yet, there is one man, Jesus, who already has been there and showed us the path to an eternal legacy. But, before this was paved to completion, there were 2 things he did:
1.Incarnation to be be human for him to die as a consequence of Adam’s sin for reconciliation of humanity with the Father. As Yahweh-Elohim (Lord God, El Shaddai (God Almighty) and as Logos(Word) from the beginning of time, he incarnated when the time has come to become man-Christ Jesus(John 1:1-51; Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2;Matthew 2:4-6). Therefore, he “came from above” (John 3:31) and did not have the genealogy or similitude of Genesis-Adam who came “from the ground/earth” and sinned(Genesis 2:7; Genesis 3:1-24).
Therefore rightfully, being a perfect Passover Lamb(1 Corinthians 5:7), Jesus was the only man who can take the consequence of eternal death sentenced on the whole mankind. And, his death reconciled us to the Father, whether born before or after Adam, Without us being reconciled first, we are “dead on arrival“, so to speak. Having been reconciled, we then “shall be saved by his life”(Romans 5:10),i.e., after he got resurrected to life.
2.Resurrection from death to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit for us. It takes a live person to receive anything, much more a crucial gift for mankind’s eternal life. After Jesus was resurrected, as Jonas was 3 days and nights in the belly of a big fish, he then went to the Father in heaven to receive this Holy Spirit of power(John 14:15-31; Acts 2:33), the key tool of power towards attaining eternal life. He did not have this creative–power for mankind to become a “new creation” before; although Yahweh has other “creative powers” also Holy Spirit of power.
Nothing happens in this world without energy-power which is the ability to do things, whether gravitational, mechanical, electrical, nuclear, solar, or through electron transfer. He then subsequently has given this energy-power to in-dwell in humans starting at Pentecost(Acts 2).
Continuing to work humans into his body/church.
After these 2 seminal events, Jesus now has the energy/power tool, the Holy Spirit of power, to finish his creation. (N.B. The first creation typified by Adam in Genesis is only a template, the first Adam then followed by the last Adam). He has now embedded into humans, starting at Pentecost, this “Helper/Advocate”(John 14:26) by “writing his laws in the fleshly tables of our human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:3) to empower us towards our sanctification and glorification, which is a process of “spiritual growth and development”.
While in this life, we may experience obstacles and falter towards sin. But we have a “High Priest“, Jesus the Son of God, who constantly intercedes for us(Hebrew 4:14-16). This “Holy Spirit of power”, empowered us to persevere.
Let us move on and not go back to our own vomit(Proverbs 26:11; 2 Peter 2:22).
While necessary to our present existence, what we have now, everything we accumulated in academic achievements and wealth, are material things and are transient.
Our focus should be on what is eternal, as in 2 Corinthians 4:18 “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.“
Along this spiritual travel, there will be trade-offs, challenges and risks. But, while we all get older each day, let us persevere and “faint not”, as in:
2 Corinthians 4-16 “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”
New International Version
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day“.
Yes, while outwardly we are getting older daily, let our “inner man” be renewed daily. There is “ongoing creation” that Jesus (the Creator God) is doing to mold “his clay” (Isaiah 64:8;Jeremiah 2) into someone that is “one” with the Father(John 17:21; Ephesians 4:6) as Jesus already is.
This man-Christ Jesus has proven this path for humans to become “one with the Father” (not the same but distinct from) as he is the “builder(tekton), trailblazer, the captain, the author and finisher” of our salvation(Hebrews 2:10). So that, all will be “one” body(Romans 12:5). This is now happening as “predestined“. First the “firstfruits” (1 Corinthians 15:20-23;Romans 8:23; James 1:18), then the “latter-fruits”(James 5:7; Joel 2:21-27) who become “overcomers” (James 1:12; Revelations 2:7-11, Revelations 2:17, Revelations 2:26) because of this Holy Spirit of power, as a “Helper/Advocate” in-dwelling in the “real us”,
That, being said, the “good works” that we manifest due to the power of the Holy Spirit, then becomes “fruits of the Holy Spirit(Galatians 5:22-23). Strictly speaking, these are not “our righteousness” per se, as our own righteousness to God are “filthy rags”(Isaiah 64:6). As such, since the Holy Spirit is a gift (given when we were yet sinners, Romans 5:8) from the Father, we are saved by grace, through faith as in: Ephesians 2:8-9
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
This gospel about Christ and of Christ, the route to salvation and creation of God-kingdom is the legacy that lasts. It is eternal and was revealed for us to understand and focus towards what the Father and Jesus did and currently doing still. This is the legacy, the knowledge of this “good news”(gospel) that we should impart to our family and leave for our loved ones.
1. Legacy? Philip S Chua Ectopic Murmurs Vol 27, Number 2, pp. 5,12; July 2014 issue. Retrieved 9/29/18
Original Post: October 1, 2018
Updated hyperlink version posted: January 12, 2020
***Dedicated especially to my wife, but also to our family, loved ones and to those who are blessed to read this post.
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Amen, Dr. Mariano. Excellent post! The Lord Jesus IS the only legacy the is everlasting.
Fred, while Jesus started it all, it IS the message of the Lord God Jesus that we all should leave to people. This is the “gospel” of Christ. It is about the process with which the “marred clay” will be redone to make a “new vessel” towards sonship that Jesus (our trailblazer/captain) already went through successfully. And, he will bring “many sons/daughters” to glory through this mechanism of in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit of power.