02
Jul
09

I am one with Jesus Christ!

There are a couple of verses from 1. Corinthians that I keep coming back to these weeks as I share the truths of the believer’s union with Jesus Christ with people I talk to.

In chapter 6, verse 17 Paul talks about my union as a believer with Christ in this amazing way:

“The one who joins himself with the Lord is one spirit with Him”

One spirit! Not two spirits living together simultaneously. There is no separation. I am whole in Jesus Christ. His spirit and my spirit is one spirit, and Romans 8:16 tells us how the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, communicates this union-reality to my spirit:

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God”

The Holy Spirit convicts me of my righteousness and tells me: “you are mine! You belong to me. You are united with me! No matter what you think, do, say or feel, nothing will ever change that fact!”

Back to 1. Corinthians where Paul wants to make sure that the Corinthians, and you and me today, get the point of our holiness and oneness with Jesus Christ:

“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are”

(1. Corinthians 3:16-17)

Did you get that last sentence: “for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you ARE!!!!” Not what you will become, not what maybe/probably/hopefully you will be some day….no this is your reality today!

Jesus wants to reveal these truths to his children. He doesn’t want us to think any longer in terms of him being outside of us, up in heaven somewhere, and us being down here separated from him. That is not the truth of the New Testament! I am the Temple of God! I am God’s dwelling place! He lives in me! And I am one with him! Either these statements are pure blasphemy…..or they are radical, life changing truths that will forever change us. It’s one or the other.

mariehone

I am reading a book by one of my favorite speakers and authors, Malcolm Smith, and I thought I would quote something from his magnificent book that spells out the reality of the life that is available to a New Covenant believer. His book is called The Power of The Blood Covenant and can be ordered right here.

Malcolm Smith writes the following: “The relationship of Christ the Vine and us believers (as described in the Gospel of John, chapter 15) describes the extent of the unity with Christ that we enjoy. It does forever away with the notion that He is “up there” or “over there” or that we come to a meeting of the church in order to find Him. We live joined to Him as the source of our life. The branches of the vine cannot function without being vitally united to the flow of vine sap that makes the vine a living vine. The life of the vine is the energy, the life source, that produces the fruit, but they do so from the sap that is surging through them and it is natural for vine life to produce grapes; the branches do not labor at an impossible task of producing a fruit foreign to the nature of the vine.

The living of the love of God in our behavior is not the ultimate marathon act of our willpower attempting to be like Jesus. Let us accept the fact that the life the new covenant portrays is impossible for the unaided human to accomplish. It can only take place by Jesus Himself living in us by his Spirit; He becomes the source and the ability to live the life of divine love that is the command of the new covenant. When this is understood, the Christian life is not a labor to produce a lifestyle that is foreign and awkward to us. When the center and source of our life is the fountain of love Himself, a lifestyle of divine love is not foreign and awkward but natural.

The grapes are the life of the vine now translated into a form that can be eaten and enjoyed by all. So the ultimate goal of the believer’s union is that the life of Christ may be released through his or her humanity to the blessing of the world.

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5)

Maybe even more wonderful is that Christ is joined to and known by the branches. By definition, when we speak of a vine, we include the branches – we do not call a vine branches a vine, but a stump! Vine life is expressed through the branches; the sap or life of the vine must have branches through which to express and produce the grapes. Apart from the branches, there would be no way of seeing the vine or identifying the nature of its life. We can never think of ourselves apart from our being joined to Christ; but even more amazingly, we cannot think of Jesus except as He is joined to His body, the church, through whom He lives and works on the earth today

Amen, brother, well put!

Blessings, Torben

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