Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mystical Life of Communion (notes) III

Renewing our Mind

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Obstacles to Communion
1. Our fear of the unknown
2. Lies about our relation to God (false sense of God’s distance)
3. Lies about God’s desire (If he loves me, why isn’t he showing it?)

The first step to communion is removing the lies about our relationship with Jesus.

It is our hope and faith that brings us into communion. Without hope or faith in Jesus as our bridegroom, it is unlikely that we will experience him as such. There is also a lie that this hope or faith is never supposed to be fulfilled, or that it would not be faith if it was. The truth is that our faith is what brings our hope into reality. Through faith we enter into communion with Jesus that is seemingly impossible.

We have to actually believe what the bible says about communion and not stop short due to our lack of experiencing it in full. “We must cling to the testimony of Scripture until it is birthed in our experience.”

It is pride to think that our experience outweighs scripture. Because we have not experienced the depths of God does not mean that those depths do not exist, or that they are unavailable to us.

“It is important to emphasize that the renewal of our mind is a process that requires significant time and effort on our part.”

We must feed ourselves on the truths of the written word and then incorporate them into our prayer lives consistently over time.

Nearness. We must think of our nearness in terms of relationship, rather than distance. God is everywhere at once, there is nowhere we can go to get away from him positionally. It is in our relation that we “draw near.”

Also, relationally, those that are born again are “in Christ.” It doesn’t get much closer than that. Also, Christ is in us! A good way to refer to this is an inter-indwelling. The Spirit of Christ lives inside of us, and we are hidden in Christ. We are one with him! He must be much closer than we think.

Verses referring to being “In Christ”
1 Cor 1:30, Romans 16:7 (refers to being “In Christ” in a way similar to how we refer to being “saved”), II Cor 1:20-21, II Cor 12:2, Eph 1:1 (Faithful in Christ), Phil 1:1, Phil 4:21, Col 1:2, I Thes 2:14, I Peter 5:14

Verses referring to “In Him”
Eph 1:4, I John 2:5

Verses referring to “In the Lord”
Romans 16:8,13 (Chosen in the Lord)
Eph 5:8 (light in the Lord)
Phil 1:13-14 (Brethren in the Lord)
Col 4:7 (Servant in the Lord)
Rev 14:13 (Dying in the Lord)

Also of note, many many verses referring to “In the Spirit” or “With Him” as well as the obvious John 17.

1 Cor 6:17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

We are one spirit with Christ! The spirit that dwells within us, the Holy Spirit, is HIS SPIRIT and OUR SPIRIT. Heresy? Or glorious reality that we need to experience?

We are joined to Christ, and become one with him. We are joined to Him in His Life, His Death, and His Resurrection.

Gal 2:20, Rom 6:11, John 14:19

“Union with Christ is not adequately viewed as a union of comrades in shared moral endeavor or of business partners in a coalition of interests or as that between teacher an student. Nor does Christ dwell in us in the way that a parent influences a child or a therapist is close to a client. Rather the union is conceived under organic analogies: cellular members of a living, functioning body, living branches of a living vine... Consequently union with Christ is by definition a living union, not a conflation of separable objects. “ -Thomas Oden, Life in the Spirit.

It is not as important to figure out all the specifics of how this works, but rather to believe it is so, and to walk in that reality, learning as we go with the assistance of the word. There is not a mechanic to this relationship, as it is organic. It must be experienced.

This is not a side issue, or a thing reserved for “those crazy monks.” This is central doctrine to Christianity that all those who wish to be saved must experience. There is no salvation without union with Christ. It is through union with him, in his Life, Death, and Resurrection that we also have those things. Salvation is not a one-time experience, it is an ongoing relationship with a living savior. Because he is full of life, and we are in union with him, we are full of life. Because he lives forever, we live forever! There is no power than can break that bond of love between God and Man.

In union with Him we receive all the blessings that he has: fullness of joy, hope, strength, faith, love, comfort, triumph, and liberty.

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Kansas City, Missouri, United States
I'm a full-time lover of Jesus. I work, learn, and pray at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. I live simple, and seek God with all my heart.

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