Monday, February 27, 2012

Relational Christianity and the Indwelling Christ

Cover of "Jesus Manifesto: Restoring the ...Cover via Amazon

L.D. Turner

If you desire to truly walk the path of Christian spiritual formation, the concept of “relationship” is inherent every step of the way. Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola, in their recent book entitled, Jesus Manifesto, speak directly to this reality:

In all the religions and philosophies of the world, a follower can follow the teachings of its founder without having a relationship with that founder. Not so with Jesus Christ. The teachings of Jesus cannot be separated from Jesus Himself. Christ is still alive, and He embodies His teachings. This is what separates Him from every great teacher and moral philosopher in history.

I find this aspect of the Christian faith to be one of the most edifying on many levels. The “personal” aspect of life with Christ is something I discounted, minimized, and misunderstood for years. I have come to see things differently now and, as stated, find great comfort and satisfaction in the personalized reality that is part and parcel of authentic Christianity.

The fusion of the individual Christ-follower and the Indwelling Christ is a mystery that can never be fully understood, only experienced. Personally, I find any attempt to analyze and dissect this sublime intimacy, the kind of divine intimacy Christ mentions in his moving prayer recorded in John 17, to be both futile and arrogant. Any notion that we can contain, harness, or otherwise corral such a sublime fusion of persons is filled with hubris and akin to a dog chasing its tail.

Still, it is helpful to have at least a rough sketch of the parameters of this divine dance of spiritual intimacy, offered with the caveat that it is just that, a blurred outline of a mystery beyond human comprehension. Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola speak of these themes with proper humility when they say:

“ …….the incarnate Christ in you is God’s person for your situation. Consequently, the question is not ‘What would Jesus do?’ but ‘What does Jesus want to do now through me. . . through us?’”

“Being Jesus for the world does not mean that Christ has come to obliterate you. It rather means that Christ has come to complete you and live His resurrection life through you. Granted, Jesus Christ has crucified your flesh and the old fallen humanity that gave birth to it. But you have been resurrected with Christ, and you are a new creature, part of the new humanity of which Jesus is the firstborn son.”

As you can see, Sweet and Viola rightly insist that the fusion of the Indwelling Christ – complete with his resurrected life – and the individual does not negate the individual. Instead, Christ enables the believer to become more complete, and by becoming so, better able to serve as an open channel through which Christ can live his resurrected life. In our new, reborn state we, are in a very real sense, siblings with Christ, the firstborn of many. The authors go on to liken this sublime fusion to a dance of intimacy:

Perichoresis is a composite Greek word that every Christian should know. It means ‘move about’ or ‘dance around’. The Cappadocian Fathers used it to define the communion of the Trinity as the ‘Great Dance.’ Father, Son, and Holy Spirit flow and frame their lives in a dance of perfect love, and we are invited to add our moves to this dance of the divine. A perichoretic relationship is one where we draw life and energy from this dance with the divine life. Christians have a perichoretic relationship with Christ. That relationship makes you more fully yourself than you could have ever been apart from Him.”

From these realities we can see that our relationship with the Indwelling Christ contains both mystery and paradox. The metaphor of the “dance” is an attempt to describe by analogy the mystery of the fusion of the individual and the Risen Christ, but it remains just that – a metaphor – an analogical approximation. And the paradox becomes obvious: by becoming one with Christ through this perichoretic relationship, we become more authentic. As Christ said, “...he who loses his life for my sake shall gain it.”

Rather than the complete negation of the old self, the divine dance of perichoretic relationship gives birth to a reconfigured self that is a reflection of God’s original intention for humankind. Christ, the firstborn, is the divine human prototype and as the divine dance continues, the dividing line between the human and the divine becomes increasingly transparent. Sweet and Viola continue:

“…..the Lord helps us become more ‘rounded’ human beings – not more straight-edged, straightlaced, straight-backed, straight-faced, straightjacketed human copies, but more ‘rounded,’ more complete and whole humans. Jesus is God’s original thought for humanity. He is the paragon of humanness, and all who are in Him and share His life are part of the new humanity that He has brought into existence through His resurrection.”

And what is the result of this divine-human merger? Sweet and Viola conclude by saying:

“This will lead each of us to do life differently, even from other followers of Christ. Can the same Christ allow one person to be a Calvinist while permitting another to be an Arminian? The answer is yes. This is why the life of Christ has a freedom, a specificity, a range of reach that truly takes the breath away as it girdles the globe.”

As stated at the outset, it is this very relational aspect of the Christian path that sets it apart from other spiritual journeys. And this relational context is far from static. Our relationship with Christ is truly a transformational intimacy – a fusion whereby the resurrected, living Christ, in all His power and glory, revives, reconstructs, and regenerates us into the beings God intended in the first place. On a practical, day-to-day, where the rubber meets the road level, this divine mystery is summed up quite nicely by the Great Apostle when he says:

Not I, but Christ……

© L.D. Turner 2012/All Rights Reserved
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Today's Encouraging Word

Deutsch: Schloss Solitude bei Stuttgart. Blick...Image via Wikipedia

Solitude is as indispensable to man’s spiritual welfare as sleep is to his bodily well-being; and pure thought, or meditation, which is evoked in solitude, is to the spirit what activity is to the body. As the body breaks down when deprived of the needful rest and sleep, so do the spirits of men break down when deprived of the necessary silence and solitude. Man, as a spiritual being, cannot be maintained in strength, uprightness, and peace except he periodically withdraw himself from the outer world of perishable things and reach inwardly towards the abiding and imperishable realities.

While a man is absorbed in the contemplation of inward realities he is receiving knowledge and power; he opens himself, like a flower, to the universal light of Truth, and receives and drinks in its life-imparting rays; he also goes to the eternal foundation of knowledge and quenches his thirst in its inspiring waters. Such a man gains, in one hour of concentrated thought, more essential knowledge than a whole year’s reading could impart. Being is infinite and knowledge is illimitable and its source inexhaustible, and he who draws upon the innermost depths of his being drinks from the spring of divine wisdom which can never run dry, and quaffs the waters of immortality…Man’s true Home is the Great Silence – this is the source of all that is real and abiding within him.

James Allen

(from Byways to Blessedness)
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Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Sublime Whisper

Pavilion of Vital EnergyImage via Wikipedia

L.D. Turner

I am convinced that one of the most critical tasks facing humankind in this age of rapid-fire change and shifting cultural landscapes is the rebirth of what I like to call cosmic mysticism – a way of looking at the world through eyes of wonder, awe, pristine innocence, and above all, an innate sense of the interconnectivity of all that is, all that ever was, and yes, all that ever will be. Some may call it an exaggeration but I think otherwise. Unless we rediscover this vital sense of cosmic mysticism, an increasing number of species, humanity included, are headed for extinction.

This cosmic mysticism I am speaking of is a natural mysticism, built upon the experiential foundation of the existence of a divine presence that permeates and suffuses all of creation. Known by countless names by myriad cultures across the span of the ages, this sublime presence is that which animates and gives life to all things. Nature is imbued with this power, this divine energy, and all that exists owes its being to this force.
Throughout history this force has been called by many names. The name, however, is not important. What is important is that we learn how to contact, harness, and direct this divine energy for the development of ourselves, our brothers and sisters, all sentient beings, and our world. This is the essence of the meaning and purpose of life at its most fundamental level. We are here to grow and in order to grow we must learn to use divine energy efficiently and purposefully. Just as a plant needs the sun to develop and reach maturity, we need this celestial energy in order to truly become what we were intended to be.

What is the origin of this energy? What is its purpose? Is it intelligent and purposeful? Or, is it random and impersonal? Humankind has answered these questions in myriad ways, some more accurate than others, since the dawn of time. For our present purpose, it is unnecessary to speculate on these issues. In fact, such speculation may pose an obstacle to the task at hand, which is to deal with this flowing, vibrant, and vital energy in terms of its practical application to living each day with personal excellence.
Further, it is through the kinship of this universal divine energy that all humankind, in fact, all creation is related in one giant organized family.

Although many things in the modern world conspire to deafen us to the subtle voice of the Father, rest assured that his voice is indeed there. God calls to us continually, asking us to put down our nets and, like the fishermen disciples of old, come and follow. Jesus tells us in John 6:44 that no one comes to him unless the Father first draws him. What this means in highly practical terms is that we not only have a God, we have a proactive God that seeks relationship with us. Our end of the bargain is to put ourselves into a position of deepening receptivity, so that we might hear his voice more clearly and experience his love more intensely.
There are others who hear God’s voice and respond, accepting his offer of grace, forgiveness, and acceptance into his blessed family. These are generally sincere disciples and are often quite active in their local church fellowship. They also involve themselves in service work and serve the Master to the best of their ability. Yet it is these very people – these sincere followers of the Lord – who, in their heart of hearts, often find themselves asking, “Isn’t there something more to the Christian life? I feel like something is missing. I can’t put my finger on it, but there is a vague emptiness…”

It is to these genuine disciples that the still, small voice comes beckoning in the silence of a sleepless night, or drifting in on the golden leaves of an autumn wind. That irresistible, persistent voice that repeatedly whispers:

Come, follow me….

John Eldredge and the late Brent Curtis, in their book entitled The Sacred Romance, describe the various ways, both vivid and subtle, that the Divine calls to us in his relentless pursuit of relationship:
Someone or something has romanced us from the beginning with creek-side singers and pastel sunsets, with the austere majesty of snowcapped mountains and the poignant flames of autumn colors telling us of something – or someone – leaving, with a promise to return. These things can, in an unguarded moment, bring us to our knees with longing for this something or someone who is lost; someone or something only our heart recognizes.

When we find ourselves in earshot of such a calling, we need to recognize that we are both blessed and vulnerable. We are blessed in that the divine source, the creative power that put this awe-inspiring universe together, seeks relationship with us. The incomprehensible intelligence that maintains all that we see and even more remarkably, the mysterious quantum realm that we don’t see, together in harmonious balance desires intimacy with us – intimacy beyond anything we have ever known.

Yes, friend, God calls to us in a gentle voice that only the mystic can truly hear. And in that persistent calling, the Creator invites us to join in the mysterious dance of spiritual transformation. Unfortunately, far too few of us truly comprehend the critical importance of this divine calling, which often rides in softly on the fragrant breeze of an early summer evening or conversely, in the absolute silence of moonlit midnight in the depth of January. Of those who do hear the sublime calling, even fewer respond and this a tragedy beyond measure, as it often leaves those desperate souls with an incessant pondering of what might have been. C.S. Lewis speaks of this holy pursuit and its profound significance:

Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of – something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat’s side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been hints of it – tantalizing glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest – if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself – you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say, “Here at last is the thing I was made for.” We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all.

Lewis is describing that universal “something,” that existential empty spot that Augustine said could only be filled by God. It is, indeed, the call of the sublime lover, the Creator himself, beckoning us to turn and face our true home. It is the baying call of the Hound of Heaven, which is paradoxically both a blessing and an irritant.

Most amazingly, he is not calling us to go into a monastic hideaway or a hermit’s cave, but to stay put right where we are. And if we stay and we become open and discerning, he will use the mundane events of our daily round as his methodology of instruction. More often than not, God’s classroom is characterized by the pedagogy of the ordinary and it is precisely in the realm of the unremarkable that true divine alchemy occurs. Sue Monk Kidd, a woman who knows this process through personal experience, describes it this way:

It seems to me that Christ continually calls us through the daily events of our lives…In moments like these God stirs the waters of our lives and beckons us beyond where we are to a new dimension of closeness with Him…God desires to transform certain experiences of ours into awakening events. These may be our most common moments, but if we let them they can become doorways to a deeper encounter with Him. Who knows at what moment we may begin to wake up to the astonishing fact that Emmanuel (God with us) is still God’s name, that every moment the Word of God, Jesus Christ, is coming to us.

I know that in my experience, God calls me in ways I never expected. I have discerned his voice in the sacred silence of meditative stillness and his message has often slapped me to my senses as it spoke from the pages of Holy Scripture. I have also learned to be increasingly sensitive to his call as manifest in the choreographic harmony of the natural world and especially when it dances in the eyes of a child.

© L.D. Turner 2012/All Rights Reserved
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Today's Encouraging Word

HOLY SPIRIT - FOIXImage via Wikipedia

You need to ask this simple question to get yourself properly adjusted and in focus: What should I be doing? Every one of us has a unique and important role in human history. All of us have been created by God to bring him honor through serving humanity and doing something that makes a difference in the world. There is a hero within you waiting to be awakened. Some were born to be the hero of a story of epic proportions, others perhaps the hero for one small child sponsored across an ocean. Both require a hero’s soul and have a hero’s call. While you can’t do everything, you were created to do something of incredible importance. The tragedy is if you try to be everything and do everything, you may so diffuse your effect that you will not optimize who God made you to be and what he created you to accomplish. This is why you need convergence. You need to bring together all of your talents, gifts, passions, intellect, energy, time, and resources and harness them in such a way that you focus on the mission God has given you for your life.

Erwin Raphael McManus
(from Wide Awake)
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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wise Words for Today

The danger of spiritual deception is real. As a pastor I shudder at the thought and lie awake at night when I consider the possibility that scores of people who sit before me on a Sunday morning might think they are saved when they are not. Scores of people have positioned their lives on a religious road that makes grandiose promises at minimal cost. We have been told all that is required is a one-time decision, maybe even mere intellectual assent to Jesus, but after that we need not worry about his commands, his standards, or his glory. We have a ticket to heaven, and we can live however we want on earth. Our sin will be tolerated along the way. Much of modern evangelism today is built on leading people down this road, and crowds flock to it, but in the end it is a road built on sinking sand, and it risks disillusioning millions of souls.

David Platt

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lessons in Spiritual Potential: Releasing False Limitations (Part Two)

L.D. Turner

Tucked away in the first chapter of 2 Peter are profound teachings that relate directly to the themes we have been discussing. I firmly believe that one of the chief reasons so many Christians seem so powerless to effect positive change in their lives stems from the fact that they don’t understand the full extent of what Christ accomplished in his mission here on earth. Let’s take a look at what Peter tells us:

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in world by lust.

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge; and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness; and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or shortsighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.

Therefore, brethren, make certain about his calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble. For in this way entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. [2 Peter1: 2-11]

In the first section of this passage, Peter reminds us that grace and peace in our lives comes through knowledge of God and Christ. Then he makes an amazing statement. He tells us that Christ, through his divine power, has granted us everything pertaining to life and godliness. He has already given us all we need to become whole in Christ and live a life of holiness. All we have to do is, with empty hands and an open heart, reach out and receive it. Further, Peter goes on to tell us that through believing and appropriating the promises made by Christ, we may become partakers of the divine nature.

Do you really realize what this means? Do you see the profound reality that Peter is putting right before our eyes? We, even as limited, fallen, and broken humans, can partake of the nature of God Himself. When I truly reflect on this statement, I tremble in awe.

In the next section, Peter lists for us the virtues that grow out of living from this divine nature. They are:

Moral Excellence
Brotherly Kindness

Even superficial reflection will tell us how much better our lives, and our world, would be if we would but just make these principles and integral part of our daily lives. If we looked to these virtues as the guiding factors in determining how we lived, life would truly be filled with peace and grace.

In the third section, Peter asks us to be honest with ourselves. He asks us to deeply reflect on our calling, the fact that we are the chosen ones of Christ. Do we really want the kind of life Christ is offering us? Are we willing to make the necessary sacrifices? Are we willing to be led and formed into an image of godliness through the power of the Holy Spirit? If we answer in the affirmative, then we can be assured that we will not stumble. Does that mean life will be without problems? Emphatically no. Does that mean we will never have to struggle with our lower nature, the world, or ourselves? Of course not.

What Peter is saying here is that if we live our lives according to the nine virtues he outlines, we will never stumble, and we will never fall. We will ultimately succeed in growing to be more Christ-like in thought, word, and deed.

Let’s take a look at the same passage, this time from Eugene Peterson’s The Message:

Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master. Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you – your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.

So don’t lose a minute in building on what you have been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can’t see what’s right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.

So friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, his choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved, and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I think Peterson’s version drives Peter’s message home in a clear, concise manner. Whichever version you prefer, the point is the same. God, in his infinite grace and wisdom, has already provided everything we now need or ever will need in order to live a godly life. Through the successful mission of Christ, his life, his death, his resurrection, and his ascension, we are not only justified in the sight of a Holy God, we are also empowered to live as new creations, capable of far more than we can ever imagine. We can, indeed, walk in Christ’s victory and operate in this world as more than conquerors; we can truly become everything that God intended for us to be and carry out our mission of being Christ’s agents here on earth; agents in carrying forward the Father’s kingdom agenda.

In the words we often use here at LifeBrook: God has provided for us all that we need in order to become the optimal versions of ourselves for the glory of God and the benefit of others.

As Paul so aptly put it, through the completed work of Christ we have been blessed “in the heavenly realm” and are capable of becoming “living epistles.” This is the true message of the gospel – indeed, good news.
Let go of limited thinking and come to expect God’s best because that is what He wants for you. He wants you to become the absolute best version of yourself, growing increasingly in the image of Christ. Begin to see the future with faith, hope, and vision. With diligence, let the Holy Spirit help you to create new wineskins of thought. Keep in mind that God can’t pour new, creative thoughts into your old limited wineskins. It is primarily for this reason that Paul stresses the need for tearing down “strongholds” that we have erected in our minds. Viewed from a basic perspective, a stronghold is an almost automatic mental/emotional response that has become a deeply ingrained part of us.

When life presents you with problems, many times there is nothing you can do about it. However, you can have complete control over your response to any problem life sends your way. You can have greater peace of mind if you just choose to have the right kind of thoughts. Focus your entire being on finding solutions, rather than wallowing in the problems at hand.
Work diligently to find your Inner Light, that still, quiet part of your being that serves as the Holiest of Holies where you and God connect. Once you find this sacred sanctuary, continue to take proactive measures to deepen and maintain your contact with this sacred aspect of your being. The more time you spend in “sacred silence,” the better. In addition to reducing stress and helping you to relax, you will also become more centered and focused. Important spiritual traits will begin to flow out of the sacred silence and into your everyday life; traits such as improved concentration and mindfulness, attention to detail, and emotional balance.

Scripture tells us that God has graciously provided everything we need to live a rewarding, fulfilling life. What we have to understand is the fact that most of this has been provided in the spiritual realm. That’s why Paul can make a statement like “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” Our task is to place ourselves in a position where we can bring these blessings out of the spiritual realm and into our daily lives. This is where the classical spiritual disciplines come in. By practicing the disciplines we position ourselves in a state of receptivity.

(c) L.D. Turner 2011/All Rights Reserved

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lessons in Spiritual Potential: Releasing False Limitations (Part One)

Cover of "The Greatest Secret"Cover of The Greatest Secret

L.D. Turner

As new creations in Christ, one of our first tasks is to face ourselves honestly and assess the level of our current functioning. I have discovered that when most people do this, they come to the stark realization that they are generally living far beneath the level they are capable of. In fact, most studies show that the vast majority of us a easing along through life like a six-cylinder car running on four.
Sputtering and gasping, we are capable of a lot more. As followers of Christ, it is imperative that we come to an understanding early in our walk of faith that the Master calls us to a much higher standard.
Ron McIntosh opens a chapter in his book, The Greatest Secret, by telling a great story that makes the point that to a large degree, we are controlled by the limitations we set for ourselves. In essence, our own thoughts impact what we can and cannot do to a far greater extent than we may realize.

In 1983, Australian Cliff Young set a new world record for the ultra-marathon distance race of 600 km. Three factors make this feat so incredible it almost seems beyond belief. First, Young not only broke the record, he demolished it by topping the old record by 36 hours. Second, Young was 61 years old when he did it. And finally, Young was not a trained athlete or world class runner. He was a local farmer who liked to run.

Ironically, Young was able to shatter the world’s record primarily because he did not realize that what he was doing was impossible.
The accepted strategy among ultra-marathon runners for the 600 km run is to run for 18 hours, rest for six hours, then repeat these same intervals until the race is completed.

Someone forgot to tell Cliff Young.

Young began the race with the mistaken notion that you were supposed to run the distance straight through and that is exactly what he did. The 61 year old farmer set a new world’s record in the process. Because he did not grasp the fact that running straight through was impossible, Cliff Young was not limited by the accepted standard. In the end, he set the standard.

From a biblical perspective, we begin to remove the limitations set on us by coming to fully grasp and accept our new identity in Christ. Until we accomplish this task, our efforts will remain limited. In Christ we are indeed new creations (2 Cor. 5:17), with a new power, energy, and presence at our disposal. We have been blessed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and further, as we are told in Ephesians 4:10, Christ, by rising higher than the highest heaven, has filled everything in the universe with himself. Add to this the fact that we have within us the same power that raised Christ from the dead, and you can begin to see just how powerful we are now that we are “in Christ.” McIntosh describes the process of our new nature as declared in 2 Cor. 5:17 this way:

This verse shows the key difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. It isn’t about people trying to live for God, but living through Christ (Galatians 2:20), who now indwells you by His Holy Spirit. This personal encounter with God gives people a new spirit, a new nature, and a new identity. Once you are born again, God creates a new nature in you. You now have new inherent tendencies, new instincts, and an inborn character that comes from God. You spirit is brand new, but your mind has to be renewed.

I would add that in addition to the new spirit, new nature, and new identity described by McIntosh, we also are operating in a new universal milieu. By infusing himself into everything, Christ has vivified all that is, seen and unseen. He has given all things new life and part of that new life is a heightened sensitivity and responsiveness. This especially is true of the subconscious mind, which is the divine matrix through which our thoughts manifest things according to their nature, positive or negative.

Let me pause here for a moment to deal with an issue that must have arisen in your mind by now. Does this mean that Christ has infused everything and everyone with his nature? Yes, that is exactly what scripture tells us in Ephesians 4:10. Does this mean that all people have access to being a new creation, with the power that raised Christ from the dead? Yes it does.
Does this mean that everyone, including atheists and those that deny Christ has the same inner power stemming from Christ’s actions? No, it does not. It would seem that there is something required to activate this new identity, new power, and new nature. I am thinking that what is needed to activate these things is “faith.” In addition to faith, we also must connect with – align with – and abide with Christ. Another way we activate these blessings is through obedience to Christ’s principles and yet another way is through proactive service to others.

To be continued......

(c) L.D. Turner 2011/All Rights Reserved
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