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The Glorious Christ Within

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So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.”  The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.2

Recently, while I was meditating, Paul’s famous statement in Colossians 1:27 came to mind: “…Christ in you, the hope of glory.” There is a staggering amount of depth in those seven words, but one simple thing they clearly show (as do numerous other scriptures) is that, at least here, Christ” does not refer to a person named Jesus.  There is no tiny human living inside our bodies.  So then, what or who is this “Christ” within us, providing our hope of glory?

As I noted recently, the word “Christ” an adjective, a word of description, meaning “anointed.”  An anointing is an impartation of God’s spirit upon or within something in order to set it apart and empower it for a specific purpose.  In Colossians 1:27, what Paul meant was this: the only hope of “glory” (manifesting God’s nature, achieving a higher, spiritual state of being), either for us as individuals or as the body of Christ as a whole, is for us to receive and walk in harmony with the inward anointing of God’s spirit.  Perhaps surprisingly, this holds true even of Jesus, a man whom God made to be “the Christ” by anointing him with power and then raising him from the dead (see my previous post for more on that).  

If all this is true, then the real issue is this: how does this anointing work; how does the Christ within us produce glory?   (I wish questions like these were given more attention).  To answer it, let’s first look at something Paul emphasized in his letters to at least three different congregations: the Romans (Romans 6), Ephesians (Ephesians 4), and Colossians (Colossians 3).  To each, he wrote about an “old man” who is dead and must be shunned, and a “new man” who is alive and must be embraced.  Each of these “men” represent a nature or a mind with which we perceive things and live according to.  In the passage from Romans 8 below, you’ll notice Paul specifically mentions the “mind of the flesh” and the “mind of the spirit.”  In brief, the “old man” is Adam and everything that comes from his fallen, lifeless nature, and the “new man” is Christ and everything that comes from his nature of abundant spiritual life.  (I wrote about this a bit more here). 

Romans 8:6-10 (WEB): “For the mind of the flesh (our natural/Adamic mind, the old man) is death (it’s dead, and everything that comes from it, good or bad, is dead), but the mind of the Spirit (mind of Christ within, the new man) is life and peace (connects with God and conforms to His will); because the mind of the flesh is hostile towards God (opposed to Him); for it is not subject to God’s law, neither indeed can it be (no connection with God, who is spirit and love). Those who are in the flesh (religiously living by the mind of the old man) can’t please God (and have no hope of glory). But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if (since) it is so that the Spirit of God (Christ) dwells in you. But if any man doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his. If (since) Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is alive because of righteousness.”

Another literal Greek translation of “if Christ is in you” could be: “since Christ is in you…”   Paul was writing to believers, so I believe he was saying that since Christ (the anointing of God’s spirit) is within, then that inner spirit is full of life and at peace, though at the same time your own mind (“the mind of the flesh”) cannot connect with God (is dead) and is at enmity with Him (no peace).  In learning to follow the anointing of Christ within into glory, step #1 is to realize that there is a difference between  your own mind and will, and that of Christ is in you, and that the former is irreversibly spiritually dead and useless.  It’s the old man who is religious, fearful, guilty, prideful, blind, arrogant, and so on.  The new man is full of love, joy, peace, courage, life.

1 John 2:27 says: “As for you, the anointing which you received from him (Christ) remains in you, and you don’t need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing (Christ) teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you, you will remain in him.” Do you want to be a follower of Jesus?  Living according to the mind of Christ/the spirit within IS to follow him!!!  That’s how Jesus lived!  Jesus was absolutely not religious, he had no awareness of separation from God his Father, no awareness of sin, no sense of fear, guilt or of obligation to do certain things he felt he “should.”  He knew his Father’s life, presence, and spirit were with him and in him, and so he simply did and said what that life in him naturally led him to.  Yes, he prayed to his Father, and we should too.  But as we mature, we will begin to realize that God is always with us and in us, and that often, our circumstances are from Him and our will and His will are one.  When “Christ in us” is what we are aware of and operate based on, and the mind of the flesh is shunned, there will be much more peace, trust, and use of authority, and much less begging and worry.

I wish I understood and could articulate more, but I will continue to share what I receive.  God bless you.

  1. John 14:28, John 5:30; 8:28; 8:42; 8:49; 12:49; 14:10.

  2. 1 Corinthians 15:45-47

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Posted by on September 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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The Last Adam

In my last post (found here), I focused on Adam, attempting to show that Adam was a type of Christ.  He was formed separately from natural mankind and uniquely walked in fellowship with God, was God’s representative on earth, and was the steward of His kingdom.  Adam’s fall set in motion the loss of the kingdom of God on earth and the total reign of death and darkness in the hearts of all men. 

In 1 Corinthians 15:45,47 Paul refers to Jesus as “the last Adam” and “the second man.”  Paul directly compares Jesus with Adam because they are actually very similar, being the only two who God chose to be the “archetype” and firstborn of those who would establish His kingdom on earth.  The first man “died” spiritually, but regarding Jesus, Hebrews 5:9 states: “And having been perfected (by steadfast faithfulness to his call), He became the author (cause, source) of eternal salvation to all who obey (hearken to) Him…”  This salvation is founded on being born again, as part of an entirely new creation.

Paul goes into great detail about Adam’s fall and Christ’s victory over it in Romans 5:12-21.  Here are parts of this passage:

12 Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned… 17 For if by the one man’s (Adam’s) offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ18 Therefore, as through one man’s (Adam’s) offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.  20Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.  21…as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  In Adam, sin reigned through offended law unto death.  In Christ, grace reigns through imputed righteousness unto eternal life

Paul also wrote this: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”1 There is no way to avoid being born “in Adam” and therefore dead.  Please understand, it’s very possible to spend a lifetime being religiously active or outwardly good, but still in Adam and spiritually dead.  Like I wrote before, true death, as God sees it, is simply the absence of His spirit and mind, which is the only source of true life.  The wellspring of “death” on the earth is the natural human mind2, the darkened mind of “Adam,” which is separated from God and incapable of connecting with Him.  Thus, we must be born again, individually and corporately, under Jesus Christ, the last Adam and the second Man.

Maybe you’ve read in scripture of the “old man,” in passages like these:

  • “…Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.”
  • “…That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts…”
  • “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds…”3

The “old man” is Adam, and for you and I personally, the old man we are to put off is the darkened mind and corrupt nature which all of us inherited from him, which we have known as our “life.”  Just as important, we are to put on the “new man,” the mind and life of Christ:

  • “…Be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
  • “…And have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,  where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
  • For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”4

The process of putting off Adam and putting on Christ can be hindered, and it’s plain to see that by and large, it has been.  In Jesus’ parable of the seed and sower (Matthew 13), he reveals that a heart/mind of understanding, a lifestyle/values which allow room for communion with God and spiritual growth, and a deep-seated commitment are all essential for the seed of the word of God, Christ himself, to take root and grow in us.  As it does, the new man’s spiritual wisdom, zeal for the house of God, and unquenchable love for the Father’s glory are produced within us effortlessly.  If this takes place, it’s an inevitability that light will begin to shine and the will of God will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 

I hope this made sense and was helpful. I esteem the Lord Jesus Christ and beg the Father to give us grace to see Jesus, to bear our cross every day and follow him. Not for our sake, but for the Kingdom’s sake.  Amen.

  1. 1 Corinthians 15:22
  2. Romans 8: 6,7
  3. Romans 6:6, Ephesians 4:22, Colossians 3:9
  4. Colossians 3:10, Ephesians 4:24, Galatians 3:27
 
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Posted by on August 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The First Adam

*Credit to Dan Gochnour for being the first to present these things to me, particularly regarding Adam as a unique spiritual man, formed rather than created.

Did you know Adam wasn’t the first man?  Genesis 1 tells of God creating plants, animals, and mankind, giving man the direction to take dominion over the rest of creation. Genesis 2 then begins: 1Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.”

Adam is different and distinct from the Genesis 1 creation. In Genesis 2:7, having already created man and resting from His work, God takes “dust” from the ground and forms Adam.  Adam was formed, not created.  In Adam’s case alone, God breathes “the breath of life” into him, which I believe means God animated Adam with His own life and spirit, making Adam alive in a unique sense (like Jesus was when he was on earth). God furthermore places Adam in a special, specific place, the garden in Eden, representing the kingdom of God. Adam is even referred to as a “son of God” in Luke 3:38. Like Jesus, Adam walked in fellowship and harmony with his Father, was innocent of sin, and was given a mandate to “dress and keep” the kingdom of God, which was different from the mandate to take dominion given to “created” mankind. I’m not minimizing Christ, and I do believe God intended for Jesus to come to earth all along, I just want us to see that Adam wasn’t just another human, he was more like an original Christ on earth.

In 1 Timothy 2:14, Paul states that while Eve was deceived by the serpent in the garden, Adam was not; he knew what he was doing when he ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. It was only Eve who was tempted by the forbidden fruit’s promises and potential.  I believe the serpent knew that tempting or deceiving Adam directly was pointless, so he used Eve as a means of influencing him.  Apparently, Eve had a tremendous influence on Adam, because he followed her instead of His Father.  This is representative of our human soul (mind/will/emotions), represented by Eve, being susceptible to deception and corruption, and the potential for our spirit, represented by Adam, to fail to cover our soul and out of pity or love or some other reason, to follow the soul’s cravings, desires, and direction.

I believe that before the fall, Adam ruled over the rest of mankind from the kindgom of God (like Christ will do one day).  But once Adam followed Eve and partook of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, natural/carnal/fleshly wisdom took root in his heart and mind, and he instantly lost his communion with God and forfeited his position of authority.  God had told Adam and Eve that the very day they ate of the Tree of Knowledge, they would “die.”  God is spirit.  He doesn’t see death as a cessation of brainwave activity or a heartbeat, but simply as absence of His life/spirit.  Therefore in the truest sense, Adam and Eve died the instant they ate.  Not only did they die, but they spread their dead nature (carnal perception, fear, self-awareness, knowledge of good and evil) to all their descendents.  Adam failed in his mission to maintain the kingdom of God, choosing to follow Eve instead, but Jesus succeeded in his mission of fulfilling the law and reclaiming the kingdom of God.

With more understanding of who Adam was, in my next post I want to look closer at Jesus as the “second man” and “last Adam,” as Paul refers to him in 1 Corinthians 15. I’ve been shown some cool stuff about that recently. God bless you.

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Transformers

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Greek: “metamorphoō:”  Meta = with, after, behind.  Morphoo = to form. To re-form, to change into something new.

A genuine “disciple” is one who is devoted to their highest aim in life: conforming to way of their master.  To be a “Christian,” one merely needs to change beliefs and behavior.  The dangerous thing is, this can be done with ZERO spiritual influence or connection with God. True discipleship is not based on improvement, but on transformation by death and rebirth – the death and destruction of the old man (our Adam nature), and the birth and growth of the new (Christ nature).  That might sound strange, but I hope you’ll keep reading, because this is what Jesus and the apostles taught

To understand this more fully, I’m finding the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 very helpful: 

“And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.  The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven…And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.”

Notice two of the titles given to Jesus: “the last Adam,” and “the second man.”  These are hugely significant.  Elsewhere Paul wrote: “…we judge thus: that if one died for all, then all died…”2  Strange as it may be, try to understand this: in God’s mind (and thus in a reality beyond the physical realm), when Christ died on the cross, all of Adam’s descendents died as well.  Christ became the representative of the Adamic race; of all those who by birth inherited Adam’s selfish, blind nature.  As their representative, when Christ died and was buried, all of those descended from Adam (you and I!) died and were buried.  But when Christ rose, the old Adamic creation stayed dead, and a new, eternal creation rose and began in him.  Thus, Christ is the “last Adam;” the firstborn, sole ancestor of a new eternal, holy, spiritual race.  (Even if you or I can’t see this, it is true.  God can give eyes to see to those who are willing). 

In speaking of Adam and Jesus, Paul wrote: “the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.”  In God’s mind, everything which originated from the first Adam is “dead” and has been totally done away with.  A relationship of external works/law is the “natural” way which came first, but is null and void since Christ.  The second and final way is spiritual – the life of Christ, which we received in our “rebirth,” is to grow in us, and the life of the old Adam, received in our first birth, must be put off.  Just as natural birth starts with a “seed” and under the right conditions gradually grows into a mature adult, so it is with our spiritual Christ-life.  The process of salvation and spiritual growth is a process of transformationnot improvement.  Again, this transformation takes place as everything of Adam is put off and Christ is put on.  However, it’s not about us doing something, it’s about having our eyes opened to the present reality of our Adamic nature being dead and our spirit being made alive by union with the life of Christ, and conforming to what’s already accomplished and finished.  This isn’t easy or automatic.  It requires seeking God for Truth and sight, and it requires our “death,” negating everything we valued, obtained, earned, or believed, and letting the new nature of Christ be the source of our values, beliefs, actions, and everything else.  I still feel as if I’ve barely begun this process, but I’m seeing it. 

In the verses below, the same rare Greek word, metamorphoo, is used for “transform” and “transfigure.”  The meaning is very similar to the English word metamorphosis – a radical change from one form to another.

  • “Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.”3 
  • “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.”4  
  • “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”5  -We are being transformed; a process of seeing, agreeing with, and yielding to God’s view of all things in Christ Jesus.

The seed, containing all the potential for complete transformation, is already within true believers.  It’s the implantation of the word of God, the life of Christ, in our heart.  We allow that seed to grow, from glory to glory, as our mind comes to see and agree with Truth, the reality of Christ in us as our life, the deadness of Adam/our old life, and as we see and understand more and more of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.  This process is our salvation, deliverance, hope, change, duty and sacrifice.  Transformation from Adam to Christ is what a disciple will devote himself to.  Amen.

 

 

  1. Luke 2:52
  2. 2 Corinthians 5:14
  3. Matthew 17:2
  4. Romans 12:2
  5. 2 Corinthians 3:18
 
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Posted by on July 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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