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The Glorious Christ Within

holy spirit dove

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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God’s Greatest Enemy? Not What You May Think…

“…And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

 “For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace: because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be…” (Romans 8:7-8)

These two passages are companions, speaking of the same thing. In Genesis, you have the serpent and his “seed” (descendants, offspring) at enmity with the woman and her seed.  Thousands of years later, Paul, who knew the Old Testament thoroughly, wrote of the fleshly mind being at enmity with God and the spiritual mind.

As I’ve discussed at some length recently, the mind of the flesh (also called the carnal mind or the natural mind), which Paul warns against, came into being in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and partake of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  You can immediately see it’s effects; in an instant they go from walking with God intimately and innocently to hiding from Him and covering themselves.  The mind of the flesh has been the prevailing and “default” mindset of all mankind since that time, leading to all kinds of wickedness, blindness, and religious foolishness. 

The serpent’s “seed,” meaning his descendants and offspring, are those who are filled with and led by the “mind of the flesh,” which again, is essentially just the natural, human mind.  In fact, I truly believe the “antichrist” is a corporate body composed of religious people who are ruled by the carnal mind, just as the body of Christ are those filled with the mind and life of Christ.  “Antichrist” refers to being opposed to Christ by a deceptive counterfeit anointing, not necessarily that which is blatantly or obviously opposed to Christ. Many think of the serpent as “evil,” but the scripture doesn’t say that.  It simply says he was crafty, cunning, and subtle. In fact, his temptation was to become aware of evil as well as good! In the same way, the mind of the flesh isn’t “evil” as we often think of it.  “Fleshly” or “carnal” simply refers to that which is 100% natural; to things that are human or earthly in origin, being non-spiritual and temporal. Physical things such as money, food, appliances, etc are fleshly, along with everything intangible that has it’s origin  in the heart and mind of man, not God. This would include all of man’s thoughts, ideas, motives, and desires.

So we see that much of what Christianity values and advocates is thoroughly fleshly. Three or four times in the first four verses of 1 Corinthians 3 alone, Paul referred to the Corinthian believers in Jesus as fleshly.  This is the very same Paul who wrote that the fleshly mind is enmity with God and the spirit!  The truth is, although the fleshly mind can be very religious, occupied with good, and believe in Jesus, it is and cannot be other than the enemy of God. God’s ways are not at all like our ways, nor His thoughts like our thoughts. As He sees, from a spiritual point of view, the fleshly, human mind is blind, rebellious, stubborn, and ignorant. It’s opinionated, devoid of wisdom, proud, and confident. It’s everything the spiritual mind isn’t. The fleshly mind is the primary, if not the only, enemy of God.  Even Satan has to answer to God as a tool He uses, but the fleshly mind is not so.  It was forbidden in the garden, brought death when inherited, has permeated all of mankind, and only in Christ can we be freed from it. The death that we are told we must experience in order to abide in Christ is, at least in part, the cessation of the fleshly mind as our means of perception and relation to God.

The “seed” or descendant of the woman is Christ and his body. In the garden, God referred to this seed as a “he;” an individual man who was to come. In God’s time, Jesus Christ came! and indeed bruised the head of the serpent. No longer did the serpents seed, the fleshly mind, have legitimate authority over mankind. But, the serpent’s seed wasn’t immediately or entirely eliminated, because God has in mind an entire group of people filled with the very life and spirit of Christ, constituting a corporate, worldwide body of Christ, who will inherit the Kingdom of God.  Paul said Christ is to be the firstborn among many brethren, that we are all members of his body, that we are to be filled with the life and spirit of Christ himself. 4  These are those called to be part of the true ekklesia, or church.  Christ’s body doesn’t consist of those who are called Christians or intellectually believe in him, but simply those who are filled with the spirit and life of Jesus Christ and being conformed to his image, regardless of title or creed.  May becoming spiritual and following Christ be our focus and goal, nothing else.

 
3). Genesis 2:17 
4). Romans 8:29, Romans 12:5, 1 Corinthians 12:27, 2 Corinthians 4:11, Colossians 3:3-4, Romans 8:9-11, 1 Corinthians 6:17.
 
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Posted by on December 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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