Mystery of Union
by Dan Stone
Paul's teaching to believers focused on a great mystery. To the church in Colossae he wrote of|
"...the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:25-27)
Christ in us. That is our only expectation of experiencing and expressing the glory of God. Elsewhere, Paul expressed the mystery in another way:
"But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him." (I Cor. 6:17)
Actually, the words with Him aren't even in the original Greek. The translators added them for clarification. So:
"The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit."
He or she, a spiritual being, who is joined to the Lord, is one spirit. There are two... they are one. You and He are one.
We are one spirit with God. We function as one. We are not absorbed into the Lord, however. There is an I and there is a He, but we are joined to Him and we function as one. It is a function of cooperation, like a union of gears that mesh together. Our union with God doesn't mean that we are so swallowed up in God that we lose our identity. But neither is there a separation. Rather, the two function as one for the purposes of the greater one, God.
He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit. That is a mystery. One plus one equals one. How can that be? The divine and the human are one.
Until we know and live out of our union with Christ, we will never fully manifest the life of God within us. Some of it will inevitably shine through now and then, despite us. But for the most part we will manifest our own merely human life.
Until we know union, we are constantly confronted by the illusion of separation. "God is up there; I am down here. How do I draw close to God? Give me a plan. Give me a program." Plenty of people are ready with the answers. "Read your Bible. Pray. Study. Witness. Tithe. Take communion. Here are the plans. Here are the programs."
But once you know your union with God, there's nothing left for you to do. Oh, you may still do some of the outer things. But you aren't doing them to get close to God. You and God are one. There is no more separation.
When you begin living out of your union with Jesus Christ, you move beyond Christ plus anything, no matter how good it might be. ...We live and move and have our being in God, who is our life. We are saved by His life. He is our life.
Christ lives out His life in us funny old you, funny old me. We have all kinds of different shapes, forms, and fashions, all kinds of interests, all kinds of diversity, all kinds of uniqueness. Praise the Lord. We don't have to look like, act like, talk like, or be like anybody else again. We are free to be ourselves. People see us, but we know it's Jesus living through us.