I hope you don’t mind but I thought I would write to you about some things that I have been giving serious thought and meditation to in the last 4 weeks. Here we go…..
Fred, since we were all born into the lie (at natural birth) we see and think of ourselves as little independent individuals; small little islands. When we get saved (born again) we carry this mentality over with us not fully realizing what has really happened to us. Thus we now see ourselves as small little individual islands whom God blesses, strengthens, anoints’, etc. if we do our best to please Him and remain faithful to His “word”. What a shame because this is so far off from the truth that the bible presents to us about our true identity and relationship with God that it’s not even funny!
Over and over again, the bible speaks of we born again believers as being the body of Christ. Here are a few examples:
For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, Because we are members (parts) of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:29-32)
Do you not see and know that your bodies are members (bodily parts) of Christ (the Messiah)? Am I therefore to take the parts of Christ and make [them] parts of a prostitute? Never! Never! (1 Cor 6:15)
For just as the body is a unity and yet has many parts, and all the parts, though many, form [only] one body, so it is with Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). For by [means of the personal agency of] one [Holy] Spirit we were all, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, baptized [and by baptism united together] into one body, and all made to drink of one [Holy] Spirit………… Now you [collectively] are Christ's body and [individually] you are members of it, each part severally and distinct [each with his own place and function]. (1 Cor 12:12, 13, 27)
Fred, for a long time, I thought of our being the body of Christ as a metaphor and I know I’m not alone in this because most Christians I know think that way. NO, NO, NO This is not just a metaphor but the reality of our relationship with Christ! To really see this is to begin to understand who we really are. We are not just little individuals in a sea of billions of other little individuals that “need” God. No, we are members of a body, one body, different members (parts) of this one body; the body of Christ Himself!!! This is the way it “I” “S” is. There is no other reality to us….this is the only reality as to who we really are! To see ourselves apart from the body of Christ is a lie…something that is not true and does not really exist!
Consider my thumb. My thumb is a member (a part) of my body. My thumb has no individual life or even existence of its own. My thumb only exists as a part of my whole body. The life that my thumb “seems to have” is not really its own life but my life! Infact, my life is the everything of my thumb. My thumb can really not do anything of its own accord. If it were to do so, then something would be terribly wrong with it. My thumb only does what I want it to. It is fully submitted to my life and yet in doing so, as my life is expressed through it, it is free to be what it is; a thumb! So infact I can say that my thumb’s “thumb-ness” can only be found in my life for my life is my thumb’s everything. My life ensures that my thumb is nourished, protected, whole etc. If for example my thumb was to start itching, I am the one who would feel the itch and do something about it. The itch would come to me and not to my thumb even though the itch would be at my thumb.
Having said that, consider us being members of the body of Christ. Then what I’ve said above concerning the thumb applies to us. The right way to see ourselves is to see ourselves in our relationship to Christ. That is we are members of His body with He Himself as the head. Thus my life is really His life. My “me-ness” can only be found in Him. My whole true being can only be found in His life and expressed by His life. To be who I am is for Him to express His life as me! Infact in this day and age we talk so much about freedom and free will but the reality of the fact is that He (Christ) is Himself my freedom (liberty) because through Him expressing Himself as me, I am truly free to be me!
So my life is really He living out His life as me….put another way, I live life knowing that it is really He Himself who is eternally complete in Himself living as me. That being the case, I can truly find rest because all that comes to me really comes to Him! This completely changes the way I’ve looked at needs in the past.
In conclusion, let me say this; Since there is only one true body, the body of Christ, of which we are all members, then there is only one true person; Christ Himself who is God!!! Thus we as persons are expressions of the one true person; God!!!
As usual I would appreciate you sharing any insights you may have on this.