Being Christ Part Two
John R Gavazzoni
Sept. 8, 2002
Thousand Oaks, CA
Editor's Note: This is more on the ongoing dialogue between John and me and another friend, whom I'll call "Joan" (not her real name), regarding whether it is valid to say, "We are Christ." Jan Antonsson
Having written a short piece about "Being Christ," that I hoped would be a clarifying contribution to the subject, I now find that I must clarify my clarification, and I'm delighted to do so with two dear friends.
I have not been found timid (at least, not in these last, recent years) in affirming that, in the canonical writings of that inspired record that we call the New Testament, Christ is presented both as Jesus of Nazareth, individually, AND as the corporate "one new man," the body of Christ whose members are many individuals, yet one newly-constituted humanity, or we might say, one new Adam (Eph. 2:15).
But I am happy, once again, to boldly declare that it is proper to refer to Christ as both, without detracting from either, for they are one. I now must be even more specific in my definition. Joan is right as to the root of "Christos" being a verb--- denoting action, of course. What we are discussing involves the application of the oil of God (the Spirit), the application of which is the act of anointing, and the reception and possession of that anointing is spoken of by John as "the anointing which you have received..."
The One who receives this anointing is called "the Anointed," or "the Anointed One." So we move from "oil" (noun), to "anoint" (verb), to "the Anointed" (noun again). I'm laboring a point here in order to clarify what Christ is. Note that nouns predominate, but a verb (action) is required. This fact brings us to an extremely important spiritual principle, as to what the anointing is really all about, which is, that the life-force (Oil) of the Father, inherent in His Seed/Sperm, did not remain simply a life-force potentiality within the Seed, but moved from the loins of Father God to initiate that process which brought forth the eternally begotten of the Father.
This is a foundational principle that calls for deep reflection and meditation; that Christ, the Seed of God, becomes the Son of God and that the only begotten of the Father (John 1:14, KJV), is rightfully declared to be the Christ. The action of anointING has produced the anointED (One). Anointing is not a matter simply of being given ability to minister; anointing has to do with producing a Person whose personhood is constituted by the anointing, evidenced by the knowledge, authority and power of that sonship which knows only what the Father knows, asserts only what the Father purposes, and exerts itself only that the Father might be glorified.
Note that Jesus accepted the title of Christ, in no uncertain terms: "Simon Peter replied, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' And Jesus answered him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven'" (Matt. 16:16,17, RSV. See also Mark 14; 61 & 62 and Jn. 4:25, 26). In short, the anointing, produces the Anointed, and Jesus expressly says that He is the Anointed.
It is so very important to realize and emphasize that God's very Being (I AM) is self-realized in Personhood, through His action in His Seed, the Christ and the Life-force in the Seed is the Spirit. "It" (the anointing) issued forth in "He" (the Anointed), uniquely and exclusively in one Man at one point in the divine process or administration.
But here is where you, Joan, have been deeply impressed by the Spirit of Truth. The exclusivity of the Christ, as Jesus, unfolds, paradoxically as inclusivity, for we are in Him, and He in us, so that indeed, "As He is, so are we in this world" (I John 4:17). We, the members of His Body, together---and the operative word here is together---in Him, in the bond of love and peace, and edified (built up) in love are the enlargement and multiplication of the unique, only, single-begotten Son of God. We dare not say less about the Christ of the New Testament. A marvelous aspect of what makes Him unique is the fact that He carries "the many" within Himself; "the many" in Him and He in "the many."
Now here is where we must make a distinction between the first appearance of Christ as the Person, Jesus of Nazareth, and the appearance of Christ corporately as His Body, the Church, "the fulness of Him that filleth all in all" (Eph. 1:23). I could never say that Joan or Jan was crucified, buried, risen, ascended, exalted, enthroned and glorified in John Gavazzoni, or that John Gavazzoni died for you, and raised you up with/in myself. You are not blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in me, nor I in either of you.
But we, with all humanity, are, in Him, included in the perfecting of His Humanity by the things that He suffered. Now please note that it was not merely an ACTION---the act of anointing---that was crucified and raised from the dead on the third day; it was the Son of God, the Christ, the Anointed. In 1 Cor. 15:3, Paul specifically wrote that it was Christ that died and rose again. They didn't crucify an action. It was not a divine action that underwent this; it was the Son, conceived and born of that action of God, who underwent death and resurrection and He did that as the Christ.
Gnostic and New Age emphasis glorifies the action (the anoinTING), while denying the true nature of the One who is what the action is all about (the AnoinTED). And that ancient philosophy abhors and is scandalized by the assertion that the Christ could really be human, and suffer death.
Conceiving of Christ as the anointing, rather than the Anointed is a philosophical inflence that tries to dismiss the actuality of Christ's death, and to interpret it not in flesh and blood terms, but in terms of wrong thinking. Imagine standing at the foot of the cross and challenging Jesus that being on the cross was "all in His head." However one factors faulty consciousness into the human condition, if we end up in some way denying the existential actuality of sin and death, in effect we're saying that Christ died for nothing, since whatever the problem might be, it's all only in our heads.
Here is the sequence of the administration of God. God brought forth a Son, both eternally and in the aion and perfected that Son through the things that He, the Father, sent Him to suffer. Upon the completion of His human experience, sitting down at the right of the Majesty on High, He poured out upon us the Spirit, not only of Deity, but of Deity and Humanity made One in Himself, (a new quality of humanity). So that Spirit of life, that Spirit of Christ, which is our true life, is the Spirit of Christ, the life of the Corporate New Man.
In my original message, what I was most concerned about was to make clear that no individual, in any sense, can be called the Christ, other than Jesus of Nazareth, and yet, I thought that I'd made it clear that the fulness of Him in the Church, His Body, most definitely can be and must be called the Christ. I thoroughly believe that. The many members, though many, are one Body, "so also IS Christ" according to Paul (I Cor.12:12).
What we note in the apostolic testimony is that no apostle or disciple of Christ ever referred to himself as Christ, but pointed at Jesus, and then subsequently at the glorified Jesus in the many, and said in effect, "There is the Christ." Joan, I am still not clear whether, when you say that we are Christ, that you mean by that, that each individual believer can say that they are, individually, Christ, or whether, by "we," you mean that together we are the Christ with the resurrected Jesus constituting us as Christ by His own Life. That, I definitely believe.
The Bible is undeniably explicit as to the fact that there are not many Christs, but it does affirm one Christ in many, and the many being one in Him, thus constituting them as the Body of which He is the Head. Therefore, it can be said, that the Body is Christ, while still giving proper distinction to the Head. The Head is part of the Body but has a unique distinction.
The Head completely identifies Himself with the Body, but never ceases to be the Father's life-control center and source. But I hasten to say, that we are still structuring the Truth conceptually in a way that, in the final analysis, always loses something in the conceptual translation. After all, the old-line denominations with all their liturgy and symbols do not have a corner on symbolism.
We are overflowing with words today; words about the truth, and we forget that our words are mere symbols until they become spirit and life to us. That's why I am so impressed with the Apostle John in that regard. He gets down to the marrow of things with great simplicity and says, in effect, in his first epistle, that essentially our response to God's redemptive and salvific act in Christ is simply, "We know and have believed the love God has for us" (I John 4:16).
In days to come, I have seen, prophetically, that people will respond to the good news of God's perfect love, many of them, without it being structured in Judeo-Christian doctrinal terms. They simply will encounter the love of God in Christ in us, and be brought to surrender to that love and the understanding and explanation that will follow will probably blow the minds of us who have come up through the more Jewish way of obsession with Sacred Writ.
As I said previously, when the issue of "we being Christ" came up, I felt it was an excellent opportunity to fully clarify for myself and others what I believe to be the full-orbed Truth. We need not be shy or apologetic about affirming both the exclusive and inclusive aspects of the full truth for they (exclusivity and inclusivity) are not at odds, but really and gloriously mutually affirmative.
Kindly give this old veteran a careful reading in this carefully worded testimony concerning Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
Love ya' bunches,
In His grace,
Stay tuned for future serious, seminal samplings.
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