Christ as "You!"
John R Gavazzoni
Thousand Oaks, CA
The following was written as a reply to a brother's questions regarding the concept of Christ in us as us, being a witness for Christ, and a reference to "His holy blood." While addressing all of the above, John felt especially that a clarification of the concept of "Christ in you as you" is of great importance in this day when our identity in Christ seems obviously to be a sovereignly initiated emphasis by the Spirit of Truth.
Good to hear from you, my brother. I'll be brief in my response to your questions. I think it behooves us to be as clear as possible regarding the identity of Christ. The eternal Son of God first appeared as Jesus, the Christ, the historical Jesus of Nazareth, our Lord and Savior. Undergoing death and resurrection, that one divine seed went into ground in death to come forth in resurrection life in many.
We ought to make it clear that Christ in me, or Christ in you, individually, does not constitute Christ AS you or me individually. The "you" that Christ is in so as to constitute that "you" AS Himself, is Christ AS a corporate "you," a corporate New Man. Jesus Christ has returned in the Spirit (as the life-giving Spirit) to be Himself in many, not merely as individuals, or little Christs, but as our life as members of the body of Christ.
It is so very interesting that the form of the Greek word which we translate in English simply as "you" has both a singular and plural form, and that Paul is very precise in the way he uses those two forms of the word. In Pauline theology, it is clear that the "you" that Christ has come to indwell in all His fulness, and which is His very Person in the earth, is a plural "you." That's why Paul writes of "the church which is His body, THE FULNESS of Him that filleth all in all."
This in no way takes away from the reality of Christ in each of us individually as believers, but we must be reminded that none of us individually is Christ, whereas, as members of His body, we, joined TOGETHER, are the incorporation of Himself, His very body, and actually make up the Christ of God. Paul makes that clear in 1Cor. 12:12; that the body made up of many members IS Christ. The Spirit has been speaking expressly that we ought not to expect to see the "greater works" of which Jesus spoke to come forth from individual spiritual giants, but from a body of believers joined together in spirit, in the bond of peace, edified in love, powerfully operating by His full authority in heaven and earth.
The life of Christ is truly in us individually, but in the same way that the life of our bodies is in each of our bodily members. It is a life-flow to be understood first as the life of our whole body from which each member receives life and is enabled to be part of the operation of the whole body.
As to the matter of "so many born again believers doing so little for the name of Christ," we need to be most careful in our judgment. There can be a lot of activity in the life of a believer that merely amounts to much "wood, hay and stubble." Likewise, some brother or sister may be pulled aside from much overt activity to have the "gold, silver and precious stones" of the life of Christ developed in them awaiting the day of evident expression of His nature, salvation and transformation of which those things speak. Only then will we build into the temple of God that which will be of eternal worth.
You spoke of "His holy blood" in your e-mail, and that raises the question as to what is the relationship to us of the blood which flowed through his veins during His earthly life, and that same blood as it was shed for us on the cross. It obviously is not literally with us in that form. But His blood, which was the life of His flesh, is included in the Spirit as He indwells us in the fulness of Himself. To me---though it is certainly not the whole of the explanation of what His blood means to us---it does speak of His solidarity with all humanity, the humanity that Paul spoke of as "of one blood." He, truly God, became truly man, the true Man, completely identified with us, and us with Him.
In His blood is the incorruptibility that death cannot defeat. In His blood is the incorruptibility that has defeated death and will once again, in us, demonstrate that same victory. It speaks to us also of the self-sacrificial nature of His life which lives completely for others. When we speak of the effect of the blood of Christ in our lives, we ought to keep in mind that quality, the quality of not living for ourselves, but for others even unto death.
I hope this is helpful to your understanding of the glory of His grace which has been so abundantly given to us out from the fountain of His perfect love.
Stay tuned for future serious, seminal samplings.
E Mail John
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John R Gavazzoni
758 N. Woodlawn Dr.,
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360.