The Lord Jesus Part 3
John R Gavazzoni
Thousand Oaks, CA
Rather recently I was sent by e-mail a writing that caused me to realize how someone can be completely enamored by theological idiocy while believing that they are providing the "creme de la creme" of revelation. The claim was made that true spiritual maturity went beyond the concept of relationship with God to that greater understanding of pure oneness where relationship no longer exists. What rubbish; what utter rubbish. That's exactly the sort of thing that the old adage "throwing out the baby with the bath water" addresses.
There are a lot of folks who in trying to rid themselves of former theological bad baggage, have thrown the baby out with the bath water. We certainly are undergoing a stripping off of much pseudo-orthodoxy in this day, but should that include rejecting the idea of having "a personal relationship Jesus Christ," and "knowing Christ as your personal Savior.? The scripture reveals that Deity, Itself, is relational, so that the element of relationship, both vertical (with God) and horizontal (with our fellow man) will immediately emerge as one partakes of the Divine Nature. God is not a loner. The Being, in whom we all have our being, is the Being that unfolds as Family-constituted Personhood.
The primitive Christian community was energized by, and known for such relationship. The corporate and individual indwelling presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in/as the Spirit was what identified them as the new covenant people of God, and the intensifying of that Presence, the progressive-unfolding, the ongoing unveiling, the presencing of the Presence was their hope, their expectation, a hope that Paul said saves, restores, makes us whole.
What was it, for instance, that kept the apostle Paul going through the intense pressures that threatened to crush the life out of him? Was it the excitement of having a deep understanding of the mystery hid from ages past and the accompanying challenge of persuading the world that it was true? Indeed, He'd been graced by a pioneer-revelation. But that's not how he knew himself, that's not where he got his identity. He was first and foremost, "the slave of Jesus Christ." That's how he introduces himself before presenting his message in the marvelous Epistle to the Romans.
Loyalty to Christ, more than anything else, was what you met when you met Paul. His Master, His Lord, His Savior, Jesus, the One who had died and was raised up for Him, was what Paul was all about. Certainly he'd been entrusted with a message that uncovered the aeonion purpose of God, but it was WHO had entrusted Him, WHO had called him, WHO had filled His heart, WHO made him whole that really mattered.
Relationship: "Father, into THY hands, I commit my spirit." LORD JESUS, receive my spirit." "He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of MY GOD, and he will not go out from it anymore, and I will write upon him the name of MY GOD, and the name of the city of MY GOD......" "Behold, I AM with you always...." Watch carefully. Don't lose that simplicity, that first love.
Most of us probably, upon hearing it the first time, didn't think much of the country western song that said, "Me and Jesus, got a good thing going." Well, frankly, I think that pretty much says it. And I much prefer it to a lot of nonsense that's peddled about as revelation today. We've taught the "in" factor at the expense of the "with" factor. "Emmanuel, God with us." Now that's what I call relationship!
Stay tuned for future serious, seminal samplings.
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John R Gavazzoni
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