|The Spirit and the Word
Practicing the Presence of Christ.Part Three
Alan Mc Savage
Col. 2: 27 "Christ in and among you all the manifested Glory."
For years I read this scripture this way.
"Christ in you the hope of Glory."
Then after much study I read it as:
"Christ in and among you all the hope of Glory."
Now I read it this way:
"Christ in and among you all the manifested Glory."
Christ is manifesting Himself in and through His saints as Manifested Glory.
We are seeing the manifestation of the glory of God within the saints.
We are either (waiting for something to happen) to reveal the glory, or we are participating in the revealing of the manifestation of the glory within the saints.
I believe that God by His Spirit is being revealed within and through the saints.
God is appearing in a glorious church. The church has always been glorious. The church has never lost the glory. It's only man's concept of the church that has made it seem less than glorious that has filled God's people full of defeat, failure, depression and hopelessness. The church in God's eyes has never lost her glory because the church is simply Christ. Christ has never lost His glory. Christ in you, Paul says, is the hope of glory. When you have Christ revealed within you then His glory is revealed in you.
The hope of the church is not that someday we will be good enough, or we will be holy enough, or we will be righteous enough that God might favor us. No! The gospel is Jesus Christ in you, and He is your hope of glory. If all you have is the hope of glory then you have not yet seen in reality that Christ is in you. Christ in you is the glory of God. When God looks at you, He sees the Christ within you. He looks past your failures and He sees Christ in His glory.
For the most part we have had a very poor concept of Father God, even by religious leaders. What we know today as Christianity, is so full of mixture, that it is not much different than Buddhism, or Hinduism, or any of the religions of the world.
Buddhism and Hinduism will teach you to be a good moral upright person. They teach you not to commit adultery; and not to do all the bad things. Religion will teach you many good moral basic teachings. But, that's not what Christianity is all about. Christianity goes a step further than just cleaning up your life. True Christianity is God in Christ through the spirit living His life within you. Anything less than Christ, through the Spirit living in you, is religion. No matter how good you are, no matter how righteous you may think you are, unless Christ is living in you, you are just being religious.
When you realize what being born again is all about, it changes your life. Jesus came to give us another life. Not our old life made over, but a brand new creation. That's why Bible tells us that Christ is the head of the body, the true church, the new creation. He is the head of a brand new species of beings.
The scripture in Romans 8 is becoming reality vs 19 "For all nature/creation is expectantly waiting for the unveiling/manifestation of the sons of God."
As we travel out to the mission field, near and far, we see evidence of man's destruction of God's creation all around us.
Christians have to be taught to be role models of righteousness, wisdom, sanctification, maturity, in fact all the traits that caused the early church to "Turn the world upside down."
Acts 17:6 "These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;" KJV
Man was first told to replenish and restore creation in Gen 1:28 "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
But, before man can do this he has to rule, tend for, replenish, provide for, his own household well and the place where he lives.
Man has to be all that Christ wants him to be first.
The old creation man with all his hang ups, habits and ways has to die on the cross and be buried in the pit, never to rise again.
The new creation man must be fed, nurtured and allowed to preside in man's life and replace the self nature of every son of God.
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
These are the priorities for married members of the Church.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and love your neighbor as yourself.
Who is your closest neighbor? Your wife.
Love and support your wife.
She is not beneath you but an equal.
Treat her as you would a fine instrument of great value.
A man that has a good wife HAS A TREASURE FAR GREATER THAN THE FINEST JEWELS, GOLD OR SILVER.
She is like a delicate flower that must be handled with care and appreciation.
She is not your servant, nor is she your personal slave.
You cannot demand attention from your wife when she is engaged in looking after the children.
You are to see that your wife receives pleasure first before you satisfy our own desires.
Never force yourself upon her, remember that the more you love and show her respect the more she will respond.
Next comes your children.
Treat them with respect and care also.
They are your heritage in the Lord.
Make sure they are provided for and they learn to respect authority.
Bring them up to love the Lord, you do this by example.
Next comes your Job.
Every Christian man that is married is to provide for his wife and children and see that their needs are met.
This includes shelter, clothes, food, and all the necessities of life.
If a man cannot look after his own family how can he possibly look after the people of God.
Next comes the ministry.
You need to find your place in the church family and diligently pursue Christ and all His attributes and character.
You need to remember that Christ is the head of the church and loved it so much he gave himself up for her.
So must a man love his wife and family.
1 Cor 7:3-4
The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
Wives be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
1 Tim 3:2-7
(A Married man, who is or desires to go on in the Lord,) must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
To be Continued.
Greater Emmanuel International
1 - 29 Paulander Drive
Kitchener ON Canada N2M 5L2