Oct. 6, 2018

Cross Purposes 24 / Let The Son Shine - In Me!

Maybe instead of calling it Bible Study or Sunday School, we might consider calling our Berean-like activity “S.T.E.P.”: the Sonship Transformation Exploration Project, or even the Satanic Termination and Eviction Process. Both go hand in hand - one of them very empowering, the other very freeing, and both absolutely necessary.

John 1:12 and13 jump out at us with a very amazing idea. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.” It’s an amazing thought. Not one of those things you can take lightly once it impacts your awareness and opens your eyes. It also challenges the expectation of seeing ourselves as “believers”. We “believe” on His name. But what does that mean? And where does it go from there?

There’s so much more! We may feel a sentimental rush when we sing that little chorus, “To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus, all I ask, to be like Him...” Yet do we consider that this is not only within the realm of possibility, but actually one of the big reasons for being a Christian? To actually be like Jesus!

And didn’t Jesus also promise, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father”? (John 14:12)

The first time I encountered these verses (or maybe they were encountering me) I had to wonder, Am I missing something here? There seems to be so much more in the way of powerful, transformative experience that goes with being a “believer”!

The Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, it turns out, took on some really dynamic implications in light of our becoming sons of God. His finished work means the way is open for being restored to sonship lost through the sin of our first parents. He gives us His teaching, and the Holy Spirit’s input in the process of salvation -  which leads us along as we are formed into sons of the Most High.

Romans 8:19 reveals that “the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.” It appears that the creation itself is anxiously awaiting the revealing of not only the Firstborn Son Jesus, the Second Adam, but the rest of the His “younger siblings” we might say - to whom He gives the authority to become as He was in this world. This is in order for all of creation to be set free from slavery to corruption “into the freedom of the glory of the children of God”! This is a much bigger picture than we’re usually used to considering. 

Jesus, now - through the Holy Spirit - is still always about our Heavenly Father’s business, freeing and restoring God’s children in order for us to participate likewise in an entirely new way of being. And there’s more! It’s with a view to the glorious freedom of the entire creation. That’s a tall order!

This is a spectacular bit of news! In fact much of the entire chapter of Romans 8 has to do with our becoming “heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ!” It is also pointed out that this process does not come about through being some sort of spiritual couch potato, but through mortification of the deeds of the body, and through suffering. This is where the evil one experiences eviction!

This isn’t a real popular idea these days. Mortification has to do with the mind set on the spirit, not on the “flesh” and its agendas for “happiness”. To “mortify” means tosubdue - to put to death - the desires rooted in the sin nature - not only through self-denial and self discipline, but by realizing that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that is to be revealed in us. God is doing a work in us through suffering that leads us into glory! 

It’s an attitude that begins in the mind “set on” and motivated by the Holy Spirit, who testifies with our spirit that we are children of God - as we see God at work transforming us into sons through the difficult aspects of our lives. Nothing separates us from our Father’s Love! Even the threats of our times - two millennia after the Bible events of Jesus’ life and the early church and the Apostles’ writings - take on a different meaning in light of all this!

This understanding that’s gotten lost in a worldly-minded Christianity focused on its mini empire building, or what feels good as being exclusively “God’s will” for us... Strange. If Jesus had embraced that idea, there would have been no Cross and no redemption. Have we considered that in this light before? “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” (Hebrews 2:10)

Could we dare to go as far as to look upon the “negative” events in our life as a kind of experiential co-crucifixion, cleansing us and preparing for an infilling of the Holy Spirit, the likes of which we have never seen, in preparation for becoming sons of God? Something to consider, to pray for, and to ponder.


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