Understanding the Lordship of Christ
The relationship Christ wanted to share with us above all else.
When the Holy Spirit tells us that we are the “body of Christ”, it is mostly understood that we should think of this in spiritual terms. The fact is that this reasoning could not be further from the truth!
Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit shares a great ‘mystery’ with us. He compares the symbolism of marriage between a man and a woman to the actual reality of our relationship with Christ, as being His bride. He goes further to state – “we are His very flesh and bones”!
To consider this to be purely poetic in nature would be to greatly err! He is stating a crucial fact for us to grasp and to understand – WE ARE in the very essence thereof, HIS PHYSICAL FLESH AND HIS BONES, and His LIVING, INCARNATE BODY, ON EARTH!
Christ really does dwell in us! We are truly called to be His temple and His earthly tabernacle. We are His physical body through whom His Holy Spirit wants to dwell, wants to move, wants to be expressed and wants to live.
This is where true relationship in Christ, imputed by being born again by the Holy Spirit, parts its ways with religious form and with religious doctrines of salvation.
When we are truly born again in the Spirit, something more happens than repeating a religious prayer offering the promise of eternal life. There is a Living encounter with God where we are Unified with the Spirit of God within us. He comes to dwell in us and the transformation is instantaneously evident! Our behavior suddenly changes; our countenance becomes radiant with His Person and our hearts aglow with His Love. We suddenly realize that we have been changed! That a New Life has entered our lives and that we have been transformed by it to become harmonized with everything this New Life represents!
Christ now dwells in us!
That is certainly the purest moment of experience in any person’s life; besides the day he or she was born! Total innocence, total purity, total joy, total peace, and the Life of God and Unity with Him abundantly experienced as it overflows!
This same experience could very well describe that very special day signifying the beginning of a new and happy life, overflowing with love, when a bride enters into matrimony with her husband. I believe that this why the Holy Spirit inspires Paul to use this as a parallel; secondly the very principle act of marriage, in the “two becoming one”, with all of its romance, ecstasy and love being united into an everlasting bond between husband and wife, represents the exact reality and experience of those who enter into this New Life with Christ.
They are head over heels in love with Him, are fully united in Him, follow Him, and are intimately acquainted with Him in ways the world and the religious order would never come to comprehend. They share His private chambers, His ‘secret place’, locked out to the eyes and the understanding of the world, where He shares with them what any Lover only shares with the one He adores and loves more than anything else in this world.
How very few in our day and time have come to partake in this wonderful love affair with Him? Most today are introduced to a Christ they will never truly come to meet and are likely never to come to know!
When we come to understand this unique relationship where Christ truly does in the very essence of it, come to dwell in us, we also understand that He so comes, not only to dwell, but also to guide, direct, love and protect us. He comes as the head of His body to indwell the entire body and to govern that body according to His mind, design and purpose. The entire body becomes subject to move, sense, act, speak and behave in response to His Life being expressed in it. The body is led by the will, desire and thoughts of what the head or the mind of Christ would lead it to do, just in the same way as Jesus, when He was on earth, was being led, directed and inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak, work and act in perfect harmony and Union with His Father in Heaven!
That means that we are no longer supposed to work with God, but God is supposed to work in us and through us! We are no longer supposed to add God into our lives. We are supposed to yield ourselves fully to Him so that He may live His Life in us and through us!
Religion would teach us that God is added to our lives to make everything better for us, and so gracefully accepts Him in order to have a better life. True salvation teaches us to lay our lives down, so that Christ may come to dwell in us and to live His Life in us and through us. There is no dual life in Christ, we can never live and at the same time have His Life in us. Either we are alive and in control of our own lives, or we have surrendered ourselves to die to our own lives, allowing Him to fully possess us and to live His Life in and through us.
The story of a missionary in Africa …
Someone I knew long ago, who had done some missionary work in Africa, once told me a story that so beautifully portrayed this principle. He said that as he went from village to village preaching the Gospel of salvation, he would have many responding to “accept Jesus”. Yet he would see them living as worldly as before the following day, only to respond all over in the night service again. This trend continued for some time, and he became desperate for the Lord to show Him why this was happening. Then one day he came to a village where he found a church that was truly on Fire with the Spirit. The people prayed in the Spirit and he immediately could recognize that these were truly born again souls. He met the pastor of this church and spent some time with him, esquiring what he was doing differently to have such results, he explained his problem and how he had for many months ministered without seeing any real fruit on his ministry.
The pastor smiled and began telling to him where he went wrong.
He said, “Brother in our culture people believe in worshiping their ancestors, but they are also allowed to add other good people to their company to worship along with them. So when they hear you preaching about Jesus, the good man that gave His life as a ransom to save theirs, and you then ask them to “accept Him”, they do so gladly! Adding Him to their ancestors to worship along with them. That is why every night you preach the message again; they keep responding to reassure you that they have definitely added Him and are worshiping Him!
You should bring them to the clear understanding that they cannot add Him, but that they need to renounce all else for Him!”
As I listened to this story, I heard the Voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to me, He said,
“Is this not exactly what most people in the West are doing as well? Aren’t they also just “adding” Me to their lives, when they “accept Me” for the benefit of what they may gain by doing so? Some “add” Me for the sake of living a happy and successful life, others for promises of prosperity, and yet others for the sake of making the investment in securing their eternity.
Few however renounce all in yielding themselves to Me!”
We cannot add Him, we need to surrender ourselves to His Lordship and allow Him to become the head, possessing all of the body, directing and steering us, as we follow wherever He leads us to go. This influences not some parts of our lives, but requires a total surrender of every part of our lives – Our decisions, our choices, our plans, our daily program, our future vision and dreams – All of these should be laid down, in order to allow Christ to express His will and His predestined plans for our lives, day to day, every day and every year of our lives. When we meet Him, our lives are no longer our own, but becomes subject to Christ, the Head, to Who’s Lordship we willingly surrender!
So few people today are aware of that the very reason why they were born into the Kingdom was to be possessed by God and to be inhabited and controlled by His Spirit. So many are falsely satisfied with a kind of ‘prenuptial agreement’ with God, whereby they believe they have secured eternal life for themselves by the religious action of praying a ‘sinner’s prayer’, and that they have been included based upon the fact that they have chosen to be included. So few realize that they have entered a marriage with Christ and that it was a lifelong commitment of living in perfect harmony with Him, of experiencing His Life in theirs and of yielding themselves to be guided and led daily by their Groom.
At the end it is only this Union that will matter! All else will be of no consequence. All others who lived outside of it will be unknown to Christ. No matter if they conquered the world in His Name! He will know only those who lived in Union with Him on earth and through whom He could bear the fruit of His will, abundantly.
At the end it is Christ IN YOU, that is the Hope of glory – None else!