John 14:20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
In the last few posts I’ve tried to reveal our upside down thinking. In our fallen way of thinking we perceive a g.o.d. that is not the Abba that Jesus reveals. Nobody knew or understood or had seen the Father before Jesus. No one can know our understand or see the Father today apart from Jesus. Jesus reveals the Father through the Holy Spirit to us. This is what Jesus is saying when He says “you will know that I am in my Father.” Stephen was being stoned and this is what He saw:
Acts 7:55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. (ESV)
This phrase “Jesus standing at the right hand of God” can actually be translated as “Jesus was coming out of the interior of the right side of God.” Stephen saw the “oneness” of the Father-Son. Stephen declared the “Son of Man” was steadfast and coming out of the interior of the right side of God. The phrase “Son of Man” is no accident since he was seeing Jesus (the God-man or man-God) joined with God the Father. Jesus, who joined Himself to humanity as the Word become flesh, the Son of Man, was revealed to Stephen in the ecstatic moment of being filled with the Spirit. This is what we see “in that day.” The Holy Spirit reveals the Father-Son to us and our inclusion in Jesus. We see ourselves in Jesus who is in the Father and one with the Father. We get to see the Father as Jesus sees the Father and know our acceptance and assurance and inclusion in the Father as Jesus is included.
So what does it mean to know “I in you?” Have we really understood what it means to have Jesus, Father and Spirit “in us?” I don’t think so. I think we have spun our wheels for 2000 years to just get a glimpse of what it means to see the Father in the Son and know our inclusion in the divine Trinitarian circle dance (maybe). I think religion has kept us on a journey in the ascent to a place that we already reside from. But for the discussion let’s assume we actually know who we are in Him. Let’s assume we know we are forgiven, loved, cherished, beloved, liked, adored, accepted, included, assured and so much more. Let’s assume we actually know what Jesus feels in His Father-Son relationship and what the Father feels for Jesus in the Father-Son relationship. Since we are there now and have always been there and will forever be there…let’s assume we have a teeny tiny glimpse of the awesomeness of being in our Father’s embrace. With that glimpse of an infinite ocean of unconditional love and goodness and kindness let’s ask the question: What does it mean to have Him (and that means all of Him, three in one) in us?
We will need to let go of our pre-conceived notions and traditions and doctrines. We will have to leave our wisdom founded on human experience to embrace His wisdom in His revelation through the Holy Spirit. The reason we have religion today is we have insisted on patterning our understanding from our circumstance and disappointment and impatience instead of living by faith in the finished work of the cross and resurrection. Why did doctrines like Cessationism appear in history? There was disappointment when a loved one wasn’t healed or unbelief by people who came from a different tradition or fear of losing power in leadership and government. Circumstance drove doctrine. This is why we need to have faith in Jesus faithfulness. We have the mind of Christ so we can use it.
Rom 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
12:2 Do not allow current religious tradition to mold you into its pattern of reasoning. Like an inspired artist, give attention to the detail of God’s desire to find expression in you. Become acquainted with perfection. To accommodate yourself to the delight and good pleasure of him will transform your thoughts afresh from within. (The Mirror)
Our circumstance or behavior or experience are not the roots of our identity. Our identity is in Jesus. We have no more need for religion. We should be searching out the truth of our union in Jesus.
Rom 2:29 For you to know who you are in your heart is the secret of your spirit identity; this is your true circumcision, it is not the literal outward appearance that distinguishes you. After all it is God’s approval and not man’s impression that matters most. Man sees skin-deep; God knows the heart. (The Mirror)
We have the freedom to explore and ask the hard questions. He is faithful to us. His plan to include His kids will not be derailed. We may not “see” it from the outside in but it is true from the inside out.
Rom 3:4 God’s Word is not under threat! In fact if all of humanity fails, truth remains intact. Truth is rooted in God; it is neither challenged nor vindicated by man’s experience. (Truth doesn’t become true by popular vote.) Contradiction does not intimidate or diminish the faith of God. (What God believes about man does not change through man’s unfaithfulness. God remains convinced about us.) Scripture records that God stands justified in his own word ; it confirms that God’s promise and purpose are not compromised through man’s failure; neither is God’s reputation threatened by man’s behavior. (The Mirror)
We need to stop with the self-improvement programs of cleaning the outside of the cup and let our Abba work out our new creation in Jesus from the inside out. What God believes about us trumps what we think about ourselves. Even our best efforts fall well short of God’s beloved trust in His beloved Son to reveal our beloved inclusion.
Rom 3:20 The law proofs all of mankind equally guilty and confirms that their most sincere duty-driven decision and ‘self-help’ program could not improve their condition before God. 21 But now we are talking a complete different language: the gospel unveils what God did right not what man did wrong! Both the law and all the prophetic writings pointed to this moment! 3:22 Jesus is what God believes about mankind. In him the righteousness of God is on display in such a way that all may be equally persuaded about what God believes about them, regardless of who they are; there is no distinction. (The Mirror)
Can we trust Him? Can we surrender our way of thinking to have Him reveal His person in us? Can we dare to believe Jesus will show us what it means to live in union with Him? Can we let ourselves be renewed from the inside out? We wouldn’t be the first to trust Him. All it takes is us “letting it go” and giving in to His faithfulness.
Rom 4:1 If we look at our father Abraham as an example and scrutinize his life, would you say that he discovered any reason for placing confidence in the flesh through personal contribution? (What qualified Abraham to be the father of the multitudes of nations? The only part he played was his unwavering belief in God’s faith in him.) 4:2 If he felt that his friendship with God was a reward for good behavior, then surely he would have reason to recommend the recipe; yet it is plain to see that it was all God’s initiative from start to finish! 4:3 Scripture is clear, “Abraham believed what God believed about him and that concluded his righteousness.” 4:4 There is a large difference between a reward and a gift: if you have earned something through hard work; what you receive in return is your due and certainly not a gift. 4:5 It is clear then that someone who believes that God declares the ungodly innocent understands that it is faith and not our toil that accounts for righteousness. (The Mirror)
Paul says this most amazing thing:
Col 1:27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (ESV)
Christ in us the hope of glory. I want to know what that really means in light of the revelation of the Trinity and our inclusion in Abba’s family, don’t you? Hope in a Biblical sense is calm assurance or confidence. Glory is the true nature of a person without any pretense or facade or confusion or delusion. For Jesus it is a manifest goodness and awesomeness. Want to know what that looks like in us? Here is what it says in the Mirror.
Col 1:27 In us God desires to exhibit the priceless treasure of Christ’s indwelling; every nation will recognize him as in a mirror! The unveiling of Christ in human life completes man’s every expectation. (He is not hiding in history, or in outer space nor in the future, neither in the pages of scripture, he is merely mirrored there to be unveiled within you. Mt 13: 44, Gal 1: 15, 16) (The Mirror)
I say we saddle up and take a ride of revelation to “see” what we really look like from the inside out. We have spent countless years trying to live up to religious standards or worldly expectations to pattern ourselves from the outside. We have succumbed to the disappointment of “life” and circumstance and experience. We have fallen back into Adamic thinking and Greek mythology and Deist perspectives and separation lies. It is time to really take a giant leap. So how about some inside out discoveries?