How Jesus Christ Connects Us to God
"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him [Christ], having forgiven you all trespasses" (Colossians
We received the following response from someone in correspondence with Paul, who read Our
Testimonies, and responds to Paul's testimony:
As you say in your testimonial here:
"All of God's works are fulfilled and completed in Jesus Christ. In the beginning He sent a Jew named Paul to the Gentiles, to turn them to God through Christ. Now a Gentile (in the flesh) named Victor was sent to a Jew (in the flesh) named Paul, to also bring him to Christ. The Body is One. He has made of the two one new man, serving Him in spirit and truth. This is His day, for which the saints have longed and prayed for, and for which all of creation has awaited. Blessed be His Name forever! 'Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!' (Psalm 150:6)."
It sounds like you are pretty certain of Jesus' agency in your life. That is fine and I am glad that belief/experience works for you.
All I would suggest is that "Jesus" is no higher or lower than "you" and "me" and that we are all a subset of a broader condition/truth of universal awareness/consciousness.
In my view, Jesus is just another personality that humans need to transcend.
If you believe that life exists elsewhere in the universe, don't you think it absurd that non-carbon based aliens might be forced to wear crucifixes and pray to a being made in the image of man, rather than themselves? Wouldn't that be anthropocentric for Christian proselytizers to require that of them?
Anyway, thanks for emailing! And have a good day!
I am glad to see that you red my testimony. By doing so you have gone further than many who judge us without bothering to investigate or verify anything for themselves. These are often the same ones that wear crucifixes or crosses and do all kinds of things that God has not asked for, in fact, things that He has expressly spoken against. More on that later.
For now I will tell you more of my personal testimony, because there is something I can recount to you that I did not write about, which relates to your comments about Jesus. When I first red the Bible I was amazed at what I saw in the Book of Revelation of Jesus Christ, in which the Lord Himself says this:
"And he who overcomes and keeps My works to the end, to him I will give power over the nations. And he will rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of a potter they will be broken to pieces, even as I received from My Father" (Revelation 2:26-27).
And: "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and have sat down with My Father in His throne" (Revelation 3:21).
What I found amazing in these Scriptures is that Jesus, Who was a man just as we are, was speaking to us, promising us that we could have the same thing that He has. We could also rule with Him and sit on the throne of God! Notice, He did not say that we presently rule, but He promised that we could. I took that to heart. The question for us to consider next is this: How do we overcome?
Notice that Jesus did not say that He simply realized He was God, as many attribute to Him, and by extension to themselves - "Just realize the Christ in you, and you will be in cosmic consciousness, as God," or some such variation of this ubiquitous New Age philosophy. He said that He overcame. So, before I will answer how we are to overcome, let us look at how He overcame.
First, let us address an underlying matter of great importance. While I have stated that Jesus was a man just as we are, which is the truth, it is also true that He was a man unlike any other. For one, He was conceived without sexual union and human father, by the Spirit of God. Being the Son of God, Jesus had a different Nature than all other human beings that have ever lived (those that have not been born again of Him). He never sinned, as all other human beings have. So, seeing He was without sin, what was there for Him to overcome?
The Scriptures say that Jesus learned obedience by the things that He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). Jesus Himself said that He would be perfected at a certain time during His ministry (Luke 13:32). How do we reconcile all these things? I am telling you something here that very few people have ever heard, Derek, though I do not mind having it shouted from the rooftops, and intend to do so. There are those who worship a historical Christ, which is presented as a divine presence that radiated a perceptible holiness. Men try to imitate this Christ, conceiving him in their minds to be this mushy character you see in pictures with long hair and a far away gaze emanating an amorphous loving sheen about his persona. On the other hand there are those, like yourself, that make Christ out to be just "another one of the guys," even if a spiritual one, who simply tapped into the status that is available to everyone in similar manner, through a process of realization and letting go.
Both of these mindsets are in error, missing the mark. And a miss still leaves you empty and dead. You cannot know the truth by men's doctrines or human calculation. You must be born again and have the mind of Christ to know anything. Maybe you don't think so now, and there is no "maybe" about that, but when you are alive in Christ, you will then know that you were dead in your sins. Religious formalists that have made their version of God their religion, and their religion their god, and the humanists, like yourself, that have made themselves god (both doing the same thing, in essence), are all wrong.
Jesus Christ, the Son of Man conceived by the Spirit of God, lived as a normal human being Who, unlike all other human beings, had the power to lay down His life, and take it up again. The laying down was something He learned and grew into as a matter of submitting His will to the Father. He was not free to do as He might have chosen to as a man, even in things perfectly acceptable and good. He was required to yield His will to the Father, and to do all things the Father was doing through Him. This culminated in His laying down His life in an unjust and barbaric death, by which He was perfected once and for all as the Son of God. According to the Law of God, only an unblemished animal was acceptable as an instructive, prophetic, symbolic sacrifice to God, foreshadowing the coming of Christ. Jesus Christ was unblemished in spirit and attitude. He was sinless.
His sacrifice made it possible for us, as flawed and sinful men, to be reconciled to God. But that is not all; it is just the beginning. Those of us who receive His Spirit are called to much higher, for once reconciled, we are also given to overcome as He overcame. If we endure to the end, we are perfected as Christ was perfected, and is perfect. We do this by the laying down of our lives and wills, which we can only do by the same Spirit and Nature that resides in the Son of God. No one can do it otherwise. All attempts by the unredeemed and sinful nature are powerless, unclean, sullied, and even abomination to God. Only the life reconciled to Him by receiving Him in His sacrifice, and submitted to His will, by His power, is acceptable. You could, as a human being, possibly lay down your life for your loved ones or family, but God proved His Sonship and the Nature of His godliness by laying down His life for those who murdered Him. Only God, and now a child of God, can do that.
By this I do not mean that every person that follows Christ will be crucified or murdered. What I do mean, and what Christ promised, is that every person that follows Him will have to take up his or her cross. The cross is made active in those circumstances and requirements God applies in the life of each and every one of His chosen, to teach that person obedience, which is a very real death to self, with Christ then raising the one so identified with Him into His resurrection life. It is fulfillment of "not my will, but Yours be done." That is the overcoming spoken of in Revelation. That is what we have. That is how one comes to the same place as Christ, being in fact one with Him. That is the heritage all saints have as part of His body.
So, in summary, as His enemies we need to receive Christ as our Savior, and then, as His servants and children we need to overcome by His Spirit, even as He overcame, whereby we are honored as His brethren. Without Him, one can do nothing. We know this is true.
As for the religious mementos and icons, those are indicative of the problem, with which the inner and hidden cross is there to deal. The outward cross and symbols of religion are there as substitution, in lieu of the obedience God requires. He wants reality, not imitation replacement. Nothing that man makes is clean, religion least of all. It is sin and an offense to Him.
There are two, in particular, of the Ten Commandments, which deal with these matters. One is the injunction against the making of images of things in Heaven (crosses being a depiction of a component of the heavenly life), and the other is not taking God's Name in vain. Those who take upon themselves His Name, yet have no use for what He says, and thereby no use for Him, are not held guiltless.
Lower life forms are drawn up by the higher. A plant cannot become animal until and unless consumed by one. The same goes for man and God. Man cannot become God until consumed by Him. The way He has made us consumable is through Christ Jesus; Jesus Christ is that bridge between man and God to make us acceptable to Him. (No man can boast; it is the gift of God.) We are consumed, not because there is any righteousness in us, but because He has made us clean by His blood. The Spirit of Christ in us submits to Him. We become one heart and mind with Him in the process, until the Son of God is perfectly formed and we, too, sit on the throne of God.