Tuesday, February 7, 2012

109. - God's Ultimate Remedy

109.0 The Initial Purpose of the Spiritual Merger:  In the redemptive process, the Spiritual baptism is first aimed at fixing an intolerable reality for the believer. It is the existence of that "evil inner twin" who remains within all believers - even after our genuine conversion to Christ. 

This is that stubborn, subconscious part of us, which resolutely refuses to voluntarily embrace the Lordship of Christ. Thus, initially, the believer's conscious mind of faith is forced to coexist with this remaining stubborn subconscious mind.  The apostle, Paul, in his writings, refers to remaining subconscious stubbornness as the "old man," the "carnal nature," or "the flesh."  

And, Paul paints a starkly clear picture of this "carnal us" in Romans, chapter 7 where he says this.  "I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?"

Every believer experiences this relentless chronic pressure toward involuntary waywardness, after their conversion.  It is simply brought on by this residual subconscious desire to be still self-determined in life.  

So, just as Paul describes above, with our conscious mind we have given ourselves to God. But, in our subconscious mind (what Paul calls, our members), this still carnal self wreaks constant havoc upon all the good intentions of our conscious faith. 

Thus, though we can see the high road of God's pleasure, this subconscious evil twin keeps us from walking it consistently. So, every day we fight this inner battle, our conscious mind subscribing to God's way, but our subconscious mind refusing to go along - always attempting to push us off course and opposing us with a thousand subversive ploys.

109.1 The Struggles of the In-between:  So, if this is newness of heart and life, who needs it - right? But, this is not the ultimate newness that Christ offers. It is just the very temporary condition in which we find ourselves between the moment of our conversion and the moment of our Spiritual merger with the believer-empowering Living Christ.  

But note, this "in between" period of time is not merely some random aberration which escaped God notice.  This time actually serves very important purposes in God's redemptive plan.

This period of inner struggle is the time when serious believers confront that remaining subconscious desire to be self-directed. This is that inner "wilderness experience" where we become profoundly humbled as we are confronted by our own, 
undeniable  inabilities and failings.  And, this is a time when we are extensively emptied of that subconscious mindset of prideful self-assurance in preparation for our merger with the Living Christ.

Thus, in this disconcerting "Wilderness of the In Between" we are made desperate by our frustrations.  And, resulting from this desperation, an indispensable turning point occurs - the point where we humbly reach out for divine deliverance.  And in that humble outreach, this inner wilderness is then wonderfully transformed int the place where we are gloriously completed in the Living Christ.  

Thus, this initially difficult inner wilderness ultimately turns into a new and bright beginning place for the believer.  In the end, it comes to mark the location where the New Testament believer personally experiences that transformative "mystery which has been kept secret since the foundation of the world." Paul, in his writing, describes that mystery in these simple terms, "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
109.2 A Summary:  So, it truly is simple, really. The "demon-self" who lives deep beneath the surface of our conscious mind, even after conversion, has no intention of ever embracing the Lordship of Christ. The Bible says of this incorrigible, subconscious mindset that "it is not subject to the law of God, neither, indeed, can be." 

Thus, there is really only one option for dealing with this "trouble-making twin" of ours. This incorrigible us must be subdued by one stronger than he or she is.  And, that subjugation must take place on the most primary governing level of our core person, where that evil twin lives and operates. And that is the first thing the Living Christ does for the believer through the Spiritual merger.

109.3 - The Spiritual Merger, Target Event of the New Testament: This literal merger with the character essence of the Living Jesus is, indeed, the Target Event of the New Testament

Our ultimate success, the thorough renewal of both our core person, our life condition, as well as a true heart-oneness with God, absolutely depends on successfully tapping into the vitality of the Living Christ. All else in Christian Redemption, including the moment of conversion, is actually arranged around and pointed toward this subsequent event in the redemptive process.

109.4 - The Final Piece In The Puzzle:  And, this Spiritual merger with Christ is, indeed, "the long secret," the great mystery, the dazzling final piece of God's redemptive puzzle which has been held in reserve from the beginning until these New Testament times. But now, it has been revealed as the ultimate and completing experience for the believer.

Paul says as much in Colossians, chapter 1, where he makes these comments to that Church, "I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."

109.5 - Thorough Renewal, In Real Terms: This personal merger with Christ is today exactly the same as it was for the disciples of Christ, more than 2000 years ago. It is this mystical event which makes the redemptive plan come to life in the very real terms of our everyday life. This personal connection to the Living Christ is the power to move past mere forgiveness, to a completely renewed value system, and a 
consistent, reality-based righteousness, and an accurate life-view which matches God's in a true heart-oneness.

From this divinely enabled merger springs a real  freedom from that lingering, chronic, and divisive waywardness of a heart which would keep us from that consistent and durable heart-oneness with God.  And, this empowering merger with Christ also provides a durable personal elevation and an ever increasing, God-pleasing fruitfulness in our character.

So now, in these New Testament times, as we have better understood the implications of this long awaited, redemptive mystery, the words of Jesus, 
from John, chapter 15, become even more powerful and inspiring.  There He said, " ...I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit... Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing..."