Thursday, October 29, 2009

Into His Likeness

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Cor 3:18)

This verse raises an important question. If we are being transformed into His likeness, what is He like?

1 John 4:8 says God is love. The Greek word John employs in this context is Agape, which means self for others love, or me for others, if you like. This is the opposite of Eros – self love. Agape gives without expecting anything in return. It’s always concerned with others. To the human mind its interest in others is absurd, and its generosity is outrageous. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Paul lists its various expressions:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

There was a period in my life where I thought this was the standard expected of me. However, this is a perfect description of God. Into this likeness I am being transformed when I’m with unveiled face see His glory.

When I was under the Law, and its commandments were my mirror, I was transformed into the likeness of the Law, which fruit is intolerance, rigidity, self-love, boasting, condemnation etc.

We humans also have this nasty inclination towards molding God into our image, and we become the image we have made or believe in, which doesn’t even have the remotest likeness of God.

The beauty of the above verse in that when I get to know God more intimately, and repent from my erroneous believes and perceptions of Him, and see Him as He truly is, I am being transformed into the same image by faith. Moreover, I come to understand that the fruit of the Spirit is His making – He expressing Himself as me when I rest from my own works acknowledging He is the Spirit.

(For a full exposition of the different aspects of love which Paul lists see Paul Anderson Walsh’ excellent and life giving book: Until Christ is Formed, which is book 1 in the Safe & Sound series)

Monday, October 19, 2009


And Paul and Barnabas spoke out plainly and boldly, saying, It was necessary that God's message [concerning salvation through Christ] should be spoken to you first. But since you thrust it from you, you pass this judgment on yourselves that you are unworthy of eternal life and out of your own mouth you will be judged. [Now] behold, we turn to the Gentiles (the heathen). (Acts 13:46 Amplified)

We readily understand from this verse that God judges anyone worthy of eternal life due to His grace and goodness. There are, however, people who consider themselves unworthy of God’s gift. What many of them have in common is their desire to earn eternal life by own works, that is, observance of the law.

This question of worthiness also applies to those who have accepted the initial gift of salvation, but believe they are unworthy of God’s abundant life and blessings. I have met many who think God is not for them, that He doesn’t answer their prayers and that He is unwilling to speak to them. The common denominator between those is condemnation.

The faith struggle is a competition between the seen and the unseen. If we put our faith in what we see we are doomed to erroneous believes and condemnation, because we all fail. But, what we see isn’t the truth. The truth is what God says about us. Do you believe you are sanctified, holy, perfect, above reproach, cleansed and saved? Anyway, this is what God says, and He cannot lie! You are in fact so worthy that you and He are joined together in the Spirit! You are so worthy that Christ lives in you! You are so worthy that Christ lives as you!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Cor 3:18).

The perfection of the law shone in Moses’ face, but it brought condemnation and dead to those who attempted to reflect its glory. They became reflections of the law; unbending, religious, hard hearted and judgmental. The law states mercilessly: There is something wrong with you! You are found wanting!

But, God declared a new and better way – Christ. Those who yield to Him become reflections of Him with ever increasing clarity and glory. Christ states with mercy: You are perfect in Me, and I am perfect as you. There is not enough love in your life? Look to Christ! By the way, my friend, when you say you lack love, which measuring stick do you utilize? The Law or Christ? God invites and welcomes you to enter His rest in faith – the dwelling place where you realize that Christ is all in all, and it’s here the transformation takes place where Christ in you becomes everything the Law cannot.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


To many there might seem as the Bible is full of contradictions and paradoxes. However, as the HS illuminate the word the believer begins to see how everything aligns, how the old testament contains shadows and allegories of what were to come.

Even so, there still remain some paradoxes which can only be acknowledged and understood by faith. That we are both two persons in one and at the same time being two persons is a mystery. The Christian life can only be lived from a position of oneness, that is, a union with Christ where He is a perfect expression of himself through us. Dan Stone puts it like this: “You are the expression of Him in your own unique humanity.” This includes everything we are and do because it isn’t about doing good or evil - feeding from the tree of good and evil - it is about doing the truth, which is Christ as/in us. “But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God." (John 3:21)

On the other hand it is impossible to have a relation with yourself only. We were created for relations and a relation requires at least two persons. In this position you can talk to God, He talks to you and you can experience His embrace of love which empowers you to love Him back.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

All things work together for good!

Ever since I became a Christian I have had a limited understanding of Rom 10:28:

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. (Amplified)

It is usual to assume that this verse just applies to Christians who are facing opposition or are going through some kind of affliction. However, if we believe that we are made perfect (Hebr 10:14) and that Christ lives as us (Col 1:27) this verse obviously has a wider application.

Everything we are and everything we do are manifestations of God in this world, which means God can use everything to further His will among us. A simple illustration might illuminate my point: Assume I reject someone, either unwittingly or purposely. At first glance this might seem as evil. However, since all my works in Him are truth (John 3:21) this is an opportunity for God to perfect His work in this person, either leading him another step to the end of himself which is the point where that person will redirect his glance towards God, or this can be an opportunity for God to come forth as the only person who is perfect in every sense, and who never rejects anyone. In other words this can lead a person into greater freedom and a more profound experience of God’s love.

From a temporal perspective I might seem imperfect, but that is not God’s perspective. He says I am made perfect. I hold that as a truth which has the power to make me rest from my own works. When I do something which from an earthly perspective might seem as evil or stupid I trust God to work His good plan in both me and the person or group who is affected by my doings. From an eternal perspective everything we do will further His gracious plan in our lives.

A profound understanding of this verse and its implications, something which only the Spirit can disclose, have the power to imbue complete self-acceptance into a person’s life. Furthermore, this might lead us to an understanding that in every aspect of life God is in control and that He works in every circumstance which you and I face, both those we regard as good and those we regard as evil. As we grow in maturity our aptitude to discern spiritual matters will increase. We are not longer colored with our prior understanding of things which originate from feeding from the tree of good and evil. The tree of life, which is Christ, will be the position from where we evaluate life.

This also sets us free from judging others, whether they are Christians or not, whether they preach grace or not, whether they have a profound understanding of union or not, because God is all in all.

One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Eph 4:6, KJV)

Friday, October 9, 2009


But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires." These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. (Jude 17-19)

Jude asserts that there are ungodly desires, and then there obviously also must exist godly desires. Those who are driven by ungodly desires follow mere natural instincts. Natural instincts allude to the old nature, the Adam nature, which lives in separation and which is governed by the impulses it receives through its bodily senses. And, most importantly; those who are in this state do not have the Spirit – they are not born again.

The saint, however, is governed by his spirit which is now merged with God’s Spirit. As the believer’s mind is renewed by a continually revelation about his new identity in Christ he will become more attentive to the fact that he is no longer governed by the temporal world. He is living the spirit life, where the Spirit is the nucleus which governs the soul and its desires. He, thus, by faith can be assured that his desires are aligned with God’s desires. There is no longer separation, but union in the spirit.

Jesus was not afraid to encourage the believers to trust their desires: “If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7)

Jesus can voice this with confidence and boldness, because He knows the truth. The truth which has the power to liberate us: who we are in the resurrected Christ. Jesus came so we could experience an abundant life. The thief, however, steals and murders. His main objective is, of course, to prevent the believer from living this life. A major area of attack is our desires. The evil one says: “Don’t trust your desires!”, “Who do you think you are?” and “You egoist!” The last lie really scorches the believer, and renders him in a state of unbelief, that is, focusing on himself rather than his source, which is the Spirit. The liar knows that if the believer trusts his desires and live accordingly he will reign in life, and his impact on a fallen world will increase dramatically.

Remember that when God created a desire within Joshua and his friends to enter the Promised Land He gave them a vision about a place which overflowed with milk and honey. If your desires carry a notion about blessings to you, remember God’s characteristics are generosity and love. Are you desires common? Well, God is a common God for common people.