Monday, April 09, 2007

The Fellowship of the Mystery

On the March break my wife and I for the first time in our marriage of 33 years were able to get the same week off together....thank you Jesus!
Friends of ours that use to live in Connecticut that had retired and moved to Florida had invited us down several times, thing is, as much as we would have loved to go and reconnect, it was not an viable option, until this year...long story short we went.

I am going to be sharing over the next short while four parts of something my friend and brother wrote, it has been and continues to bless and encourage me and my wife as we grow in the grace and knowledge of the lover of our soul, the Lord Jesus Christ.

No wonder our brother Paul prayed for the church which is His body, that the eyes of our heart would be opened to see and know His purpose for the saints.


Our Union with Christ - The Head of the Body
Is "The Fellowship of the Mystery"

By Arthur J Licursi

Part 1 of 4

Col. 1:18-20 And he (Christ) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness (repletion) dwell; 20And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile (fully) all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
In "the dispensation of the grace of God" (Eph 3:2), Christ is the Head of the Body, which is the church. There was no "church, which is His body" (Eph 1:22b, 23a) in previous dispensations. We today are "branches," "vessels," "temples," "slaves," "body members," of and for Christ who manifests Himself by His nature in us, through us, and as us, as we enjoy our spirit union with Him.

The New Testament uses many metaphors to describe our union with Christ, but, the term "body of Christ" is not a metaphor, since it literally is true. Let’s consider some of these metaphors.

In John 15:1 Christ is seen as the vine tree and we are the branches. This speaks of our utter dependence upon the flow of His life that is made possible by our union with the resurrected "Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus" (Rom 8:2a, 1Cor 15:45, 6:17, 2Cor 3:17a), which came by our having received Christ.

In Romans 11:17 Christ is seen as the root of the tree, and in Isa 53:2 He is the prophesied "root out of dry ground". He alone is the root life-source who is not dependent upon any external supply. Jn 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself. Thus, by our union with His Spirit in our spirit (1Cor 6:17), we may find a fully sufficient Christ to be our all, both now and for eternity.

Paul writes of the one loaf of the body of Christ in … 1 Cor. 10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. How do we interpret the one bread with the One body? This "one bread" is a metaphor for the reality of the one body of Christ. Paul is the only writer who uses the term "body of Christ"; this is because it is part and parcel of the mystery (secret) gospel that was revealed to him by the ascended, celestial Christ (Gal 1:12), for us (Eph 3:1). We, who are of "the church, which is his body" are those who have been regenerated in the time of "the dispensation of the grace of God"; we are the one bread in full union with the "the bread of life" Himself (John 6:48). He is our inner content as the One who constitutes this one bread, entirely.

Here Paul uses the loaf of bread and the constituent unity of each grain of milled wheat, as a metaphor to demonstrate the union we have with Christ and each other by our becoming constituted with Christ as our life-content. He is in us, as the many individual grains of wheat constituting the loaf, and by this He then is also the whole bread.

We each contain all of Christ’s Spirit, by which we are complete ( Col 2:9-10). Jesus said, God does not give His spirit "by measure" (Jn 3:34). He, with His life and nature, indwells each of us individually, yet he is not divided in parts. He is totally in each of us, and yet also He is in us together as His whole body. As there are many individual grains of wheat in one loaf of bread, there are many members of the One Body of Christ, which is the church collectively.

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