Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Fellowship Of The Mystery

The pictures I have selected for this four part article that my friend Art wrote, are all from when we were in Florida with him and his wife on the March break.
It had been many years since my first time to Florida, and seeing the Palm Trees was something that touched me deeply, their sheer beauty and majesty.

I know there are those viewing/reading this four part article, and I look forward to hearing any feed back.


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

By Arthur J Licursi
Part 3 of 4

The Apostle Paul’s Gospel, which he calls “my gospel” in several Scriptures, concerns “the church, which is His body”. The literal body of Christ consist of all believers, having received Christ who is the Head and life-source of His body, now living through that One body and each member in particular. 1 Cor. 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

The body of Christ consists of all the individual grace dispensation believers who have received Christ by simple faith; believing, and simultaneously receiving Christ’s Spirit of life into each one’s human spirit. Each body member thereby is a member of actual, literal (not metaphorical), body of Christ.

Thus, it is by Christ in us that He is literally incarnated on earth today, and for eternity. Today He still walks the earth, He speaks, and He is ministering grace, love and life to people, even toward those who may still reject Him. How does He do this? It is through His literal body members alive physically on earth today, those who have come to know Him as their life and lord. Also, Paul says this is our commission today - to make all men see what is the fellowship (union) of the mystery (secret gospel).

Many misinterpret the point of Eph 5:22-23. From it they claim to see the body of Christ as Christ’s wife or even His bride, but this is not true and not at all the point of this Scripture reference.
Ephes. 5:22-23 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

I trust that you see that the term body of Christ speaks of a literal life-relationship that we as believers have with Christ, one that is more intimate than the union of a man and wife. Paul here is simply describing for the Ephesians the proper submissive union and relationship between man and wife is like that of Christ as Head of His body. Don’t our physical body parts obey that instruction which emanates from our head? Elsewhere, Paul says husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves and gave Himself for the church. You might say, “How can this be?” Well, consider this question. “What is closer to you, your spouse, or your own body.” Of course, it is your body. Scripture rightly divided speaks of Israel as God’s wife, often an adulterous wife, but never of “the church which is His body” as being the wife or bride of Christ.

The fact is that for “the church which is His body” today, Christ is the genuine head of His literal body, and the metaphor is that of a man being head of the wife, operating in love, with understanding (1Peter 3:7). All physical life and relationships seen on earth are but metaphors for the reality of our relationship that makes us the literally united with Christ. This is why Paul says the things of God may be clearly seen in the creation (Rom 1:20); e.g., the tree with its physical branches is but a metaphor for the reality of our dependency seen in the life that flows issuing from the vine to the branches. Our husband and wife relationship is but a metaphor; while the body of Christ is not a metaphor, but rather reality in fact, since it is not physical, but spiritual.

We must see our union and oneness with God in the matter of Christ as head of the believing “church, which is His body” in order to see what we possess in that relationship. The legal aspects of God’s justice were fully settled on the cross; this was so we could proceed on to God’s heart desire – for us to have a restful, dependent, relationship with God, who is in Christ, now as “the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus”; now in literal union with us.

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