October 8, 2017: Distinctions in Christ

Since the fall, the human race has allowed distinctions to cause division. That is all the old humanity knows to do, and it will continue to perpetuate distinctions as division. It is a part of the fallen mindset.  But we know that Christ did away with this by destroying in His body the enmity between any distinction and created in and with Himself One new humanity.

For a long time now, conformity has been the world’s answer to division caused by distinctions. 

Times are changing…

But now the world is in a time of swinging the pendulum to allow everything and embracing every distinction to decrease division.

This pendulum swing is coming at the same time the church is coming into an increased understanding of needing everyone’s portion to express the fullness of Christ. So we are learning to embrace the differences in our brothers and sisters for the sake of the finding and seeing that fuller expression of Christ.

The church

We can fall into the world’s trap of accepting everything OR Making those differences/distinctions a “thing” to focus on instead of Christ to where those distinctions become ours and not the Lord’s.

There is some truth in conformity, we are as members of Christ being conformed to ONE image and expression: CHRIST. It’s His humanity that we are being conformed to, not our best version of humanity.

There is some truth, CHRIST allows and accepts everyone who is willing to be conformed to His image and expression. It’s His humanity we’re imaging and expressing

DIS·TINC·TION: a difference or contrast between similar things or people. Also, excellence that sets someone or something apart from others.

The mindset of Christ

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up His divine privileges he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. Philippians 2:5-8

Rewritten:                                                                                                                           

You also must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had, he was willing to give up all rights and privileges that divine personhood afforded him in order to perfect humanity.

Though we are human, we do not regard our old humanity as something to cling to. Instead, we give up all rights to the advantages the old man afforded us, the ability to figure things out for ourselves, our knowledge and ways of thinking, our understanding of things according to the old mind. Also our emotions and our will.

SO we can take the higher position of a slave to Christ’s perfected humanity. We’ve been brought into Christ’s Humanity.  We can actively share in, participate and express Christ’s new perfected humanity. That is the only humanity that will change the world 

Keeping this in mind…..We can avoid some pitfalls or the trappings of the world or the tendencies of the old man.

WE CAN FALL INTO THE WORLD’S TRAP OF ACCEPTING EVERYTHING

Problem: We can allow things that the Lord is not allowing which can lead to mixture and confusion.

Truth: We accept everyone who the Lord accepts knowing God has only one condition that that person is a willing, active participant in being transformed into the image and expression of His Son.

MAKING DISTINCTIONS THE NEXT “THING” TO FOCUS ON INSTEAD OF CHRIST

We can take a good thing like, fuller expression of Christ through all of our differences and make it something to focus on. We do not focus on our distinctions in order to express the fullness of Christ.

Problems:

  • It like the “spiritual gifts inventory” idea- we can get obsessed in finding how we express Christ.
  • Limit and pigeonholes people into only those expressions
  • We only know the fallen versions of the distinctions
  • Trying to express the fallen version by our own life
  • We think we’re more spiritual than we really are

We need to be careful. The key is to allow CHRIST to bring us to His mind and understanding of things or it will just create more divisions.

Truth: We, who are in Christ have been brought out of allowing distinctions to cause divisions. We embrace our differences/distinctions but those never become more important than CHRIST. We focus on Christ and through that he gets his distinctions expressed. He gets his image and expression how he wants it.

DISTINCTIONS BECOME OURS AND NOT THE LORD’S

Problems: It loses the life and becomes a system or method and it has no real eternal impact

Truth: Christ is the only one with distinctions. It’s only his humanity we care about expressing.

“What was completed and perfected in that One, has now to be reproduced in us progressively; that perfection, that character, that personality-the personality of Jesus-perfected, brought into us, developed in us, manifested through us.” TAS

“The Holy spirits supreme and comprehensive object is to reproduce the Lord Jesus, in His character, His personality, His perfect manhood or humanity, in a people.” TAS

What’s a Body’s Purpose?

The purpose of a body is to express the life within it. The individual parts of the body don’t have individual purposes. They have individual expressions of the ONE purpose, and even then different expressions at different times, but there is only ONE purpose for the whole body.

What happens when there is no longer any life in the body?

Rick Warren was right: there is the purpose driven life. Where he missed the mark was thinking that each person has their own purpose. There is only ONE purpose. The gospel is the call to lay down our own lives/purposes and to enter into the ONE purpose in whatever way the Lord asks of us. In whatever way He calls upon us.

OCCUPATION WITH THE LORD: FOCUS ON CHRIST

First of all, there is a pattern, perfect complete-Christ Glorified.” TAS

“The holy spirit comes to work that pattern out progressively in the children of God.” TAS

Focus on Christ…He alone is our distinction. Get to know Christ, learn to express Him and all His distinctions/differences will naturally be expressed.

What is true of CHRIST is true of us. We have been brought into the One New Man, His Humanity, and His distinctions.

On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining. 1 John 2:8

Wise words: Lets exhaust knowing CHRIST before we get to knowing/caring about our distinctions. When we focus on Him alone we’ll get the truest and fullest form of any distinction.  

ETERNAL IMPACT

“In other words, is what Christ is in His perfected humanity becoming more and more true of us, in our natures, in our hearts?”  TAS that’s the impact we be concerned with.

The world, the old humanity, thinks it can improve itself by trying to love more hate less.

Problem: The old humanity has no capacity to improve itself. This type of thinking has bled into those who are in Christ, we can think Christ’s goal for us is to improve our humanity.

Anything the world implements to “fix” anything will always decay, and fall to entropy.

Truth: There is only one remedy or “fix” for the human race-DEATH. Christ, entirely destroyed the world and old humanity within Himself. His “fix” was to begin again with Himself, the New Humanity.

What will have lasting eternal changes on the earth and in heavens is Christ’s new Humanity? There is only one person who never falls into entropy, Christ. He is always new every single day. He is getting newer by the minute and can never fail, decay or be subjected to entropy. He is increasing, which is the antonym to entropy. 

Men Whose Eyes Have Seen the King by T. Austin-Sparks Chapter 4 – Beholding… Changed… Transformed…

 

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