Posted by: mybroom | May 3, 2013

CHRIST IN ME – part 3.

What exactly happened on the cross ? (a follow-on from ‘What exactly happened in the garden ?’)

As we begin to grasp that mans sinfulness is all wrapped-up in his determination to be independent ~ self-determining, self-sustaining, depending on himself (his ability to do right or wrong) – for the flow of blessings into his life ~ we begin to view the work of the cross differently. It becomes clear that Christ came to do more than deal with the many sins that had piled-up against us, He came to deal with the issue that causes man to sin in the first place; his determination to gain righteousness by his independent goodness (man’s attempt to live right) ~ also known as the flesh or the sinful nature.

Christ made 2 statements that specifically refer to His reason for coming. John 10:10 “I came that you might have life, and have it abundantly”, and 1 John 3:8 “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work”. These 2 passages are very closely related when understood from the perspective of man’s problem of self-dependence. It was man’s choice to be ‘master of his own destiny’ that separated us from the one who is Life Himself (Christ) ~ this choice resulted in us joining the devil’s team, and playing the game of life by the devil’s rules (self-absorbed living) ~ the devil’s work was to convince man that he had the capacity to make it on his own.

So the work of the cross (or the reason why Christ came) was to destroy this independent nature of man, and bring us back to our original condition ~ sustained by the virtue ‘LIFE’ of Christ. Mankind was stuck in a cycle of self-effort, Christ came to break that cycle… and return us to a life that is sustained by His effort on the cross.

When Christ declared “I came to give you Life”, He was actually declaring “I came to give you myself, the one who is Life” ~ in other words “I came to destroy the devil’s work (your dependence on self), and re-birth you a new creature ~ a ‘Christ in me’ man”.

There will only be one means whereby this new condition can operate freely in your life ~ “You must believe that I am that good”. If you don’t believe that I am as good as that, you will slip back into depending on your self-generated goodness ~ and I won’t mix my righteousness with that of any man, I won’t mix the efforts of humanity with the perfection of heaven (that was what caused the problem in the first place) ~ the reason I came was so that you would allow my virtue to sustain you at all times.

This “Christ in me” way of living is completely different from our old way of living.

Religion tricks man into thinking that God places some value on how we live, that God delights in our faithfulness, service and charity, but that would be returning to our problem of self-effort ~ GOD ONLY VALUES OUR FAITH IN CHRIST’S EFFORT ~ it is true that good works overflow from this faith, but those good works of themselves do not move God ~ only our restful confidence in the good work of Christ moves God.

As I said; it is a completely new way of living. A way of living that defies the in-grained urges we have to ‘do something’ ~ these in-grained urges are the last gasp of our self-dependence trying valiantly to apportion value to the deeds of man. Best to give up now, best to learn how to rest in the goodness of Christ, best to spend a month or a year dismantling our need to satisfy God… because that’s when the good stuff starts to happen!

When we have finally stopped trying to make God happy, and accepted that He is already completely happy with us because of Christ ~ then the grand adventure begins. Life in the Spirit springs forth as we gain confidence that the perfect one, Christ Himself, is my true self, ‘Christ in me’… all my fear of failing, getting it wrong, presuming on God, disappear out the door ~ I become a man who can do the impossible, the unthinkable, just because I finally believed; “that Christ is that good“.

So the question for us is this; “who will believe that Christ is really that good?”

cheers Graeme

Posted by: mybroom | April 28, 2013

CHRIST IN ME – part 2.

What exactly happened in the garden?

Was the command of God ‘not to eat the forbidden fruit’ a random choice by God, could He have just as easily said ‘don’t throw stones’ or ‘poke your tongue out’? why the forbidden fruit??

Was there something deeper involved in the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” that had more to do with Adam and Eve’s very existence, than merely a random commandment that God used to measure if they would step out of line?

To answer this we need to understand what Adam and Eve’s existence was like before they ate the fruit.

We know that Jesus is ‘LIFE’ ~ I came to give you life / when Christ, who is your life appears / we crossed over from death to life / I am The Life / when The Life appeared; these are all familiar scriptures about the essence of Christ ~ HE IS LIFE ~ not just ‘he has life’, He is life ~ the whole world is held together by His word, everything falls apart but for His sustaining power, the very vitality of heaven is Christ.

Now back to Eden, The Tree of Life existed along side The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, but they had no particular command regarding the Tree of Life.

Christ is Life, the Tree of Life is Christ, they did not need to be told how to relate to the Tree of Life because He was already the source of their existence, the union between themselves and Christ was complete, there was no separation between the individual (Adam) and the union (Adam in Christ). Adam was completely hidden in Christ, His righteousness, His holiness… so complete was that union, that to contemplate one without the other was unthinkable ~ Christ was continually radiating the very vitality of heaven into Adams spirit!

That is what is so tragic about the temptation of satan; “if you eat the forbidden fruit you will become like God” ~ Adam and Eve were already like God, they were in-God ~ their physical body was sustained by food and their spirit was sustained by their amazing union with Christ, they had no need for good & evil because their righteousness came from Christ.

When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit it was much more than simple disobedience, it was independence ~ this was a declaration by Adam and Eve that they had decided to go it alone, from now on they would be responsible for determining their existence on planet earth, they would decide between good and evil, and the outcome of those decisions would become the source of their well-being.

In effect they said to Christ; “thanks, but no-thanks”, it’s been good drawing our existence from our union with you, but from now on we are going to strike out on our own ~ from now on we will determine the flow of blessings and favour into our lives by our own management of good and evil.

It was the whole ‘self’ issue raising its head ~ it was a rejection of Christ as the source of their being, and a decision to find nourishment for their body, soul and spirit, from their own virtue!!

Unfortunately our spirit cannot be nourished by anything but the presence of Christ, and so it died immediately ~ the result was that our soul took over the role of controlling the flow of blessing and favour into our lives ~ we became dependent on our own reason and intellect, our personality and emotions became the source of our existence, and our union with Christ was soon forgotten… as if it had never existed.

In Galatians 2:20 we read; “I have been crucified with Christ, I no longer live but He lives in me” ~ this was God’s solution, His initiative, He took my independent self onto the cross with Christ, He crucified it, and in that same instant He re-birthed me again as a man in perfect union with His Spirit. He took me back to the garden and placed me back into Christ ~ He removed my independence and gave me union in its place.

‘Christ in me’ can only be fully understood when we understand that;  sin = ‘me in me’ (independence).

Sin and independence are inseparable ~ and the work of the cross was not only to remove sin, but also to remove independence ~ the outcome is that I no longer live as an independent individual, my existence is once again inseparable from my union with Christ.

Religion wants us to try to mix the two, it wants us to receive the work of Christ / and remain a person who continues to bear the responsibility for the outcomes of their life ~ but they are incompatible ~ our union with Christ can only function in the garden of faith in His goodness…. not our own independent management of the good v. evil equation as a means of attracting God’s favour.

The forbidden fruit is self-dependence, but we were created for the mystery of Christ dependence.

cheers Graeme

Posted by: mybroom | April 25, 2013

CHRIST IN ME – part 1.

Colossians 1:26-27 “the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages… which is Christ is you“.

A mystery is like a journey of discovery into the unseen, it is like setting out for the last frontier as Kevin Costner did in Dances With Wolves ~ it is hitching up the wagons, saying goodbye to civilization and embarking on a journey into the unknown.

We get a sense of this in Eph. 3:8-9, Paul describes his ministry as; ‘the  administration of this mystery into the unsearchable riches of Christ’.

At the outset I would say; “if you have already fully grasped the unsearchable riches of Christ, then this journey is not for you” ~ this journey is for those who long for more, those who have glimpsed the distant horizon and are drawn to its mysterious promise, those who are adventurers and will not settle for the mundane safety of religion ~ those who want to know the unsearchable riches of Christ.

Not everyone can leave civilization; it is secure, predictable and comfortable…. not everyone can leave behind religion for the same reasons. Religion is the practice of self-generated activities in an effort to satisfy God ~ faith on the other hand is confidence that Christs activities have satisfied God already.

So my good friends, saddle-up, bid your good-byes, fix your eyes on things not yet seen, and hang on…. wagon roll, yeehaa.

The first hill we will crest as we leave behind religion is called ‘Self’… most cannot struggle over this first obstacle, and ultimately turn back to the comfort of religion. They don’t realize that this challenge is the hardest they will face on their journey… and beyond it lays the frontier, they don’t realize that once they have crested this hill, religion will have passed from view and the unsearchable riches of Christ will lay before them.

Religion has taught us:- my activities, my principles, my self-generated efforts have some currency here…. fact is; only the astounding work of Christ on the cross has the capacity to generate life ~ and He doesn’t want my best efforts, He wants my faith in His best efforts. At this point most people are still agreeing with me, but let me make this absolutely plain; Jesus doesn’t want us to do anything, good or bad, He wants us to believe!!!  John 6:29, “The work that God requires is this; To believe in the one that He sent”.

Our immediate response is to think of SELF as; “selfishness, ego, pride etc.” and that we must overcome it so that we can live a life of service and outreach. That would mean that we overcome the ‘bad’ part of self, so that we can get on with engaging the ‘good’ part. Wrong; Jesus killed the whole part of self, dead people cannot do anything ~ we have been crucified with Christ ~ we are incapable of doing anything of value.

I’m not saying that we should stop being decent, upright and honest people, it’s just that religion has taught us that our best efforts are somehow worthy of God’s response… and they aren’t, God only responds to the virtue of Christ (and our belief in it) ~ and that’s why Christ killed our human nature on the cross, and raised us up again… a brand new creation with His nature. Col. 3:3, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God”.

At this point the wagon train suffers a serious reduction in its ranks. This kind of thinking is enough to break a whole lot of axles and wheels, sending many would-be pioneers scurrying back to religion… where it’s much safer. But we must help each other to keep going, the prize of “Christ in me” is too important to allow a hill like ‘self’ to cause us to give up so soon ~ come on push through, you can do it.

To get this in perspective we need to understand something that religion never taught us; “The point of being a Christian is not to engage us into a life of Christian activities, good habits, and principles for living ~ it is to engage us into faith in the unsearchable power of Christ’s activities on the cross”. Religion has taught us that our activities (even those that have the most spiritual appearance) have value, but compared with Christ they are such meagre offerings ~ there is only one thing of value, the mystery of Christ… and He has made His home in me.

As we crest the hill of self, as we grasp that God doesn’t want us to do anything, as we place faith in the unsearchable wonder of Christ in me… a strange thing happens ~ we begin to walk in the Spirit, we begin to effortlessly do the good works that God prepared for us since the creation of the world ~ the vista of a brave new world comes into view, Life in Christ.

And all of this because we are resting in His work, and ceasing from ours.

cheers, Graeme

Posted by: mybroom | April 19, 2013

CHRIST IN ME – intro.

‘Christ in me’ is an outrageous statement, perhaps so outrageous that we don’t take it seriously ~ at least not as seriously as God takes it.

Gal. 2:20 ~ “I have been crucified with Christ, I no longer live but Christ lives in me” ~ surely that scripture is not meant to be taken literally, that would throw everything I have learned so far into total disarray, it would mean starting over with so much of my belief system ~ but if it’s true… imagine the possibilities, if the King of Kings is actually my permanent self, the possibilities are astounding. This possibility bears serious consideration ~ more than that, it deserves to be proven to be true (if in fact it is true) ~ perhaps the most noble quest ever undertaken by man ~ to discover the reality of “Christ in me”.

I’m up for it; in fact I’ve been up for it for the past few years ~ it’s like a broadcast from heaven that I can’t turn off (and don’t want to either), it’s like God has been saying “there is so much more, you have hardly scratched the surface” ~ so this blog “Hardwired to Christ” is dedicated to discovering the reality of ‘Christ in me’.

At times you may think I’ve gone totally loopy, there are some aspects of our union with Christ that are in defiance of logic, they border on the insane, the foolish, the ridiculous ~ I can’t help myself, I’m going to push the safe haven of human reasoning way out to its limit ~ call me crazy; crazy like a man who has glimpsed the unthinkable and can never be satisfied by the ordinary again.

For the most part of my life my faith looked something like this; “Christ died for my sins and went back to heaven, my purpose going forward is to spread this message and do my best to live according to its principles”.

Now my faith is radically different from that; “Christ died as my substitute and took my sinful nature into the cross with Him, in exchange He re-birthed me with His own perfect nature. Now that I am the righteousness of Christ His very person has moved into my spirit, we have become fused as one being, now I live from His presence within me, I don’t spread the message ~ the message lives in me in the person Jesus, I don’t live by principles ~ I walk in the Spirit”.

I have discovered that Christ didn’t come to give me a message ~ He came to give me Himself. He didn’t come to give me an example of how to live ~ He came to give me Life itself, the very vitality of heaven. He didn’t come to give me a job to do ~ He came to give me an outcome, all of the benefits of the cross are handed to me by His grace.

This perspective is poles apart from my previously long-held belief system, in fact; when you drill down into it they bear very little resemblance. The language is similar, the historical information is the same, but the reality for me is so vastly different that it cannot be compared. The difference between “Christ in me” and “having the message about Christ” are like the difference between the light from a candle and the light from the sun. No longer am I dependent on remaining in close proximity to the light by my best efforts, now the light blazes continually in my spirit ~ simply by knowing and placing faith in the work of Christ.

And it’s that difference that I want to explore in this new blog. The title “Hardwired to Christ” says it all. In the electronics industry a hardwired component is part of the parent appliance, not just a remote device dependent on battery power. Similarly I am hardwired to Christ, I have become a part of Him, powered by His energy, no longer dependent on my own ability to generate results. When I thought of the title “Hardwired to Christ” for the book, I liked it so much that I decided to make it the blog title as well ~ I really hope many of you that visited ‘Mybroom’ in 2012 will also drop by ‘Hardwired to Christ’.

As I said earlier, it may be an un-predictable journey, it may get a little bumpy, lets see what happens…..

…more next week,

cheers Graeme.

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