God’s New Testament Building is Accomplished by Growth in Life (2)

God’s New Testament building is in the spiritual realm and is accomplished by growth in life. In John 14:6 this life is Jesus Christ. Growth in life is the increase of Christ as life in us. And, because we are united with Christ, this life growth is counted as our growth.

Ephesians 4:15-16 declares “holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ, out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.” In these verses, we are holding to truth (Christ – John 14:6) in a loving relationship. This holding causes us to grow and this growth is into Him. Then out from Him as the Head of the Body there is a rich supply that involves the operation in each part, each believer. This operation produces the growth of the whole Body which issues in the building up of the Body in love.

In Ephesians 4 all the Christians are the Body of Christ, one with Him who is the Head. In Ephesians 5 all the Christians are also the wife of Christ, one with Him who is the Husband. This marital relationship extends into Revelation and is characteristic of New Jerusalem. The growth unto building up in Ephesians 4 extends into Ephesians 5 and from there all the way to New Jerusalem. Our loving the Lord makes us grow into Him and results in the operation of life in us for the building which ultimately is New Jerusalem.

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6 Comments

  1. Your blog is very interesting, and I will continue to read it, however, I have a question regarding “Life” or Christ’s life in you, and that is, what is your experience, i.e. of His Life in you? How do you describe it? Paul, I believe provides us with a brief explanation in Romans, regarding the kingdom of God…” the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Also, in the gospel of John, Jesus tells His disciples that He is leaving them with His peace, i.e. a peace that passes understanding (spiritual). In addition, we are told of the Fathers Agape poured out into our hearts, but in my experience (forty years) I see very little of these attributes of Christ Life in the Church or in others; many speak of it, however very few know it. In fact, Jesus tells us that few find Life, for it is a narrow gate and path. A lot of preachers would have us believe that Jesus was speaking of hell, when He explained that there are few that find life, but I don’t believe that is what Jesus had been trying to tell us. Instead He was explaining that the narrow path would be difficult and require sacrifice, on our part, to find Life. So, I say all of this because a lot of your “New Jerusalem” is dependent upon Christ’s Life in us, in the Church, and I’m wondering what your opinion is regarding to what degree can the Church (on earth) ever can know the things you speak of, if Christ Life is absent? It is not religious rhetoric, regarding Life that I’m interested in, but experience, and if one has much experience, I would be interested in how they maintain their experience. I believe we can all talk about Life, quote scriptures, however to admit that it is absent (in our spirit) will require a level of honesty to talk about it. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

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  2. Mike, thanks for your interest. Because of my schedule, I will respond about a week from now.

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  3. Mike,

    I can really relate to your feeling regarding the absence of the real experience of Life among believers today. From my personal experience, I didn’t come to know the divine life until I began to realize the Lord’s indwelling my spirit. Paul’s last words to us were “The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you” (2 Tim. 4:22).

    When we receive the Lord, believing into His name, we’re born of the Spirit in our spirit (John 3:6) and the One who is the eternal, divine life comes into our spirit (Rom 8:10)..

    So if we’re going to know life, we really have learn to turn to our spirit, to touch the “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2). This has become my daily exercise, to come to my indwelling Lord in prayer and in His the Word to simply receive from Him the nourishment and watering (John 6:35; 5:39-40). In this way, He becomes my life supply to live the Christian life.

    One simple practice I’ve found is to open myself to Him, and from deep within call on the His name–“Lord Jesus.” Such calling is like spiritual deep breathing.. Paul did say that “the same Lord of all is rich to all who call upon Him” (Rom 10:12). So it really helps to get our mouth open by calling on the Lord, confessing our sins, praying to fellowship with the Lord, and singing, thanking, and praising the Lord. Just keep opening to Him until He flows in you (John 7:37-38).

    Much grace,

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    • Tom, thank you for your encouraging words and I agree with what you said especially “So if we’re going to know life, we really have to learn to turn to our spirit, to touch the “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”. I like the idea of turning, where I have used the word focus instead of turning, but I like turning, where in fact during my day I have an inner turning or focus upon my spirit in order to hear, where I want to hear that I might know the Lords life and peace. I’m reminded of Paul’s words, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” However, as I work full time I have to set my mind on things of this earth. I cannot turn all the time, but I have to give attention to my job, but in walking down the hall, or whenever I can, I again turn my attention to the Spirit in my spirit. Also I pray in the Spirit as much as I can. Your statement “He becomes my life supply to live the Christian life.” is helpful because after many years I find that to live the Christian life I understand to do so is to partake of Christ’s divine nature (as Peter in his second letter explains). I don’t believe there is any progress in our life, unless there is progress in knowing Christ’s life in us, and our abiding in it, which brings up a topic for another day and that is abiding.
      Regarding one aspect of Jesus Life I think of Jesus asleep in the boat during a storm, where I would like to know this same divine, kingdom peace, that He left with us, but in no way does this peace stay with me. I can speak of its ebbing and flowing only, but not of its consistency as a mark of my personal life. For example, and to be candid, the Lord reminds me of its absence in several areas of my life specifically in my driving and eating habits. Knowing that when I drive down our highways and I’m cut off by the guy in front of me what comes out of my mouth is not a fruit of peace. Or, though I’m not overtly over weight I eat when I’m stressed, another product of an empty spirit, one that is without peace. I know the prince of peace, but do not always know Him as my peace but I’m looking in that direction, and I’m reminded daily of Paul’s words, where he explains, that a mind set on the Spirit is Life and Peace, so turning and focus is important. I recognize that Jesus allows us to experience His life, at times, to keep us moving in the right direction, even though I don’t know His life on a continual basis, nor do I know if it is a possibility, nor do I know of anyone who has known it daily, where it is the centerpiece of one’s life. I believe that if Christians were honest with each other would have to admit that those things in scriptures, that give us insight into Jesus life, are absent in our daily experience, where some know little to nothing about His life in them, however in admitting our spiritual poverty is taking steps toward life. Too much is religious talking about Christ life, where little is known about it, and very little is preached from the pulpits of our churches? Thanks again Tom for your comments.
      Mike Weatherford

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  4. Mike, a verse that comes to me in regard to your comments is Rom 8:10 – ” if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness.” This clearly speaks of our human spirit being life because this statement is conditioned on Christ being in us. In contrast, the Holy Spirit is life whether Christ is in me or not. Our spirit being life is the key to our experiencing Christ as life. Then our mind can be turned to this spirit and partake of life.
    In regard to experiences, we all are like you describe – ebb and flow. Yet, every time we realize that we are away from the Lord, it becomes a reminder to pray or sing or call or praise or give thanks. Then we gradually grow in living Christ. I have also found much support in getting together during the week with others who have the same desire and who exercise their spirit.

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  5. Thanks Don for your reply, I appreciate your insightful comments. Looking forward to reading and following your next posts.

    Mike

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