We Have This Treasure in Earthen Vessels

I am seeing that everything we have ever talked about is so very related from Daniel 10, to Israel and the Church, to the defeating of the powers of the air, to apsotolic and prophetic ministry, to faith etc. Do you think at the heart of Apostolic ministry is the formation and developing of real authentic relationships with Jesus Christ while demonstrating and displaying that same nature? Oswald Chambers states that one of sins effects is to be content “knowing about God.” Is inspired waiting in His blood by faith at the heart of resurrection life and revelation? Is a living relationship the key to discernment etc? Even Jesus says His doctrine was not His own. Do we start from the doctrine and try to develope the relationship instead of vice versa?

I think the priestly heart is the defining trait of Christ-likeness, but this is inherent in any “change” that’s worth anything at all. Our problem is that we’ve not seen His heart, since seeing Him as He is results in being made like Him in some true measure. If that’s the key to our final and ultimate transformation, namely, to ‘see Him as He is’, what else could it be now?

This would suggest to me that those who lack a priestly heart, “the broken bread and poured out wine,” have yet to ‘see Him as He is’. Paul “travailed” again till Christ could be formed in his defecting Galatians. Isn’t a kind of travail often (perhaps invariably) involved in our further transformation? Isn’t this why ‘tribulation’ is key to our greater conformity to Christ, because tribulation reduces the opacity of the veil, the strength of which is ‘confidence in the flesh’? Isn’t the veil only penetrated by revelation, and isn’t revelation most often present when the veil has been rent by suffering or by exposure, which brings piercing conviction and thus a death to carnal confidence, and all the vain imaginations of human sufficiency and goodness?

As in prophecy, it is a rule in the personal life  that the kingdom of God and the life of the resurrection always follows the exposure of the ‘man of sin’. Why? Because the removal of ‘the veil of mere human morality’ exposes the concealed root of depravity. This is the meaning of ‘apocalyptic’: to unveil what is otherwise hidden, and the word suggests a kind of violence. It speaks of death to the thing that withholds, that holds back and restrains the inbreaking of the kingdom.

There is only one image with whom God is well pleased – the image of His Son, not humanistic man. The call is to union by faith, but such a faith as follows revelation and is the fruit of regeneration, not its cause. It is the faith ‘of Christ’ as quickened in us by the God that quickens the dead, that quickens ‘whom He will’, since “He is made unto us a quickening spirit.” “Quicken thou me according to thy Word.”

I think of the passage that says “as He is, so are we in the world.” That is a ponderous scripture with ponderous implications. Could it be that we are weak because we do not believe this? This is where the faith of Christ took John, to this conviction of a realized eschatology, but not so ‘realized’ as to ignore an abiding ‘not yet’ of indwelling sin to be continually acknowledged, confessed, and resisted, steadfast in the faith (1Jn 1:8). According to good theology, though so seldom considered or examined for its implications, the believer is ‘an’ incarnation of the living Spirit of Christ in the midst of a weak and faltering humanity. It is the treasure in the clay jar. He prepares a table ‘in the presence’ of our enemies, namely, in the midst of such natural enmity as exists in our nature. The paradox of His life, His nature, and His strength revealed in the weakness and unlikelihood of our nature is the glory of God. We dine with Him in the presence of our enemies, because “as He is, so are we in the world.”

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