Friday 29 April 2011

The Meaning of Union Parts I - III by David Heisler

Facebook Note on Sunday, 03 April 2011 at 16:48
The Meaning of Union I

In Christian circles “union” is used, but what does it mean?

“Union” expresses a “right now” reality for all who believe in Jesus. We all have “union” or are “in union” with God. But we may not know it - yet.

The idea of not “knowing” your union and then moving toward that inner knowing is what I am talking about. The discussion must start with how you perceive yourself at this moment. That might be the key to how you perceive yourself tomorrow. There are three very distinct perceptions. The best scriptural reference I know, and, refer to often, is found in I John 2.12-13
Early Fisherfolk LP (Church of the Redeemer Coffee House- The way IN)

“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.“

John refers to three categories: Children, Young Men and Fathers. To be clear there are not three categories of believers. In fact, the reality is that we are all Fathers – we just don’t all know it. But when we do, we know our “union”. You always are in union with God, but you might not know it at the moment. But, there are eternal reasons and meaning for each category.

The category you find yourself in is merely your perception of yourself. Of course we all have all sorts of perceptions and thoughts, but these are the basic three – at least as far as John saw it.

Now, what does “category” or “perception” mean? “Children” see themselves in a childlike relationship with God. Generally speaking that person is relatively new to the faith. That person might have had a dramatic conversion experience. God, who was afar off, is now near and He is kind and loving and basically, “Daddy”. It’s a sweet time especially for those who really need a Daddy. The Child is basically a “taker” and not a “giver”.

In the [little] Children stage “forgiveness of sin” is big – for many really big. I say that because there are many that come to faith in Jesus with a checkered past. Their life gets a complete makeover upon faith in Jesus. So, knowing the burden and the penalty of sin is lifted and that you have eternal life, because of the vicarious death of the Savior is wonderful and life-changing.

The reality is that you’re not going to stay a Child forever. Some try, but inevitably all will move on.

And, we will talk about that in Part II.

The Meaning of Union II
by David Heisler on Monday, 04 April 2011 at 14:12

So, we have laid out three basic categories – Children, Young Men and Father. Let’s talk more about Children.

Most, when new to Christianity, approach it as you would approach anything new – get with the program - find out what you can - associate with others. Advice is freely given by those more “experienced”.

Up until salvation God is seen afar off. He appears to be a separate entity from me. We exist in the same universe, but He is “up” in heaven and I am here on earth. But, after salvation - I now know Him and before I did not. But basically He still appears to be “outside” or “separate” from me.

Christianity is now seen as a thing to be learned - program to do – the Bible to memorize – quiet times to have – church to join and go to – bible studies to attend. It can all get very complicated very quickly. It did for me.

I became a believer in Jesus at 18 years of age.

Sacred Heart University
Before my 20th birthday I went from being Jewish to getting baptized and confirmed Roman Catholic at Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport, Connecticut; baptized Southern Baptist at James Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas; learning about commune living at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Houston, Texas; attended Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts and finally, “got the Holy Ghost” complete with my own prayer language.

Not bad for a Jewish kid from New York.

I was mess.

What happened? What happened to the simplicity of “Daddy” – my sins are forgiven – and I’m going to heaven?

Well – what happened was my Child stage of Christianity was over and I commenced life as a Young Man.

More on that in Part III

The Meaning of Union III
by David Heisler on Tuesday, 05 April 2011 at 19:44

While my life history may be different than yours, we all have the same exact feelings, emotions and psychology regarding our progression from Children to Young Men and on to Fatherhood

Before jumping into the “Young Man” discussion, it is crucial to understand what Christian “growth” means and to review some basics.

Consider a human embryo. Upon conception that human has the genetic potential for all he or she will ever be. The human will grow from microscopic size to full grown size – but the fertilized egg is a complete human [genetically speaking]. That embryo will never become more of a human being or a better human being.

In the very same sense the “child” Christian – while new in the faith – is a complete Christian. The Child will never become more of a Christian or a better Christian. The Child will never be closer to God or have more of Him. The Christian is 100% complete at salvation.

You would never say that, because a human being is young or small that somehow they are not a complete person. Physical growth does not affect the reality of who a human is.

The confusing point is that as Christians we equate Christian growth with getting closer to God by learning more about Him or living a more ethical or moral existence – doing what “Jesus would do” – becoming more “Christ-like”. This is primarily because in the “Child” and “Young Man” stages God is still perceived as external or a separate Being – which is a misconception – as He is not external or separate.

Reality does not get any more basic than the fact that God chose to deem the entire creation lost - not some more than others – just all lost. All need forgiveness – all need a Savior. What He did at that point did not depend upon a human – with the exception of One – Jesus Christ. The crucifixion is the one and final sacrifice needed to bring the entire creation to redemption.

So, when a person avails themselves of their free gift of redemption, a very common prayer that many use, upon their first exercise of faith is “come into my heart Lord Jesus”. Well, that’s actually and precisely what happens. His spirit is now joined to your spirit. That union [right – that’s what we’re talking about] is created. It does not get “better” or “more”. It simply is. What we’re talking about is “do I know it?” And the reality is that a Child or Young Man really can’t know that – not at the moment.

Church of the Redeemer Houston Texas

So, basically, in a flash you go from lost to found – sinner to saint. There are no better or worse sinners. By the same token there are no better or worse saints. You either are or you are not. So, if there actually is such a thing as “Christian growth”, it is only in the human understanding not in the reality.

More in Part IV

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