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Monday, 14 October 2013

The Meaning of Union - Parts I - VIII by David Heisler

It really doesn’t get any better.  Union is not a relationship that can be measured.  It simply is. 

 

 David can be found at 

https://www.facebook.com/david.heisler.7

 

The Meaning of Union I

3 June 2013 at 17:42


In Christian circles the term “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:  “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 be fully aware of it at this moment.  But, there are eternal reasons and meaning for each category.


The Meaning of Union II

4 June 2013 at 17:33


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 – Children, Young Men and Father - 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 far 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.  However, the Child is basically a “taker” and not a “giver”.

In the Child 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, life is wonderful and changing, perhaps rapidly.

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


The Meaning of Union III

5 June 2013 at 17:51


I want to mention my thought on the use of gender terminology in the Bible.  Gender is not relevant.  Young “men” are also young "women".  Fathers are also “mothers”.  God, while normally referred to as Father, is also Mother.  In that regard there could be no human or animal mothers, with all the characteristics normally ascribed to mothers, unless those characteristics came from God and were in fact part of the expression of His Person.

So, we have laid out three basic categories – Children, Young Men and Fathers.  Let’s talk more about Children.  Most, new to Christianity, approach it as one 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 as far off.  He appears to be a separate entity from me.  We seem to exist in the same universe, but He is “up” in heaven and I am “down” here on earth.  But, after salvation - we now know Him, personally, intuitively, and before we did not.  But basically He still appears to be “outside” or “separate” from us.  Christianity is now seen as a thing to be learned, program to do – 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.


The Meaning of Union IV

6 June 2013 at 18:31

I became a believer in Jesus at 18 years of age.  I went from being a practicing Jew to getting baptized and confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church at Sacred Heart University in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Next, I was baptized Southern Baptist at James Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. Then, after learning about commune living at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Houston, Texas, I attended Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts. And finally, got the "Holy Ghost” complete with my own prayer language. All before the age of 20; not bad for a Jewish kid from New York.

I was a 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.  While my life history may be different than yours, we all have the same feelings, emotions and psychology regarding our progression from Children to Young Men and on to Fatherhood.  However, before jumping into the “Young Man” discussion, it is crucial to understand what Christian “growth” means and to review some basics.


The Meaning of Union V

8 June 2013 at 04:05


Consider a human embryo.  Upon conception that human has the genetic potential for all he or she will ever be.  While the human will grow from a microscopic size to a full grown size – the fertilized egg is complete [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.  In fact, better still, a complete person.  The Child will never become more of a Christian or a better person.  The Child will never be closer to God or have more of Him.  The Christian is 100% complete at salvation.

Now, you would never ever 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, or a person, 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 neither external or separate.

You must thoroughly understand the error of seeing yourself as a participant in a self-improvement program – called Christianity – where you equate growth with gaining knowledge and becoming powerful.

The Meaning of Union VI

9 June 2013 at 01:59


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.   And of course, the crucifixion is not just a historical event, but rather eternal.

So, when a person avails their self to the free gift of redemption, a very common prayer used by many upon their first exercise of faith is, “Come into my heart, Lord Jesus”.  Well, that’s actually and precisely what happens.  Why would anyone doubt that?  His Spirit is now joined to your spirit.  His Heart and your heart are one.  An eternal, Holy Union of God to man is created upon that exercise of faith.  It does not get “better” or “more”.  It simply is.  We should be crystal clear on that point.  It really doesn’t get any better.  Union is not a relationship that can be measured.  It simply is. What we are really talking about is “do I know it?”  And the reality is that a Child or Young Man really cannot know their union.  The union is real, but it simply is not for the Child or Young Man to fathom – not at the moment.



The Meaning of Union VII

10 June 2013 at 22:06


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. 

Christian growth is all about understanding who you are – not becoming who you are.  At the moment of salvation His Spirit formed a union with your spirit.  Despite that truth, through the eyes of a Child or a Young Man, He can still seem distant and a distinct Being.

We now enter the Young Man stage.  Remember how John describes the Young Man:   “… I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one….  I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” I John 2.12-14

Young Man emphasis is strength, knowledge of the written word, and power to overcome evil.   Young Man is a necessary stage, but it is just that – a “stage”, not a place to remain.


The Meaning of Union VIII

11 June 2013 at 17:47


You must thoroughly understand the error of seeing yourself as a participant in a self-improvement program – called Christianity – where you equate growth with gaining knowledge and becoming powerful.  For a time you must think it is all “about you” – you are strong – you know the bible – you know how to fight satan – you – you – you.  But this stage must end, and it will, at the end of your rope.  You’ve done that once – come to the end of your rope.  You stopped rationalizing, theorizing and avoiding the truth.  You did exercise that mustard seed of faith and commenced your relationship with the King of the Universe.

Now, as a Young Man you will come to the end of your rope again.  The Young Man will attempt to perfect his Christianity – not knowing it is already perfect.  The Young Man will work very hard at Christianity and may spend many years doing just that.  So, what is the “plan”?   The Young Man approaches Christianity as a religion – a self-improvement religion.  He busies himself memorizing scripture, which is a good thing really, fighting the devil and being proud of how strong he thinks he is.  The Young Man will pray “God fill this place with your Spirit” – or – “God give me the strength, or wisdom or faith or whatever – God give me something so I can do [whatever]”.

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