Thursday, February 5, 2009

Until Christ is Formed........

Earnestly gobbling up my latest new book, by Paul Andersen-Walsh, over here. I am finding a lot of great truths spun in a way that grip me so. Stimulating, refreshing and inspiring! A definite must read! Within the pages of his excellent writing, I am finding many quote worthy phrases, and simply must share them.

"Salvation is not getting your sins forgiven, it is receiving His Life. [John 10:10] It is about what happens in you when you realize and appropriate the love of God. It is the pilgrimage from induction to reproduction."

"Acronym for Grace - God's Ridiculous Agape Captivating Everyone."

"Agape reckons, counts, attributes, infers, judges and weighs (contrary to our expectation) absolutely no evil whatsoever, be it an evil nature, error, thought, feeling or even any action or behaviour, be it base, wrong, wicked, troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive or baneful. Agape reckons it not." ~ The Anderson-Walsh interpretation of 1 Corinthians 13:6a (based on KJV with Strong's Numbers)

"Eros says, "I love you because I need you."
"Agape says, "I need you because I love you."

"Agape rejoices in the Truth. Definition of "Rejoice" - Exults, rejoices, triumphs, expresses great joy, glories in, is jubilant, feels happiness or joy, walks on air, on cloud nine, jumps for joy, ecstatic, wallows.

To describe the Lord God Almighty as the dancing God who rejoices over us with singing is, for many a difficult concept to fit within their religious construct. Yet, He is indeed the Lord of the Dance and it is into that divine rhythmic movement that we have been enjoined. God is in the rejoicing business which is a delight to all but those predisposed to religion.

Whilst this dance is a delight to Prodigals, it is an outrage to Elder Brothers. Who can ever forget the portrait of indignation which is the Elder Brother in the story of the Prodigal Son; how the Elder Brother froze in disbelief which quickly turned into fury as he approached the house and heard the music and dancing [Luke 15:25]?

What great disservice has been done to the Lord and His children by those who have presented Him as the killjoy of the universe?!?! To so many, it seems that John 15:5 has been mistranslated and should read as "because of You, I can do nothing." Far from being a killjoy, our Lord was killed for the joy set before Him [Heb. 12:2] and yet, He is still perceived through the performance-tinted spectacles of the Law as being the "bah-humbugging" Ebenezer Scrooge of the universe with the "church" cast in the role of Bob Cratchit.

The Elder Brothers of this world, just like King David's wife, Michal in 2 Samuel 6, have no interpretative grid for reckoning the Father as being the God who will be even more undignified that the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son. It is simply not a concept on their radar. However, in these days, amidst the dirge of religion, there are those of us who can hear the refrain of perichoresis, the sound of the dancing God."

"Christianity is not a religion; it's the proclamation of the end of religion. Religion is a human activity dedicated to the job of reconciling God to humanity and humanity to itself. The Gospel, however - the Good News of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ - is the astonishing announcement that God has done the whole work of reconciliation without a scrap of human assistance. It is the bizarre proclamation that religion is over, period." ~ Robert Capon

"If [God's] holiness demands something in return from those He loves, it is clear that His holiness makes God incapable of unconditional love! If holiness is a condition, His love is not unconditional. If His nature forces Him to disassociate with certain types of people, His nature stands in the way of His ability to love unconditionally." (quoting Charles Stanley)


Alan Hiu said...

My flesh melted but my spirit rejoices...!!!

Thank yoooou!

Jamie said...

HEY!! Where did you order yours from, Sweet Lyds??? I thought they were IMPOSSIBLE to find...

lydia said...

Steve McVey's site, Gracewalk Ministries, it came lickety split too!! Now I gots to get me, Bonsai Conspiracy, wanna trade?

Jamie said...

The Bonsai Conspiracy I have is Matt's!! LOL But I'm sure he would share. :)

Matthew Campbell said...

Pass it along. My hope is to pass it along to everyone in our blogging community and have each one sign it!

jul said...

Cool idea Matthew!

I loved this quote the best Lydia:

"Eros says, "I love you because I need you."
"Agape says, "I need you because I love you."

It reminded me of a certain love letter I once read, well the first half of the quote reminded me! I'm loving how Jesus is transforming my marriage to look more and more like the second half...I used to strive to be indispensibly useful to my husband, you know, like the proverbs 31 woman. It wasn't very fulfilling.

lydia said...

Alan, always a pleasure to have you are welcome! These truths just cause us to fly in our!


I love that quote too! It's so much better being loved the way Jesus loves and learning from Him loving us first, how to love that way by letting Him love through us, is truly wildly amazing beyond words.........and most definitely fulfilling!!

Phil said...

I think 1Cor13's love is meant to show love's dynamic to 'lift up'/set free from self-sufficiency,self-glorification,etc, the natural expressions of the various relationships,not be better, per se,or exclusive. Don Carson says in his book 'the difficult doctrine of the love of God' that actually,when God reveals his love,the word in scripture is not uniquely 'agape'. Looking through a concordance looks this way,too...I mean, we can only act with our God-given human faculty...and that's no different to anyone else's,in and of itself. Just the believer's got a new spirit,indwelt by the Holy Spirit,and when he walks conscious of his forgiveness/imputed righteousness, the 'body that is dead because of sin'(Rom8v10) with its associated faculties, becomes progressively enlivened to godly use of those faculties...obviously,Paul's got other than a willed altruism in mind in 1Cor13,because he in fact contrasts that (v3) with love...I guess I'm just saying it seems it's not right to say there are different types of love, but different expressions of it...and just like other things, different quality to those expressions,between the believer walking according to his privileges, and the unbeliever- because of the new heart/old heart...just some thoughts.

lydia said...

Hey Phil,
Great to hear from you again! I am trying to track with you here, so bear with me. Apart from Christ we can do nothing! Not even love! So our loving is either Christ's love, agape, or our fleshly or old nature for those who are not yet in Christ, love, which is eros, self gratifying to a degree, love that loves often out of need. We either love by letting Christ love through us, or out of our own flesh. Christ's love is pure, human love is not pure, it can be good in some ways, but not pure!! Different types, different expressions, whatever, it seems we might be saying and believing the same thing, no? Let me know if I am missing your train of thoughts, though....'kay?!
Regardless, I appreciate and value your 'out loud' thoughts on here...............!! Grace and peace!

Phil said...

I'll try and be a bit more clear. I agree,without Christ,no fruit. No 'good',because even if it looks good, out of Christ there's self-righteous,self-sufficient,self-glorifying controlling the thing at the root of the heart...And in Christ,that is not controlling. A new, God-righteous,God- sufficient,God-glorified core of the heart does...but what I mean is that that core of the heart can't work independent of the legitimate,God-intended human faculties we all have. Unbelievers and believers alike. Just unbelievers are slaves to their misuse,believers are free to their being transformed to right use. So 'love proper' is the God-sufficient right use of those faculties. But it's not that unbelievers don't use them,just the product is not qualitatively 'good'. And,the bible doesn't use 'agape' exclusively for ' love proper', as contrasted with 'eros' or 'phileo'. Linguistically, they can all be used(apparently!) of God's love, or 'kinked' expressions of ' love'. So it seems important not to think that ' God's love' expressed by us in any way that doesn't involve all the same faculties that everyone has. Love is love, variously expressed. The love of friendship,sexual love,etc are not inferior human things,in and of themselves. They are various aspects/ expressions of 'love' in varied relationships...They should (and can) by expressions of 1Cor13 love in the believer,sanctified to God. God wants us to live as humans, not some higher 'spirit beings' who think we can operate above our humanity. Rather,God redeems us be transformed into using all our faculties right-and that will be in love, as described in 1Cor13...I don't know if that's any clearer! I'm thinking as I go,some.

lydia said...

So, are you somehow attempting to defend our own human capability of choosing that which is good over evil in how we choose to 'love' as humans? Just checkin', cause it's sounds kinda like you are, but yet aren't at the same time.........The only way we can operate in love is from having HIS DIVINE LIFE live through our human forms! We are higher spirit beings in the sense that we have the very life of Christ dwelling on the inside of us, we ARE seated in heavenly places, the very Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells inside you and me, that is a truth that is mind boggling to try and reason and understand, but it's true, and we will, yes in our human bodies walk out the life God intends as we surrender all our fleshly efforts to do anything ! So from now on, you and I can love others as Christ in us, through us, as us, yes in human form, but not from human effort!!!
For example, the other day, I ran into someone I had let's say a falling out with. I, Lydia, in my flesh, would not have chose to love her the way Jesus wanted, and the Spirit quickened my heart to give her a gift that I happened to have with me for someone else. As the Spirit gave me the idea, my flesh chose to listen and gave it to her. That was me letting Him love her through me. I had nothing I wanted in return, nothing to prove, no reason to impress. Anyway, just thought I'd share we doing here Phil, are we tracking yet, :)

Phil said...

I'm suggesting that genuine spirituality is not just 'feminine'('we are merely expressers of the life of another'),but 'masculine',too. Yes,we can only love by the life of Christ that is in us through the Spirit. But that same Spirit empowers us and enables us to the responsible use of our God-given faculties of soul-mind,emotion,will-and body,as new creations. He doesn't bypass them. And we live as redeemed/renewed humans there. What enables us to walk 'in the Spirit'(which is ALSO by our new spirits) is believing the gospel of the forgiveness of sins,imputed righteousness,new creations. When that's the ground we're on, we don't have to think 'is this God or me'or even 'is this the Spirit or the flesh'. It's God and the new me,and it's the Spirit/my spirit,through the purposeful exercise of my mind and will...we're not limp puppets on a string... 'The flesh',I believe,is the body-not as inherently wrong-but as 'made weak'by itself, by the remnants of sin in it's associated faculties. Those same faculties are renewed to right use-in love-in Christ,by the Spirit,when we walk under grace for life. Free from law-obligations,but not without an active response to love-obligations,because grace has dynamic.

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Phil, you're worse than Norman Grubb...and I always thought he should've been German. In German you can string all these words together without hyphens.

love what you are writing tho.
When we see ourselves as divided from Christ...actually things are much more complex. Take the other thing people fight over...Sovereignty of God versus freewill. In what I call the third level or mature phase of 1John2...we go into action as One thing. We are just so certain of Christ being fused with us...we don't even debate Sovereignty or Free's kind of now irrelevant. Like we learned in meetings, now so on the outside, we feel impelled from our interiors as to what is the next thing to do...and we don't really have to think it out this Him, is this me, is this God's Will, is it my will? We have made the Big decision by the Power of the Spirit working within do His Will and now all smaller decisions kind of ripple out of that.
And in this way...what you are saying makes perfect sense to me...that we use the same surface love tools that any believer or unbeliever has. You don't have to categorise it all. It also sets you free to appreciate what is good/genuine and noble in the love of unbelievers...without going overboard and buying into their sense of "independant existence".
What do you think Lydia Joy. Absolutely fantastic passages by the way... keep it up.

lydia said...

Thanks for helping me see a little clearer what Phil was trying to say...........I certainly don't walk around categorizing love and if I am walking by the spirit or not all the time. But, it is helpful for me to see that could be how I am relaying things possibly, I am still trying to get a hold of it all and learning here. I loved what you said a while back in a comment on my blog, that we can trust this divine life we have, that has stayed with me - so thanks!

Phil said...

Chris and Lydia, not sure that's quite what I meant. I've got serious brain-fog right now and it's past midnight...I guess I was saying I think we should be able to live under grace,while heeding new covenant commands rightly, without having to think 'is this Spirit or flesh'...of the top of my sleepy head,I guess I worry about the sense of being 'fused' with Christ. It can't ever be essential,and we obviously can't claim Christ is responsible for my sinning,which will never be gone before glorification. Where my thinking is on sovereignty/free-will is that God is sovereign and man has freedom to choose what he will. Moderate calvinism. But it's not forefront on my mind right now.