Many Believers have a less than adequate view of the Lord’s Table. They see it as an icon representing Jesus’ sacrifice rather than His ongoing life for us. To be more exact the eating of the emblems denotes that what we eat becomes our spirit, soul and body – which is why Paul declared the gospel of Christ our life.
Of course it is about crucifixion but it’s more about resurrection. It’s about His life in us. The real meaning of the Lord’s Table is His life as our life. ‘Those who eat Me will live because of Me’ Jesus said. So it’s about His death and His life in us. His death which ended our Adamic life and paved the way for His incarnation into our being.
ALPHA AND OMEGA
We did not begin in badness and we will not end in it. We were birthed out of the womb of the trinity and have been redeemed into sonship by the divine conspiracy of Father, Son and Hoy Spirit. So not even non-believers are fundamentally bad. We all have the same Father and we all are surrounded by an atmosphere of common grace that is the presence of the Spirit.
Nevertheless we are liberated by complete truth and hindered by partial truth. Spin is always a variety of lie. Spin puts parts of our being to death and which if not repented of can result first in spiritual coma and later in dead folks walking. We originated in God and we are heading into God. There’s a reason why we may speak confidently of ‘glory to glory.’
“The teaching of original sin started us off on the wrong foot—with a no instead of a yes, with a mistrust instead of a trust. We have spent centuries trying to solve the “problem” that we’re told is at the heart of our humanity. But if you start with a problem, you tend to never get beyond that mind-set. From Augustine’s theological no, the hole only got deeper. Martin Luther portrayed humans as a “pile of manure,” John Calvin instituted his now-infamous doctrine of “total depravity,” and poor Jonathan Edwards famously condemned New Englanders as “sinners in the hands of an angry God.” No wonder Christians are accused of having a negative anthropology!” (1)
DEGREES OF BELONGING
It may be seen that there is ‘belonging’ but that some have a more complete belonging than others.
Jesus alluded to this when He spoke of the vine and the branches. Some branches are fulsome and fruitful. Others are skinny, fruitless and withered because their degree of being in Him is truncated and sparse. Jesus makes the same point in the parable of The Sower where the rocky-weedy, stone infested soil cannot grow the Kingdom in fullness because the radical of gift of Christ in us has been only partially embraced or not received at all. This parable about ontology. It is about being rooted in the incarnation and those who are still rooted in the past.
Paul is even more specific on the issue of belonging. Addressing Believers, he wrote, ‘If righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!’ There are degrees of belonging, degrees of life and degrees of fruitfulness. There is ‘belonging’ that produces extravagant life, ‘belonging’ that is notional and ‘belonging’ that produces weeds.
CHRIST ALIVE IN YOU
We are sons of God who can come into our destiny in the person of Jesus Christ and His presence come in our flesh. We are alive in God because Jesus is a real person active in our being.
There are things we must lose if we are to gain our real inheritance. Paul asserts, ‘I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.’
THE NATURE OF YOU
Paul did not cling to the law or the past and did not live to pump-up Judaism. He was the apostle of a completely new and better gospel – a gospel in which we and Christ are one, the effect of which is that we and the trinity are one. In this state of being we are sons in spirit and in truth.
We are not piles of poo and we do not eat it; yet our lives will be degraded and denuded of spirit and life if we absorb theology that is rubbish. Rubbish because it is a distortion of the truth. If eating Christ is life, eating parodies of Him and His gospel is eating dung. Possums, I learned recently, can feed dung to their young. If we do it to each other we are as silly possums because as sons and daughters, we are worthy of eating the Bread of Life and drinking His blood.