YOU ARE HIS PRESENCE
Some people think ‘the presence’ comes as a manifestation. But the presence is always in us as incarnation. Years ago I read of the experience of John White, who while ministering declared the words, ‘Come Holy Spirit.’ The church was instantly filled with the manifest presence of God with signs following.
Richard Rohr tells of the Holy Spirit falling on a Catholic Youth Group that lasted for days. This presence is real and healing to those who experience it. Nevertheless it is not the basis of the Christian faith. The atonement is this basis.
IN THE CROSS OF CHRIST WE GLORY
The atonement-incarnation gives rise to the direct mediation of Christ is the foundation. A gospel of signs, healing and gifts is not a Full Gospel. The full Gospel grows out of union with God.
NOT BY EFFORT
Commenting on the reality of our union with God, John Crowder writes. “We now have five hundred years of grace theology under our belt, to know that mystical union with God is not achieved by our own effort. It happened in one fell swoop on the cross of Christ. Just as ascetic disciplines do not bring us into union, neither do experiences themselves. [God does in Christ].
“Many mystics taught that union itself was an experience. But I am teaching that WE CAN EXPERIENCE THE UNION WE ALREADY HAVE.
Ecstatic encounters and visions do not make us one with Christ. However, faith in the work of the cross does. [The gifts can be experienced by people who do not live in oneness with Christ because they are still in their minds living in Adam’s separation from God]
“Trusting in Christ’s work can and should produce all manner of supernatural manifestations. Union itself is not a subjective experience that is attained by our interior efforts. Does union produce subjective or “felt” experiences? Yes! But the union is not dependent on those experiences, anymore than it is attained by human effort.”
MADE ONE TO LIVE IN ONENESS
Miracles of healing point to Christ and reveal the love of God. But they are not the full Gospel and are not the at-one-ment of God. The cross is.
Christ your life is your foundation in the Kingdom of God. Do without this and you have something that is ephemeral, unreliable and not the Kingdom of God.
Due to the incarnation, ‘You are his presence.’ Because you are His Presence you are the hope of a chaotic and distracted world.
Thomas Torrance wrote, “We are united to Christ who is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, and participate in the risen Humanity of Christ so that we are bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh.” John wrote this as Christ come in our flesh which is the true meaning of being the Body of Christ. We can if we choose to deny this live Adam as our flesh which places us in the body of death because of separation from God. But we are not separated since the cross. On the cross Jesus declared separation finished. Before His cross, Jesus said, “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” John 14.20. This union with God is yours today. It’s your normal Christian life. Not a religious life but a life in which your everyday is lived in a union with God that has been won for you by Christ.