JohnSWilson3 Blog


“…the love of Christ,…”
November 27, 2010, 3:02 pm
Filed under: P Letter to the Ephesians

While the first part of chapter 3 of Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus describes in detail his thoughts reference his calling to build the church on the foundation of Jesus Christ, “to preach…the unsearchable riches of Christ,” the rest of Chapter 3 seems to describe Paul’s prayer for how the church is “joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord” and “in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

Because of the fact that “through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known” and this bringing a spiritual battle of much consequence, and knowing the struggle ahead Paul states: “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.” Using the literal version Paul prays that the Father “may give you according to the riches of the glory of him by power to become mighty through the Spirit of him in the inward man, that Christ may dwell through faith in the hearts of you, in love having been rooted and having been founded, in order that you may have strength to apprehend with all the saints what is the breath and length and height and depth, and to know the excelling knowledge love of Christ, in order that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.” We know that the church is “being fitted together” and grows “to become a holy temple in the Lord” and that it is in Christ that we “are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit” but Paul describes in his prayer that this fitting together, this growing, this building together is for a place the “God lives by his Spirit” and it is about experiencing Christ! This fitting together, this growing, this building together of one another is based on us being strengthened “with power through his Spirit” “in the inward man” and He is learned in community. That “inward man” is none other than Christ! We are called “to apprehend with all the saints” “Christ in us, the hope of glory”! To do so enables the family of God “to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”

Christ wants to dwell in our hearts “through faith” and “love.” This can only happen through experiencing Christ together. How much by faith have you apprehended Christ in you, in the body of Christ together? Apprehension of Christ is “rooted and founded” in “love.” Jesus said “A new command I give you: Love one another. as I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus also said “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” and it is the Holy Spirit in us, Christ in us, who reminds us “of everything I have said to you.” Jesus’ command is “love each other.” We cannot even begin to apprehend Christ, to grasp Christ, unless as a body our relationships are rooted and founded in love, but what is amazing is that Christ has already done that! How much effort we make in the flesh to try and will to love others! That is not Christ’s love, that is not having Christ’s power in our “inner being,” that is not Christ dwelling in our hearts through faith. We love because He first loved us and gave himself up for us. How the family of God needs to be founded on the true foundation of Jesus Christ, to learn to live by His life in an inward way! We do not know or trust Christ who lives in us. Let us pray for one another like Paul “that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.”

This again seems to reflect back to Paul’s original prayer at the beginning of his letter “that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” Christ’s power is resurrection and ascension power! And, according to Paul, resurrection and ascension power, the incomparable great power of Jesus Christ our Lord, is for grasping the love of Christ together in the family of God. Christ is the power and wisdom of God! How we need to know Christ, to apprehend Christ’s great love for us together! How we need to learn Christ in an inward way together with all the saints! Only then will we begin to “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.” Christ and his great love is a dominant theme in all of Scripture, why is He and His love not the dominant theme when we gather? We may talk about Christ but do we really know Christ and express Him? Christ must be head of our gatherings if we expect to know Christ together. And because He is Head then the whole body must contribute, must function, must participate in order for all to apprehend Christ and His love together. When we contribute something of Christ with each other, we contribute something of the riches of His glory, the riches of God’s grace, in fact the indescribable gift of God, Christ Himself.

Paul immediately is moved into a prayer to God, and what an amazing prayer! “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” How could we settle for just gathering together to do some thing, to have someone else other than Christ as head? How could we settle for something less than Christ Himself?! The church is called to express “the manifold wisdom of God,” Christ Himself! In faith, in love, in freedom, in boldness, in confidence, not because of anything that we have done but because of everything Christ has done for us and is now living in us! Christ “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine”! Why do we settle for a format or a formula when we gather together? Why does someone think they need to control what happens when the church gathers together?! All of these things “observing the law,” “works of the flesh,” “fine-sounding arguments,” and “human tradition and the basic principles of this world” do nothing for the church except rob it of the awesome power of God for us to love one another freely and joyfully! If “all things were created by him and for him” why do we settle for noncreativity in how we gather together? Our God is so creative! Perhaps we miss the fullness of God because we limit the creativity of His people when we gather together.

How we limit God by our own ingenuity and passivity. How we limit God by our focus on our extroverted and introverted personalities, the flesh. How we limit God by focusing on everything but Christ. Christ lives in us! Christ is our life! Let us live by His life together, in faith, in love, in an inward way, and let us know the love of Christ in His fullness as we contribute Christ to one another. What of Christ can you share with your brothers and sisters? What has He said to you, done in you, or done for you that you could share? How has His love overwhelmed you that could encourage the body of Christ? We will truly begin to know Christ and his great love for us in all His fullness when He is strong in the inward man of all the saints, gathered together with Christ as Head, each member contributing the riches of His glory to and through one another.

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“…according to the purpose of the ages…”
November 26, 2010, 2:35 pm
Filed under: P Letter to the Ephesians

In the first section of Chapter 3 of the letter to the church in Ephesus, Paul describes his calling, as an apostle, as one who has been graced by God to preach and build a foundation of Jesus Christ for the brothers and sisters of God’s family. Paul had earlier mentioned that to the church that they were “no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” And that it is “in him” that “the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord” and that “in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Christ Jesus our Lord is the cornerstone and is the foundation of the body of Christ. He is the capstone, the Head of the body by which the church learns to live by His life together in love for one another.

Chapter 3 seems to reveal more about how the church is built on the foundation of Jesus Christ as Paul immediately states “for this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles…” This section is extremely rich with colorful words of the wonderful descriptions of God’s mystery, His “purpose of the ages” by which God has called Paul and others to preach. I have to say I am still at a loss to some of the imagery, how I too need spiritual sight! Looking at Paul’s words he describes the importance of spiritual sight: “the mystery made known to me by revelation,” “to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,” “has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.” How as individuals and as His body we need what Paul prayed for earlier: “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Lord give us revelation! How often our focus is on the things about God but not on Christ Himself, who lives in us! How we can be very zealous for a lot of good things but miss the best, Christ in us. No wonder Paul was adamant in his letter to the Galatians who were being deceived by false teachers, becoming institutional in their thinking, focused on the shadows and things about Christ, focusing on legalism, etc. drifting from a “sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” “But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.” God is “pleased to reveal His Son in” us brothers and sisters! It is about knowing Christ Jesus who lives in us and is our very life! How we need revelation, spiritual sight, to hear from Christ Himself. Father give us spiritual sight to see Christ in us, the hope of glory!

This mystery is all about Christ Jesus. Christ Himself is “the mystery”! This mystery has “now been revealed by the Spirit.” It is the Spirit that opens up peoples hearts to know Christ! Let us pray that the Spirit would open the eyes of the hearts of not only ourselves and our brothers and sisters to “his glorious grace” but to all who are without Christ, to see His life expressed by His people whether in word or deed. The mystery that God want’s all people to know is that from “ages past” that which “was kept hidden in God, who created all things” desires they know “the purpose of the ages which he made in Christ Jesus the Lord.” That mystery is that by “his glorious grace,” “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” and can know Christ Jesus as Lord and as a result are “joint-heirs and a joint body and joint-sharers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,” the good news! Those who are separated and excluded and have no hope are “now in Christ Jesus…brought near through the blood of Christ.” What joy to know that God no longer holds our transgressions and sins against us! What joy to know that “because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved”! It was by God’s grace that Paul was not struck down and killed where he was but that the Lord revealed Himself to Paul, not just outwardly but inwardly in the inner man, because that is where Christ lives in His people! We “are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in” us!

This mystery of God, Christ in us, creating “in himself one new man” has but one purpose according to God: “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This is the reason for spiritual sight, to know Christ and to live by His life together in unity, in order to express and reveal Christ to one another and the world, both the natural and spiritual! “God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” How we need to know Christ Jesus and Him crucified! To know that we “have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” How we need spiritual sight to see what Christ has done for us, to know His great love for us! Because of who we are in Christ, that He is our very life, any brother or sister “in him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” The literal words are “boldness and access in confidence through the faith of(in) him.” Do we know brothers the freedom and confidence that we have right now in Christ Jesus! “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” We literally with boldness go to Christ, who lives in us and have confidence that He hears us. It is “the Spirit (that) helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” How often He speaks to me without words. How we need to learn to listen to Him, to Christ in us, that is spiritual sight.

When the body of Christ truly begins to live by His life, “the manifold wisdom of God (being) made known…in the heavenly realms” we will be attacked by the enemy. No wonder Paul interjects with the thought that “I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.” Christ is often most revealed in our sufferings. How is our spiritual sight, knowing Christ Jesus with one another? This is not about doing some thing, it is about having life together, having Christ Jesus as Lord and Head together, knowing Him in the inner man together. That is the foundation, that is how we are “joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord” and “in him (are) being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” If we do not know and love one another as Christ does, if He is not Head and Lord then we have a poor foundation. No wonder there are so many divisions among God’s people. How the Lord must grieve. But Christ is not divided! He is our fortress, He is our refuge, He is our life – live by Christ. He is the purpose of the ages!



“…members of the family of God…”
November 20, 2010, 4:38 pm
Filed under: P Letter to the Ephesians

Finishing chapter 2 of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, Paul brings up the practical realization of his thoughts about how Christ Jesus “is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.” Paul told the churches in Galatia that “Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” To the church in Corinth Paul told them that “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” And just earlier he had written to the church in Colosse that “Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” How we divide over so many things in the flesh! But in Christ they have all been “destroyed,” “though the cross” Jesus “put to death (the enmity in himself.” In Christ there is only “one new man”! Christ wants a place to dwell! That’s how Christ sees the church, that’s Christ’s focus, and so should it be in His body and so it is meant to be experienced by His life together.

So Paul confidently informs those who are in Christ that “no more are you strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow-citizens of the saints and members of the family of God…”(1) How difficult it is for those who are without a family, those who are homeless or orphans or widows living “in…distress” but when they are brought into Christ they are brought into His family. What joy it is for these who have lived in such distress to now learn true love in the family of God! But how many who live in a natural family, being “dead in your transgressions and sins,” following “the ways of this world,” also live in distress emotionally or physically because of the hurt, abuse, and deceit that can destroy any human life. We who are in Christ are no longer strangers and sojourners, estranged in our relationships with others, journeying but never finding love, find in Christ a family built on Christ, His life, His love. We are members of one body, fellow citizens, heaven is our home, and we are His people, all because of Christ and what He has done for us! No wonder Paul says that “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom all the building being fitted together grows into a holy shrine in the Lord, in whom also you are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit” (2). Christ is to be the central Person that the body of Christ follows and it is spiritual life! He is the One appointed as “head over everything for the church, which is his body” and we are His “fullness” and it is His life through His family, expressing Him together “fills everything in every way” with Christ.

It was “the apostles and prophets” who were and have been called to go and to proclaim “the unsearchable riches of Christ” helping to form His church in every place for all those who would call upon the name of the Lord. And it is through “the apostles and prophets” that the family of God learns to live by His life together, committing them “to God and to the word of his grace.” A lifestyle of “sincere and pure devotion to Christ,” doing “everything in love.” This is not based on “observing the law,” by “human effort,” “human tradition and the basic principles of this world,” etc. but “on Christ.” Christ Jesus is the cornerstone. There is only one foundation that can be laid and that “is Jesus Christ.” This seems to be the same thought that Paul shared with the church in Corinth many years earlier. Here Paul uses a couple visual descriptions of the family of God, “a holy temple in the Lord” and “a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” This seems to relate to the children of Israel while in the wilderness, where they put together the pieces of the tabernacle, each family of the Levites doing his work in helping construct it. The tabernacle was the place God would dwell within the midst of the Israelites. But now, in Christ, it is Christ who does the work, it is the Spirit of Christ in us who is fitting each member together, and as as He does so we together will grow “into a holy shrine in the Lord,” and it is also in Christ who is building us together “into a dwelling place of God” and it is “in spirit.” No wonder Paul’s prayer in the very beginning is that we “may know him better!” This knowing Christ is through “the eyes of (our) hearts,” it is spiritual sight, seeing Christ together in an inward way, that we know Christ better, as T. Austin-Sparks would say. How we need a proper foundation! Christ is that foundation, not any thing or someone else! (3)

How often, like a teenager, we are either impatient to grow up or reluctant to grow up. Almost a kind of schizophrenia. Both breed selfishness and are of the flesh. How the body of Christ needs “apostles and prophets” to help the body move forward to maturity to live organically by the life of Christ. Sadly from my perspective too few abound who have lived by the organic life of Christ in a “sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” Those who perhaps have this kind of calling have only lived in the institutional form of religion and so, like any of us, they do only what they know, institutionalism, which is nothing more than “observing the law,” by “human effort,” “human tradition and the basic principles of this world,” etc. but not “on Christ.” How the body of Christ needs to reclaim the thought of God that we are His family, built on Christ, a foundation of a sacrificial loving relationship with Christ and one another. This takes time, being fitted together, being built together “in him” (3). We are too impatient or reluctant to move forward in our relationships with one another. We make too many excuses, we are too selfish. God remove our heart of stone towards You and one another and give us a soft heart, spiritual sight, to step out on faith and love one another unconditionally, without the trappings of religion, as Christ loved the church.

(1) Literal translation from Alfred Marshall, The Interlinear KJV-NIV Parallel New Testament in Greek and English, 1975, The Zondervan Corporation, 567.
(2) Ibid.
(3) I like Andrew T. Lincoln’s thoughts about this passage. He points out a couple interesting features of this idea of Christ being the cornerstone and how it relates to Christ’s headship and His exalted position of centrality and supremacy over all things. He brings up the idea how other commentators have found evidence that the word “cornerstone” actually has dual meanings, not just that of a cornerstone to a foundation. One being a “top stone” such as “head of the wall” and in another instance mention is made from an ancient quote how “there was a great corner stone which I wished to set as head of the corner by way of completing the temple of God…and he went up the ladder carrying the stone and set it on the summit of the entrance to the temple.” He quotes S. Hanson that “He is not one of the stones of the foundation in common with the Apostles, even if He is a cornerstone, but He is the top stone of the pinnacle of the building.” Of course Lincoln makes a point how Paul “views the Church as already Christ’s fullness and yet at the same time as having to attain that fullness…a body growing up into Christ as the head. So here, on the one hand, the Church is pictured as a finished structure with Christ as the top stone, and yet, on the other hand, it must grow into a temple in him…the apostles and prophets…are foundational, but he is the keystone which crowns the whole building.” Andrew T. Lincoln, Word Biblical Commentary: Ephesians, Volume 42, Word Books, 1990, 154-155.



A Proclamation: To the People of God (A Psalm to be Read)
November 17, 2010, 3:29 am
Filed under: 1B Favorite Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

My hand at putting some words by Kat Huff to the a tune for the body of Christ. After trying it out it seems better to be read as a psalm than sung as a song!

A Proclamation: To the People of God
Words by Kathy Marie Huff
(to the tune of “Let it Snow”)

Together, we are to be One
The Sons of God, Ecclesia
Expressing our Lord Jesus
Every moment of existence

Let’s turn around now and see Him
Not on His things we admire
But focus on Jesus Christ
Unite in Life, not in religion

The Dwelling place of the Father
Living in Him with one another
He is our Head our body life
We are the Bride of Glory

United as God’s free people
The Body of light a Fam’ly
People of God see Him as One
B-y One, f-or One, and in One 



A PROCLAMATION: TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD by Kathy Marie Huff
November 14, 2010, 1:34 pm
Filed under: 1- Discovering Organic Church Life Testimony, 1A - Spiritual Notes

A PROCLAMATION: TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD

Together, we are to be One,
By One, for One, and in One—
Jesus Christ our Lord.
We are the Bride of Glory,
The Dwelling Place of Father,
The Ecclesia Family,
The Sons of God,
The Body of Light, Truth,
Resurrection Life and divine Unity.
Unite in Life, not in religion,
Nor buildings of institution,
Nor by programs, nor missions,
Nor interpretations, nor religious doctrines,
Nor politics of the nations,
Nor organized ways of man,
But as God’s free people
Living Him within one another,
Expressing only Jesus Christ.
He is our Head, our body Life
In everyday experience;
Every moment of our existence.
Let’s turn around now, and see Him.
Not His things we admire,
But focus upon the Face of Jesus Christ.
This is a proclamation to unite
As One people of God, and see Him as One,
But if you are listening
With the eyes of your heart,
You will hear the words cry.

by Kathy Marie Huff



My thoughts on “95 THESES TO THE MODERN EVANGELICAL CHURCH by Greg Gordon”
November 7, 2010, 1:43 am
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes

http://95moderntheses.wordpress.com/

“the problem is institutionalism. Almost everyone of these “theses” finds its genesis in the fact that Christ is not Head of His body but a person, a method, or a thing. God’s people do not know how to live by their indwelling Lord because they are taught to sit and listen to someone preach, so spiritual instincts are deadened and deformed. We do not live a shared life together as a family as a body of Christ, we are too focused on an individual Christianity with individual Christian disciplines versus a face to face participatory life in Christ, a “go to church” mentality versus a “being the church” actuality, pastor as head versus Christ as Head, a leader focused and control oriented organization versus a Christ as sole Leader who leads organically through any He chooses at any time within the His body for the building up of the body, a consumer oriented and programmed lifestyle versus bearing our cross daily and helping one another, a building maintenance money fixated philosophy versus loving our neighbor and one another sacrificially. As Christ said, “I will build my church.” “The world will know that you are my disciples because of your love for one another.” We are too overly protective to the detriment of the life of Christ in His body and therefore the problems we see. We do not trust Christ to be Head of His body. We do not really love one another.”



“For he himself is our peace…”
November 6, 2010, 2:49 pm
Filed under: P Letter to the Ephesians

As I continue to read Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, in chapter 2, I notice that Paul seems to go back to reflect life without Christ and then life with Christ, some new aspect about Christ, the riches of having Him as our life.

Immediately after Paul describes the church as being “his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way” Paul describes how we “were dead in your transgressions and sins…objects of wrath” but then gloriously describes how “God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved…” Now after describing that the church is “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” Paul now goes back and describes when they were without Christ’s life.

“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called ‘uncircumcised’ by those who call themselves ‘the circumcision’ (that done in the body by the hands of men) – remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.” Paul describes how lost we were without Christ being “separate,” “excluded,” “foreigners,” “without hope,” “without God.” Without having received Christ Jesus as Lord, while we may enjoy life in this world and all that it can offer, in reality not having Christ is not having real life. How often we feel lost when someone separates from us, perhaps in a divorce or losing someone special, when someone excludes us from being with them, when going to another country with the culture shock, or when everything seems to fall apart and it seems like there is no hope. And inferred by Paul, excluded by those who think themselves spiritually superior, ‘the circumcision.” How much enmity there is in this life! But in Christ that is no longer true. While those things may happen in the flesh, they are not so in Christ. “But now in Christ Jesus you who were once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” Amen!

Paul now describes why this is so: “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.” There are so many ways we can put up barriers with each other, so many dividing walls that we can bring up against others, things that bring anger and hostility. All of them have been “destroyed” by Christ when He died on that cross and then rose again! Paul seems to bring a reflection from his letter to the church in Colosse here: “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” But how quickly, when not living by His life do these things come back to bring division in the body of Christ, that which was destroyed by Christ! Not realizing our flesh has been crucified, we can quickly bring a barrier, a dividing wall of hostility between one another in the body of Christ. Our supposed superior spirituality and superior knowledge; lording it over others; judging others for any reason, having a critical spirit; bullying others, being arrogant toward others; submitting to rules, regulations, and human traditions; controlling others through a charismatic personality; being impatient toward others; not willing to listen to others; etc. All of this is flesh, this is NOT living by the Spirit of Christ, the fruit of which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self control.” How we need to see what Christ did for us on the cross! “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery…the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

“His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” How He loves us! No wonder Paul wrote earlier: “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” How, by living according to the flesh, we lower ourselves, lower Christ in the eyes of the world. We have been “raised up with Christ”! We formerly lived according to the flesh, but now we live by the life of Christ! He is our peace! Anything that we can hold against someone else, that wall of hostility, has been destroyed in Christ!

Together, brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to see our flesh as already been crucified, so we can listen to our indwelling Christ and live by faith by His life! “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Brothers and sisters let us be careful of things or of those who would cause us to become suspicious of one another, to put a dividing wall of hostility between us. The flesh is deceitful it is not to be trusted. Satan loves to send himself or a messenger as an angel of light to deceive us “by fine sounding arguments” and cause us to be taken “captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Even things that seem spiritual, religious can divide us if we are not discerning. We are one in Christ! Christ cannot be divided, not even by those things we bring up against one another. How we should mourn when others bring things into the body to divide us. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble…The Judge is standing at the door.”

We need to see ourselves as members of His body, His sons and daughters, His family, every member having something special, something of the richness of Christ, His great love, to share with each other in freedom! “For through him we both, have access to the Father by one Spirit.” May we live by His life, “for he himself is our peace”!