FRESH MANNA

LIFE UNION

BY:  KENNETH GREATOREX

OCTOBER 2, 2004

There is a secret to the Christian life that is seldom understood, and even if the theory of it is understood, the reality often isn’t. It is because of this that many saints wander around the wilderness, even as Moses and the children of Israel did for forty years, and live in constant frustration battling what is called “two natures.”

The simple choice is seeing Christ or not, to believe we are in Christ, and that Christ lives in us. The other choice is to dwell on one’s failures, which are always magnified the more that you mention them. This is indeed a life of defeat, BUT it need not be so.

The Epistle to the Hebrews was written to those of Jewish birth who were turning back to Judaism. Within the third and fourth chapter of Hebrews is the discussion of why the Jews of old failed to enter into the promises because of their stubborn rebellious unbelief. However, there is a precious promise in 4:9-10: “So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” (NAU)

Indeed there is a REST, a Sabbath rest, for the people of God. What happened on the Sabbath? It was a day of minimal activity, a day of REST. Now, the ultimate of “minimal activity” is no activity, or death which is the cessation of physical life. How do we rest from our works? To do this we must include all of those good works we do to live a spotless holy life, and to try and crucify self, again and again, and again, only to end up in frustrated failure, again and again, and again.

Clearly since our Father’s purpose is to bring us into Sabbath rest, there is only one way, and that is by death. Now, many agree to this, but fail to grasp that we can’t really crucify ourselves. Someone else has to do it. Remember that even Jesus didn’t crucify Himself.

The result of His death was the death to end all death. The power of death was broken by the power of LIFE! The life of God raised Jesus the Christ from the grave and broke the bondage of death.

What does this have to do with us when we live a life of constant struggle? Some used to ask, and maybe still do, “Have you got the victory today?” The answer depended upon both our emotional feelings and our view of God. Remember, “Our view of God affects our theology. And, our theology affects our view of God.” There are some who need to break out of this kind of box as their view of God is a negative view, and so their beliefs are very negative. Jesus told Lazarus, and I appreciate how Jonathan Mitchell translated John 11:43, “Lazarus! Here! Outside!” It is time to hear Him say, “Your name! Here! Outside!” Get out of that religious box!

When Jesus Christ died, you and me, and ALL of humanity died. We were included in His death. When God raised Him from the dead, did He forget you? Hardly! Since you couldn’t crucify yourself, you can’t resurrect yourself. It is ALL GOD!

The church in Galatia had an ongoing problem with the Judaizers who tried to mix law and grace. The Pentecostal world I was raised in did just that, they mixed law and grace – rules upon rule until one never knew where they stood. This thinking came from the holiness movement from which many of those in the early Pentecostal movement came.

Scripture tells us that we ALL were judged by the Law and found to be total failures. The only way out was death. When He died we died! Now, when God our Father raised Jesus Christ from the dead, He also raised us because we were included in His death. As Romans 7:4 tells us, “Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be JOINED TO ANOTHER [married to another or in union with], to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.” (NAU)

To again emphasis this fact, Paul wrote in Galatians 2:19-20 “For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the {life} which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (NAU)

What kind of life are we now living? Or, at least we should be living? A UNION LIFE! As Norman Grubb put it, “Christ is us.” Do we really get the truth of Galatians 2:20? When He died, we died. When He was raised, we were raised. BUT, how do we live? NOT by our old dead life source we inherited from Adam the first. We live with HIS LIFE, God’s Last Adam! This is a LIFE UNION of true LIFE!

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) Why is it, that having come to Christ, we have no rest? He said to “take His yoke.” To take His yoke means to be joined with Him. This is LIFE UNION!

Many years ago we knew a chorus called, “In union with God.” I have changed the wording a bit to emphasis the rest we have in this LIFE of the Son of God.

In union with Christ, there is rest that’s complete

There is peace and there is joy without measure,

In union with Christ, we may sit at His feet,

And enjoy this wonderful treasure.

He’s coming to us, as our hearts yearn for Him,

And we’re joined in the light of His glory,

The Father is pleased, as with gladness we see,

His likeness brought forth, in this union of Love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FRESH MANNA – LIFE UNION [Kenneth Greatorex] 10-2-04       1

 

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