Introduction to SymmorphyIntroduction
Paul said in Ephesians 3:17 that Christ lives in our hearts by faith. This is an extraordinary concept: salvation means that another Person has taken up residence inside of us.
Let’s think that one through. My body-soul-spirit contains two persons. One of those persons is me and one of those persons is Jesus.
Then, in Ephesians 3:19, Paul claimed that the purpose of Christ living in our hearts, the goal of salvation, is that we would be filled with all the fullness of God. John confirmed that same incredible reality as he remembered Jesus’ words in John 14:23, that Jesus and the Father both would come to us and make Their home in us.
So now it is three persons, all sharing the same body, soul, and spirit. And we must not leave out the Holy Spirit, for Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6 that the Holy Spirit lives in our bodies, yes, but even more incredibly, that our spirit and the Holy Spirit are one spirit.
So, I am sitting here at my computer desk, typing these words onto the page. I look down at my form. The form that I see contains me, of course, yet, according to the gospel, this same form also contains all of Almighty God in Person.
How does this work?
And if this be true, why is no one in Christianity wondering what it means?
I want to challenge you to show me the verse in the Bible in which God states that salvation means that we “go to” heaven after we die. And please, don’t twist the words to force them to say something other than what God actually says.
I am confident that you will find no such verse. The concept that salvation means where one goes after physical death is not from the Bible. I can argue, quite convincingly, that it comes out from gross unbelief and the victory of death over the church of Christ.
Now, I am not suggesting there is no heaven, nor that believers who have lost their physical bodies are anything other than tucked into Christ in the heavens right now.
BUT – that is not Biblical salvation.
I have taken this brief detour away from the primary topic of this text only because I know that the idea that “salvation is ‘going to’ heaven after death,” stands as the mightiest enemy inside the church of Jesus Christ right now, preventing almost all Christians from even thinking about what God might actually mean by salvation.
Let me give one definition of salvation.
Salvation means that Jesus lives inside of me, and I know this salvation by faith. And Jesus is in me by the Holy Spirit, and with Jesus comes the Father.
I have zero thought of a “Jesus up in heaven.” Those who think in such a way are oblivious to the Person alive, personal and real, filling their hearts with all of His glory. I cannot imagine such a state of gross blindness.
But not us. We see Jesus; when we look down at our chests, when we consider our own hearts, when we look in the mirror in the middle of the night, all we can see is Jesus. And His glory and wonder, His joy and goodness simply consume our every thought.
But what are we saying? Let’s think this through.
How many Persons inhabit my form? Well, that’s a bit much, and God knows it’s a bit much. For that reason, He sent His Son to come into my heart first, that I might know the Father through Jesus. Jesus is at my level; Jesus I can comprehend and know. I am well able to lean my head against Jesus’ breast, having lived that way for years.
The Holy Spirit never speaks of Himself, coming first only to prepare the way for Jesus. The Father is always and only inside of Jesus, who Himself is inside of Father.
But it is Jesus that we must know, this One who lives in our hearts. How does that work?
How can two persons share the same form?
How can two persons share the same body? The same mind? The same heart? The same emotions? The same will? The same spirit?
How do we live in the same body with God?
Paul was audacious and daring when it came to declaring his take on God. He found two tiny phrases in the Old Testament, just two. And he used those tiny phrases – Abraham believed God and He accounted it to him as righteousness and the just shall live by faith – to obliterate every commandment to obey found in the Old Testament (Galatians 3).
Paul also invented a number of words, right out of thin air. He did so, probably, because no word in his knowledge of the Greek vocabulary came close to fitting the burning reality of what salvation IS that consumed his heart.
And so, as Paul was writing the most important chapter of his career, Romans 8, he was thinking, deep in his spirit, hardly even knowing what it was he was seeing, Paul was thinking about this question of Jesus living in our hearts and us living only in Him. He was thinking about two persons sharing the same form.
But there was no Greek word to express any such thing, so Paul made one up.
Symmorphos. — Sharing the same form.
And Paul place this newly coined term at the center of the most important verse in the Bible, the verse that declares the purpose and determination of God - Romans 8:29.
Conformed to the image of His Son.
As I have been thinking and writing about Jesus alive in my heart, about Father filling me full with all of His fullness, for several years now, this same question has grown in my own heart that filled Paul’s. How can two persons share the same form?
Quite a number of Greek words became English words simply because they were in the Greek New Testament translated into English, words like agony and energy, crisis and pathos.
The English word “conformed” cannot reveal to us what the Spirit of God really meant when He breathed the word symmorphos through Paul’s mind and fingers. For that reason, it is my intention to bring Paul’s invented word at the heart of his gospel directly into English.
Symmorphy and all that it means will become the most important single word in all human language. Symmorphy is the only source of the new creation.
You in Me and I in you.
Jesus and us, utterly together, sharing the same form.
Although I have been writing for several years now about Jesus and the Father dwelling inside of us, and although I have been calling Romans 8:28-30 the most important verse in the Bible for many years, Paul’s invented word, symmorphos, at the center of Romans 8:29, did not enter my full awareness until I wrote the third chapter of this book, “Conformed to His Image.”
Even then, I did not think of it any further than what the English word “conformed” allows. For that reason, my personal confession of Romans 8:29 was simply, “God is determined to conform me to the image of Jesus Christ, to make me just like Jesus.” Then, as I was writing the fourth chapter of this text, “The Image of Christ,” in the lesson devoted to symmorphos, I understood that Paul had invented his word to follow a very specific pattern of logic.
For that reason, I will call the following sub-section, found in 4.3 Symmorphos, the most important concept found in this book.
Formed Together. We could never become like Jesus except Jesus first becomes us. And thus I have defined symmorphos in this way. Symmorphos: formed together with, having the same form, being fashioned together.
“Synchrony” does not mean one time becoming another; it means two things sharing the same time. “Sympathy” does not mean one feeling becoming another feeling; it means two people sharing the same feeling.
Symmorphos does not mean me, now one thing, becoming some other form, it means two people, Jesus and I, becoming one form. It means utterly braided together.
But let me back up just a bit. Before I began writing this text, the question, how do we live together in one body with other Persons, with All of God, had taken front and center for me in my writing. I wanted to explore that concept, but was not sure exactly how. Then, as the Lord led me to write this course on the pattern of the ten most important verses in the Bible, the specific manner in which He wanted me to discover this word, symmorphy, was set before me.
If the fullness of the gospel is the Father obtaining for Himself a body through which He can be seen and known by His creation, if my experience of full salvation is living and walking, thinking and breathing together with the Person of the Father inside of Jesus inside of me, and me inside of Him, if another Person, God Himself, fills my person full with all that He is, then I want to know what on earth this symmorphy means.
More than that, if symmorphy is the purpose of the gospel and of all God’s intentions, then our understanding of everything in the Bible must change to fit this incredible reality.
Romans 8:29, conformed to His image, symmorphy, rules over everything else found in the Bible and in creation.
And thus this text, with others to follow, is written for that purpose, to recast everything we know of God, Jesus, salvation, and us as we really are inside this most incredible reality that is ours forever, Symmorphy, God and us, two Ppersons as one, sharing the same form, one body together.
A Discipline of Study
Symmorphy, two persons sharing the same form in every possible way, Person inside of person, one divine and the other human (you and me), is Salvation. Salvation is symmorphy.
More than that, everything of the new creation, the only creation that exists for real, the new creation that is swallowing up all the false appearance of the old into itself, all of this new creation flows, not out of Jesus “up in heaven,” but out of Jesus alive in our hearts. Everything of the new creation will come out of symmorphy, out of Jesus and us sharing the same form.
We conclude also that symmorphy can exist only between God the Father through Christ Jesus (the Logos) and humans, His elect. No other entities are capable of symmorphy. Yes, Paul stated that demons live inside of and work out from all humans who are unregenerate, but that mimicry of symmorphy is false and its false appearance is passing away.
But we come back to the incredible questions sparked by the real meaning of salvation.
How can two persons share the same form? How can two persons share the same body? The same mind? The same heart? The same emotions? The same will? The same spirit?
How do we live in the same body with God?
In actuality, we are speaking of a new discipline of the sciences, a study of concrete reality.
Symmorphy. Biology is the study of life; geology is the study of the earth; anthropology is the study of man; theology is the study of God. However, since chemistry is the study of chemicals, we will refrain from adding “ology,” retaining the simple form of “symmorphy” as the name of this new discipline, central to the knowledge of all things.
Symmorphy as a discipline:
1. The study of God and man fused together in one form.
2. The study of the interconnections between God and man by which two Ppersons exist together as One.
3. The study of those elect who are symmorphosed with God, their qualities and actions, God through them.
4. A discipline of the sciences; the science of the fusion of God and man together, of their internal functioning, shared communion, and outward expression.
As a discipline, then, the study of Symmorphy takes on certain specific forms.
First, the study of symmorphy rejects all discussion of the “things of” God apart from the Person of Jesus and the Person of the Father inside of us. The study of Symmorphy rejects referring to “heaven” when we mean, in actuality, the Person of God. The study of Symmorphy requires our knowing of God only inside of and out from our own hearts.
Second, the study of Symmorphy approaches the Bible differently than typical Christianity does. Here is the definition of “the Bible” central to this study.
Defining the Bible. God unfolds Himself to be known by His creation first as Word, the All-Speaking of God. This Word comes by the Holy Spirit into the hearts and mouths of those to whom God reveals Himself. That Word in their hearts and mouths remains the Lord Jesus Christ in Person.
These to whom God has given His Word speak that word into the hearts and mouths of their hearers; they also write it down sometimes. There the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ in Person, sits quietly upon the page.
Jesus in Person. Then I, Daniel Yordy, read those words. They come into me by the same Holy Spirit through whom they were spoken and written. As I look into the eyes of my Father, I hear Him speaking the creative Word of Christ into me. I believe that word, not as something on the outside of me that I must “perform,” but as Christ Jesus in Person on the inside of me now living as me and now fulfilling through me all the All-Speaking of God.
From this definition of the Bible and of Jesus alive in our hearts, we then conclude that the entirety of Symmorphy as a disciplinary study must first be personal, relating entirely to the person doing the study in their own knowledge of Jesus alive in them. In contrast, those studying the social sciences in this world have attempted to become entirely impersonal, rooting out all qualities of personhood in their written study. Their idea is that this keeps the discipline more objective, and thus more “scientific.” Whether that is true or not is outside the scope of this text. However, the rule in the study of Symmorphy must be the opposite.
If Christ is not Personal and alive inside the person sharing about “conformed to His image,” Person inside of person, then all words spoken or written must be completely separate from any study of Symmorphy. Thus you will find, all through this text, what appears to be violations of the “rules of research” found in most disciplines; you will find me talking about Jesus and me together, all the way through.
Consider this. Paul’s most frequent topic through all of His letters was not us in Christ and Christ in us, but rather himself, “I, me, my, us, we, our.” To Paul, Christ in me was utterly personal. Thus we conclude that anyone not speaking of “Jesus and me together in all things” cannot be speaking of Symmorphy.
Finally, in this study of Symmorphy, and through the writing of this text, one picture coming into my understanding has served as the largest impact upon my own knowledge of God, my own understanding of Symmorphy. That picture is the structure of human DNA.
We understand that the entire pattern and design of the human body is found in the DNA molecule. Every cell in the human body is formed out from that pattern.
The DNA molecule is one of God’s most incredible inventions; He formed it entirely out from Himself, out from Jesus who is that same pattern design for all humans, and especially for the elect of God.
Thus if we want to begin to understand the answer to this question, how can two persons share the same form, we will understand it best by beginning with the model of the DNA structure, Father and us entwined together connected at every point by every Word that is Jesus alive in our hearts.
This text, Symmorphy I: Purpose, is the first part of the study of Symmorphy, an introduction to Symmorphy. Beyond this introduction, then, by God’s grace, will come four more texts of the same form and length developing this study of Symmorphy both inside and out.
Symmorphy II: Essence will seek to define the true essence of God, of Christ, of man, and of salvation in light of Christ alive in our hearts. Symmorphy III: Kingdom will explore the outward expression of God and man together. Symmorphy IV: Covenant will delve into the internal functioning of God in us. And finally, Symmorphy V: Life will discover what God really wants to look like in His appearance, a family of people living life together, loving one another.