6.3 A God Made Visible
6.3 A God Made Visible
© 2016 Christ Revealed Bible Institute
A God Made Visible
And being found in appearance as a Man, He humbled Himself (Philippians 2:8). Notice that Jesus is the likeness of Man before He is found in appearance as a Man. These are two very different things.
Paul said that we no longer know Jesus in appearance as a Man (that is, according to the flesh). Yet the writer of Hebrews says this: But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God (Hebrews 10:12). It is a Man who possesses the authority of God, yet it is you and I who are now His flesh (Ephesians 5).
Just Like Jesus
It is an awesome and fascinating consideration, that this Jesus who lives in our hearts is, right now, 100% Human, and 100% eternal and omnipresent in His humanity and 100% Personal, Jesus, in us. Yet our physical bodies ARE His one many-membered physical body, the self-same body that rose from the grave, by atoms and molecules. Our physical bodies ARE of His flesh, one flesh with Him. The power of God towards us IS the SAME power swallowing up the appearance of death with Life.
You and I, right now, ARE the appearance of God; we, also are humans, just like Jesus, that is, God revealed.
What Is a God Who Appears in Us?
We know that we bear in our bodies the same revelation of Father through weakness that Jesus bore as He took the whole creation into death. For the death of the Lord Jesus penetrates unceasingly and successfully all the way through all that we are. In exactly the same manner, it is the same life of Jesus that appears, is made clear and visible in full and open view, right now out from within our physical body, our presently dying flesh (2 Corinthians 4:9-11, my paraphrase).
We are finding another question inside the larger question – What is a God who groans in travail to be known? – What is a God who appears in us?
We can consider the question – What is a God who appears in us? – only by considering the appearance of God walking this earth, the Lord Jesus Christ. We shall be like Him as we see Him as He is (1 John 3:2).
While Jesus Himself now appears in us, His body now, yet Jesus retains in the present moment the same relationship with Father that He walked in when He was God’s appearance. And this same Jesus now in us imparts to us that same relationship with Father; the only difference is that our relationship with Father goes through Jesus.
Thus another Human is always our mediator, our connection; we can know Father because we know Jesus.
God is made visible only through symmorphy. God cannot be made visible except through another person.
He who has seen Me has seen the Father … Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? (John 14:9b-10a). Do you see that Jesus bases the appearance of God entirely on symmorphy – Person in Person and Person in Person. Symmorphy always goes both ways.
Then, Jesus established that exact same relationship with us. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you (John 14:20).
Always Extending Himself
Thus we see that the travail of God is part of His being and nature, an action in which God is continuously engaged. God is always extending Himself to be known by appearance. Mega-great is the riddle of devotion: God made visible in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16, modified from the Greek).
So – how are we made part of this continuous exercise of God? What is a God who is made visible through us?
Did you catch Jesus’ words to Philip? – Do you not believe? God IS making Himself visible through us – either we believe that He is or we do not. Most people cannot see God because they refuse.
What Kind of a God?
Yet our purpose in this lesson is not to look at our side of this equation, but rather to consider what kind of a God would share Himself, His Person and Being, His heart and will, with other persons, and particularly with you and me.
First, God has to want to do such a thing. Second, God has to have a purpose for doing such a thing. Third, God has to have the capacity to do such a thing. Fourth, God has to have the means to do such a thing. And fifth, God has to have the opportunity to do such a thing.
Do you see how these words are growing larger and larger? A body You have prepared for Me (Hebrews 10:5b).
But what are we talking about?
Jesus IN Father and Father IN Jesus is beyond us; we can know what this means only by me IN Jesus and Jesus IN me. This statement of Jesus is absolute and total. KNOW that you are in Me and I am in you.
The biggest difficulty found in two persons sharing the same form is two persons sharing the same will. When Jesus makes a decision, I am making that same decision for I am IN all that is He, and when I am making a decision, Jesus is making that same decision, for Jesus is IN all that is me! How can this be?
The Most Impossible Thing
You see, everyone says that God can do the impossible. (In actuality, the Bible does not say that God can do anything, the original words say that God does in fullness all that He speaks. God never does what He does not first speak.)
But here is the MOST impossible thing ever imagined by any human. Two persons, God and me, different in so many ways, yet sharing perfectly the same will – with no force or compulsion, no barks of command or hopping to “obey.” Just is. Just is. Just is.
This is impossible; this is what God says; God causes the impossible to be real.
Word and Spirit
I hope you understand that I do not have a clue what I am talking about. I sit here and poke ideas forward only to give some sort of flesh to this impossible God.
Everything I do and will do God already knows, not as ideas in His mind, but as pro-knowing, that is, already part of God Himself. Yet I am free by the gospel to do anything I want (all things are lawful to me).
Both are true, all the time; there is no fatalism in God. We are talking about the union inside the being and expression of God of Rock and Wind, the union of fixed Word and free-blowing Spirit.
Rock and Wind
Thus we find that God cannot be known, cannot make Himself visible, except by passing through two very different Persons, always together. Word and Spirit – the Person of Jesus and the Person of the Holy Spirit.
What is Jesus? – An immovable Rock. What is Spirit? – An untamable Wind.
In the previous lesson I found myself laying out a fixed Word; in this lesson I find myself bouncing all over the place with no seeming connection from one thought to the next. Word – Spirit: Rock and Wind, always together, always all.
How can I make my own decisions for my life and every decision I make is God’s decision? Does God have the ability to make such a concept my only and always reality? Is He capable of doing such a thing?
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12b-13). My working out IS God working in; God working in IS my working out. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all (1 Corinthians 12:6). Hey, God is the One who says these impossible things, not me.
Is Jesus Capable?
You see, I make decisions all the time that end in disaster. And every Christian teacher or counselor I have ever known will tell me in no uncertain terms that if I think that my foolish decisions, decisions that end in disappointment for others and humiliation for me, are God through me, then I am totally deceived. Every Christian teacher I have ever known is convinced that such a task is impossible for God.
Does God have the capacity for symmorphy? Is Jesus capable of you in Me and I in you? Is my travail God’s travail? Is my suffering His?
Maybe I just want the impossible. Maybe God just wants the impossible. What is a God who wants the impossible?
What capacity inside this God of ours causes this impossible concept, symmorphy, to be our constant reality? One word – EXPECTATION. God expects. You see, the words “hope” and “faith” are encumbered with so many differing connotations. Expectation is God-hope in action.
And what is the underlying assumption beneath the expectation of God? Confidence. Overwhelming and unalterable CONFIDENCE. God expects symmorphy; therefore symmorphy IS. Confidence is God-faith in action.
You see, we are talking about Love. Love carries all for all; Love expects all for all; Love confidences all for all; Love endures all for all. Love never fails; Love does the impossible.
What Kind of a God?
Are we really part of God? Is God really part of us? Is my difficulty God’s travail, the groaning of God’s desire to be seen and known by all? Is everything I go through a sharing of God’s carrying of others? Does God share His carrying of others with me in all of my life’s circumstances?
Is the Love of God shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit? Does God ALWAYS choose the very best means to accomplish the very best purposes? Do God and I together make all things good including all of my foolishness? What kind of a God shares heart with me?
Faith Working through Love
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain (John 15:16a).
A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world (John 16:21). For joy that symmorphy, Christ, a many-membered Body, God appearing in the flesh, has been born into the cosmos.
Two mighty powers working together inside of Jesus inside of me enable me to know it is true: expectation and confidence, otherwise known as faith working through love.
A God Who Does What He Says
It is impossible for God to be known. It is impossible for God to share heart with me, to share will and mind and emotions with me. It is impossible for God to share my body as His own body, yet it is mine, yet it is His. It is impossible, this symmorphy.
God loves doing the impossible.
Know that I am in the Father and you in Me and I in you. By expectation and confidence, God does the impossible.
What is a God who groans in travail to be known? – A God who is and who does what He says.