23.3 The Riches of Christ
23.3 The Riches of Christ
© 2017 Christ Revealed Bible Institute
The Riches of Christ
The ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me (John 14:30).
When Paul compared putting on the Lord Jesus Christ with the armor and weaponry of a Roman soldier, he did not intend for us to fantasize childish images of donning plastic “spiritual” armor. “I’m putting on my breastplate this morning.” He meant for us to put the Lord Jesus Christ upon all that we are, spirit, soul, and body, to call ourselves by Christ alone.
I chose the term “riches,” a close synonym of “abundance,” to express all that is Christ being placed upon all that we are. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
Towards Your Needs
Wow, here is another verse poorly translated to perpetuate the image of a faraway God barely connecting to Christian scarcity. Let’s try it as God means it and from the Greek. But my God fills you full towards your needs first, but more importantly towards your task, and He fills you full down to the finest details of His abundance and wealth as they are found inside all the sphere of glory inside all the sphere of Christ.
As we walk as one Pperson with our Father through these final years of insanity, nothing is withheld from us. The word “needs” does mean our personal needs, yes, but it also includes the meaning of the task in hand, that is, setting creation free.
Two Double Pictures Together
The weapon I am reaching for is found at the conjunction of two pairs joined together, four different things in connection. On the one hand, putting upon ourselves all the wealth of Christ as spoken in John 17 is joined together with the ruler of this world coming and possessing nothing in us. And on the other hand is the action of Elijah, breaking the image of the serpent joined with establishing the true image of God in the earth, a body of people IN love with one another. And it is as these two double pictures merge together that we will find the weapon for which I am seeking.
As I read through Chapters 3-5 of this text, I saw how clearly the weapons of our warfare are found inside the glory of Christ.
Upon the Most Offensive
But in order to discover what we are searching for, let’s keep writing. In Session 21: Life Laid Down, I engaged personally with the Lord Jesus regarding His no consciousness of sins towards me in my moments of sinful action. And then I suggested that no consciousness of sins towards one another IS God among us.
It is much easier to place the riches of Christ upon my own stumbling and failure and upon my own hurt than to turn and place those same riches of Christ upon those who have done me the most wrong. But this also we must do.
God Between All
I think of the two individuals who have done me the most wrong in my life. These are Spirit-filled Christians who earnestly seek God, yet they continue in that same mind that has done so much damage to so many. Placing Christ Jesus as their only connection to me, and mine to them, is not something I want to do. In fact, it has been only four years since I was last hit by the reality of these two individuals together, and it was a horror and a nightmare for me that I endured only by casting myself utterly into Christ as all that I am. Here is my problem. For God to be all between me and you, God must also be all between me and them.
Love One Another
Father is our first and greatest weapon, overcome evil with good, but Christ Jesus is our second and deepest weapon. Here is the weapon I was looking for. Love one another as I have loved you (John 15:12).
The offensiveness of a Christian leader is more difficult to bear than offense from any other source. We are dealing with the image of God.
In the exact same way that I put the Lord Jesus Himself in Person upon myself in each moment of my wickedness, so I put the same Lord Jesus upon this offensive Christian “authority over me” in every moment of their continued offense. This is not something I want to do.
Nothing in Me
You see, it’s one thing when someone who has offended you repents of their actions and humbles themselves before God. But when the offender continues in offense, not seeing it at all, but continues convinced that he is “the man with the word” and that all his actions are right and “of God,” right up until death, that is a greater matter. Neither the offender nor the offense has anything to do with this mighty weapon of our warfare.
The ruler of this world comes and finds nothing in Me. He is looking for his own image of God in my consciousness, but the real image of God, what God actually looks like, is a Man rising to His feet in Gethsemane.
– Love one another AS I have loved you. –
I do not look for teaching or insight anymore from any other source. The reason is that I want something from God and I will have what I want. And when I look elsewhere, I see that “this wonderful ministry” or “that man of power” is NOT taking me where I will go.
God has spoken these words and I will have them fulfilled in me in all absolute incorruptibility. I will know their fullness in this present age and on this earth. I will know their fullness together with other believers just like me. And I will hold God’s nose to the grindstone until He does what He says in me. I see no other purpose in the universe.
It’s called Covenant.
No man comes to the Father except through Me. It’s called Gethsemane.
I will love those who offend me in just the same way that Jesus loves me. It’s called God revealed, being human, the image and likeness of God. And yet it is upon offense that all the riches of Christ turn, you and me, with no consciousness of sins, placing Jesus upon this one who continues in offense. It’s called the Mercy Seat.
Mighty in God
For the weapons of our warfare are… mighty in God… bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 – condensed). – And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith (1 John 5:4).
Put on the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to peruse Paul’s armor now, seeing each part as an aspect of putting all the riches of Christ in all fullness upon every particle and moment of our lives and entirely by confidence that it is true. We refer back to Ephesians 6:13-18 quoted in the last lesson.
The source of all sinful actions is the mind/heart that says “I am fallen short of God.” The source of all righteousness is the mind/heart that says, “Christ is ALL that I am.”
We “PUT ON” only what is already true. Any thought of achievement, or of winning something from God by outward obedience, or of our own doing is a putting off of the Lord Jesus BECAUSE in such a mind, we are always falling short.
Thus all “putting on” is teaching ourselves to KNOW what is already true, all the riches of Christ Himself in us, as us, and through us, all through all that we are. And this putting on is a deliberate exercise of faith and confidence so that when the ruler/rulers of this world come, he/they find(s) no shadow of “falling short” anywhere near us.
And it is in the offensiveness of Christian “leaders” towards us where the shadows are most likely to lie.
Having girded your waist with truth. Paul begins with our having put Christ UPON and all through our gut. I like “gut,” though the actual word is loins. Notice all of these are something we have already done. Girding up your loins, having Christ in your gut, means being ready for anything.
Truth is simple. I am dead, but I don’t remember that; it happened so long ago. Christ is the only life I am, and I know that truth all through my innards. To speak the truth is to speak Christ, Christ sustaining all, Christ carrying all, Christ through you setting creation free.
Having put on the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate covers the heart. The heart is the source of confidence. Courage is French into English – being filled with heart.
If righteousness must be my own actions, then I must always be falling short of God. That shadow has one affect – it strips courage out of our hearts. One fallen short cannot stand. Not having my own righteousness, but the righteousness that is of Christ through faith – I stand in all certain courage. And when I make mistakes, I know that God in me is working always together with my confidence, turning those mistakes into the result of goodness and victory.
Our hearts are bold; our hearts are filled with God.
Having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Our feet represent our walk on this earth. Synonyms of preparation are firm footing and readiness. It is a noun, a condition or state, not an action. Our feet, our walk on this earth, are already encased with the firm footing of the good news of peace. Paul is not plugging modern evangelism into this picture. He is picturing for us our STAND. We stand in the absolute fact that God’s agenda, God’s intentions are the good news of peace. Turn to the good speaking of Christ – you are already reconciled to God.
Having taken up the shield of faith. The fiery darts of the evil one target our identity. “You, a son of God? Yea right.”
I was hit with those darts this morning, thinking that maybe my letters are too long, and that’s why I’m losing readers, or maybe my posts on Facebook are unclear. Then I thought to myself, “Father, You are utterly with me, sharing all this with me. If we made a mistake, you and I are turning that mistake into blessings for all.” What evidence do I have for such a thought? Faith. Absolute confidence that God has bound Himself in Covenant with me. And all that remains is peace rooted in certainty.
Having taken up the helmet of salvation. Be renewed in the spirit of your mind – put on the Lord Jesus Christ – we have the mind of Christ. We have encased our minds with the knowledge of wholeness. We are complete. We are already all that God intends. We are the appearance of Father – Father revealed.
God is revealing Himself through us right now exactly as He wishes. We wrap our minds entirely in that knowledge. God does not know the old creation; we do not know the old. God knows only the New; we know only God. God’s ignorance is ours; God’s knowledge is ours. – No consciousness of sins – all consciousness of Christ.
All That We Are
Having taken up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. This sword is also part of our armor. The sword goes out from us through the words, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Otherwise, the sword is defensive, part of how we STAND.
But look at this combining of Spirit and Word. Spirit and Word cannot be separated. Only as all the Word God speaks is made alive in and as us by the Spirit do we possess this sword of the Spirit. And we have already made it so; we have already spoken all that Christ is as all that we are. In short – CONFIDENCE.
I must insert this connection. You see this passage of our armor is all about STANDING FIRM – that is, the seventh most important verse in the Bible, upon firm we stand. And the thing we hold inside of upon firm we stand is absolute confidence that every particle that we are and every moment of our lives is God revealing Himself as He is as He wishes.
For that reason, as part of our weapons of war, I refer you back to Session 8: Resurrection Life. But – there is one thing only that is beyond the armor in which we STAND, one thing that goes forth from us bringing life and healing to all.
The Spirit Flowing Forth
Praying always… in the Spirit. Praying always IN the Spirit is our continuous, ongoing fellowship with a God who has made Himself one with us, utterly part of us. And it is a sending forth, Father and us together, of Oour Holy Spirit to accomplish all Oour desire.
All six of the armor/weapon things we have already put upon ourselves, and in doing so we STAND, that is CONFIDENCE. But praying always in the Spirit is our constant battle action, that is, sending forth the Spirit as rivers of living water in the full expectation of God.
The Spirit flowing forth is our one active weapon. The Spirit flowing forth accomplishes all the victory of Christ.