Vol 2: 39 The Soul of God: Being in Christ and Christ Being in Us

God’s mission connects us with God through Jesus Christ. This insight is expressed in Ray Anderson’s theological memoir, The Soul of God.

In the fifth chapter of The Soul of God, Ray Anderson relates that “to know God is to be reconciled to God, and in being reconciled to God we come to know God” (p. 71). He expands on this, lest we think that the act of reconciliation is something we do, “both revelation and reconciliation take place through our being in Christ and Christ being in us” (p. 72).

Allow me to offer a length quotation by Anderson that helps us understand the necessity of Jesus in being reconciled to God.

“It would not be wrong to say that Jesus is the true believer, whose own faith in the Father becomes the basis for our faith in such a way that we are freed from the ambivalence and inward uncertainty which always plague our own attempt to believe. It would not be wrong to say that Jesus is also the true disciple, whose own obedience lived out in the face of temptation in such a way that we are freed from our own instability and unreliability of will. . . . Every day of his life, Jesus took that human will and bent it back in perfect obedience to his Father so that in being joined to Christ our will is graciously conformed to his own willingness, which exists to this very day in the humanity of Christ now glorified and existing within the very being of God. This is the basis for our assurance in union with Christ through being made partakers of Christ through the Spirit. There is part of God in us through the indwelling Spirit of Christ. The Christ who in us, says Paul, is our ‘hope of glory’ (Col. 1:27). At the same time, Paul says, our ‘life is hidden with Christ in God’ (Col. 3:3). This means that there is something of us already abiding in the very presence of God through Christ!” (p. 72)

As I reflect on this statement, on this confession, my response, during this week of Thanksgiving – but also during any week – is one of giving thanks and praise to God. God’s mission is not merely about effecting some grand recreation; God’s mission is indeed very personal in which in our being reconciled to God through Christ Jesus, there is a part of God in us, and a part of us in God – meaning we are brought into community with God – participating and sharing in the life of God and God participating and sharing in our lives. I am not talking about our becoming divine – we have been created human and that is our gift from God – but God always intended that we in our humanity would be in community with God. The good news of Jesus Christ – of God with us as a human being – is that we have been restored to being in community with God through Jesus. In God being human among us in Jesus – we are invited into community, into relationship with God through Jesus. Indeed, this is a thanksgiving that my words are incapable of fully expressing – which can only adequately and minimally expressed in worship of God.

Join me this Thanksgiving in giving worship to God through Jesus Christ.

  1. Beth Phillips says:

    Thanks Roland! I appreciate your interpretation and insight into the bible and God’s love for us through Jesus! Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family! We love you.

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