In the Book of Revelation, the Holy Spirit takes meticulous measures to give a clearly distinctive representation of God’s Son. As God’s Pattern, Christ overshadows and encompasses everything because all that exists was made by Him and for Him.
As the standard of God’s judgment, Revelations depicts Christ first dealing with the Church, then the nations of the earth and finally the kingdom of Satan. In the end, Christ is revealed ultimately establishing the universal and eternal Kingdom of God.
Undoubtedly, God is governing the movements that are accelerating humanity toward the consummation of this age. At this most critical point in human history, it is indispensable that the Church become conscious of and effectively function according to the position God originally intended for His people. That position can only be achieved by conforming to the pattern God established in the person of Jesus Christ.
Only an accurate revelation of Christ as God’s Pattern will propel the Church
- to understand what the Christian life truly is
- how the Church is to accurately function
- how to fulfill its destiny in God’s plan.
The Apostle Paul serves as an example of what transpires when Christ is accurately revealed and apprehended. Paul states in 2 Corinthians, chapter 4:
For what we preach is not ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves [merely] as your servants (slaves) for Jesus’ sake. For God Who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts so as [to beam forth] the Light for the illumination of the knowledge of the majesty and glory of God [as it is manifest in the Person and is revealed] in the face of Jesus Christ (the Messiah).
Unquestionably, Paul is speaking of his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus as he was being driven by
religious zeal to persecute Christians. Christ being accurately revealed initiated the process of Reformation in a man named Saul that would ultimately become Paul the Apostle.
Once Paul saw Jesus Christ by revelation of the Holy Spirit, an entire operational system collapsed within him. His entire system of religious patterns, methods and operations were shattered when he realized that Christ was God’s Pattern. He withdrew right away into the desert for three years reconstructing every mentality according to the light of this revelation. He did not utilize his past religious training, current pious fads or even the other Apostle’s assistance in coming to terms with Christ. He realized that it had always been God’s purpose to reveal the Pattern of Christ in him.
…and when God was well pleased — having separated me from the womb of my mother, and having called [me] through His grace — to reveal His Son in me…… (Galatians 1:15-16, Young’s Literal)
Indeed, when Paul apprehended this truth, it produced an unprecedented impact and a tremendous affect in his life. In due course, the expansion of this revelation would lead him to declare what should be every true believer’s substantiated creed:
“For me to live is Christ…..”[Philippians 1:21]
The third chapter of Philippians portrays Paul commitment to a lifestyle of Reformation and pursuit of Christ being expressed through his existence. He discounts his past religious experiences and training while disregarding any opportunity for the flesh, other than dying, to be used in revealing Christ. He clearly discloses his full intention:
That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]. Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward. [Philippians 3]
What a simple truth! “It pleased God to reveal His Son in me.”
What a magnificent influence it had on that man! “For me to live is Christ!”
His prayer for you regarding this matter is also found in Philippians 3:
So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also.
May I submit to you that we as believers today, in fact do, have a different attitude of mind regarding this simple truth? We have made “Christianity” and “Church” something more and other than what God originally intended.
Although we are Christians and have all the teachings of the New Testament, we have need of Reformation to replace our religious traditions of men and our forms of godliness that deny the power of God. We have established “Christian” systems according to our personal preferences. They are comprehensive, complete and convincing according to worldly standards. They have been equipped with wide-ranging peripheral trimmings yet, all the while, produce no impact. Christianity has become just another religious system. It is therefore necessary for God to place His people in the process of Reformation so that all that is not of Christ can [and will] be extracted out of His Church. [Hebrews 12:22-29]
The great need in the Church today is for a Reformational process to be ignited by the same type of revelation that came to Paul. It is necessary for God to make clear to us that we do have a different attitude of mind regarding
His concept, desire and purpose for His Church. We must see, as Paul saw, Jesus as God’s pattern!
Let me ask you a question. What is a Christian?
It would be interesting to know how you would answer that question.
A person who believes certain things about Jesus?
A person who has made Jesus their Savior?
A person who has given themselves to Christ?
How do you define it?
In light of his revelation, with Christ as the Pattern of God, what do you think Paul’s answer would be?
In describing his concept to the Corinthians of what a true Christian is, Paul explains it in simple terms:
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (I Corinthians 12:27)
The Greek words he uses to express “part” literally means, “one of the constituent parts of a whole”. In other words, each individual believer contains a “deposit”, a part of Christ and is essential in the accurate make up and expression of Christ.
According to Paul, a Christian is a part of Christ. Every true Christian is a “piece” of Christ, if you will. From God’s standpoint, the only thing in you that interests Him is that bit of Christ that you represent. There is nothing redeemable in your flesh that interests God. There is no quality, trait, talent or attribute resident within you that God requires. If it is not the quality of Christ, God does not desire, want or need it.
Let’s take ownership of Paul’s statement:
“For [insert your name here] to live, is Christ!”
Now, say it out loud and really listen to what you are declaring.
Christ is all that God is concerned with because Christ is His Pattern! God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts whereby we cry, “Abba, Father.” Every true Christian is a piece, a part, a portion of His Son.
God’s initial focus is upon the deposit of Christ that has been made a part of us by new birth. Through regeneration, He has placed a portion of Christ in us. It may be a small part but it has an incredible intrinsic value to God. It is an eternal investment that He has made in us.
God is initially interested to have it as a piece in us and then His concern is to enlarge it. According to scripture, [Ephesians 4] His intention is to grow and mature it to as full a measure of Christ as possible.
Now, wherever you go, you are a part of Christ and Christ is represented and expressed wherever you go to the measure that He is formed in you. Wherever you are, Christ is, according to the portion of Him that you carry.
There is great freedom in stripping off everything that has been gathered around “being a Christian” and developing this accurate mentality.
“I am a part of Christ!”
“For me to live is Christ!”
Move forward to The Impetus of Christ Revealed – Part Two!