by Roel Velema
It’s a great day when we see that Christ died for us and know that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the solution for the whole world, and so for us personally. To move from death to life and to be born from above is surely our first spiritual milestone.
It’s also a great day when we see that Christ is our life. Hudson Taylor testified about that day after he had been a missionary for many years in China. In 1869 he wrote to his sister:
“Oh, my dear sister, it is a wonderful thing to be really one with a risen and exalted Savior; to be a member of Christ! Think what it involves. Can Christ be rich and I be poor? Can your right hand be rich and the left poor? Or your head be well fed while your body starves? … The sweetest part, if one may speak of one part being sweeter than another, is the rest which full identification with Christ brings. I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize this; for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest positions He must give me grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient … And His recourses are mine, for He is mine, and is with me and dwells in me. All this springs from the believer’s oneness with Christ. And since Christ has thus dwelt in my heart by faith, how happy I have been! I wish I could tell you, instead of writing about it.”
But that is not all. There is a final great day in our pilgrim’s walk on earth when our full identification with Christ has been freed from all thoughts of dualism, when we see the correct relationship of our self in union with God. It’s the day when we see that God and I is not a separate entity. We entirely have moved away from the idea that we “become what we are” and recognize that our position is our reality. In the oneness of God’s Spirit and my spirit, His “I AM” is united with “I am” as my True Self. “I am” the light of the world because “HE IS” the light of the world. I don’t look for the self as a thing, as an “it”. No “thing” such as a self can actually be found. Our very sense of being, “I am” is the Spirit of Christ!
All objections to this can be traced to some form of dualism which doesn’t exist: “We still have a responsibility of our own”, “So you say you are perfect?”, “You use Christ as cover for your mistakes”, etc. The fact is that we only have one responsibility, i.e. to live by the faith of the Son of God.
Even thoughts and feelings don’t belong to us. The mind is just a thinking process. It is not an object, just as the wind is not an object. The wind is simply the air moving, an action. Thoughts and feelings come and go. We may believe we decide what to think and feel, but we know how hard it is to control them.
So it’s a great day when we see that we are spirit, have a soul, with its thoughts and feelings, and live in a body. Once we see that we live in a paradoxical two-oneness in spirit, we have perceived that Christ lives AS us. We see that we, as a branch, are not separately added to the Vine, but that we are the Vine in the form of a branch, the Creator joined through the divine nature with the creature. “It’s not I but Christ, yet I live” (Gal. 2:20). So there is no need to compare ourselves with other believers, because we don’t compare Christ with Christ. I am not I, but Christ in my flesh, in my psychical and physical make-up. Every situation is His situation, because we “For in Him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
The apostle John climaxes his first letter with the words: “Keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21). An idol is anything that replaces Christ. We will no longer have to “be” or “become” anything, because Christ “is” for us and as us. That’s the day we entered into our rest and God has finished with us. We are now ready for intercession, in order for Christ to lay down His life as us. That is the highest calling that leads to the salvation of the soul, the end goal of our faith (1 Peter 1:9).