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Who Are You Really?

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A.

Number 189

Not Feeling Like Yourself, Lately? Great! You're not supposed to!
 
Who Are You Really?
 
I personally think that the Christian church has Westernized and de-spiritualized this too much. It's not another layer placed on our nature. It IS our new transformed nature! This understanding is "mystical," "transcendent," and "mysterious. However, it is not "mystical" in the pure medieval sense.
 
One of the greatest and most common pitfalls for ministers is to forget who they really are. Something about the day-to-day ministry makes ministers forget the most basic and essential concept necessary to understand their calling. They forget who they are!
 
Your Identity According to Paul
 
Paul in Colossians 3 gives us a clear statement of who we are. It begins with his words, "For you died." Who are you? Certainly not what you thought because it died. Now how did that happen? It happened when we were "raised with Christ." Christ's death and resurrection, into which we have been baptized, is not only His. It is ours too (Romans 6:1ff).
 
Paul in Romans 6 talks about how this relationship with Christ is so intimate, so permeating that to be "in Christ" means to  have died His death with Him and resurrected in the same resurrection with Him.
 
When Christ died, we did too. As a result, our lives are "now hidden with Christ in God." It is this being "hidden with Christ in God" which describes the partial renewal of the "image of God" within us.
 
This unity with Christ is also mentioned in Ephesians, too. When Paul described marriage in Ephesians 5:21 ff, he made a special point  of saying that he was NOT talking about marriage, per se. Instead, he said, "I am talking about Christ and the church."
 
In other words, Paul was using the illustration of marriage as a metaphor for a greater reality of the unity and communion we have with God. Taking into account the "two shall become one,"  it appears that St. Paul is speaking of a profound relationship with Christ that goes beyond our three-dimensional perception. We are truly IN Christ, essentially "absorbed" into His Body so that HE really IS our HEAD and we really are His Body!

Jesus On Our Identity

Jesus, Himself, uses illustration such as this to describe this unity. His words of John 15 "I am the Vine and you are the branches" emphasizes this totally, permeative, essential relationship between Himself and His followers.

Indeed, was not this unity that which the disciple who really understood Jesus' love best wrote of in John 17? "That they may be one as You and I are one," He prayed. The realization of this prayer was on the cross. "It is finished." The unity is accomplished. His response is then our response as  we, too, respond to God's calling to be one. "Father, into Thy hands I commit my spirit."

God Is With Us!
 
God is with us in a greater way than we will ever know until that time we will no longer see as if through a glass darkly.
 
So, don't feel like yourself today? Great! Because you are in Christ and Christ is in you. "In Him you live, move and have being" (Acts 15). Move on, little Christs!!!
 
Thomas F. Fischer

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This page was revised on: Tuesday, October 05, 2004 11:03:25 PM