THE EXPRESSION OF ONENESS
"By this we come to know - progressively to recognize, to perceive, to understand the (essential) love: that He laid down His (own) life for us; and we ought to lay (our) lives down for (those who are our) brothers [in Him] (1 John 3:16 (Amp.)).
In recent articles for this newsletter I have been sharing quite a bit on the oneness found within the Godhead (Father, Son, Spirit) and how this oneness relates to us as the Church. In this article I would like to get a bit more practical and down to earth, so to speak. It's good to start with the spiritual but we cannot end there. We have to go on to see God's full purpose which is to have an expression of that which is spiritual. In other words, God wants to be made visible! He wants to be seen in EVERY realm! This is very important to Him, and so, should become important to us as well. So beginning again with the spiritual, let us go on to the practical.
The Oneness of Essence
I believe that the Godhead is one in two ways.
First, they are one because they all share the same essence. That is, they are all God (divinity). The Father is God. The Son is God. The Spirit is God. Yet, there are not three Gods, but only one. All three of the Persons within the Godhead share the same essence; Godhood. In this respect, they are one because of their very nature; they are God! That's just the way God is; three Persons in one.
*Note - This is very interesting because we also see here the definition for "personhood". A "person" is someone who is part of a larger whole, a larger entity. One person can never be a completely sufficient self. That contradicts the very nature of what a person is. A "person" is always one of many parts, which make up the whole being!
This is the spiritual aspect of the oneness that is within the Godhead.
But what about the practical expression of this oneness?
The oneness of essence is a spiritual fact, which cannot be altered, and nothing more needs to be done for this to be true. The problem is that God wants an expression! He is not satisfied with the spiritual fact only. He wants the spiritual reality to become a practical reality. In order for this to happen, something does have to be done. An action must take place. Someone must do something! First let's see how this works within God Himself.
Practical Oneness within the Godhead
If you look closely inside of God you will see something that is both wonderful and terrifying! Deep inside of Him there is a lifestyle happening that sends shivers up and down our spines! This lifestyle, this action, simply just rubs our flesh the wrong way. It scares us to death, and yet there is something strangely compelling about it.
The members of the Godhead live a life of total surrender to one another!
Talking about vulnerablity! They live FOR, WITH, BY, and TO one another! There is a continuous laying down of each of their lives for one another. Total sharing. Total giving. Total submission to one another. Total openness to one another. Total yielding to one another. Total suffering for one another.
This lifestyle has a name.
It's called the Cross!
Oh . . . you thought the cross only happened at Calvary? No, my dear friend, the cross was happening way before that inside of the Living God! You see, the cross is a lifestyle. It is a lifestyle of laying one's life down!
This is the action, the lifestyle that is needed in order for the expression of oneness to become a practical reality. Without this action of the cross, there can be no expression of oneness. The expression of the Godhead became a reality because the Son was willing to lay His life down for the Father on the cross. The end result was the practical expression of Their oneness; the Church!
How are we involved?
Jesus prayed that we would be one even as He and the Father are one. Do you think His prayer was answered? YES! It was answered with the crucifixion and the resurrection! It is a spiritual fact that we are one! You and I are one because we are in Him, and He is one! He is one with His Church and all of the members of the body are one with each other. This is an established spiritual reality.
But you may be asking; "why don't we look and feel like we are one?"
It's simple . . . the practical expression has not yet come!
What will it take for the expression to come about? Brothers and Sisters, you already know the answer to that question!
We are in desperate need of a new lifestyle; the lifestyle of the cross. This cannot come about by human effort or will power. You are unable to live the cross. It's only His life within you that will be able to live it. BUT . . . you must cooperate with that life within!
You see, the cross is always a choice. The Lord Jesus had to choose the way of the cross. He said that He laid down His life of His own free will. This means that you will always have a choice. In fact God will give you many opportunities throughout each day to choose to accept or reject the way of the cross. God will give you many chances to lay down your life for another throughout your lifetime. How important is the fulfillment of God's purpose to you? Do you have a consuming zeal for the Father's House? Do you want to see the practical expression of oneness?
Then you will have to choose.