THE PERFECT MODEL - PART 2
This is the second installment of the Perfect Model series of articles. In the first article we saw that the typical models we use today for church life are inadequate. They can be summed up into two categories: the traditional model, and the New Testament model. We saw that even though the New Testament model is closer to the Lord's thought, it still is a copy of the original model. The original model is what we called "the fellowship of the Godhead". Jesus brought this "fellowship" to earth and shared it with twelve men.
Now, in order for us to continue with our look at the "Perfect Model", I need to take dead aim at your present state of mind. The way you think is going to be the greatest hindrance to receiving God's revelation in this matter. So prepare to have holes shot straight through your comfortable mind set! If you don't "see" what I am sharing with you in this article then it will be virtually impossible for you to have any understanding and experience of true church life. These "mental strongholds" must be torn down before the light can flow into your spirit. So please . . . take these words seriously, read this article several times and then allow the Holy Spirit to work it into the very fibers of your being. It might take a while, but be patient, God will do it if you are hungry!
Who is God?
Our concept or viewpoint of God is extremely important. Our "God-view" will affect everything in our lives, including how we think and how we live. It may shock you to hear this but we, the latter part of the 20th century American Christians, have a very distorted view of God! Actually our view of God has been formed in our minds by our environment. Our American culture and the religious system have had the most influence over the way we think about God. We don't see God for Who He is! We see Him for who we are! In other words, in our minds we have created God in our image! Please, let me explain.
Our Society; Our Minds
In America, we are very concerned with independence. We even have a special day to celebrate it! We are also very concerned with the rights of the individual. We call it human rights. In fact, we are actually obsessed with anything that lifts up our individuality. Individualism rules the day. You see, it's the individual who must overcome. That's why we worship the "hero image" in all of our books, movies, games, and other forms of entertainment. It's also the individual who must succeed. You need to make it on your own. You need to have a successful career and establish your financial independence. This is called being a responsible, mature adult. Do you realize that almost everything in our culture is geared toward the individual? Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for individuality and I realize that God created us each as a unique individual. That's not what I am referring to here. I am speaking of "individualism". That mold of the world system into which we have been formed which causes us to think and act solely as individuals.
The Religious Reflection
Of course, this has permeated the "church" world as well. Our Christianity is a very individual one. It's me accepting the Lord; it's me and my relationship with God that counts; it's me who is going to own a mansion in heaven someday! What a bunch of garbage!
When we look at the scripture, all we see is an individual gospel. Even the church has been reduced to a club for individuals to attend so that they can improve their individual walks with God! We see the New Testament as a book that was written to ME. When actually, most of the letters were written to churches; corporate groups of believers; not to you as an individual!
So why am I saying all of this? Well, it's because of two reasons. First, so that you can begin to realize how individualistic you are. You are a product of 20th century American culture. It's very difficult for you to think in any other terms.
The second reason, if completely understood, will blow you away! The next statement, which I am about to make, can totally revolutionize your life. I'm talking radically here, folks! If you receive light from the Lord on this, then you will never see life the same again ... guaranteed!
Are you ready? Here goes . . .
GOD IS NOT AN INDIVIDUAL!!!
That's right! He is not an individual. We have tried to make Him one, we think of Him as one, and we approach Him as one, but He is NOT! You see, my friends, God is corporate. He is a "fellowship" of three! He is a plural entity, a corporate being Who has three distinct personalities within Himself. We are not talking split personalities here! This is a Person Who is made up of three Persons! WOW! That's quite a chunk to swallow isn't it? There is only one God; and yet within Him there is a society of Three! Truly amazing! We have all heard of the Trinity yet we don't often think of God on these terms, do we? I wonder why!
So, if God is a "plural in One" God, then He must think that way. That is, He must think from the viewpoint of a "plural in One" type of God. That means that when He speaks, He speaks from a "WE" perspective. When God speaks, it is actually three Persons Who are speaking as one. His viewpoint is not a one (individual) viewpoint. It is, rather, a "OneNess" (community) viewpoint! Do you see it? We have been seeing Him with the wrong kind of glasses on!
Now, I think I've given you enough to chew on for a week! I just would like to leave you with one other thought. In light of all that I have said so far:
YOU WERE CREATED IN HIS IMAGE!!!
My dear brothers and sisters, you were NOT created to exist as an individual!
You were created to live as part of a corporate Person. You were created to live as one of many persons within a Person. THAT PERSON IS CALLED CHRIST!