Journeying into Jesus Part 1
March 25, 2014
What is the Father after in us once we are converted? This may seem like a strange question but He is both looking for, and actively seeking, to bring something about. His post conversion work in our lives is laid out by Paul.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. Romans 8:28-30 (NKJV)
Prior to digging into this passage let me share two other key things Paul taught.
19 My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, Galatians 4:19 (NKJV)
27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27 (NKJV)
Paul shared with the Galatians that his apostolic heart cry was to see Christ formed in His people; in fact that was what Paul expected to happen after people were converted. Paul later wrote to the Colossian church that the great mystery of the Father was Him planting Christ in His people to unveil His glory. Is that what we realize He is about in our lives?
As Rick Joyner wrote in his recent book The Path,
Life is all about Jesus. If we stay close to Him, we will be changed by Him. Then we will begin to see with His eyes, hear with His ears, and understand with His heart. The way to fulfilling our purpose is to follow Him. He is The Way.
Jesus is the way not in the sense of a path moving from point A to point B but a way into the depths of intimacy with the Godhead, the Father, Son and Spirit. John 3:16 is instructive here because of the meaning of a little Greek preposition. Most of us likely know the verse,
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)
The phrase ‘whoever believes in Him’ would best be literally translated as ‘whoever believes into Him.’ It doesn’t come across as proper English grammar but the correct meaning is presented. The word translated as ‘in’ is the Greek preposition eis.
eis – a primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figurative) purpose (result, etc.); Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.
The idea of believing in Jesus isn’t about believing that He is or was but about believing to the point where we enter into a relationship with Him! That is why Paul wrote what he did to the Corinthian believers. This was his desire for their experience.
14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14 (NKJV)
We are called into a communion of intimacy with the Godhead. The fruit of this is what Paul put forth in Romans 8:28-30,
- being called according to His purpose,
- predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus, and
- being justified and glorified in Jesus.
Our Father seeks to use everything in our lives to point us toward one reality, the conforming of everything we are to carry the image of Jesus. We like Jesus are to be about the our Father’s business, representing Him, or more accurately, Re Presenting Him to those we encounter. We cannot speed up this process, just like we can’t plant the garden on Monday and harvest it on Tuesday. However, gardens grow better with watering and weeding and careful preparation of the soil. So while we cannot speed up His process we can hinder it by not properly preparing the soil or not weeding or watering.
The best way to cooperate with His process and deepen His image in us, our watering and weeding, is taking the time and effort to spend time beholding Him, as Paul noted.
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)
Given that the scriptures tell us transformation comes about through beholding Him, how do we do that in practice? Is there a difference between coming to Him and coming to the scriptures? Do we come to the scripture differently when reading devotionally rather than studying? I will address these practical issues in my next post.