Equal with God
December 30, 2011
To borrow a phrase: Careful, you are about to enter Thee no Spin Zone… The teaching begins… right now:
Philippians: 5-6 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.
In the last article I wrote (“What About This”), I related to you that God answered every question I ever had about Him. That was so glorious to me. I knew beyond any doubt that I would never have another question that would be impossible for Him to answer. I love that about God, because I am a person who questions what I do not understand. I believe that article came out on 2/18/2011 and I haven’t written since.
Everyone writes for different reasons. I write when God reveals something to me. Thus, this is the first revelation I have had in over 10 months.
In March of 2011 something began to: ----can I say: “stick in my craw”… I have a friend who loves it when this happens. She knows me… she knows God is after something and that He doesn’t let me alone until I get it. Well, 10 months later, which is now…. I got it!
When something sticks in my craw, I usually begin to notice it, here a little and there a little. Then eventually, it becomes a full on quest to get to the bottom of it. I am so thankful for the communication with our heavenly Father through the Holy Spirit. Without it, I would be very miserable.
When something begins to “stick in my craw”, I also know instinctively, that I am hearing something that is off balance and it is usually because there is a spin being put on a scripture. Now, let me say this…it is not that I like it when this happens (even though my friend does)… because I know a few things that are going to happen. Number one, I won’t be able to get it off my mind. Two: sometimes I can get really beside myself…like reaching for something that seems to be just out of grasp. Then the third thing is wanting to convey it on paper in such a manner so as not to alienate people but help them find the freedom in the truth that found me. Last, but not least, I have discovered that virtually everything I write, I find myself having the same experience Paul had, happening over and over again. Some get it and some try to tear it apart. I never mind questions and comments about what I write, in fact, I invite them, but I think everyone knows the difference in questions and controversy.
So, it is with humility that I shall write again, hoping to straighten out the crooked paths some have in their thoughts if they have struggled with this same spin.
We’ve often heard the analogy of the ocean when someone is trying to explain our being equal with God. This is how it goes: Being equal with God is like the ocean; if you take a cup of water out of the ocean, it contains all the components of the ocean”. Every single time I heard that… I’d get that little nudge that I mentioned. You know, that thing that would “stick in my craw”…
What was that…why couldn’t I just agree with it?!!!
And yet, I would try to ignore it.
Another one I heard… “You wanna see God…look at me! While, I knew there was an element of truth in that, why did it bother me?! Jesus said, if you see me, you’ve seen the Father. What was it they were supposed to be looking at, that they were not seeing? I’ll tell you if you keep reading.
There have been so many times over the last few months that I have been unable to bear witness to many things that have been said concerning “who I really am”. Equal to God! Really! John (my husband) said that he has been trying to find out who he is in Christ and I thought…well, when you find out let me know because it seems that has been a major portion of what is written about and preached about since I have been following Jesus. Yet, it has somehow been beyond my comprehension. It has perhaps been because of the spin that is put on the scripture we are studying today. I say that, because now that the Spirit revealed the truth of this to me… I now know who I am in Christ. I am the cup of water that came out of the ocean.
Let me explain:
The revelation is all tied up in the word equal. Vines dictionary says that the rendering “equal with God” was derived from the Latin version and that when they tried to translate it into Greek, there was no adequate mode of representing the exact form and meaning in Greek. The Revised version says “equality with God” and is of great importance to the right interpretation of the whole passage. The Amplified bible also enlightens us with this same rendering.
Equality means to share the same qualities. Qualities in this context means: Peculiar and essential character: Nature
This equality was enjoyed by the first Adam. He was in complete fellowship with God. They shared ALL things common. Let’s look at the word fellowship. The word emphasizes what is common between people. Close association. No two walk together except they be in agreement. You may have a close association with someone and disagree on what “equal with God” means. On this subject then, you would not be in “fellowship”… Adam lost fellowship with God. He lost equality with God. At that point, he was made a little lower than God. He was not created lower than God…but lost His equality when he didn’t agree to what God said. His nature changed. Jesus got that equality back for us. This equality with God is only possible when we are in unity with Him. He is the vine and we are the branches. We are partakers of His divine nature. We are not God, but we are one; able to love as He loved and serve as Jesus served. Jesus, knowing he had equality with God, was able to serve God without feeling inferior. It was not an inferior position, but simply an action performed out of Agape.
Now, maybe the following can help us understand the difference in the God who created the universe, and a person in whom the Spirit of God dwells.
Basically, In 1st Cor. 13, Paul expresses that a person can speak in various tongues, be knowledgeable, understand mysteries, and not have God’s love in him. This tells us who God is and maybe just as importantly, tells us who He is NOT. He is NOT power, but He has all power. He has all knowledge and understanding. He can be everywhere at once. He IS Agape/love. Man is the only thing on earth that is capable of receiving and exchanging this kind of love. We are a God-being. We are made in the image and likeness of God. We are capable of communicating agape/love between ourselves and God.
So, about the ocean: He is the Ocean. I am the cup of water that came out of the ocean. I now understand that what bothered me about the analogy of the ocean. Every time I heard it, it conveyed the thought that we are exactly like the creator of the universe and could do everything God does. I could see no meek and lowly of heart in it. I always had this thought when the ocean concept was mentioned… “but, but, but, the ocean is way more powerful than the cup filled with it’s substance. I did not believe that I was the ocean in this respect. And I was right!
And about those who say “look at me if you want to see God” … What bothered me was they were anything BUT loving. All I could think was…why can’t I see God when I see them… they wanted me to and it wasn’t as if I didn’t try.
All of these things that Paul expressed, the tongues, the knowledge, the mysteries,… were not what was the best. Why? Because it wasn’t WHO God is. It is what He has! The most excellent of all is Love. This is who we are in Christ: we are the nature and character of God in Christ. IN CHRIST; it is when we are IN Christ. We are not All powerful, we are not all knowing, we are not everywhere at once. We are not the all powerful, all knowing, omnipresent God. We are the branches and have total dependence upon the vine. We have delegated authority but it is not mine to use as I will, for it is not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord. We do what we see the Father do in a co-operative relationship.
In a lot of circles, power is the focus. This is what some want to BE. This is what they aspire to as if a demonstration of power somehow qualifies them as the best and greatest among us. This is a glass, seen through darkly. How could the disciples have not known the Father by looking at Jesus? Because they were looking at the power Jesus was demonstrating. No one will see or know the Father because of power. Why? Because God is not power! God is Agape. Any demonstration of power is simply a gift to the receiver by the Spirit of God. I don’t mean to make light of the blessing the gifts have been to the person on the receiving end of them, but it is not the best. We have seen and used the power. It is only good. The problem with this is that this good has gendered arrogance and idolatry amongst believers. There is a more “excellent way” to behold and experience.
Perhaps the writer of John was in the no spin zone. He knew something we need to grasp fully and then conclude that this should be the all important focus of the hour. John wrote: IF we have love one for another the world will know that God sent Jesus.
And I dare to say that the power will take care of itself!!!
Give a cup of cold water to those who are thirsty… Let’s demonstrate our equality with God. Let’s demonstrate who we are! He is the Ocean! We are the cup!
For the article: “What About This”--- go to: dyordy.com. On the right side of the screen, you will see us under “FRIENDS”