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Lesson 107 of 127
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Each of Us has Christ’s Divintiy Within

Each of Us Has Christ’s Divinity Within

Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill

I have a little something that might be of use loved ones. It really started off with the verse in Genesis 1:26 and it’s a verse that we all know very well. “Then God said, let us make man in our image after our likeness.” And then verse 27, “so God created man in his own image. In the image of God he created him male and female he created them.” And we all know the verse so well. But I ask you to apply it to yourself.

You are made in God’s image and so am I. He made us in his image. You’re not a little Yorkshire dog, however cute they may be. You’re not a bird or a rabbit. Jesus did choose to come looking rather like you — with a nose, ears, mouth, cheeks, and chin like ours. He came in the image of a person like us. That emphasizes to you that each one of us is made in the image of God in a way that many of the things in the universe are not. So it’s important to realize that. You are made something like God himself. And you’re certainly made like his son was when he came to earth. You are made in his image.

And that really is in a way the first manifestation of God in the world. He manifested himself in the very shape of Adam and Eve. We always think of them as the ones that caused all the trouble, but they themselves were made in the image of God and they were to that extent an expression of God himself. That intensifies as you go on through the Old Testament.

I was saying to my wife Irene that it’s remarkable as you use the search box that google provides it’s almost as good as a concordance. Whoever has done it were either Christians or they knew their Bible. It’s very thorough. Repeatedly I’ll put in some verse and it’s there in google!

It’s the same if you look up the verse in Daniel. It’s remarkable to see another appearance of God through history. There were men walking in the fiery furnace and there was an extra one there, “like unto the son of man”. And there was this person walking with them.

There’s an odd one that I knew about but really had not looked at it until recently. It’s in Hebrews 7 starting at verse 1. It’s one of those strange incidents in the New Testament that took place in the Old Testament. “For this Melchizedek, (melek is king and tsedeq is righteous) King of Salem, (peace) priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him; and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. (In other words he gave him a tithe).

But who is this Melchizedek? He is first by translation of his name, King of Righteousness and then he is also King of Salem or king of peace. And then it just throws you completely as you read in Hebrews 7:3, “He is without father or mother or genealogy, and has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues to be a priest forever.” And it’s one of those verses that is bewildering.

Obviously, and repeatedly God showed himself through his son in the Old Testament. There are many times where the angel of the Lord is talked about and he’s doing things that Christ himself does. And so God has shown himself in different ways through people down through the years.

Of course it was all completed when Jesus came because suddenly here was a person who actually

called his father, “God” and obviously made it very plain that he was the blessed of the Lord, God’s son, His only Son, His only begotten son. It means that all of our sonship is derived from Jesus and that Christ himself is uniquely the Son of God. At last there was someone who could say that if you’ve seen me you have seen the Father.

And one who talks not as a mad egotist but talks as a sane man — one whom we regard as the wisest man who ever lived. He was alive in human form. Then, it’s interesting to follow him as he comes up to his death and explains to his disciples, “I’m going away, I’ll come back to you, and then I’ll go away again.” But I will send my Spirit to you.

One of the things that the apostles always said was that, “God has sent the Spirit of his Son into us.” And we often think, “in the name of Jesus – that’s the “abracadabra” that will enable a person to be healed. But of course it’s not in that meaning at all. When they touched the man that was paralyzed and said, “in the name of Jesus” they spoke as Jesus. This isn’t me but this is Jesus touching you. This is Jesus’ health that will come to you. In the name of Jesus — HE is doing this — rise up and walk.

And so in the early apostolic days they were very clear in their minds that any moment Jesus could come through a wall. Any moment he could be in this person or that person. And so the apostles always felt that Christ was in them. God has sent the Spirit of his Son and what they were doing was speaking as Jesus.

It hasn’t changed. We have toned it down until it has almost been lost completely. For all kinds of reasons we say, “Yes, Jesus is in me and he obviously said that. “I am in you and you are in me. And the Father is in me and I am in you so that the world will know that we are together in God. We know these words — but, I don’t think we believe them.

I think this is what the resurrection is about. But, we’ve sanitized it, diluted it, and made it harmless. Yes, Jesus rose from the dead, he’s now at God’s right hand and I’m here as his representative. And from time to time he sends his Spirit down into me. That’s NOT what the Bible says.

It means it very seriously that God sent the Spirit of His Son into each one of us. And you’re an incarnation. You’re an incarnation of God in Christ.

Our minds are filled by “Napoleon” – “I am Napoleon”. Our minds are distracted by the whole lie of megalomania and we’re determined that we won’t be guilty of megalomania. It’s a good excuse. We say that in some sense Jesus is in me but I’m not one of those people that say I’m the Son of God. I won’t be an egomaniac. I’m not like that and don’t want to touch that. But why did God make you then?

We tend to say that he made me to do things for Him. But every time he speaks he says things such as Jesus said. “I work and you work also.” God never denied that he is the one who produces the power. But he always talked of us doing it as if he was doing it. And I would submit to all of us, including myself, that each one of us here is as the Bible says, “created in Christ Jesus for good works which he has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” And that we will do greater works than he did then because it is Him in us. This is his life.

But I would submit to us that we get up each morning thinking, “What am I going to do today?” Which

of us doesn’t say that? What am I going to do today? I know we say it’s just a way we have of putting it. That would be good if it were that. But I would say that it’s not just a manner of speaking. It’s the way we think of our lives. We think of our lives as ours which we have chosen to give to God. If you give a thing then you have a right to take it back when you want to or give it back again. You can control it if you are the giver and the one who grants that. The grantor is the one in charge.

I think that we are missing the whole point of our lives. We are certainly the servants and representatives of Christ and therefore willing to let Him do things through us. But I think that we are very much the subject of the sentence. We are very much the ones in charge. I’m sure you’ve often listened to me with my illustration of the clean heart and the single minded life.

You are driving along in the car and a person is sitting beside you. He tells you to turn this way and that and so you do that. He tells you to brake but you don’t really want to brake there and so you don’t. Of course the clean heart or the baptism of the Holy Spirit is when you say, “Lord, you sit here in the driver’s seat and I’ll sit there in the passenger seat.”

It’s not a bad illustration. Who really owns the car? Who is the driver and who is the passenger? Whose life is this? It seems to me the message of the resurrection is very clear. Jesus appeared in all kinds of forms down through history. Then he came in his own body to Galilea and lived there for 3-4 years. When he left the earth he put his own self and being in different men who were called apostles. They then shared that with us. And for those who received Christ, he would take his place in their lives and live his incarnate life again in them.

And so Jesus himself is filling the earth with himself if we believe. The whole purpose of the resurrection was to make it clear to us that Jesus had not left the earth at all. During those resurrection appearances he made it clear that he was right there with them every moment and he was actually in them.

I think it’s very American, very Minnesotan and honorable to say, “I’m just an ordinary person.” We have a saying in Britain, “I’m a 5-8” meaning I’m an ordinary five foot eight person – the average. I usually say I’m an ordinary 2 by 4 because it’s easier for me to remember that 5 foot 8.

We are good at saying things like, “we all put our trousers on the same way.” But I think we wriggle out with our excuses that fact that we are Christ here on earth. When we christened a child we were making him into Christ.

It’s a very big deal that we are Christ incarnate. It’s a big responsibility. I think that’s the meaning of the resurrection. Christ did rise off the earth in the body he had but he made it very plain by all his emphases by his spirit continuing to be here.

The Spirit was “with” them then, but then he would be “in” them after Christ rose from the dead. And so it’s very plain that Christ is here and you were made in him so that he could live his life through you and in you. And I think we tone the whole thing down and dilute it.

“It’s really my life. I willingly and very humbly let him have his way from time to time.” But it’s very different if it is the other way around. In all kind of wonderful ways it’s different because there is no doubt then whether you have the power of not. But then you don’t have much ability without creating a schizophrenic within you. You don’t have much ability to resist what he may want

to do.

So, I’d put that to all of us this morning. Is this true? Is Christ not appearing as Melchizedek or as the Son of God in the fiery furnace, or as Jesus of Nazareth? Is he now appearing as Marty Poehler, as Peggy Coleman, as Ernest O’Neill? Is that right? And I think that’s what we need to look at squarely and fairly and face it that that is not the normal approach that is taken. We have “civilized” it. We’ve made it a bearable situation.

This other thing, “I live, but not I. Christ lives within me,” has the meaning that Christ lives within this body and mind. We have the tendency to emphasis the ME. Christ lives in ME –but it’s still ME! It’s still my life. Well, is it or isn’t it?

It seems to me the whole purpose of Christ’s life was to enable hundreds of willing people like himself to live on this earth and bring it under his father’s will. And that’s why we each are here. Let us pray.