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Friendship With Our Maker

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You Are Part of Jesus

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You Are Part of Jesus

Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill

It seems that all of us have been brought up right from the beginning and indeed, it’s something we have shared when we have been together these years, with the idea that first and foremost we are separate individuals. You know, you’re your dad’s daughter, I’m my dad’s son, and we’re individual human beings. And if we read the Bible, and believe truth, and give our life to Jesus, and repent, then we will enter into Christ and he will enter into us.

It seems to me that’s the idea we’ve all had and certainly, the way I’ve shared it over the years. And of course, what we’re all realizing these days is that’s not strictly true. It isn’t true. In fact, reality is that God kind of turned around to his Son and said, “Let us make man in our image.” And then what the Bible says is true, that we are therefore God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:10, “For good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” And that back then before the world was, Jesus was the first-born of all creation. He became the Son of man back then and his Father made all of us inside him. And what we used to learn in our schools about Wordsworth where in his poem Intimations of Immorality he says, “The child is father of the man,” you remember. And he said, “We come trailing clouds of glory.” And in actual fact, that’s truer than we used to think it because, we each have been made in Jesus and we are part of Jesus. And Hitler was made in Jesus and was part of Jesus, and everything that any of us does is done as a part of Jesus, as a cell in Jesus’ body. And of course, that all comes out very strongly in that chapter, if you want to look at it, that deep and complex chapter in Ephesians 1. You can see it makes sense of it all when you begin to think of it like this.

You remember, Paul says, Ephesians 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” Has blessed us you know, “Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” So you know God planned for us and for our lives in Jesus even before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him, “He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ”. It even says that, you know, that we are going to be God’s sons and we are God’s sons and daughters because we’re part of Jesus. It’s through Jesus. It’s as if Jesus is our everlasting Father and it’s because we’re in Jesus that we’re God’s children.

“He has destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” So it ties up again with the whole truth that we read that God put us into Jesus even before we were born. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us. For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” And so it fits in with that whole presentation there that we actually came here to earth as part of our Savior Jesus, that we are part of him. That he is the great human being and all of us are just little parts of him and we are men and women because we’re part of the great Son of man himself. And of course, you see the relevance of that, it’s not that you’re your father’s daughter, you know, or I’m my father’s son. That dear person, and they are dear to us, you know, our dads, or our mums, our grandparents, that dear person was just our elder brother in Jesus.

Jesus is our great elder brother but our dads, or our mums, or our grandparents, or our great

grandparents were just our elder brothers or sisters through whom God brought us into physical existence here on earth. Actually we ourselves are part of Jesus himself. We are part of him. Even whether we have been to church, whether we know him, whether we believe in him or not, we are part of him and the only reason anyone will miss heaven is not because they are not part of Jesus but because they have refused to remain in him. They have refused to dwell in his harmony. They have refused to dwell in his peace.

Do you see why people ask the question, “who am I?” Because, we’ve all been brought up with the idea that we’re our father’s son or our father’s daughter and that’s not real. And the way we know it’s not real is because they die. They leave the earth and then if they’re the meaning of our life where are we? You know, you’re left with nothing. So we’re always asking “who am I?”, because we’ve been brought up to believe that we’re first and foremost our father’s daughter or our mother’s son. We’re first and foremost Irish, or American, or Polish, or German. We’re first and foremost a little human being on its own here on earth and maybe by some spiritual miracle we might become part of Christ, but at the moment we’re just a little bit of flotsam or jetsam, a little bit of waste wood floating on the ocean of humanity and we wonder who are we? We have no anchor, we have no stability and the reason is that we’ve missed the whole of reality.

We are an integral part of Jesus. When the Bible says, “You are the body of Christ and individually members of it,” the Bible means that you are part of Jesus. Who are you? You’re Jesus. You’re part of Jesus and our whole life is in him and he has himself things to do, he as the great son of man has things to do in his Father’s world using not this finger, not that finger, but that finger, and that hand, and that foot, using you, you as part of him. But you know that we haven’t really believed that and we haven’t really acted that way and of course, the great danger now is that we’ll kind of grasp it as truth and we’ll say, “Yes, that’s right. It’s a new way to think about it but it’s right and it does fit in with scripture. Yes, that is truth. We must begin to recognize that.”

And the danger is that we’ll turn reality into a kind of belief, it’ll be a concept that we try to remember and we’ll end up somehow talking about this dear person of whom we are a part. We’ll start talking about him as an it, you know, or a thing. And I touched last Sunday on the danger we have, you know, of bandying about his name, “Oh the Lord does this, the Lord does that,” or, “I wonder what the Lord wants me to do?” And we’re talking about ourselves, we’re talking about our own dear heart, the one of whom we are a part. And the danger is that now we kind of grasp it instead of living in it’s reality, we’ll treat it as a kind of belief, you know, or a piece of theology, or a piece of dogma instead of actually living in him, living in him wholly and fully and entering into the reality that it is him that has this hand, and him that has these lips so that we’ll never again live apart from him, live that lie that thinks it’s apart from him.

It’s very dangerous for me to begin to give examples because then you know, your mind can kind of go on the example and can kind of think, “Oh yeah, well that’s what we should be careful to do,” or, “This is what we should be careful to do.” And so it’s a little dangerous to do it but our prayer is his prayer. You know, the bit in Hebrews where it says, “He ever lives to make intercession for us,” and he intercedes. In fact, his spirit groans within us and intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Well our prayer is the prayer that he is praying. Our prayers are not, “Lord, dear Father, I want you to do for his sake what I am asking,” or, “Hello God, remember Marty Poehler? Well now his difficulty is this, he is this, and this. Now, will you do that for Jesus’ sake?” You can see the unreality of it, you know, it’s unreal. We are part of him. We are part of our Savior. Our Savior prays through us, says, “My dear Father, here,” and then whatever he

says, but that’s the reality of our prayer life. And then when we come together you can see what bursts upon you. It’s not the glory or the magnificence of Saint Peters in Rome; it’s not the wonderful gothic columns of the Reims Cathedral. It’s that we are Jesus. Our Savior is us. Everything we do here is in him.

If I speak sharply to you, I have to cut through his dear flesh to get at you. If I think critically of you, I have to tear a blood vessel in order to do it. Then, all of our life becomes holy, and sacred, and sensitive because my lips are stopped. Who am I? I’m part of Jesus. I’m in him and he is in me and he’s all around me. It’s not a very good illustration. An odd time, just an odd time, so it says a lot for our verbal dexterity, but an odd time we can – Irene and I can come to a point in a discussion, or a disagreement where what can you say? There’s nothing left to say so you can only put your arms around each other. It’s that, you know.

You come to a place like Thomas where it’s beyond words, where you realize you’re in Jesus and Jesus is in you, and he’s all around you, and you’re life is him, and this is his life, and words fail you which is why I think the quiet times in prayer are not bad. They’re not necessary, they’re not absolutely essential but they’re not bad because there’s a certain power of reality that leaves you speechless. So, in a way you can’t go much further because if you give illustrations of what it’s like to live actually in Jesus as opposed to living beside Jesus, or what it’s like to realize that you’ve been in Jesus from the beginning as opposed to trying to get into him by exercising enough faith, as you go on in illustrations, then you get preoccupied with the illustrations, or with the individual expressions.

So you can’t really go much further. About all we can do is say that that is it, that we are not separate little human beings, we are part of Jesus and of course, we can see some of the beauties of it because it means you’re with the king of the castle I suppose, or you’re in the midst of the one that’s running the party, all those wonderful things. But maybe the most precious thing is that he and you are like that and that that’s what life is. You and He are like that, you’re in him and he is in you every moment and then our – not our place, not our responsibility, not our duty, not our obligation, not all those terrible words, but our great privilege, and joy, and delight is to live every second in him because we are in him. And maybe I could just say that, before I think at times we’ve said, “Our responsibility is to live in him, if you live in him strongly enough then you’ll be in him.” Well no, it’s better than that, live in him because you are in him.

Any other kind of life is unreality. And of course, that’s why – that’s why anxiety brings gloom. It’s God’s graciousness. He’s saying, “I’m sending you gloom so that you see you’re living in unreality. You’re in my Son, you’re safe and secure from all alarm, don’t be anxious for a moment. I’m sending you gloom so that you’ll know you’re living in the lie. You’re living the lie.” So often we interpret it, “Oh, he’s sending us gloom because we’re not doing what we should do, or we’re not being real.” No he’s sending it to you to say, “My child, you’re part of my Son. I made you part of him out of sheer grace. I saw the way you would go and I destroyed that way in him and I remade you in him, and you’re here on earth now in him complete and well and I have allowed you to see through this glass darkly the life you would have lived if you hadn’t been in him. So you’re seeing that life all the time daily, but your real life, the life that I have given you is in him.”

Do not be anxious for anything, what you’ll eat or what you’ll drink, or what you’ll put on. Your heavenly Father knows you have need of these things. So, all through life any strain that we feel at all is just a love message from our Father saying, “That’s not it. That’s not reality. You’re

in my Son and will I refuse any good thing to you who have already given you my Son? No.” So every second of our life is here to be lived in reality in Jesus and him in us and that changes everything. Let us pray.

Dear Lord Jesus, you walk through this universe majestic and mighty, serene and full of your Father’s love and though we are little cell 10,000,456,579 yet you know us and you love us and you could not live without us, and we share all the riches that you have from your Father and especially your life fresh and springing up and pouring out. Oh Savior, we turn from that lie that we are poor little individual human beings born of our parents, little orphans who might be adopted by you if we believe the right thing. Father, we turn from that lie and we believe Father, the truth that you’ve plainly set forth that out of the great love with which you have loved us, even when we were yet sinners, Christ died for us and even when we were yet sinners you made us alive in Christ Jesus and raised us up, and made us sit with you in the heavenly places that in these coming ages, through which we are passing now, you might show forth the riches of your grace and kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For we are your workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which you have prepared beforehand that we should walk in.

Lord, we thank you for that. And we, Lord Jesus, bow to you and ask you – we don’t need to ask you, we say, “Lord, live as you now do in us and we will remember that, and we will allow you to be the great subject of every action in our lives in these coming days.” Now may the grace and peace of God be with us now and forever more. Amen.