Implications and Future Directions
It is safe to conclude that some of the expressions of "in Christ" or "Christ in You" are synonyms for the action of the Holy Spirit within the believer when in "data pipe" mode, and I will do so in future essays, referring to this one as a reference if I feel there is a need for clarification. There are, of course, instances where the "In Christ" is meant in a vicarious way. One good identifier of the latter is to determine the time of you "being in Christ". If the time is before Pentecost, such as the crucifixion, then the reference is to us being legally imputed (credited) with Christ so that when Christ died, we died as well. If the time is after Pentecost, and when referring to some aspect of Christian living, then the reference is probably to the one cited here.
And if I concluded this essay on that pedagogical note, I will have Christ all over me, and there will be hell to pay.
Reconsider the bolded portions in this quote of Ephesians 3:
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
The part in grey is therefore a reference to an increase in the "power level" of the Spirit, the result of which is an increase in the capacity of the "data pipe" beween the host and Jesus, resulting in the appearance that Jesus Christ is actually within you. If so, then verses 18 and 19 are not metaphorical, but literal, especially the text in yellow. The possiblity exists for the power flow to reach god-like levels. Paul and Silas were mistaken for Mercury and Jupiter. Moses became as God before Pharaoh, and Aaron became as his prophet. It appears that capability is tied to power level or data stream bandwidth: more functions "come on-line" as the power levels go up. At low levels, the functions that are on-line appear minimal, requiring some faith to believe that there is a data pipe between you and Christ so that it appears that he lives in you.
With statements like this, the problem is twofold, the first being whether we believe it, the second being how to upgrade the data stream/power level. Of the two, the first is harder, for the second will be easy once the first is out of the way. The greatest theological truth communicated via the Star Wars films was the exchange between Luke and Yoda: "I-I don't believe it!" "That is why you fail." I can't help you with the first problem: that is something you have to settle in your heart.
So how do we pull it off? And how can I say that doing so will be easy if we believe? Simple. This is a variant of the bootstrap problem that engineers encounter and solve all the time. How do you do initial start-up of a Nuclear Reactor? How do you bring up a power grid after a massive power outage that took out multiple generation stations that need a power grid to start up? How did the computer you're reading this on start from nothing in its active memory to the browser you're using? How do you start with a few axioms and develop an entire branch of mathematics? How do you start with a Holy Spirit connection that is equivalent to running a modem over a connection that's party-line grade and bootstrap it into a OC-768 monster? We know how to pull this stuff off, people, and we do it all the time! Of all the people in the Church, with all the kinds of personalities, careers, educational levels, and points of view that are in it, we engineers are the only ones with the knowledge base, skill, and experience that has a chance of succeeding.
Is it possible? Well, let me ask you the following questions: when you read that last paragraph, how did you feel? Did you feel disgust that someone would be so naive enough to believe this stuff and that you wasted a Sunday afternoon reading it? Amusement that someone is crazy enough to believe this nonsense? If you did, then you're off the team. You don't qualify. You either don't have the Spirit, or your belief system won't let you believe this is possible.
Or did you feel a thrill inside? Did you think, "WOW! What a great time to be an engineer or scientist!"? Did you say, "Yeah! Let's GO for it!" If you did, then let me fill you in: that wasn't you. That was the Holy Spirit inside, banging on the bars in the Jail it has been stuck in since you believed, yelling "Hey! Believe it! It's True! Let's get started!" You've already got the modem running, and you're getting the modem scream telling you you're connected. Yeah, that's all you've got for now. For now, that's enough. Trust me, we know how to pull this stuff off, and we pull it off all the time.
There was a time when no bridge crossed over the river upstream from Niagra falls. The contractor hired to build the bridge figured he had to get a steel cable across to start the process of getting the bridge cables across. He advertised $1000, an exhorbitant sum in those days, to anyone who could get a cable across the river. Many tried and failed, including swimmers and balloonists. Finally, to much laughter, a young boy with a kite took up the challenge. He got a huge ball of thick twine to use for the kitestring and tossed the kite up in the air. The wind carried it up and across the river until the weight of the heavy twine made the kite sink until it got caught in a tree on the other side. There was some laughter at the crash of the kite: the crashing of a kite is normally a sign of failure. This mental conception quickly evaporated when the boy turned to the contractor, held his end of the line up to him and said, "You can start with this. Where's my money?"
All our limits lie within us. We are bound by our imaginations.
But once we see, and believe?
Piece 'o cake.
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