Blog In Audio:
Today I am in Bulgaria. I am looking forward to the next many days here. I just spent the weekend in Utrecht, Netherlands. It was great to reconnect with people that I love and to see what God is doing in their midst. It is a new day and it is a day to be known as the body of Christ. It is not a day for the performance of leaders or the performance of ministry. It is a day for the authenticity of being people of God in this world.
What does it mean to be the people of God? To be the people of God we must see God as our Father and we must see ourselves as His sons and daughters. We must also see people as God sees them. He sees them as sons and daughters and He has called them home to be a part of His family. This is where each, and every one of us, find our true identity, testimony, and purpose in life. Only sons and daughters of God can truly be people of God. Being servants of God won’t cause us to become like Him. Only as God’s children can we become like Him in our character, nature, way, power, and authority. We are not to merely imitate God as people who attempt to follow His written word. Our lives must become letters of His Spirit. We imitate Him, but not is a false and pretending way. The grace of the Spirit of Knowing is stripping away surface performance and pretend actions. The source of our imitation comes from within. It is not merely copying what we see. It is becoming who we are meant to be.
The apostle Paul gave instructions to imitate him as a spiritual father. He didn’t say to imitate him as a teacher of Scripture or a mentor of Christian lifestyle. The Greek word for imitate is: g3402. μιμητής mimētēs; from 3401; an imitator: — follower.
1 Corinthians 4:15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me. 17 For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
1 Corinthians 11:1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
This word doesn’t mean to copy by merely watching another. It means to become the same substance through a personal relationship with God in your heart. The writer of Hebrews reveals this truth in his exhortation for true Hebrews to be people of faith as others were before them. This same truth is valid for us today. Faith comes through a personal relational with God and hearing Him in our hearts. It is through an intimate relationship with God in our hearts that we can hear Him and it is only then that we become internally empowered to be people of faith.
Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Things that are not authentic in our lives get removed when we become imitators of Christ from within our hearts. Being the people of God is to be imitators of the One who lives within us. It is by this that we will be known as sons and daughters of God. Even as a little child says of his or her parents: I want to be like you when I grow up! Our aspiration in things is to be like our heavenly Father in all things. This is what makes us the true community of Christ. It is through a communion with the Spirit of Christ that we can know communion with one another as the body of Christ. This is the true source of community. It is a come-to-unity by becoming people of God who comprise a community of Christ.
The community of God is dependent upon being the temple of God’s Holy Spirit. The temple is not dependent upon the community. The community is dependent upon the temple. Being a temple of the Holy Spirit activates, facilitates, and releases the community of Christ in our midst. Build a temple and you will build the city. If we merely build a city that we call the community of Christ we may never build the temple of His presence. If we try to create some expression of Christ community without the manifest presence of Christ, we will only form a human copy of what we perceive to be Christ-like. Only by a manifestation of Christ in us, the Holy Spirit who comes in the name of Jesus, can we become the true community of Christ. This is the place of life forevermore, eternal life, is the place where heaven touches the earth. This is the place where the anointing oil on the top of the head of Jesus the eternal High Priest who stands forever as the head of the body of Christ in heaven runs down upon the body of Christ and spills over unto the earth. Christ is the manifest presence of Holy Spirit in and upon the body of Christ. It is not merely the human spirit that is in all people, it is the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit that God desires to be in and upon all people. The door is open in heaven, but human hearts upon the earth must open to Him to become the place of His habitation upon the earth. This is the testimony of being the temple of God. It is by this that we can be known as the people of God.
Ted J. Hanson
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House of Bread Ministry
3210 Meridian St.
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