Comment: What I Believe, Confess, and Hope For - Part 3: Spirituality

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In post: Agape' Forum

What I Believe, Confess, and Hope For - Part 3: Spirituality

The primary emphasis of my spiritual life is on the marriage between Christ and his Church. The very first human marriage involved the man being united to his wife such that the two of them "shall be one flesh" (Genesis 2:24 KJV); this portrays the reality of the Church being united to Christ, her husband. The Church shares in Christ's death, resurrection, ascension into heaven, and priestly ministry before God the Father. This leads to many important corollaries, one of which is that, in a non-trivial sense, we Christians already are with Christ "in heavenly places" (Ephesians 2:6 KJV). I will come back to this point...

Just as a human husband and wife have a special, intimate act that they perform, so also do Christ and his Church. What is this act of marital intimacy? While the Bible sometimes speaks of Christ's marriage to the Church as a future event (for example, Revelation 21:2), Ephesians 5:29-32 speaks of Christ and the Church being "one flesh" as a present reality. I interpret 1 Corinthians 10:14-21 to mean that Holy Communion, receiving the body and blood of Christ, makes us "one" with him.

Being able to receive Christ in Communion is what I anticipate most about going to church. The way I see it, just as a human husband comes into his wife and creates life in her womb, so also does Christ come into us and create life in our hearts (see John 6:31-58). How can it be, however, that I am receiving Christ, when it seems to be only bread and wine? While there have been different theories advanced to explain this, mine is that, at the Communion table, we step into our heavenly existence (we already are in heaven with Christ, as I discussed earlier). There is, therefore, a juxtaposition: we are on earth receiving bread and wine, but we are simultaneously in heaven, receiving Christ himself. For now, my senses are veiled, because I "see only a reflection as in a mirror" and "know in part"; the time will come, however, when "I shall know fully, even as I am fully known" (see 1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV).

I will return to this theme in my final post; for now, I marvel at how the Son of God, the one who is inheriting all things, could set his affection upon us, sinful and unworthy, and desire to fill us with his passionate, transforming love.

A Constitutional, Christian conservative who voted for Ron and stands with Rand