Sonshift Study – Chapter Ten

This is the last chapter of my book, Sonshift: Everything Changes in the Father’s Embrace and the last week of our discussion. This chapter is called “Relation Shift.”

I invite you to respond to some or all of these questions. Also, please give additional comments on the chapter that my questions don’t address.  My only rules are that you’ve actually read the chapter and that your answers are brief.  Okay, here we go!

Chapter Ten: Relation Shift

This final chapter is about our relationship as believers in the body of Christ. There’s only one body of Christ. There never has been or ever will be more than one body. What if our ability to walk “in the unity of the faith” and love shows our spiritual maturity, not our doctrinal prowess? (Eph.4:13). Indeed, this is how Jesus said the world would know we are His, and they would find that He loves them like He loves us (John 13:35; 17:23). Yet, we seem to thing other things are more important.

“The secret to unity is to live in the reality of our “common-unity” with Jesus and the Father. When we see ourselves in union with the Father in Christ, we will see ourselves in union with one another.” (p. 219, Kindle loc. 3668)

Discussion Questions:

  1. While there’s only one body of Christ, there’s thousands of denominations and schisms in the church today. How might we maintain our diversity without being divisive?
  2. Why is it so important to understand that everyone doesn’t have to agree with our particular interpretation of the Bible in order to be in union with them in Christ?
  3. How would you handle relationships where you are not in doctrinal agreement with another brother or sister in Christ?
  4. Where might fear, insecurity, or not understanding who we are in Christ come into play in our relationships with one another in Christ?
  5. How might a revelatory understanding of our union with Christ in God automatically bring us into union with one another?
  6. The author states that God is love in all of His attributes. Why is understanding this important in our relationships with one another?

If these questions didn’t address something you think is important, please add it in your comments. If you would like to make any comments offline, please email me at mwild@ceuturytel.net.  Thank you!

Now, it’s your turn…

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 37 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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4 Responses to Sonshift Study – Chapter Ten

  1. First, let me say I’ve greatly enjoyed re-reading Sonshift. I think this is a book that calls for yearly reading in order to internally solidify our relationship with God. Thank you for doing this study.

    1. It seems so simple; if we seek to listen and understand one another’s point of view instead of continually trying to prove we are right and everyone else is wrong, we might actually engage in the unity of Christ.
    2. It’s the thread that moves us along in our spiritual maturity. We must remain teachable and open to the Spirit in order to allow Him to transform our hearts and minds on a daily basis so that we are able to form this union Christ asked us to form.
    3. The key here is, “brother or sister in Christ.” I’ve actually been told before that, because I disagree, I am not a sister in Christ. We cannot do this to one another. We must recognize and acknowledge we are ALL our Father’s adopted sons and daughters, and must start acting like it. We must treat the members of our family with dignity and respect, with compassion and inclusion, with love and grace.
    4. If we cannot accept or are unwilling to receive the unconditional love and extraordinary grace of our Father, then we will never get to the place I described in #3. Nor will we be able to fulfill Jesus’ simple yet beseeching statement in John 13:35 – that all people will know we are His disciples by the love we show one another. And that is the love that casts out fear.
    5. It will change everything we think, say, feel and do. I described it once as a glass of milk with chocolate syrup. Before this understanding, the syrup stays at the bottom of the glass – it’s there, but not absorbed into every molecule of the milk. Once we discover the love, the grace, the power, the wisdom of the Spirit living in us, the One who will never abandon us, it’s like mixing that syrup into the milk. The entire composition, color and look of the milk changes. The syrup is no longer separate, and is visible to all who see it.
    6. Understanding the height and width and depth and breadth of His love allows us the certainty of belonging, of knowing the person next to us is part of our family and is also loved – and that neither of us will ever be abandoned. That no matter who we are or what we do, we will always be loved by our Father who created us with love.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks so much, Susan. I really appreciate your feedback. I’m doing a book study at my church now and yours and other people’s comments have helped me put the study together. I will make it available for download when I’m done. 🙂

      Your answer in #3 is important. So many seem to think we’re saved by doctrinal agreement! It’s not at all! It’s really just a manipulative tactic to win an argument and bully someone to agree with your interpretation. It’s pretty awful, actually.

      I liked your analogy of milk and syrup in #5. That is so true! Once we’re “mixed” with love, we’ll never see ourselves separated from our brothers and sisters in Christ again.

  2. dawnlizjones says:

    I agree with Susan– yearly reading!

    1. I love your “common-unity” phrase. We can even be passionately vehement about some disagreements without attacking the personhood or relationship (although this takes skill and maturity.)
    2. Unity is to the Body of Christ what oxygen is the human body. Interpretations (understandings) change and grow; unity, like O2, remains the same.
    3. Since I already have those relationships, I don’t seem to have a problem with it so far. The main question for me is, Who is Jesus?
    4. Just as it does in any other relationship—fear undermines everything. Period. This list is interminable.
    5. “Revelatory understanding”, great phrase, as that what it will take, whether it is slowly progressive or visionary as with your personal experience shared in your book! A body does not fight against itself (or if it does, it is a disease process that can be deadly), and there are souls hanging on our unity and the power it provides from heaven.
    6. This love provides the motivation for all other decisions. Wow, this is a hard one. This is where the enemy really tries to mess me up with confusion—what is my true motivations here, and the “paralysis of analysis” can set in. A tough one for me.

    Great study and great book. Have recommended it to others. Thanks again, Pastor Wild, for allowing God to use you in this great way!!! Your prayers for progressive application would be MUCH appreciated. Dawn

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks again, Dawn, for your thoughtful and candid answers. Your input is very helpful to me. And I’m glad that the book blessed you. That’s why I wrote it! I wanted a place to collect my thoughts on how we see God as a Father and how that affects how we see ourselves and others.

      I like your oxygen analogy in #2: “Unity is to the Body of Christ what oxygen is the human body.” So true! We are first in relationship (oxygen), secondary to this is our agreement. I also like your disease analogy in #5. Also very true.

      I do pray what you got from this book will launch you into greater understanding of how much you are loved and, from that place of love, will be filled with the fullness that fills God! (Eph.3:19). Blessings to you.

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