You are a new heavenly species!

I shared last time what Paul called “the glorious news I preach all over the world,” and described how different this is than what is typically preached today. One would have to admit our “gospel” is drastically watered down compared to what Paul’s describes. Just to review, we looked at Colossians 1:15-23 and can summarize Paul’s glorious news as follows:

We now know that God is exactly like Jesus Christ, creator and sustainer of all things and the reason everything continues to exist. Jesus Christ is Lord over all things, and all government, rule, and authority exist for His purpose.

Furthermore, there’s no separation between us and God because He has placed us in Himself, so that we now continually live in His presence, holy and blameless in His sight.  Our part is to continue to walk in this reality by faith.

This is the good news that Paul preached everywhere he went.

After Paul describes this glorious news, he warns the Colossians (and us):

Beware that no one distracts you or intimidates you in their attempt to lead you away from Christ’s fullness by pretending to be full of wisdom when they’re filled with endless arguments of human logic. For they operate with humanistic and clouded judgments based on the mindset of this world system, and not the anointed truths of the Anointed One. (Col.2:8 TPT*)

What’s rather alarming to me is that this is pretty much what we’ve done! Now, I’m not questioning our love and devotion for Jesus and His Word. We’re mostly following what we were taught. I also realize I’m generalizing here. Of course, there’s notable exceptions, but if we’re to take an honest look at the state of Christianity today, by comparison, our gospel is more philosophical and humanistic than what we see in Paul’s description.

  • We’ve turned our union with Christ into an abstract concept, a metaphor, a legal position, rather than a spiritual reality we’re to be living from (Phil.3:20).
  • We’ve pushed eternal life and heaven into the next life instead of understanding that it’s within us (Luke 17:20-21; John 17:3).
  • We’ve allowed deistic philosophy into our theology, creating separation and distance between us and God.
  • Rather than an invitation to “participate in the divine nature” (2 Pet.1:4),  we’ve turned salvation into a decision for Christ.
  • Our gospel is more about sin and the fall rather than about adoption (sonship).
  • Rather than being a new creation in Christ, we see ourselves more like pardoned criminals.
  • Natural philosophy and human reason trumps spiritual revelation from Christ. In fact, we’re wary of anything “spiritual” or supernatural.
  • We trust in academic learning more than spiritual gifts.
  • We give the devil more power than God on the earth by denying that these supernatural gifts are for today.
  • Rather than believing “him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Eph.3:20), we make the Christian life fit well within our imagination and control.
  • We’ve turned the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit into the Father, Son, and Holy Bible.
  • We seem to be engaged in endless arguments about interpretations, theology, or worse, translations, rather than  endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph.4:3-4).
  • Our mindset does seem to be more like “the mindset of this world system, and not the anointed truths of the Anointed One.”

We’ve done exactly what Paul told us not to do; we’ve turned the glorious gospel into empty and powerless religion.

I know this is kind of like a slap in the face, ripping the proverbial band-aid off, but as they say in recovery programs, the first step to freedom is coming out of our denial. And profound freedom is awaiting us, so rather than arguing these points, why don’t we accept them as they may apply to us, so that we can move on into greater maturity and grow up into Christ (Eph.4:13-15).

I know I can see that I have a long way to go, don’t you?

You’re an unprecedented heavenly species!

I said all that to say we’re not pardoned criminals, we’re a new creation! (2 Cor.15:17). “New,” in the original Greek is καινός (kainos). It means “new in species, character, or mode, unheard of, unusual, renovated, better, of higher excellence (Mounce). Therefore, we’re an unprecedented heavenly species in Christ!

Here’s how Paul continues in this letter:

For he is the complete fullness of deity living in human form. 10 And our own completeness is now found in him. We are completely filled with God as Christ’s fullness overflows within us. He is the Head of every kingdom and authority in the universe! (Col.2:9-10 TPT*)

We all know and agree that the fullness of deity dwells in Christ, but do we identify ourselves in the same way? Do we believe that His fullness overflows within us?

Beloved, this is astounding and breathtaking! Christ’s fullness flows in us! And everything exists in Him! This is why Paul is adamant about us not being defrauded by empty religion and philosophies of men. Our true identity is found in Him, not in how we see ourselves, or what other people say about us, and certainly not based on our experience.

Do you understand that this reality is incompatible with religion and human philosophy? It sounds like foolishness to the natural mind because we cannot even conceive what this is unless it’s revealed by Holy Spirit. But God has given us the mind of Christ (see 1 Cor.2:9-16).

I include myself here when I say that when we embrace humanistic Christianity, we stunt our growth as believers and as His body. As I’ve said many times before, we must put all of our thoughts, and what we think we know, on God’s potter’s wheel to be reshaped and re-formed so that Christ can be formed in us.

Let’s not settle for anything less.

* All emphasis added.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 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.
This entry was posted in Faith, Freedom, Heaven on earth, Identity, Reformation, Sonship and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to You are a new heavenly species!

  1. This is wonderful stuff, Mel. I highly approve. That’s a really good list, too.

    I also enjoy the Passion Translation. It can connect us to the words in a more modern language and resonate directly with the heart. But it doesn’t really matter which version you use, Paul’s words still come through loud and clear. “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,” or perhaps, ” Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world…” Those words really resonated with me, they once helped me to understand that I had to go directly to Jesus, and read the Bible myself, and work out my own faith. That we are all without excuse.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Amen, IB. What’s ironic is that a lot of the people who don’t like the Passion Translation (TPT) are just parroting what they’ve heard from others, who do a lot of the things on the list! The logic goes like this: TPT is bad because it’s associated with the (gasp) NAR! And the NAR is bad because it’s not Reformed (or just Charismatic in general). Pretty much what I was talking about in this post. You don’t agree with my theology so you’re a heretic…false teacher!

      Now, I don’t use TPT for my main Bible, just like I wouldn’t use the NLT or ERV, or others like it as my main source. My main versions are NKJV and NASB and I always check other English translations and the original Greek. But after reading through TPT for the first time, I have to agree with you. It reads very well and really does resonate with the heart. The only legitimate beef one may have with it is that Dr. Simmons (translator) emphasizes Aramaic manuscripts, but he also footnotes the original Greek where it’s different. So it is all good. And like you said, Paul pretty much says the same thing in all the English translations.

      And, btw, if anyone wants to actually know what they’re talking about with regard to the NAR instead of making ad hominem attacks on its followers and parroting the usual straw-man ignorance about it, they should read Dr. Harold Eberle’s “Systematic Theology of the New Apostolic Reformation: An Exposition in Father-Son Theology.” It’s a surprisingly easy read for a systematic theology book. Dr. Eberle also has a YouTube channel explaining “Father-Son Theology” here. Of course, it’s a lot easier to just parrot what others say and demonize what we disagrees with instead of actually knowing what we’re talking about. That’s the glory of the Internet. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Why is the Way Narrow? | In My Father's House

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