Union with Christ
Discovering the True Meaning of Salvation!
Many people claim salvation based on the fact that they have prayed a prayer and that as a result they will not go to hell.
Others claim it as a result of their righteous lives and the fact that they follow and adhere to the commandments of Jesus.
Still others claim salvation as the reward for their obedience and sacrifice to serve God faithfully.
But is this what salvation is truly about?
What did God send Jesus to do, and why was He willing to sacrifice Himself for others?
Let us take a few minutes to re-examine salvation and to review the eternal plan of God from a new perspective we may have never considered or seen!
We all know the story of how God had created man and how He placed man in the garden of Eden. We also know that God made special time to come and to walk in the Garden to have times of fellowship with man.
God’s sole intent with the creation of mankind was to produce after Himself. He created man as everything He was, with the exception that man could never be God, He alone was God.
Other than that, man was created in the Image and in the Likeness of God. You could really say that what God did was to take clay and to sculpt from it what His visible appearance would be like and then breathed His Own Spirit into man to become the visible incarnate form of the unseen Spirit-Life of God Himself!
Man was the human, tangible form of the Spirit-Life of God that could not be seen in the natural realm of created things.
When God created the garden for man to dwell in, where He would come and walk with man and have fellowship with this created being that was as he was, and that was really formed by His Own Life, He gave this place a very special name.
He called it Eden (Ayden in the original Hebrew language, עֵדֶן, ‛êden, meaning “the place of delight”). Eden was to God “the place of His delight!” for there He had created out of Himself children that would fill the whole earth, with Whom He would have fellowship and enjoy perfect Union.
Somehow we have lost this understanding of God’s original purpose and intent with the creation of mankind, and fail to come to see that Jesus came to restore everything that was lost as a result of mankind being stolen away from the Garden of God’s Presence!
Somehow we fail to see that Jesus did not come to earth to save us from hell, but that He actually came to reconcile us to Eden! (To reunite us with our Heavenly Father and to bring us back into the place of intimacy with Him to once again walk in the Garden of His Presence, so He may delight Himself in our fellowship and Union with Him!).
Not going to hell is no more than a benefit of our salvation, it is not the reason why Jesus came, but the result thereof!
He came to bring us back into “Eden”, back into fellowship and Union with God! Back into the place where we could experience everything we were created for and where we could walk with Him as Adam and Eve did.
This special place of Union with the Father was first shared by Jesus, Who had to come as the first man on earth, after Adam (the Second Adam in perfect Unity with God), to lead the way and to make it possible for us to also be restored to this Union with God on earth.
He came to show and to teach us how to live in perfect harmony with the Father, by giving ourselves to be fully possessed by His Spirit.
He further demonstrated and spoke of this Union He experienced and that we would experience through Him and as a result of His sacrifice in John chapter seventeen, where He prays that we may experience and have everything He experienced and shared with the Father on earth.
He came to open the way for us to the Father, so that we may know and experience Him, just as He, Jesus, knew and experienced Him on earth.
He says that he gives us His Glory (which means that He is giving us the Glory of Union He shared with the Father, the special kind of unique fellowship and relationship He shared with Him that caused Him to walk in direct revelation of all the Father Is on earth and that made them to walk in perfect Union so that the Father and He was so inseparably One that when people looked at Him, heard Him or saw the works performed by Him, they saw the express (or exalt reflection) Image of God the Father!
He prays that we may also share this same fullness of the Spirit, that we too will be filled “without measure”, by the Holy Spirit being able to take full possession of our entire being – our nature, personality and character, to express Himself fully in us and through us in this world!
Can you imagine being so United with God?
Can you imagine sharing such an intimate relationship with Him?
And having such fellowship with His Presence?
Well, that’s exactly what Jesus prayed for us to have and to encounter – and that is the true purpose why He came, and the true purpose and value of our salvation!
Everything is more than this relationship with God is a bonus, not the essence of why He came to save us!
This revelation is returning to the bride of Christ in this season, not to hear and understand, but to experience and to become a living expression of.
So they may in this season be so United with the Holy Spirit and so possessed by Him that they will Know Him and that He will be made known to the world through them.
As we begin to enter the season ahead of us, more and more true worshippers will enter this unique life of Union and of expressing the Life of Christ and seek to express nothing less and nothing less than His Life in theirs.
~ Johann van der Hoven
Johann van der Hoven is in South Africa. He has been serving the Lord in ministry since 1991 and has hosted numerous apostolic revival meetings in South Africa and in South America. He also currently pioneers a organic church planting movement across South Africa. For more information about him and his ministry visit Fellowship of Believers or Revival.