Originally posted by CalJust
I don't normally resort to cut&paste postings, but this particular passage from Richard Rohr's book Soul Centering through Nature: Becoming a True Human Adult says it better than I could. The entire section below are his words, and mainly addressed at RJH, with his constant references to "Evilutionists".
[b]The Fir ...[text shortened]... d beckoning “Come!” (Revelation 22:17).
These two verses are the very bookends of the Bible.
Whenever Paul says “in Christ,” he is not talking about Jesus of Nazareth. He’s talking about when matter and spirit come together, reveal and expose one another. Jesus is the concrete personification in time of what has always been true, which is the Christ Mystery, or the “anointing” of matter with eternal purpose.
When Paul wrote be of being in Christ, firstly
he was repeating
only what Jesus Christ had said before Paul was converted.
Jesus of Nazareth spoke of His state in resurrection as being enterable, His disciples would be "In Him"
and He "in them"
"In that day
[the day of His resurrection] you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you." (John 14:20)
Jesus of Nazareth was saying that in His state of resurrection, the disciples will realize that He is in the Father, and THEY ARE IN HIM, and He is in them.
This is truly a mingling of the Triune God with His redeemed believers - Christ is in the Father, they are in Christ, and Christ in them. It is truly recursive.
He also said "Abide in Me and I in you"
in the teaching of John 15
that He is the true vine and His believers are the branches. So Jesus spoke that we can believe INTO Him.
Latter the Apostle Paul with others pioneered
ahead in the experience of knowing Christ in resurrection. So Paul spoke much about the saints being "in Christ"
This Christ that the believers are in is Jesus of Nazareth made enterable, joinable, available, contactable through the process He has passed through. So Christ - "the last Adam"
Paul says, "became a life giving Spirit"
(1 Cor. 15:45) [/b]
We may speak of the cosmic Christ. But that is Jesus of Nazareth become a life giving Spirit that can enter into His lovers. And entering into Him they can live in Him as a realm and a sphere.
The proper new testament community, the church, is a group of people living in this realm of God and Christ -
"Paul and Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians IN God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thess. 1:1)
This means in the city of Thessalonika there was a community of people living and moving in the realm and sphere of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ - the Jesus of Nazareth.
"Paul and Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace." (1 Thess. 1:1)
Of course the Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of Jesus of Nazareth -
Acts 16:7 - "And when they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, yet the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them."
The Cosmic Christ is the Spirit of Jesus.
The Spirit of Jesus is also the Spirit of Jesus Christ with all its bountiful and rich supply -
"For I know that for me this will turn out to salvation through your petition and the bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ." (Phil. 1:19)
The saints that Paul was writing TO also had the Spirit of Jesus Christ and therefore were "in Christ Jesus"
"Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the overseers and deacons." (Phil. 1:1)
This post ends here until latter.
But WAIT ! The same audience, every one of them as recipients of Paul's letter he reminds, that the grace of Christ is with their innermost being - their spirit -
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit." (Phil. 4:23)
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ is something like power steering. With cooperation with His moving they are divinely empowered to live as Christ lives.
Paul wanted always to be found in this realm - in Christ. That means practically when people contacted him he wanted them to find him living in this sphere -
"And be found in Him [Christ], not having my own righteousness which is of the law but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is out of God and based on faith." (Phil. 3:9)
What an incredible pioneer Paul was.
What a trail blazer.
What a disciple to boldly go where no man had gone before - deep into the experience of the cosmic Christ, the Jesus of Nazareth become a life giving Spirit of grace.
Well, he was not the first. But he did write 13 or so books of the 27 New Testament books. What a pioneer to help us all get into Christ too.