Posts tagged intimacy
Episode 14: Experiencing Intimacy with God

Intimacy with God is the process of Salvation -- we connect to Him more deeply through the process of Salvation.  Salvation is more of a process than an "event" where our sins are forgiven.  
See Hosea, Song of Solomon, Eph 5 to see examples of intimacy with God.  He's created a world where we can find Him and going deeper with Him. 
Paul's epistles:  What God has done, who we are as a result (adopted, His children), therefore you live it out this way.  
This is a big difference from "works theology" something that we've been trained to live in fear of as Protestants.  

We contrast between two verses that people use to defend that "certificate" of salvation vs. walking out our salvation. 

Eph 1:4-5 (NLT)
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

James 1:26-27 (NLT)
If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

How does "participating" in salvation change how we live?
We talk about our anxieties about Works Theology, and how to engage in love for others in the way that Jesus prompts us in the gospels, and the way James 1 does.

Salvation is a relationship -- not something that we possess, but as a relationship that's transforming us. 

12 Steps of Recovery are a process of sanctification or "working through salvation"... our behaviors towards others and in our life change as we lean in and accept that God is our "higher power".

Bianary perspective on Salvation-- how do we see Salvation as All or Nothing Thinking?

Review All-or-Nothing Thinking & Trauma responses to fight-or-flight experiences that train our brain (amygdala) to respond quickly, or fearfully.  

More information on M. Scott Peck's Stages of Faith: 
http://www.whale.to/b/peck1.html

Depersonalization: when we're afraid, we turn our loved ones into "things" or thing-ify them as a threat, instead of someone who we love, or who has good and bad as part of their nature.

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CELEBRATE RECOVERY 12 STEPS AND BIBLICAL COMPARISONS
 
1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable. 

I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. Romans 7:18 NIV


2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13 NIV


3. We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your  spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1 NIV


4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord. Lamentations 3:40 NIV


5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16a NIV


6 We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10 NIV


7 We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 NIV


8 We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31 NIV


9 We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24 NIV


10 We continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! 1 Corinthians 10:12

11 We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us, and power to carry that out.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Colossians 3:16a NIV


12 Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs.

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore them gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Galatians 6:1 NIV

Episode 13: Jesus & the Relationship of Salvation

Continued conversations about Salvation, Jesus, and the Gospels.  This arc begins in episode 9.  Culture, and how we do not have a good conception for concepts of Kingship and Lordship--submission to a leader is not a quality that American culture values.  We've divided the concepts of "Follow Me" that Jesus introduced to His disciples into conversion and discipleship.  They're not two different things. 
How do we understand salvation and what it means to be saved?  Salvation is a relationship. 
Reviewing the Hebrew definition of Knowing tied more to Intimacy than to Knowing "about" or observing like our concepts of knowing. Knowing in Hebrew is more about experience or encountering.  We need both types of knowing to engage in full relationship with Jesus.   We tend to think of Heaven as a place, instead of a relationship-- a place you go when you die, instead of abiding in a relationship with an God who saves.
Jesus, in Matthew 7, not intended to evoke fear, but to point to what saves us is relationship, not a faux relationship, or a certificate.  Jesus invites us into a relationship that transforms us, and leads us to caring for the poor and marginalized.  Heaven, in this sense, is being in the place where God's presence is. 

Susette's method of using this concept of God's presence as a form of prayer & relationship: 
1. Remember first that the Kingdom of Heaven is God's presence here on earth, 
2. Then I picture God's presence being here next to me. 
3. Picturing Jesus sitting next to me. 
4. Talk to Him.

John 1; the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, or "tabernacle'd" among us. 

Described the tabernacle and what that means from a historical & biblical context.  The temple points to holiness & being set apart.   The book of Hebrews is a good place to start in learning about the Tabernacle, and Rikk Watts:
https://www.regentaudio.com/collections/rikk-watts

John 1:51  Jesus is referring to Jacob naming the place Bethel in Genesis 28:10-22, where he saw the presence of God. 

Episode 11: Salvation & The Church

Gospel is bigger than the "plan of Salvation" or bigger than the question of "where am I going to go when I die? Heaven or Hell?" The story of the Bible in big picture is to restore the original “Garden of Eden”, where we were able to walk with God daily, intimately, unashamed. Jesus came to restore that intimacy for all of us.
Jesus breaks down tribalism. We look at denominations, and doctrine, and how we tend to leave tension earlier than we should.
Check out the Welcoming Prayer, posted on Episode 6 blog post.
Contemplative prayer connected to focus, and Philippians 4:6+7.
Cultural understanding of individualized culture that we live in in the West, and using Susette's experience with her husbands family in Mexican-American culture in examples of family centered/collectivist culture that's closer to 1st century Judaism.
How have we interpreted the idea of salvation through our Western eyes, while trying to live by the Bible, who's authors do not come from a Western American perspective culturally?

“Despite its protests to the contrary, modern Christianity has become willy-nilly the religion of the state and the economic status quo. Because it has been so exclusively dedicated to incanting anemic souls into heaven, it has, by a kind of ignorance, been made the tool of much earthly villainy. It has, for the most part, stood silently by, while a predatory economy has ravaged the world, destroyed its natural beauty and health, divided and plundered its human communities and households. It has flown the flag and chanted the slogans of empire.
Wendell Berry

N.T. Wright: The Day the Revolution Began

Here's some video/podcast recommendations for N.T. Wright: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX1GSVR0Tdc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AukgNlAgiI

Scot McKnight: What is the Gospel?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HdyhUQ3Krs

Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-n-t-wright-podcast/id447840163?mt=2