ARE YOU A MOON OR A SON?
From the Old Testament to the New, there is a major paradigm-shift taking place in our identities that our churches are still struggling to fully comprehend today. Call it an ‘identity crisis.’ You can identify this because you’ll hear things being said like:
“You are called to be moons, reflecting the light of the sun, (or ‘Son’)”
And this might seem really encouraging to you if you haven’t wrestled through major doctrines like ‘positional righteousness’ before. But truly this was the same perspective that Old Testament patriarchs like David held as they prayed:
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine ‘upon’ us
No doubt God’s ‘face shining upon us’ could be speaking metaphorically for God’s favour, but I’m using it as an example to convey a truth about where we stood positionally with God *prior* to Jesus coming 2000 years ago.
In the Old Testament, the Spirit of God could not come to live *inside* of a person, the Spirit could only come ‘upon’ a person at varying times – empowering them to carry out the will of God; give supernatural wisdom or strength; cause to prophesy of future events, and perform miracles, signs and wonders.
But *after* the sacrifice of Jesus was completed on the cross, for the first time since the Garden of Eden a positional change took place for every believer by faith – the very Spirit of God could now dwell *’in’* a person, in which case, man was no longer ‘reflecting’ God’s light, but had *become* the very lamp of the Lord.
Consider the words of Jesus himself:
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
The promises of the New Covenant are far greater than anything that could be experienced in the Old – as miraculous as they were. But being so accustomed to the old religious systems and ways of thinking, in many ways the early Church (and we along with them) struggled to understanding what we have been welcomed into through the Gospel, and all that makes God’s immeasurable ‘grace’ toward us so wonderful and praiseworthy!
Imagine the scandal… The very Holy Spirit of God indwelling sinful human beings! The mere thought of that makes the religious man’s skin crawl.
But this was indeed the change that occurred which is why the Apostle Paul vehemently refuted every form of false teaching that ever so slightly even attempted to bring the New Testament Church believers under a yoke of ‘religiosity’ again, keeping them from understanding all that was now available to them in Christ as sons and daughters of the living God – whom God now *indwelled* by His Holy Spirit.
Which is why when the Church was falling into legalistic righteousness, Paul passionately penned the letter:
You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?
Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, (received by faith) are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? (Religious effort)
Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain?
So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?
In other words, are we still living out our New Covenant relationship with God constantly hoping for Him to ‘shine upon us’ so that we may in turn reflect His light, but only if we keep a few laws and commandments a little bit better each day in hopes of not eclipsing our connection to Him?
Or will we realize that His light has been made to dwell *within us,* rescuing us from the kingdom of darkness and transferring us into the Kingdom of His Son as we are being made into the very image of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God? (Col 1:3, Rom 8:29)
In fact, one might add that even all ‘correction’ and ‘conviction’ is also the fruit of this un-severed relationship we now share with God at all times. For a Father only corrects those He acknowledges as His children. (Heb. 12:5-6)
It may seem like a trivial thing to the undiscerning, but the effects of misunderstanding this can be monumental. Which is funny, because using the celestial bodies to confer our misunderstanding of identity is indicative of the greatness of its implications.
It’s the difference between a moon – that has no real light of its own, desperately seeking out light outside of itself in order to reflect its shine;
And a Son – who experiences perfected relationship with his Heavenly Father at all times, even when he doesn’t feel like he always perfectly measures up.
So I implore you,
Trust ♔ Jesus!