1.) the act or process of resolving or
dissolving into parts or elements.
2.) the resulting state.
3.) the undoing or breaking of a bond,
tie, union, partnership, etc.
4.) the breaking up of an assembly or
organization; dismissal; dispersal.
Ladies and gentlemen, what we see before us in the current state of the Christian religion referred to as ‘Christianity’ is the dissolution of Christ.
He Himself, the Person of Christ has been broken down into many pieces and everyone takes the piece or pieces that they like the most. The problem with this is that what you end up with is not Christ at all! But rather, different works, teachings, or aspects of the Person which no longer accurately represent Him when taken out of context. The parts do not equal the whole because the whole is actually a living Person, not some kind of cornucopia of different (separate) items. Syn-er-gy – noun - the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, etc.
Let me give you a few examples of how we have done this. It basically breaks down into the character, power, and works of Christ.
We have taken different aspects of the character of Christ and broken them into pieces or slices and then blown them way up out of proportion as if we are no longer even referring to an actual integrated Person. One of the best examples is love. Now we know that God is love (1 Jn. 4:8) and that love is a part of his character. However, if we take love as a thing in and of itself then we do a great disservice to the whole Person of Christ.
I know many believers who only ever talk and write about love. Of course, they are referring to God’s love, which is Christ. But they only mention the word “love”. Pretty soon, after hearing and reading this time and time again you forget that love and Christ are synonymous. You actually begin thinking (and believing) that love is actually something separate from God in Christ and not part of who He is. Everything, for these folks, is about love. Love this and love that. If we can only love one another won’t everything be wonderful? The main thing is love, it says that in I Cor 13 doesn’t it? But what you hardly ever hear is that I Cor. 13 is a description of the character of Jesus Christ! Go back and read that passage again and you will see what I mean. No one could live that way except God Himself – yes folks, He Himself!
And what about the new commandment? You know, “love one another”? Most believers see that as another mandate that somehow we need to live by. But the Lord Jesus dashes all hopes of that when he includes this little statement: “as I have loved you!” Wow! Now what are we going to do with our dissolution tendency? Do you actually believe that you, yourself are able to love someone as Christ does? No way, dude! Only He Himself can love this way. Read John 15 again and you will see that abiding comes before loving! Why? Because it is actually the indwelling Christ Himself who does the loving in and through you as you abide in HIM – the WHOLE Person!
Also, if you read the “sermon on the mount” again with a view of seeing the eternal purpose of God it will totally change your outlook. This is not a collection of commands, but rather a description of the King and His Kingdom! It’s not about you as an individual believer apart from Christ and His Church. It is a corporate context (a kingdom) of a people who express the character, nature, power, and works of their indwelling King!
Notice how Christians love to dissolve Christ? This tendency is totally of the self-centered, self-absorbed, and self-obsessed flesh of the fallen race. Believers (especially Charismatics) love to separate the power of Christ into categories, compartments, and “giftings”. “I have this gift.” “I have that gift.” “I have that ‘ministry’”. “You have that ministry.” I love how Paul cut through all of this nonsense in his correctional letter to the Corinthian church. In I Corinthians chapter 12 he puts the power exactly where it belongs; in Christ. But notice how he does it, he writes to the church (that is obviously dissolving Christ by making it all about gifts) and he puts all of the gifts into the context of the Body of Christ. In essence, he just tells them that the gifts are simply functions of the Body! But you may be asking, “yes Milt, but how does that make it about Christ directly”? Well folks, Paul makes it all very clear with this one statement:
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. (1Co 12:12)
Wow! What a Christ! What an all inclusive Christ. The body is Christ. There is no other way to translate this verse. So, if the body is Christ then that must mean that all of the members (and gifts of power) are all a part of Christ. The problem is that we modern day believers have even dissolved Christ into being separate from His own Body! But how can the Head and the Body be separate from one another? Together (as one) they make up the one New Humanity.
We have also dissolved Christ to the point of separating He Himself from his works. His finished work on the cross and his work of salvation are two good examples of this.
But is the cross simply something he did, or is it the very heart of God? In other words, was there a Lamb of God even before creation and the fall of man?
And bow before it shall all who are dwelling upon the land, whose names have not been written in the scroll of the life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; (Rev 13:8)
This Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world! This gives us a little hint at the nature of our Lord. He is one who is more than willing to lay down his life for others (also see Jn. 15:13). The work of the cross came out of his divine nature which is always laying down his life for God and others.
Also, Paul makes it very clear that the preaching of the cross of Christ means a fatal blow to our self life! And that is the culprit in all of this dissolution of Christ. We try to slice Him up into doctrines, gifts, character traits, agendas and works because we are looking for something for our flesh to glory in! And yet the cross of Christ, IS Christ! And that, if received, will put an end to all of this dissolution nonsense.
For indeed Jews ask for signs (power) and Greeks search for wisdom (doctrine); but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (1Co 1:22-24)
And don’t forget that He Himself is also salvation!
But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption (1Co 1:30)
Sisters and brothers, this Christ is a WHOLE Christ. This Christ is a complete “package”. You cannot separate He Himself from His aspects, power, works, or any other thing. If you take any one of those items and emphasize it you will lose the glory of this one, whole, complete Christ who is so much more than anything or anyone that we can ever imagine!
but Christ is all, and in all. (Col 3:11c)