By John Gavazzoni
For many, many years, during the period when I was quite conventionally-oriented in my theology, I fully, without question — and to be honest, unwilling to entertain anything to the contrary — thought that the substance of humanity came forth out of nothing.
I believed, of course, that we originated by the creative act of God, but certainly did not believe that our substance was eternal in nature, that God had shared with us His very substance in bringing us into being, or that, by us, in/with Christ, Deity had increased Itself as Family. Now, by the grace of God which is mightily able to effect the deepest change of mind in any of us, and that, when He chooses, I now stand firmly in the conviction which I once deemed, a most deviant heresy.
I have always been a committed preacher of the new birth, of spiritual rebirth from above, but I previously thought that being born from above was identical to being born of God. That the two are very essentially related, of course, there can be no doubt. But I see now that being born of God is the larger context in which being born again, or born from above must be understood. It would certainly seem that there is some distinction between born and being reborn.
It was my former conviction that I, by inclusion in Adam, had my origination as a person by the creative act of God whereby He brought all creation into existence out of nothing (Theo.: the doctrine of creation ex nihilo), and, having received the Lord Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, been born of the Spirit by the act of God by which He, by the Holy Spirit, gave me His life in Christ. There was certainly a wonderful vein of truth within that understanding, but nevertheless also, substantial and significant elements of ignorance and misunderstanding.
The conviction that we possess eternal being and personhood in God is usually referred to as belief in pre-existence. It does not really require too much thought to realize that the term pre-existence, used in this way, is a misnomer, for eternity does not have to do with pre-existence, or for that matter, a bye-and-bye-someday existence, because eternity is not a dimension that was before time and will once again be after time is over, but rather eternity is now, the NOW which is God Himself, the NOW that encompasses, circumscribes and permeates space-time as He immanently plays hide and seek with His creation yet, all the while, transcending it.
- We are all, at this very moment, living in time within eternity —
- time being a temporal dimension WITHIN eternity, not interrupting eternity —
- somewhat accurately, yet crudely illustrated by Plato’s idea that our present existence is like that of a man living in the darkness of a cave with a little light filtering in from the outside world, while he is largely ignorant of that world that gives larger meaning to his cave-existence.
- But when we are enlightened to affirm that “I AM” is the ultimate Ground of all Being, our own included,
- our cave-dwelling days shall have come to an end in the brightness of the eternal Day,
- which is Christ, Himself.
- Our being and personhood is a matter of eternal birthing —
- Creaturehood, in time, proceeds out from Being,
- the Being in whom we have our being —
- and God is the One who does the birthing.
- I’m really talking about God giving birth.
- I’m really talking about really being “born of God.”
The conventional evangelical idea of being born of God falls short of the truth that God giving birth to us is, wouldn’t you know, first and foremost God’s experience. Do we realize that the experience of being born of God is first God’s experience within Him/Her Self before it becomes our experience? (when I say, “before,” I do not mean as on a time-line, but “before,” as in the Ground from which all things proceed.)
|Honestly, really, we’ve all been conceived in and birthed out of God.
Honestly, really, we’ve all been conceived in and birthed out of God. Rebirth, or being born again, or born from above in our creaturely, time-oriented existence and experience, is about being reconnected to, remembering, being awakened to, and realizing in time the truth that we have been, in and from eternity, born of God.
We re-member, that is, we return in creaturely experience to being members of Christ’s eternal Body, that Body born of the conjugal uniting of the complementary gender-completeness of the reproductive love attraction within God. Christ, and we, in Him, have been conceived and born by God’s Self-knowing from which proceeded the Son of His love. You, with your elder brother, THE Son of God, are God’s love-child.
Do you realize that you were born by a passionate attraction that occurred, and is still occurring in God? What triggered your divine birth was when the twinkle in Deity’s eye met It’s own come-hither look.
You are a love-child, a passion-fire-child. You had to experience creaturely separation from that Love-family, so that in re-membering, in the gathering together, the re-collection of all things in Christ, you might fully know the glory of your Being.
“Beloved, now are we the children of God…” (1 John 3:2)
This article was originally published on John Gavazzoni’s website, Serious Seminal Samplings. John Gavazzoni is a former pastor. He is now a non-denominational theologian, evangelist, writer and speaker who proclaims the good news of universal salvation.