New Testament Laity: The new people of God

Practicing-the-Presence-of-GodAccording to the Apostle Paul, we are the laity.  Laity has come to mean the counter part to clergy, but that is not Paul’s intent.  The Greek word, Laos, carries the meaning of “people.”  To Paul and Peter the work of Jesus on the cross and his resurrection provides for a newly reconstituted people of God.  Gentiles like me can be grafted in to this new laity – the new people of God.

When I pray and fast I sense that I am adopted into God’s family and I am a “person of God.”  He is my source of being.  I exist because of God.  In addition to being my Source of existence, I belong to Him.  I am His creation and also His possession.  I am His.

He is my Source and I am His possession and He places His Spirit within me.  Like the men who carried the Ark of the Covenant I am to carry God’s presence and glory.

I am to be a Presence filled person.

Christianity in the West is often dominated not by God’s presence but by doctrine, theology, and right thinking.  Cerebral and cognitive Christianity is a good thing but not at the expense of His presence and glory.  Both are necessary and life giving.

Moses made an insightful statement in Exodus 33:15.

“If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”

Paul envisioned you and me as the newly reconstituted people of God.  People who carry God’s presence in our daily lives.

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