Guideline # 2 from Reading the Bible in the 21st Century:
2. The “I Am” presence within us IS the living Christ. By virtue of our existence as human beings— created in the image of God (i.e. created in Christ) —we have a very intimate point of contact with God (and with the living Word of God) which is the “I Am” presence or the image of God within us (aka Christ-in-you). While on the one hand, the scriptures point us to the “I Am” presence which IS the living Christ, on the other hand, as our recognition of this aware presence grows from day to day, the written word also tends to become more alive—i.e. increasingly relevant and meaningful.
It worth noting, at this point, that our emphasis on the “I Am” presence has nothing to do with being “selfish” or having a “me first” attitude. Rather, it is about stilling our selfish mind— by the grace of God and through the power of the Holy Spirit —and becoming truly unselfish in contemplation of the Divine presence which is with us always, here and now. Learn to feel the “I Am” presence in the stillness of the present moment—in the space between the out-breath and in-breath, for example, or in the silence between each heartbeat. Then, as you read references to God or Christ (or the Spirit of God or the Word of God) in the scriptures, don’t imagine some strange force or alien being that exists totally other than and apart from you, but remember the presence of God that IS within you—realizing that we are, indeed, reconciled to God in Christ; and that, indeed, we live and move and have our being in Him:
“Indeed he is not far from each one of us. . . . as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring’” (Acts 17:27-28).
“As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us . . . The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one” (John 17:21,22,23).
We are One in the Spirit and our point of entry into this dynamic Oneness is the “I Am” presence within us which IS the living Christ.