In my last two posts, I both laid out a christology that exemplified the divinity and humanity of Christ and described the process of reproduction that He undergoes in each of His believers to make them the same as He is. In short, the Son of God became a man, thus becoming a God-man; and we, His believers, are produced as sons of God, to become many god-men.
While this may sound strange to many readers, it is clearly presented in the Scriptures and was believed by the large majority of church fathers and reformers in history. Now I’d like to discuss exactly what the purpose of this God-man producing god-men is. What exactly is His goal in bringing many sons into glory? Is it simply to have many exemplary people on display? Or is there even more that our wonderful Christ is accomplishing?
Made Into One
“For He Himself is our peace, He who has made both one and has broken down the middle wall of partition, the enmity, abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace, and might reconcile both in one Body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity by it.” Ephesians 2:14-16
The cross of Christ not only redeems people from sins. It also produces a Body. On the cross was crucified both the sins of the world and the enmity the separates humanity. The goal of the cross was not to simply redeem humanity but to reconcile humanity to God in Christ as the one new man.
The one New Man, the Body of Christ, is the organic entity that we become a part of when we are saved. When we are in our spirit, there is a sense that we are one with all believers and Christ is all and in all.
Ever since the time of Abraham, there has been a divide between the Jews and the Gentiles. After Christ came, the Jews still clung to their ordinances and customs, maintaining the wall of partition, the enmity, between them and the other believers. If we have any customs, ordinances, regulations, doctrines, or even cultural barriers that separate us from other believers, we must recognize that they are part of the old creation, crucified on the cross and unacceptable in the one New Man.
“And have put on the new man, which is being renew unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.” Colossians 3:10-11
The Corporate Christ
“For even as the body is one and has many members, yet all the members of the body, being many, are one body, so also is the Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:12
The verse above is easy to read over and not think much of. I ask you to read it again. Notice that the last phrase, “so also is the Christ,” really should say, “so also is the church” or “so also is the Body of Christ.” First Corinthians 12:12 tells us that the church is not simply a group of believers who believe in Jesus, but rather it is Christ Himself! This is clearly testified throughout the Scriptures.
“And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you persecute.'” Acts 9:5
Saul never touched the Lord Jesus. He persecuted the church (v. 21). The Lord identified Himself as the Church! This makes other verses have much more meaning:
“The church, which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:22-23
“And He is the Head of the Body, the church” Colossians 1:18
How can this be so? Only by the Lord’s uniting work in our spirit!
“But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” 1 Corinthians 6:17
“For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh. This mystery is great, but I speak with regard to Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:31-32
So we are joined to the Lord when He comes to us as the Spirit to make us completely one with Him. This is not only so with us and God, but we are also one with one another as the Body.
“Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:16
The Lord is trying to build up His Body, which is His House, Bride, Expression, Kingdom, and Duplication (1 Tim. 3:15; Eph. 5:25; 3:21; Rm. 14:17; Rev. 1:6; Jn. 12:24; Rm. 8:29). This Building is the meaning of the universe. It is what God is trying to accomplish and produce today, and when it is produced, the end of the age will come (Rev. 19:7).
This Building is made up of all the individual believers, who are god-men, and of Christ Himself. The Building is the mingling of God and man. I encourage everyone to carefully study Revelation 21-22.
“And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:2
“Having the glory of God. He light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.” Revelation 21:11
The City is the Bride of Christ. She has the glory of God, meaning that She is fully one with God, for God gives His glory to no one but Himself (Is. 42:8; 48:11). This city is the corporate God-Man. The Church is not an organization. It is an organism, produced by the mingling of God and man, that is Christ’s very reproduction and even enlargement.
This is the goal of God’s economy: to produce the corporate God-Man, Christ and the Church, as the Head with the Body, to consummate with the New Jerusalem for all eternity.