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"WHO DO YOU SAY I AM"

CHRIST'S RELATIONSHIP TO THE INDIVIDUAL

May 5, 2012

 

 

    In order to understand the Christ’s relation to the individual mortal, we must briefly describe the nature of the Father, and His relation to the Christ.

 

The Relation of the Father to the Christ

 

    The Father, as the First Source and Center of all creation, is absolute perfection in every way.  In Him is all there is and all there can ever be.  He does not need to experience anything in order to know it.  He is existential – meaning that every thing that could ever be known already exists in Him.  This absolute nature makes it difficult, if not impossible, for mortal man to have direct dealing with him.

 

    In our prior article, we learned that one way the Father interacts with his mortal creations is by granting a spirit fragment of himself to reside in our minds.  Another way the Father interacts with us is by means of his Son.  We are told:

 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” 

– Isaiah 55:8-9

 

    This separation is too great for man to span.  So help was provided:

 

“For “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 

– 1 Corinthians 2:16

 

    Yes, the Christ is another means through which the Father expresses himself to his creations: 

 

“Then Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.  The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me.  I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.  There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.  For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.  I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

 – John 12:44-50

 

   In fact, one of the main purposes for Christ’s coming is to reveal God to mankind as, not just a great potentate, but as a loving Father: 

 

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” 

– Matthew 11:27

 

The Activities of the Christ as Sovereign

 

     The Christ’ role is described in the book of Colossians: 

 

“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.  For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” 

– Colossians 1:13-20

 

    So, in our universe, the Christ was the first creation and he, in turn, created everything else in our universe, both the visible and the invisible.  God appointed the Christ to this position.  And while this position was powerful and made him the sovereign of his universe, he was only a vicegerent – an appointed sovereign.  He did not reign in his own right – he had not earned his sovereignty.  Though he had the legal right to exercise his sovereignty in all matters, we learn in the book of Jude that the Christ (also known by the title Michael) refused to exercise that authority as to matters of judgment:

 

“But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 

– Jude 1:9

 

   Instead, he patiently and humbly waited until he had earned the right by completing the work the Father gave him to do.  We understand that work to be living as one of his order of creatures in order to be qualified to rule over them.  He appeared on earth in the person of Jesus of Nazareth:

 

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

– Hebrews 4:14-16

 

    And after he faithfully completed that mission, he was elevated to the position of a true sovereign in his own right – a name that is above every other name:

 

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mind-set as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 

– Philippians 2:5-11

 

The Activities of the Christ on Behalf of Mankind

 

    In the person of Jesus, the Christ demonstrated how a son of man could reach the pinnacle of humanity and enter into the Kingdom of the Heavens, over which the Christ reigned, and become adopted and grafted into God’s spiritual family.  Before Christ’s appearance on earth, man had only the hope of living a few years on a troubled planet under stressful conditions until he died and returned to dust.  Some came to believe that if they had done enough good works in their life, God might remember them in a future resurrection to live again on the earth.  They were a fleshly people who filtered life through the lens of the limited human experience.

 

   When we read the historical account of the Hebrews and their concepts of God, we see that their understanding of Him was progressive.  Their view gradually improved from viewing Him as a vengeful and jealous God to the loving God of all and the Father of a nation.  It was at this point that the Father determined that man was ready for the “revealing of the sons of God” whereby the Christ would reveal God as their individual Father (not just the Father of a nation), and would demonstrate the ‘way’ to become ‘adopted as sons and children of God.’

 

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.” 

– Romans 8:18-23

 

     This revealing of the sons showed them that they no longer had to groan in pain under the cruel yoke of the fleshly, earthly life.  But that they would be adopted in to the Kingdom of the Heavens and become spirit sons of the Father where they would be released from the fleshly bodies and given new, incorruptible ones. (1 Corinthins 15:52) In that state, they would enjoy untold realities and heretofore incomprehensible experiences:

 

“However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him.”

– 1 Corinthians 2:9

 

     This does not mean that the fulfillment of God’s promises would leave the earth uninhabited.  No.  We are told: 

 

“For this is what the Lord says—he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited —he says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other.”

– Isaiah 45:18

 

“The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever.”

 Psalms 37:29

 

    The provision for man to be born and live on earth would continue.  It is the means of creating potential human sons of God.  While spirit personalities are directly created and eventuated in the heavens, only on earth are new human sons of God procreated and born.  

 

“At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.” 

– Matthew 22:30

 

    We might liken our earthly existence to the embryotic stage, and the release from our bodies as our true birth.  Or we might liken ourselves to caterpillars who must go through the cocooning struggle before we can be born as butterflies.  The example of Jesus shows us the way to successfully ‘cocoon’ so that we will be able to fly!

 

    So in Christ Jesus, we have two exemplars:  the powerful, loving, Son of God – the now sovereign of our universe –  and the humble, loving, exemplar of our faith, our older brother Jesus, the Son of Man, who showed us how to love one another. 

 

    The Father and the Christ did not leave us to our own devices to figure out how to achieve sonship.  The Christ, manifest in Jesus, was born as a helpless babe who had to grow to manhood as any other mortal of the realm; lived as a perfected man and teacher of heavenly ideals; and died as a faithful man, invincible in the face of an ignominious death. 

 

     Jesus promised that after his resurrection, he would send the Spirit of Truth that would continue to teach us about all things: 

 

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.  But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.  He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.  All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” 

– John 16:12-15

 

    And in his last discourse to his apostles he gave them instructions to carry out until they receive their adoption in the heavens: 

 

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

– Matthew 28:18-20

 

     So we have now three ways in which the Father communes with us: 

 

1. Through His Son, the Christ, who was the exact representation of God’s very being:

 

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.  So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.” 

– Hebrews 1:1-4

 

2. Through the Son’s spirit of truth who will teach us about all things:

 

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.  He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.  All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.” 

– John 16:12-15

 

3. And through the Father’s own divine fragment whereby the Father knows the very hairs of our head:

 

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”  

– 1 Corinthians 3:16

 

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own?”

– 1 Corinthians 6:19

 

    In our next article, we will discuss the “Divine Spirit Fragment of the Father.

 

    We welcome your comments.

 

“Your Brothers in Faith”

 

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