July 19, 2013
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Paul writes in Colossians 1:18 that Jesus, “…is the Head of the Body, the Church….” We have seen that the head – having the brain, housing the mind – is to be in control of the physical body. Applied to Christ and the Church – not forgetting that the Church is the people – we, as the Body of Christ, are to be in complete subjection to the Lord. He is the One who is to give direction to the Body, and we are to carry out that direction without adding to His will our own will and wishes!
So what does this all mean? It means that we are the incarnation of Jesus Christ in the world! Incarnation, according to Webster;s New World Dictionary, is, “…the taking on of human form and nature by Jesus as the Son of God.” We are the second incarnation of God come in the flesh! Or, I suppose it is better said, we are the continued incarnation of God come in the flesh!
You see, it is only by God becoming flesh – Jesus, the Son of God taking on the form and nature of man (but not the corrupted, sinful nature) – that man could begin to understand Who God is. Before that they simply did not have the capacity to know God.
• Adam and Eve were in perfect fellowship with God before sin entered the human race. And they walked with Him regularly “…in the cool of the day…” (Genesis 3:8). But when they sinned, it separated them from harmony with their Creator. He came, as He regularly did, but it says in Genesis 3:8, “Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
• God appeared to Abraham several times, but Abraham did not know God as we can know Him in Jesus Christ. Most of “appearances” were the voice of God instructing the patriarch to do one thing or another. Abraham obeyed God’s voice, but he did not know the nature of God as revealed in Christ.
• At Sinai, God came down on the top of the mountain in glory to give the Israelites the Ten Commandments and the law. But this is their reaction to the glorious sight recorded in Exodus 20:18 and 19:
Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the
sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people
saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, You
speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
• Even in Jesus’ day, God answered from heaven Jesus’ short prayer in John 12:28, “Father, glorify Your name. Then a voice came from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” What was the reaction of those who stood by? “…the people…said that it had thundered. Others said, ‘And angel has spoken to Him.”
But the people could walk and talk with Jesus. They could touch Him, hear Him, interact with Him. And He said in John 14:9, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” The more you know Jesus Christ, the deeper you know the Triune God!
So Jesus Christ came and walked the earth among men. But He ascended back to heaven. What did He leave behind? His Body – the Church, you and me – to walk among men and manifest the invisible God to them so they also can know Him! This is the continued incarnation of God in human flesh among mankind! And now it is multiplied from one Person – Jesus Christ – to potentially thousand and millions of obedient Christians around the world who will live in complete submission to their Head.
So God is only manifested by the Holy Spirit in Christians when we are willing to put down our own mind – our own will, wants and ways – and submit to our Head, Jesus Christ. Remember, it is only the Head which has the mind of God! Thus will God – through His Son in us by the Spirit – be shown forth to people so they also can know and have fellowship with the Father.
Christian, are you ready for the challenge of submission to the Lord? Are you ready to be Christ in this old world? For He “…is the Head of the Body, the Church…” (Colossians 1:18).