What is the purpose of man? (2018-01-26)

Man was created for one purpose only, to contain God so God could be in union with man to expressed Him. That is why we were made in his image (Gen. 1:26) – so we could express him; like a glove is made in the image of a hand, to contain the hand and express its will. We were made to contain God so the invisible God could be made visible through us. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (Col. 1:15) This is a new creation. Christ is the first being that combines the nature of God with the nature of man into one. He is the first creation with the life of God and the life of a man! He expresses God in man! God is timeless, so for him, the creation of his Son, a being where divinity is expressed through humanity, is the firstborn of all creation. The Adamic race, the race created under Adam, does not even count in God’s eyes. God and man have combined together to form a new creation, a new ‘species’ so to speak. “I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity.” (John 17:23) Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:8) The invisible God is made visible, embodied in the Son. “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me.” (John 14:11) In redeeming us through the death on the cross, and resurrecting, he released the “life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45) to dwell in us, giving us his divine life with its divine nature. “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” (John 14:20) This is God’s purpose for man, that we would dwell in him and he would dwell in us. We contain him, and he contains us. This mutual co-habitation is how we become perfectly one with God. It is how we will express him. It is how we become his righteous. (2 Cor. 5:22) It is how we could follow the laws. (John 14:23) It is how we could love our neighbour as ourselves. (Mat. 5:44-45) “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23) For the Father to make his home in our hearts, we just love him.

In his resurrection, he revealed to Mary Magdalene that humans can have the divine life now, an eternal life. He said to her, “Go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (John 20:17) We are now brothers of Christ and of each other, and God is our mutual Father because we have received the life-giving Spirit, the divine life, that has now made his home in our hearts. “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Rom. 8:29) Christ was the first human with the life of God. We are to be the same. God is creating a new race of beings – humans that have the life of God. That is why we are “a chosen race.” (1 Pet. 2:9) That is why following the laws of the first covenant could never effect this reality. “For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.” (Gal. 6:15) “For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.” (Gal. 3:21) We needed God to give us his life, the divine life – the Spirit – that lives within man to follow the laws. The Spirit conveys the Father and the Son, Christ, into us. Christ lives within man to form a new creation. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor. 5:17) Christ is the firstborn of this new creation. We are the second, and the third, and the forth, and so on. That in why we are made in the image of God. (2 Cor. 3:18) That is why we are the sons of God. (John 1:12) He is our Father and Christ is the firstborn among many brothers.

Why is creating this new race important to God? So he has an expression through us, joining us to our creator. The invisible God is made visible through us. “And He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” (2 Cor. 5:15) “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.” (1 John 4:9) He sent his Son so we might live through Him, be alive through Him. We become the expression of God’s thoughts. “We have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:16) To have his thoughts, we have to surrender our wills to him, so “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20) Surrendering our wills is the greatest challenge we face as Christians who are “press[ing] on  toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phi. 3:14) We know we should surrender our sinful behaviours to him. But what is hardest is to surrender our ‘good’ behaviours to him also, our “confidence in the flesh” (Phi. 3:4). Paul said, “If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I more: circumcised the eight day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews;  as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.” (Phi. 3:4) The greatest challenge is to surrender the ‘good’ that we all feel we have, as it still resides under the wrong tree. It is what separates us rather than unifies us as we fight for our own righteousness. “Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteous.” (Rom. 10:3) Submitting our wills to God’s righteousness is the hardest thing. “Having this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death of a cross.” (Phi. 5:6) God humbled himself for us even to the point of death. We should have this same attitude. This is how we become “united in spirit, intent on one purpose” (Phi. 2:2) We must “worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” (Phi. 3:3) so that “the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.” (2 Cor. 4:7) It is most difficult for us to be “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.” (Phi. 3:13) It requires faith and trust in our Lord. It requires the Spirit of reality. (John 14:17) It requires the surrendering of our wills to Him. (Rom. 12:1) Surrendering our wills daily, bit by bit, in how we run this race. Ultimately, when we have surrendered our all to him, living in faith, he will be able to live his life fully through us. We would be in full agreement with him, like when a bride says “Yes!” to her bridegroom of her own free will. This is why Christians are collectively pictured as the bride to Christ, who is the bridegroom, at the conclusion of this age in Revelations. We have said willingly “Yes!” to Christ, surrendering our all to him because of his great love for us. (Eph. 2:4) We can finally say “Yes!” when he asks us, “Do you love me more than these?” (John 21:15) with a selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional ‘agape’ love. This is what is most valuable to him as the bridegroom. He simply wishes that, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Mat. 22:37) He simply wants our love, freely given to him. This is the greatest moment, even in our human lives, when the bride says “Yes!” to the bridegroom. We have the biggest celebration of our lives! Lets celebrate it with Christ at the end of this age! By saying “Yes!” we have willingly given ourselves to be joined in one Spirit with him (1 Cor. 6:17) expressing who he is. Today if we can offer only a simple smile towards him, he would be happy, as that would be a beginning of our relationship with him. He yearns for it from all of us. “We are a fragrance of Christ to God” (2 Cor. 2:15), a “sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him” everywhere we go. (2 Cor. 2:14) As we get to know him (Heb. 8:11), our love for our Lord and creator will grow and grow, from “glory to glory”” (2 Cor. 4:6) as we are “transformed into the same image.” (2 Cor. 4:6) That is why we were created.

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