First the Kingdom, part 5: What is Man?
Around three thousand years ago, David, king of Israel, looked up at the night sky and wondered about our existence. He knew that we are just a small part of this great universe God created. And yet this great God had a purpose in mind for humanity. David eloquently wrote:
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet, (Psalms 8:4-6) NASU
Even though the human race had fallen short of the glory of God from the beginning, King David was aware of God’s original blessing recorded in the opening verses of Genesis. Knowing the goodness, mercy and power of His God, David understood that His plan was not defeated when Adam and Eve sinned. He also knew of the promise that in the end all things would ultimately be under the feet of a people who would come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ!
The descendant of the serpent who deceived the first man and woman would figuratively bruise the heal of their descendant Jesus Christ, who would come to bruise the serpents head. (Genesis 3:15) This signifies the victory and restoration of the authority that was lost in the fall. Not only would Christ win the victory for Himself, but for us all!
The writer to the Hebrews looked at David’s question and found an answer.
For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking. But one has testified somewhere, saying,
“WHAT IS MAN, THAT YOU REMEMBER HIM? OR THE SON OF MAN, THAT YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HIM? “YOU HAVE MADE HIM FOR A LITTLE WHILE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS;YOU HAVE CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR,AND HAVE APPOINTED HIM OVER THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS; 8 YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.”
For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.
But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying,
” I WILL PROCLAIM YOUR NAME TO MY BRETHREN,IN THE MIDST OF THE CONGREGATION I WILL SING YOUR PRAISE.” (Hebrews 2:5-12)
Can you grasp this? can you believe it? Jesus tasted death for us all and is bringing many sons and daughters to glory, calling us His brothers and sisters — His family! We are ONE! The Early Church Father Irenaeus understood this when he wrote of: “the only true and steadfast Teacher, the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who did, through His transcendent love, become what we are, that He might bring us to be even as Himself!”
Before Him, Paul the apostle wrote these words:
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)
To this day we see the devastating result of the fall of Adam. Murder, rape, poverty, war, hatred, greed — all proof of the fact that satisfaction cannot be found when Christ is missing in our lives. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and yet God has not forgotten His purpose for humanity. That purpose from the beginning was for us to reveal the full glory of God in these physical bodies!
Instead of living in fear and being subjected to the elements, our destiny is to rule and reign with Christ over this earth in His authority! That authority only comes to those who live in harmony with the authority of God Who made us. That harmony with God can only come through the work of Christ on the Cross. There He not only paid the debt for our sins but He also made the way for us to ascend with Him into heavenly places by the power of the Holy Spirit!
It is by grace that we are forgiven and also by grace that we live in victory over our sins! Salvation in Biblical terms is having freedom to live to the glory of God!
Jesus made a statement once concerning our spiritual eyesight. He said if the eye is single or clear that the entire body will be filled with light! But if the eye is dark and evil, the entire body will be full of darkness. (Matthew 6:22-23).
It is time for us to begin seeing God, His light, and our purpose in Him more clearly. It is time to become single-minded and focused on the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus! Instead of looking back to our failures, we need a single eye towards the wonderful destination we have in Him! This may sound too easy, but a change in focus can change your life. Your entire being can be filled with light according to Jesus! Even now, as we set our sights toward the glory of God, we can begin to live in that glory, beauty and victory.
Believers in Christ have what is called the Beatific Vision. That is the knowledge that death is not the end, and that the glory of heaven awaits us when our bodies pass away. However, we must not forget the reason we are in these bodies now!
In Titus 2:11-14, Paul writes:
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. NASU
In this very present age we have a life to live to the glory of God. We really do not have time for sin! As we look ahead to the glorious appearing of Christ, we also look for Him to progressively transform us into the image of God, which was planned by Him from the beginning.
There is so much talk today about great faith. Having faith to be healed, faith to be prosperous etc. What about having the faith that God can live in us to the same degree that he did in His Only Begotten Son, Jesus? What about believing that He can receive what He had planned for us from the very beginning, in this life, in these very bodies? Is that so hard for Him?
This is the full purpose of God’s saving us by grace, through faith. It is God:
Who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
That we might: live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age. (Ephesian 2:8, 2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 2:11-14)
While setting goals this high might seem arrogant to some, it is actually the ultimate in humility! While my mind and my experiences might tell me that the high calling of God in Christ Jesus is impossible, I can submit in humility to God’s great power and wisdom to believe the Gospel of the Kingdom, which promisses this wonderful future! We are predestined to become conformed to the image of Jesus Christ! ( Romans 8:19). With human beings this is impossible, but ALL THINGS are Possible WITH GOD!
This kind of humility is also in line with Christ’s command to advance the Kingdom of God by teaching all nations how to observe everything He had commanded His first disciples. Instead of going forward in doubt and even anticipating failure, we can have the confidence that the Gospel of the Kingdom will work powerfully in the earth, because all authority was given to Jesus who commissioned us! (Mattew 28:19)
As I stand here I realize I am preaching to my self.
Father in Heaven gives us a greater vision and strengthen us in Your Word, in order that we can ultimately give greater joy and pleasure to You!
In Jesus Name, Amen.