The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"From Spirit to Flesh. From Flesh to Spirit"
"The Word was made flesh… Ye are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (John 1:14; Romans 8:9).
The Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, was "made flesh" that we might be made spirit. "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). All who trust the Lord Jesus become enlivened spiritual beings through living union with the Holy Spirit. "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (I Corinthians 6:17). We still possess earthly souls and bodies, referred to by the Apostle Paul as "the natural (soulical) man" or "natural body" (I Corinthians 2:14; 15:44). However, we are spiritual in our innermost being and selfhood. Again, "that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
Before we trusted in Christ, we existed as earthly, fleshly beings who had a spirit that was not "alive unto God" and that was not "joined unto the Lord" (Romans 6:11; I Corinthians 6:17). We lived our lives "alienated from the life of God" (Ephesians 4:18). Earthly realities served as the content and context of our existence. In order to save us from such darkness and alienation from God, the Lord Jesus became human. In wondrous sacrifice and condescension, He took upon Himself our earthly faculties and members. He then lived life such as we live, being "in all points tempted like as we are" (Hebrews 4:15). He never succumbed to temptation, of course, which ultimately led to His dying a death for us as the spotless Lamb of God that was far more sorrowful and painful than any other conscious being has ever known, or ever will know.
"We did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God… He hath put Him to grief… My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Isaiah 53:4; 10; Matthew 27:46).
Our Lord accomplished all as a man (without relinquishing His divinity), and all to redeem us from a doomed earthly being unto an eternally alive and vibrant spiritual selfhood united to the Spirit of Christ. "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly… Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (John 10:10; Romans 6:11). We do not become Him through this blessed union, of course, nor does He become us. Our Lord, however, does become the very Life of our lives, and the "new creature" He spiritually births does become the core and essence of who we most deeply are (II Corinthians 5:17).
Before Christ, we existed as natural and fleshly beings who possessed a spirit that did not serve its proper function as the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. After we trust in Christ, our spirits spring to life and forever thereafter serve as the innermost essence of who and what we are. As referenced in our introduction, the words of the Apostle Paul definitely affirm, "Ye are not in the flesh but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." We retain the earthly faculties and members that constitute us as human. Moreover, God's direct presence does not yet grace these earthly members and faculties. "If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the spirit is life because of righteousness" (Romans 8:10). Our flesh, therefore, "lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17). This means we must "mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body," as led and enabled by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:13). Knowing that we are Christ-inhabited and enlivened spirits in our innermost being provides a strong basis upon which we heed the Apostle Paul's command: "Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16).
Such grace was made possible by our Lord taking upon Himself our humanity. He thereby died for our sins, and also made possible the giving of the Holy Spirit to our spirits for their spiritual birthing as the very essence of who we are in Christ. So great a sacrifice made possible our becoming who we were not by our Savior becoming what He had not been. Yes, He was made flesh without relinquishing His divinity, that we might be made spirit without relinquishing our earthly humanity.
"He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
(II Corinthians 5:21)
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil."
Weekly Memory Verse
For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.