The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Heavenly and Earthly"
Part 2 - "Which Is Greater?"
When considering the Lord Jesus Christ as the God who became man, and the man who remains God, which aspect of the Divine and the human should be considered as greater?
Obviously, the eternal I AM of His Deity occupies the primary characteristic of who and what our Lord is. He is and always been God the Son, even as the writer of Hebrews confirms, "Thy throne, o God, is forever and ever" (Hebrews 1:8). Thus, when approaching the Lord Jesus, we glory in Him as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8). But we also join the Apostle John in falling before our Savior as "the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). Yes, the Lord Jesus is the God who became and will always be man. But He has always been, and will ever remain Divine. This is primary. Heaven, first and foremost, and then earth. "From everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God" (Psalm 90:2).
Regarding born again believers in Christ, we also exist as Heavenly and earthly creatures. The Spirit of God dwells within the spiritual "new creature" we are (I Corinthians 3:16; II Corinthians 5:17). However, we have not always existed as has our Lord, nor did we become Divine when we trusted the Lord Jesus. His Spirit dwells within us, we are "in Christ," and union is so profound that the Apostle Paul declared it "one spirit" (I Corinthians 6:17). Never, however, will the divide between God and ourselves be crossed in any manner whatsoever. "Thou art God alone" (Psalm 86:10). Thus, we are Heavenly beings through our Lord's presence and "newness of life" that birthed us as sons and daughters of God. But we remain earthly as well. "We have this Treasure in earthly vessels" (II Corinthians 4:7).
This raises the same question about ourselves as we addressed regarding our Lord. Which is greater, the Heavenly or the earthly? Which birth resulted in the primary nature and characteristic of who and what we are? The Old Testament provides much insight into the answer. Recall that God always exalted the secondborn over the firstborn in His purposes. Abel and Cain. Isaac and Ishmael. Jacob and Esau. Saul and David (in this case, the second king, exalted over the first). This points to the truth we consider, revealing that God always purposes the Heavenly, or the spiritual, to be in ascendancy over the earthly. Thus, when believers think about ourselves, we do not in any manner deny our very real earthliness. We were first born as earthly, and remain so. However, we affirm with the Apostle Paul…
"Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Romans 8:9).
This denotes our second birth, which resulted in our being Heavenly creatures in Christ. Indeed, on our best days and our worst days, our Heavenly Father views us as His Heavenly children. He calls us to the same perspective, and to the strong affirmation of our primary being and nature as spiritual.
This truth bears great significance and implication for how we live our lives by faith. We will consider this in Part 3 of this series.
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God."
"As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the Heavenly, such are they also that are Heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the Heavenly."
(I Corinthians 15:48-49)
Weekly Memory Verse
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.