by Ernest O'Neill
"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God". This is what happened at the beginning of all things - the Being whom we know in human history as Jesus of Nazareth - expressed God. He was God's Living Word - He was God Himself separate from Himself in another Being. In His Son, Jesus Christ, God expressed Himself in an existence outside Himself - in a way that could be observed by other beings.
But Christ was not only an expression of the Creator's divine nature: he was also an expression of another part of God, for in Him humanity also came into existence and eventually came to planet earth as the first man, Adam. Everything that humans have done since that time has been done in Jesus Christ - He has borne the effects of all their actions, thoughts, and words - and has borne the strain of their hostility to their Creator. By this means God has made it possible for man to freely reject Him and yet live to have an opportunity to freely accept God's best.
The fact that Christ is designated the first-born of all creation (Col 1:15) makes it clear that humanity was not an after-thought of God, but was at the center of the Creator's intentions from before the beginning of time (Eph 1:3-5). This was the best that our Creator could give us - Himself - his own life, His own Son. He gave us His humanity - the humanity that He gave to His only-begotten Son who shared His own Eternal nature. So, when our Maker made us inside His own Son, He gave us the same eternal nature as His Son - and the same close relationship with Himself. That's why the statements in the New Testament are so important - "we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works that God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). We did not begin our existence in our mother's bodies - this is part of the misconception or self-centered deception that we accept from birth about ourselves and each other. Our real existence began outside time in eternity - in God's conception of a dear Son that would be "the first-born of all creation" (Colossians 1:15) and the "firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:29).
The attitude that casts its darkening shadow on every step we take in life comes from our missing this great central point of our existence - that we were made as part of this wonderful Being - Christ Jesus - the only-begotten Son of our Creator. We repeatedly think of him as someone outside us - and we think of ourselves as definitely outside him. The result is that we live as autonomous human beings - ruled by our selves and our own laws and wishes. But instead of this unreality, we are in fact part of THE GREAT HUMAN BEING who is also God's Son. We have been made to willingly enjoy His life and actions here on earth. This autonomy is called "sin" in the Bible, but we keep regarding sin as mere immorality - it isn't - it's this willful independence of the One of whom we are an integral part.
In a way we are not autonomous - self-ruled. Actually we do not have the ability to rule ourselves - we were made to enjoy the loving rule of Christ who has submitted himself to be imprisoned within us. Because of the capacities we have and those we lack, we automatically drift towards dependence on other things and powers. Most of us therefore fall into anything that will make up for what we lose by ignoring our position in the Creator's Son. We all know these "needs" from our own personal experiences. Obviously, the Creator's son has a relaxed sense of his father's care for him, so he naturally points to the security possessed so effortlessly by nature -"look at the birds of the air; they do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them - are you not worth much more than they?" When we ignore the reality of our position in Jesus, we face an impossible situation - we are insignificantly little pieces of flesh with millions of other similar little pieces - and all of us have to get into our mouths what we need to keep us alive; this creates great insecurity in us! So, we have to find something or someone we can depend on to provide us with food. This is why money and jobs and govern so much of our lives and actions.
But the same is true about our clothes - the Creator's son had an enviable contentment about protecting his body from cold and heat. He simply pointed to the flowers and urged us to "observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin yet not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these"! However, we think always "we're on our own"; we believe if we don't clothe ourselves, there is no one else that cares to do it for us. So again we are not really autonomous in that we do what we ourselves want; we are autonomous only in that we decide to ignore the reality that we're really part of God's Son. By having done that, we become governed by the things or circumstances or people that will enable us to clothe ourselves.
Consequently, we end up living our lives to meet the needs that our Creator supplies to his Son and all those who live inside his Son - of whom you are one.
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