“Our Bodily Right”
A sure confirmation, as it comes from God through Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son, is that the glory we have in Him is ours by inheritance. Jesus prayed concerning those elected by God and chosen for a purpose before the foundation of the world, that each would come into that foreordained glory. This God given glory shall enable a people to subdue and have dominion over that which God created. God’s purpose is to express Himself through His creation that they might be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth. This glory belongs to a people by rights from God. Belonging to a people because they became God’s “predestinated” as they receive Christ within and fulfill the adoption (to be placed as sons).
These adopted ones, through increasing spiritual maturity, come to the measure of the stature of Jesus Christ Himself. “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” (Eph. 1:5). Does this not mean that God purposed for Himself a people to become His sons, whereby He might manifest Himself in and through them? This declaration is according to His good pleasure as He enjoys having joy in this work of pleasure.
If it were God’s good pleasure to bring a people into adoption, it would be well for us to know just what it is that the adoption consists of. Rom. 8:15 says, “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father”. The contrast of this verse states and reveals that once we were in bondage to the spirit of this world as we dwelt under its elements, the spirit of worldliness that held its sway over us. However, through receiving Christ and spiritually maturing unto God’s adopted, we are no longer under that bondage, for we have been born anew, begotten of the Spirit of God and are therefore, sons of God by spiritual regeneration. As sons, we can now legally have all the privileges of the family, with God as our Father. This makes us a people who now can receive the gift of His Divine nature.
2 Peter 1:3-4 declares, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust”. This available gift includes all the spiritual blessings of the heavenlies, the invisible realms of God, which includes the redemption of our body. “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body”. (Rom. 8:23).
The definition of “redemption” from the dictionary means:
1. The act of redeeming and the condition achieved.
2. A recovery of something mortgaged; a repurchase.
3. Christ’s sacrifice brought salvation from sin.”
Therefore, when speaking of the act of redemption for the body, at the time of our adoption, we can expect to see a repurchasing of that which was lost or mortgaged by excepting the work of the sacrifice of Christ Jesus on the cross. This means for us that the condition which man needed for the redemption of their dying bodies of death, Jesus Christ has paid to the fullest. It will never again have to be paid for. The sons must simply, through progressive maturing acts and obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit, enter their time of adoption, which will bring redemption to their bodies.
The scriptures from Eph. 1:5-7 shares with us the certainty of this truth, that we, a people, “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” Thus, our redemption is steadfastly secure in something Jesus Christ has done for us. Just as forgiveness and redemption is a fact for the sins of the soul and spirit, likewise it also includes a new body. This means that the security of completion for the whole man is ours by grace, a grace that is greater than all our sins.
What is sin? Sin is a transgression, which means, “to miss the mark, to miss or wonder from the right path. It means to go and do wrong.” We are told in Rom. 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one-man sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so, death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”. All have sinned, all have missed the mark, and humanity has fallen when he should have stood upright. He has fallen aside from truth and equity. He is at fault, in trespass. However, when sin did abound, grace did much more abound. Man, in his fallen state, by the act of his existence, is in transgression. He is overstepping the divine boundary placed between God’s good and man’s evil.
Man’s way is iniquity, a wrongful act before God. Man is in a place of error; he stands in a place of departure from that which is right. In missing the mark, man fails to meet the divine standards of God. In man’s position of trespass against God, he has allowed the intrusion of self-will to enter the sphere of divine authority. Thus, in all his ways man is a lawless vessel that moves in spiritual anarchy. One who stands in unbelief is an insult to the Divinity of God.
In further describing the fallen man, we must consider this fact, that he is wicked in all his ways. In a place of depravity, man is in the place of the wicked acting out of an evil nature. The vicious disposition and desires of that which is evil belong to him. Evil, the fallen man’s way, is full of labors and pains in working mischief. In being lawless, man has contempt for God’s law, a breaking through of all restraints, divine, or human, to gratify one’s own lust. In this fallen nature, man wondered about, he went astray, and now supports himself by instituting doctrinal error and religious deceit. Man stands at fault in that he has diminished fully that life, which is from God. Man has deviated from his intended purpose.
Man’s sinful nature causes him to sin in all his ways, which means that in all his acts he remains cursed. Regardless of how the world beholds the man, without accepting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, all his acts are outside God’s flow. Sin is a nature, the position of being at enmity towards God. Nevertheless, through Jesus’ blood, His death on the cross and by His Grace He, unto believers, forgives the sin to progressively overcome the sin nature. As John 1:11-13 says, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received [accepted] Him, to them gave He power [authority] to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born [begotten], neither of blood, nor of the will of man, but [the will] of God”. This little word “of” in this verse is a preposition denoting “motion for the interior. Used of time, place, and origin. It means out from.” Therefore, the ones who accept Him as Savior receive authority to become His sons. They are the begotten, those born “out from” God, according to His will.
Despite the completely depraved condition of the fallen man, God has never deviated from His intended will and purpose. That is, to have a creation made in His image and after His likeness, a family. This is the work of creation; which God continues to do by the power of the Holy Spirit. “For the creature [creation] was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope”. (Rom. 8:20).
Jesus Christ, the sacrifice needed for man, was given from the heart of God even before the foundation of the world. God, in His infinite wisdom, purposed for His creation to become the expression of His love. The work of redemption shall be completed and all the redeemed shall worship Him. The sacrifice came, but for the most part, thus far, has not been fully received. Nevertheless, unto all who receive, God gives authority to become that for which He intended. Through His blood by grace, sins are forgiven, and grace received works in the vessel until redemption changes the whole man, spirit, soul, and body. Yes, we shall be like Him. For has not He, God, purposed? Has He not called? Has He not chosen? Shall He not complete that for which He purposed? A people made in His likeness and image.
Declaring in 1 John 3:2 God tells us, “Beloved, now are we the sons [children] of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear [be revealed – spiritual enlightenment], we shall be like him; for we shall see Him as he is”. In this verse, the word “appear” is the Greek word “Phaneroo” which means, “To bring to light, make manifest.” Also, in this verse the word “see” is the Greek word “Opsomai” and has the meaning of, “has regard to the object presented to the eye, and to the subject which perceives at the same time: It denotes, not so much the act of seeing, but the state and condition of the one to whose eye the object is presented”. Could this verse be telling us, that in the process of our redemption, light and understanding is given. This concerns the Christ, for as we see Him as He is, we are changed.
The more we are changed, the more we behold Him, until we fully become the likeness of His image, even to the whole man. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified”. (Rom. 8:28-30).
Notice the progression of God’s work in the called and chosen vessel. God’s purpose is that the called are processed until they become the chosen glorified ones. “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. 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.” (1 Cor. 15:46-49). The promise of God’s fulfillment is to bring a people into His likeness here on the earth. Confirming this truth by the realization that the assurance is, as we have born the image of the earthy, which we are, we shall also bear into image of the heavenly, which we are becoming. “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself” (Phil. 3:21).
The promise fulfilled is a people changed. The truth of this fact that we have and are going about bearing the image of the earthy is the assurance, that God will also mature a people to the place of bearing the image of the heavenly. The fulfillment of the law of God is when God and the Christ take up their abode in the heart and soul of the Christian overcomer. The ultimate expression of the law or nature of God occurs when the Father and the Son, through the Holy Spirit rules absolutely in the soul of the saint. The completeness of the harvesting of the Christian by the Lord is the redemption of the human (hewed-down man) body. The redeeming of our body is a very important part of salvation by faith in Christ Jesus. We are Christians adopted through redemption into the place as a son through the death of Jesus. In fact, the redemption from the human body is our adoption to becoming a son of God.
Most Christians have taken the death of the physical body to lightly. Physical death is not the “natural” state of man. Physical death is a curse upon humanity and is the perpetual, direct, and certain consequence of sin. Death, both spiritual and physical is an enemy that the Holy Spirit destroys based upon Jesus’ finished work at Calvary and whenever the overcoming body of Christ reaches the necessary level of spiritual maturity.
This redeemed people of God, who by adoption, know the redemption of their bodies. Phil. 3:21 states, “Who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.” This word “change” means, “to transform, or change the fashion of.” Therefore, we shall be transformed from our “vile body” (body of humiliation), to His “glorious body” (the body of His glory). We, the redeemed of God, with nothing left out, have received a new beginning in Christ and it shall be finished. For this cause, God set within man what he needs for the full purpose of Christ to finally manifest. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”. (Eph. 4:13).
All things, fulfilled in Christ, means that all things are made complete in Him. “…Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God”. (Rev. 21:3). To this, we say amen. The soul of man is being filled with the glory of God. Man’s soul, his mind, his will, his emotions, and his desires become Gods dwelling place to manifest the divine nature of God. Herein we see the sons of God walking among humanity with spirit, soul, and body manifesting the nature of God according to His purpose. For what reason, but that all creation may behold the Christ and the nature of Christ appearing in and through His many sons. The testimony declared, is that a people have been redeemed by His love divine.