FIRSTBORN SONSHIP OF CHRIST
TRAVAILING IN BIRTH AGAIN
Through Christ, God has purchased and is purchasing a special people for Himself, whom He has predestined to share the firstborn sonship of Christ, and who will exemplify eternally in deified bodies the unsearchable riches of His divine fullness, Gen 12:1-3; Ex 19:3-6; Isa 43:21; Mal 3:16-18; 1Pe 2:5, 9; Ti 2:13-14; Eph 1:14, 17-23; 3:1-21. God is training this special, covenant people to share the firstborn sonship of Christ, and qualify with Christ to righteously govern, not only the earth, but all of God's vast creation, including the myriads of galaxies ("containing millions to hundreds of billions of stars"), the heaven of heavens, myriads of righteous angels, and demons as well, Rom 4:13; 8:17, 32; 1Co 3:21-23. Those who qualify will have the immensely powerful and glorious angels as their ministers (Heb 1:14) as they also rule over many nations of saved people who are not firstborn sons and who will inhabit the new earth in natural physical bodies, Rev 20:4-6; 21:23-26; 22:1-2.
God's special people are those who have recognized and faithfully obeyed His covenant requirements down through the ages. In the resurrection they will be born into the firstborn sonship of Christ and share a unique oneness with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Gen 12:1-3; 17; 18:17-19; 22:15-18; 25:1-5; 28:13-15; Ex 19:4-6; Deu 7:6-11; 26:16-19; 1Pe 2:5,9; Titus 2:14; Eph 1:13-14, 22-23; 3:19; 5:31; 1Co 6:15-17; Col 1:19; 2:9-10; Jn 10:30-36; 14:8-11; 17:21-23; Rev 14:1-5.
Those nations of saved people on the new earth are the other sons who are not faithful to the covenant requirements in this life. They will not share the firstborn sonship of Christ. They will not receive the glory of God because the glory of God is a covenant promise to the faithful covenant people, and the covenants belong to Israel, Rom 9:4; 11:11-32; Act 3:25; Eph 2:12 (11-22); 2Co 6:16 (compare with Ex 25:8-9; Lev 26:11-12); Heb 8:5-11; 10:15-25. The glory therefore belongs to Israel by covenant promise, Rom 9:4; Isa 46:13; 48:9-12. God has promised in the above passages that He will not give His glory to any other.
The saved person in this church age must have John's baptism to be in a true church and thereby be in God's Israel, Lk 7:29-30; Col 2:11; 1Pe 2:5,9; Eph 2:11-22; Heb 8:5-10; 10:15-25. The saved person must then be faithful in the church or he will be cut off from Israel and lose all the covenant promises, Rom 11:11-22; Mt 18:15-18.
We must travail in our daily lives by the renewing of our minds in a metamorphic transformation into the image of Christ or we will not qualify by grace through faith for that divine birth of our bodies in the resurrection. For instance:
1 "I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 "And do not be conformed to this world, but be TRANSFORMED (metamorphosis) by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God," Rom 12:1-2.
18 "But we all, with unveiled face, constantly beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being changed (transformed, metamorphosis) into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord," 2Co 3:18.
19 "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed (morphothe) in you," Gal 4:19.
The inspired allegory in Gal 4:19-31 and its application as briefly but explicitly given in Gal 5:1-5 are fundamental to a proper understanding of God's purpose throughout the Scriptures.
15 "For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus (in a metaphor) I have begotten you through the Gospel.
16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me.
17 For this reason I have sent Timothy to you,who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church," 1Co 4:15-17.
Paul is writing of the Corinthians being saved, being baptized, and being established as the Lord's church - as the body of Christ where they were metaphorically counted as glorified (deified) members of the glorified (deified) body of Christ.
Also, Timothy was Paul's "son in the faith," which expresses an excellent relationship in Christ. This relationship is true of everyone "in Christ" (in the body of Christ), and if we "hold fast" to and in the Gospel (keep in memory, 1Co 15:1-2) we will attain to the resurrection into a divine birth within the firstborn sonship of Christ, 1Co 15:1-2, 44-50; Phi 3:11 (7-14, 21); Gal 4:19-31; et al.
1. Paul Was Travailing in Birth Again for the Galatian Churches.
19 "My little children, for whom I travail in birth again until Christ is formed in you,
20 "I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you," Gal 4:19-20.
From Genesis through Revelation we find Satan corrupting the Word of God and thereby deceiving God's covenant people:
16 "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
17 "You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked," 2Pe 3:17.
Paul was the primary instrument of God in establishing the Galatian churches, and thereby he had begotten them through the Gospel into the faith - the Gospel includes the resurrection birth of Christ as it applies to our daily life in qualifying for that same resurrection birth when Christ returns, 1Co 15:1-4. The Galatian churches were genuine, but they were being deceived by emissaries out of the Law-keeping Jerusalem church, Acts 10; 11:1-18; 15; 21:17-26; Gal 1 through 6; et al.
One of our very obvious and flagrant sins is that we are afraid to deal honestly with Gal 4:19 thru Gal 5:4. The error is compounded many times over by the same mishandling of a host of similar passages. Satan, as we should expect, has carved out a masterpiece and sadly we have swallowed it.
These are not lost people to whom Paul is writing. Paul is warning the Galatian churches. He is warning saved, scripturally baptized church members, including the pastors and all the members of these true churches which he and Barnabas had scripturally established. We must awake to the fact that our Gospel is greatly corrupted by Protestant theology.
These true churches (truly saved and scripturally baptized church members) were being deceived into practicing and trying to keep the Law Covenant along with the New Covenant. They were bringing themselves, as God's covenant people, back under the condemnation, curse, death sentence, wrath of God, and yoke of slavery of the Law Covenant from which Christ had made them free, Gal 3:10, 13; 2:17-19; 4:21-5:4; 2Co 3;7,9; Rom 4:15; et al. In this way they were losing the image (the "form," Gal 3:19) of Christ:
10 "For as many as are of the works of the Law (Covenant) are under the curse; for it is written, Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the Law (Covenant), to do them,'.....
13 "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law (Covenant), having become a curse for us (for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree')," Gal 3:10, 13.
1 "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage" (yoke of slavery), Gal 4:21-31; 5:1.
Christ can never again be cursed by the Law Covenant. Christ can never again be joined to those who are cursed and enslaved by the Law Covenant. And if the Galatian churches should persist in trying to keep the Law Covenant they would be cut off from Christ because that is precisely what the curse, condemnation, wrath, death, and yoke of slavery of the Law Covenant required, Gal 3:10; 4:21-5:4; 2:16-21; Rom 4:15.
2. We Also Must Travail in Birth - a Daily Dying.
Lazarus (Jn 11) and others were raised from the dead before Christ was, but they were not born into a divine body in their resurrection as Christ was, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:30-33. We have shown in the first two chapters that the glorified body is a heavenly, spirit body born from above (1Co 15:44-50), and we must suffer together with Christ to be glorified together with Him, Rom 8:17-35. We must groan within ourselves, take up the cross daily, bearing about in our bodies the dying of the Lord Jesus in order for this mortal earthy body to be swallowed up of divine life when Christ returns, Rom 8:23 (17-27); Lk 9:23-26; 2Co 4:7-12, 17, 5:5; 2Ti 2:10-13; Phi 3:7-14, 21; Heb 5:8-9; et al.
3. We Must Travail in Birth AGAIN - a Continuing, Progressive Process.
Paul was specifically referring to the time the people of the Galatian churches were initially established in the faith. That is when Christ was first "formed" in them, but being conformed to the image of Christ requires growth. It is progressive and also cumulative, but only if we are faithfully studying and living God's Word daily.
18 "But we all, with open face continually beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are being changed (transformed) into the same image (the image of Christ) from glory into glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord," 2Co 3:18.
The verse requires the present tense - we are daily being changed from one degree of glory into a greater degree of glory, if indeed we are progressively being transformed by the habitual renewing of our minds, Rom 12:2; Eph 4:23. And this can be done by constantly feeding on God's Word. The mind was not permanently renewed at first faith or at any other time until the resurrection when Christ returns. The mind of the saved church member can be carnal and displeasing to God or it can be renewed daily and be spiritual and acceptable to God, 1Co 3:1-4; Rom 8:5-6; 2Co 10:3-5. We do not have two minds: one spiritual and one carnal; rather, we have one mind that can be spiritual or carnal or more spiritual or more carnal depending on how much we feed the Word of God into our mind, 2Co 10:3-5; Gal 5:16-18.
Christ is formed first in our minds - in our mental persuasions into a firm conviction and an action producing mind-set. This state of mind includes our understanding, our reasoning, our conscience, our judgment, our will, our internal emotional inclinations, our psyche, etc. This state of mind then produces our external emotional expressions in our body language, in our speech, and otherwise in all we think, say, and do.
Christ had been first formed in the Galatian churches when they had first believed, had been baptized, and been established as churches, with the New Covenant as a divine guideline governing every facet of life, whether good or evil. At that time they began to grow (a metamorphosis process) into the image of Christ according to their by grace through faith obedience to the requirements of the New Covenant. However, when Paul wrote this letter to the Galatians, they were fast losing that image of Christ.
Their image before God had become that of those who have fallen under the yoke of the curse, condemnation, death, and slavery of the Law Covenant. They were no longer being conformed to the image of Christ and of those who are made free from that curse and enslaved image of the Law Covenant. The new born image of Christ was being canceled out by the curse, condemnation, wrath, death, and enslavement ministry of the Law Covenant. There is much that traditional theology does not cover in both the Law Covenant and in the New Covenant. We must discern that the Law Covenant required a dichotomy of life styles as follows:
a. A Flesh Works Walk.
19 "Now we know that what things soever the Law (Covenant) saith, it saith to them who are under the Law (Covenant): that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God,"
20 Therefore by the deeds (works) of the Law (Covenant) there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the Law (Covenant) is the knowledge of sin," Rom 3:19.-20; Gal 2:16; 3:11.
God designed the Law Covenant so as to reveal to all mankind that we are sinners and have come short of the glory of God in every aspect of life, Ja 2:10. In the covenants God promised His glory, His righteousness, His life, and the fullness of His divine nature (Eph 1:22-23; 3:19; Col 2:9-21) to those who believe and obey - who learn obedience by suffering by grace through faith, Heb 5:8-9; 2:9-18; 2Ti 2:10-13; Rom 8:17-30; et al.
The Law Covenant required those under the covenants to be perfect in every phase of life, so that when one commandment was broken all of them were broken, Ja 2:10. The Law Covenant did not stop there. It required a daily walk of perfection in the mind and in the flesh body. This effort toward perfection in the flesh body produced a flesh oriented walk of life, and therefore produced flesh works in the covenant people which God did not and will not accept. The purpose of this covenant required flesh-walk was to keep the covenant people conscious of the fact that they were and are sinners in every aspect of their daily life, and thereby all the world should become aware that they also are all sinners.
Every covenant person was held in a yoke of slavery to the curse, condemnation, wrath, and death sentence of the Law Covenant, which meant separation from all that the covenants promised - specifically, separation from Christ in His new born deified body, as explicitly stated in Gal 5:1-4. See also Gal 6:7-15; Rom 3:23; 2Ti 2:10-13; etc.
Paul was agonizing in birth pains again for these already saved and baptized Galatian church members to prevent them from being cut off from Christ, Gal 4:19-5:4; 6:7-15.
b. A Grace Through Faith Walk.
The Law Covenant also required a daily "by grace through faith" walk on the part of all the covenant people. Every covenant person was to bring an animal sacrifice for his sins, not just once but often; and twice every day clean animal sacrifices were offered for all the people. These clean animal blood sacrifices pictured Christ being sacrificed for the covenant people - of course, Christ died for every human being, but He died specially for the church and all the faithful old covenant people.
But keep in mind that the animals were not only sacrificed, their blood sprinkled appropriately, and usually prescribed parts of their body burned on the altar, but also specified parts of the animals were given to the priests and sometimes their families to be eaten by them.
This eating of the animal sacrifices represented precisely the same thing we symbolize in the Lord's Supper; that is, partaking of Christ in our minds (hearts, affections, etc) in this life and partaking of His divine nature in the resurrection, 1Co 10:16-18; Jn 6:27-67; Heb 3:14; 2Co 3:18; Phi 3:7-14,21; 2Pe 1:4; Mt 5:44-45; 12:46-50; Lk 6:35; 2Co 6:16-18; Gal 4:1-5:5; et al.
In the Law Covenant we find both a flesh works requirement for the understanding of the covenant people that they were still sinners, as well as the faith and grace works requirement for the daily life victory of the covenant people. This flesh works versus grace works dichotomy will be presented in the further study of this general subject. The booklet, "Amazing Grace," will be reprinted ASAP.
Under the New Covenant we are still in a transformation (metamorphic) stage of development in our minds (our psyche), of growing up into Christ (Eph 4:15-16) and being developed into the image of Christ in our daily lives by the renewing of our minds. Read Rom 6, 7, and 8; Eph 4, 5, and 6 and Col 2, 3, and 4 for three prime examples of the mind-set we must have to produce the new born image of Christ in and through us in order to obtain and share in the firstborn sonship of Christ.
4. The Law Covenant and the Elementary Laws of the Physical World.
"Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world," Gal 4:3.
Trying to keep the Law Covenant along with the New Covenant is the problem all the way through the book of Galatians and in much of Paul's other writings. Very powerful emissaries out of the Jerusalem church (as first seen in Acts 15 and Gal 2:1-14) had also come to the Galatian churches and were persuading them to try to keep the Law Covenant along and with the New Covenant. The Spirit is moving Paul here to give the deeper understanding of the slavery of the Law Covenant by boldly stating that it represented the earthy human body's enslavement to the elements (elementary laws) of the physical world.
9 "But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?," Gal 4:9.
Again the Law Covenant is referred to as the "weak and beggarly elements" (stoicheion) of the world. The word "elements" is the same one used in 2Pe 3:10 and 12, which "shall melt with fervent heat." The Law Covenant appropriately revealed that those under it (and therefore all mankind, Rom 3:19) were held in slavery under the elements (elementary forces) of the world.
8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ," Col 2:8.
For a third time the same word "stoicheion" is used, referring to both the Law Covenant and the elements or rudiments of the world, as seen explicitly in verse 20, and again in 1Co 15:44-50.
False teachings had obviously been brought into the church at Colosse that presented Christ as less than the fullness of deity. By inspiration Paul destroys these teachings in the next verse by stating frankly and very explicitly that Christ possesses all the fullness of deity in His human but now fully deified body.
ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD
"For in Him is dwelling all the fullness of the Godhead bodily," Col 2:9.
Jesus was the Son of God in that human body before His resurrection, but in His resurrection His human body was born into a divine state of being possessing all the attributes of deity. That is precisely what this verse and context require.
1. Christ Is Fully God.
That Christ was fully God before creation is a fact well established in the minds of the readers, but a few references are here given, Jn 1:1-3, 14; Phi 2:6-11; Col 1:15-17; Heb 1:3.
2. In a Divine Human Body.
We say again, there were others raised from the dead before Christ arose from the dead, 1Ki 17:18-23; 2Ki 4:18-37; Mt 11:5; Lk 7:11-15,22; Jn 11:39-45. However, none of these was raised from the dead into a divine body with the fullness of deity. None of these was a birth into a new creation, as Christ's resurrection body was:
18 "And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence," Col 1:18.
5 "And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood," Rev 1:5.
29 "Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb.
30 "But God RAISED Him from the dead.
31 "He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people.
32 "And we declare to you glad tidings - that promise which was made to the fathers.
33 "God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has RAISED UP Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: 'You are My Son, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU,'" Act 13:30-33.
44 "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
45 "And so it is written, 'The first man Adam became a living being.' The last Adam became a life-giving spirit" (body).
46 "However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.
47 "The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.
48 "As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.
49 "And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man," 1Co 15:44-49.
All of these passages speak of the resurrection BIRTH of Christ and the resurrection BIRTH of the faithful covenant people into a new kind of heavenly, spirit body. Also, this fact needs to be emphasized again and again that 1Co 15 speaks of the resurrection of those who are faithful by grace through faith - see 1Co 15:1-2 once more.
This is a body that is no longer mere flesh but spirit, no longer mere human but filled with all the fullness of deity, no longer earthy but heavenly, no longer life-dependent but life-giving. The Son of God no longer dwells in a mere though perfect human body, but that body when it was raised from the dead, was literally born (fully imbued) with all the fullness of deity, so that there is nothing in the essence of deity that is lacking in that deified flesh body. The body that God gave to Jesus through Mary is now a new creation:
16 "Therefore, from now on, we regard no one (no covenant person) according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.
17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new," 2Co 5:16-17.
Who will deny that the body Christ now has was born of God in His resurrection? Who will deny that the body Christ now has is a divine body infused with all the divine attributes of deity? Who can deny that the body Christ now has is a new creation? Who can deny that our bodies as members of Christ's deified body are also counted (credited, logizomai) as possessing all the essence of deity?
IN HIM YOU ARE MADE COMPLETE (Full of deity)
9 For in Him dwells all the fullness (pleroma) of the Godhead bodily;
10 "And in Him you are made complete (pleroma, the same fullness of deity), Who is the Head of all principality and power." Col 2:10.
1. In Him.
As we continue the context of Col 2, we will see that the inspired Word repeatedly reinforces the fact that the personal body of Christ is constantly in metaphoric use, and the members of the church can be cut off from that body - "not holding to the Head," Col 2:19. To get into Christ (be joined to Him as one of His body members), one must have the circumcision of Christ which is John's baptism, Col 2:11-12.
2. Made Full.
Being joined to Christ (Col 2:19; Rom 6:5; 1Co 6:15-17) as the members of His deified body, we "are made full" of the same divine "fullness" with which the body of Christ is filled, Col 2:9.
15 "Do you not know that your BODIES are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!
16 "Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For the two, He says, shall become one flesh.'
17 "But he who is being joined to the Lord is one spirit," (body with Him) Col 2:17, 19; 1Co 6:15-17; Eph 4:15-16.
Those in the body of Christ are progressively being joined to the body of Christ. Being joined to the body of Christ is a progressive lifetime qualifying process. We are being trained and disciplined on a qualifying basis. Saved people in the body of Christ who do not qualify (do not hold fast to the end by grace through faith) will be disapproved and will not receive the divine body (new birth) resurrection, 1Co 15:1-2, 44-50; Phi 3:7-14, 21; Rom 8:17-30.
3. Who Is the Head.
When Christ became a human, He voluntarily subjected Himself to a scenario (a series of events) that required Him to complete that scenario in the utmost degree of perfection: specifically, a perfect human life, an earthly ministry as High Priest in establishing the church, offering Himself as the Lamb of God, and enduring all that was involved in the cross, Phi 2:5-11. In a mere human body, He was subject to the principles and powers of the physical world. The miracles He performed were done by the Holy Spirit, Mt 3:16-17; 4:1; 12:28; Mk 1:10-12; Lk 4:1, 14, 18-19; Jn 1:33; 3:34; Rom 1:4; Heb 9:13. He was before all things, created all things, and by Him all things consist, but He subjected Himself to this ordeal of events in order to create in Himself a new creation (Eph 2:10-16) that is both human and divine, Col 2:9-10. Therefore, having finished this part of God's divine purpose, and in this divine human body, Christ, as the second Adam has the preeminence above all things, Eph 1:18-23; Col 1:15-19; Heb 1:1-3. This is obviously the covenant offer God made to the first Adam in the beginning, Gen 1 & 2.
THE CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST
11 "In Him (in the metaphor of being His deified human body, Col 2:9-21) you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the BODY of the sins (the sin nature) of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,"
22 "Buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead," Col 2:11, 22.
1. The BODY.
The context is speaking of the physical body of Christ (now deified) and of the physical bodies of the members of Christ (now credited as being deified) by means of the circumcision of Christ, which is John's baptism, Col 2:9-19 thru 3:10. Our bodies are not really the members of the body of Christ. Our bodies have not been crucified together with Christ, have not died together with Christ, have not been buried together with the body of Christ, have not been raised together with the body of Christ, and have not been born together with the body of Christ, and thereby are not really made full of the deity of Christ. However, this is a metaphor, a reckoning - God is speaking of things which be not, as though they were, Rom 4:17; 6:2-13,et al.
Remember, the passage is addressing the physical body of Christ (now born into a deified state of being), and our physical bodies, which are only credited as being born into a deified state of being as members of the deified body of Christ.
2. Put Off the Flesh Body.
".....by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh," first in baptism (Col 2:11-12), then by the renewing of our minds by steadfastly looking into the mirror of God's Word, 2Co 3:18; Col 3:1-10; Eph 4:11-24; Rom 12:1-2. The subject under consideration is the flesh body, Col 2:9-21. Whenever the Scriptures speak of "putting off" the "old man" and "putting on" the "new man," they are addressing the flesh body called the "old man" and the born again spirit body called the "new man." We are a spirit and our body is as a house or clothing that we put off in death (2Pe 1:14; 2Co 5:1-5) and put on again in the resurrection, or that we put off and on daily by the renewing of our minds. See scriptures above in this paragraph.
3. Put On Christ.
27 "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ," Gal 3:27; Col 2:11-12. In baptism we put off the first Adam and put on the second Adam, we put off the mere flesh man and put on the new spirit man, we put off the carnal mind and put on the deified spirit mind. We can do none of this without receiving John's baptism into the body of Christ. Jesus received John's baptism and thereafter perpetuated that baptism, and Paul called it the circumcision of Christ.
Putting on Christ is the point of emphasis, and it is done first by scriptural water baptism. After that putting on Christ is done often every day by the renewing of our mind, Rom 12:1-2; 13:14; Eph 4:22-24; Co 3:1-17.
Again, putting on Christ is a metaphor; we do not really baptize anyone into Christ (into the deified body of Christ), and do not really put on the deified body of Christ. However, in the metaphor (in God's reckoning, Rom 4:17), we do put on the deified body of Christ (as indicated above) and are thereby joined (united) into that deified body and begin to daily grow up into Christ, Rom 6:3-5; 1Co 6:15-17; 12:13; Eph 4:11-24.
4. Created in the Image of God.
10 "And have put on the new man who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created Him," Col 3:10.
24 "And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness," Eph 4:24.
The old man refers to the sinful flesh body (earthy body) that we put off, and the new man refers to the deified body Christ received in His resurrection birth. God created the new man when He deified the human body of Christ out of the tomb, Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:30-33; 1Co 15:44-49. This new man (new body) was created out of the grave in the image of God, in righteousness and true holiness, Eph 4:24; Col 3:10.
5. Created WITHIN the Flesh Body of Christ.
10 "For we are His workmanship, created IN Christ Jesus (within the human body of Christ, a metaphor) for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them," Eph 2:10.
Being created "IN Christ Jesus" (Eph 2:10-16) is a metaphor of the church being the body of Christ and the members of the church being the members of the body of Christ. Carefully study this passage (Eph 2:10-16) and observe that it is within the flesh body of Christ (metaphorically, the true local church) that Jew and Gentile are reconciled to each other and to God, Eph 2:14-16, above and below.
The "new man" is the human body of Christ that was born again into a divine state of being in Christ's resurrection. In the metaphor (in God's covenant reckoning, Rom 4:17), the church is that human body of Christ, which is now a deified body possessing all the attributes or essence of the divine nature, Col 2:9-10; 1Co 15:44-50.
14 "For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,
15 "Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,
16 "And that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity," Eph 2:14-16, 20-22.
21 "And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled
22 "In the BODY of His FLESH through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight --
23 "If indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the Gospel ...," Col 1:21-23.
1. The Flesh Body of Christ.
All that Christ did in performing God's will until His death, was done in the flesh body He received from Mary. By becoming a human, living a perfect life, fulfilling His personal ministry, and enduring the sufferings of the cross, Christ qualified not only to redeem a special people for His firstborn sonship, but also to redeem many nations of other sons and the material universe. Most of the Bible by far concerns the special redemption of the faithful covenant people; however, though little comparatively is said about saved people outside the covenant people, there will be many nations of them in perfect (though not deified) human bodies on the new earth, Rev 21:23-26; 22:1-2.
The "healing of the nations" (Rev 22:2), should be translated, "household of the nations." Check the Greek word therapeia in both Old and New Testaments. The word is used in the Septuagint of Pharaoh's household servants perhaps 20 times or more in Exodus chapters 5 through 14.
2. The Church as the Body of Christ.
The above passages (Eph 2; Col 1) speak only of the covenant people as the church metaphorically being the flesh body of Christ which is now deified. Those baptized into Christ have symbolically put on Christ and are to be constantly and progressively transformed into the image of Christ; whereas, those who reject John's baptism have rejected the counsel of God (Lk 7:28-29; Col 2:11-12), and can in no scriptural way serve God. As a further result, they can in no way share in the image of Christ's crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection into His deified state of being, because we can qualify for the "new man" only in the body of Christ, which is a true local church, Rom 6:3-6; 11:11-22; 1Co 12:12-27; Gal 3:26-29; Col 2:9-21; et al. Without John's baptism, we are without (outside) the counsel of God (Lk 7:28-29), we do not have the doctrine of Christ, 2Jn 9. Scriptural water baptism puts one into the body of Christ.
11 "In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ,
12 "BURIED WITH Him in baptism, wherein also ye are RISEN WITH Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath RAISED Him from the dead,
13 "And you, being DEAD in your sins (in your natural sinful body) and the uncircumcision of your flesh (body), hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses," Col 2:11-13.
The Spirit moved Paul also to state frankly in the metaphor that, as members of the body of Christ, we also have that same fullness in our bodies that Jesus now has in His body (Col 2:9-10), being circumcised with the circumcision of Christ, which is John's baptism. This is a metaphor where something is spoken of as being something it is not - God "is calling of things which be not, as though they were," Rom 4:17. The church is spoken of as being the flesh (now deified) body of Christ, and thereby the bodies of the members of the church are credited as having been crucified, having died, been buried, and raised together with Christ in the deified (new born) body together with Christ. The bodies of the church members are therefore spoken of in the same way, that is, as being deified members of the deified body of Christ, Col 2:11-21; 3:1-10; 1Co 6:15-17; Rom 6:2-13; 7:4-6; Gal 2:20; 5:24; 1Pe 2:24.
Baptism, therefore, symbolically PICTURES the resurrection birth of the body of Christ and the resurrection birth of the bodies of the covenant people who have metaphorically by baptism become the members of the heavenly, spirit body that Christ now possesses.
In this metaphoric symbolism, we "put off" the "old man" and "put on" the "new man." But we put the old man off of what? And we put the new man on to what? The faithful covenant people when they die will "put off" the old sinful body (2Pe 1:14), and then "put on" the new born spirit (heavenly, divine) body in the resurrection, 1Co 15:44-50. The way it is expressed in the metaphor is putting off the sin nature from our bodies and putting on the divine nature of the deified body of Christ, by the constant renewing of our minds, Rom 12:1-2; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10; 2Co 3:17-18; 4:7-12. Paul is addressing the human body all the way through this passage. Look at Col 2:9, 11, 12-17, 19-21; and 3:1-10 where the body and the quickening of the body in the resurrection are specifically emphasized.
In our minds we "put off" our old man which is our sinful body, and "put on" the new man which is the (born again, heavenly, spirit) glorified or deified body that Christ now has. We "put off" the "old man" and "put on" the "new man" "by the renewing of our minds," Rom 12:2; Eph 4:22-24, by mentally mortifying the deeds of the flesh, Rom 8:13; Col 3:4-10. And this is done daily "by the renewing of our minds ," according to the Scriptures, Rom 12:1-2; Eph 4:22-24; Rom 8:5-6, 12-13; Col 3:1-10. Of course, it is the same body both times, but the sin nature has been eradicated from the body, and the fullness of the divine nature has metaphorically been transfused into that same body. This is called "putting off the old man and putting on the new man." This is done by the "renewing of our minds," a mental metamorphosis, (Rom 12:1-2; 2Co 3:18; 4:7-18; 5:1-5; Eph 4:11-24; Col 3:1-11) in this current life, but will factually be done by the miracle working power of God when Christ returns, 1Co 15:44-54; Phil 3:7-14, 21.
Paul said, "I die daily," 1Co 15:31. "Always bearing about in the BODY the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our BODY," 2Co 4:10.
The flesh body of the saved person is SYMBOLICALLY quickened (made alive, born again) out of the grave together with Christ into a new born heavenly, spirit body without sin in scriptural water baptism. Who can deny that water baptism symbolizes the resurrection of the body of Christ? Rom 6:3-5. Who can deny that Christ was raised out of the grave in a new born again divine body? 1Co 15:44-50. Who can deny that water baptism symbolizes the new birth? Rom 6:4; 7:4-6; Col 2:9-21. Who can deny that water baptism symbolizes the resurrection of the faithful covenant people into the same kind of new firstborn body with which Christ came out of the grave?
Please observe the following things SYMBOLIZED in baptism, in the metaphor of the church being the body of Christ, whose human body is now deified; and in the same metaphor the bodies of the members of the church being the members of the body of Christ whose human body is now deified.
1. Metaphorically the church is called the body of Christ. A metaphor is a figure of speech in which one thing is called something it is not. Example: the church is not really the body of Christ, but in the metaphor the church is called the (human, now deified) body of Christ, Col 1:18, 24; Eph 1:22-23; 4:11-16; 1Co 12:12-28. God is speaking of "things which be not as though they were," Rom 4:17. Christ is called the Lamb of God, (Jn 1:29,36), the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David (Rev 5:5), the Vine (Jn 15), living waters, Jer 2:13; Jn 4:10; et al. The church is called the salt of the earth (Mt 5:13), the light of the world (Mt 5:14), a flock (Act 20:28), a building, 1Co 3:9; the human (now deified) body of Christ, Col 1:18, 24. Church members are called sheep (Jn 10), living stones (1Pe 2:4-5), branches on a grape vine and on an olive tree (Jn 15; Rom 11:11-22), deified members of the deified body of Christ, 1Co 5:7; 6:15-17; Rom 6:2-13; Eph 4:11-16. These are a few of the many metaphors in the Bible.
2. The members of the church are addressed as though they were the deified members of the human (now deified) body of Christ. The human body of Christ is, of course, now a divine human body, a new kind of mankind, a new creation, Eph 2:10-16; 4:22-24; 1Co 15:44-50; 2Co 4:17-18 thru 5:1-5, 16-17; Col 3:9-10; Rom 6:3-6. Christ, as the second Adam, is the Head of a new race of mankind. Of course, "in Christ" there are no "male" and "female" distinctions, Lk 20:34-36; Gal 3:28.
3. The church (generically as an institution, and metaphorically as the body of Christ) was crucified as the body of Christ when Christ's body was crucified. This means that the bodies of the individual members of the church were crucified together with Christ when His body was crucified, 1Co 6:15-17; Rom 6:6; Gal 2:20.
4. The individual believer is metaphorically baptized INTO Christ - into the human (now deified) body of Christ, which produces a newness of life, a newness of lifestyle. The believer is therefore baptized into the crucified, dead, buried, raised, and deified (new born) state of being of the body of Christ. However, generically (as members of the church as an institution), the body of each member of the church is spoken of as also having been crucified, died, buried, raised, and glorified together with Christ two thousand years ago, Rom 6:2-13; 7:4-6; 8:1-13; 1Co 12:12-27; Gal 3:27; Eph 2:1-16; Col 2:9-3:10; 1Pe 1:3-5; 2:24; 3:21; et al.
5. Baptism SYMBOLIZES the crucifixion cycle; that is, baptism symbolizes the crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, glorification, and therefore the new birth of the body of Christ, Rom 6:1-13; et al.
6. Baptism also SYMBOLIZES metaphorically the uniting (joining) of the individual being baptized into the body of Christ so that the individual is addressed as sharing in the crucifixion cycle. The baptized person (saved from hell before baptism) is spoken of as having been crucified, having died, been buried, raised, and glorified or deified (a new birth) together with Christ, Rom 6:5 (1-13); 1Co 6:15-17. The Greek word "sumphutos" (Rom 6:5) means to be joined (united) together with Christ and then to grow together into Him - grow up into Christ, Eph 4:15-16. This growing up into Christ (Eph 4:15-16) refers to our being transformed (metamorphosis) into the image of Christ, Rom 12:1-2; 2Co 3:17-18; 4:7-12, 17, 5:5; Rom 8:17-30; 2Ti 2:10-13; Phi 3:7-14,21; Heb 5:8-9; Lk 9:23-26; et al.
7. The crucifixion cycle, SYMBOLIZED in baptism, is to be a day by day experience, a progressive transformation (a mental metamorphosis) toward a perfect and sinless deified state of being (a new and divine birth of the body) to be consummated in the resurrection when Christ returns. The "old man" is symbolized as crucified, dead, and buried. The "new man" is symbolized (in the metaphor) as having been born into the firstborn sonship of Christ - a divine state of being, never to be experienced by the other sons who will populate the new earth in the ages to come.
8. The eradication of the sin nature of the "old man" - the forgiveness of all sins past, present, and future are SYMBOLIZED in the ordinance of baptism. This is what Col 2:13 says. But we are still the "old man." We still dwell in this sinful earthy body. The metamorphic transformation has not yet been consummated into its final state. We must still be "bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body," 2Co 4:10.
Yes indeed, there is forgiveness of sins for the sinner when he first repents and believes before baptism, and the nations on the new earth (no national distinctions "in Christ," Gal 3:28) will have their sin nature eradicated, but they will spend a thousand years on this earth during the Millennium in a corrupt body as a part of their punishment, 1Pe 1:4; Gal 6:7-9; 1Co 5:5; Rev 22:18-19; 18:4; 2:20-22; 3:10; Lk 21:34-36; Mt 25:30; et al.
BEARING ABOUT IN OUR BODY BOTH THE DEATH AND THE LIFE OF CHRIST
10 "Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11 "For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
12 "So then death is working in us, but life in you,"
Observe the contrast between death and life and related matters in each of these verses:
- The "body" under consideration here is the physical body of the members of the local church who, metaphorically, are the members of the new born (deified) body of Christ.
- We are living in this "mortal flesh." These inspired words are speaking to those who are alive in sinful "earthen vessels" (4:7) and are entrusted with this ministry (stewardship) of the glorious Gospel of Christ, 4:1-18; Eph 3:1-13.
- This is a ministry (a stewardship, a good fight of faith) in which we are being transformed (metamorphosis) from an earthen vessel into the same kind of life-giving, spirit, heavenly, divine body that Christ now has.
- This ministry is being administered by the Holy Spirit through the continual renewing of our minds as we "renounce the hidden things of darkness..." (4:1-6), and commit ourselves to the Gospel ministry of dying and living together with and in the deified body of Christ, 4:7-12.
- This is a ministry of bearing about in our earthen body the "dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus might also be made manifest in our body" (mortal flesh), 4:10-11.
- The "life of Jesus" referenced in these verses is the life which followed the "dying of the Lord Jesus;" that is, the resurrected new birth life of Christ. We must not get the cart before the horse. Christ lived a perfect life in an earthen vessel, and we are to do similarly as much as possible; however, we are to know Him no more after a mere (though perfect) flesh body (2Co 5:16-17). We now know Him as the new heavenly man, the firstborn from the dead -- still possessing a "flesh and bones" body (Lk 24:38; Jn 20:22-27; Heb 10:19-20; et al), but one fully energized and governed by the divine nature.
- As death works in us, the divine life - the more abundant divine life - of 4-5. As the dying of Jesus is working in us, the divine resurrection life of Jesus is thereby being increased in the covenant people we influence, 1Co 4:12. Paul said, "We live (more abundantly) if you stand fast in the Lord," 1Th 3:8. God keeps perfect records, and every "by grace through faith" work we do is laying up more abundant treasures in heaven for both us and those we influence, Mt 6:19-23.
- In this way we are laying hold on divine life, Mt 7:13-14; 19:16-30; Mk 10:17-31; Lk 10:25-37; Rom 2:6-7; 6:22-23; 8:6, 13; Gal 6:7-9; 1Ti 6:12, 17-19; et al.
BAPTISM DID NOTHING FOR ME
One preacher in his haste to stigmatize so-called "New Lighters" said that baptism did nothing for him. The brother obviously has true scriptural baptism; however, there are no doubt many, many millions who are saved but do not have true scriptural baptism. In their case, their baptism truly did nothing for them. Scriptural baptism is efficacious. That means it is effective. It produces an effect. In the metaphor, it joins one to the body of Christ - the believer is baptized into the church, into the body of Christ, which is the church, Rom 6:3-5; 1Co 12:13-27; Gal 3:27; Col 2:11-19.
Without John's baptism a believer has rejected the counsel of God against himself, Lk 7:29-30. He does not have the circumcision of Christ, Col 2:11-12. He is not a member of the Lord's church, because without baptism one cannot be a member of the Lord's church, Mt 28:19-20. He is not a member of the body of Christ, because the believer is baptized into Christ, which is the church, Rom 6:3; 1Co 12:13; Gal 3:27. He is not in the bride of Christ, because the church is the bride of Christ in this age, 2Co 11:2; Eph 5:22-33. He is not in the temple of God, because the temple of God is the church in this age, 1Co 3:16-17; 2Co 6:16; Eph 2:20-22. He cannot scripturally take the Lord's Supper, because the Lord's Supper is a true local church ordinance, 1Co 5; 11:17-34.
The saved person without John's baptism cannot be one of God's elect, because in order to be one of God's elect the believer must be faithful, 2Pe 1:5-10, and one cannot be faithful without John's baptism, Lk 7:29-30; Col 2:11-12. Also, he will not receive the glory of God, because the glory of God belongs to Israel, and one must be faithful in the Lord's church to remain in God's Israel and thereby qualify for God's election and glory, Mt 18:17; Rom 8:28-30; 9:4; 11:11-22; Col 3:15. If scriptural baptism does nothing for us, then all we would have is salvation from hell and the crumbs which fall from the Master's table, Mt 15:27; Mk 7:28.
The point is: scriptural water baptism is efficacious (effective and necessary for the salvation of one's life) in all the above ways and more. Baptism does not save one from hell, but one's Christian "life" cannot be saved without it, Mk 8:34-38; Lk 9:23-26.
PURGING OUT THE OLD LEAVEN, WHEN YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY
"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us," 1Co 5:7.
How can we purge out the old leaven, if we are unleavened? Sharing in the crucifixion cycle is for those in the body of Christ, and God is speaking of things which be not as though they were, Rom 4:17. The old sin nature was only symbolically eradicated in baptism. Our bodies were not born again in baptism; conversely, baptism is a picture (a type, a like figure, a shadow) of the new birth of the body in the resurrection, 1Pe 3:21.
The Scriptures speak of our bodies as having been born again (1Pe 1:3-5), but God is speaking of things which be not as though they were, Rom 4:17. Examine 1Pe 1:3-5 carefully and see that the passage is referring to the hope of the birth of the body in the resurrection. It speaks of an inheritance that we have not yet received. That inheritance is incorruptible, undefiled, does not fade away, and is reserved in heaven. We do not have it now because it is reserved in heaven for us, and is to be revealed at the last time in the resurrection. Furthermore, we are kept by the power of God through faith; however, the unfaithful saved have made shipwreck of faith (1Ti 1:19), and are cut off from Christ, Jn 15:1-11; Gal 5:1-4; Rom 11:11-22; 2Pe 1:9 (4-10); 1Co 9:23-10:12; Heb 3:6-19; 6:4-6; 10:25-31; 12:1-17, 25-29; 2Pe 3:16-17; 2Jn 9-11; Rev 3:16-20; et al.
18 "This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on you, that you by them might war a good warfare;
19 "Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having thrust away concerning the faith have made shipwreck," 1Ti 1:18-19.
Paul is writing to Timothy, certainly a saved, scripturally baptized, properly ordained preacher, and covenant member. Timothy is commanded to wage a good warfare - this is a daily and lifelong warfare. Timothy is told to continue holding onto faith and a good conscience, which some had thrust from themselves and thereby had made shipwreck of faith (of the faith) and of a good conscience. The Bible is full of covenant people making shipwreck of faith which destroys them from the new birth of the body in the resurrection, 1Ti 1:18-19; 2Pe 3:16-17.
For a prime example, read again the first 15 chapters of Exodus and observe how many times Israel believed and worshiped God, yet their "bodies" fell in the wilderness. They will miss God's "rest," which is partaking of Christ in the resurrection, Heb 3. We must discern what it means to be a "partaker of Christ," Heb 3:14. Most of the Scriptures are devoted to the theme of "partaking of Christ" - much, much more than most people think.
THE BODY OF CHRIST
We continue in Colossians chapter two:
14 "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross;
15 "And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
16 "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
17 "Which are a shadow of things to come; but the BODY is of Christ," Col 2:14-17.
Observe the following from these verses:
1. As stated already, this entire context (Col 2:8-23) refers to the Law Covenant and the enslavement it symbolized.
2. The covenant people have been redeemed from the Law Covenant, therefore, we are not to serve God according to the Law Covenant since Christ redeemed the covenant people from it.
3. The "principalities and powers" include Satan and fallen angels who became rulers over the physical universe when Adam sinned, Rom 6:16; Eph 6:12; 2Co 4:4; 1Jn 5:19. Also, we are not entirely redeemed from the power and influence of wicked spirits. These wicked forces inflict great damage on us through the TV, Hollywood, and worldly pleasures of all kinds. We are still in the "old man," though Christ triumphed over all enemies gloriously and is interceding for us within the gracious bounds of the New Covenant.
When one is cut off from the covenant, Christ does not intercede for that person any more, because the intercessory ministry of Christ as High Priest of the New Covenant is for the covenant people only. The intercessory ministry has always been for the covenant people only. The high priest in the Law Covenant interceded only for the twelve names on his breastplate and for the same twelve names on his shoulders (and all the people of the tribes they represented), which fact was also symbolized by the twelve loaves on the table of showbread, Ex 28; Lev 16; 24:5-9; Num 19; et al.
The intercessory ministry of the high priest and of all the priests has always been for the covenant people only and was for the maintenance of their covenant standing. When covenant people conduct themselves contrary to the covenant order and persist in doing so, they have forsaken the doctrine of Christ (2Jn 9-11) and must be cut off from Christ, from the covenant people, and from the covenants which means the loss of all covenant benefits or promises, Jn 15:1-11; Gal 4:21-31; 5:1-4; Rom 11:11-22; 2Jn 9-11; et al.
4. The things of the Law Covenant were a shadow of the body of Christ (Col 2:14-17), and the body of Christ is both Christ's new born heavenly body and the church as that same heavenly spirit body. If the saved person does not have the circumcision of Christ, he is outside the covenants and is not a part of that heavenly (spirit, deified) body of Christ. Furthermore, he will not be in that new kind of human body in the ages to come.
5. Christ triumphed gloriously over the principalities and powers and made a show of them openly. The full and complete triumph had to include the resurrection of Christ into a divine human body with all the attributes of God imbued into that body, Col 2:9. This new born body is free from the elements (rudiments) of the world. This is a matter of major emphasis in Col 2, Gal 4, and throughout the Bible, as we will continue to observe.
THE RUDIMENTS OF THE WORLD
18 "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
19 "And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands is constantly being supplied and knit together, is increasing with the increase of God.
20 "Wherefore if you died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are you being subject to ordinances,
21 "(Touch not; taste not; handle not)," Col 2:18-21.
Observe two major matters of emphasis in these verses which permeate all of the Scriptures:
1. Verse 19 continues to emphasize the body of Christ which is the church. This does not include saved people outside a true local church - a church made up of scripturally baptized saved people. When a saved person is cut off from Christ (the body of Christ), he is still saved but is no longer in the body of Christ. He is, therefore, no longer in the crucifixion cycle; that is, he is no longer counted by God as crucified, dead, buried, raised, and deified together with Christ. He does not and will not qualify for the special new birth resurrection.
2. "If you be dead with Christ," explicitly refers to being dead to the elementary (rudimentary) forces or laws of the physical world. The person in the body of Christ is counted as crucified, dead, and buried to the Law Covenant (Rom 7:4) and the basic laws of the physical world, which the Law Covenant represented, Col 2:20. This is what we see in the resurrection new birth body of Christ, and God (who is calling things which be not, as though they were) calls it so with those who are faithful within the body of Christ, and therefore within the boundaries of the New Covenant (and all the covenants).
YOU ARE NOT IN THE FLESH
"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God is dwelling in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His," Rom 8:9.
Being "not in the flesh, but in the Spirit" applies only to those whom God calls crucified, dead, buried, and raised into a deified, new born, heavenly, spirit body. This is true only of those in the body of Christ which is a true local church in this age, but more broadly, all the faithful covenant people of all ages.
The Holy Spirit was given to a true local church on the day of Pentecost, but the Spirit was not given until Christ was glorified (deified), Jn 7:39; Gal 4:5-6; Rom 8:23. Therefore, in the body of Christ we are not counted as being in a mere flesh body but in the deified body of Christ, which body was born of the Spirit in Christ's resurrection. If we do not have the Spirit we do not belong to the body of Christ.
There are three ways we are "His:" a) we are "His" by creation, b) we are "His" by being saved from hell, and c) we are "His" by being in His body as a true local church. The last one is the "His" in Rom 8:9.
10 "And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness," Rom 8:10.
"If Christ be in you," means if the Holy Spirit is dwelling in your body. Even so, the sinful flesh body is still dead because of the sin nature. However, God counts our "old man" as crucified, dead, and buried together with Christ's body. God calls things which be not, as though they were.
"But the Spirit is life because of righteousness" (justification, one of God's divine attributes) means that the Holy Spirit dwelling in us is the earnest of that divine new birth body that will be "swallowed up of (divine) life" when Christ returns, 2Co 5:4-5. The Holy Spirit belongs to deity, and therefore to those who are, in the metaphor, counted as deified. We through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness (deification), Gal 5:5. The Spirit in us guarantees to us the divine righteousness of God, which is one of the attributes of God's divine nature, Gal 5:5; Phi 3:9; Mt 6:33; Rom 3:21-26.
11 "But if the Spirit of Him who raised up Jesus from the dead is dwelling in you, He who raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit who is dwelling in you," Rom 8:11.
The Holy Spirit dwelling in those in the body of Christ (in covenant relationship) is the earnest (guarantee) to them that they will receive that deified (heavenly, spirit, new birth) body in the resurrection, Jn 7:39; Rom 8:23-30; Gal 4:4-7; 2Co 4:17-5:5.
12 "Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh," Rom 8:12.
We are not debtors to the Law Covenant anymore, because we are dead to the Law Covenant, Rom 7:4-6. We are not debtors to the flesh anymore, because we are counted by God to be dead to the "old man."
13 "For if you are living according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live," Rom 8:13.
In the metaphor, the bodies of those in the body of Christ are credited as being crucified, dead, buried, raised, and deified together with Christ. However, if we persist in walking in the flesh, we will die from that deified body of Christ status. On the other hand, if we walk or live in the Spirit, our bodies will be changed into that divine life body when Christ returns. We must bear about in our mortal bodies the "dying of the Lord Jesus," in order to receive that divine life body in the resurrection, Rom 8:1-13, 23-30; 1Co 15:1-2, 44-50; Col 1:5,21-24,27; Phil 3:7-14,21; Mt 7;13-14; 19:16-31; Mk 10:17-30; Lk 10:25-37; 16:9-12; 18:18-30; Jn 6:27-67; 12:25; Rom 2:6-7; 6:22-23; 8:6,13,23-30; Gal 6:7-9; 1Ti 6:12-17-19; 2Ti 1:1; Ti 1:2; 3:7; Ja 1:12; 2Jn 9; et al.
ABORTING THE FIRSTBORN SONSHIP
6 "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace," Rom 8:6.
This is written to and about saved, within the covenant, church members - to be carnally minded leads to death from the new born, deified state of the body of Christ. This is, of course, a metaphor, but the Holy Spirit is given to us on the basis of God's metaphoric reckoning (Jn 7:39; Gal 4:4-6; Rom 8:23; 2Co 5:5), and the metaphor blossoms into a real experience through the working of the Holy Spirit as He works to qualify us for the firstborn sonship.
13 "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live," Rom 8:13.
Whether we live after the flesh or after the Spirit we will die physically, so this verse with verse 6 and many similar passages are addressing a spiritual death of the saved person from the deified state of the body of Christ. We will continue to look at passages that unequivocally and overwhelmingly establish this fact.
Remember, Paul was laboring in birth pains again for the Galatian church members, who were saved, scripturally baptized, and had been standing fast in the true Gospel, Gal 4:14-19. Now there was the need for Christ to be formed in them again, lest they lose the firstborn sonship.
What we have is an abortion of the crucifixion cycle and of the firstborn sonship (Rom 8:6,13; Heb 12:8), branches being cut off from the Vine (Jn 15:1-11), branches being cut off from the olive tree (Rom 11:11-22), carcasses falling in the wilderness (1Co 10:1-12; Heb 3:6-19), crucifying to oneself the Son of God afresh (Heb 6:4-6), having no more access to the Sacrifice (Heb 10:25-31), severing oneself from Christ (Gal 5:1-4), aborting one's calling and election (2Pe 1:9-10), being vomited out of the Lord's mouth (Rev 3:16; et al). These passages and many others describe, in different ways, the aborting of the metaphoric transformation stage of the new birth.
These passages apply to saved and scripturally baptized church members, to proper New Covenant people who are becoming or have become so unfaithful they must be destroyed from the firstborn sonship of Christ and from Christ as the High Priest of the New Covenant. To deny this application of the above passages is to change God's Word and put oneself in grave danger of losing ones part in the New Jerusalem and adding to oneself the judgment of Rev 22:18 and a host of companion passages.
The Galatian churches had passed through the crucifixion cycle from death to life, and if they persisted in trying to keep the Law Covenant along with the New Covenant, they would pass in reverse order from life back to death, from freedom from the curse, condemnation, death, and slavery of the Law Covenant back to that former destiny of saved people outside a true church, outside the body of Christ, outside the covenants, to the other than firstborn son status.
This particular point of emphasis will be expanded in considerable detail in this and later books. We are all slumbering and sleeping while the true "midnight cry" is being made. Protestant theology along with top of the world prosperity has made us so fearless, apathetic, and drunk on earthy goods and worldly pleasures that few have oil in their vessels with their lamps. It's time to weep.
QUESTIONS AND WORK TASKS FOR CHAPTER THREE
1. In what way did Paul first travail in birth pains for the Galatians?
2. Why and how was Paul travailing in birth pains again for the Galatians?
3. What were the Galatians doing that caused Paul to travail in birth again for them?
4. What is a metaphor? Rom 4:17. Give examples of metaphors.
5. Explain how the church being the body of Christ is a metaphor.
6.Give scriptures and state how Christ was God before He became human flesh.
7. Provide evidences showing that the body Mary gave to Jesus was a human body and not a divine body.
8. When and how did the physical body of Christ become a divine body? Col 1:18; Rev 1:5; Act 13:29-33; Heb 1:5; 5:5.
9. How does the believer enter into and become joined to the body of Christ?
10. Define step by step the crucifixion cycle, and how the church and church members are affected by the crucifixion cycle.
11. Describe how one is joined to Christ in water baptism, Rom 6:3-6; 1Co 10:13; Gal 3:27.
12. In what way is water baptism the circumcision of Christ?, Col 2:9-21.
13. Explain how baptism symbolizes the eradication of the Adamic sin nature.
14. How does baptism symbolize the deification of the body of the baptized person?
15. Describe how baptism symbolizes the washing away of sins (of the sin nature).
16. Show from the Scriptures how we bear about in our bodies the dying (death) of the body of Christ, 2Co 4:7-12; 3:18; Rom 12:1-2; Col 3:1-10; Eph 4:22-24.
17. Define how we bear about in our bodies the resurrection life of the body of Christ. Same scriptures.
18. Explain why and how we may abort the new birth (the firstborn sonship of Christ), 1Co 15:1-2; Heb 12:15-17; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 11:11-22; Gal 5:1-4.
19. Analyze and define what the Scriptures signify by referring to the the elements (rudiments) of the world, Gal 4:3,9; Col 2:8,20-21.
20. Express the mutual and accumulative reward effect (benefits) of bearing about in our mortal bodies the dying and the life of Christ, 2Co 4:7-12; 1Th 3:8; Jn 10:10; 2Co 9:10.