“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation, Old things are passed away, behold all things become new.”
Paraphrased for a broader and deeper application: “If anyone is in Christ, (which can only happen if He is in them) they are a new race. Their old race has passed away, and like Paul, they can consider their membership in their old race, rubbish. Look, see! Everything about you is new, deriving from your new lineage.”
To explore why it is important to see and understand God as our Father, I want to get very narrow in focus. There is more to His Fatherhood than what I want to say here, and by excluding it for the purpose of this present discussion, I don’t want to imply that the rest is not very important.
Let me begin by saying that, if we are created “male and female in God’s image,” then God must be male and female. An image ought to look like what it represents, don’t you think? The irreducible significance of male and female is relationship. It was an “us” that said in the beginning,” Let us make…” There is authority in the “let,” there is intimacy in the “us,” there is a new creation in the “make.”
We don’t know what the intimacy of the Godhead must be like in reality, because we are not there yet; but God has made an effort to communicate something of this intimacy by giving us the graphics of our own bodies. It is increasingly apparent to me however, that the graphics are very limited in possibility when compared to the reality that is hidden in Christ in God.
Here, I want to explore what can be learned from the graphics, however.
God has promised to redeem the race of the first man Adam, by the seed of the first woman Eve. Keep in mind, that she began in Adam, and was not called woman until she was taken out of him. Was she any less for having come out from him? No, rather she was in some ways more than he was. He was “made,” she was “formed.” In the original, the difference is that He was put together “good enough to function.” She was formed, in addition, like a master creates a work of art.
Where reproduction is concerned, the man contained seed; the woman contained more than seed, she contained egg. The egg not only contains the potential for new life, but the environment for the early nurture of new life. Where his seed is concerned, it could not participate in the creation of a new race. It would take God’s seed to do that, even Christ. All through the lineage of the human race, God kept track of the egg. Abraham was looking for love in all the wrong places. Love was in the egg of Sarah, and her only. Look at Tamar. The Love was in her, and within the limits of Judah, she did whatever she had to do—God helping her—to make sure it would be her egg that would hatch. From the beginning, Satan has been after the woman and her seed. His war has been against her, not against him.
Satan makes war against “hims,” only to the degree that we become “hers” in relationship to Christ.
A father is a seed planter. The life is in the seed. A mother is a place where new life grows. God is the one who gives the growth, or “increase.”
In order to have a new race, there must first be a new father; in this case, a heavenly one. The heart of God is that everyone become a new race. This can only happen by His Fatherhood, which is to say, by His seed, even Christ. In the first instance, what we bring to the process is the egg. He makes us pregnant by Christ through an act of love, the cross.
We then become partakers of the Divine nature, and once that happens, we are no longer the old race of the first man Adam. More than that, we are no longer male or female. In any given situation we might be either in spiritual function. At one point Paul was in labor pains, at another he was taking new believers to his breast for nurture, at another point he was planting Divine seeds.
Are you any different from Paul in this regard? No, you are not any different. You can be a seed planter. You can be a life nurturer. In Christ, you have it all. All you need is the revelation, and the faith to appropriate what is yours in eternity. You are pregnant with new life, and are able to get others pregnant with new life.
God certainly wants us to notice that, in the first instance, He has made us male and female. Not to notice is inexcusable, but armed with what we have noticed, He wants to take us to a place of intimacy that leaves what we have noticed, in the shadows of who we used to be. If we just can’t stay out of the shadows, that’s ok, but whatever we do, let’s not miss the light.
Make no mistake, God does not want us to miss the graphics, but in the process, let’s not miss the otherwise invisible reality about God about which the graphics are only a shadow.
When Jesus went to the cross, it was an act of love with the potential of getting the whole world pregnant. We have been caught up in a very exciting and fulfilling process, if we only could understand it from God’s point of view.
Properly understood, life is an act of love.
- By Jay Ferris