—Treasure Beyond Measure

One Spirit With God

In the beginning God purposed to bring forth children for himself; See Ephesians 1:4-6. Children created in his image and in his likeness--children of God. It was his intention to bring forth children who would become his children because they chose to do so, because they came to know and love him; See 2 Peter 1:3; 1 Corinthians 16:22; 1 Peter 1:8-9.

Nothing in all of creation is accidental--nothing at all; See Ephesians 1:11. Everything is exactly like God determined it would be. The creation is designed to teach us about God. I can understand what it means to be a father, because I am a father. I can understand what it is to be a mother because I had one, and shared the thrills and chills of the one who bore my children. I can understand how God, who is perfect in every way, can love children who sometimes disobey.

The Apostle Paul, in the fifth chapter of the book of Ephesians, describes the proper relationship between a husband and wife. He shows us that the relationship of the wife to her husband is the same as her husband's is to God. And Paul tells us that the husband is to care for his wife in the same way that God cares for him. The husband is like Christ and the wife is like the Church; See Ephesians 5:22-33. This does not mean that the husband is viewed by God as being more important than the wife, only that while we remain in these bodies we are to act out these roles, so that we may understand the things of God. Everything of this creation is temporary; See 2 Corinthians 4:18. When it has served God's purpose it will be discarded, See Hebrews 1:10-12, but we, who have believed the message, will live forever.

Let us look carefully at verses Ephesians 5:31-32. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church. (NIV84) Our relationship to God, if we are a new covenant partner, is exactly the same as a wife's relationship to her husband. I am speaking of a godly marriage here surely. Remember, God made men and women to his exact specification.

Let us examine the union of a man and woman called marriage. First a man and a woman meet and come to know each other. Through the knowledge of each other comes a relationship of love and trust. They develop faith in each other and decide to become a husband and wife unit. As the scripture above says, the two will become one flesh, but this isn't complete until the marriage is consummated through the man entering the woman through sexual intercourse. Now this point is very significant. The two are not married until the fleshly union. Look at this next verse. Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, 'The two will become one flesh.' 1 Corinthians 6:15-16 (NIV84) You see, the act that forms the union is the physical act of the man entering the woman; See Genesis 24:67. Now I am not saying that if a man and a woman entered into a marriage bond in good faith, but were unable to physically consummate the union, possibly because of a physical problem, that God would not honor the marriage. God is not a lawyer. The physical consummation is the norm, and it is this union that points to the spiritual union of a person to God in Christ.

Now how does the union of God and man come to be? As it turns out, the process is essentially the same. First God calls to the person, in their heart, and the person responds by seeking God. The person comes to know God through the testimony of believers and through the written word. Once a person has come to understand that the union is possible, and that God is reaching out to them in love, wooing them in Christ as it were, they then respond to God's call, and accept the 'proposal', the person then makes a public declaration of faith, (exactly like the human marriage), God's Spirit then enters into that person and 'consummates' the spiritual marriage. In this union the person takes the role of the bride and Jesus, the bridegroom. The Spirit of Jesus enters into that person and the two become one spirit. Jesus asked the Father : I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them. John 17:20-21 (NIV84) And Paul describes the spiritual union this way: But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:17 (NIV84)

What we see here is that the union that was brought forth, through the husband's uniting with his wife, is a copy of the spiritual union that births the new creature in Christ. In the third chapter of John, Jesus explained to Nicodemus that a person can't even see the kingdom of God unless this spiritual union takes place. Jesus called the union, being 'born again.'

After Nicodemus asked Jesus how a person could be born a second time, Jesus answered as follows.

John 3:5-6

I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. (NIV84)

Notice in verse five that Jesus says that one must be born again of water and the Spirit. Water is man's participation in the marriage process. The waters of baptism symbolize our union with Christ in our deathly state. In baptism we are buried with Christ only to be reborn to spiritual life; See Romans 6:4-5. We are baptized to demonstrate our understanding and our willingness to be united to God in Christ. The Spirit portion of the rebirth is when God's Spirit actually enters into us and forms the union.

In verse six we see that the birth of the husband/wife being was brought about by the union of their flesh, and this makes them one body before the Lord, but the union of God's Spirit with our spirit gives birth to a new creature in Christ. This person is one spirit with God, and has figuratively entered into a marriage with God through Jesus Christ.

A little further on, in John, we see Jesus explaining more of the details of what must be understood. He shows that he must pay the price of man's rebellion, that is, make a union of God and man possible. Before the crucifixion and resurrection it would have been impossible for God and man to unite. Man was under the power of sin.

In a human marriage proposal a man might say: "Darling, I love you with the fullness of my soul. Will you come and be my wife? Will you come and share your life with me and my life with you? I love you, and I promise to always love you and be with you."

Now God has made his proposal:

John 3:16-18

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. (NIV84)

At the fall of man, the spirit of man died; for it is written: And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.' Genesis 2:16-17 (NASB) But for the one who has accepted God's redemption: I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John5:24 (NIV84) Notice that the believer has already crossed over from death to life. The death that came with the first Adam was the death of the spirit, but the second Adam bore the penalty due us on his body, so that we, who have faith in God, can be reborn in our spirits and are alive toward God.

We become new creatures in Christ. Something that never was before--something completely new. Individually and collectively we become the 'Bride of Christ'; See John 3:29; Matthew 25:1-13.


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