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JESUS

Who Is His Body?

CHAPTER 7

In history much has been said regarding the life of Jesus. He has been extolled and praised as the object of worship by millions throughout the world. But why? If He were here now, they would crucify Him again. As before, men would follow Him while He was providing them with healing and food, but just as soon as He told them they had to be like Him, the world would all desert Him as they did before. As soon as He died, they would paint His grave white and say how much they loved Him.

Many today say, "If we had lived in His day we would not have deserted Him." There is a way to know whether or not you would have deserted Jesus when He was here the first time, and that is to see how you treat Jesus today. Some might say, "Oh, but Jesus is not here today." Yes, He is. He comes in the person of His saints who preach righteousness and judgment today. "...Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matt. 25:40) How have you treated those who have come to you with the message of The Lord Our Righteousness? That is how you would have treated Jesus.

The manifestation of God in humanity is the gospel message. The message of Jesus is that Christ has come in the flesh. "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist." (2 John 7) Yes, Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. He now appears in the form of His servants. He has come in their flesh.

Christ In You

The gospel is clear. The great mystery which has been hidden for generations is made evident in the life of Jesus. God has been made manifest in His flesh and Jesus Christ has been made manifest in the flesh of all those who believe in Him. "Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:26-27) This is the hope of glory. This is the revelation of the mystery of the ages CHRIST IN YOU. This is the gospel.

We have studied the ways in which Christ manifested Himself in His ministry. We see that same Christ and that same manifestation in the world today in those who have been given an understanding of the mystery. The apostle Paul explains how this manifestation is realized in the believer. "...Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit...But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:9,10,14-16)

What did we just read? The world would call this arrogance. We read that we have had revealed to us that which has not entered into the heart of man. We read that we can judge all things, but no man can judge the believer. We read that we cannot be instructed by any man, for we have the mind of Christ. This answers all the questions regarding Christian works. Christian works are not a list. They are "a mind".

The world has lists of do's and don'ts. Christians just know. We do those things that please the mind of Christ. We don't use tobacco and alcohol because we know it is not the best thing for our body. We don't take drugs since we are the temple of God. We dress modestly since this is the mind of Christ. These things are not forced upon us. We love them. This is the knowledge that Christ brings to us.

More than this, we understand the mysteries that have been hidden from the world. We understand the actions of men. We can perceive the traps that the world sets for us. We cannot be led astray. We have all that Jesus had. Our testimony is what His testimony was while on earth. The Revelation describes Satan's wrath against this life. "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Rev. 12:17)

We Have This Testimony

The testimony of Jesus was not His words only. It was His life as well. We have His confidence that God is our Father. We have the knowledge that God is our life. But this can only be true for those who believe unto salvation. It is only true for those who have been transformed by the renewing of their minds into the mind of Christ. God is the life and we who believe in Him are His body. He is the light and we are His temple. He is God and we are His vessel. This is the mystery kept from the foundation of the world but now is made manifest by the life of our Savior. And why are we saved? By having this knowledge of the truth experienced in our lives Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The enemy of souls has worked diligently to pervert the gospel. How has he done this? He has made Jesus a superman. He has made him a god. Now all people fall down and worship a god. They have Easter to honor their god's resurrection. They have Christmas to honor their god's birth. They worship a god, but they have had no change in their own lives.

If Jesus had wanted honor as a god, He would have come in shining light with ten thousand angels and the whole world would have fallen down and worshipped Him. He would have gotten a crowd together and shown them all the magic He could do, and that would have so influenced them that they all would have made Him king. They would have said, "You are certainly the most powerful person we have ever seen; please be our king; we accept you".

The fact is, Jesus did show them a miracle in feeding the five thousand. The fact is, they did try and make Him king. And the fact is, He refused. He said "no" to them since they missed the whole purpose of His coming. Jesus came the way He did so that we might catch the vision of faith to live as He lived. He wants us to know who we are in the same way He knew who He was. He did not want us merely to bow down and pay homage to something; He wanted us to be something. He wanted us to have what He had.

He Wanted Men To Be As He Was

Jesus was not interested in having men simply acknowledge Him as a god or even God. He wanted men to acknowledge Him for what they should be. Jesus wanted men to be as He was. "The Saviour was deeply anxious for His disciples to understand for what purpose His divinity was united to humanity. He came to the world to display the glory of God, that men might be uplifted by its restoring power. God was manifested in Him that He might be manifested in them. Jesus revealed no qualities, and exercised no powers, that men may not have through faith in Him. His perfect humanity is that which all His followers may possess, if they will be in subjection to God as He was." (DA. 664) This is the true essence of the gospel.

The apostle Paul writes concerning this. "Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thessalonians 2:14) What is that glory? Jesus said, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." (John 17:20-23)

Jesus is the revelation of what man becomes when that man believes in the life of Jesus. Divinity was combined with humanity in Jesus and divinity is combined with humanity in those who follow Him. We are partakers of the divine nature. We are born again of an incorruptible Spirit. That incorruptible Spirit is the Spirit of God.

I have a garden. In this garden I watch the process of how the plants grow. When a plant matures, it brings forth seed. That seed, if planted, brings forth the same plant it came from. When I plant a tomato, I will see the plant grow and produce a tomato. If I take the seed from the tomato and plant it, I will see the same kind of tomato plant grow up again. Another thing I notice is that when I plant one seed, I get one plant; but that plant produces many seeds. Those seeds each produce a plant that produces many more seeds.

The Scriptures explain the process. "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ...And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." (Gal. 3:16 & 29) This clearly describes that Christ is the seed of Abraham. It also describes that if we are Christ's, then we are that seed.

Jesus came to the earth and lived His life of perfect obedience to the Father. He matured as a plant and was crucified. This seed was planted in the earth. This seed brought forth fruit and the seed of Christ is now perpetuated in the lives of those who grew out of the seed. Jesus, Himself, used this analogy. "...The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." (John 12:23-24) We who believe are that fruit. We are now the seed of Abraham. We are not all kinds of seeds. No, we are one seed because the Father is in the one who believes.

We Are The Seed

Satan has done his work well. He has so clouded the gospel that men believe they are saved by joining a group or church. They believe they are saved by going down to the local church and making a profession and getting baptized. Others believe they are saved by saying they believe in Jesus. No! We are saved by His life. "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." (Rom. 5:10) If a man is not saved by His life, all his profession will mean nothing.

Let us go back to the boy in the well. He may have professed that he believed he was saved from the well. He may have indicated confidence in the rescuer, but if he refused to go into the new channel dug by the rescuer, he would not have been saved. If we make a profession, but refuse to enter into the life of Jesus, our profession is in vain.

God has granted life to all men. The sun shines on the just and the unjust. God's grace and glory, even the life of Jesus, is as an atmos-phere surrounding the planet, but few men open their spiritual lungs and breathe. God has kept nothing back. It is all provided for us. It is all given to us. We must yield to the atmosphere of heaven and breathe in the grace extended to all the earth and this will bring life to our soul. "...Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." (Ephesians 5:14)

In the previous chapters of this book, we understood something of what Jesus said and did. If we are the body of Christ by faith, then Jesus will do these things in us. We will have His life and we will have His testimony. Jesus had the Christ-life and we, too, have the Christ-life when we consent to receive it. "As God is, so must His people be. ...The members of the Christian church are designed expressly by God to live the Christ-life." (ST "B" 16 & 18) This is the gospel and this is eternal life. This is salvation from this earth and its corruptions. This is the answer to all life's problems and difficulties. This is the door to heaven.

All of this is true if received in the spirit that has been described in the last chapter. These things are received by faith and in the full knowledge that of ourselves we can do nothing. The more the Spirit of God takes possession of the soul, the less we have of which to boast. We remember that we, of ourselves, have no good thing in us and we are but the dust of the earth. With humble acknowledgment, we understand the presence of God who has given us His life fully undeserved by us. We have not earned it or deserved it. This life was His free gift to all who would believe. By faith we make the claim, for of ourselves we see nothing of which to boast.

Jesus has given us His all. We have given Him nothing but the sins and mistakes we have committed. Jesus left heaven; we have left nothing but the slime and grime of earth. Jesus has traded all His perfection and glory for all our nothingness. If we have done anything, it was only to receive all this glory, and even the power to receive all this glory came from Him as well. With this in mind, what excuse will those have who fail to receive it? How can anyone throw away so great a salvation? In the face of God, the lost will have their excuses stopped, for the only reason for not having this life is that they loved sin and chose it above the free gift of heaven. That beloved sin cost the sinner an eternity of glory. Oh, what a pitiful exchange, what a hopeless reward! It is as Esau who sold his birthright for a few beans.

The Lord Our Righteousness

The Scriptures give the name imprinted on His church. Each forehead of those who have received this life will have this name impressed upon it. "In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness." (Jer. 33:16)

The body of Jesus has "The Lord Our Righteousness" printed across its forehead. "Of the church of Christ it is written, 'This is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our righteousness.' This name is put upon every follower of Christ." (FILB. 41) "Christ's name is their watchword, their badge of distinction, their bond of union, the authority for their course of action, and the source of their success. Nothing that does not bear His superscription is to be recognized in His kingdom." (DA. 826) "Before man can find a home in the church, before passing the threshold of God's spiritual kingdom, he is to receive the impress of the divine name, 'The Lord our righteousness'." (EV. 307) This is the name that the Lord has firmly impressed upon His body. This is the identifying mark made evident by the faith of the believer. We are His body.


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