8. The Status of the Church—the New Man
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Scripture Reading: Eph. 2:15-16; 4:22-24; Col. 3:10-11

Eph 2:15       Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,

Eph 2:16       And might reconcile both in one Body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity by it.

Eph 4:22       That you put off, as regards your former manner of life, the old man, which is being corrupted according to the lusts of the deceit,

Eph 4:23       And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind

Eph 4:24       And put on the new man, which was created according to God in righteousness and holiness of the reality.

Col 3:10        And have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

 

I.     The church, the Body of Christ, is the one new man to accomplish God’s eternal purpose—Eph. 1:9, 11; 3:11; 2:15-16; 4:22-24; Rom. 8:28; 2 Tim. 1:9:

Eph 1:9         Making known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself,

Eph 1:11       In whom also we were designated as an inheritance, having been predestinated according to the purpose of the One who works all things according to the counsel of His will,

Eph 3:11       According to the eternal purpose which He made in Christ Jesus our Lord,

Eph 2:15       Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,

Eph 2:16       And might reconcile both in one Body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity by it.

Eph 4:22       That you put off, as regards your former manner of life, the old man, which is being corrupted according to the lusts of the deceit,

Eph 4:23       And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind

Eph 4:24       And put on the new man, which was created according to God in righteousness and holiness of the reality.

Rom 8:28      And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

2 Tim 1:9      Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the times of the ages

A.     God’s intention in His creation of man was to have a corporate man to express Him and to represent Him—Gen. 1:26.

Gen 1:26       And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.

B.     God’s creation of man in Genesis 1 is a picture of the new man in God’s new creation; this means that the old creation is a figure, a type, of the new creation—Eph. 2:15; 4:24; 2 Cor. 5:17.

Eph 2:15       Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,

Eph 4:24       And put on the new man, which was created according to God in righteousness and holiness of the reality.

2 Cor 5:17     So then if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, they have become new.

C.     Eventually, the church as the one new man is the corporate man in God’s intention; the one new man fulfills the twofold purpose of expressing God and dealing with God’s enemy—Gen. 1:26.

Gen 1:26       And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.

II.   The one new man was created through Christ’s death on the cross—Eph. 2:15-16:

Eph 2:15       Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,

Eph 2:16       And might reconcile both in one Body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity by it.

A.     The one new man was created by Christ with two kinds of material—the redeemed created man and the divine element; on the cross Christ put these two materials together to produce a new man.

B.     In the creating of the new man, first our natural man was crucified by Christ, and then through the crossing out of the old man, Christ imparted the divine element into us, causing us to become a new entity—Rom. 6:6; 2 Cor. 5:17.

Rom 6:6        Knowing this, that our old man has been crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be annulled, that we should no longer serve sin as slaves;

2 Cor 5:17     So then if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, they have become new.

C.     Apart from being in Christ, we could not have been created into one new man, because in ourselves we do not have the divine essence, which is the element of the new man—Eph. 2:15:

Eph 2:15       Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,

1. Only in the divine essence and with the divine essence were we created into the one new man; it is possible to have this essence only in Christ.

2. Christ Himself is the essence of the new man; hence, in Himself He created the two, the Jews and the Gentiles, into one new man.

3. In the one new man Christ is all because He is the essence with which the new man was created; therefore, the one new man is Christ—Col. 3:11.

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

III.  The church is the one new man, and in this new man Christ is all and in all; we have no place—vv. 10-11:

Col 3:10        And have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

A.     God’s intention in His economy is that Christ be everything; therefore, it is crucial for us to see that God wants nothing but Christ and that in the eyes of God nothing counts except Christ—Matt. 17:5; Col. 1:18; 2:2, 17; 3:4, 10-11:

Matt 17:5      While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I have found My delight. Hear Him!

Col 1:18        And He is the Head of the Body, the church; He is the beginning, the Firstborn from the dead, that He Himself might have the first place in all things;

Col 2:2          That their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love and unto all the riches of the full assurance of understanding, unto the full knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ,

Col 2:17        Which are a shadow of the things to come, but the body is of Christ.

Col 3:4          When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.

Col 3:10        And have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

1. God’s intention is to make Christ His Son the center of His economy and also to make Him everything to the believers—1:18; 2:17.

Col 1:18        And He is the Head of the Body, the church; He is the beginning, the Firstborn from the dead, that He Himself might have the first place in all things;

Col 2:17        Which are a shadow of the things to come, but the body is of Christ.

2. God’s economy is to work the all-inclusive Christ into us—Gal. 4:19; Eph. 3:17a; Col. 3:11.

Gal 4:19        My children, with whom I travail again in birth until Christ is formed in you,

Eph 3:17a     That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, …

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

B.     There is no natural person in the one new man, and there is no possibility, no room, for any natural person—vv. 10-11:

Col 3:10        And have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

1. In the one new man there is only one person—the all-inclusive Christ—2:17; 3:4, 11.

Col 2:17        Which are a shadow of the things to come, but the body is of Christ.

Col 3:4          When Christ our life is manifested, then you also will be manifested with Him in glory.

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

2. The one new man is just Christ—Christ spreading and Christ enlarged.

C.     The new man is uniquely one—one in Christ and one with Christ; we are one by Christ and through Christ—Eph. 2:15; Col. 3:11:

Eph 2:15       Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

1.                  If we are not in Christ, we have no share, no part, in the new man; rather, we are through with the new man.

2.                  If we are in Christ but do not live Christ, we have a problem related to the new man.

D.     The one new man comes into being as we are saturated, filled, and permeated with Christ and replaced by Him through an organic process—2 Cor. 3:18:

2 Cor 3:18     But we all with unveiled face, beholding and reflecting like a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit.

1. The new man is Christ in all the saints permeating us and replacing us until all natural distinctions have been removed and everyone is constituted of Christ—Col. 3:11.

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

2. The all-inclusive Christ must be wrought into us organically until He replaces our natural being with Himself—Eph. 3:17a; Gal. 4:19.

Eph 3:17a     That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, …

Gal 4:19        My children, with whom I travail again in birth until Christ is formed in you,

E.      In the one new man, Christ is all the members and is in all the members—Col. 3:11:

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

1. The Christ who dwells in us is the constituent of the one new man—1:27; 3:11.

Col 1:27        To whom God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory,

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

2. Because Christ is all the members of the new man, there is no room in the new man for any race, nationality, culture, or social status—vv. 10-11.

Col 3:10        And have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

3. In order for us to experience the reality of Christ being all the members of the new man, we need to take Christ as our life and person and live Him, not ourselves—Gal. 2:20; Phil. 1:20-21a.

Gal 2:20        I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Phil 1:20       According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I will be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, even now Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death.

Phil 1:21a      For to me, to live is Christ …

4. It is very significant that Paul said both that Christ is all and that He is in all—Col. 3:11:

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

a. We should not think that because Christ is all the members of the one new man, we are nothing and are not needed.

b. The fact that Christ is in all the members of the new man indicates that the members continue to exist—v. 11.

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

IV.  We need to see that all the local churches in the different countries are one new man—vv. 10-11; 4:15-16:

Col 3:10        And have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

Col 4:15        Greet the brothers in Laodicea, as well as Nymphas and the church, which is in his house.

Col 4:16        And when this letter is read among you, cause that it be read in the church of the Laodiceans also, and that you also read the one from Laodicea.

A.     All the churches are not merely individual local churches but are the one new man—Eph. 2:15-16:

Eph 2:15       Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,

Eph 2:16       And might reconcile both in one Body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity by it.

1. We cannot say that each local church is a new man; rather, all the local churches on earth are the one new man—4:24.

Eph 4:24       And put on the new man, which was created according to God in righteousness and holiness of the reality.

2. The one new man is a matter not merely of individual localities and individual churches but of all the churches on earth corporately.

B.     Among the churches in the Lord’s recovery, there should be no “nations”—Matt. 16:18; 1 Thes. 1:1; Rom. 16:16b; 3 John 9-10:

Matt 16:18    And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

1 Thes 1:1     Paul and Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.

Rom 16:16b  …All the churches of Christ greet you.

3 John 9        I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not receive us.

3 John 10      For this reason, if I come, I will bring to remembrance his works which he does, babbling against us with evil words; and not being satisfied with these, neither does he himself receive the brothers, and those intending to do so he forbids and casts out of the church.

1. We do not care to have a little “nation,” an empire, in which we can be a king; rather, we care to be in the one new man—Matt. 20:25-26a.

Matt 20:25    But Jesus called them to Him and said, You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great exercise authority over them.

Matt 20:26a   It shall not be so among you; …

2. The building of the church depends on the existence of the one new man—16:18; Eph. 2:21-22.

Matt 16:18    And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Eph 2:21       In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord;

Eph 2:22       In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.

C.     Today is the day to have a new man constituted of all the local churches, including all the saints as one in Christ, who is all in all; this will be the ultimate church life—a universal new man living out Christ—Col. 3:10-11; Eph. 4:24; Phil. 1:20-21a.

Col 3:10        And have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

Eph 4:24       And put on the new man, which was created according to God in righteousness and holiness of the reality.

Phil 1:20       According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I will be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, even now Christ will be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death.

Phil 1:21a      For to me, to live is Christ …

V.   The goal of the Lord’s recovery is to bring forth the one new man—Eph. 2:15; 4:22-24; Col. 3:10-11:

Eph 2:15       Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,

Eph 4:22       That you put off, as regards your former manner of life, the old man, which is being corrupted according to the lusts of the deceit,

Eph 4:23       And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind

Eph 4:24       And put on the new man, which was created according to God in righteousness and holiness of the reality.

Col 3:10        And have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

A.     What was divided and scattered in the old man is recovered in the new man; to put off the old man is to put off the divided and scattered man; to put on the new man is to put on the gathered and one new man—Gen. 11:5-9; Acts 2:5-12; Eph. 4:22, 24; Col. 3:10-11.

Gen 11:5       And Jehovah came down to see the city and the tower which the children of men had built.

Gen 11:6       And Jehovah said, Behold, they are one people, and they all have one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and now nothing which they purpose to do will be kept from them.

Gen 11:7       Come, let Us go down and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

Gen 11:8       So Jehovah scattered them from there over the surface of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.

Gen 11:9       Therefore its name was called Babel, because there Jehovah confounded the language of all the earth, and from there Jehovah scattered them over the surface of all the earth.

Acts 2:5        Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.

Acts 2:6        And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together and was confounded because each one heard them speaking in his own dialect.

Acts 2:7        And they were amazed and marveled, saying, Behold, are not all these who are speaking Galileans?

Acts 2:8        And how is it that we each hear them in our own dialect in which we were born?

Acts 2:9        Parthians and Medes and Elamites and those dwelling in Mesopotamia, both in Judea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia,

Acts 2:10      Both in Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt and the parts of Libya around Cyrene, and the sojourning of Rome, both Jews and proselytes,

Acts 2:11      Cretans and Arabians, we hear them speaking in our tongues the magnificent works of God?

Acts 2:12      And they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, What does this mean?

Eph 4:22       That you put off, as regards your former manner of life, the old man, which is being corrupted according to the lusts of the deceit,

Eph 4:24       And put on the new man, which was created according to God in righteousness and holiness of the reality.

Col 3:10        And have put on the new man, which is being renewed unto full knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

Col 3:11        Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.

B.     What the Lord has been doing and is now doing in His recovery is bringing forth the one new man with Himself as the life and the person for God’s expression—Eph. 3:17-19; Col. 3:4, 10-11.

Eph 3:17       That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

Eph 3:18       May be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are.

Eph 3:19       And to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.

Phil 3:4         Though I myself have something to be confident of in the flesh as well. If any other man thinks that he has confidence in the flesh, I more:

Phil 3:10       To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

Phil 3:11       If perhaps I may attain to the out-resurrection from the dead.

C.     The requirement that everyone be only one man is exceedingly high; for the practical existence of the one new man, we need to rise up together to take Christ as our person—Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:15; 3:17a.

Gal 2:20        I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Eph 2:15       Abolishing in His flesh the law of the commandments in ordinances, that He might create the two in Himself into one new man, so making peace,

Eph 3:17a     That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, …

D.     The one new man will conclude this age, usher in the kingdom of God, and bring Christ, the King, back to this earth—Rev. 11:15.

Rev 11:15     And the seventh angel trumpeted; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He will reign forever and ever.

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