6. Practicing the Church Life in the Consciousness of the One New Man
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Scripture Reading: Eph. 2:15; 4:22-24; Col. 3:10-12; Phil. 1:8; Philem. 7, 12, 20
I. The church, the Body of Christ, is the one new man to accomplish God’s eternal purpose—a universal, corporate God-man—Eph. 1:9, 11; 3:9; Rom. 8:29; 2 Tim. 1:9; Eph. 2:15-16; 4:22-24:
 
A. God’s intention in His creation of man was to have a corporate man to express Him and to represent Him; eventually, the church as the one new man is the corporate man in God’s intention, and this new man will fulfill the twofold purpose of expressing God and dealing with God’s enemy—Gen. 1:26.
 
B. The one new man equals the Body of Christ; Christ and we together form a universal man—Eph. 2:15-16; Col. 3:10, 15.
 
C. The one new man was created by Christ on the cross with two kinds of materials—the redeemed created man and the divine element; on the cross Christ put these materials together to produce a new man:
1. 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.
2. The phrase in Himself in Ephesians 2:15 indicates that Christ was not only the Creator of the one new man but also the sphere in which and the essence with which the one new man was created.
 
D. The goal of the Lord’s recovery is to bring forth the one new man—4:24:
1. What the Lord has been doing—and what He 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—3:17a; Col. 3:4, 10-11.
2. The one new man will usher in the kingdom of God and will bring Christ, the King, back to the earth—Rev. 11:15.
 
E. In the church as the one new man, Christ is all and in all—Col. 3:10-11:
1. There is no natural person in the one new man, and there is no possibility, no room, for any natural person—v. 11:
a. Although many different kinds of people make up the one new man, all are part of Christ; there are no longer the natural persons.
b. In the one new man there is only one person—the all-inclusive Christ— 2:17; 3:4, 11.
2. 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:
a. 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.
b. The all-inclusive Christ must be wrought into us organically until He replaces our natural being with Himself—Eph. 3:17a; Gal. 4:19.3. In the one new man Christ is all the members and is in all the members— Col. 3:11:
a. The Christ who dwells in us is the constituent of the one new man—1:27; 3:11.
b. 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—v. 11.
 
 
II. We need to practice the church life in the consciousness of the one new man—vv. 10-11; Eph. 4:23-24; Philem. 1-2, 10-19:
A. In Colossians 4:7-17 we have a practical illustration of the revelation of the one new man and of the consciousness of the one new man:
1. Both the saints in Colossae and Paul and those with him were members of the one new man in actuality and had the consciousness of the one new man.
2. Paul’s word regarding the reading of letters proves that there was no difference between the church in Laodicea and the church in Colossae; his word implies fellowship, oneness, harmony, and intimate contact—v. 16.
3. In spite of all the differences among nationalities, races, and classes, there was on earth in a practical way the one new man created in Christ Jesus; there were not merely local churches in various cities—there was the one new man in a real and practical way—Eph. 2:15.
 
B. If we are conscious of the one new man, we will realize that all the local churches in the different countries are one new man—vv. 21-22.
 
C. The Epistle to Philemon should be regarded as a continuation of Colossians 4 and considered as an illustration of the believers’ equal status in the new man— Philem. 1-2, 10-19:
1. The case of Onesimus and Philemon illustrates that in the new man all the believers have an equal status.
2. The distinction of social rank and status among the believers has been nullified because the believers have been constituted with the all-inclusive Christ, who is their life—Col. 3:4.
3. In the practice of the economy of God, it is crucial that all social ranks and differences among races and nations are swallowed up—vv. 10-11.
4. If we see that the believers have an equal status in the new man, there will be no problems among us concerning social rank, nationality, or race—1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:10-11.
5. The equal status of the believers is a matter of love, which comes out of faith; in the new man the believers love one another in faith—v. 14; Titus 3:15.
 
III. In order to practice the church life in the consciousness of the one new man, we need to live in the inward parts of Christ Jesus and take Christ’s inward parts as our own—Phil. 1:8; Col. 3:10-12; Eph. 3:16-17; 4:22-24:
 
A. The inward parts signify inward affection, tenderheartedness, and compassions—Phil. 1:8; 2:1; Col. 3:12.
 
B. As a man, Christ had the human inward parts with their various functions, and Christ’s experiences in His inward parts were His experiences in His mind, emotion, will, soul, heart, and spirit, including His love, desire, feeling, thought, decision, motive, and intention—Luke 2:49; John 2:17; Matt. 26:39; Isa. 53:12; 42:4; Mark 2:8.
 
C. Paul was a person who continually experienced Christ in His inward parts—Phil. 2:5; 1 Cor. 2:16b; Rom. 8:6:
1. Paul was one with Christ even in His inward parts—in His affection, tender mercy, and sympathy.
2. Paul did not keep his own inward parts but took Christ’s inward parts as his—Phil. 2:5:
a. He took not only Christ’s mind but also His entire inward being.
b. Paul’s inner being was changed, rearranged, and remodeled.
c. Paul’s inward being was reconstituted with the inward parts of Christ.
3. What was in Christ as truth—as honesty, faithfulness, and trustworthiness— was also in Paul—2 Cor. 11:10.
4. Paul’s love for the saints was not his love but the love in Christ, which is Christ’s love; thus, Paul loved the saints not by his natural love but by the love of Christ—1 Cor. 16:24.
 
D. To live Christ requires that we remain in the inward parts of Christ—Phil. 1:21a, 8:
1. Paul experienced the inward parts of Christ; he was one with Christ in His inward parts in longing after the saints—v. 8.
2. Paul did not live a life in his natural inner being; he lived a life in the inward parts of Christ.
3. If we would be those who are in Christ, we must be in His inward parts, in His tender and delicate feelings—John 15:4.
4. To live Christ is to abide in His inward parts and there to enjoy Him as grace—Phil. 1:8; 4:23.
 
E. Paul took the inward parts of Christ Jesus as his own inward parts in caring for the church as the Body of Christ and the one new man—1:8; Col. 3:10-11:
1. Paul cared for the church by taking Christ’s feeling as his own feeling; Christ’s feeling for the church became Paul’s feeling for the church—2 Cor. 2:4; 4:12; 11:2; 12:14-15; Col. 1:24.
2. Like Paul, we should take Christ’s feeling as our own feeling; this is most necessary for our living corporately in the one new man and practicing the church life in the consciousness of the one new man—Rom. 12:15.
 
F. In the book of Philemon, we have a picture of the church life as the one new man lived in the inward parts of Christ Jesus—vv. 7, 12, 20:
1. Paul’s inward affection and compassions went with Onesimus to Philemon—v. 12.
2. If we live in the inward parts of Christ Jesus, we will practice the church life in the consciousness of the one new man—Phil. 1:8; Col. 3:10-12.
3. Since we are parts of the corporate one new man, we need to have the consciousness of the new man by living in the inward parts of Christ Jesus, thereby practicing a church life in the consciousness of the new man by living in the inward parts of Christ Jesus—vv. 10-12; 1 Cor. 12:25-26; Rom. 12:15; Phil. 1:8.
 
 
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