What is it to be human? Before we excuse ourselves as being ‘only human’, let’s listen to what God has to say about our humanness in Hebrews 2:
It was not to angels that God subjected the [inhabited] world of the future [when Christ reigns], about which we are speaking. But one has [solemnly testified somewhere [in scripture], saying, ‘What is man, that You are mindful of him, of the son of man, that You graciously care for him? You have made him for a little while lower [in status] than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands; You have put all things in subjection under his feet [confirming his supremacy].” Now in putting all things in subjection to man, He left nothing outside his control. But at present we do not yet see all things subjected to him.
- God created man in His image and gave him dominion over the place where he lived. This dominion was to be exercised in relationship with God; however, with the Fall, the relationship was fractured and man, in his brokenness, has attempted the dominion unsuccessfully without God.
But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while [by taking on the limitations of humanity], crowned with glory and honor because of His suffering of death, so that by the grace of God [extended to sinners] He might experience death for [the sins of] everyone. For it was fitting for God [that is, an act worthy of His divine nature] that He, for whose sake are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the author and founder of their salvation perfect through suffering [bringing to maturity the human experience necessary for Him to be perfectly equipped for His office as High Priest].
- Jesus came to earth, as a human, to experience life and death so that He could be the author and founder of a restored relationship between God and those He had created. All that Jesus experienced as a human perfectly equipped Him to be our High Priest in heaven.
Both Jesus who sanctifies and those who are sanctified [that is, spiritually transformed, made holy, and set apart for God’s purpose] are all from one Father; for this reason He is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters….
- Both Jesus, the sanctifier, and those who are sanctified…spiritually transformed, made holy, and set apart for God’s purpose… are all from one Father and are in family together.
If we have been redeemed together into a family called the church, God also has certain rules for living together in ‘family’.
- Love one another.
- Work to restore broken relationships promptly.
- Care for one another.
- Pray for one another.
- Encourage one another.
- Admonish one another.
An implication here is knowing each other well enough to be able to follow God’s guidelines for ‘family’. Just a question for thought and discussion, how does a body of 1000+ manage ‘family’?
Another outgrowth of our being redeemed into a family called the church is that we are centered around a person, an authority….God. We are a family because we are from God. Remember, when God gave Adam and Eve dominion over where they lived, it was to be in relationship to God. That relationship has been restored through Jesus. We are not to attempt dominion apart from God.
I’d like to contrast who God has called us to be in relationship to Him and to one another with the culture that we are immersed in and is increasingly pervasive:
- We live and think independently of one another.
- We attempt to control everyone and everything around us by systems and programs.
- Where there is a problem, we must figure out how to solve it.
- Human virtue is not a consideration.
- Our goal is to accumulate more.
- We live in abstraction with a distortion of reality.
Is there a possibility that God had a plan for His people in the community of the church? What is it? How does He accomplish it in us? What must we do to be in a position for God to use us for His purposes?
Think about it!