Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Increase of Christ

Luke 2:52 "And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men."

How is this possible? Jesus is God in flesh! He's perfect! What we see here is the most beautiful mystery encapsulated. He gave up all rights to divine prerogative, even divine perfection! Check this out-"And Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.'" Luke 18:19

Jesus came to show us how to be perfect as humans because He was perfect as a human by the power of the Holy Spirit. Just because He was growing in wisdom and stature before God does not mean He wasn't holy or perfect. He grew in God perfectly. He lived before God perfectly as a man, unhindered by sin and grew unhindered by sin. Jesus Christ is still growing in wisdom and stature before God through His body, the church. Why?

John 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father." Jesus promises greater works here through the church and this takes place as we attain the unity of the faith. Derek Prince says this:

"All the doctrines of the New Testament cetner in the person and wok of Christ [the gospel of God is made known through Jesus; Rom. 1]. The true and full expression of each doctrine is in the person and work of Christ [...]. The chruch is growing up into mature manhood [increasing in wisdom and stature before God and man]. This man, grown to full stature, will be able to represent Christ in all His fullness [in a greater way than Christ Himself did because of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the church; sound like heresy? See Christ's words!]. He will constitute the consummation of God's purposes for the church as Christ's body: that is, the perfect revelation of Christ [as Jesus embodies and reveals the fullness of God in Himself, so is the church to embody and reveal the fullness of Christ in themselves to the world]. Endowed with every grace, every gift, every ministry, this completed church will present to the world a complete Christ." Derek Prince is taking from Ephesians 4:11-13.

Now a BIG CLARIFICATION: I am not implying above that the church IS GREATER than Christ. Christ is the pioneer of our faith and our justification before God, and indeed God Himself! He did what we could not do for ourselves. He's the only perfect human ever to have lived. What I AM saying is that biblically, we will EMBODY the fullness of Christ in the end of the age to such an extent, that greater works than Christ did when He was on earth will proceed from us because of the presence of Christ's Spirit in us. The body can NEVER be greater than the head, but it can be so filled with the fullness of Christ that it embodies Him on earth to a greater extent.

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