Many Members, Streams, Colors
( 1 Cor. 12, Ps. 46:4, Col. 3:1-4)
This theme returned to me. We hear much said about diversity. Outside of the Spirit of God, it means anything goes. In the Spirit of God it speaks of a variety of expressions of the beauty of the Lord. It is the Spirit’s creative nature expressed through every ethnicity as they are redeemed and gathered out of their earthly natures. Yet who we are in the natural does not disappear. We live a life in this earthly tent, our bodies. The Lord works in us and we become transparent vessels, living stones, jewels, in the wall of His heavenly city. I have understood and expressed this before. The heavenly city comes down out of heaven from God. He builds it without human hands. It is spiritual and has no earthly content. We may be uncomfortable with that truth but it is summarized in the words of Paul. Our bodies are corruptible. They will decay, and ultimately be transformed. We learn to possess our vessels, our bodies, in honor, so that all we do and say may reflect who the Lord is.
We can operate as people, as His creatures, but without His Spirit working in us, our efforts are fruitless. No fruit remains. It does mean we, individually, cease to exist. It means, we die daily to our agenda, hopes, and dreams, so that His will be fulfilled in us. He does give dreams and expectations, and those are wonderful. He gives us all things richly to enjoy. He is a good father and gives perfect and satisfying gifts. Yet only what is initially from Him will endure and be to our heavenly account. Our accounts here, our earthly successes, do not accompany us into our eternal existence with God. He loves us and calls us to be connectors, ambassadors, priests, to bring others into contact to the One who is worthy of us all.
As we remain humble before Him, committed, consecrated, separated for His purposes, He causes His light to shine through us. It will diffract through the prism of our person, our personality, as the colors of the rainbow. The Lord preserved the variety of the animal kingdom by means of the ark. Noah’s walk with God, His listening and obedience provided for their preservation. And we know after the flood, the rainbow appeared, and a promise, a covenant from God Himself was signified by that rainbow. So now, through a many-membered body, Christ is displaying His glory. The colors of the rainbow are a natural picture of the diversity of who we are in the Spirit, by the Spirit of Christ shining through us.
I have mentioned again the glory of the New Jerusalem. The Jerusalem of this earth is a city beloved by the Lord. Also is every city upon the earth. The message of the cross as expressed well through Paul’s letters, is that God has ended the division between Jew and Gentile. The Lamb of God was given for the world, the cosmos, the universe. All men were included. If Christ died for all, then all died with Him. The last Adam died at the cross, once for all. Jesus decried as God intended that it was finished. He finished Adam. God was completing the work of death through Christ. So if all died, are all thereby saved? No. Those who receive Him, who welcome the One who is worthy, they receive His life. Only the life that Christ is can carry us through this life into that eternal place in the heavens.
We pray for heaven to come. It shines into the earth beckoning all to come. It shines through those built together as a habitation of the Spirit. Here is the value of unity in the Spirit. We are One in Christ. It is not for us to make it happen. Walk in the truth and be diligent to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Read Ephesians, especially chapter 4. We are working out with one another the answer to Jesus prayer in John 17. We need to put on love, the divine love. It must be firm yet gentle. It takes the Spirit in us to even respond to the call to maintain the unity that Christ died to display. It is the humility of being debased, abused, physically assaulted, according to the purpose of God in our lives. As Jesus prayed that unity will be accompanied by true joy, His joy.
In the same way, we read in Psalm 46 of the river whose streams, like the rainbow colors, make glad the city of God. That river is the pure river of life that flows from the throne of God. The Lord’s rulership and authority are in that river. No hypocrisy can stand in that river. It has no place. Nothing of our selves can remain there. The purity is Christ, His life. Are you dead yet? Have you agreed with God that who ae are apart from His life has any value at all? Do you choose to identify apart from who He is? You are a member of Christ of His body, if you know He is Lord. In that is your true identity and your eternal value.