One New Man 1

The centerpiece of the racial teaching of Christianity is given in Paul's letter to the Ephesians 2:14-16:

            "For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility,  by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,  and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end."

The simple phrase "one new man" occurs only once in the Bible, yet it describes God's purpose in history.  In the Old Testament, the declared purpose of God was to build a nation for Himself, a people with whom He could dwell and to whom He could reveal Himself.   As we saw in  great detail in the online racial-peace Bible study, www.racialpeace.org, this divine "experiment" failed with the destruction of Israel in the 8th Century BC, and the captivity of Judah in the 6th.

In the New Testament, a common misreading of God's main purpose is to make the life and death of Jesus Christ the means of personal salvation for all who believe -- men, women, Jews and Gentiles.  This is true, but not complete. The point of individual salvation is not translation to heaven, but incorporation into the "one new man", or the "body of Christ" (Ro 12:5).  Personal salvation is the preliminary part of His plan.  Paul in Ephesians reveals a further dimension of the divine purpose -- God's project goes beyond co-habitation with a remnant community of sanctified believers.  Creation itself, and the historic process, strain toward the telos of "one new man," a divine-human partnership that resolves the conflicts of historic existence:  not only the fundamental antithesis of Creator vs creation, but also the human barriers of nation, race and gender.

With Christ as the head of the new man, the age-old "sin problem" is nullified, cancelled, forgiven.  God and man are reconciled and become, for the first time, partners in the historical process.  Consequently, interhuman conflicts and rivalries can be overcome, to the gain of all, and the loss of none, of the parties. Unlike worldly peacemaking, Biblical reconciliation is a win-win proposition.  The incorporation of each faction enriches the whole Body.

The "one new man'" is God's endgame in history.  It harks back to His original purpose in the Old Testament.  God is still in the nation-building business, just as He was in ancient Israel.  But now the scope is worldwide, and is carried on at a spiritual level rather than a territorial one.  If you ask what God is doing in the world today, the answer is more than "saving souls" or "planting churches."  Rather, the Holy Spirit is everywhere and at all times building up, enlarging and strengthening this "one new man," who one day will "own" history.  It is he who is the meek man who shall inherit the earth -- after all the power-mongers have destroyed each other in trying to grasp it for themselves.

4 views