• Christ and Church Life and Building Spirit and Bride

    基督與召會
    生命與建造
    那靈與新婦



    As a lover of Christ and a pursuer of truth, I write down my joys, memories and reflections.

    May God lead us all into the secret of His presence, and build us into the oneness of His body in love.
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The center of All God’s creation is life

Before getting into the main ideas, let me define the scope and context of this writing:

What is God’s creation?
What is life?

God’s creation has at least 3 components or aspects:  The first is the old creation, which is the physical and tangible world most people see and recognize. Genesis 1:1 says, ”In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. “  And Genesis 2:3-4 says, “And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created. When Jehovah God made earth and heaven, “ God’s creation work is also repeatedly mentioned in the rest of the Scripture, such as 2 Kings 19:15, Isaiah 37:16, 42:5-6, 18, Acts 14:15,  17:24,  Colossians 1:16-17,  Hebrews 1:10-12, Revelation 3:14, 4:11, 10:6, and 14:7. Praise the Triune God for His wonderful creation! The second is the new heaven and new earth mentioned in Isaiah 67:17-18 and Revelation 21:1. The new heaven and new earth will have the New Jerusalem, the consummation of God’s work across all ages, as its center. The third is the new creation, or the new man. Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:16-17, “So then we, from now on, know no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him so no longer. So then if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, they have become new. ” He also wrote in Ephesians 4:24, “And put on the new man, which was created according to God in righteousness and holiness of the reality.” The terms new creation is then again mentioned repeated in his writing in Galatians (6:14-15), Ephesians (2:10, 2:15), and Colossians (3:10).

Before seeing what life is, we need to see what life is not: Life is not the physical life we see in our physical realm, and is not even the soul life we feel in the mental and psychological realm. Some Christians may perceive other good things as life, but these things are not life, either; life is not devotion, good behavior, power, gift, growth in knowledge, or our human life. So what is life? Life is the very life of God, the indestructible, incorruptible, and eternal life of God. Life is Christ, the embodiment and expression of God. Life is the resurrection and ascension life of Christ. Life is God’s first and basic attributes and contents, which are flowing out from God and dispensed into us. In God’s view, He is the sole source of life in the universe, and anything apart from Him is just death. God the Father is the source of life, God the Son is the course and embodiment of life, and God the Spirit is the flow of life. Where there is no God, there is no life.

To summarize briefly, the center of both the old creation and the new heaven and new earth is the new creation. The new creation, namely the new man, is the extension and magnification of Christ, who is life. This new creation is in life, is made of life, and is actually life itself. Seeing this, we can proclaim that life is the center of all God’s creation.

The whole Bible reveals that God desires to be dispensed into men as life, and, in partaking God as life, men may grow to be like God in life and nature, and, ultimately, express God. Due to the limited scope of this writing, let me just focus on how Genesis revealed that life as the center of all God’s creation is shown in the following aspects:

1. In the temporal order of creation:
According to Genesis, God created the heavens and the earth on the sixth days; God let there be light, waters, and dry land, let there be plants, let there be light-bearers in the heaven, let there be swarms of living animals in the waters, let there be birds flying above the earth,  and He let there be living animals. On the sixth day, God created man. Considering that the earlier creation is for the later creation, and seeing that God created the light for the heaven, heaven for the earth and waters, and the earth for the living animals and humans, we can assert that God’s creation is for life and centered on life.

2. In holding a counsel among the Trinity prior creating man
Unlike other creation which was made into being simply by God’s words, man was created according to a counsel among the Trinity. Genesis 1:26 says, “And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of heaven and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.“ This precious verse not only shows God’s cares and concerns for man, but also reveals His desire and purpose in creating man: He desires man to be His image, likeness, expression, and even His deputy authority over the earth and the living creature on the earth. Here we see that God has a special heart desire and purpose in creating man, and that He created and arranged all things, including the Garden of Eden, for man. In other words, man is the center of God’s creation in the Genesis.

3. In breathing the breath of life into man
Unlike other creation, man was created by God’s breathing the breath of life into man. Genesis 2:7 says, “Jehovah God formed man with the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” This breath of life, by which man became a living soul, is the source of our human spirits, which is analogous to the Spirit of God. Factually or typologically speaking, God extended and dispensed Himself as life into man. From the very beginning, we see that God and man are intimate in a way that is unique among all creations, that God is the very source of man’s life and breath, that the creation of man is so closely tied to life, and that God desires to dispense Himself into man as life.

4. In placing the river of life in the garden of Eden
The river of life typifies how God as life to nourish man as life.

5. In putting man before the tree of life
In Genesis 2:16, God commanded the man to eat every tree of the garden freely, but not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God fed the man with food so man may live. In addition, God commanded man to eat the tree of life; the tree of life being in the middle of the garden indicates that life is the center of God’s creation (v.9). Typologically speaking, the tree of life typifies how God can be enjoyed and taken in by man as food and life supply. Just as food is the necessities of the growth of physical life, God as food is the necessities of the growth of the spiritual life. God’s putting man before the tree of life indicates that God desire man to choose God as food and life over all other things.

Based on the above paragraphs, let me draw the following conclusions:

  1. God created heaven and earth prior and for the creation of man, indicating that God centers His creation on man.
  2. Life is nothing else but very life of God. The existence of both old and the new heaven and new earth is for the new creation, the new man, which is the extension and magnification of Christ, who is God as life manifested in the flesh.
  3. God has a special desire and purpose in creating man, which is to have men to have His image and likeness, to rule over the earth and the living creatures as God’s deputy authority. Essentially, this indicates that God desires men to be His expression, which, as revealed in the Scripture, is the result of maturity in life. Hence, life is again at the center of God’s eternal economy.
  4. Just as breath, water, and food are necessities to our physical life, God revealed that His desire is to dispense Himself into men as breath to sustain life, water to nourish life, and food to grow life.
  5. Created in God’s image and likeness, men can receive God as life, may mature in life, and ultimately may express God in life. The corporate expression of God’s life in men as the church will consummate in the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and the new earth. This is the central purpose of all God’s creation.

Oh! Lord Jesus!
I praise and worship You as my Creator.
I thank and believe in You as my Redeemer and Savior.
I desire to know You as my wisdom, and to partake You as my life.
You are very source, course, and flow of life.

Hear my desperate crying out!
Protect me from the evil one. Save me from darkness and death.
How much I need You, Lord!
You are my eternal protection, nourishment, supply, comfort, strength, and power.

Apart from You, I am nothing, and I can do nothing.
Do dispense Your life into me.
Do quench my thirst and fill my hunger.
By Your mercy, open my eyes to see this heavenly vision.
By Your grace, let me be part of Your eternal economy.

Amen.

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