The Manifestation of the Glory of God (continued)
Conformity to Christ Essentially Moral and Spiritual
You see the result was intended to be a created corporate race as an expression of that which was, in essence, God. I do not mean Deity, I mean that which was intended in moral essence; the kind of thoughts God thinks, the kind of desires God desires, the kind of will God wills. God intended a created corporate race as an expression of Himself in that sense. You see it in Christ. You have the meaning of Christ when you see all that. This is what Christ means. This is the interpretation of Christ. How great is Christ!
Paul sees Him lifted altogether out of time, sees Him related to God's purpose; His express image, the effulgence, the very essence of God. Yes, His Deity included the moral essence of God. The expression of God in an Image morally constituted after God, that is Christ.
It is a great thing to see Christ, and then to see that we were chosen in Him to be like that, "... conformed to the image of His Son." The first representation of that thought, that mind, that heart, that will of God, was the Son; and the Son was NOT created but "begotten." Man was created to be conformed to the image of the Son, but the Son was NOT created. He was the only begotten of the Father, unique, standing alone, inclusive, conclusive.
Those are not mere words. In the creation according to God there will be nothing but what is of Christ. It is important to realize that. That will govern a good deal that we may have yet to say. Thank God, you and I will not be as we are. It is not to be Christ and us; all is to be Christ. That is to say, Christ will be so corporately expressed that, the question of Deity apart, the moral and spiritual essence of Christ will utterly govern every other unit in the universe. It will be Christ in that sense; one great universal, collective, corporate Christ! Yes, there will be multitudes which no man can number, yet so conformed to the image of Christ that, looking at any one or all of these, spiritual conformity to Christ will be seen. We are not saying that Christ is to lose His individuality, to be absorbed in some inclusiveness where all His own personal distinctiveness ceases; we are saying that, when conformed to His image, we are to be as one great person, the Body of Christ perfected, a corporate and collective expression of what Christ is.
Paul refers to that when, with tremendous faith representing a tremendous victory and ascendency, he said: "... we henceforth know no man after the flesh" (2 Corinthians 5:15). It represents a victory of no mean order. In our dealings with the Lord's children, for instance, Paul means that, notwithstanding all that we may find of inconsistency and failure, because of what they are by nature, we are to focus all our attention upon Christ in them, and because they are Christ's, and He is in them, make His indwelling the ground of ll our relations with them, keeping our eyes off the other altogether; we are to know them after Christ and not after the flesh. It will not be difficult in the ages to come, for then there will be nothing but what is of Christ in us. We shall see Christ in one another, we shall be fully conformed to His image. The Lord hasten that day!
(continued with # 13)