By Mary Kroeger
Before the beginning of creation there was only God. God is spirit and the true essence of spirit is unknown to us. We only know it to the extent that it has been revealed to us. God has revealed Himself to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. His Word became flesh and He was called Jesus Christ, the Son of Man. In Christ we see the exact representation of the invisible God. (Heb. 1:3)
In 1 John 4:8 we read that God is love. Love wants the best for the object of its love! It is always giving! "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son." (John 3:16) Why? Did He love the world of sinners more than He loved His Son? Of course not, for at Christ's baptism God testified that He was well pleased with Him! So why did God give His Son to be our sin-bearer and Savior? Was it only for us, or was it also for the exaltation of the Son?
Even before the beginning of creation, God's love focused on the Son – His Word. There was nothing else. Love always wants to give something wonderful to the object of its love. The scriptures reveal that God wanted His Son to be the King of an ever-increasing kingdom of peace! (Is. 9:7) The establishment of this kingdom would need a lot of preparation, sacrifice and love! God began to put His plan into action when He created the heavens and the earth.
In Romans 11:36, we read, "For from Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things, to Him be the glory forever. Amen." What thought provoking words! "All things" include the whole universe and all that exists in it. All things were created for Christ, by Him and through Him! This includes Adam and Eve and all their progeny! All things were created for Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:16), the Son of God, by Him and through Him!
Why did Elohim want to make man in the image of Himself? God wanted His Son to be Lord and King of a vast kingdom. For this to occur, His Son needed subjects or inhabitants over whom He could rule. A kingdom fit for His Son had to be filled with inhabitants that bore the image of His Son! This would bring glory not only to His Son, but also to the inhabitants. A kingdom that would honor His Son, had to be an eternal kingdom! Therefore it had to be free of every type of pollutant - sin, Satan, self and death! It had to be a kingdom that consisted of life!
The scriptures reveal that man in the image of God has to be a spiritual image, for God is spirit! To do this He first formed Adam out of the ground, then blew His breath into him, and he became an earthy image of God – a living soul! This man was disobedient, so he could only multiply in the realm in which he lived, namely, the death realm.
How could the death this man was in be done away with? How could humanity be freed from sin and death? God is never without a solution! But His solution would require a great sacrifice on the part of Christ, the Word made flesh! He would have to humble Himself beyond belief! He, the Creator of the universe, would have to lay aside His deity and take on the form of man! He would have to be willing to be rejected by the people He had made, treated as criminal, scourged and condemned to death on the cross. In the midst of His weakness, pain and taunts of His enemies, He had to keep His thoughts pure and clean! His will had to remain one with the Father’s will. All this had to take place after He had entered humanity’s death realm!
Adam entered death because of disobedience! But Christ entered humanity's death in union with humanity in obedience to the Father's will! His triumphant resurrection proved that He had overcome death! Christ's victory over death proved that life is stronger than death! It proved that He had won the victory over the sins of the whole world! At present this victory is in the process of being manifested, but we do not yet see the fulfillment. But when the last enemy, namely death, is overcome and no longer is, we will see the fulfillment of Christ's victory over death!
Christ's corporate death and resurrection was revealed to Paul. In Gal. 2:20 he wrote, "I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me." It is the life of Christ in us that can never die! Faith in Christ puts us into Christ and Christ into us! In Christ we are a new creation! (2 Cor. 5:17) When we are in Christ, He has become our wisdom, our redemption and our sanctification! (1 Cor. 1:30)
It is difficult for us to believe our oneness with Christ! So Jesus gave us a picture. He said, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” The vine is not complete without the branches, and the branches have no life if they are not in the vine! The vine gives life to the branches. This life is evidenced in the fruit it bears. The vine and the branches are one, for the branches are in the vine! So also we are one in Christ! In Christ we receive His life, and His life in us will bear fruit!
Although we do not yet see all things subject to Christ, He will reign until all things are subject to Him. After all things are subject to Him, He will give it all back to the Father, so that God will be all in all! (1 Cor. 15:28)
This wonderful revelation reveals the beauty and depth of God’s love to us and for us! I pray that we can behold it, believe it and live in it! All God does is motivated by His love for His Son, and for all humanity! Creation was motivated by His love! All was to have its source and fulfillment in His love! In Christ we are a new creation! In Christ is our salvation, our transformation into a spiritual being, our deliverance from a sinful nature and our union with the Father! It is ALL in Christ! He is our redemption! In Christ there is no death! In Christ we have His life! In His life there is no deterioration, and no corruption! Therefore, that which is born of Him cannot sin! (1 John 3:9) Since there is nothing corruptible in Him, nothing that is corruptible can flow out of Him! He is life, love and righteous altogether, so we know that only life can proceed out of Him!
"As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive." (1 Cor. 15:22) It is not hard for us to believe that in Adam all die, for we see death and corruption everywhere. But the scriptures tell us that the All shall be made alive in Christ. Christ's obedience entailed so much more hardship than Adam's disobedience! In Phil. 2:7-9 we read: "Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will (gladly) confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." A forced confession would not glorify the Father. The fact that every tongue, even of those who have died and are under the earth, will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, proves that all have come into life! A dead tongue cannot speak; it cannot bring glory to God!
The kingdom of God is a kingdom of life! Its inhabitants have of all entered in by faith in the risen Christ! It is all in Christ! Therefore there can be no death in His kingdom! Can you imagine a kingdom in which there is no death?! That means that death cannot exist when Christ is all in all. There cannot be any physical or spiritual death! Even the second death cannot exist when there is no more death!
When God's will is done on earth even as it is done in heaven, there cannot be any disobedience! All has to be in life, for Jesus said that heaven is the throne (government) of God! (Matt. 5:34) This means that death cannot be eternal! God has promised that a time will come when there will be no more death! (Rev. 21:4) Therefore the second death cannot be eternal. God is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29) and His fire will consume everything that is not of Himself! When all that is not of Himself is consumed, there will be no more death anywhere!
A kingdom of life, love and light, is God's goal for His Son - His only begotten Son, the Son of His love! Death came as the consequence of sin. So if there is no death, there is no sin! It is a kingdom filled with images of Himself! All are born of Him, grown in Him, and have matured in Him. All do His will!!
"And of the increase of His government of peace there shall be no end." (Is. 9:7) God's love is beyond our comprehension! His love for His Son flows into us! The source is in the eternal love of God, and it never changes! God is the eternal "I AM”! God never changes! Our present and our future are in Him! In Christ we too are sons of the living God! In Christ is the fulfillment of God's desire for His Son! He is the preeminent Christ! He is exalted above every principality and power, rule and dominion; things visible, things invisible; things past, things present, things future, things in heaven, things in earth, things under the earth! All things are from Him, all things are through Him, and all things are to Him!
When He has subjected all things to Himself, the will of God will be done on earth even as it is done in heaven! In Christ we see the fulfillment of God's will! In Christ we see the elimination of all that is not birthed in Him and is not from Him! In Christ we see a glorious kingdom, a new heaven and a new earth! Glory to God in the Highest!