In a previous post we saw that God has a divine arrangement, an economy, to dispense Christ with His unsearchable riches into His believers (Eph. 3:8-9). God took several deliberate steps in Christ in order to work out His dispensing in His economy. In this post, we will briefly review the major steps of Christ that resulted in His becoming a life-giving Spirit.
1) Christ’s incarnation to be a man (Matt. 1:23; John 1:1, 14):
Prior to the incarnation of Christ, the Spirit of God had only come upon man, but had not yet entered into man (Judges 14:6). In His incarnation, Christ was conceived of the Spirit in a human virgin, thus mingling divinity with humanity (Matt. 1:18). Christ’s birth brought the infinite God into a finite man. That was a crucial step in the carrying out of God’s economy.
2) Christ’s genuine human living (Luke 2:40, 52):
The Lord Jesus lived on the earth for over 33 years as a genuine man without sin. He passed through many common human experiences (Mark 6:3), which further qualified Him to be our Savior (Heb. 2:10; 5:8-9).
3) Christ’s death (Acts 2:23; Gal. 3:1; 2 Cor. 5:14-15):
As a man in the old creation, Christ died on the cross to put away Satan (Heb. 2:14), sin (Rom. 8:3), sins (1 Pet. 2:24; John 1:29), the world (Gal. 6:14), flesh (Gal. 5:24), and the old man (Rom. 6:6).
4) Christ’s resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:24, 32; Rom. 1:3-4; 2 Tim. 2:8):
Christ’s glorious resurrection displayed His victory over Satan, sin, and death; it was the proof that God had approved of Christ’s work on the cross and that we believers had been justified by God (Rom. 4:25). In resurrection, Christ was begotten as the Firstborn Son of God (1:3-4; 8:29; 1 Pet. 1:3; Heb. 1:6; Col. 1:18) and was transfigured to become a life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45; 2 Cor. 3:17).
5) Christ’s ascension to the throne of God (Acts 2:33-35):
Christ also ascended to the heavens, was seated at the right hand of God, and was made the Lord and Christ (Heb 8:1; Acts. 2:36).
By passing through these steps—incarnation, human living, death, resurrection, and ascension—Christ became a life-giving spirit (1 Cor. 15:45; c.f. John 6:63, 2 Cor. 3:6). As such a Spirit, He can impart Himself as the resurrection life into His believers (John 11:25; Rom. 8:10; Col. 3:4).
Today, the Spirit does not merely come upon us, but more importantly, He dwells within us (Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19)! Once Christ enters into us as the Spirit, we can experience Him subjectively and enjoy His riches practically day by day (Rom. 10:12), which brings us into the reality of God’s economy. We should thank and praise the Lord for such a wonderful plan and arrangement that enables us to experience Christ for the fulfillment of God’s eternal purpose.
Witness Lee, The Four Major Steps of Christ, Chapter 1 (Print).
(Most references in the Further Reading can also be viewed on www.ministrybooks.org.)