God’s Purpose for Man: Earth (3)

This is part three of a three part series.

God’s unchanging will despite man’s fall

Psalm 8 reveals God’s unchanging purpose for man. Though man fell in Genesis 3 and was unable to rule for God, the psalmist writes that man has been set over all things by God. It is as if he ignores the fall of man, seeing God’s unstoppable will.

When I see Your heavens, the works of Your fingers, / the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, / What is man, that You remember him, / And the son of man, that You visit him? / You have made him somewhat lower than angels / And have crowned him with glory and honor. / For You have caused him to rule over the works of your hands; / You have put all things under his feet: / All sheep and oxen, / As well as the beasts of the field, / The birds of heaven and the fish of the sea, / Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.”

Hebrews 2 picks up the same matter from the viewpoint of Christ’s redemption:

“For it was not to angels that He subjected the coming inhabited earth, concerning which we speak. But one has solemnly testified somewhere, saying, “What is man, that You bring him to mind? Or the son of man, that You care for him? You have made Him a little inferior to the angels; You have crowned Him with glory and honor and have set Him over the works of Your hands; You have subjected all things under his feet.”

Then there’s a development. The author of Hebrews admits that we don’t see these verses fulfilled yet: “But we do not yet see all things subjected to Him.” He realizes that man has fallen, but there is one man that fits this situation: Jesus. “But we see Jesus, who was made a little inferior to the angels because of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor”.

The Lord Jesus has done what all fallen men failed to do. The first Adam fell to Satan, became a sinner, and died. But the last Adam overcame Satan, sin, and death.

Many sons led into glory

Hebrews then goes on: “So that by the grace of God He might taste death on behalf of everything.” His work of redemption was not only for man, but for the entire created universe. In Him God can head up all things.

Verse 10 reads, “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in leading many sons into glory.” Here all things (all creation) is for Christ, meaning it is to Him – He rules over all. He fulfills God’s original intention in creating man.

The next phrase opens the Divine will again: “in leading many sons into glory.” Jesus is not alone eternally. He is the first man of the new race; there are many others following their leader into glory.

Verse 11 explains that we are led into glory by the same source that Christ was led – the Father who sanctifies us. “For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of One, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brothers.” We have the same divine life with the same potential of Christ Jesus.

Since we are God’s sons, God will ultimately bring us into glory. To be brought into glory is to be brought into ruling. Jesus today has entered into glory as a man. He is in the heavens sitting on the throne, and as believers we’re following Him.

“When the Lord Jesus was resurrected, He imparted His life into us. When we believe in Him, we receive His life. We all become God’s sons, and as such, we all belong to God. Because we have this life within us, as men we can be entrusted by God to fulfill His purpose. Therefore, it says that He will bring many sons into glory. To rule is to be glorified, and to be glorified is to rule. When the many sons have obtained authority and restored the earth, then they will be brought triumphantly into glory.

We should never presume that God’s purpose is merely to save us from hell that we may enjoy the blessings of heaven. We must remember that God intends for man to follow His Son in the exercise of His authority on the earth. God wants to accomplish something, but He will not do it Himself; He wants us to do it. When we have done it, then God will have attained His purpose. God desires to obtain a group of men who will do His work here on this earth, that God may rule on earth through man.”

-Watchman Nee, ca. 1940

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