Peace — One New Man
Dr. Kluane Spake
Here we are, once again, at a time and most of us are unable to find the fullness of that longed for Promised Peace. Seems more and more that we are surrounded by a social system stirred with storms of war and terrorism.
Many have searched for peace. In memory of his soldier son who had died in the war, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote these famous words:
I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of PEACE on earth, good will to men.
How can we find peace? Jesus lived and died to establish many realities that stretch even beyond the salvation of our soul. Among many reasons, He died to create a new society upon this earth – one that is able to dwell in His presence and embrace His PEACE in our hearts in this world (Lk. 2:10, 11, 14). Even amidst the turmoil of this hour, Jesus is our only PEACE.
DIVISIONS and discord have long existed. Archeologists explain the temple court in the New Testament times as having an elevated platform for the priests, with separated sections for the men and women. On the other side, the Gentiles were able to peer through.
How can we find peace between us? We loose our peace when we build walls between us. Walls of difference. Walls of social distinction. Walls defined by economic distinction. Walls of tradition and diverse doctrine.
Many years ago, I did a funeral for a member of our church. His family members came and wept beside the casket – but when it was time for me to bring forth the service; everyone walked out of the room. Oh Jesus — is that how You feel? Differing doctrines can cause much heartache. I know that many of you have experienced some sort of prejudicial treatment in your life. Even the memories of those times reawaken pain.
Paul explains that those who were afar off are bought near. “For He IS OUR PEACE because he has made both ONE, and hath broken down the middle wall partition between us. We see here a church without walls — it is a new dimension. Ephesians 2:15 continues to say that God created the One New Man when He broke down (abolished, took down) the middle wall of partition and abolished IN HIS FLESH the ENMITY which separated.
In order to make the TWO ONE. Jesus takes away all divisions of class, gender, and race (Eph 2:14-22) The BODY of Christ consists of those who have allowed the walls of separation to be removed. This is a NEW CREATION –a marvelous wonder that has not existed before — people without divisions and without hostility.
Just as Adam and his wife were joined to make “one flesh,” this new creation process happens again — only this time Jesus makes ONE NEW MAN out of all of us – we are becoming a new kind of ONE FLESH (Eph. 2:15, 5:31, Gen. 2:24).
For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to His likeness. It’s our assignment to “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Col.3:10). We put it on – it doesn’t hop up and dress us!
For many, trying to encounter their new identity in Christ causes a super identity crisis! Of course, we can still take pleasure in and value our cultural diversity. But, diversity must not be allowed to become a barrier that separates us from those who are unlike us. Thankfully, we don’t have to become LIKE each other. We all need to become LIKE Christ.
Keep in mind that Abraham was commanded to leave his land, his people group, and his idolatrous family — and in like manner, we must now also join our new family unit, which is the household of God and a new Kingdom and a holy nation.
The full awareness of Christ’s redemptive work is denied any action that prevents us from demonstrating the Kingdom. We can’t just put a Band-Aid on a failed religious system. We can never find unity by agreeing with diverse doctrines or by insisting on the continuance of archaic ritualistic systems.
Paul never intended for Gentiles to act like Jews — The Gentiles didn’t have to observe the Jewish holidays, laws, or traditions. All of us are birthed into a NEW Creation that dwells in a NEW KINGDOM! Jesus ALREADY reconciled us “both in ONE BODY to God through the cross” (Eph. 2:14-16)
Clinging to hierarchical systems of religion causes blood war feuds (enmity). Remember, our identity in Christ becomes our peace! He has already MADE us ONE in His flesh! Again it is restated in Eph. 2:16 “And that He might reconcile BOTH unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the ENMITY thereby.”
NO ETHNIC, CLASS, OR GENDER DISTINCTIONS:
Jesus stated a particularly relevant prophecy concerning these times, “Nation shall rise up against nation and kingdom against kingdom.” The word translated “nation” is the Greek word “ethnos” – in other words, there would be great divisions and struggles along ethnic lines.
Our exclusive identity in the flesh (whether it be racial, or cultural) is simply based on inherited characteristics. Nevertheless, these strong emotional bonds can cause a strong influence upon our preferences and allegiances – and this fleshly identity causes discrimination.
When Jesus was told that his mother and brothers were waiting to see Him, He replied, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “HERE are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:48).
Therefore, defining ourselves merely as American Christians, a Spanish Church, Jewish Christians, Black Christians, White Christians, etc. are all oxymorons in the intention of God. Together we have already become a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Cor. 5:17). We become members together of a new family that is neither Jew or Gentile — but a New Race. Not rich or poor. Not black or white, but a New Race. Not slave or free. Not men or women, but a new race that is all one (Gal. 3:28).
We discover PEACE when we apprehend this new spiritual race in Christ.
Paul told believers that they were “stupid” and bewitched by a religious Galatian-ism which separated believers with prejudices (Gal. 3:1). Paul later commanded believers, “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is ALL IN ALL” (Col. 3:9-11 NKJ). These external definitions are what we are in the flesh.
“For we… put no confidence or dependence [on what we are] in the FLESH and on outward privileges and physical advantages and external appearances.” (Philippians 3:3 AMP)
The problem has always been that we see ourselves as individuals within our own unique identity, rather than as the corporate “New Man.” The ultimate goal is for people groups to experience redemption together under the same covenant. This is the mystery revealed – our new identity. The GREAT MYSTERY, God’s secret, is that Christ in US (togher) is the hope of Glory – that secret is now revealed. That revelation of who we are together gives us PEACE. When we come into Christ, we take on His identity. Christ IN US.
PEACE COMES AS WE BECOME THE ANSWER TO THIS GREAT MYSTERY.
Becoming one is not for us to act identically, but for us to be conformed to His image. The finished work declares that we no longer bare the likeness of fallen Adam, but now we bare the likeness of the man from heaven (1 Cor. 15:49, 2 Cor. 3:18). The veil has been torn; the final plan of the kingdom is finally revealed; and we become the bridal company, the full grown son, the heavenly assembly, the FIRSTBORN sons (Heb. 12:18).
We find peace in this dispensation of the Finished Work by realizing that God already has delivered us out of bondage. He has baptized us into Christ and set us into the Promised Land where there are no dividing walls.
The question remains. Will we pursue that promise and fulfill it? Twelve spies with an evil report wandered for 40 years in evil unbelief and without rest. BUT, look at what happened to those that dared to believe (Num.14:33). Those who are like Calab, go up at once and possess the inheritance. The obtaining of the blessings of God fills us with PEACE.
WHAT DOES THIS NEW CREATION WHO IS ONE MAN LOOK LIKE?
The NEW MAN has been given positional advantage. The term “ONE NEW MAN” is not gender defined. In fact, the word “MAN” (anthropos) indicates a human being – and this word new comes from the Greek word that means with OPEN EYES!
This one (united) New Man is a living organism who is FITLY FRAMED TOGETHER, BLESSED WITH ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS and UNSERARCHABLE RICHES of CHRIST (Eph.1:3, 2:6, 22, 2:19, 2 Cor. 5:17-19). Every joint is knit together; every part does its share (Eph 4:16).
In every way the BODY of Christ is NEW! (“kainos” of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of. It is innovative, fresh, alive, eager, and vitally different.) This world has never seen a people respond in loving UNITY like this. The world anxiously waits to see someone who no longer responds as the fallen human. Where is this FIRSTFRUIT assembly walking in dominion together? Peace Peace. Together, we reverse the effects of the enmity of the Fall. We come into the image and covenant of the Last Adam.
How DO WE APPREHEND THIS NEW CREATION?
My friend, will we only be acquainted with one another only after the flesh (2 Corinthians 5:16-17) or will we discover one another in the Spirit? We must perceive this truth as a present truth finished work.
PEACE on EARTH and GOOD WILL to MEN appears as this NEW CREATION moves toward our INHERITANCE of a HEAVENLY KINGDOM on earth. PEACE comes when we realize that we are CHOSEN IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD (Eph. 1:4) to live in this time! PEACE
PEACE comes as we see Christ “Face to Face” in the earth right now as the corporate expression of our relationship in Him.
The word “peace” (NT:1515 “eirene”) can also translated as prosperity. Let’s go back and read this whole thing again and insert the real meaning of PROSPERITY. True prosperity is the Gospel of peace.
And so my friend, we gather — even as the Jewish shepherds and Oriental Magi gathered together to adore and worship the Christ child, we remember how the angels sang “peace on earth” at the birth of Jesus. The Christ brings increasing PEACE as we as ONE NEW MAN forsake all ethnic, social, gender, and political prejudices that separate. The divine plan of worldwide redemption has now been revealed.
This season, let us stand together in Christ, who is our LIFE and realize that “That which is perfect has come.” Lord God, we love Your appearing. We would see Jesus…