MADE FULL WITH NEW DIVINE LIFE
The fact of vital restoration has necessarily been already stated incidentally, but it now remains to be more fully considered. In order to a right appreciation of this, there must be a clear understanding of the nature of the life communicated by the Holy Spirit. In speaking of regeneration it is not sufficient to say that there is an impartation of new human vitality. Neither is it absolutely correct to speak only of the communication of a new measure of Divine life. It is neither, merely because it is BOTH. Herein is the great mystery and wonder of Christianity. The Spirit imparts in regeneration the Christ life, and that is at once human and Divine. Thus, all essential human life is surcharged with NEW LIFE OF ITS OWN MOST PERFECT ORDER, but it is also energized with the force of LIFE DIVINE, in inseparable union therewith. Thus in Christ, man is restored to the possibilities of his own nature, but also he is introduced to a new vital union with God more marvelous as to its potentiality and possibility than that of original man.
“Where He displays His healing power,
Death and the curse are known no more:
In Him the tribes of Adam boast
More blessings than their fathers lost." (Watts)
All man's inability is overcome in God's ability. The sinner is lifted from the impotence of his fallen nature, into the potency of the perfect Man Jesus in cooperation with the might of the Eternal God. What wonder that Paul exclaimed, “I can do all things in Him that strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13)
The great theme of the Colossian epistle is that of the perfection of the Church in the perfection of the Christ. All its inspiring doctrine gathers around two main statements, first, “It was the good pleasure of the Father that in Him should all the fullness dwell; “ (Col. 1:19) and second, "In Him ye are made full." (Col. 2:10) The fullness dwelling in Christ is fullness of Deity, which is fullness of LIFE, fullness of LIGHT, fullness of LOVE. It is in Him and in His fullness that man is made full. Can anything be added to such statements as these? Some idea of their value, and yet of the difficulty of expressing that value, and even of appreciating it, may be gathered from examining one paragraph in that letter. Here the word “mystery" occurs three times. First the apostle refers to the Church as the mystery "which hath been hid for ages and generations: but now hath it been manifested to His saints." (Col. 1:26) He then declares the mystery lying behind the mystery of the Church to be that of "Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27) And yet further on he speaks of "the mystery of God, even Christ." (Col. 2:2) Evidently here the apostle is moving backward through great mysteries of effect to the primal mystery of cause. Let this threefold mystery be stated thus:
1. Christ. (Col. 2:2)
2. Christ in the saints. (Col. 1:27)
3. Christ in the Church. (Col. 1:26)
The central mystery is that of Christ Himself, (Col. 2:2) the mystery of His Person, in its unity of the human and the Divine, and the mystery of His passion in the preparation of the life, and the propitiation of the death; a veritable mystery, most evidently revealed and most absolutely defying analysis or explanation.
Then follows the mystery of personal realization: “Christ in you, the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27) Christ the human and the Divine, in one indissoluble unity in the believer, administering the virtue of His life through the value of His death.
Then finally the Christ in all believers, (Col. 1:26) finding at last His own completion, His body, that through which in conjunction with Himself all the infinite fullness of the Infinite God, is to find through unending ages, a medium of manifestation, is to be in fact the new form of God through which His wisdom and His love may be known by other creations through the never ending ages.
This stupendous vision of the issue of the Christ and His work in its individual application with regard to trusting souls reveals how in Christ, man is restored to God by actual sharing of the life Divine: God in Christ in a new sense, shares human life. Man in Christ in a new sense, shares Divine life. This is the final realization of the Atonement, and consists in man's restoration to God on a basis infinitely beyond that from which he fell by his sin.