The question we really need to answer is, “How do we live from the heavenly realms as the sons of God in this present evil world?” How does this transpire in every day life? I mean it sounds so mystical and esoteric-how does it look practically? All very real and sincere questions that need to be asked and answered. And for those answers we must behold the man Christ Jesus as he lived and interacted with fallen humanity and a world system entirely given over to wickedness.
Hebrews 3:1-2 says; Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house (KJV). The word consider means to observe fully, and in the verse pertains to Jesus’ noble capacity as the Apostle and High Priest of our profession which we are eager to do. But one capacity that we often fail to observe fully is his capacity as a human.
Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of the Living God, the Anointed One, our Lord and Savior was born into the earth as a human being confined to the limitations of humanness. Philippians 2:5-8 substantiates this reality saying that Jesus, the Pre-incarnate Son of God, condescended from his divinity to be fashioned as a man to be the servant of all in obedience and humility, even the obedience and humiliation of the cross. This is a such an inexpressibly remarkable display of obedient self-abasement to the will of God it will stand for all eternity as the pre-eminent act of submission ever rendered to our Father’s will. As remarkable as it is, the apostle Paul states in verse 5, the very mindset that moved the Eternal Son to condescend to this extent should, amazingly, be ours as well. And if it were not possible Paul would have never uttered the exhortation in the first place. As we fully observe Jesus in his capacity as a son of God in his humanity, his communion with the Father, his interaction with his fellow man, and how he refused the world and resisted the devil at every turn remaining completely faithful to his heavenly Father, we are instructed how to live as sons from the heavenly realm-for this is exactly how Jesus lived.
Jesus’ favorite title for himself was “the Son of man” and reveals his awareness of the importance of his ministry to the Father as the “overcoming Son” of all humanity. Romans 5:12-19 reveals the importance of Jesus’ ministry as the “overcoming Son of man.” Verses 15-17 reads as follows; For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. Therefore as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous (KJV). Now we understand that Adam is the disobedient man and Jesus of Nazareth is the obedient man-but what we must observe is that they both are man. Adam was created in a sinless state with the capacity and authority to “be” a son of God in obedience but when presented with temptation failed. Jesus was born of a woman by the power of the Holy Spirit into the sinful world in a state of sinlessness with the same capacity and authority to “be” a son of God in obedience as was Adam. This is why Paul calls Jesus the second Adam in 1 Corinthians 15:45. It must been seen that Adam’s disobedience resulted in condemnation coming upon every human that would ever be born into the world-male or female-all are born into a sinful state and as result are the children of disobedience (Eph.2:2), condemnation (Rom. 5:18), and wrath (Eph. 2:3). Now here is the importance of Jesus’ ministry as the “Son of man.” Jesus, over came every tempatation of life-and scripture declares he was tempted in all points as are we-to become the only truly righteous one by personally fulfilling all righteousness in obedience to Father’s will. Thereby the “free gift of (his) righteousness” came upon all humanity. O glorious revelation of God’s love for fallen humanity! Father is just and must deal equitably in all His dealings with humanity. So, if in holy justice, condemnation fell upon every man due to Adam’s disobedience, likewise must righteousness fall on every man due to the Son of man’s obedience. Every human being from the time of the Son of man’s death, resurrection, and ascension has been given the gift of his righteousness by our gracious heavenly Father, whether they receive it by submitting to Jesus as their Lord and Savior is another matter. Thus we understand the importance of preaching this good news to all men everywhere.
Jesus’ ministry as the “overcoming Son of humanity” was fulfilled as he faithfully served the Father as a Son. And he accomplished this by living or ruling over every circumstance of his life from the heavenly realm. Verse 17 reveals a key nugget of truth. Those who do submit to Jesus as Lord and Savior, not only receive the free gift of his righteousness, but also an abundance of grace for the purpose of reigning in this life. As sons of God, Father has made provision for His sons to rule in this life victoriously, as the Son of man did, through grace, in every circumstance of our life. Grace is a two-sided reality: it is unmerited favor and it is divine enablement. Here is a truth: Jesus did not need unmerited favour for he had never sinned. He did need divine enablement for he lived as a man confined to human limitation in a fallen world system. Speaking of Jesus as the Word, John 1: 14 reveals that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…and was full of grace and truth. The Son of man, living as the Son of God from the heavenly realm in this world, was full of grace and truth.
Divine enablemnt and truth are key components in living from the heavenly realm. Look what Titus 2:11-12 reveals; For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; first, the grace that brings savation has appeared to all men (because of the ministry of the Son of man) and secondly, it actually teaches us us how to live godly in this present world-just as it did Jesus; and thirdly, living godly is Father’s expectation for His sons! This fills us with great anticipation and expectation of actually living as the sons of God from the heavenly realm in this present world in the same victroy Jesus did while we wait for his glorious appearing. However, on the flip side, it leaves us without an excuse for doing so!
Listen to this excuse erasing passage of scripture in 2 Peter 1:3-4; His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. Dear reader, meditate on these two passages of scripture and grasp the possibility of Father’s desire for you-that you participate in His divine nature as His sons so the will of our Father can be done on earth as it is being done in heaven. I would like to suggest that Jesus appropriated by faith these precious and great promises of God to maintain the virtue of his divine nature when faced with all life’s challenges, the adversities of a hostile world, and to rule over his own spirit in the midst of his enemies. And in so doing as the overcoming Son, finished the works Father had given him to do and fulfilled all of Father’s will while he was on this earth.
In John 14:6, Jesus declares himself to be the way, the truth and the life; and that no one could come to the Father but through him. Not only is he the only Way to the Father, He is the only Way a man lives as a son of God once he has gotten to the Father. Jesus, the Son of man, the pattern Son of humanity, is the full expression and demonstration of the “Way of the Lord.” As a son of God I ask you, “Are you walking in the Way of the Lord?” In 1 John 2:6, the apsotle John makes a sobering yet revealing truth; He that says he abides in Christ, so ought himself to walk, even as he walked. Some would say “really?” Father expects us to walk as Jesus did? But I say it must be possible or Father would not have said it! Therefore I’m in! I want to walk as Jesus did-as a son living from the heavenly realm, manifesting the divine nature, and fulfilling my Father’s will on earth as an overcoming son of God.
In the next blog we will begin a specific in-depth look at how Jesus lived from the heavenly realm while he walked on earth to learn from his example. After all, this is the goal of discipleship. Until then here is some homework! Read these scriptures that emphasize Jesus’ confinement to the limitations of humanity in case you are not persuaded of this truth.
Acts 2:22; (notice it was God his Father that did the works through him just as it is with us); Acts 10:38 (notice he was anointed with Holy Spirit and power just as we are, and God was with him as he is with us) Romans 5:15, 17 (by one man); Philippians 2:5-8 (found as a man); 1 Timothy 2:5