God’s economy is to make man the same as He is in life and in nature but not in the Godhead

The Triune God has a heart’s desire – see Eph. 1:5, 9 – and in order to accomplish His heart’s desire, God made an economy (Eph. 1:10; 3:9) – God’s eternal economy! Daily people write and talk about the human economy – which is collapsing / going down, even though many try their best to improve it, etc. But who talks about and who cares about God’s economy? The God who made all things and in whom all things subsist, the One who is the source of life and who is over all, in all, and through all – this One has an economy! If God has an economy, then man has to be in it! God’s heart’s desire is related to man and centered on man as His masterpiece in creation! I really love this simple yet concise definition of God’s economy,

God’s eternal economy is to make man the same as He is in life and nature but not in the Godhead, and to make Himself one with man and man one with Him, thus to be enlarged and expanded in His expression, that all His divine attributes may be expressed in human virtues(Witness Lee, The Ten Great Critical “Ones” for the Building Up of the Body of Christ).

If man’s economy is complex, just imagine how much more complex is God’s economy! In both cases it boils down to man’s heart’s desire / God’s heart’s desire – what man/God desires to accomplish! For the accomplishing of His economy, God took some steps and did some things, so that He may obtain what is on His heart. First of all, God created all things and especially He created man in His own image and likeness as a vessel to contain God(Gen. 1:26-27). Then, God became a man in incarnation in the person of the Lord Jesus – God partook of the human nature and became a man(Heb. 2:14a). In Christ, God lived a perfect human life expressing God’s divine attributes through Christ’s human virtues. Then, Christ died an all-inclusive death on the cross and resurrected to produce the Firstborn Son of God, the many brothers of Christ, and to become the life-giving Spirit(Rom. 8:29; Acts 13:33; 1 Cor. 15:45). Now as the life-giving Spirit God has a way to accomplish His economy in and with man – He can dispense Himself into man to regenerate His chosen people and make them His sons – the many God-men(1 Pet. 1:3)! These God-men form the churches for the building up of the Body of Christ which will consummate in the New Jerusalem! The New Jerusalem is the consummation of God’s work in His economy – it is God’s masterpiece, the treasure or all treasures, the best He can do – a miraculous structure of treasure! In and As the New Jerusalem, man is fully made God in life and nature but not in the Godhead, and God is fully mingled and incorporated with man!

Praise the Lord for God’s economy! In His economy He will make us, men, the same as He is in life and nature! This is our destiny as children of God, believers in Christ, and members of the Body of Christ! Since it is a lifelong process, it starts at our regeneration and continues with our sanctification, transformation, conformation, and eventually our glorification! God will gain what He is after – He will accomplish His economy – in man! We need to see God’s economy, treasure God’s economy, and be controlled by a strong vision of God’s economy! We are here in and for God’s economy! [sharing inspired from the Morning Revival on, The Central Line of the Bible; intro: God’s eternal economy is…. Read this sharing in Spanish via, La economía de Dios es hacer al hombre igual que Él en vida y naturaleza pero no en la Deidad]

Thank You Lord for including us in Your economy! Praise You for Your intention, Your heart’s desire! Make us more the same as You are in life and in nature! Work Yourself more into us, and transform us more today! Lord, grant us a vision of Your economy! We want to see what Your heart’s desire is! May a clear controlling vision of God’s economy direct our heart! Save us from being people without a vision – make Your economy so real to us!

aGodMan
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aGodMan

Hi there, I am Stefan Misaras, and I live and work in London (UK), meeting with the church in London. I love the Lord Jesus, His Word, the ministry of the age, and the saints. Enjoy the Lord!
PS. My personal website is StefanMisaras.com.
aGodMan
Also via:
About aGodMan

Hi there, I am Stefan Misaras, and I live and work in London (UK), meeting with the church in London. I love the Lord Jesus, His Word, the ministry of the age, and the saints. Enjoy the Lord!
PS. My personal website is StefanMisaras.com.

  • kelyn

    I'm doing a Concept paper over the economy of God and I think is such a perplex topic which many Christians don't know about and it's quite disappointing because that's the central part of the Bible. I decided to write my paper about this topic because its so interesting and because I know the economy of God song by memory but I had never really understood the meaning. It's amazing God's plan, it unravels so perfectly with out flaws since the beginning of times.

  • dean

    We are joined with the Lord in our spirit

    Yes he is holy And completely other

    This is a mystery

  • Roger Willey

    I believe we partake of the divine nature as Peter said but we are not becoming the divine nature. When we behold the Lord then we can reflect Him. When we stop beholding…we stop reflecting. We have become nothing but remain only members born of a fallen race with our sinful nature that we inherited from Adam fully operative and intact. Many believers are hoping and expecting a change in their being over time. When over time they discover that they really have not been changed and are just as sinful as they always were then they become disheartened and discouraged. This is because they have a false hope within themselves do to what they have been taught. Paul says in Romans…"Therefore do not let not sin reign in your mortal bodies" (ch. 6 vs. 12 NKJV ). Sin is still there…..it hasn't gone away and it isn't going to. We are simply charged not to let it reign. The sin nature is the fundamental nature of fallen man and it is still with us even after regeneration. To say that we are becoming God in life and "nature" is to imply that our basic nature has actually changed. It has not…or sin would not be there. My heart goes out to all those who have been taught wrongly by this teaching and have a vain hope within themselves

    • Roger, as we see in John 1:12-13, if we believe in the Lord, we are "begotten of Him – of God". To be begotten of God means that you receive another nature besides our human nature – we have been "born again", "regenerated". This doesn't mean that our flesh, our sinful nature, is eradicated – or that it will be ever eradicated while being on earth. No, we will still have the flesh with us.

      But besides the flesh, as we see in Rom. 8:6, we have the mingled spirit, where Christ as life dwells. Every day we have a choice to "set our mind on the spirit" and our mind becomes life (Gk. zoe, the divine life). Our mind, our emotion, our will, and the created parts of our being are not the flesh – they are created in God's image to express Him, and they are in the process of "being made life", being filled with God to express Him. This is by enjoying Christ in His word every day, by growing in the divine life, and by cooperating with the Lord daily.

      Again I say, our flesh will be with us until the day we die – that's why we yearn to be delivered out of the body of this death! It will never change, but it will be transfigured into the body of the glory of Christ when He comes to rapture us or when He will resurrect us! Our destiny is to be the New Jerusalem, the full expression of God in glory. How wonderful!

    • This post and the subsequent comments reveal how deep – and indeed complex – this matter truly is. Our safeguard against error is to cut straight the word of the truth and to use the Bible to interpret the Bible. And, we need to ask the Lord for a spirit of wisdom and revelation and for a sober, trained mind to properly understand the revelation in the Bible.

      Roger brings up a good point: even as Christians we still have the sinful nature within us. I've met Christians who think that they no longer have sin; this is a serious misunderstanding, which the aged apostle John addresses in 1 John 1. As you point out, Stefan, in your comment, we will always have a fallen body of flesh until our bodies are redeemed.

      According to my understanding, a number of these issues can be resolved by seeing that, as Christians, we have three different lives: the human life created by God that wills to do good in our soul, the fallen life in our body (flesh), and the divine life in our spirit (see Romans 6-8).

      In our experience, we can switch between these lives very easily. I can wake up and contact God in my spirit, but a few minutes later I can do something in my flesh. As Roger points out, in this instance we stop beholding the Lord and therefore stop reflecting the Lord.

      But, this doesn't change the fact that our spirit is life. When we get out of our spirit, we simply need to turn back. This is to "switch on" the law of the Spirit of life (Rom. 8:2).

      The Bible reveals that, as believers in Christ, we have been begotten of God – we have been born of the Spirit to be children of God with the life (zoe) of God. 2 Peter 1 also reveals that we are partakers of the divine nature. Romans 8 shows us that, as believers, our spirit is life, our mind set on the spirit is life, and the Spirit is able to give life even to our mortal bodies. Our aspiration is simply to cooperate with God that He can fill us with His life and even spread into our mind, emotion, and will.

      Of course, Roger's point serves as a healthy reminder. Even as Christians with the life of God in our spirit, we have a body of flesh that we can't trust. This is why we need to continually exercise to contact God in our spirit and keep our mind set on the spirit.

      Thanks for the post, Stefan – you've given us a lot to consider in the light of God's Word.

  • Yes, you are right, Kelyn, If we humans have "an economy", how much more God Himself has an economy! And He doesn't just want to "create man to have man serve Him" – there's so much more! Thank you for your comment [and sorry for the late reply]

  • Thanks for the post Stefan. It's sad that this understanding of God's purpose has faded in the modern evangelical milieu. The church has historically taught (in these words or others) salvation as deification. Irenaeus, Hillary of Poitiers, Maximus the Confessor, Greggory of Nyssa, Augustine, Athanasius, Gregory Palamas, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, and John Calivin ALL taught deification. To deny the progressive operation of God's life in us that will make us as like him as possible, is simply to be uninformed.

    Roger Olson had a great post recently called "Deification in Contemporary Theology." It's worth checking out.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/75092578/Deification-in

  • Roger

    Why didn't the apostles and the ones that God himself chose to be the writers of the New Testiment use language like " We are becoming God" ? Did the Almighty need to wait for greater understanding and enlightenment by those who followed the apostles before such language could be attained ? I am happy to use the words that the apostles used to describe and express what the New Testiment is telling us. We need to be careful in our utterance not to go too far.

    • Brother, you're right, this expression is not in the Bible, but it is a discovery of many of the seeking ones of God who have not only studied the Word of God but joined themselves to God's desire and His thought in the Word. As Kyle pointed above, it's not something "Witness Lee invented" or "Athanasius spoke about once" – it is based on many verses in the Bible and many writings of our spiritual forerunners…

      Terms like "the Triune God", "the Divine Trinity", and "Holy Trinity" are not in the Bible either, but they are a more recent way to describe a reality all genuine believers recognize and experience. The development of human language and human culture also leads to the development of a higher vocabulary for things related to God and the divine life (without getting into too many theological terms and expressions). The most complex and wise person in the universe is God, and even the development of our human language cannot explain Him, express Him, or describe Him. Yet, we try. We even invent new things, new words, new ways of expressing the divine truths. Yet still remaining in the central line of the divine revelation…

      … at the same time, we don't want to push this expression too much. It can lead to pride, be it spiritual or in doctrine. We want to learn from the Lord Jesus and humble ourselves, and in all humility ask Him, Lord, grow in us unto maturity, and enlighten us to see things as You see them!

  • Roger, most theologians trace the teaching of deification to scriptural passages such as- Genesis 1:26, 2 Cor. 5:12, 2 Peter 1:4, and 1 John 3:2. These are probably the most explicit, concise, and often referenced verses, but the whole body of the apostles teaching bears witness to an organic process in life whereby we become more and more like God. When the Bible talks about sanctification and glorification, that is what people mean by deification.

    As far as language concerns, without the development in expression of the 4th and 5th centuries how would you describe the person of Christ or the Trinity? Why didn't the biblical writers say, "One hypostasis in two natures"? The Greek mind helped clarify these major doctrines. So I would say, yes, God did wait for a Chalcedon to understand the meanings of these truths. I think the key point is that the truths were already there in the Bible, but the modes of expression developed to help clarify them.