True union with Jesus Christ and the unity which exists between God’s children is a mystical thing. It cannot be quantified by certificate, names on a membership roll or ecclesiastic positions or titles. It is in many senses “not of this world” – and our attempts to box it, pack it and advertise it will always end in failure.
That union and unity are rooted in the mystical is clear from the analogies used throughout the Bible. One of the premier illustrations is of this invisible, spiritual union, being like a marriage. Linked to this, I believe, is the concept of Jesus being the second Adam – and the Church, being the second Eve. Eve was created from Adam – just as individuals who constitute the Church are, to use the mystical words of Jesus, “Born of the Spirit”.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:12-13 (NKJV)
In the beginning of course the first Adam was androgynous – containing both the full masculine and the full feminine. It was not until Eve was created by the removal of part of Adam’s DNA that the masculine and feminine were separated [and ever since men and women have craved union with one another]. According to Jesus when a man and woman are “Joined” [united] they become “No longer two but one,” [Mark 10:8]. Obviously this is not primarily a physical phenomenon but a spiritual one. I believe in the spiritual sense this is also the reunion – the “oneness” Paul talks about in Galatians-
“And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Galatians 3:27-29 (NLT)
Although it is beyond the scope of this short article the concept of reproduction through union is also a deeply spiritual as well as a physical act. However I believe there is little doubt that the synthetic unity we spoke of in a previous article will never lead to Church growth – only true spiritual union and unity can.
What is true now, according to the Apostle Paul, in relation to unity of those who are “One in Christ Jesus” – will be seen in its fulness in the eternal day. Jesus taught that “in the resurrection”, there will be no male or female [Matthew 22:30] – but a androgynous people reflecting the mysterious union which existed between God and Adam before he was exiled from Eden.
Finally, when all is said and done the mystical union and unity we have been discussing will give way to the final union spoken of, once again, in somewhat mysterious terms by the Apostle Paul –
And when all things shall be subdued unto Him [God], then shall the Son Himself also be subject unto Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
1 Corinthians 15:28 [KJV]