The relationship between God and man is a mystery. The common concept is that God is the Creator, and man is the creature. God is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. He has created all things. Therefore, man as a small, finite being must worship, revere, and fear Him. Since He is all-powerful and human beings are weak and frail, man must trust and depend on Him. Whenever man is in trials and sufferings, he calls on the heavens for help. This reaching after God is inherent in man. This view of man’s relation to God may be scriptural, but it is superficial.
What the Bible reveals as the ultimate relationship between God and us is far deeper than that of Creator and creature. The nature of this relationship is beyond human concept. It is that God and we may have a union in life. The divine life and the human life join together to become one life.
There is a picture of this in nature. I believe we are all aware that the physical things in the world are signs of spiritual realities. The Lord Jesus again and again used common things as illustrations of spiritual matters.
In the plant kingdom a branch that is not doing very well may be cut off the parent tree and attached to a healthier, more productive tree. This procedure, known as grafting, illustrates the union between God and us. A. B. Simpson’s hymn, “I am crucified with Christ,” refers to this in the third stanza:
This the secret nature hideth,
Harvest grows from buried grain;
A poor tree with better grafted,
Richer, sweeter life doth gain.
The thought expressed in this hymn comes from Romans 11: “You, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in...and became a fellow partaker of the root of fatness of the olive tree...You were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree and were grafted contrary to nature into the cultivated olive tree” (vv. 17, 24). We were the poor, small, wild olive branches, grafted into the cultivated, superior olive tree, and are now enjoying the rich nourishment from the root.
The branch that is grafted is not identical to the tree to which it is attached. If they were identical, there would be no need of grafting. It is a branch from a problem tree that is grafted to a tree having some superior quality. The consequence is that the good tree subdues the inferior branch.
Such is the real nature of the Christian life. The Lord Jesus as the true vine is the superior tree. One day by faith through grace you were grafted into Him. Do not despise this grafting. It means that you no longer have just one life. Your life is now from two lives that have been grafted into one. As you enjoy the root of the fatness of this cultivated olive tree, your poorer life is subdued, and you begin to flourish.
The relationship that the Bible reveals between God and us must extend beyond that of Creator and creature until it reaches a union in life.
© Living Stream Ministry All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.