|Vol. 13 No. 8 August 2011||
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). When 1 John 3:2 says we are the sons of God, John appears to be speaking of the resurrection. The only indication of being like Him was something John had never seen. John had seen the heart of Christ, and therefore, the Father (John 14:1-8), so he is not talking about growing in the heart of Christ in this verse. We must settle on the alternative idea of being like Him in the resurrection.
Paul had his hope set on the resurrection. He first described the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:37-44, and then, he made the contrast between Adam and Christ very clear. We have been born in the image of the earthly in the fact that we are in Adam’s physical image (1 Corinthians 15:49). We are in the form of man (Philippians 2:6-8). Paul then noted there will come a time when we will be in the image of the heavenly (1 Corinthians 15:49). The image of the heavenly was in full context of the resurrection. Paul also noted that Christ was the first fruits of our resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:19, 23).
Jesus’ resurrected body is glorious (Philippians 3:21). On the road to Damascus, Paul saw the resurrected Christ in a marvelously glorious body that was so magnificent that he was totally blinded by it. Moses saw God’s glory when he saw the back of God, making his face to shine. The children of Israel could not look on Moses’ face because it was so bright. However, when Paul saw the resurrected Christ, it must not have been the eternal body of Christ, since John says it does not yet appear what we shall be (1 John 3:2). If Paul had already seen what we shall be, then John would not have said it is unknown what we shall be.
Jesus asked the Father to give Him the glory He had before the foundation of the world. In the Book of Revelation, we may have a picture of the kind of glory God has. “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heavens fled away; and there was found no place for them” (Revelation 20:11).
When Christ returns, we shall see Him as He is; however, just seeing Him is not our only hope. We also have the hope of being like Him (1 John 3:2). The Holy Spirit testified through Paul that in the resurrection our physical bodies will be transformed to be like His glorious body (Philippians 3:21). All of God’s children, from the least to the greatest, have this hope of being resurrected in the image of His glorious body. John said that it does not yet appear what we shall be. However, he further testified that when we see Him we will be like Him. What a marvelous hope we have in Christ — not only to inherit an eternal home in heaven with Him, but to have a body like His as well.
Betty Burton Choate
Some people say that a woman is nothing more than a servant to a man, even though he is her husband. She is good only to bear children, to keep the house and to prepare the food. Some religions teach that a woman cannot be saved in the body of a woman. She must be first reborn as a man.
In rejection of this thinking, the Women’s Liberation Movement, which has swept through the developed nations of the world, declares that woman is in every way the equal of man. Not only does this movement seek to establish equality, but its ultimate goal is to gain power for the women of the world to overset the established authority of men. This attitude has created a sense of competition between women and men that results in enmity, bitterness and broken homes.
Our concern is to learn what God has to say about the role of woman and her relationship to man. Neither the pagan view nor the Liberation Movement is directed by God. When we turn to the Bible, we can clearly see the work, the role and the position of woman as God intended it to be.
Is woman inferior to man? In the first book of the Bible – Genesis – we see the answer to this question. God had created animal life and, last of all, He made man. Then, He “brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him” (Genesis 2:19-20 NKJV).
The words “a helper comparable to him” tell us what God intended woman to be: a companion, a helper capable of matching man, a partner to share the experiences and responsibilities of life at his side.
In order to bring woman into existence, “…the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. And the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made [the original language literally says, “He built”] into a woman, and He brought her to the man” (Genesis 2:21-22).
When Adam saw the woman God had made, he said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man” (Genesis 2:23). The concluding comment in the Genesis text is, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (v. 24).
From the facts of this creation scene, we can learn several things. Adam was created first; therefore, he was first before the woman. Whereas Adam was made from the dust of the earth, woman was formed or built from a bone taken from the side of Adam. She, therefore, was literally a part of man. The bone was not taken from his head that she should rule over him, nor was it taken from his foot that the man should trample the woman; rather, it was taken from his side that she should be a partner with him.
God created man and woman literally, physically as two halves of a whole, in concept. Without both halves, there can be no reproduction of humanity. Therefore, both halves are of equal importance and necessary in their contribution to the continuation of the human race. As adult humans, when man and woman commit to each other in marriage, God’s plan from the beginning was that they were to be joined together in a new union so they would be “one flesh” – again, two halves of one whole, physically, emotionally and in the living of life. God intended that the two individuals – the man and the woman – leave other family members in order to form a new family unit.
So from the beginning, God formed woman to complete man, to be a helper together with him. In the development of their lives, their family, their work and their relationships with God and with other humans, the woman was designed to fit together with the man, so that their lives would be complete. In truth, she was literally of the very essence of man, in no way inferior or of lesser quality or value.