The Worldly Wise Man and Wisdom: Part 5 of 5 (series: Lessons on 1 Cor)
by John Lowe
23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.
And ye are Christ's;
This is the ground and foundation of all things being theirs, and it shows in what way they come by them. They are Christ's; he has an investment in them, and they in him; they are his, not only by creation, as all men are, but by the Father's special gift of them to him, as his spouse and bride, his children, his sheep, his portion, and his precious jewels. They are his through the purchase of his own blood, and by a voluntary surrender of themselves unto him, under the influence of his Spirit and grace; they are his by their profession of faith in him; they declare themselves to be the Lord's and call themselves by his name; and they are his by his possession of them, and by him dwelling in their hearts by faith; and all they have are his. Their worst things are his; their sins are credited to him, and laid on him by imputation, and have been born and done away with by him. Their grief and sorrow is his, their guilt is his, and their afflictions and sufferings are his. Their best things are his; their earthly mercies come from him, and through him; and all their spiritual blessings are found in him; and all the good things done by them are done in his strength and in his name, by the assistance of his Spirit, and through his grace.
Ye are Christ's—not Paul's, or Apollos’, or Cephas': “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor 11:3; KJV); “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ” (Matt 23:8-10; KJV); “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's” (Romans 14:8; KJV). All things were theirs, since they were the children of God. "All things are yours"—Paul, Apollos, all things—you are Christ's, and Christ is God's. All things are ours, if upon no other ground than our being Christ’s; but without him, we are without a fair claim to anything that is good. Note, Those that would be safe and happy for eternity must be Christ’s.
You are called by his name; you have embraced his doctrine; you depend on him for your salvation; he is your foundation stone; he has gathered you out of the world, and acknowledges you as his people and followers. Ye are of Christ; all the light and life which you enjoy, you have received through and from him, and he has bought you with his blood. Of course, the Christian's possession of all things in Jesus Christ stems from the fact of who Jesus Christ is; he is God incarnate in human flesh, the eternal Word, one with the Father, who is and was and will be before all time and is now and forever.
Christians should regard themselves as devoted to the Savior. They are his, and he has the highest conceivable claim on their time, their talents, their influence, and their wealth. To him, therefore, let us be devoted, and to him let us consecrate all that we have.
And Christ is God's.
Jesus Christ is God’s Son, his own, his only begotten and well beloved Son, therefore, he is a divine person; and as man he is God’s creature, made by him, and inferior to him; he is the head of him, like man is the head of the woman; and as Mediator, he is his righteous servant in whom he is glorified: so that, upon the whole, the saints should not glory in men, even though they are thought to be great and good, but by virtue of them being in Christ, they are made wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.
And Christ is God’s. He is the Christ of God, anointed by God, and commissioned by him, to bear the office of a Mediator, and to act in that office for the purposes of his glory. Note, All things are the believer’s, so that Christ might be honored in his great undertaking, and so that God might have the glory. GOD IN CHRIST RECONCILING A SINFUL WORLD TO HIMSELF, AND SHEDDING ABROAD THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE ON A RECONCILED WORLD, IS THE SUM AND SUBSTANCE OF THE
And Christ is of God. Christ, the Messiah, is the gift of God's eternal love and mercy to mankind; for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that they who believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Christ in his human nature is as much the property of God as any other human being. And as mediator between God and man, he must be considered, in a certain way, inferior to God, but in his own essential, eternal nature, there is no inequality-he is God over all. Therefore, you do not belong to any man. Why then take Paul, Apollos, Cephas, or any other man for your head? All these are your servants; you are not their property, you are Christ's property: and just as he has taken his human nature into heaven, so will he take yours; because he that sanctifies, and they that are sanctified are one: you are his brethren; and just as his human nature is eternally safe at the throne of God, so will your bodies and souls be safe, if you attach yourself to him and are faithful unto death.
Christ is God’s. Christ is not subordinate to God, as the believer is to Christ; rather, He is the Anointed One of God. He is God in the flesh, “reconciling the world unto himself” (II Cor 5:19).
All things are ours, but we are not our own! We own all things, but we do not own ourselves! Therefore our duty is to be consecrated to the service of Christ. Christ is God's: “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor 11:3; KJV). God is the ultimate end of everything, even of Christ, His co-equal Son: “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (1 Cor 15:28; KJV); “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:6-11; KJV).
Christ belongs to God. As the church is subject only to Christ, so Christ is subject only to God. The Scriptures speak about a threefold subordination of Christ:
1. A subordination of the second person of the Trinity to the first in the way they subsist and function. This is perfectly consistent with their identity, and equality in power and glory.
2. The voluntary subordination of the Son in his humbling himself to be found in appearance as a man, and becoming obedient to death, and therefore subject to the limitations and infirmities of our nature.
3. The subordination of the incarnate Son of God, in the work of redemption and as the head of the church. He who is by nature equal with God becomes, as it were, subject to him.
The passages most directly parallel with this one are 11:3 (see above)and 15:28 (see above), but the same truth is taught in Philippians 2:6–11 (see above) and Hebrews 1:3: “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” and in many other passages
Oh, how wonderful it is that we do not have to be confined to one narrow group or one particular denomination. Instead of feeling that we belong to so-and-so and can be taught by only one particular teacher or preacher, we can know that all the men of God belong to us. How wonderful! The reason I get along with the Pentecostal brethren, Methodists, Presbyterians etc. is because I know they belong to God. Oh, my friends, those folk belong to me too. And I belong to them. How glorious it is to meet around the person of Christ with other believers who are on the foundation which is Jesus Christ!