Holy Human Hybrid – Mystery
This concept of Christ living his life in and through me is such a mystery. In this series of blogs on the Holy Human Hybrid, I am attempting to make some sense of this mystery, but the reality is that in some respects it will remain a mystery – and I like it that way. I’m afraid if I were to figure it all out, then I would no longer need God.
Today I am thinking again about the nature of our relationship with the indwelling Spirit. Watchman Nee puts it this way, We think of the Christian life as a “changed life” but it is not that. What God offers us is an “exchanged life,” a “substituted life” and Christ is our Substitute within. “I live; and yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me.” This life is not something which we ourselves have to produce. It is Christ’s own life reproduced in us. How many Christians believe in “reproduction” in this sense, as something more than regeneration? Regeneration means that the life of Christ is planted in us by the Holy Spirit at our new birth. Reproduction” goes further: it means that that new life grows and becomes manifest progressively in us, until the very likeness of Christ begins to be reproduced in our lives. (The Normal Christian Life, by Watchman Nee, pg. 180)
I’m not sure I buy into this idea of the substitute or exchanged life – the seeming eradication of the self (I) with some replacement of Christ instead. In Galatians 2:20 referenced above Paul makes it clear that “I live.” He goes on to say, “yet not I, but Christ.” I wonder if his “yet not I” refers to some sort of transformation of the self, rather than the eradication of the self. In Romans Paul declares that if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him. This “shall live with him” is not a reference to some future event after our physical body dies, but a union with the life essence of Christ on a daily basis. We also see references to this union with Christ, instead of a substitution by Christ, in 2 Peter 1:3-4, where Peter reminds us that we have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God’s own power, when we learned that he had invited us to share in his wonderful goodness. God made great and marvelous promises, so that his nature would become part of us. Then we could escape our evil desires and the corrupt influences of this world.
I suggest that rather than an exchanged life as Watchman Nee proposes, the idea of a Holy Human Hybrid may be a better way to view our new nature. Rather than thinking in terms of regeneration or reproduction – as in an exact copy, perhaps we can think in terms hybridization – the fusion of the holy spirit with our human spirit, a new spiritual birth springing forth from the union of our essence with the essence of Christ. So, what do you think – when you choose to follow Christ, does the Spirit come to indwell you and take your place or does the Spirit of Christ somehow co-mingle with you and begin a process of transformation to restore you to the image of the One in whose image you were created?
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