PICTURES OF UNION

Pictures of union

Paul Ellis

« Spiritual union is such an alien concept to the natural mind that the Bible provides us with pictures to help us grasp it. In the New Testament, our union with the Lord is portrayed as a vine and its branches (John 15:5), a building or temple (see entry for 2 Cor. 6:16), a treasure in a jar of clay (2 Cor. 4:7), a new man (Eph. 2:15), a marriage (2 Cor. 11:2, Eph. 5:24-25, Rev. 19:7, 21:9, 22:17), a city (Heb. 11:10, 12:22, 13:14, Rev 3:12, 21:2), and a family or household (Matt. 12:50, Mark 3:35, John 11:52, 2 Cor. 6:18, Eph. 2:19, Gal. 3:26, 6:10, 1 Pet. 4:17). The union metaphor which appears most often in the New Testament is that of the body of Christ of which every believer is a member (see entry for 1 Cor. 12:27; see also Rom. 12:4, 5, 1 Cor. 6:15, 10:17, 12:12-18, 22-25 , Eph. 3:6, 4:4, 4:15-16, 5:23, 30, Col 1:18, 2:19, 3:15). »

One fantastic illustration of how the believer is in union with the head and the body, meaining Christ and His body, the church is the human body. A lot can be learned in this analogy. GOd crerated the all the organs and how they work in harmony as well as the church and all its members

I would like to first look at this illustration

THE PICTURE OF THE BODY

Eph 4:16

From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

The whole body starts with the head and the body grows out of it.  Just as a human embryo starts with the head we, the body of Christ, grow out of the head who is Christ.

Eph 4:15

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

But in the body it is the hormones from the brain that stimulate the growth and determine the place for every cell as it develops to form every organ. Even though each cell has the pattern to become every thing in the body it is directed by the head to be what it is called to be

The analogy is that we have all the fulness in Christ in us at our new birth from above. All the potential to be every member but we are in submission to the head Christ to be directed by way of His spirit to be who we are, members in particular.

This growth in the Body of Christ is similar to the human embryo. « It is characterised by the processes of cell division and cellular differentiation of the embryo that occurs during the early stages of development. » from wikipedia Human embryonic development. 

« These signaling pathways allow for cell rearrangement and ensure that organs form at specific sites within the organism.[1 » This is what takes place in the development as deisgned by the Creator for animals and humans, The signals are chemical in nature. But in the Body of Christ it is spirit and revelation that causes growth…Speaking the truth or better translated « Being true in Love » promotes growth. .

« Heinz Christian Pander discovered that the germ layers cannot form their respective organs without the cellular interactions from other tissues. » from wikipedia Mechanism of organ formation 

We grow also in harmony with all the other members in Christ.

« A primary step in organogenesis for chordates is the development of the notochord, which induces the formation of the neural plate, and ultimately the neural tube in vertebrate development. The development of the neural tube will give rise to the brain and spinal cord.[1] Vertebrates develop a neural crest that differentiates into many structures, including bones, muscles, and components of the central nervous system. »

What the scientists sees as the cause of development comes from the head or the tissues that form the brain called the « notochord » and this sends messages in the form of protein or chemicals to change all the other cells. They call these « morphogens »

We to are changed and continue to be metamorphosized as we stop being conformed but changed by the refreshing of our minds to the will of God. The Head is Christ.

« A morphogen is a substance whose non-uniform distribution governs the pattern of tissue development in the process of morphogenesis or pattern formation, »

« These gradients drive the process of differentiation of unspecialised stem cells into different cell types, ultimately forming all the tissues and organs of the body. »

Like the hormones are regulated  by the pituitary gland in the brain and the grow of the embryo starts with the neural plates, growth in nature starts with the brain or the head.

So it is in the spiritual realm. The body grows and functions from commands from the head who is Christ. And each cell or member in the body is controled by the nucleus containing all the potential to become every organ in the DNA. It is from the morphogens or hormones that bring the potential to its manifestation. From Genotype to phenotype.

Nature is so aligned with the spritual. The physical world mirrors the Spirit that created it. It also can mirror the evil that destroys it (parasites or predators)

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