THE MYSTERY OF HUMAN LIFE


"BY REVELATION THE MYSTERY WAS MADE KNOWN TO ME."
(Ephesians 3:3)


  1. THE PURPOSE OF MAN'S EXISTENCE
  2. GOD'S PLAN
  3. THE FOUR KEYS
  4. WHAT MUST YOU DO NOW?
    1. TURN YOUR HEART TO GOD - REPENT
    2. BELIEVE - RECEIVE
    3. CONFESS - CALL
    4. BE BAPTIZED - TESTIFY
  5. PRAYER

1. THE PURPOSE OF MAN'S EXISTENCE

  Have you ever asked yourself why you are living in this world and what the purpose of human life is? No matter what type of person you are or what your profession is, there are a few things which you, like most people, would agree with, that is:


WHY?

Because you have not yet realized:

2. GOD'S PLAN

 God has a plan. This plan has everything to do with man. In the Bible, this plan is called God's economy (Or, dispensation (Ephesians 1:10), which in the original language is oikonomia, referring to God's plan.).
 God's economy is just God's entire plan for man. It explains the origin and destiny of man as well as the meaning of human existence.


HOW CAN YOU KNOW GOD'S ECONOMY?

3. THE FOUR KEYS

  God has prepared four keys for you to unlock God's economy. These four keys are recorded in the Bible. Each of these four keys is equally important and indispensable.
  Please open your heart right now to quietly and carefully read through this booklet; you will then grasp these four keys, understand God's economy, realize the purpose of man, and begin a satisfied human life.

THE FIRST KEY - GOD'S CREATION

UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY OF HUMAN EXISTENCE

1. MAN HAS GOD'S IMAGE

  Please read the following verse:
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..."(Genesis 1:26a)

  God's creation of man is different from His creation of all other things. He created man in His own image.
  A glove is created according to the likeness of a hand with the purpose of containing the hand.
  Likewise, man was created in the image of God with the purpose of containing God.

2. MAN IS A VESSEL

Now read the next verse:
God "should make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He had before prepared unto glory."(Romans 9:23-24)

  We are vessels of God.
  God wants to be our content.
  As bottles are made to contain water, we are made to contain God.
  It is no wonder that knowledge, wealth, pleasure and accomplishment can never satisfy you, for you were created to contain God!

3. THE PARTS OF MAN

Please continue by reading the next verse:
"May your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete."(1 Thes. 5:23)
  Man is God's vessel. The Bible divides this vessel into three parts - the spirit, the soul, and the body.
(See diagram below)


  The BODY is simply the physical body, belonging to the psysiological level, contacting the things of the material realm, and is the most superficial part.
  The SOUL is the mental faculty, belonging to the psychological level, contacting the things of the mental realm, and is a deeper part.
  The SPIRIT is the deepest part of man, belonging to the spiritual level, and contacts the things of God.

  For problems of the body one man see a doctor.
  For problems of the mind one may visit a psychiatrist.
  Yet only God can solve the problems of the spirit.

4. GOD'S ECONOMY

  God wants to enter into man's spirit, to become his content and his satisfaction.
  This is the purpose of human existence! You are not merely created to contain food in your stomach, or to contain knowledge in your mind, but you are created to contain God in your spirit.


THE SECOND KEY - MAN'S FALL

UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY OF THE GOOD AND EVIL NATURES OF MAN

1. THE TWO NATURES OF MAN

  Since man was made in the image of God, he possesses a good nature that matches God's nature, with virtues such as truthfulness, goodness, loveliness, wisdom, kindness, and valor.
  However, there is also an evil nature in man which wars against his good nature. The Chinese metaphysicists refer to this war as a battle between reason and lust. Throughout history, both in the East an dWest, those who understand human nature acknowledge the existence of this evil nature which the Bible calls:

2. SIN

  Because sin is in man, he is unable to carry out his good intentions. No one likes to be greedy, jealous, or murderous. No one likes to be boastful, arrogant, or deceitful. No one likes to be irritable, licentious, or lustful. No one likes to murmur, complain, or curse.

  Nevertheless, man cannot escape his evil nature. Please read the following verses:

  "For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but to do the good is not." (Romans 7:18)
  "But if what I do not will, this I do, it is no longer I that do it but sin that dwells in me." (Romans 7:20)
This is a portrait of man.

3. THE FALL OF MAN

Sin entered into man and caused him to fall. (See diagram below)

  1. Sin caused man's spirit to be deadened: "And you, being dead in your offenses and sins." (Ephesians 2:1)

  2. Sin caused man's mind to rebel: "And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by evil works." (Colossians 1:21)

  3. Sin caused man's body to sin: "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body to obey its lusts." (Romans 6:12)

The fallen man is like:
  • A damaged and untunable radio which cannot receive and play music, but rather meaningless noise.

  • A cup that has fallen into the gutter, of excellent form but covered with mud.

4. MAN CANNOT SAVE HIMSELF

  Throughout history, man has tried every possible way to escape sin, but he has found that:

  • Good works cannot save him from sin.
  • Education cannot save him from sin.
  • Ethics cannot save him from sin.
  • Chanting cannot save him from sin.
  • Religion cannot save him from sin.

This picture of man simply depicts the battle between his good nature and his evil nature.

THE THIRD KEY - CHRIST'S REDEMPTION

UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY OF THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE GOD-MAN

1. WHO IS CHRIST?

  Christ is the Savior sent from God to the world to solve the problems of human life.
  He is the embodiment of the Triune God.
"For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily."(Colossians 2:9)

  He is also God incarnated:
"The Word was God...the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us...full of grace and reality."(John 1:1,14)

  Therefore, He is both the complete God and the perfect man.
  (See the following diagram)

  He is more than a good man!
  He is more than a great man!
  He is more than a moral man!
  He is more than a holy man!
  He is a God-man!

2. THE DEATH OF THE GOD-MAN

  This God-man was nailed to the cross to accomplish the work of redemption. He died with three statuses:

  1. As the Lamb of God, He died to take away man's sin:
    "...the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."(John 1:29)

  2. As the brass serpent that had been lifted up, he died to crush the old serpent, Satan, and to deal with the serpent's poison within man - his sinful nature:
    "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up."(John 3:14)

  3. As a grain of wheat, He died to release the divine life:
    "...a grain of wheat...dies, it bears much fruit."(John 12:24)

NOW:

  His death has taken away the sin which man has but should not have!
  His death imparts into man the life which he needs but does not have!

THE FOURTH KEY - GOD'S DISPENSING

UNLOCKING THE MYSTERY OF FAITH IN CHRIST

1. THE TWO BECOMINGS OF CHRIST

  God became flesh, born as a man called Jesus. Please read the following verse:
"The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us." (John 1:14)

  The Lord became the Spirit called the life-giving Spirit by His resurrection from the dead. Read the following verse:
"The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit." (1 Corinthians 15:45)
  Since this Spirit is the life-giving Spirit, He dispenses God with His life into His believers.

  Hence, the Bible says:
"He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life."(1 John 5:12)

2. REGENERATING MAN

  In his first birth, man obtains a physical life.
  When man receives God's life through Christ, he experiences a second birth, which the Bible calls regeneration.
"God...has regenerated us... through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from among the dead."(1 Peter 1:3)
  Jesus said, "Unless a man is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God."(John 3:3)

  A pig cannot participate in the sheep's kingdom and live a sheep's life by education, improvement, or regulation; it must possess the life of a sheep.
  Similarly, man cannot participate in God's kingdom and live a divine life by education, improvement, or regulation; he must receive the life of God!



3. THE MEANING OF BEING A CHRISTIAN

  A Christian is one who receives God's dispensing. God first dispenses Himself into our spirit and then spreads from our spirit into our soul. Finally, He fills and saturates our spirit, soul, and body with Himself. The Bible calls this final stage glorification.
"And whom He predestinated, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified."(Romans 8:30)


  Through this, we can be conformed to the image of Christ: "Because whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son."(Romans 8:29)

  This is the purpose of human life!
  This is the meaning of being a Christian!
  This is what God has planned for you!


WHAT MUST YOU DO NOW?

  Now that you have realized God's plan, you should do four things:

1. TURN YOUR HEART TO GOD - REPENT

  Repentance is not to be remorseful.
  Repentance is neither to turn over a new leaf.
  Repentance is to have a change in mind.

  Previously you had your back towards God. Whether you were doing good or evil, you were turned away from God. Now listen to what the Lord Jesus said:
  "Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near."(Matthew 4:17)

2. BELIEVE - RECEIVE

  To believe is not to nod your head, nor to agree, nor merely to be appreciative.
  If someone gives you a watch, it is not enough for you just to nod your head in agreement and admire the watch. you need to receive it. Believing is just receiving. Read the following verse:
  "But as many as received Him, to them He gave authority to become children of God, to those who believe in His name." (John 1:12)

3. CONFESS - CALL

  Being a Christian is an open matter. God requires that your heart believe and that your mouth confess.

  If your heart does not believe, you cannot be saved.
  If your mouth does not confess, neither can you be saved. But:
  "...if you confess with your mouth, Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from among the dead, you shall be saved."(Romans 10:9)

4. BE BAPTIZED - TESTIFY

  Baptism is a testimony before men. All believers should be baptized in order to be saved not only before God, but also before men.
  The Lord Jesus said:
"He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned." (Mark 16:16)

  Through baptism, God transfers us from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of God. For this reason, the Lord Jesus said:
  "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John 3:5)


NOW PLEASE PRAY:

  "Lord Jesus! I am a sinner. I need You. Come into my spirit. Take away my sin. Fill me that I may have the life of God. I receive You right now as my Savior and life. I give myself to You. I ask this in Your name, Amen!"


  Now you are clear about the mystery of human life! May the Lord bless you and cause you to continue living in God's plan!
  If you would like to learn more about God's economy and gain a deeper experience of the salvation of Christ, do contact us for more discussion.

©1986 Living Stream Ministry
1853 W. Ball Road
Anaheim CA 92804 U.S.A.