In Christ, we have been given access to the throne room of God’s grace. It is there that we receive mercy to free us from our past and it is there that we find grace to empower our daily walk in Christ. As leaders, we must live in and from the throne room of grace to lead others into a way of life that causes them to be transformed in their nature, character, way, power, and authority before every enemy, before God, before one another, and as those who are led by the Spirit of God in all things. Last week I wrote in regard to leading others to become a testimony of praise with the attributes of a lion.
The second creature depicted in the throne of grace is that of a calf. This creature speaks of a sacrifice of service to the Creator. The testimony of the Church to God is one of worship, honor, and service. It is a testimony to the burnt offering as worship to God (Lev.9:3,8). This is the attitude, focus, and action of the Body of Christ in serving God (Ex. 32:4, 8, 24; Ps. 106:19). The calf (also known as a young ox) is a symbolism of the creature, and to worship it was to worship the creature rather than the Creator(Ex. 20:4, 5). The calf (creature) was intended for service (worship) to the Creator. This creature is the condition of the Church inthe fulfillment of the first commandment made real in the New Covenant to love God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Lk. 10:27(a); Mt. 22:37; Mk. 12:30). Ezekiel’s Old Covenant view of this creature was only as a face (Ezek.1:10;10:14), but the New Covenant causes believers to become changed in their nature, character, way, power, and authority. The calf reveals the character and the focus of the Body of Christ toward God! Leaders must set an example to those they lead in becoming those who worship, honor, and serve God as the one who gives life, breath, and all things.
The third creature had a face that was like the face of a man. It speaks of the face of the Church toward mankind. It is the human expression of God to the human image of God in the earth. We are to be servants of one another (Phil. 2:7). The second commandment made real inthe New Covenant is fulfilled in the attitude, focus, and action of this face of the Church. We are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Lev.19:18; Mt.19:19 (b); 22:39; Mk.12:31; Rom.13:9; Gal.5:14).
We are inwardly empowered to prefer one another as members of the Body of Christ (Phil.2:3; Eph.5:21; Heb.10:24). We must be servants of all (Mt. 20:26, 27; Mk. 9:35; Mk. 10:43). This face is not the ‘face of a man’, but rather the face “like that” of a man. We are new creations in Christ (2Cor.5:17), but our attitude toward one another must always be to see others as we see ourselves. We are new creations, but we are made of the same old clay that was marred by sin (Jer. 18:4). Although we are no longer sinful men, we must love sinnersas if we were still a sinner ourselves. This doesn’t mean that we should havean attitude of condemnation to our flesh, but of love toward others. Ezekiel saw the face of the man representing the character of the creature (Ezek.1:5,10;10:14), while John sees the character of the creature willingly taking on the face of a man. This is the face of the Body of Christ toward one another!
Leaders must set an example in loving their fellow man as they love themselves. They must see serving others as a testimony of God’s love in their own lives. Leaders lead others to take on the face like that of a man. They lead others into the attributes of worship to God. Living in and from the presence of God is key to these life-transformations and leaders must be transformed to lead others into those same grace-empowered realities.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
Exerts from:Christ Unveiled, Chapter 3
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