As long as He needs me

by James Johnson

Over the years there have been many TV talent shows. The perennial "Britain's Got Talent", the X Factor, and some years ago there was one judged by Andrew Lloyd Webber, "I'll Do Anything".

When the competitors are interviewed, the interviewer asks three stock questions:
(1) How would you feel if you win the competition?
(2) Why do you think you deserve to win? and when they lose
(3) How do you feel now that you have lost?

The answers are usually:
(1) This would be the best thing that could happen to me, in my whole life. (even 10 year olds say that).
(2) Because I have worked so hard, I have charisma, talent and star quality.
(3) It has been an amazing experience; I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I would like to have won, but I have learnt so much. Everybody has been so supportive.

Imagine that the competitors arrive at the Pearly Gates and Peter interviews them; and asks the same questions.
Of course, he couldn't, because:
(1) Getting to heaven isn't a competition. Yes, it will be the best thing that ever happened to us.
(2) We are all sinners. So no one DESERVES TO BE THERE. IT IS BY GRACE we are saved, NOT by works lest anyone should boast. Charisma, talent and hard work will not EARN anyone a place in the final.
(3) There are NO LOSERS in heaven. We may well be AMAZED at just who will be there. We will not stop learning and we will ALL receive the support we need when we are there, not just now in this life.

One song was sung every week on "I'd Do Anything". In 'Oliver!' by Lionel Bart, it is sung by Nancy about Bill Sykes - "As long as he needs me."
Bill Sykes is one of Charles Dickens' "baddies", but she is willing to love him anyway.
So you may think it strange that I should say, "Imagine for a moment that she was singing it about Jesus."
Rightly, we believe that WE need Jesus. Yes, we really do; without God's help we could do nothing. But does JESUS NEED US?

But before we jump to the conclusion that that question is out of order, or even blasphemous, let us look at the Scriptures - Ephesians:1:22-23.

"And God subjects ALL under HIS [Christ's] feet, and gives Him as Head over all, to the EKKLESIA, which is His body, the complement (the KJV has 'fulness') of Him,completing the all in all."

What does that MEAN? HOW is the ekklesia, the body, the FULNESS (as it says in the KJV), of Christ? The word translated "fulness" is PLEROMA in Greek. It means COMPLEMENT, in other words the ekklesia makes Christ COMPLETE.
What does THAT mean?
Christ is the LAST Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45). Let's look at the FIRST Adam. Genesis 2:18 reads, "And Yahweh Elohim said, 'It is not good for the human to be alone by himself. I shall make a helper as his complement.'"

The first Adam wasn't all there! He needed someone to make him COMPLETE.
He was able to name the animals by himself. God accepted the names he gave them and God gave him authority over his created beings. But there was ONE job Adam could NOT do by himself - God's command to be fruitful and multiply.
None of the animals could help in that job. His helper had to be of the same species as he was, and to come from WITHIN him.

All this illustrates a great truth about Christ and the Ekklesia.
Just as woman is the complement of man, so the Ekklesia is the complement of Christ. The analogy is the same.
Our Lord created all. ".. and apart from it [the word] not even one thing came into being which has come into being" (John 1:3).

Among all the heavenly creatures, there was not one who could be His complement.
Once Eve became a separate entity, Adam could only fulfill the purpose of God through Eve. Without Eve, he could not be fruitful and multiply.

Just so, once Christ had fulfilled the purpose He came to earth - the complete vanquishing and destruction of SIN, He is ready to accomplish the great work for which all creation is waiting.Just as Adam needed HIS complement to obey God, God has ordained that Christ needs his complement, the Ekklesia, to fulfil the Father's purpose.

What is that purpose? We don't need to guess.
It is in 1 Corinthians 15:22-26, 28.

"For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ the firstfruit, then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be ALL in ALL."

God had this plan all worked out right at the beginning. It will not fail. It is entirely of God and cannot fail.
And amazingly, the ekklesia of God, the called out ones, the body of Christ, has an integral part in that plan, as Christ's complement!

Yes, WE need Christ in that task, but CHRIST needs us!!
© James Johnson

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