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God’s Assembly Line

by UNC Contributor
RainerPlendl/iStock/Thinkstock
 

We have all heard songs about “the end of the road” or “the end of the line.” Truth is that we are all on the assembly line – an assembly meaning ecclesia, or gathering of the people, and a line may be described as a procession, or a row.

The assembly line has a beginning, middle and an end. So it is with our calling from God. We are all works in progress; we are like works of art, beautiful in God’s eyes. The assembly line moves in a forward direction, and so we look forward with the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus our Messiah. Our past sins have been covered, our slate wiped clean. “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God” (Hebrews 6:1). The assembly line is a process of beginning a work and bringing it forth to completion.

Human life begins at conception. Where does the assembly line begin? Even before the assembly line starts rolling, it begins with a planner and a prototype. Consider the Greek word, prototokas, meaning original, the first born. “And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the pre-eminence” (Colossians 1:18). Jesus said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega” (Revelation 1:8).

The assembly line of God’s called children began with a thought, “Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26). The materials? Man was formed from “the dust of the earth” (Genesis 2:7). The architect of the assembly line needs pliable, malleable material, like soft clay, able to be reformed.

The material God can work with? The human spirit gradually mixed with the Spirit of God as we are remolded, reshaped, by the loving hand of our Maker. God the Eternal Creator is shaping His creation, making over His sons and daughters into His image. The assembly line is a process of spiritual growth, even from the impregnation of God’s Holy Spirit into a human mind (a miracle in itself). “Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:22).

Assembly line work in progress moves along a conveyor. As the product moves along the assembly line, it receives additional work and refinement.

Conveyor means transporter, messenger, vehicle, carrier. Jesus said, “I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever” (John 14:16), and “when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all Truth” (John 16:13). The Bible teaches that we are not to become improved versions of ourselves, but rather “new creatures in Christ.”

There are many colours, shapes and sizes of works in progress on the assembly line. They all have the same materials, but are being worked in different ways. All do not look the same. Isn’t that a good thing? Can you imagine if there was only one variety of flowers or one type of sunset; if your children all looked alike, or there was only one kind of landscape to view?

Refinement is tied to perfection. The assembly line does not always run smoothly, so adjustments, checks and tests are done. So the Spirit of God grows in us, through learning love for God and neighbour, and by our desire for repentance.

So the assembly line is a process. Almighty God can see the beauty in each person at every stage of completion. While the end product is the most beautiful, our Maker can at any point see the work in progress as leading to perfection, or completion. When Christ appears, the Maker will recognize His works in us, and make us truly complete.

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