As YHWH instructs He speaks to us as individuals, yet also collectively, as souls and as community in the same breath, mixing singular with plural, at times within a single command.
For example, YHWH says: “Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it.” (De 14:21a) The first pronoun ye is plural, yet thou and thy are singular. He is addressing each of us specifically, while acknowledging the common human organism to which we all belong.
He’s walking out a truth in our presence that can be very hard to see: we’re distinct from each other, entirely unique, and yet members of each other, one of another. (Ep 4:25) As members of the human race we’re interconnected, affecting each other as if we’re cells in the vastness of a transcendent human being; as believers we’re even members of Christ Himself (1Co 12:27), and have become His people. (1Pe 2:10)
The image of God within each of us is infinite, connecting us with each other and with Him in ways beyond our comprehension. (He 7:10) Our lives and actions ripple and reverberate over time in and through others, influencing and impacting eternal souls in God’s vast, eternal plan. No one lives or dies in and by themselves. (Ro 14:7)
2 thoughts on “One of Another”
As members of Christ, parts of His eternal organism, we are joined with all those who have ever known Him, as one. This is how God can tell us living today that we were slaves in Egypt, and that God redeemed us out of it. (“And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day.” De 15:15) Believing Gentiles, who are not physical descendants of Abraham, are thus the children of Abraham. (“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” Ga 3:7)
God speaks to us individually and corporately, and He does this interchangeably. What He has done for any one of us in Christ He has done for us all, for we are inextricably connected to each other in and through Him. Thus, He commands Gentiles to keep Passover (“Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1Co 5:8) as if we were there for the first one. All in Christ are partakers of the promises made to Israel (“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2Pe 1:4) and of the covenants made with Israel (“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” Eph 2:12-13), treated as one with them. (“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.” Eph 2:14; “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” Ep 2:19-20)
As I am in Christ, and as Christ has been in His elect through the ages, I was also in them as my spiritual ancestors, even as I was in my earthly father before I was born, and in his father before him.