The first qualification of the God-men is that they are born of God to be His many sons (John 1:12-13; Heb. 2:10). Originally, we were merely created men. After being created, we became fallen sinners. We were not sons of God. But praise Him, according to His eternal economy, four thousand years after He created Adam, God came out of eternity and entered into time, and He became a man. This man is Jesus Christ. In the past two thousand years of human history, Jesus Christ as the God-man has influenced the entire world. Today He is still doing the same thing, but He is doing it not by Himself alone but by thousands and even millions of God-men, who are the mass reproduction of Him as the prototype.
Although we are of different races and nationalities, by His mercy we have all become the same: we are all God-men. A God-man is one who has been born of God. In Christianity there is a theology that tells people that we believers became sons of God not by birth but by adoption. According to this theology, we were not born of God but were merely adopted by God. However, according to the Scriptures, we, the believers in Christ, were all born of God to be His sons. As the sons of God, surely we are God-men. We are the same as the One of whom we were born. It would be impossible to be born of God and not be the sons of God. Since we are the sons of God, we are God-men.
As sons of God and as God-men, we have the divine life (John 3:15, 36a). Many Christians realize that they have eternal life, yet they do not know what eternal life is. Furthermore, they do not know what the divine life is. They do not know that, as regenerated ones, they have another life in addition to their own human life. We all need to realize that in addition to our natural life, we have another life, the divine life. The natural life makes us a natural man, and the divine life makes us a divine man. We all can boast that we are divine persons because we have been born of the divine life. Since we have been born of the divine life and possess the divine life, surely we are divine persons. We have been born of the divine life; therefore, we are divine. It is a pity that the majority of regenerated people do not know that they have God’s life in addition to their own life. Our own life is a human life; thus, we are all human. But through regeneration we have received another life, which has been added to our natural life. This life is not only holy and heavenly but also divine. Thus, we have all become divine.
Although we are divine men, we need to ask ourselves whether we live, act, and behave ourselves as divine men. Some of us may feel that we are not qualified to be even a human man, not to mention a divine man. Because of our poor behavior, we may consider ourselves “turtles” and not men. Nevertheless, because we have been born of God and have the divine life, we can say that we are not only higher than the turtles, but we are even much higher than the top human beings. We may feel that we are not qualified to say this, but actually we are more than qualified. My burden in these messages is to help you to see a vision from the heavens. Do not look at yourself. We are not worthwhile to look at. We must look away to the heavens. In the heavens the angels are rejoicing because they see that all the believers are divine. The angels have only the angelic life; they are not divine. What an honor and what a glory that we human beings can be divine!
In our recent crystallization-study of the Epistle of James, I pointed out that the Christian perfection stressed by James is not the genuine Christian perfection revealed in the entire divine revelation of the New Testament. I said that the perfection stressed by James is a pretense and is the product of self-cultivation, by the natural life endeavoring to develop the “bright virtue” in the man of the old creation. This is in contrast with the genuine Christian perfection, which is produced by the believers with the rich element of all that Christ is, by the bountiful supply of the all-inclusive consummated Spirit, and through the power of Christ’s resurrection and the death of Christ’s cross. The Bible, according to God’s economy, teaches all God’s chosen ones, who have believed in Christ and have been regenerated by the Spirit and who have become the God-men, to be divine persons (Gal. 2:20; Phil. 1:19-21a).
(The God-Men, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)