Many-but-one. It seems like an oxymoron – a phrase in which two apparently contradictory terms appear together. This may be why we struggle so much to figure out how to make it our reality. But in it lies a deeper relationship with God.
Some lean heavily to the many part of the equation and focus on the beauty and freedom of diversity. They have trouble figuring out what it means to be one. This results in unhealthy tactics to hold on to individualism.
Some lean heavily to the one part of the equation and focus on obtaining unity while having trouble figuring out what it means to be many. This results in unhealthy tactics to bring people together (and keep them together).
Lean either way and we violate the Creator’s design and stifle a deeper relationship with God.
Before creation, God existed as many-but-one (John 10:30). The Father, Son and Spirit are unique, but they are the same. They are so thoroughly unified that they are One God.
Creation of the human
When the many-but-one God created the human, he created one. But then we find out that the one human contained many humans. Male and female He created them (Genesis 1:27).
After God split the human, they were designed to then come back together to become one in their relationship (Genesis 2:24). That one flesh would be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). The many becomes one again to create many. But they are one family until the children grow up. The one family becomes many families.
God chose one family to restore the Eden blessing to all of the other families of the world (Genesis 1:3). This one family would expand to include many families to be one family. A many-but-one family.
Christ the Body
God Himself enters the planet through Abraham’s family in one human body (Luke 1:35). He would restore the Eden blessing and make it available to many (John 3:16-17). He would leave his one body and enter into many bodies (I Corinthians 6:19).
Those many bodies were designed to then become One Body that could reach the many and bring them into the One (I Corinthians 12:12-14).
The Bible itself
Even the Bible itself has many authors with the perspective of One Author that tell many stories that work together to tell one unified story.
The key to a deeper relationship with God
You can see the many-but-one design throughout the universe. It implores us to get on board. It shows us how working out this many-but-one reality is directly connected to a deeper relationship with God, and ultimately, fulfilling God’s purpose for creation.
Living out this many-but-one pattern for life is key for unlocking everything else in the Christian life. Being in that environment is the foundation for everything else.
The series collections on this blog available to read are all geared to better understand what it means to be many-but-one. Read through them and I’m confident deeper revelation of Christ’s many-but-one design and nature will explode in you. Find them on the homepage or they are always linked to in the email newsletter if you’re a subscriber.
Deeply understand and learn how to develop “many-but-oneness,” and you will find yourself advancing into the depths of God.