‘The God-Man’ by Titus Chu
Songs and Hymns of Life, #374
Please sing through the hymn before reading the blog post.
The hymn “The God-Man” is an inspiring hymn by Brother Titus Chu. The focus of the song is on the awesome and divine union that occurred when we believed into Jesus. Galatians 2:20 summarizes well this spectacular truth: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me” (ASV). Hallelujah, I have been crucified with Christ! It’s no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me! All that is old, sinful, and selfish has been terminated! Christ is now that One that lives in me! And yet there is an “I” who still lives, but its existence is totally different, totally changed: I now live by faith, not by my own strength, in my own way, still selfishly seeking my own things: I live by faith, that is, by total dependence, absolute trust, solely relying on this wonderful Christ that now lives in me. I have a united life, a life that is joined to this marvelous Christ.
Before getting into some details about the hymn, a couple practical notes on the song’s structure:
Firstly, the words are written in such a way that the good comes first in the verse; each verse starts out with some glorious and marvelous facts; then the third line tells us something about our negative experience, and line four is the change from the negative to something so positive and enjoyable.
The second note is a musical one. It is quite interesting that the tune for the verse and the tune for the chorus are by two very famous composers (Beethoven and Mozart) but they have been joined together into one hymn melody. This could symbolize the joining of God and Man together into one new creation, the one new man. You may notice the rhythm from the verse to the chorus changes. Don’t let that throw you off — just keep singing joyfully! It may be helpful to slow down for the chorus, just a tad, as some of the notes come quickly.
How marv’lous, how real that my God has entered me.
He’s joined with my spirit; one spirit now are we.
My spirit was empty and dead, apart from God
But now I’m revived as God’s life is filling me.
Verse one starts with the real and marvelous fact that God has entered me. Praise the Lord, He has made us His temple and the Spirit of God dwells within us (1 Cor. 3:16)! And this fact is so marvelous, so real! Moreover, “but he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (1 Cor. 6:17). Hallelujah for this joined life that we now have with God! Before we believed in Jesus, our spirit was empty and dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1) but, praise God, He made us alive! He revived us! We can have experiences of God’s life filling us!
Can you remember the last time you felt dead and empty within? Was it many years ago before you had first touched Christ in faith? Was it last week? Are you feeling dead right now? There are many times that we just feel stuck in our own deadness; we feel trapped and it seems like there is no way out. I have experiences of being spiritually dead more often than I’d like: instead of feeling spiritually energized and alive I feel rather dull, slow, and inspired; instead of feeling close to God, I feel far away and distant. However, something that has been helpful to me is remembering and coming back to the completed fact that the Bible says that I have been made alive (past tense!). It is something that is already done! By the Spirit in faith, I can touch the truth of the Word and trust in the facts and not my feelings that so quickly change. Oh, how we all need to be revived again and again with fresh touches of God’s refreshing, revitalizing, divine life!
As Spirit He dwells gloriously.
Two spirits are united as one.
Two lives are mingled, now God and man
Are incorp’rated as the God-man.
What an enjoyable refrain! Christ as the Spirit dwells within us GLORIOUSLY! This is so mysterious, and yet so real and tangible! God’s Spirit and my human spirit are united as one! I share God’s life, I have been made a child of God! Jesus Christ was the divine prototype in which God and man were incorporated together as one entity, one being; as if that wasn’t wonderful enough, God wills to do the same in us—God and man joined together as one!
How rich and how full: God Himself abides in me.
He grows in my spirit; we’re mingling constantly.
I was in the world; I pursued my earthly dream,
I now have experience of His divinity.
Verse 2 mentions how we were once in the world, pursuing our ‘earthly dream’. We know that once in a while, dreams may materialize, but often they remain nothing more than a distant, far-off aspiration. However, God’s life in us, though it is so mystical and mysterious, is something so real and palpable! We can have solid experiences of God’s divinity! Have you had any divine experiences recently?
How glorious, divine: God Himself does live in me.
His life saturates me; one person now are we.
So long I have fought and endeavored by myself
To live now is Christ: God Himself lived out of me.
How heav’nly, mysterious: that God is built in me,
With Him constituted we’re dwelling mutually.
I strove with my heart to fulfill the law of God
But now I express all His fine humanity.
What a glorious and divine life we have been brought into! Or maybe more appropriately, what a glorious and divine life has been brought into us! God’s life can fill us, saturate us, become our constitution! Moreover, as this life grows within us, it has a natural outflow: God Himself lives out from me, expressing all Christ’s fine divine-human attributes. This is so much better than striving to fulfill the law with my own strength (not to mention much more effective)! It is the natural fruit that grows from abiding in Christ, and He abiding in us (John 15:1-5) which grows the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).
For many years I lived as a person that insisted on doing things my own way, and one of the things that this led to was friction in a lot of relationships. Many people would offer me advice and tell me to change, but outwardly trying to change and be different only goes so far. But graciously, by the Spirit working in my life (though He still has so much more to do in me!), I have seen instances where the Spirit’s fruit of peace and patience has been born in my life; instead of being so insistent and strong-willed all the time, I can live at peace with others with patience to work together in many ways. There is some Spirit-fruit in me that expresses a little of the Lord’s humanity and patience. Praise the Lord for His life in me working effectively! It is so much better than my own striving! Praise God for such a wonderful life that He has been placed in each one of us! We can have many divine experiences as God and man have been joined together in us!
Have you had some of these experiences of the divine life recently? What do you feel like God is working in you these days? How could Christ be expressed more as your life?