I recently heard that we have only discovered 5% of the universe. Even with the most advanced technology we have identified merely a fraction of the cosmos. I feel this way when it comes to the age old questions like, "what is God like? Who is God the Father? and other questions of His nature, His character and so on. To me its very exciting to know that our relationship with God is one of continual discovery.
The amazing thing is, God the Father is fully revealed in Jesus Christ. He is fully revealed yet I am growing in my knowledge of Him every day. Each day I am alive it is like I am in disneyland. I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to knowing God. Every day I get to encounter new aspects of His nature. This isn't a head knowledge. But a heart to heart intimacy. Its the kind of relationship that lovers have. Bill Johnson says something like this "all He has to do is turn His face ever so slightly, and I see a whole new aspect of His nature.
There are so many scriptures that make my brain hurt trying to comprehend its reality. Things like "The lamb who was slain before the creation of the world." Rev 13:18
I love it because it stretches my imagination and challenges my beliefs. Question arise such as was Jesus a response to the fall of Adam? Or was He the original plan all along. Hmm… We won't get into that right now.
Before time began the Trinity was. I can only imagine what this relationship looked like. God is one yet distinctly three different persons. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Their relationship must be one of divine sharing because there is no capacity for selfishness within God. The Father gives to the Son, The Son gives to the Holy Ghost, The Holy Ghost gives to the Father. Its a divine love relationship.
Out of that relationship they decided to create us. Out of their love and passion, we were made. I use the plural term to describe God because it says "Let US make man in OUR image…" Gen 1:26 Thats not singular.
In order to take this journey of discovering who God is, we must look at this relationship in the context of reality before time, the fall, and the incarnation. We touched on the incomprehensible reality of before time, now lets go and see what really happened in the garden.
To find out what someone is like, just look at the things that make a person angry. Their you will find what they are passionate about. What makes God angry? One thing I know is sin. Why? Because it destroyed His children like a plague.
Where did sin come from? Well, this disease stems from the fall of Adam. In the accounts of Genesis, we find that humanity was formed in the likeness of perfection. Adam and Eve walked in the Garden Eden (pleasure) with God. They pranced around free as a bird, naked as can be. Totally unashamed. (Gen 2:25) God tells them they can eat whatever they want, just stay away from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Enter the devil. He is pissed off because he has no chance at redemption, he knows he is screwed for all eternity. Since he can't win he tries everything he can to dethrone God from the hearts of man. Through deception, religion, and any other vile thing. He uses the oldest trick in the book, "did God really say." Thats his weapon, to plant seeds of unbelief and doubt into our minds.
So, Adam and Eve failed. They BELIEVED the half truth lie that they would become like God and gain wisdom when they ate of the tree. See I believe the root of sin is the fact that we distrusted God, we didn't believe what He originally told us. We decided to rely on our own logic and understanding. We fell into a deep pit of distrust. From that place, humanity developed a skewed vision of God. Sin corrupted us and we began to create a god out of the figments of our imagination. We began to see Him as far off and distant, just like Adam and Eve when they ran away from God in fear. Shame and condemnation crept into our minds. We became aware of our shortcomings, we became self conscious. When Adam and Eve sinned they were ashamed and used fig leaves to cover themselves. The same thing happens today. If we mess up, we try to fix ourselves and become our own savior. We think that we must punish ourselves and feel guilty for what we did. Instead of running to God we run away. We think that somehow he is upset with us. We think that because of our actions, we don't deserve God's love.
Well, our actions never merited God's love in the first place. We don't gain God's approval by what we do, but what Christ did. Run to His open arms of forgiveness!
One of the definitions of sin is to miss the mark. Lawlessness and rebellion reigned until the law came through Moses. When the law came it revealed our sin, it showed us how bad we were messed up. (Rom 7: 7-8) It kept us continually conscious of our sin and gave us no power to do anything about it. (Rom 7:10)
Lets use the illustration of an archer to portray the plague of sin and the beauty of redemption.
Since the fall, humanity has been shooting their arrows, trying to hit the bullseye. In our self effort, we tried really hard to hit the bullseye of acceptance, holiness, blessing, perfection, good character, rest, peace, and love. No matter how skilled the man, not David, not Abraham, not any patriarch could do it.
Then Jesus, descends out of Heaven, looks at us with a big ol grin, turns, takes one arrow, pulls back, releases, hits the target smack dab on the bullseye. He wins all the goodies of heaven. He obtains the victory. Next, He does the unthinkable by crediting all of the winnings to our account. He gives us all the rewards of righteousness, holiness, blessings, prosperity, purpose, love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace.
“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God IMPUTETH righteousness without works” (Romans 4:6).
Why did He do this? Was it because we were so deserving? Was it because we did all the right things? Or maybe it was because we were so lovely, as we nailed Him to the cross? NO! It was nothing we did to earn this gift. We deserved hell and he gave us love. It was purely the Father's passion to redeem His children from the mess we got ourselves in.
Jesus came to reveal God the Father, not the godfather. He came to show us what God is like, He is Love, goodness, mercy, grace and kindness. For while we were in our deepest darkest sin, rebelling against God, cursing Him casually, not even giving it one iota of remorse, That my friend, is when He came for us.
"Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:7-8
We ask what the love of god is? Thats it right there. On display in its fullness. Right there on the cross. The broken body of Jesus Christ. For that broken body took all the shame, guilt, condemnation, sin, and BECAME it. Don't miss this right here. Its one thing if he took sin upon him, but its a whole different story that He BECAME sin.
"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21
For this disease had to be destroyed from the inside out. This is why Jesus had to become fully human. This is wild! Sometimes we forget that Jesus is actually the creator of the cosmos. Jesus is God, He formed you and knew you before you were born. ln His divinity He became a fragile human. He entered fully into our existence, our belief systems, our sin, our estrangement, our brokenness. He didn't cheat, He used non of his divinity on his earthly voyage. He wasn't here for Himself, He was here for us. He says in Mark 10:46 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
He showed us what it looked like to live in right relationship through the Holy Ghost. He was on a mission, a mission to rescue His children. This is the gospel. This is the love of God.
In the old days, when kingdoms would go to battle, sometimes they would chose to let the fate of their country rest in the hands of their mightiest warrior. Each side would chose their greatest warrior. Winner takes all. Jesus represents all of humanity. With His one sacrifice He saved us. The death of Jesus Christ was actually the death of fallen humanity. The sinful nature of mankind was obliterated. The power of sin and death was defeated for EVERYONE.
"For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died." 2 Corinthians 5:14
MANS CREATED VALUE
God is good my friend, all the time. His passionate love for us drove Him to the cross. Even in the face of complete and total rejection. I mean, we didn't even want Him. This is the love of God. This is what it looks like. In the face of complete rejection, He forgave us. (Luke 23:34) Now thats pure Grace.
He didn't die for scraps, He didn't sacrifice His son because He had to. It wasn't a requirement. The cross isn't simply a legal transaction between two parties. Its a romantic love story.
We are so valuable to Him. He chose to not live without us. Not that He needed us, but purely out of His passion for us.
Sacrifice determines the value of something. Its the man that fights to keep his virginity that has a real understanding of value. A man that sacrifices his salary to express his love through a diamond ring understands sacrifice. Not that money=value but its the heart that matters.
Sacrifice must be viewed with the lenses of sold out, passionate, unconditional love. Thats the only way God see's it. For a lover gladly gives all of himself as sacrifice.
When you couldn't see your value, He did. When you were broken, addicted, and miserable, God saw your potential. When you were a lost sheep wandering aimlessly, He saw that you belonged. He didn't die for trash. He died for children.
In His resurrection He raised us up as kings and queens. He presents us to Father completely pure and blameless. Not by our deservedness, but by the one sacrifice of Christ. For it is in Him that we are righteous, in Him we are valuable, in Him we shine brighter than the sun. In Him we are as bold as lions.
Every day I am happy when I look in the mirror. What I see is the glory of God. I see a man worthy and accepted. No longer bound by false humility. Peter had that syndrome when he didn't want Jesus to wash his feet. Its time that you get free from that. You must look in the mirror and see that you are in Christ, perfected by His blood. You stand righteous before the Father. (Heb 10:14)
We live not by what we deserve but by what He deserves. It glorifies the artist when we honor its masterpiece. You my friend, are a beautiful piece of artwork fashioned by the mighty hand of God.
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