In Jesus, God has bound himself to us and us to himself. He did so because this was His purpose before creation. His eternal intention was that we should belong within the loving communion of Father, Son and Spirit. He always wanted to be ours in Jesus by the Spirit. He always wanted us to be His in Jesus by the Spirit. That is why Father and Son now make their home with us by the Spirit.
Our Father accomplished this purpose through Jesus in the face of human sin. All our opposition to God did not incline Him to turn away from His purpose for us. Rather, through Jesus, He comes among us overcoming our sin in the Spirit. This is not simply God’s reaction to human sin but primarily the action of God fulfilling his original intention in Jesus. That intention was disturbed as those created for belonging became alienated from the communion of love. But the ultimate purpose was not given up. The God who first decided to be with us comes among us in Jesus to bring us back to what he wanted all along-belonging.
The communal life of Father, Son and Spirit is totally satisfying. Nothing and no one is needed to make the Triune life whole. There is nothing lacking so that the three are forced to move beyond their own shared life to gain fullness. And yet, the Triune One does not want to be God without us. We add nothing to Him, but He wants to include us within His communion of joy. So when we turned away from Him, He turned towards us acting to turn us back to Himself.
However, the Triune God’s reconciling action is not a plan B. His action is not merely a reaction to the problem of human sin. The action of the Triune God, in the face of human opposition, takes place to achieve his first and only purpose. He always wanted us in fellowship with himself within His own circle of love. This is His original purpose and He sticks with it even though we reject it. He must do so because he only wants to be God as our Father, through Jesus in the Spirit. Yes, He must go out from himself to reconcile us to himself according to his original purpose of fellowship with us as dearly loved children.
So, in Jesus, God himself acts and speaks and suffers and triumphs reconciling the world to himself. And what takes place in Jesus, the Father’s Spirit anointed Son, is the accomplishment of the original will of God. His decision to be for us and with us as one of us. In this unique man, God does not simply react to human sin. He is rather being faithful to his own eternal purpose and so true to who he is.
Within the One God, there has always been a movement of love between three persons. Each of the three is constantly towards the others and for the others in mutual self-giving. And within this loving fellowship, the Triune One decided to be with us and for us to be with Him sharing in the communal life of the three. All three persons decided together to give themselves freely and fully to us as the overflow of the self-giving love within the One communion of love.
Foolishly, we all decide to reject the Triune decision. We want to go our own way. Even so, the Triune God’s eternal decision still stands. He will not allow his own purpose for us to be destroyed. The Triune One has freely chosen to be God with us and we with Him. He will not go back on this. He will not allow this purpose to fail because of our rejection. Even in the face of our decision to reject His decision God decides to give himself to us. He must fulfil his purpose for fellowship with us.
Jesus is this eternal purpose of God made actual in history. He is the Father’s unique Son serving His Father as one of us in the presence and power of the Spirit. Serving away from his home to bring us back home to His Father. And now, by the same Spirit, he lifts us up to share in His fellowship with the Father. In this way the eternal decision of God is made actual in us by the Spirit.
Before human history, God already decided that his triune life would be expressed in the man Jesus within human history. So the purpose and meaning of all our history is found in this one man. For this man is the whole content of God’s eternal decision before human history fulfilled within human history.
But the Triune God stands not only behind history, not only in history, but also ahead of history. From eternity, the triune God is Lord of the future. From eternity, God moves human history forwards into the future of his own new world in which we will be gathered fully into the Triune communion of love.
In the present, God gives his Spirit to us as the deposit guaranteeing our future inheritance as children of the Father in union with the Son. In the Spirit we cry, “abba Father”, as dearly loved children, until we enter fully into our inheritance. We are actually enjoying God’s future in our present moments. And as we live and move in the presence of the future our eyes are fixed on the future horizon of God’s new world in which God will make His home with us.
In the Spirit we look backward to God’s original decision-God with us and for us in Jesus, the elect man. In the Spirit, we look onward to God’s coming in the coming of Jesus, the new man, the man who is God. We look on towards this new horizon in sure expectation that when he is revealed we shall appear with him in glory because this is God’s eternal decision.