Archive for October 2017

The Promise-plan

With our eyes fixed on Jesus we see God as three persons in communal giving and receiving. The three are always entirely with and for one another. Indeed, the three are so closely bound up with one another that they are said to “indwell” one another.  While Father, Son and Spirit are distinct, they do not exist in isolated individuality.  Father, Son and Spirit have always existed and forever will exist in a circle of intimate love.

 God’s purpose for his creation must, therefore, be true to who he is as essentially relational.   And so it is.  For in Christ, we see that the purpose of the Triune God is to reach out beyond his own shared life in order to enjoy relationship with those who are not God.  Furthermore, the way he achieves his purpose is also true to who he is as deeply relational.  For he works out his eternal purpose in history through covenant relationships.

A covenant is essentially a promise, a vow. God’s covenant promise with Israel is frequently expressed in the words, “I will be your God and you will be my people”.  This is God’s promise-plan to be our God in mutual love relationship.

 The  promise-plan of God makes its way to Christ.  He is the “Yes” to all the promises of God.  There is no “if” or “maybe” or “Yes, but…”  Only Jesus is in view as God’s emphatic, “YES!”  So, in union with Christ, we are now God’s people and he is our God as loving Father.  And, in the Spirit, we confidently await our future on the new earth when God himself says, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:3)

 

Father’s Astonishing Decision

Before anything was made the Father decided to adopt us into his family in Christ. We only know of this eternal decision because God himself makes it actual through his Son acting for us and his Spirit acting in us. We now know that we are adopted children sharing in the Son’s relationship with his Father in the Spirit. That means justification as a legal settlement is not front and centre in our view of salvation.   What is?  Reconciliation to love relationship as sons and daughters in Christ.

We are now called to live in the freedom of the Spirit as the Father’s dearly loved children in union with Christ.  For freedom Christ has set us free and his Spirit wants to take us into freedom so that we live for our Father with joyful assurance.  But how easily we slip into legalistic conformity to religious rules continually driven by guilt and shame before a mean and menacing Judge.

Our Father decided before anything existed to include us in the circle of love with his Son and by his Spirit.  He decided that we should share in this life with freedom and joy.  And he decided to make all this actual in his Son and Spirit.  With our eyes fixed on the Father’s astonishing decision to include us in the circle of shared life and love we must now decide to live in this freedom bringing joy to our Father’s heart.