Archive for April 2018

The Event of Immanuel

God’s eternal purpose is to be with us as one of us in Jesus and for us to be with him in Jesus.  That is what God has always wanted. For he does not will to be God without us.

But we turned away from God’s design for us. We defied his will for us and in so doing ruined ourselves. But God kept to his purpose pursuing us in love to make us his own in Jesus.  He is Immanuel: God with us faithfully fulfilling his purpose for us.

 We might say that in Immanuel God happens among us.   He is being-in-action, the dynamic reality of the presence of God with us in history. This is who God is.  God with us as he really is in this event of Immanuel.

We do not start our thinking about God with general observations and speculations about a static divine being.  We always begin with God himself in this unique event – God happening dynamically among in human lowliness to bring us to himself where we belong according to his own purpose

 That is why we are to think of God in terms of act and relationship, rather than abstract substance. He cannot be described apart from his actions and ongoing active relations.  The only God we may speak about is the God who came among us as one of us – Immanuel.  He is the unique act of God himself in human flesh. He alone is God as human acting in the presence and power of the Spirit of God – the event of Immanuel.

 

The Father’s Chosen One

 When considering divine election is our starting point a shadowy decree that decided the eternal destiny of individuals before human life even began?  Or do we begin with Jesus, the Father’s chosen one?

Within God’s eternal life, the Father elected his own Son to be the man in whom God is with us and for us. The Son was also chosen as the man in whom we would be with God and for God. That eternal decision became actual when God came among us as Jesus, the chosen man.

The Father’s chosen one is truly God with us and for us in love. He comes as God loving us in spite of the fact that we do not love him. He comes as God making our lot his own: taking fully to himself our flesh, our judgement, and our rejection.  This chosen one is also the new man with God and for God on our behalf.  In union with him we share in all that he is and has with his Father in the Spirit.

Our thinking on election begins with Jesus, the Father’s chosen man, and from him we look backward into the eternal will of God that is identical with who Jesus is for us and who we are for God in him.  That means our inclusion, as God’s elect, does not rest upon a shadowy decree in the eternal will of God. Our inclusion rather rests fully on Jesus, the Father’s chosen one, since we are elect only in him.