God as Father; God as Judge

The good news announces that God is love and even though we reject his love he does not cease to love us.  Rather, in Christ, he has acted to reconcile us to himself.  That’s because God is love and he created us in love and for love as dearly loved children in the mutual relations of love.

But the message of good news can sound like bad news when it presents God as the Judge whose primary concern is our conformity to his law.  The judge who deals with our failure to conform by granting us right legal standing before him.

Jesus unveils God to us as loving Father who is open, relational and self-giving towards us. The Father who restores love relationships with estranged people through his dearly loved Son. This loving Father that we meet in Jesus cannot be thought of primarily as a Judge seeking a legal settlement.

And so the good news makes family images central rather than courtroom images. God as Judge does grant us right legal status through all that Jesus did for us.  Nevertheless, the Father’s primary purpose is to include us in the love relationship he has with his Son by the Spirit . Just as the Father is in love relationship with his unique Son, so we are called into love relationship with the Father as dearly loved children in union with his Son by the Spirit.

 

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