HE’S GOT THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS HANDS
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to put into effect when the times reach their fulfilment – to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ (Eph. 1: 7-10).
Let’s step back for a moment. Did Jesus die to forgive our sins? Yes! Did Jesus die so that we can go to heaven? For the moment, let’s say, “Yes”. But the story is much bigger than being about us. God’s plan is all-encompassing. It includes the entire universe, not just humans.
Before He created the first man, God said, “Let us make man in our image.” Although the “image” of God includes those attributes that we share with Him, attributes such as love, self-consciousness and free will, being created in His image includes much more than these. God wanted a species that could have fellowship with Him and be one with Him, just as the members of the Godhead are one in their love, their mutual submission and their purpose for creation.
Adam and Eve enjoyed oneness with God until they fell for the devil’s deception and declared independence from Him. Their rebellion incurred a huge, unpayable debt which alienated them from Him, making fellowship and unity impossible. They had become His enemies. Had they even wanted to be reconciled to Him, they could not because of the barrier of unpaid debt that stood between Him and them.
But God’s plan was already in place before He formed the first man. Adam’s rebellion did not catch the all-knowing God unawares. Just as He chose us in Christ “before the creation of the world”, so also His Son was “the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world (Rev. 13: 8).”
From God’s perspective, the forgiveness of sins was not the be-all and end-all of salvation. It was a part of His plan to restore all things to their perfection and purpose when He created the universe. The sin of the human race stood in the way of completing what He had begun. There was only one way to remove it – a man who was without sin had to pay the price for the whole human race.
God revealed the enormity of His mercy by sending His own Son, in the likeness of man, to die as a substitute for humanity. Jesus came into a polluted and corrupt world, and lived among people who were contaminated by sin. He refused to act independently of the Father despite the devil’s vicious campaign to get Him to declare independence from God. He submitted to the Father up to the moment of His death, committing His spirit to the Father with His final breath.
God was satisfied with Jesus’ perfect life and sacrificial death. He raised Him from the dead because there was nothing to hold Him in the grave. Jesus paid the debt; He unmasked and defeated the devil, proving once for all that He, not Satan, is Lord. The barrier of sin between God and man was finally demolished. There was nothing left to stand in the way of God’s purpose to bring everything in heaven and on earth together in unity under the authority and power of His Son.
God revealed to the world and to the devil who had tried to usurp Jesus’ position and authority as Lord that, through His Son, His plan was back on track.
All those who believe the truth that Jesus is Lord, receive the benefits of His death and resurrection – the forgiveness of sins and reinstatement as God’s sons and daughters in His family. God gives them the supreme gift of the Holy Spirit – the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead – whom He called, “the Spirit of adoption” or “the Spirit of sonship” (Rom. 8: 14-16).
That’s what it’s all about, dear readers. God’s original plan was to have a family of sons and daughters, created in the image of His Son, who are one with Him and who live together in obedience to Him and in harmony with one another. For what purpose? To put His glory on display for Satan and his rebel hoards to see, once for all, that God is love.
Satan challenged the love of God in the Garden of Eden. Adam fell for his deception. He chose to believe the devil’s lie and not trust the Father’s love. Jesus, the perfect image of the Father with a face, came in person to put the record straight by His sinless life and sacrificial death in obedience to the Father.
You can believe Him now, dear reader. God IS love. He did it all to reveal just how great His love really is!
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3: 1a).
Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3, eBook 978-4828-0511-6
My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), a companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.