God is Good - All the Time
I started to read an article the other day, but put it down soon after starting. The author was trying to fit all of the promises of God to us, into time frames. You know, this applies to the past, and this is speaking of the future in heaven and… on and on.
I put it aside because he was wrong. Dead wrong!
1. First of all, the purpose of Christ and redemption is not to get us back to the Garden of Eden. There is more in redemption than there was in Eden. Much More! If the creative work of God was complete with Eden, then why we here instead of there?
2. The purpose of God is not to make bad people good but to made dead people alive. Transformation is not a doctrine, but a radical change from one form to another. It is a metamorphosis, from caterpillar to butterfly, from darkness to light, from dead to alive. It is new birth into the spiritual dynamic of Christ living in us and through us.
3. The promises of God through Christ are not to get us to heaven, but to get heaven into us. We error in thinking of heaven only as a place to get to, rather than seeing is as a dimension of spiritual reality to life in now.
a. We are seated with Him in heavenly place…
b. We are His workmanship
c. We are in Him and He is capable of continuing His redemptive work on this planet through us.
Ephesians 2 – 1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
· The verbs in this passage are present tense.
· The implications are now!
· The possibilities are endless.
I was rereading this and remembered how often I have heard sermons placing this in the future – in heaven. I remembered the commentaries doing the same. But the passage was written, somewhere around 60 A. D. If they applied then, certainly they apply now.
· We are made alive.
· We are raised up with Him in the heavenly places.
· We are Hs workmanship.
· We should walk in His works in us.
Looking at the news, I suspect that the earth is not yet redeemed. That is, not in the application of redemption. Those who still walk in darkness are a mess. We, in the flesh, do not seem to be able to get our personal lives together, or our families or our communities, or our nations… The earth is still a mess.
The tendency is to think that at some future time Christ will come and straighten it all out or us. But He did come and he did pay the price and the work is complete – “It is finished,” He said. If He said it than we should believe it and live in it and rejoice in the hope given – here, now, today!
REJOICE! Live in Him in the now!