God's mystery unfolding on earth
The following is from Paul Smith.
What is this mystery God is unfolding?
God is love. (1 Jn. 4) Love always implies communion and fellowship among persons.
The Father loves the Son in communion with the Spirit, and the Son loves the Father in communion with the Spirit! And God – the Father, Son and Spirit -- loves humanity! (Rom. 8:9) (1 Jn. 4:9-10) (NLT)
When did God start loving us? And when was it decided that the Son would enter the physical creation and become flesh? 1 Cor. 2:7-13 “The wisdom I proclaim is God’s secret wisdom … which he had already chosen for our glory even before the world was made.” It was before time began that the decision for creating humanity and for healing and preserving them was made – made because of God’s love! All predestined – before the ages to our glory! That’s when the Lamb (Jesus) was provided as the atoning sacrifice for humanity’s sin – the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world (Jn.1:29)
In Eph. 2 Paul explains how God was, in Christ, breaking down the wall that separated the Jews and Gentiles (foreigners). Also, in loving communion with the Father and the Spirit Jesus was breaking down the wall of separation between humanity and God himself! (1 Cor. 3:16-17)
Just when did the Holy Spirit come to the earth? (Gen. 1:1-2) God created … And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (KJV) Now the mystery of God becomes deeper still, because someone else was also there! See Jn. 1:1-4 (“In the beginning was the [Logos] Word….”) The Logos came also to sweep away everything and every enemy that could keep us separated from God – even death itself! (1 Cor. 15:26) Everything was created through him and for him! And through his sacrifice, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him, without a single fault.” (See Col. 1:17-22)
Jesus has made atonement for us and is working as our Mediator. And the Holy Spirit is working IN us – so our very nature is being changed! (Eph. 4:22-24) (Gal. 5:22-25) The Spirit produces the fruit in our lives! He helps you and comforts you – forever!
Jesus prayed (Jn. 17:20-21) that all believers in him might be one – just as He was one with the Father – “so that the world will believe that you (the Father) sent me.”What is the world’s problem? Not believing! (Jn. 3:16-17) Not believing means rejection of Jesus, and that means rejection of the Father! (Jn. 16:7-10) That’s self-willed rebellion! One must repent of the rebellion of unbelief – which amounts to rejection of Jesus!
So how are these non-believers to be dealt with? The Holy Spirit (the Advocate) will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. Also, Jesus works with the world by drawing them to himself (Jn. 12:32)!
So, Jesus provided salvation for the world by taking away their sin and opening the way for them to be adopted into the life of God, but each one must activate a relationship with Jesus by believing, which is by faith. Salvation’s purpose is to bring many sons to glory! (Heb. 2:10)
Contrary to the idea of Universalism – the idea that, eventually, everyone will be saved, the Bible speaks of both “sheep” (who will enter the
The reason for Jesus’ death is found in God’s eternal purpose for us – so that we could participate together in the life of the Father, Son and Spirit, sharing in their knowledge and laughter and fellowship – their insights and creativity and goodness. The Son became human to be the place where the life of God (the Father, Son and Spirit) intersects human existence, and human existence touches the life of God. Jesus came to be the “mediator,” the one in whom the divine and human meet and share life.It was never intended that the fulfillment of God’s purpose would be left in Adam’s hands or in ours. It was always intended that the gift of redemption and eternal life would be given in Jesus Christ. He was always destined to step out of eternity into history and to eradicate our sin, cleanse us, and bring us home.
Humanity’s creation and purpose is all about sharing the abundant life of the Father, Son and Spirit. Sharing in the joyous fellowship of life that is the light of men – life that is abounding, rich and joyful, not sad or boring! Sharing this is what God’s plan for us is all about!Lk. 12:32 says, “…don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.”