Monday, November 17, 2008

Beginning, End, Beginning

I was in the lobby of a Doctor's office on Friday and bored stiff, and saw one of those little kids picture bible's on the coffee table. I decided to read it to pass the time. It only covered Genesis, but it was fun because of the way they elaborated everything to make it appealing to kids and with lots of pictures. But sure enough, it got me to thinking about a few things.

Let's talk about creation for a minute. God starts creation, and knows exactly what He's doing doesn't He? He makes light and dark, makes the atmosphere, and then rises up dry group out of the sea and grows every living plant on it all in the first three days. We don't have to think hard about all the benefits to human life that come from his plan even from the first three days! The atmosphere makes it so that we can breath, burns up incoming celestial junk, and protects us from the Sun. The Sun wasn't even created yet! God didn't create the sun, stars, and moon until the fourth day. Water is obviously important for life, and plants are obviously important for our atmosphere, the food chain, climate, and a whole horde of other things. God definitely planned this all out before he started (if there is a 'before' before the creation of time). We could go on and on listing all the things God did in the first three days that made creation beautiful, and a suitable habitat for human life. He created ALL of this FOR US.

Look at what it says in Hebrews 2:6-7 (I realize this is just a quote from Psalm 8:4-6 anyways) "What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet." (NIV). Here it is talking about God making Jesus in a human form. But it references the state of humans here, that we were created lower than the angels. Even so, God made ALL of creation for us! Corinthians 1:28-29 says, "He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him." God created man the way he is on purpose, so that man would serve to glorify God's name. Now when I said, "He made all of this for us" you might have thought, "No, he made all of creation for himself." It is one and the same thing! Everything God does glorifies himself, correct? God cannot do anything that doesn't glorify His own name, and thankfully, because anything that doesn't glorify His name isn't worth doing anyways. But God planned out ALL of creation so that it would be beautiful and majestic and everything that Man needed.

Moving on to my second point, the children's picture Bible was talking about the birth of Jesus and how this little kid liked the 'begats' the best. The 'begats' are when it's talking about the geneology of Jesus in the gospels. Anyways, it started talking about everyone's father, and how Adam was the Son of God. A light bulb went off in my head. Let's look at John 1:12, "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God -". Do you see it? God gave dominion over the earth to Adam (and Eve), and then they screwed it up. But until then it was perfect and the whole thing was made for them! So everyone since then is a Son of some other human guy, who also screwed things up. But what Jesus does through his death and resurrection is, he is making us Sons of God again! We will be able to enjoy his (new) creation forever, and perfectly (direct access to and the full presence of God)! I used to just think, 'Ok, children of God, cool enough', and not even think about the implications that that had!

Lastly, the children's Bible story also got me thinking about something else that is a confession of sorts. I know God loves me, and that his love is absolute. But I've always kindof felt that God's love for me was more of a collective love, rather than an individual love. I know this is a lie, but it's something I've struggled with all my life, and here's a better explanation of it. Jesus's victory on the cross was for everyone. And His plan through creation involved everyone who has ever lived, because nothing is created or exists that Jesus didn't create or have dominion over. But, I've always felt like, if I was the only person on the earth, would Jesus die for just me? Of course he would die for the millions of people throughout history that would trust in him and be with him for eternity, but would he just die for me personally and specifically? Well here's how the creation story helped. If God created all of creation for ME personally, because He had the whole thing planned out in the beginning, and His plan included ME from the beginning of time, of course He loves me individually! I wish I could elaborate more about how the creation story helps me know He loves me individually, but I'm not really sure why it helped to be honest. I just know that something clicked, and that if I trust that he planned creation to sustain MY life and for MY enjoyment (true joy comes from communion with God), than of course I can trust that He died for me specifically.

Maybe it helped in this way, look at John 15:13, "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." I've always held the view that (and feel free to argue with me on this one) that God would not be God if He didn't die for us. And Yes, I know that God would be absolutely just to simply punish us all, because he is Righteous. But it goes back to the point that everything God does goes back to glorify himself, and if He made creation knowing that sin would enter the world, than by the very definition of who God is, says that His plan includes redemption! I'm not saying that God made the decision to create, and was loopholed into having to save mankind. I'm not saying that at all. But what I am saying, is that God would not have created man in the first place unless He knew that He would die, and rise again, and save us in the end. That's who God is. So do you see how this connects? God created EVERYTHING for US (ME) knowing that He would die and save us all!

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

3 comments:

Terry said...

The last paragraph is where it all comes down. God chose to create us to get greater glory by showing the angels a lesser being would freely choose to worship Him. He chose to let us fall into sin so that He would get the greater glory by dying for us. He chose to make us heirs because it would give him the greater glory. Everything in his plan was for his glory to be revealed greater and greater. Reading thru Tony Evan's theology book captured those thoughts. God loves us because it gives him glory to do so. It all comes back to his glory.

Matt said...

Franz! This is why you are awesome: only you could get all of that deep theology out of a children's Bible!!!! no seriously it is good stuff. something that i have been thinking about alot lately is what it means for Christ to be the 2nd Adam (i.e. your discussion about being children of God). I realize I'm about a month late on this post, but I really liked it!

-Hanz

Vijay Reddy said...

very helpful article
Beginning