September 26th 2010

Taken Up

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
John 3:16-17 (NIV)

The Bible calls Jesus Christ “God with us”. Jesus is “God in the flesh”, the eternal Son, sent to us by the Father to be one of us.

What many people don’t realise is that Jesus is still one of us. He didn’t become human just for the duration of his physical life on earth; he continues as one of us in his glorified state at the right hand of the Father. In 1 Timothy 2:5-6, Paul writes, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men…” Paul calls the resurrected and ascended Jesus the “man” Christ Jesus. Jesus is still God in the flesh, still one of us, fully God and fully human—but now he is glorified.

As one of us, but still God, Jesus presented all of humanity to the Father as a new creation, redeemed in his perfect life of obedience to the Father, on our behalf and in our place. Of course, this is something we didn’t earn or deserve. But Jesus did it so he could share with us the life he has shared eternally with the Father and the Spirit. It was God’s purpose for humanity from the beginning.

That’s what salvation is all about—being made clean from our sins and being adopted into God’s family—and learning how to live in God’s family.

The Father loves us so much—in spite of our sins—that he sent the Son to do everything that was necessary to bring us home. The Father and the Son then sent the Holy Spirit to live in us and to teach us how to live in God’s family so that we can enjoy itjust as we were created to be.

Paul writes in Romans 5:8: “…while we were yet sinners Christ died for us”.

God didn’t wait for us to get good enough to bring us into his household. If he waited for us to be good enough, he would be waiting forever. No, it was simply out of his great love for us that he acted on our behalf to save us from our sins and bring us into his family. It was not because of anything we earned or deserved. In verse 10 of Romans 5, Paul wrote: “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”

Did you notice that Paul didn’t say, “will be reconciled”? Instead, he said, “having been reconciled…” Jesus reconciled us to the Father—past tense. Our sins have already been paid for. Our job is to accept that, and to believe it. Because Jesus has already done everything necessary for our salvation, we simply need to repent, believe the good news, and follow Jesus.

That is just another way of saying turn to God and trust the Holy Spirit to teach us how to enjoy life in God’s new creation in Christ.

Holy Father, you loved each one of us from the beginning. You loved us when we were alienated from you, sinners and proud of it! You have proven your love for us is unconditional, through your Son, fully God and fully human. Help us, O Eternal, to grasp this truth and to use this knowledge to help change us from what we were to what you want us to become. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach 

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