Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thoughts towards the future

As I was thinking on what I had submitted in today's blog, I was struck once again by the wonderful prophetic hope we find in God's word.

The Bible can be summarize by four major events
When we consider the scope of biblical revelation, four events dominate the fabric of scripture:

1. The Bible's first big event - creation.  Over 60 passages speak on the God of glory creating the heavens and earth in six 24 hour periods of time.  Man was originally created sinless, yet capable of choosing for or against God.  Genesis 1-2 are the chief chapters that deal with this event.  Not only did God create what is seen, but also what is unseen - namely the angelic realm. 

2. The Bible's second big event - the fall.  From Genesis 3 onward we find the first and greatest catastrophe ,the fall.  It is here where Adam and Eve broke the Covenant of works, having been tempted by the fallen angel Lucifer, who led a third of the angelic hosts astray and by himself, entered the garden of Eden in the form of a serpent.  (Please compare Ezekiel 28, Revelation 12). 

With the Covenant of works broken, God offered a second Covenant, the Covenant of grace.  As God would repeat that second covenant in various forms through various people (like Abraham, David), two things were being assumed: that a redeemer would have to come and fulfill the first covenant that had been broken - the covenant of works, and that this same redeemer would also come to pay for and fullfill the Covenant of Grace.

3. The Bible's third big event, the cross.  It was in God the Son assuming upon himself human flesh that led to the third event - namely His death, Burial, resurrection and ascension into heaven.  For 33 years God in human flesh - Jesus Christ - lived in active, perfect obedience to the Father's will.  According to Romans 5, Jesus Christ is the New Adam, who did accomplish the completion of the Covenant of works. 

By doing that, Christ then submitted himself in obedience to the cross, thus purchasing the price for the Covenant of grace.  Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that "by grace are you saved through faith, this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, lest any man should boast."  Thus when I, called by grace, am positioned by God, I then by faith truly receive the benefits of all that Christ accomplished.  The event of the cross truly becomes an experience in my life.

4. The Bible's fourth big event - Christ second coming.  Following Christ's ascension into heaven, the apostles (the disciples who witnessed Jesus' life and ministry and who preached the gospel in the early church) were told that Christ would come back again.  The Bible in both Old and New Testaments speaks about Christ's second coming, with eight times more mentionings of His second coming than His first coming! This event of course has yet to occur, however its of such great significance that it not only determines the purpose and end of history, but affects how Christians live their lives now  (please compare 1 John 3:1-3). 

Starting tomorrow, I want to focus our attention on what the Bible has to say about Christ's return and prophecy, with the aim of raising our hope and our eyes to our Imperial Majesty, Jesus Christ. 

The Trinity's intention in creating human beings - p2

Yesterday we looked at why the Triune God originally created human beings.  We discovered that humanity cannot be defined apart from Christ, and that the only way one can discover what it means to be human is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  Today we continue noting why it is that human beings were created, and why it is that our humanity makes no sense apart from the God of the Bible. 

God had entered into covenant with man    
                 Genesis 1:26-30 and Genesis 2:16-17 form what is called by theologians "The Covenant of works".  Quite simply put, God had given man the promise of inheritance to man.  It was man's to take and man's right to rule over the earth.  God had entered into covenant with man.  All man had to do was obey four simple rules:

a. Be fruitful and muliply
b. Rule the earth and all in it
c. Eat freely from every tree in the garden
d. Not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil

If Adam and Eve obeyed these four simple rules, then their status as God's man and woman without sin would remain forever.  This covenant arrangement was still based in grace, since God offered it freely from His own heart.  The question of the hour would be: "would man follow through with all the God laid before him?"  It certainly was within his ability - since he was created free from sin and able not to sin.  However man was also created with a free will - meaning that at some point he would be given the opportunity to follow through or forfeit all that God had given him.

Only by Grace through, not works, can man discover his real identity
Man broke the original Covenant of works, so God had to offer one of Grace.  That Covenant, revealed in God slaying to two animals in the place of Adam and Eve, and covering them with coats of skin, would be the only way man could now have relationship and fellowship with the Lord.  By grace, through faith, in the shed blood of promise, would be the only way. 

However man forfeited that when he rebelled against God in the Garden.  The "title deed" to earth was transferred over from man's dominion to Satan's control.  The only way the title deed was going to be returned back to its rightful owner would be if a man would come to both reclaim its rights and then take up complete dominion over the planet.

         Jesus Christ, the New Adam, has done that very thing. (Please compare Romans 5)  On the cross he defeated Satan and by right is the heir.  All who by grace through faith trust in Christ, are considered co-heirs with him.  (Please read Ephesians 2:6-9)  We look forward to the time when Christ returns, and sets up His earthly kingdom, that his right as the heir will become a sure fact in His Kingly reign upon the earth. (Please read Revelation 20)   
God's original inheritance for man is regained through the New Adam            The fact that God gave man the authority and privilege to rule the earth is proven in the title deed we see here in Genesis 1:26-30.  Man was to be God's "co-regent" or "co-king".  Every square inch of planet earth, every last form of life was to be under man's supervision.