In the last post I hopefully laid some foundations for reframing our perspectives. To know God and walk in the gospel and experience the saving power of our inclusion we need a cold bucket of water dumped on our broken thinking. When we look back over the last 2000 years, in the western church, we have taken a significant detour in the Master Plan journey of “Life.”
Division, exclusion, separation, abandonment, independence, rebellion…words like that are most often at the root of our misunderstanding of God and His plan for us. Those are actually byproducts of a fallen mind. The darkness that is described by Jesus is our inability to “see” the light…Him. His revelation of the Father is necessary for our “salvation” but more than that, it is the core understanding of our adoption.
In a dualistic view of the cosmos, there is mass and energy, good and bad, Prime Mover and matter and of course God and man. The ancient Greek philosophers proposed a view of the universe that was predicated on separation. God was on the outside and had no direct contact with matter. As the Prime Mover this deity influenced the “stuff” through influence. The stuff of matter was considered bad and the stuff of the divine was considered good. Man’s purpose in this life was to ascend above the corrupted state of our physical selves to attain enlightenment through wisdom and knowledge. This process required the confession of corrupt ideas, repentance to move towards enlightenment and renouncing of previous thinking or actions. Sounds pretty much like what you hear in the western church pews today, don’t you think?
Take a look at “Godly justice revisited” and “The Fallacy of Separation” if you haven’t yet. We all need a new perspective to embrace the good news. We are not separate from God. We have never been separate from God. The universe is within God. There is no created thing outside of Him. He is actually holding all things together and our life-source is Him. He is our supply. He is our sustainment. There is no place where God is not. Even sin never separated us from God. That concept is a product of pagan philosophy that infused Christian thinking and theology through Augustine. We are still living from that fallacy today. We need to break free from our dualistic thinking and embrace the truth.
So now the question “why Jesus” really takes on a new light don’t you think? The traditional separation way of thinking has Jesus “bridging the gap” between God who is on one side of the universe (Heaven) and us. Jesus does take care of the sin problem explicitly and completely but I’ll save that for another discussion. The question I would like to ask is “what if Adam didn’t fall?” If you can “see” this, your entire perspective of the Master Plan will explode with vibrant supernatural understanding. Really it is that good.
In the garden Adam and Eve “walked with God in the cool of the day.” The Hebrew word translated “cool” is the word for the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit). Adam and Eve walked with God in the Spirit. They were with Him. They were in His presence. They were communing with Him but that wasn’t the Master Plan. This was the master plan:
Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will (ESV)
Here it is in the Mirror Translation:
1:4 He associated us in Christ before 1the fall of the world! Jesus is God’s mind made up about mankind! He always knew in his love that he would present us again 2face-to-face before him in blameless innocence. (The implications of the fall are completely cancelled out. Paul uses the word, 1katabalo, meaning “to fall away, to put in a lower place,” instead of themelios, meaning “foundation” [see 2: 20]; thus, translated “the fall of the world,” instead of “the foundation of the world,” as in most other translations. God found us in Christ before he lost us in Adam! We are presented in blameless innocence before him! The word, 2katenopion, suggests the closest possible proximity, face-to-face!) 1:5 He is the architect of our design; his heart dream realized our 1coming of age in Christ. (Adoption here is not what it means in our Western society, it is a coming of age, like the typical Jewish Barmitsva. See Galatians 4: 1-6, “ … and to seal our sonship the spirit of his son echoes Abba Father in our hearts.” This is 1huiothesia.)
God’s master plan was to include us in His family. We were not meant to co-habitate, be room mates, share a house, hang out together. No…we were meant to be in Him and Him in us. We had to have the incarnation to make this so. A created being cannot attain an “uncreated being” status or condition or expression. God had to join man for man to commune with God in the God triune family way of communing.
I heard a great message about this adoption thing. The speaker set it up something like this: If we wanted to adopt a child that would be normal, right? There might be paperwork and all that legal stuff but a human adopting a human would be OK, normal, understood. In some places people adopt pets. They go through the legal paperwork to make the pet a legal child of the family. That starts to sound a bit strange (sorry if I offend the pet lovers). Having a human adopt a non-human is stretching. Now suppose I went through the legal hoops to adopt my computer. Listen I love this thing. No plugs for Apple but the iMac is awesome. So I am so in love I decide to adopt this thing so it has all the rights to my stuff as my child. Now you should be thinking I am crazy.
Do you know that is what it is like for the uncreated, infinite God to adopt His creation? Maybe the lines are so blurred in our thinking that we miss this. We have never been apart from God but how could we expect to “commune” with God on His level? Think about it for a second. We needed a gap bridged but not one of sin or separation but instead between creator and created. Jesus bridges that gap. He is fully man and fully God. He speaks both languages. He understands both perspectives. He is our great mediator.
I hope you can “see” this. When we are in Christ (which we all are!) we share His feelings and He shares ours. We share His thoughts and He shares ours. This is the Master Plan. We (as a human race) were of age and were ready for adoption. God adopted us in the most unbelievable way. He joined us. We joined Him.
If you think about it you can begin to see the shadows of this union in our communion with each other. God talks about us being the bride. The union between a man and woman goes beyond the physical co-location. The two become one flesh. When you “share” with a friend it is fun and all but it doesn’t become community until you go deep. When you share from the “soul,” from the emotions, from experience, from life, you are really doing community, family.
Because we “fell” we needed a cross. We needed a death. We needed light in the darkness. We needed all that to be restored. It was painful. There was much suffering. God went through our Hell to meet us in our deepest pit of darkness. Yes, all that had to happen. But without a fall we still needed the “gospel.” We still needed Jesus. We still needed an incarnation. We still needed to be joined to the creator. Are you beginning to “see” the Master Plan? He is your Father. You are His child. You are so included in the triune God that you cannot be removed. Are you willing to entertain the possibilities? Are you willing to put down your suitcase and stay a while? Are you willing to have a conversation with Jesus? Are you willing to share in His emotions and thoughts while you share your emotions and thoughts? In Him you see the Father. In the Holy Spirit you see Him. That is a pretty amazing Master Plan.