The finished work of Jesus can be a controversial subject. I know that may seem strange but there are many that absolutely reject what Jesus has done in His incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension. You hear stuff like “you are minimizing sin” when the truth is God forgets our sin. Some say “you can’t include everyone” when God said all of us are His kids. There is a great cry of injustice against the unfair justice of Jesus. God made Him the judge and He didn’t judge but save. He killed the Sin problem. He made us a new creation. He has included us in Himself and in His family. We are even seated in Him in Heavenly places while He is in the Father. Crazy, really that all of those promises are very clear in the New Covenant plus many more. We are His children and He will not let us go. Our final judgment is our rejection of His grace. We see it every day, right here and right now on planet Earth as religion rejects an objective truth for a false subjective reality.
There was this guy we will call Bill. Bill doesn’t know it but his very rich uncle (wish I had one) left him $50 million as an inheritance. Now Bill has no clue he is actually rich and is still living from paycheck to paycheck. He is so strapped that he counts every penny. Charity…no way not enough for groceries. New car…absolutely not, no credit. Fancy presents for the kids…are you kidding, no cash in the kitty.
Bill gets a call from Grace (his niece) and she tells Bill he has lots of money in the bank. This is an objective truth. You can count the money. The existence of the money is indisputable. The inclusion of the money in Bill’s bank account has been verified by all the eye witnesses. There is no doubt that Bill has a ton of cash waiting. Bill now has some decisions to make.
Does Bill “believe” he has the money and do something about it? Does Bill have enough belief to check his bank account? Does Bill have enough faith to go down to the bank? Does Bill have enough faith to write a check against the account? Once the first check clears, does Bill buy a needed new car or get some presents for his kids or pay off his credit card? Does Bill start looking at how much money is really there and realize it is way more than he can spend so he gives a bunch away? Is Bill willing to use the “faith” of Grace and invest in more “faith.” Is his faith the assurance of some stuff he has hoped for? Is his faith enough to see stuff happen that he thought wasn’t possible? Does he grow in faith from faith?
OK, there is a lady we will call Wanda. Wanda has a son named Joseph who is in the army. Joseph is in the pit of the war with his brothers in arms on the front line. One day there is a big battle and the brothers take off assuming Joseph is dead. They never leave a brother behind but this time there was no choice. They figured if he was alive he would be better off getting rescued by the local people. The army puts Joseph on the KIA list. Wanda, who is normally very whimsical and creative as a writer and painter, sees a strange car pull up to the house. A man in uniform comes to the door and says he is sorry to inform Wanda about Joseph. Wanda is devastated. For 6 months she says her prayers and watches for some good news. She is convinced that the Army is wrong and Joseph is OK. After 6 months her resolve diminishes until, after a year, she has given up. She stops writing and painting. Her health deteriorates and she stops taking care of herself. She is so filled with grief that anyone who sees her immediately feels her remorse. Those who don’t know the story assume she just has a hard life.
After 18 months Wanda gets a phone call. On the other end is a familiar but unexpected voice. Joseph is on the phone. He is so excited to come home. He tells his mom that he was left for dead but a local family rescued him and brought him to a hospital. He was in a coma for a long time. When he finally woke up it took a while to get him out of the country. Now he is coming home and is very happy to hear his mom’s voice. Wanda is speechless.
Wanda has some decisions to make. Is Joseph really alive? Can she really believe he is coming home? Does she have the faith to believe that everything is going to be OK? Can she let go of the last 18 months? Will she be angry at the army or Joseph’s buddies or even Joseph? Will she celebrate his homecoming or will she live in regret of the last 18 months? Will she get cleaned up and prepare for a celebration or will she continue to mourn as if nothing has happened? Will she start eating healthy again and enjoying her passion to write and paint? Will she “live” instead of “dying in grief?” Will she accept the gift of Joseph’s life or reject it for her “death” in morning? Will she embrace the objective truth that Joseph never died and let it become her subjective reality? Can she embrace the truth and let the lie of his death go? Will she allow the truth about Joseph fill her life again with joy?
I hope you are beginning to see the difference between and objective truth and a subjective reality.
Our objective truth is Jesus. What He has done is save us all. We may not know it or accept it or even believe it but that doesn’t change the objective truth. The really good news is God gives us the faith to “see” this objective truth and then it becomes our subjective reality. We don’t work backwards in the Kingdom of Heaven. We work from faith to faith. We don’t start with seeing but we start with believing.
God loves us so much that we are joined to His Son so we can “know” Him. Our “knowing” Him is our growth from faith to faith and glory to glory and is our eternal life. The Greek word for “knowing” is this one:
gnṓsis (a feminine noun derived from 1097 /ginṓskō, “experientially know”) – functional (“working”) knowledge gleaned from first-hand (personal) experience, connecting theory to application; “application-knowledge,” gained in (by) a direct relationship. See 1097 (ginōskō).
This “experiential knowing” is found in our relationship and conversation with our triune family through Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit. We walk with Him and talk with Him. This “knowing” is very different that just thinking. The Greek word for thinking is this one:
dokéō – properly, suppose (what “seems to be”), forming an opinion (a personal judgment, estimate). 1380 /dokéō (“suppose”) directly reflects the personal perspective (values) of the person making the subjective judgment call, i.e. showing what they esteem (or not) as an individual. (dokéō) is the root of: 1378 (dógma),
Notice how “dogma” comes from this kind of opinion-thinking.
Check out what Paul said about “knowing” and “knowledge.”
Col 2:1 For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. (ESV)
Our source of “knowing” and “knowledge” is Jesus. In Him we “see” objective truths become our subjective realities. Check out what Wiki says about objectivity:
Objectivity is a central philosophical concept, related to reality and truth, which has been variously defined by sources. Generally, objectivity means the state or quality of being true even outside of a subject’s individual biases, interpretations, feelings, and imaginings.
And finally here is one of those decisive passages about our thinking or subjectivity:
1 Cor 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (ESV)
I can understand that religion hates the idea that we are all included in God’s family. I can understand that religious leadership would resist a finished work since then there would be nothing for them to do (in their minds). I can see that those who don’t know Jesus and have not even tasted His saving work would reject our “new creation” because of their own broken subjective reality. All those who insist on sin management and trampling underfoot the cross of Jesus are really living out of a deceived subjective reality of fear. They are Bill and Wanda. They don’t “see” what Jesus has already done. They don’t trust what Jesus is doing. They don’t believe that God is that good. They don’t have faith, even a tiny bit, to accept their death to a fallen subjective reality and instead live from His faith in an objective truth. He is truth and His truth sets us free to live His life which is our subjective reality from His objective truth.
It sounds too easy or too good to be true. That is why it is called good news. That is why Jesus. That is who God really is. We can hold onto all our tradition and dogma and religious delusion or just accept a little embarrassment about being wrong about our Abba. It is OK to embrace the objective truth of Jesus to be transformed in our minds so we can enjoy the subjective truth of our adoption. Our bank account is full. Joseph isn’t dead…no He is very much alive and so are we in Him.