Monday, March 23, 2015

The Gospel

 

God, the triune God of Christian faith, is love.
 
God intends to live in love with humanity on this earth forever.
 
 
Our sin, yelling at God like a two year-old “You're not the boss of me!”, imperiled God's plan.
 
 
But God never gives up on his plan, calling the family of Abraham and Sarah to be his people and promising them to make them a great people, to bless and protect them, and bless everyone else through them.
 
 
In other words, this family was to serve as God's Subversive Counter-Revolutionary Movement (SCRM) to reclaim and restore both humanity and the world for his purpose. They were to subvert humanity's revolt against God by loving, serving, suffering, and even dying for them; they were to demonstrate in their life together what God intends for human life and counter the way sinful humanity organized itself at every level of life.
 
 
Abraham and Sarah's family failed in this mission. They ended in exile and defeat.
 
 
Well, all but one failed. There was one faithful Israelite, Jesus of Nazareth, who did keep faith and loyalty with God and offered his life of loving service to God for his purposes.
 
 
The mystery of this Jesus turned out to be that in, with, through, and as this human being God himself became one of us and lived life under the conditions of every one of us. And as one of us, did for us what we proved unable to do! The New Adam did what the first Adam (and all humanity in him) failed to do.
 
 
Through his life, death, resurrection, ascension Jesus Messiah wrought the reclamation of all humanity through the forgiveness of sins and restored them to their proper identity as God's children and vocation as agents of his victorious Subversive Counter-Revolutionary Movement. 
 
 
Jesus' resurrection from the dead vindicates and validates his way of suffering servanthood (“take up your cross daily”) as the way of God in a rebellious and fallen world. That makes it the way of his SCRM as well as we live as he did in the power of the Spirit.
 
 
In the time between Jesus' resurrection and his return, his people continue to wrestle with the powers of sin, death, and (d)evil. These powers are defeated but not yet eliminated. It is our job, like the Allied forces of World War II after the battles at Normandy decided the outcome of the war in the European theater, to carry on the battle in the awareness of the victory achieved and the courage and hope to extend the victory throughout the rest of the world.
 
 
At the end of the day, at Christ's victorious return, God's purpose will have been achieved despite humanity's inexplicable and unfathomable revolt against him. The final scene of the biblical narrative shows God and the Lamb living with and among the diverse and many-tongued throng the Lamb has gathered there. All the nations bring the glory of their people and culture to praise the triune God. God's people reign in the endless light and glory of God.
 
 
This is what the church announces when it proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
 

 

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