Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It Is Finished - Part 16

I touched on this subject back in June but never got to really bring it out. How the Finished work of Christ confers on the believer the status of adult friendship and adult son-ship. He put's us immediately at the 'last stage' of an intimate relationship with Himself.

Grace teaches us how to function in the relationship we already have with Him from the moment of our salvation.

"And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.' " Matthew 3:16-17 ESV

Here we see Christ at the inauguration of His Earthly ministry. I have often focused on the statement of the Father praising His Son but the Spirit here shows His approval also in an interesting way. Like a bird He lights upon Christ. Doves are shy creatures but the Spirit of God trusts Christ like a bird that has times of investment so that trust could be gained. Of course the trust and adoration is there. There is eternal oneness in the Trinity. What would seem to take time is timeless in this relationship.

The relationship between David and Jonathan grew. The relationship between Jesus and His disciples didn't. They got to know each other but He didn't get to know them. It was instant.

"Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, 'Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!'

Nathanael said to him, 'How do you know me?'

Jesus answered him, 'Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.'

Nathanael answered him, 'Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!' " John 1:47-49 ESV

Was Jesus functioning in His omniscience? I don't think so. He laid that aside as He walked as a man (see Phil 2:7). He was a Man functioning in the Spirit with the knowledge He needed when He needed it and grace was His method. He was and Is the channel of grace. Immediate acceptance is the way grace functions.

"Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man." John 2:23-25 ESV

Jesus was no fool. Wisdom is not naive. He was willing and waiting to be gracious but did not cast His pearls before swine. But... when there is connection it is full and free with out a probation period.

The finished work of Christ confers a full free relationship to us. Christ lays it like a mantle on our shoulders. He crowns us with loving kindness.

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:" - 1 John 3:1a KJV

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Romans 8:14 KJV

The 1 John reference uses Teknon (G5043) a word for children and the second verse uses Huios (G5207) a word for an adult son. A teknon became a huios. We have adult status and function in it when we function led by the Spirit of Grace.

"No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." John 15:15 ESV

We could look at a verse like this and say, 'Look the relationship grew in some way because He is telling them this at a certain point in the relationship.' but when did we ever see Jesus treat any of them like servants? He didn't. This was the transition that Jesus made possible. Man related to God in a servant-master and subject-King relationship. Jesus broke that mold.

When we see the validity of this truth how does it cause us to function? What is the application? How do we approach God? How do we treat the stranger?

Christian love is not foolish but it may seem foolish because it is lavished so freely and so quickly. That may put people off or draw predators that think their scams will have easy targets. No matter. Love wins. It wins because it outlives it's opponents. It wins because it is not foolish. It is Spirit led love.

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