Monday, January 16, 2012

The Good News of Relationship

Jesus said in John 17:3, "This is eternal life, to intimately know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent." Eternal life isn't merely heaven or immortality. Eternal life is relationship with God.

Wrath is not the focal point of the gospel, relationship is. God poured out His wrath for sin in the body of His Son Jesus to defeat sin, free His people from sin, and to remove the need for Him to count sin against people. By doing this He made relationship with Himself fully available to those who choose to trust Him. Wrath was the means God used to condemn sin itself thus making relationship with God available.

The cross wasn't to save us from the anger of the holy Father. It was the anger of the holy Father and the holy Son against sin because it harms and destroys the objects of His affection, mankind. Jesus came to "Save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21) not to save His people from Himself.

"God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh. In the body of Jesus God condemned sin in the flesh declaring an end to sin's control over us. He did this so that the righteous requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us" (Romans 8:3-4).

"God the Father was in Christ on the cross making relationship with Himself available to the world by no longer counting people's sins against them" (2 Corinthians 5:19).

"Jesus took God's wrath for sin on our behalf so now, through trust, we are made right with God by the blood of Jesus and cured of sin. We are made whole by His life" (Romans 5:9-10).

If there were no heaven, if there were no hell God is still worth knowing. He is so loving that love itself is defined by who He is. "We have come to know, rely on, and have put our trust in the love God has for us. God is love" (1 John 4:16).

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