Friday, 11 May 2012

The Trinitarian God Part 5: Our mind-blowing salvation

This is the last post on my series on the Trinity, although I hope it is not my last on this subject!

In the last post I talked about the wrath of God being the response of His love to evil. I also started to talk about how out of His abounding love God does not leave us in the mess we've made, but has made a way out. He paid the price of our sin, bore the consequences, and offers us salvation freely. This is the Gospel - good news. However, a lot of people might be able to regurgitate the idea that Jesus died for our sins, to forgive us. So let's go a bit deeper into what's going on - the Trinity reveals something truly amazing.

First, consider what happens when Jesus comes to earth. He is God, He has been part of the intimacy and security of the Father-Son-Spirit loving family for all eternity, yet He 'contracts Himself to a span' and becomes one of His created beings - that's so mind-stretching, I can't really think of a great way to describe it. The idea of the one who created the world (see John 1) becoming a suffering, limited human being is beyond words.
But more than that, He came, the immortal, eternal, God the Son to die. He knew why He came, He knew the purpose of His coming - He came to do what no other 'god' has ever done willingly - to die. All His life, He lived, knowing His fate, and He chose it.
Our sins nailed Him to the Cross - but it is at the Cross that He won our salvation. Source here.
Now think about what happens at the Cross. The Father and the Son have been defined by their love for one another for eternity, and yet at this one point in our history, the relationship is broken, the Father turns His love away, and treats the Son, not as His obedient Son, but as an enemy - as one of those who has ruined everything - think how that must feel. I guess the closest you can get is to imagine how you would feel if the person who showed you the must love throughout your life, who had loved you unconditionally for the 70 years of your life, who you had also acted towards with nothing but selflessness and kindness turned on you and attacked you and insulted you and treated you like you had ruined their life - only much much worse. And yet that was the plan, the Son who had done nothing but obey the Father was treated like an enemy, in the exact moment He was being most obedient. And that is what it took to bring us back to God - that is what it required to make us clean and new and good. That's what your God did for you.
But it gets better than that. It's not just the extraordinary act of sacrifice to forgive us, it is the fact that now the Bible says we have been adopted into God's family. We are children of God. You know how God the Son is called God the Son? Well, the Bible says we are in God's family, 'in Christ' - which means that through Christ, we are also in the Trinity. We are no longer enemies, but we have been invited into the overflowing love of the Trinity through Jesus - we are a part of that now. Ever wonder how much God loves you? That's how much. That's also how secure you are, Christian. You are bound as tightly to God as the persons of God are to each other - God will never let you go.

No other belief in the world offers you such a God - a God who created you to love you, who is so selfless that He comes to save you, forgives you, suffers for you, does it all for you, and then invites you to share in the relationship that is part of His very being. That is why the god that philosophy and popular culture thinks of is not the God of the Bible at all. Only this God is worth worshipping, worth following, and boy does He give us a million reasons to. Wow, just wow.

Well, thank you for following this series, I hope it was encouraging. If you want more of that, phrased more eloquently than my splurging, read Denise's transcripts of or (even better) listen to these talks on the Trinity by Mike Reeves. If you read nothing else ever, outside the Bible, read these, please. I'll even beg if it helps:
The Heart-Winning God
The Loving Father
The Beautiful Son
The Heart-Melting Spirit

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