This is something I wrote in 2006 – some months before I read “The Shack”. With hindsight this seems to be a good example of how the layers of the onion are gradually being peeled away!
I’ve never really doubted the existence of God.
Until fairly recently I had always understood the Christian faith as a ‘way of life’. The idea that it was meant to be a relationship with Father had never really occurred to me. It was early in 2006 that I found myself wanting to refer to ‘Father’ – an incredible Father who loves us and gave Himself for us!
If I had to choose one verse of scripture that best sums up my faith it would be Gal 2.20: My present life is not that of the old “I”, but the living Christ within me. The bodily life I now live, I live believing in the Son of God who loved me and sacrificed himself for me. My understanding is that Jesus is with Father and that Jesus lives his life in us to the extent that we allow the Holy Spirit to guide and direct all that we say and do.
Now consider Col 2.8-10: Be careful that nobody spoils your faith through intellectualism or high-sounding nonsense. Such stuff is at best founded on men’s ideas of the nature of the world and disregards Christ! Yet it is in him that God gives a full and complete expression of himself in bodily form. Moreover, your own completeness is realised in him, who is the ruler over all authorities, and the supreme head over all powers.
This suggests to me that Jesus contained within himself all the fullness of God!
God the Father was made known to the world as a result of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The two are one in relationship and purpose – when we see Jesus, we see Father! This leads me to believe that it was God the Father in Christ who became our Saviour – that Father was in Christ just as we can allow Jesus in us?
Jesus was the “Word” (not easily defined) – was Jesus the Father’s spokesman? Was Jesus the message or the messenger? Was Jesus the divine expression of God? Could it be that Jesus was actually living and acting and speaking the Word that was God (not the Word that God had spoken)? Could it be that it wasn’t the teaching of scriptures that made him the Word of God, but the revealing of the mind, heart and will of the Father? The very words I say to you are not my own. It is the Father who lives in me who carries out his work through me (John 14.10). This suggests to me that the deity of Jesus was not God the Son, but that the deity in Jesus was the Father. If this is true it is a significantly different picture to that of God the Father in heaven watching while Jesus was here on earth and waiting for Him to suffer in order to satisfy the demands of a living sacrifice. What place Jesus as our Elder Brother who has gone before us and shown us the way?
Many young believers seem to recognise the humanity of Jesus – the great humanitarian or great philosopher but fail to recognise the life of the Father that resided in Him (what we see in Jesus may reflect where we are in our spiritual development – a reflection of the emerging church?).
If I’m right that it was God the Father in Christ who became our Saviour then Father was with Jesus when He was crucified, sharing the pain and suffering. Doesn’t this give us even more reason to look to the cross and resurrection for salvation?
The word “Saviour” comes from a word that means to save, deliver, protect or make whole.
We have an incredible Father who loves us and gave Himself for us!
Unless we have some understanding of the eternal purpose we won’t know where we are meant to be going!
Without a vision people perish! We need to have an answer for “What is the purpose of life?”