Our Message

I believe in God. Straight and simple, no apologies offered. I believe that God not only exists and that he rules over everything that is, all events and all creation, but that if he did not exist there would be nothing. I believe God made the world in all its physical, intellectual, moral and spiritual aspects; and that it all exists for him. He is the cause, the logic, the goal and the beauty of it all.

I do not claim to understand how some aspects of reality (brutality, for example, or selfishness) ultimately serve God's purpose or portray his beauty. But I know God enough to trust him, and trust him enough to be assured that he will some how, some day, work all of this out.

There is only one God, but his oneness is the kind of mystery that we would expect of God. The one God is greater than One as we know it. He is One who is three, three who are One, equal in glory and in everything that characterizes godhood, yet distinct from the other and known from the scriptures as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Indivisible, inseparable and yet distinguishable, three who are eternally One.

Don't ask me to explain it. I don't even know how to bake a cake, let alone presume to approach eternal majesty. But I believe it, without reserve, because that is what I learn from God's word about himself.

I also believe man was made by God and for God, to love, obey, enjoy and serve him forever. Man's happiness is wrapped up in his living for and achieving the purpose of life – and God is that purpose. Nothing else can come near to maximizing the potentialities God invested in man when he created man in his own image. Wholeness, holiness, happiness - these each have to do with serving God lovingly, consistently and with sincere devotion.

That is why man feels miserable when he acts contrary to his nature by living for himself. Refusing to love, obey, enjoy and serve God, man not only rebels against his Maker (a terrible thing to do!), but works against his own higher good.

The only way man can truly know God is if God reveals himself to man. God is so different from anything with which man is familiar that, even if man was not blinded by negative spiritual and moral influences that crept in, he has no means to find or understand God. God is a Spirit; man is body and spirit. God is Ultimate; man is but for a time. God is perfect; man is inevitably limited. God cannot change; man changes as does the weather in every sense imaginable.

Because knowing God is man's greatest joy, and God is love, he has chosen to reveal himself to man. He did so to a limited extent in creation. He did so far more substantially in the complex of declarations, commands, promises and covenants that combine to make up what we call the Bible – God's wonderful word to mankind. The Bible teaches us how to love, obey, enjoy and serve God, and to do so forever.

God made Adam, the first man and the head of all humanity, good. That goodness, like everything else about man, was mutable: man could lose his goodness just like we lose our keys, our eye sight or our appetite. Only God is immutable. It is in the nature of man to be mutable.

God gave man the possibility and the tendency to love, obey, enjoy and glorify his Maker. Such a possibility, to be real, implies the possibility to choose otherwise. In that sense, Adam was free to choose love and enjoy God, or not to do so. The possibility of choice was expressed by the presence of a forbidden tree, placed in the center of the Garden, exposed to Adam's frequent sight, calling to his attention: "remember: you are called to love, obey, enjoy and serve God. That is your true joy and happiness." God laid down the law and man's joy was to be found in obeying it.

The choice God gave Adam was a real one. It was not used wisely. Adam aspired to be more than just human. He wanted to be the one to define good and evil, apart from God's command. Rebellion promised him all that, he reached out, took of the fruit and ate – only to discover that rebellion's grand promises were written on ice. Instead of rising, man fell. Instead of becoming independent of God he became subject to the grossest of animal needs and instincts. Instead of becoming wise he became a fool. Instead of joy and happiness he experienced alienation from his God, his wife and the world in which he lived. Reality became a conflict that leads to death. Man's rebellion became his prison and his condemnation; and that for all mankind, which he represented.

Since then, as expression of the spiritual and moral unity of all mankind in relation to God, all humans are engaged in the same course of rebellion, its consequent misery and its just and painful punishment.

Man's rebellious foolishness cannot change God, who is as kind as he is holy, as loving as he is just. He made the world to be glorified through it, and he will be glorified in the world, come what may! He made man to be glorified in man. Nothing can deflect the majestic Maker from his purposes, or put the slightest dent to them. Even man's rebellion will glorify God.

So God gave man his law. He called a people into existence and, through them and their history, he revealed himself afresh to man. He also gave man, through Israel, a hope that culminated in the coming of an anointed one (a Messiah), through whom God would save man from himself and from his rebellion. Then, as a climax of what he did for and through the nation, God the Father sent the Son to accomplish his eternal purposes and to undo the damage created by man's rebellion. For that purpose, out of the mass of mankind, God chose those whom he would free from that rebellion.

The Son came willingly to do the will of the Father, took on human flesh without ceasing to be himself, lived a perfect life in obedience to God and therefore, when he died, he died the death that we must die for our rebellion.

Jesus, God the Father's Son and mankind's Savior, made up for all of man's rebellion and laid a just, moral basis on which God could maintain his holy justice and, at the same time, forgive and restore those who turn to him in repentance and faith, seeking to love, obey, enjoy and glorify God.

God the Father continues to rule over everything. He sends his Spirit in to the world to ensure that the world does not run out of control, to limit evil, reduce the consequences of evil, and secure the accomplishment of the Father's purposes. For these purposes the Spirit works secretly in the hearts of men, moving them to act freely but according to his will.

The Spirit moves and enables people to hear, believe and respond to the message of God's holiness and kindness. When they believe and respond, he changes their hearts, frees them from the shackles of rebellion and begins to repair the damage done by that rebellion to human nature. He comforts those who believe, encourages them, moves them to love the commands of God as they are found in his moral law, provokes their consciences when necessary and stirs them to love, obey, enjoy and glorify God.

All those the Father chose for salvation will be freed by the Spirit on the basis of the Son's sacrificial death. They will be remade into the image of their Maker and enjoy both in this life and – far more substantially – in the eternal order of things that is to come, the fruits of the Father's love, the Son's atoning sacrifice and the Spirit's power.

The message of God's amazing kindness to rebellious human beings is not a product of human wisdom. Nor need it be proven by such wisdom. It proclaims a wisdom of its own and has a power of its own to convince, convict, convert and transform. I know because I have experienced the power of this message, that is why it is now mine too.

That, in a nutshell, is my message. Believe it – it's true!

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