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Survey – God's Redemptive Plan

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From Glory To Glory


What does it actually mean that God created us humans in His likeness (Gen. 1:26-27)? What does it mean that we will do the same works that Jesus did, if we believe in Him (Jn. 14:12)? What does it mean to be spiritually minded (Ro. 8:6)? Why are there so many people where you could hardly guess they are Christians, except maybe on Sundays? Why are there so many Christians who started out with joy and expectation into their new lives with God, but who shrug this off now and have settled into resignation? Is there an alternative? – This article wants to offer answers to these and similar questions. But my intention is not to say everything that could be said. Instead I would like to take you to the big picture that we find in the Bible – from the beginnings of the glory in which God created people, up to the glory into which He restored us. This will make it easier for you to fit in the details on your own. It’s like if you know what an elephant looks like – then you can also fit the tusks into the right position by yourself.



Index


1. Created in Glory

2. Separated from the Life of God

Spiritual and Natural Laws

Death Means Separation – Not the Extinction of Existence

God’s Love Continues

God’s Plan for Our Salvation

God’s Word Does Not Return Empty

3. The Savior Has Come

God Becomes Man

Having Received Power

The Great Exchange

Resurrected to a New Life

4. Born Again Into Glory

The Miracle of our New Birth – a New Spirit

Greater than John the Baptist

Our new, born-again spirit is not the Holy Spirit

Sealed with the Spirit of Promise

The Abundant Life

Why do we see so little of this Abundant Life?

5. Having Received Power

The Significance of Praying in Tongues

Living in the Kingdom of God – Now

The Two Ways

What is Faith?

So what about Unbelief?

Grace – More Than Just the Opposite of Disgrace

Everyday-Life Salvation

Concluding Thoughts



1. Created in Glory




Picture 1: Creation – man in the likeness of God

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Gen. 1:26; KJV)

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers-- the moon and the stars you set in place-- what are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority-- the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents. O LORD, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! (Ps. 8:3-9; NLT)

I said, You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High. (Ps. 82:6; NKJ)

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, You are gods? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, You are blaspheming, because I said, I am the Son of God? (Jn. 10:34-36; NKJ)



In the Book of Genesis we read how God created the heavens and the earth, day and night, sun, moon and the stars, plants and animals. Then, after everything was ready, He created man. This was similar to today, when new parents are looking forward to the birth of their first child, and they prepare everything as good as they know how to for the arrival of their little one. And as a general rule, this child will resemble them. That’s just because this child received genetic endowments from both parents, which is reflected in the looks of the child. This phenomena is related to one of the first spiritual laws mentioned in the Bible – that each is “yielding fruit after his kind(Gen. 1:11). That’s why the seeds of apple trees will produce only new apple trees, and cats will give birth only to kittens. But as awesome as God had made all the various plants and animals, to none of these creatures had He ever said that He would create them in His likeness. So, where is the difference?

Well, if every creature exists after his kind, then being created in the likeness of God means to be created after God’s kind. So, what is God’s kind? The Bible tells us plainly: “God is a Spirit(Jn. 4:24). Therefore, man, who was created in the likeness of God, must be spirit first and foremost – in the core of his being (see picture 1). In the Bible we can see that God also displays the abilities of reasoning, feeling, and volition. So, man was endowed with these abilities as well, yet they make not the core of his being, but are more like programs on a computer, auxiliaries, through which the human spirit can express himself. We are talking here about the human soul (symbolized as a light blue circle in pic. 1). – If you spend a lot of time with animals you’ll know that they also are able to think, feel, and will. Animals, too, possess a soul, an inner program, according to which they can act, but God never put His spirit into them. – And finally, both plants, and animals, and humans possess a body. The body is what enables us to live here on earth; but it is only a shell. Just like the space suit enables an astronaut to spend some time in outer space, the body enables us to live here on earth.

In the first Letter to the Thessalonians, Paul relates to this truth: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ(1Thess. 5:23).

God put His glorious nature into man. In Psalm 8:5,6 it says: “you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority,and in Psalm 82:6 we read: “You are gods; you are all children of the Most High.(Notes regarding Ps. 8 and Ps. 82.) He put man into a perfect environment, where there was no lack and where there would never be any lack. God had created us human beings out of His infinite love, in order that we could share into His love, live in fellowship with Him and just enjoy life here on earth.

God had made us people gods of this world, which means that we were supposed to rule here on earth – out of the union or oneness we had with Him (cf. Gen. 1:26 with Jer. 10:23). But in the New Testament we read that the devil is call the god of this world (2Cor. 4:4; Lk. 4:6). How did the devil come by this title, if God put man into this office?! That’s the question we will focus on in the next chapter.






Start

Contact

Survey – God's Redemptive Plan

Why Is The Bible Unique?

What The Bible Says About ...

Marcia's Way to God

Recommended Books & Links