God Defines Us

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. [Matthew 5:17-18 ESV]

We are not defined by our environment. People will try to control our thinking and our emotions. Yet, our families do not define who we are any more than those with whom we associate. All of these people and circumstances may influence our character and mold our personality but they do not define who we are. God defines who we are. He is the One who places value. He is the One who created us in His image for relationship with Him. Sin corrupts but does not redefine.

At the final meal Jesus ate with His disciples before His passion He clearly told them what was going to happen. He would suffer. One of His disciples would betray Him to the religious authorities. Peter would deny Him three times though he adamantly declared beforehand he would never deny Him, that he would go to prison or death with Jesus. He tells them to gather their belongings, their money and things. He tells them to get a sword.

“But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment” [Luke 22:36-37 ESV].

These words remind us of His statement in Matthew “until all is accomplished.” Before sunset the coming day His life would be taken from Him, the sacrifice for which the Passover lamb they were eating was as symbol.

From eternity God knew what would happen in the space-time universe He created. He knew and controlled the outcome of the entrance of sin and the consequences of rebellion upon those who are His. He knew sin would completely sever the relationship He wanted with those created in His image. He knew in order to heal this relationship all those who are His would have to die. He decided His Son, His Son decided, He would die in our place, taking upon Himself the sentence of sin for all. In exchange those who are His are covered by His shed blood which is His righteousness. This is not a debatable truth but reality firmly established by God from eternity without beginning to eternity without end.

Jesus, the morphe of God and the morphe of a servant, lived His human life as God intended all live. Though surrounded and assaulted by sin He did not succumb to its temptation. Though we sin we were not recreated for sin, to be controlled and enslaved by it. We were created, and recreated, as servants of God, free to devote ourselves to Him, in full relationship with Him. Our place and purpose in eternity will be exactly as God intends, nor more and no less. We can never have the morphe of God but we will be His servants, the perfect and complete citizen of the kingdom of heaven. We will be like His Son.

Here is a mystery. We are separate from Him yet intimately a part of Him. We live our lives now assaulted by, even enslaved by sin, but belong completely and wholly to Him who recreated us. We gain nothing from our obedience though we have gained everything from His obedience. We carry nothing with us from this world into eternity but what He gives which is already eternal. We do not define who we are. We are defined by Him. What God is making us is at war with our temporary, rebellious self. While in the world our old self is being killed and changed and formed and conformed and separated from the world. Our world is temporary. We are eternal.

Jesus accomplished in space-time that which God determined and finished in eternity.

And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. [1 Peter 1:17-21 ESV]

 

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