Wednesday, May 6, 2020

The Mercy of God Rescues Us All

Through the Incarnation, Christ participates in humanity, the only humanity there is and in which we all participate. Christ participates in it with us; we participate in it with him. This is how Christ is able to save us, because he participates with us in our humanity.

This is why Paul can say, “Just as one trespass [Adam’s] resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act [Christ’s] resulted in justification and life for all people” (Romans 5:18), and “Just as in Adam all dies, so in Christ all with live” (1 Corinthians 15:22). Humankind, formerly headed up in Adam is now headed up in Christ — because of the Incarnation, and through the Cross.

The mercy of God rescues us from very real consequences, namely, the death that resulted from Adam’s sin, and the bondage to sin that death entailed. That death was never a penalty but a consequence. When God warned Adam (whose name means Man) about eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, God did not say, “For on the day you eat of it I will kill you,” but, “On the day you eat of it you will die.”

It is death that is the real problem, and it is death from which Christ delivers us. “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death — that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Hebrews 2:14-15).

At the cross, Christ broke the power of death, breaking the power of the devil, and the fear of death that enslaved us — and so the power of sin.

This does not mean, however, that sin can be winked at or simply waved off. No, sin has no place anywhere in God’s creation or in God’s creatures. It must be completely destroyed, not merely sequestered in some dark corner of creation for eternity. For sin is corruptive, destroying the lives of all in whom it exists and defiling God’s creation. That is why it must be thoroughly dealt with and purged from everyone.

God is doing this through Jesus Christ. For it is God’s purpose to bring all in heaven and on earth to unity in Christ, under the headship of Christ (Ephesians 1:9-10). It is God’s will to reconcile to himself all in heaven and on, through Christ, having made peace by the blood of the cross (Colossians 1:19-20).

All the enemies of God’s creation will be destroyed. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. As it is the last enemy, when it is destroyed, there will be no more enemies of God anywhere in Creation. All will be made subject to Christ, and Christ will be made subject to God, “so that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:26-28).

Oh, hear and believe the good news of the gospel, what God has done in Jesus Christ. For God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting our sins against us (2 Corinthians 5:19).

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