Saturday, December 24, 2011

Jesus is King

I like this sentence by Matt Ritchie at Theoprudence.

For the New Testament writers, the gospel was the enunciation that God has placed Jesus in authority over our world, and that God’s grand project of setting the world to rights has now begun.
This is the heart of the gospel, but it misses two important points. God did not have authority to place Jesus in authority over the world. He had given authority on earth to humans, but they had rebelled and kicked him out of the world. Because God keeps his word, he could not just intervene and give authority over the earth to Jesus.

During the first few thousand years of human history, God was working to gain a foothold on earth and establish his authority in Israel in preparation for the time when he would send Jesus to earth. I am currently describing the story of how God worked his way back into the world in a series of posts called God’s OT Strategy. God’s project to put the world to rights began many thousands of years before Jesus was born.

The second problem with the statement by Matt Ritchie is that God was not immediately able to give Jesus authority over our world. The devil and the forces of evil had gained authority over the world when humans sinned. Jesus death on the cross destroyed the penalty of sin and sets those who believe in Jesus free from the powers of evil. When this happens, authority on earth goes back to the humans who are set free, not to Jesus. Authority only gets to Jesus, when those who believe in him to surrender to his will. When Christians obey Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus becomes King and God’s plan to clean up the mess in the world really gets underway.

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