Saturday, January 14, 2012

Gods OT Strategy (31) - Conclusion

Most Christians assume that God is all-powerful and can do whatever he chooses. In one sense, this is true. He created all things, so he is sovereign over all his creation.

However, another important fact must be taken into account. God freely gave dominion over the earth to humans.

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth (Gen 1:27-28).
That gift was unconditional. God is faithful and true, so he does not go back on his word. When humans sinned, he did not take back the dominion that he had given.

God’s glory was not reduced by handing over this authority. His wisdom and power is so great, he knew he could eventually achieve his purposes on earth, even if humans misused their authority and invited evil into the world. God had a plan to his authority on earth, by allowing his son to die, and then sending his Spirit to build his Kingdom. Giving dominion over the earth to humans would not prevent him from fulfilling his plans, even if they turned against him.

Many Christians assume that God can intervene on earth whenever he chooses. If that were true, God could have gone to work and put things right as soon as sin came into the world. Things were not as simple as that. Even though humans had sinned, God still recognised them as the legitimate authority on earth. Therefore, he could not intervene whenever he chose. He had to wait until he was invited by a person with authority on earth. This is why prayer is so important. It gives God the authority that he needs to accomplish his purposes on earth.

God was not slow to send Jesus. He sent him as soon as he was able. During the thousand years that had gone by since humans sinned, he was not just sitting around twiddling his thumbs. He was waiting for people with authority on earth to give him permission to act. Because most humans had given their authority over the devil, this permission was quite difficult to get. When God did get permission to act, it was usually limited in scope and time, and was often taken back soon after it was given.

When everything was in place, God sent Jesus to defeat evil and free humans from sin. That was an amazing victory, but the change on the ground was much slower coming. Humans still have domino on the earth. That means that the Holy Spirit can only act to build the Kingdom when humans give him permission. Unfortunately, most humans are still handing their authority over to the forces of evil, even though they could be free. Worse still, many of those who have been set free by believing in Jesus continue to believe the lie that the world belongs to the devil, so instead of releasing the Holy Spirit, they continue to rejoice in the works of the devil, because they believe that it brings Jesus return closer.

The Kingdom of God will come, when Christians understand the significance of what God did when he gave dominion over the earth to humans and release the Holy Spirit to do his work on earth.

This full series can be found at God OT Strategy.

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