Saturday, September 24, 2005

More about God's love

I have another thought about the Reformed approach to God’s love and God’s wrath.  I’m going to get at this thought by asking a question:  “What is the gospel story?”

I think that most Reformed Christians would probably answer this question in terms of TULIP.  Man is found in his sinful, corrupted state.  Then, God acts:  the Father ordains salvation, the Son accomplishes it, and the Spirit applies it.  Finally, those who have been saved from their sin and corruption are preserved until the end of their days.

This is all true, and I don’t want to deny any of it.  However, I think that this formulation tends to overlook a vital part of the story.

Before our current state of sin, before our father Adam’s sin, God created humanity.  And why did He create us?

God created us to love us.

Pause a moment and consider this.

While you are considering this, I want to affirm my agreement with the orthodox creeds and the teaching of Scripture about God, especially the aseity of God.  This is important, in order to understand what I say next.

As Reformed Christians, we confess God’s foreordination of our salvation from the beginning of time.  However, I think that we are so careful to stress God’s sovereign prerogative to choose that we overlook the purpose of His creation and election.

God created me and elected me, because He was full of so much love, that He wanted to spend all of eternity with me.

He didn’t need any of us, but He chose to need us.  He was not alone, yet He says, “It is not good that the [M]an should be alone.”  It was not good that He was alone, so He made us.

That is the beginning of the gospel.  The beginning of the good news is not the bad news of our sin.  The beginning of the good news is that God created you because He wanted to be with you and love you forever.

But instead, you spat in his face and walked away.

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