Earlier in this series (see below) I described what Scripture says about God’s original intent and purpose for humankind, and how we fell away from it. God in His love intended that we live in close, intimate fellowship with Him. He gave humans their start in conditions of harmony with the world, with genuine intellectual and moral significance, and in real, closely connected relationships with God, the environment, and each other. They were rightly dependent on God, their Creator, and they acknowledged Him as their loving Master.
We are still dependent on God for every breath, for He still holds everything in His hands. We still experience God in every joy of nature and in every relationship of love. But ever since the first humans chose independence from God, we’ve lost sight of Him in these things, and we’ve especially turned away from Him as the one in charge of His own world.
The loss is ours. God in His love expresses grief over our rebellion, and in His justice expresses what the Bible calls righteous anger over it. But we experience death, distance, alienation, sweat, struggle, all the misfortunes and tragedies that we can never seem to grow accustomed to in spite of centuries of living them them.
God’s purpose since then has been to restore us to the original plan: that we would rightly bow to Him in worship as our Master and God, that we would experience the fullness of love in relationship to Him and to one another, and that our alienation from the rest of the world would be repaired. This is what Christ came to do for us. In very brief outline form:
- It is through His sacrifice for us, His death on the cross, that we can be brought back into relationship with God, reconciled to Him, forgiven for our sins, made right again in God’s eyes.
- It is again through that sacrifice that we can recognize God’s glory, know Him as worthy of our worship, and acknowledge Him as Lord (Master, Chief, King).
- It is also through the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit that we can live according to God’s plan.
- And it is through Christ’s sufferings that the world will be repaired of the curse of sin.
I’m not able this evening to take time to flesh this out fully as it should be. (My daughter is playing trombone in a school concert not long from now.) It seems to me anyway that, since I’ve been taking a narrative approach in the first posts in this series, I ought not stray too far away from that yet. Better to view this list of four restorations as a preview of what we’ll encounter as we continue to walk through the story of what God has done for us through Christ.
Part of a Series: What Christ Does For Us
Related: How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions — a post that elicited a short question, to which I’m writing a long answer