Every religion has a distant god far away from lowly humans. The human’s goal in life is to earn a place near him/her/them. But nothing they do is ever enough.
Christianity is different. God came to us. The faithful and dearly loved Son entered into this fallen world and went to the cross to bring us into relationship with our Father. His 33-year life was a torment, full of suffering, trials, and pain.
Imagine, the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son and Spirit were enjoying abundant fellowship with each other. Then, amazingly, the Son stepped out of eternity and into history to walk among us with the sole purpose to join us into Him.
The eternal purpose of God is to include us in His relationship, and give us a place in His family full of love and joy. Before Creation there was the decision to give human beings the opportunity to become children of God.
God did it all. There is nothing we can do to earn a place with Him. The price has already been paid “according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity” (2 Tim 1:8-9).
God is waiting for us with open arms. He wants to meet us in our brokenness. He says “Remain in my love.” He explains, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Religion Can Separate
Some feel more comfortable with a wall of separation between them and God. They prefer a list of rules to a personal relationship. It makes more sense to fallen man to have to earn a place to be near God. In this false perception, religion can turn into an idol. Satan uses our sin, guilt, and shame to keep us from God.
One of Satan’s names literally is translated divider. He is a divider–the opposite of what God tries to do. This has been a ongoing battle through the Bible.
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve hid in the garden. “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8).
They had known the Lord’s close fellowship, but now they were afraid to face Him.
Moses and the Israelites
Moses was initially afraid to deliver God’s people from Egypt when God first called him, but he had no fear when the time came to meet God face to face and talk directly with Him.
The Israelites were afraid of God when He manifested His presence up on Mount Sinai. When Moses came back down off of the mountain the skin of his face shone. The people were afraid to come near him. Moses then had to wear a veil over his face for a while to help hide the glow so as not to overwhelm the rest of his people.
Jesus got into Peter’s boat and told him to go out into the deep water and lower his nets. As they pulled up the nets they found them so full of fish they began to break and they called to another boat to help with the great catch. There were so many fish that both boats were ready to sink. “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (Luke 5:8)
The Light of the World
The light of God shined in dark places revealing sin and unworthiness. The light shows all our imperfections. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. The [one] following me shall not walk in darkness, but will have the light (John 8:12). His light reveals the price was paid. We are now children of God. Those walking in darkness do not recognize the glorious provision available to them.
Baxter Kruger said, “As surely as the flip of a light switch dispels the darkness in our homes, so surely the light and life of the Triune God conquered darkness, and death itself, in that moment, in the very person of our blessed Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God.”
We can walk with God in the Light of the cross. The wall of separation is no longer. His perfect love casts out all fear. We can come into His presence when we understand the price was paid. When that truth is understood it becomes a place we never want to leave.
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