The Bible leads us to see our universe of matter, space and time to be a ‘realm’ within a ‘realm’. We see our created, temporary, world is within a greater ‘world’ or realm, the eternal uncreated realm of God who is Spirit and the creator of all things that are created. This is God revealed in the Bible as Elohim, El Shaddai and Yahweh, the three in one; Father, Son and Spirit.
Perhaps the main reason for the Bible is that our ancestors, the first of our kind when created, were tragically and fatally deceived. And we still suffer under this deception today; that we can live as ‘gods’ on earth without regard to the eternal spiritual realm of God out of which we were created and came into existence.
The force and tragedy of this deception hits hard. In the created realm, humans in particular are created in the image of the uncreated God who created all things. In this ‘image’ we are created to live as one with God and with each other. The Bible reveals God as one and as three; so we see his image is community. Therefore, in the image of God many can live as one in complete freedom; as perfect diversity within unity.
This perfect or complete freely existing diversity in unity seems to be the essence of life itself, and of what we call the holy love of God, which embracing attributes of honour, goodness, and humility among others.
Therefore, when out of our freedom a choice is made to live independent of the uncreated God who created the realm of our universe and people in that realm; this is a choice to live independent of life itself. This is the deception we have fallen into and it leaves us trying to be the our own source and completeness of life. To use a bible picture, our own alpha and omega, and beginning and end. This is not possible, we are created to live within and in unity with the life of the uncreated God, not independent of this life. We are not the source and completeness of life itself.
This deception and the subsequent rebellion against the creator and source of life brought death to reign on earth. In effect a new reality came into existence for all people and all the created realm. In this reality death and decay, pain and suffering, struggle and toil came to into existence. But even more devastating is the loss of oneness from being created in then image of God. The new fallen from the image of God human nature is summed up in Galatians 5:19-21. These verses describe who we are independent of our Creator.
From Genesis 3:15 through to Revelation 22:20 the Bible is God’s story of his work to restore all people from this deception and lostness from life itself. It reveals that the priority for all people is becoming a ‘new creation’ in Christ, and concludes revealing that all the created heavens and earth will pass away and there will be a newly created heavens and earth. Therefore, what counts is a new creation; the creation of new life in the image of God and one with God.
God’s story is his grace rescuing and restoring us from independence of God, this independence is sin. The Bible focuses on God himself leaving his uncreated eternal realm of oneness and fully entering our created realm in the person of Jesus Christ of Nazareth; who atoned for our sin so we could be reconciled with our Creator and restored to life. The work of Christ also justly condemned the perpetrator of this deception that brought sin and death to all people. The one called Satan, the devil, the dragon who is filled with fury because he knows his time is short and makes war against all those who hold fast their testimony about Jesus. (Revelation 12:11,17) So we discover that Jesus is the only source and completeness of life for all people. In him alone we are rescued from death and restored to life.
Church are a new nation, a new ethnic of new creations in Christ; people whose source and completeness of life is found in the Creator of life through Jesus Christ alone. In him by our faith response to his grace we become new creations with eternal life. A people who are one with their Creator, who is ‘Our Father in heaven’. The characteristics of being one with are described in Galatians 5:22-23 as the fruit off Spirit.
Outside of life in Christ there is only decay and death. God does not need to punish and kill those who freely choose to reject Him and live independent of him as their own source and completeness of life. God sets a place for them. This place is called the second death, hell, or hades; in this place there is no light, love, and no life; because only God is each these and we cannot be them independent of him. Nothing of God is in this place. And when God withdraws his presence completely from the earth every pretension of life, love, and goodness would be removed; we must not fool ourselves that we inherently have some ability to be good, to live and love apart from our Creator.
The gospel is the good news that we can return to the Father of Creation, we can be saved from our independence and from trying to be like ‘gods’ being our source and completion of life. The gospel is we can be forgiven and restored from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and eat again from the tree of life. In the gospel of Christ Jesus, we become alive, new creations; with new life today, and sure hope of eternity forever. This is our need, and this is God’s gift to all people.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already.”