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The Lion and the Lamb

by Stacy R. Wood, Jr.

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GOD'S AGE ENDURING PURPOSE

"Now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. Yet each one in his own classification: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming, then the final classification, when Christ delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For Christ must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For God has put all things in subjection under the feet of Christ. But when the Father says, 'All things are put in subjection,' it is evident that the Father is excluded who put all things in subjection to Christ. When all things become subjected to the Father, the Son Himself will also become subject to this One who subjected all things to Him. This is so that God the Father may be the ALL IN ALL." (1 Corinthians 15:20-28).

What is The Good News of the Happy God? Paul summed it up in his first letter to the Church at Corinth. It simply is that God is becoming the ALL IN ALL. What could be clearer? What words could better express the climax of God's plan for the universe? To the rational mind this all-embracing phrase is completely satisfying. This expression brings God's ultimate intention to a flawless climax. It conveys, especially to the believer, all the heart and mind could possibly desire.

The Divine Objective

What greater thought could supersede it? Is there a consummation that can show greater wisdom, love and grace? How anyone could voice dissent is difficult to imagine. However, the dogmatic disagreement and misunderstanding rings loud and clear. Anyone who dare embrace such an exhilarating thought will surely bear reproach. Nevertheless, there could be no higher divine objective in the mind of god. The greatest accomplishment of divine planning is for all creation to become entirely subjected to their Creator. Such subjection would bring to an end the arrogance of self-confidence and self-achievement. It would also bring the consummation of fear and strife. Furthermore, culminating the heart-searing dissatisfaction with life, which is the ruin of many.

Inability to comprehend such goodness comes from those lacking knowledge of God's true character. Another difficulty is not understanding the many stages and innumerable processes in God's plan. All of the ages have purpose and serve to produce the Father's final goal. We do not have the space needed to share thoroughly God's vast purpose for the ages. So let it suffice, then, to believe that such a noble end culminates all. For God alone is worthy of such a marvelous conclusion. What a glorious culmination this brings to all ages. This alone is sufficiently rewarding for the sacrifice of the Son of His love.

Where Does All Originate?

Paul writes the church in Colossae concerning the pre-eminence of Christ Jesus. He also unveils the might and power vested in Christ by the Father of glory. All creation has it origin in Christ. He existed before all created things, whether in the heavens or upon the earth. It makes no difference whether we speak concerning the visible or invisible creation. Not only did all creation originate in Christ, but also it passes through Him at the cross. This means the processing of all creation is taking place through the blood of His cross. Furthermore, He became the federal head of an all-new creation. Having made peace through His own blood He now reconciles all to the Father of glory. Yes, all has its cohesion in Christ and the same all is for Him. Ponder this for a moment. All is being created in, through and for Christ.

For Whom Was All Created?

Learning that all things were created "for him" should indeed generate praise. No other is so exceedingly worthy of our adoration. How appropriate it is for all creation to become drawn to Christ. It is especially suitable for such a supreme end "that God may be all in all." It is for this magnificent climax that God framed the ages. Through the ages God's purpose in Christ would come to fruition. The perfect plan would unfold stage upon stage. God would execute his impeccable objective of love within the framework of the ages. The ages have not just evolved and filled with the events of history. God has both planned and created the ages through Christ to bring forth His ultimate intention. Through God's unfailing love for creation Christ became the appointed Heir of the universe.

Now we can actually see how unparalleled was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. How gloriously precious to God was the sacrifice of His uniquely begotten Son. How can it do anything but succeed in fulfilling its intended purpose? The cross can never fail when the end it points to be of such exalted character. Many have experienced the effect of this ultimate act of love. It is now being made manifest in the world. The perfect and ultimate end to God's plan is yet to be made evident to all. However, when god is everything to everyone there will be no more questions.

Will God's Desire for Creation Be Satisfied?

This lofty goal is not the product of an after-thought. On the contrary, it is the joyous outcome of the loving and wise forethought of God. Unequivocally, God will do all His pleasure. What other conclusion could establish the supremacy of God so well? How else could the complete satisfaction of His creatures become guaranteed?

This is the very reason Christ Jesus both died, and raised to live again. Jesus Christ, through death and resurrection, became Lord of the dead, as well as the living. Jesus died for all humanity and through this act he became the propitiatory shelter for the whole world. It is the manifestation of this unlimited love that constrains us. We have concluded, since One died on behalf of all, the result is, all died. Therefore, the living ones should no more be living to themselves. They should be living to the One who died and rose again on their behalf. As death came upon all humanity through Adam, in Christ all shall become vivified, or enlivened. Every individual, in their very own classification or order, will experience the life of Christ.

Who's Accomplishment Is Greater?

Many in blindness embrace the thought of most humanity becoming eternally separated from God. This thinking serves to make the work of Satan more effective than the cross of Christ. However, let us remember Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil. Now He certainly accomplished what He came to do. Who believes for one moment his achievements did not supersede all opposing influences. Jesus said, "Except a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone. However, if it dies it bears much fruit." The seed promised by the Father came, and falling deeply into the earth, it died. Therefore, we can be confident Christ Jesus will present much fruit to the Father. Super abounding is the effect of the righteous act of Christ upon creation. It has completely nullified the unrighteous act of Adam.

Does Traditional Dogma Honor God?

What results from disbelieving God's age enduring purpose is of such splendid character? Unbelief can but lead to an unworthy conception of the Father of Glory. How can anyone think the dogma of endless torment is honoring God? How could such an atrocity be the climax of the divine purpose? Such thinking causes unregenerate humanity to blaspheme the name of our God. It also denies Christ was able to accomplish His goal upon the cross. Further it ignores the fullness and grandeur of His sacrificial life and death.

Did Jesus Finish What He Said He Would?

Jesus spoke clearly concerning what death He would die and what would result from it. He said, "If I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all to myself." On the cross of Golgotha's hill ignorant humanity raised Jesus Christ up from the earth and he died as he said he would. (Joh. 12:23f). Does he now lack the capability to draw all humanity to himself? Is the typical response of religious humanism justified? The customary response of religion to this question is, "O, but man must choose to serve God!" This response is quite normal. However, it ascribes victory to the human will in conflict with God's desire. There have been many human wills changed through the experience of conciliation. Remember. Never is the experience of salvation brought about by human initiative. The influences bearing upon mankind bring him to God's salvation, as was the case with Paul. (Acts 9:3ff, Gal. 1:15f).

Can Anyone Dispute the Effectiveness of the Cross of Christ?

The God, Who is love, may be thought of in many ways. Mankind may describe Him using many varying expressions. Yet, to express His far-reaching love there is no better term than reconciliation. Invaluable concepts energize this word. Reconciliation clearly describes the atmosphere of harmony where previous alienation had existed. There is no question of the peace established by Christ Jesus through the blood of His cross.

All creation has not yet experienced the magnitude of God's accomplishment at Calvary. The effectiveness of the cross is indisputable. This will become clearly evident when the ministry of reconciliation has accomplished its worthwhile objective. Only then will understanding come as to why one must proclaim this word.

"It is certainly a faithful word and worthy of all acceptance. It is a word for which we both labor and suffer reproach. Our trust is in the living God who is Savior of all humanity. Most of all he is Savior to the believing. These things command and teach!"

Now we are among the first to have first experienced this reconciliation. So God is convincing the world through us on behalf of Christ.

"Be conciliated to God! For the Christ not knowing sin, became the sin offering on our behalf. This happened so we may become God's righteousness in Him."
  • Read and study the following list of scripture:
Psalm 22:27-31, 24:1, 33:8-11. Proverbs 3:5-6, 16:1, 4, l9, 33, 20:24. Isaiah 45:21-25, 55:8-11. Jeremiah 32:27. John 1:12-13, 29, 12:23-24, 32-33, 17:3, 19:30. Acts 4:11-12. Romans 5:6-21, 8:20-22, 11:33-36, 14:7-9. 1 Corinthians 2:2, 6-8, 15:22-28. 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, 5:14-15, 18-21. Ephesians 1:8-11, 2:7, 2:13-16, 3:8-11. Philippians 2:8-11. Colossians 1:13-22, 2:14-15. 1 Timothy 2:3-6, 4:9. Hebrews 1:2, 2:14-16, 11:3. 2 Peter 3:9. 1 John 2:2, 3:8, 4:8.

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