Summary: God's Three Step Plan for humanity's Redemption (See Figure at www.ingodsimage.site)
[IN GOD’S IMAGE 23 – INCARNATION, ATONEMENT, RECONCILIATION]
This message is part of a series of 90 sermons based on the title, “In God’s Image – God’s Purpose for humanity.” This series of free sermons or the equivalent free book format is designed to take the reader through an amazing process beginning with God in prehistory and finishing with humanity joining God in eternity as His loving sons and daughters. It is at times, a painful yet fascinating story, not only for humanity, but also for God. As the sermons follow a chronological view of the story of salvation, it is highly recommend they be presented in numerical order rather than jumping to the more “interesting” or “controversial” subjects as the material builds on what is presented earlier. We also recommend reading the introduction prior to using the material. The free book version along with any graphics or figures mentioned in this series can be downloaded at www.ingodsimage.site - Gary Regazzoli
But no one could have predicted just how far God was willing to go in order to rescue his wayward children.
• We finished up last time lamenting the sad news that from man’s perspective there is no cure for this hideous disease called “sin.”
• Fortunately, what is impossible for man, is not impossible for God.
• The heavenly host must have watched in awe as the divinely inspired plan devised before the foundation of the world is put into effect in order to heal and restore mankind’s broken relationship with his Creator (Revelation 13:8).
• If the first creation was about creating “man in God’s image,” the plan to restore mankind’s relationship to God relies incredibly on “God condescending to take on the image of man.”
• What mankind could not do for himself, God has devised an astounding plan to insert Himself into humanity so He could act on man’s behalf.
• What we are about to witness is the Trinity’s counterattack on the forces of evil that want to disrupt God’s plan to make man in His image.
• This is the Trinity’s angry “No, I’m not going to allow this to happen even if it means we have to go down and rescue them from the evil they have brought on themselves”!
God faces two challenges in restoring the relationship broken by man’s rebellion.
• First, how can a Holy God draw near to a sinful mankind? And second, how can God draw sinful mankind to Himself?
• The answer to this question shows the lengths to which God will go in order to save His rebellious children.
• The only possible way to solve the problem is for God to join humanity in its sinfulness and from within that sinfulness do for humanity what it cannot do for itself.
• This is the sacrifice God was willing to make so He could draw near to us and in the process draw us near to Him.
• Before we go into detail to explain the whole process of God’s master plan to rescue His children, we are going to start with an overview which will help us get a better handle on the plan as it unfolds.
• To do this we are going to use an illustration.
Three Steps of Redemption – Incarnation, Atonement, Reconciliation. (See figure below).
God’s plan of redemption revolves around three main steps if it is to overcome the barrier of sin represented by the Xs in the illustration.
• These are, 1) the Incarnation, 2) the Atonement, and 3) Reconciliation, represented by the arrows in the illustration.
• You will also notice each person of the Trinity, represented by the three circles is intimately involved in the process.
• They bring their own unique aspects to the process.
• This is no coincidence as Paul spells out each of these roles in his benediction in 2 Corinthians 13:14.
• 2 Corinthians 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
• Although these divine qualities are innately part of the nature of all three persons of the Godhead, as we will see, each plays a unique role in this process of redemption.
• The love of God flows from the Father to His creation, Jesus embodies the grace of God through the Incarnation and the Atonement, and the Holy Spirit draws us into the fellowship of love that is the Trinity.
The process starts with the love of the Father.
• Has it ever occurred to you why God the Father chose to call Himself by the title “Father”?
• We know He is Father to the Son, Jesus.
• But He chose this title to describe Himself because He doesn’t just want to be Father to Jesus Christ, He also wants to be Father to His created children.