Summary: The 5 R’s of God’s affirmative action plan: Reason, Reconciliation, Revelation, Reality and Response
When I was young my grandmother used to speak to me about the importance of the 3 R’s. When I was old enough to spell I pointed out that from Reading, writing and arithmetic only one was actually spelt with an R!
Today I want us to think about the 5 R’s of God’s affirmative action plan – and they all begin with the letter R.
I want us to consider Reason, Reconciliation, Revelation. And as we see the Reality what is our Response?
In the US in 1965, the federal government initiated their own affirmative action plan, the idea was that businesses could right some wrongs, balance some imbalances, correct some faults – ultimately to bring reconciliation.
God also had an affirmative action plan designed to bring Reconcilliation – another R – reconciliation between God and man. I want us to consider together God’s affirmative action plan as expressed in the prologue to John’s gospel in John 1:1-18.
The first thing for us to consider is the reason for God’s plan.
Why did God need one?
Because humans had sinned against their Creator and broken fellowship with Him, God had to make a way for them to come back into a right relationship with him.
God showed His love for mankind by initiating a plan to restore them to a position of right standing.
Just as we say, “I love you,” with words and actions, that is how God communicated His love to us. He sent his Son, the living Word, to earth. John 1:1, with words reminiscent of Genesis 1:1, says, “In the beginning was the Word…”
So the first Reason is that God has a word for us.
This word of God is communicative.
When the writer of the fourth Gospel wanted to tell us of God’s Word to us, he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to choose a concept that would communicate to all people who would receive the Gospel.
The concept was “Word”. To Jews, Greeks, Christians and the world at large this was a concept that would communicate what God had done in Christ Jesus.
(Power). To the Jews the Word of God meant power.
In Genesis 1 - God spoke a word and the world came into being.
In Jeremiah 23:29 – the Word of God could burn like fire or shatter like a hammer.
Isaiah 55:11 speaks of the Word of God accomplishing the divine purpose.
The Hebrews who would read this Gospel would immediately understand the power of God when they understood that the Word was at the beginning with God and was God.
But to the Greek reader “the Word” would mean a rational principle. It had more to do with philosophical thought than personal power.
The Jewish apologist Philo had adopted this Greek philosophical concept to refer to the projected thought of the transcendent God, the clue to the meaning and purpose of life.
The early Christian church viewed the preaching of the Gospel as a “ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). The entire event of Christ’s life was a divine declaration, a redemptive proclamation.
We are told in Revelation 19:13, “His name is the Word of God”.
In preaching the Word, the early Christians were proclaiming the redemptive message of Jesus Christ.
The unique conviction of the prologue to John’s gospel is that the Word of God is a person.
The Word is not just power or principle or proclamation but person.
When truth becomes personal, it becomes meaningful to us.
God had a word for us, a word that communicates to us in a personal way that we can be made right with God.
The second reason is that the Word of God is Comprehensive.
The Word relates to God. The Word is not just identified with God; He is identical with God.
When you want to see God and know what God is like, you look to Jesus Christ. He is related to God in being. He gives us an accurate communication of God.
The Word relates to the world. The Word of God relates to the world in that God was the agent of creation.
He is revealed and known by His creative activity.
John and Paul both wanted to make sure that we understood that creation was as much the work of Christ as was redemption.
God relates to the world in creativity.
The Word relates to mankind. But the comprehensive Word God spoke also relates to all of mankind.
It is expressed in two terms: life and light. These translate to redemption.
Jesus Christ is related to human kind redemptively.
So the reasons for God’s affirmative action plan is that God had a Word for us, a Word that was both communicative and comprehensive. By this word God spoke the last word to us.