Summary: BEFORE God created a single grain of sand, before a single human was formed, before there was a single moonbeam, God loved you and made a plan of redemption, just for you. My, friend, that’s love!!!!
In the past few lessons, I have tried to establish a workable introduction to the eternal and infinite subject of Biblical redemption. In the last lesson, we saw that the subject of redemption is vast, and is interlaced and interdependent on many other Biblical subjects.
1. The essence of God
2. The essence of Mankind
3. The essence of Satan
4. The consequences of sin, both original and personal
12. The Curse
15. Redemption (itself)
16. God’s Will
17. God’s Good Pleasure
18. God’s purpose
20. The Gathering Together (end times)
21. Our Inheritance
25. Spirit of Promise
These are just a few of the subjects closely related to redemption, and we need a clear understanding of each and how they relate to one another and redemption. I had to hurry out the door after the last lesson, but someone made a comment as I was leaving that they never dreamed redemption was so detailed and complicated.
I have good news for you. I can assure you that receiving God’s redemption is one of the simplest transactions a person can be involved in. There is only one thing you must do to receive God’s redemption, that is obey God’s word concerning the reception of that redemption.
The only thing you can do, is "accept" Christ as your personal Savior. God uses several descriptive words to help us understand this transaction of "accepting" Christ as Savior.
One of those words is "believe". Believe that Christ paid for your sins on the Cross, and that God will give you the "Gift of God" which is Eternal Life. Another word God uses to help us understand the simplistic nature of this act of accepting Christ is "receive". We are to "receive", by faith, what God has done for us, and that action is without any merit on our part.
You don’t have to know the details of God’s plan of redemption to be a part of that plan. However, if you want to know the full personal joy of this redemptive plan, and grow in grace and the knowledge of Christ, you will have to spend a lifetime studying this infinitely detailed plan of God.
God’s plan of redemption is so intricate and detailed that no human mind can fully comprehend it this side of eternity, and even then, I would not be surprised if we spend all of eternity discovering all that is involved in this eternal plan. How very sad to see good Christian people, even professional theologians relegating God plan of redemption to a few pages of human thought and wisdom.
Step back with me to a point before time. Yes, to a point before there was an earth or stars. Back to a point before God spoke into existence the innumerable universes. Please forgive my imagination, but it is the only way I know to express thoughts far beyond my knowledge, experience and communication skills.
Before time began, the Godhead had an Eternal Life Conference around a "triangular" table. (It would have to triangular if the Trinity were to sit around it. Wouldn’t it? So much for my imagination.) God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit were at the "conference", and God the Son became the "Elect of God" to be the dynamic agent in the provision of redemption.
I haven’t the slightest idea how God communicates with Himself. NOR do I understand why God decided to do what He did at that conference. Those decisions are referred to by many titles. Some theologians refer to them as the "Divine Decrees" of God.
Whatever we call these decision of God, we have to be careful that we don’t fall in love with our manmade titles, and miss the import of those divine decisions. We must be VERY careful that we do not try to force the actions of God to fit our theological titles.
The all wise God, the all knowing God, the totally sovereign God made some plans at the Eternal Life Conference that just do not make good human "common sense". The important fact of that statement is to see that God acted contrary to good "common sense" -- the common sense of mankind.
As a result, over the years, many good people have tried to force God’s actions into the parameters of good "common sense". Sometimes we call the results of this process theology. The term, theology, is somewhat a misnomer for this human concept of God.
Too often, this process is not a study or a searching for the knowledge of God, BUT an attempt to find a few statements or even a verse or two that substantiates the "common sense" of the individual. Some good well meaning people have tried to explain God’s decisions at that Conference and His actions since that time by their standard of "common sense".