Summary: We are saved in Christ, but we are also judged as Christ followers and will have to give an account before God. Because we are saved we can be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Not to get saved, but because we are saved. If you struggle wi
Create – judge – save or redeem. You could say, create – evaluate – change. That is the creative process whether you are God or human. I think of the process I go through in creating a sermon. I write it out, I judge whether it conforms to certain criteria I have as to whether it will serve the purpose I have for it, and then I make changes as necessary to ensure that it meets the final goal.
This is true for anything we create. Now ultimately as the creator of it, we are really the only ones who know what exactly it was intended for, so while others may judge it, ultimately only the creator has the ultimate authority to judge their own creation, because no one else knows exactly what it was created for unless we tell them. And because we create it and judge it, only we really know how to change it in order to have it meet the expectations we have for it.
If our creation is flawed, does not seem to be operating as it was planned to, this final process is really salvation or redemption. Taking something that is not what it’s supposed to be, and making it right. Now whether it’s a sermon, or a house, or an automobile, can the thing itself make itself right if it’s not working? Of course not, who can? The creator.
Now to make the thing right there are two things we can do. 1. Throw the original away and start from scratch, or 2. make modifications and changes to make it right.
So I think you have the picture. Now if God is the creator of human beings, he has the right to judge what he has made and only he knows the true purpose he has for them. We have talked about these two aspects of God – creator and judge. Now today if the first two are true, then he also the ability to save us, to alter us, to make us right, for the purposes he created us.
I believe our primary text today from Colossians 1:13-23 says it very well…
Why was everything created? For Him and to him. God was basically creating a home and community for himself. Because he is God, he can only be in the presence of perfection and holiness. That is not an arrogant statement but I believe one of protection for us. His holiness is so pure, it would incinerate anything that contained any impurities. That is why no one can see God and live as mentioned in Exodus 33:20.
Humans can only see God as he is manifest in Jesus, and the Spirit filled human because Paul says in 1 Tim 6:16 that he lives in unapproachable light and no one has seen or can see him. He came as a human being in Jesus with all the fullness, or character, or Spirit of God dwelling in him. That is the only way we could see Him. We cannot cast our human eyes on his shekinah glory because it is such a pure and bright light. It would be like getting too close to the Sun. And it’s interesting how Revelation says there will be no need for the sun when God dwells with us in the New Jerusalem.
Somehow when God transforms us in our new bodies, they will be capable of being in his presence. Why? Because Jesus makes us Holy and able to dwell with God. So God creates his humans, and we read that he walked with them in the Garden of Eden before they sinned. He wanted a relationship with them and to dwell with them in loving community.
When they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, all they had known was light before this. Afterward they were enlightened by sin and could no longer survive in God’s presence. That is the death that sin brings. They didn’t die physically, but they brought into being the physical ability to be incinerated by the light they once walked with. This was passed on to all mankind after that, and now no one can dwell with God unless God makes it so again. We have to choose light over darkness now if we want eternal life, which is life with him.
So in the meantime v 17 says he sustains all creation, he holds it together. Basically all creation is on life support until Jesus returns. At some point creation will have the life support shut off and only those who have eternal life (Jesus) living in them will survive with God.
Verse 22 says he has reconciled us through the death of his physical body. He burned for us so we could be presented into God’s unapproachable presence. It seems like before creation God was no longer satisfied with a relationship with himself. He wanted company, he wanted to incarnate physically in a physical home here on His created earth. But he has to be in community with those who want to be with Him and are willing to be Holy, because the moment anything unholy is in his presence it dies simply because of His nature.