Taking it all personally because it’s all personalMarch 7, 2018
Let’s talk terms and conditions. In the Beginning the conditions were idyllic. The terms set forth by God were that people should live in His presence and with His all-sufficient provision. The people chose otherwise and failing to keep the terms, the conditions radically changed. What didn’t change was the Gospel nature of the universe nor the God who created, ordered, and rules it all.
As we look around and experience the world today we imagine that things have never been worse and that things couldn’t possibly get any worse than they are now. Depravity is evident in every direction – and it’s not just “out there,” it’s in here. We see sin’s effects when we look in the mirror, watch the news, read literature written for today’s dystopian teens, surf the web, seek the reconciliation of broken relationships, and hear of wars, rumors of wars, natural disasters, and all the ways human beings continue to conceive of evil all day long. The conditions are not Edenic, quite literally far from it.
But the God who walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day is the same God who called Abraham and referred to Moses as His friend and sent Jesus. We can know the God who knows us fully. We can live in His presence and with His all-sufficient provision of grace in the midst of any and every temporal reality. No matter the conditions, the terms of God’s Gospel universe have not changed. He offers Himself – all that He is, all that He has, and all that He has planned – to us.
The Gospel is often reduced to the Cross and while the Gospel includes the Cross and cannot be understood nor received apart from Christ and His work of atonement, the Gospel is really a comprehensive worldview.
Yes, you can look at the Cross and see the fullness of the Gospel. But only if you already know the Creation-Fall-Salvation-Consummation narrative. And how can one understand the fullness of the beauty and truth of the Gospel apart from embracing the reality of the personal nature of God and the personal nature of the universe He has made?
The Gospel is personal because the Gospel is the good news that the world is personal. A personal God stands behind all that is and He doesn’t just stand there. The personal God of all Creation desires to be in a restored personal relationship with all that He has made. That takes us to the Cross and from the Cross sends us as personal agents of the Gospel into a world haunted by impersonal ideologies that rob human beings of their humanity and hope.
Those who have been to the Cross and received Christ and His Spirit then become personal agents of His grace, ministers of reconciliation, ambassadors of His Kingdom – representing the Gospel universe in the midst of very non-gospel conditions in the world. But once you know the depth of God’s intimate love for you as an individual, you cannot resist sharing how different life is knowing God’s constant presence, receiving His counsel, walking with His Spirit, in the fellowship of God’s people, with a vision of the hope-filled future God has planned.
So, today’s question is this: do I have a Biblical worldview or a Christian worldview or a Gospel worldview? It seems to me that our calling is to have a Gospel worldview where we see the world THROUGH the lens of the Gospel in all its fullness. Not reducing the Gospel to the Cross but recognizing that those who do not see the Cross as the central event in history, cannot begin to understand the personal nature of their own beginning nor the end which now approaches for us all. The Cross is personal because the universe is personal and the universe is personal because God is personal.
How might our conversations be changed today if we approached each of them through the Gospel worldview?
How does God see this person?
How does God see this situation or circumstance?
If God were personally present right here, right now, how would His presence and power transform the conversation and the options in view?
Reality is that God is present, by the power of His Holy Spirit, operating in you. Its that personal and it’s time we took it that personally.
God took it personally when people turned from the condition of Eden to sin and in so doing, turned from Him. God took it personally upon Himself to create the conditions for a restoration of that broken relationship and He took it personally to the Cross. God takes it personally when we accept or reject the terms of the Gospel.
It’s time we started taking it all as personally as God takes it. Starting with taking God personally and then taking God’s Gospel personally to others.