We saw His creative power and attempted to understand His love for humankind and the dream He had for fellowship with a man and a woman in a garden.
We saw Satan come on the scene and lie to man and woman as he initiated a fraud resulting in eternal destruction. The Devil messed with the Garden of God.
The Creator closed the garden and blocked the tree of life from His prize creation. He would not have man block the restoration by living in a fallen state eternally sustained through the tree of life.
As much as the God of Love desired relationship with humankind, He could not help but be true to Himself as the God of Justice.
God could not bear the thought of losing His beloved creation to Satan.
There was only one way for restoration.
The Almighty became human through Jesus. He lived a sinless life among a fallen world. As a real man, he felt every pressure, emotion, and temptation known to humankind. From the cross, He shouldered the sins of all time, descending into hell so I can choose my own eternal destination.
If I cast my lot with Jesus, His blood will cleanse my sin before God and restore our garden fellowship. Should I sell my allegiance to Satan, Jesus’ spilt blood on my behalf would be worthless.
Jesus’ grace is costly. It is free. I cannot earn it.
However, His grace only flows upon His disciples. Like a slave of old, my purchase came with a price. He is my Lord, and I am His servant.
Throughout the one hundred posts, my aim focused on building understanding of—and friendship with—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I believe I grew in the process. I know I reached a greater degree of awe and worship.
Thinking through “garden theology” was super beneficial to me. It was a reaffirmation to me of how much I am looking forward to the restored Garden of God. As you looked over my shoulder, were you blessed to any degree, I am grateful.
I have often wondered if I see God’s church with proper awe.
I read about it in glorious terms through prophecy and in its initial stages in the New Testament with the warts of its members. I look at the reflection of 21st century church and tend to focus on the spots and blemishes instead of its glory.
Is the local congregation the same as Jesus’ perfect church?
I see the good the local church provides its members and lament the traditions that may hide Jesus from the lost.
The last thought in my mind is to be critical of the church Jesus died to establish.
To the contrary, I want to hold the church in highest esteem. I want to clarify in my mind the church that Jesus loves. It was established at the expense of heaven with the crucifixion of Jesus serving as currency—a cost beyond the grasp of the human mind.
No one should ever belittle the church—especially a disciple of Jesus.
Over the next few weeks, I invite your feedback as I continue God Reflection by looking at the perfect church. It will be a sort of “Blog with God.” My only agenda is humble exploration. I want to ask questions that I don’t hear asked.
As a “helpless missionary type,” I want to explore how God’s earthly church might do a better job interfacing with culture.
As I blog with God I will be looking for His answers through Scripture.
There may be times when I fall back on a precedent used by the Apostle Paul when he was addressing marriage in view of the difficult times he saw ahead for the first century church. Paraphrasing his response he advised, “God hasn’t said anything about this, but in light of the tough times my advice is it is better to remain single.”
I am not an apostle, but you may find me offering an opinion in some areas where God has not spoken. Obviously, you should feel the freedom to disagree.
I look forward to our time together as I Blog with God about His church.
Stay tuned – Gary J. Sorrells