Dispatch One Hundred Sixty-Four

Posted: August 7, 2015 in Thirty-Seventh Bundle
Tags: , , ,

1 JOHN 5:9-13

If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. 10 Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

The wonderful universal message of Jesus is that “God gave us eternal life” – all of us, the whole world. There remains, however, the necessity for each of us to choose God’s gift and receive it for ourselves personally. For Christians, our reception of this gift is an act that goes by several names: believing in Jesus, following Jesus, abiding in Jesus, becoming as Jesus.

The human extension toward God in self-transcending gratitude and surrender was incarnated in Jesus to such a degree that he became for us not merely one example but its definitive prototype. Therefore, “whoever does not have the Son does not have life,” which is to say that real life is found only as we willingly step into the mold of Jesus and conform our minds to the mind of Christ.

For the writer, anyone who really knows God will immediately recognize the presence and work of God in Jesus. It’s like a masterwork of some great artist. You can identify the telltale marks of a painter’s style and personality throughout the gallery, but in the masterpiece it is as if the canvas opens up to the artist’s soul and you encounter his or her “truth.”

In a similar way, the Christian belief is that Jesus (his life, his message, his example, his personality, his enduring presence) reveals to us the very heart of God, as God’s “masterpiece.” Anyone who is familiar with the works of, say, Rembrandt van Rijn will instantly recognize the man in his greatest work. So also will anyone familiar with the works of God, evident throughout the universe and in the evolutionary promise of our own species, see in the Son the inherited traits of the Father.

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