Wednesday 1 June 2011

Beyond Comparison - Andre Rabe

Today I want to chat to you about the understanding of grace and the understanding of Jesus Christ which is maybe a very different context to what we have been used to.

Much of our understanding of grace has been comparing it to what it’s not. For example comparing it to the Law. We know that the Law system was a system by which you earned what was yours rightfully and we compared that with grace , which is undeserved favour – where it gives you what you do not deserve.

And you know that kind of comparison is very valid and it helps us understand many things...but you know God was gracious before sin existed. God was gracious before the Law was given.

How do we understand His grace in that context, where it’s beyond comparison. you know even our understanding of Jesus has been so limited to just understanding him in the context of the desperate need of man for salvation.

But John realises when he begins writing John chapter 1 – he suddenly sees that this Jesus, the Word made flesh has a context way beyond just the need of man. He sees way back into the beginning where this Word was face to face with God. Now in the beginning before creation there was no evil. There was no sin. There was no fall. How do we understand grace in this place. I so enjoy John 17:24. “Father I so desire that they also whom you have given me, may be with me where I am. That they may behold my glory which you have given Me, and the love with which you have loved me before the foundation of this world .”

Jesus speaks of a glory and a love that he wants us to behold, He wants us to see this. and this is a glory and a love that is NOT RELATED to the Fall of Man , not related to sin and evil...but a glory and a love that was there before the foundation of this world.

You see He wants to introduce us to a glory which is beyond comparison.
He wants us to discover a God that is without competition.
An intimacy that is beyond interruption.
A fellowship that is unbroken.
A place where we discover that our innocence before Him is so much more than just the absence of sin.
Our innocence is the vibrancy of being freely and truly ourselves without any thought of any alternative existence.
It is a place beyond comparison. Let me quickly take you to Hebrews 10 :17 in this highly commendable translation by Francois Du Toit.

This is final. I have deleted the record of your sins and misdeeds. I no longer recall them. Nothing in God’s reference to man reminds Him of sin. Sins were dealt with in such a thorough manner that no further offering would again be required. nothing that we could personally sacrifice could add any further virtue to our innocence.

God has so completely and successfully dealt with every sin, every obstacle that stood between man and Himself, that He has wiped it from His own consciousness and from His own mind and memory.

And you know if something does not exist in the mind of God, it does not exist at all. And that is the basis with which we can now approach God with a clear conscience, without any consciousness of sin or obstacle. Because He has got no memory of it.

So it makes me think that if we engage in conversations that’s delving into sin, that’s delving into the past, that’s delving into what went wrong it means that God cannot be involved in those conversations, because God has no memory of those misdeeds and sins.

2 Corinthians 5:17 The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
I am so glad He doesn’t say Behold the old things that have passed away..No , no they are past, and what now captures our attention is the new.

That word new is a beautiful word. I’ve heard people say that it means it is something completely new, it never existed before. That’s rubbish. if you look how that word new is used throughout the New Testament,
and in other contexts as well, it speaks of being renewed, being refreshed. It speaks about God taking hold of His original creation, and removing the grip of sin, and the effects of time on it, and presenting it again in its original glory. That word new speaks about know in some contexts it is used of something that is fresh, something where the effects of time have not had any impact on it. And that is what God does in the new creation. He reaches back into that timeless eternal realm and He takes hold of His original idea of man, of creation. And He brings it about...

Again we read in Colossians 1:15 of Jesus Christ, the first born of all creation. Back to Hebrews 10 :17...He has deleted the record of our does not exist in His mind. But we do know what DOES exist within the mind of God. Psalms 8 David is overwhelmed with this thought...He says “What is man that your are mindful of him?”
MINDFULL....His mind is FULL of us. You exist in the mind of God. And that is the most substantial existence you can have. The most real existence. And you know you exist in the mind of God not just in the context of time and space and your time on this earth. “ Timothy 1:9 speaks about the grace that was given to you in Christ Jesus before time began.
9This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

GOD KNEW YOU BEFORE TIME BEGAN. And what He knew about You in that timeless realm is still His only reference to who who you are.
His design, his imagination of who you are is your true self. And you still exist in His mind. And the gospel comes with this great opportunity to discover yourself in Him. To discover yourself in the mind of God.
1 John 5:20 summarises the whole purpose of Christ...
It says 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

You see, discovering God cannot be separated from discovering yourself in Him. What He thinks about you defines you. Not what you think about Him.

So....I just wanted to encourage you to discover and see a new context of understanding this message of grace, a new understanding of Christ that is beyond comparisons. Though the comparisons are good, and it is good to discover that God loves us despite all the things we have done...

BUT there’s a deeper understanding
that He doesn’t just love us in spite of, but because of who He designed you to be, and who He made you to be. Romans 5 speaks about an event that happened in Christ that is beyond comparison. It is an undeniable fact that Adam included all of humanity in his fall, but in Christ another event happened that is out of all proportion to what happened in the disobedience of Adam. He restored us once again to God’s original idea of who He wanted us to be. Thankyou. Bye bye.

Andre's Three Books
For more information about Imagine ,view Andre Rabe in the index at the bottom of this page,or go to his blogpage

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