Monday Reverb – 17January2022

SERMON REVERB

The Beginning of the Great Reversal

John 2:1-5,6-11 (NRSV)

 

If you remember the movie The Wizard of Oz, you probably remember at the beginning how the main character Dorothy Gale was feeling down and misunderstood by her family. Her dog Toto was taken away by the nasty lady Miss Gulch to be euthanized because he had chased her cats. Toto escaped from Miss Gulch’s bicycle basket and made it back to Dorothy, but since her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry didn’t stop Miss Gulch from taking Toto the first time, Dorothy decided to run away. While talking to the traveling Professor Marvel, Dorothy noticed the wind picking up. A tornado was on the way. Dorothy made it back to her room just in time to get hit on the head, and then the tornado appeared to take the house on a wild ride to the land of Oz.

During the whole time Dorothy is in Oz, what did she want to do? [wait for response] She wanted to go home. By the end of the movie, what do we realize? [wait for response] She always was home—she had never left; it was all a dream. That was a reversal of what we, the viewers, thought was happening. We thought the fantastical land where she found herself and her new friends, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion, were real, at least real in the story. We were surprised to find out that Dorothy never left her home, and Dorothy was surprised herself to find that she didn’t want to run away and that everything she wanted was at home. The outcome reversed what we thought was really happening and what was really important.

God has always been showing humanity that what we think is important might not be what’s really essential, and that his way of moving in the world is very different from what we might expect. One example of this was the way Jesus was born to poor parents rather than to wealthy royalty (Luke 2:7). Another example is found in John 2:1-11, which tells the story of Jesus’s first sign or miracle at the wedding in Cana.

Read John 2:1-5,6-11.

What can we notice about this passage?

  • How this story fits with Epiphany in the church calendar: An “epiphany” is a unique insight. It might be helpful for us to read this familiar story with the understanding that this miracle or sign is revealing something unique about Jesus or the way God works in our world. What deeper truth does this familiar story show us?

By considering the themes in the passage, we can look at this familiar story in a new light—an epiphany:

  • The theme of hospitality: The wedding was taking place in Cana of Galilee, which was a poor area. Hospitality, though, was of the utmost importance in the culture, and the wedding hosts would have been shamed for not supplying enough wine. However, it was also customary for guests to bring drinks and food to help out. We could speculate that the community wasn’t doing its fair share to support the festivities, but we don’t have the backstory. What we are told is the wine ran out.

The good wine provided by Jesus allowed those at the wedding to experience God’s abundance of hospitality. They literally tasted it, comparing it to the wine they had tasted first. Jesus’s first miracle was to create a place of belonging and hospitality that was outside the humanmade constructs of culture. Culture (i.e., what was expected at weddings during that time) had failed; Jesus provided even better hospitality than what was expected.

  • The theme of abundant grace: Jesus’s actions show us what grace looks like. Not only was he God incarnated, but he was also grace incarnated. His miracles, or signs, were not just to benefit the people involved but rather to show the lavish kindness God bestows on his creation. One scholar suggests that “once the Word becomes flesh, the rest of the Gospel shows you what grace tastes like, looks like, sounds like, and feels like” (Karoline Lewis).

The six water pots were estimated to be 20-30 gallons each, filled with water that was changed into the best wine. Because weddings during that time could last as long as a week, the best wine was served early on, and then when the guests were less observant (and maybe tipsy), the cheaper wine was introduced. Not so in this case. Isn’t that how abundant grace works? You might be expecting something, maybe trying not to get your hopes up, when something much better comes your way. That’s an experience of Jesus’s abundant grace, an experience of God’s lavish gift-giving, that we can easily rationalize away if we’re not observant.

  • The theme of marriage and restoration: We can read about the metaphor of marriage in Hosea 2:14-23, noticing that wine is a symbol of restoration (Joel 3:18; Amos 9:11-15). In Isaiah 55:1-3, the prophet talks about enjoying “wine and milk without money and without price.” Wine symbolizes how God will make things more than right—he restores his kingdom (i.e., his way of working in the world) and our status in it, no longer subject to cultural constraints and comparisons.
  • The theme of subverted cultural norms: Jesus often pointed out the exclusionary nature of Jewish culture with its ideas about holiness and purity. There are plenty of stories about who was considered “outside,” like the woman at the well (John 4:4-42), the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53-8:11), children (Matthew 19:13-14), and the man with demons (Mark 5:1-20). Jesus chose to spend time with people considered “outsiders,” to the point that he was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard (Luke 7:34-36).

If Jesus wanted his first sign noticed, he could have presented the wine to the hosts, or at least to the bride and groom, and explained what he did and why. Instead, the story shows us that the “insiders,” the ones in on the surprise, were the servants who filled the water pots. It was those people who were often invisible in Jewish culture who had the first glimpse of who Jesus was. The invisible ones got to see God at work in the world first, much the same way a woman (Mary) saw the resurrected Jesus first (John 20:11-18).

If we read the Bible closely, we will notice that God’s way of moving in the world disregards class or social structure or “the way things are done.” Instead, we are encouraged to invite those to dinner who cannot repay (Luke 14:12-14), and we are told we should not discriminate against the poor by favoring the rich (James 2:2-4). Most cultural norms are constructed in a way that excludes and diminishes some people; God’s way throws open the door to welcome all as beloved children, even giving special honor to those most often forgotten.

Application:

  • Watch for experiences of God’s abundant grace and hospitality in your life. It’s easy to overlook the minor blessings that come our way. You know what I’m talking about: the stranger who opens the door for you when your hands are full, the close parking spot when your knees ache, the sweet and tart taste of a grapefruit in season. These could be just coincidences, but it’s also possible a loving God used “coincidence” to shower you with an instance of loving grace.
  • Notice your own tendencies to exclude those different from you and to favor those that culture deems worthy of acceptance. It’s human nature to gravitate toward those who look or think similarly, and it’s easy to think highly of those that culture has esteemed worthy of our attention, whether it’s because of power, fame, or appearances. God’s way, however, calls on us to expand our vision for who is our neighbor (Luke 10:30-37). We are called on to reverse the cultural norms that exclude and embrace God’s way of loving acceptance.
  • When you have the opportunity, lift up those who are invisible. Giving opportunities to those who are overlooked or forgotten offers you the chance to participate with God in reversing the negative effects of discriminatory social constructs.

We can read the story of Jesus’s first sign as a miracle and as the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. But we can also see the water turned into wine as indicative of Jesus’ mission itself: to reveal who God is, to reveal God’s great abundant love and grace for all, to establish God’s commitment to restore us as his beloved people, and to begin the great reversal, showing that the cultural expectations about who is worthy and who is not, or who gets to participate, or who is loved and blessed is different than what human beings might think. Just as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz realized that her perceptions of life and home were incorrect, we can understand the limitations we often place on God’s willingness to love us as well as the limitations we put on our love for others.

 


THE NEW EXHILARATION

  • Commentary on John 2:1-11 … by William Barclay 

Now we must think of the deep and permanent truth which John is seeking to teach when he tells this story.

We must remember that John was writing out of a double background.  He was a Jew and he was writing for Jews; but his great object was to write the story of Jesus in such a way that it would come home also to the Greeks.

Let us look at it first of all from the Jewish point of view.  We must always remember that beneath John’s simple stories there is a deeper meaning which is open only to those who have eyes to see.  In all his gospel John never wrote an unnecessary or an insignificant detail.  Everything means something and everything points beyond.

There were six stone waterpots; and at the command of Jesus the water in them turned to wine. According to the Jews seven is the number which is complete and perfect; and six is the number which is unfinished and imperfect.  The six stone waterpots stand for all the imperfections of the Jewish law.  Jesus came to do away with the imperfections of the law and to put in their place the new wine of the gospel of his grace.  Jesus turned the imperfection of the law into the perfection of grace.

There is another thing to note in this connection.  There were six waterpots; each held between twenty and thirty gallons of water; Jesus turned the water into wine.  That would give anything up to one hundred and eighty gallons of wine.  Simply to state that fact is to show that John did not mean the story to be taken with crude literalness.  What John did mean to say is that when the grace of Jesus comes to men there is enough and to spare for all.  No wedding party on earth could drink one hundred and eighty gallons of wine.  No need on earth can exhaust the grace of Christ; there is a glorious superabundance in it.

John is telling us that in Jesus the imperfections have become perfection, and the grace has become illimitable, sufficient and more than sufficient for every need.

Let us look at it now from the Greek point of view.  It so happens that the Greeks actually possessed stories like this.  Dionysos was the Greek god of wine.  Pausanias was a Greek who wrote a description of his country and of its ancient ceremonies.  In his description of Elis, he describes an old ceremony and belief: “Between the market-place and the Menius is an old theatre and a sanctuary of Dionysos; the image is by Praxiteles.  No god is more revered by the Eleans than Dionysos is, and they say that he attends their festival of the Thyia.  The place where they hold the festival called the Thyia is about a mile from the city.  Three empty kettles are taken into the building and deposited there by the priests in the presence of the citizens and of any strangers who may happen to be staying in the country.  On the doors of the buildings the priests, and all who choose to do so, put their seals.  Next day they are free to examine the seals, and on entering the building they find the kettles full of wine.  I was not there myself at the time of the festival, but the most respectable men of Elis, and strangers too, swore that the facts were as I have said.”

So the Greeks, too, had their stories like this; and it is as if John said to them: “You have your stories and your legends about your gods. They are only stories and you know that they are not really true.  But Jesus has come to do what you have always dreamed that your gods could do. He has come to make the things you longed for come true.”

To the Jews John said: “Jesus has come to turn the imperfection of the law into the perfection of grace.”  To the Greeks he said: “Jesus has come really and truly to do the things you only dreamed the gods could do.”

Now we can see what John is teaching us.  Every story tells us not of something Jesus did once and never again, but of something which he is for ever doing.  John tell us not of things that Jesus once did in Palestine, but of things that he still does today.  And what John wants us to see here is not that Jesus once on a day turned some waterpots of water into wine; he wants us to see that whenever Jesus comes into a man’s life, there comes a new quality which is like turning water into wine.  Without Jesus, life is dull and stale and flat; when Jesus comes into it, life becomes vivid and sparkling and exciting. Without Jesus, life is drab and uninteresting; with him it is thrilling and exhilarating.

When Sir Wilfred Grenfell was appealing for volunteers for his work in Labrador, he said that he could not promise them much money, but he could promise them the time of their lives.  That is what Jesus promises us. Remember that John was writing seventy years after Jesus was crucified.  For seventy years he had thought and meditated and remembered, until he saw meanings and significances that he had not seen at the time.  When John told this story he was remembering what life with Jesus was like; and he said, “Wherever Jesus went and whenever he came into life it was like water turning into wine.”  This story is John saying to us: “If you want the new exhilaration, become a follower of Jesus Christ, and there will come a change in your life which will be like water turning into wine.”

 


Matthew 27:54   When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

Mark 15:39    And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

Luke 23:47    The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.”

 


DOCTRINAL REVIEW

 

SALVATION

 

14.5 What is salvation? 

  • 2 Corinthians 5:17-19; Colossians 1:13-14; Galatians 4:4-7; Ephesians 2:19-21; Romans 6:3-5; Titus 3:4-5; John 3:16  
  • It is the restoration of human communion with God and the deliverance of the entire creation from the bondage of sin and death. 
  • In saving us, God grants us reconciliation with him, forgiveness of sins, adoption into his family, citizenship in his kingdom, union with him in Christ, new life in the Spirit and the promise of eternal life

14.6 Why is salvation needed?  

  • Ever since the first human beings, the human race has rebelled and distrusted the perfect goodness and holy love of the triune God and therefore alienated themselves from their Creator and rejected the fellowship they were created to have with him as their God.  As a result, the human race has:
      • cut itself off from the source of its life and existence, resulting in physical death and subjecting itself to eternal spiritual death.
      • promoted a lie about the nature and character of the triune God their maker, bearing false witness to God’s name and reputation by rejecting his faithfulness, goodness, grace and holiness.
      • undermined and at times even attempted to destroy the faith, hope and love for God and so stop the good, right and life-giving worship of the triune God by others, thereby incurring spiritual guilt and shame before God, which only God himself can remedy and has done so in the atoning work of Christ.
      • exposed itself to being manipulated by and enslaved to the power of sin from which it cannot free itself, leading to the corruption, warping and twisting of human nature itself, which it cannot undo.
      • experienced disharmony between the human soul, mind and body, leading to broken and even destructive and evil relationships between parents and children, between men and women, between nations and ethnic groups, and between human beings and the natural environment. 

14.7 How are people saved?  

  • Romans 8:21-23; Romans 6:18; Romans 6:22-23; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; Matthew 3:17; Colossians 3:1; Ephesians 2:4-10    
  • Salvation is accomplished for us through the life and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross.  
  • Salvation is freely given to us by the grace of our triune God.   
  • It is personally received and experienced through faith in Jesus enabled by the ministry of the Spirit.   
  • It is not earned by good works or through personal merit.  

 

14.8 Is there any way of salvation other than through Jesus Christ?

      • 1 Timothy 2:5   For there is one God and one Mediator between God and menthe Man Christ Jesus,
  • No.  The apostle Peter said of Jesus that “salvation is found in no one else” (Acts 4:12).
  • Jesus is the only one who can save us from our damaged and twisted nature and reconcile us to God so that we can live according to God’s ultimate purposes for human beings.
  • He is the only one who can enable us to share in God’s eternal life, free from the power of evil and its consequence, which is death.

 

14.9 Will all people be saved?

      • Hebrews 10:31    It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  
      • Romans 11:32  For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.  
      • Matthew 18:12-14    “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?  13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.  14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.   
      • Ephesians 2:8    For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  
      • 1 Timothy 2:3-4  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.   
      • John 3:17-18  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  
      • Ezekiel 18:32  For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”  
      • 2 Corinthians 5:14-15    For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.  
  • All who call upon the Lord will be saved.  No one who seeks after God will be turned away.
  • God’s work of atonement was accomplished for the benefit of all.
  • Jesus is Lord and Savior over all persons, though Scripture does not say that all people will necessarily receive the salvation that is theirs in Christ, or that none will irreversibly reject the ministry of the Holy Spirit to unite them to Christ.
  • Salvation is the fruit of a relationship with the triune God — a gift that is complete in Jesus and that must, through the work of the Spirit, be personally received in order for its benefits, especially eternal life in eternal communion with God, to be fully enjoyed.

 

14.10 Through salvation, do humans eventually become God?

  • No.  
  • Though ultimate salvation does not make us God (or parts of God), it does give us a full sharing in the sanctified and glorified humanity of Jesus Christ.
  • We remain human, becoming fully and truly human as Jesus was and still is.
  • Through the incarnate Son of God, we enjoy union and communion with the whole of God, while remaining fully human.  

 


TEACHING NOTES … 

 

Why do we need to be saved?

  • Without the ministry of the Holy Spirit, humans do not trust wholeheartedly in God as Lord who alone is worthy of worship. 
      • By nature, we do not welcome being God’s creatures, nor do we embrace God’s design for human life and the wisdom of following his ways. 
      • We do not implicitly trust in God’s goodness and judgments about what is evil. 
      • We do not freely receive God’s grace, as our dependence upon him offends our pride of self-sufficiency.
      • We do not gratefully receive all of his blessings, including daily lifelong communion with God and a share of God’s own goodness and rightness, justice and mercy to pass on to others.   
  • God must work individually in our lives through his Son and by his Spirit to give us renewed hearts, minds and wills set free from bondage to our self-will, our prideful commitment to autonomy, and our distrust and unbelief in God our creator and redeemer.

Will all be saved?

  • The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to set all free with the freedom won for them in Jesus Christ.  
  • But the biblical warnings require us to take seriously the almost impossible possibility that some people might somehow refuse the freedom the Spirit brings to them to surrender to the grace of God in Jesus Christ and receive all the benefits of living in a good and right worship relationship with God in which we receive his forgiveness by faith and accept his free gift of salvation daily and so live under his lordship.  
  • The limits to salvation, whatever they may be, are known only to God. Three truths above all are certain:
      1. God is a holy God who is not to be trifled with,
      2. no one will be saved except by grace alone, and
      3. no judge could possibly be more gracious than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
  • If some do manage to resist the Holy Spirit and reject God’s forgiveness and grace stored up for them in Jesus Christ, it will not be due to any lack or limits to God’s gracious provision made for all.

 

From The GCI Statement of Beliefs:

  • Salvation is the restoration of human fellowship with God and the deliverance of the entire creation from the bondage of sin and death.
  • Salvation is given by the grace of God
  • . . . and experienced through faith in Jesus Christ,
  • . . . not earned by personal merit or good works. 
  • God calls on every person to enter that divine fellowship, which has been secured for humanity in Jesus Christ and is embodied by him as the beloved of the Father at the Father’s right hand.

 

Here are GCI articles that address the topics in this section:

 


Above is what GCI believes.   Let’s notice some particular words and phrases in the responses …

 

14.5 What is salvation? 

      • 2 Corinthians 5:17-19   Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
      • Colossians 1:13-14   He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. 
      • Galatians 4:4-7  But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.   And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.  
      • Ephesians 2:19-21   Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,    
      • Romans 6:3-5   Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,  
      • Titus 3:4-5    But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5  not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,  
      • John 3:16  For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  
  • It is the restoration of human communion with God and the deliverance of the entire creation from the bondage of sin and death.
  • In saving us, God grants us reconciliation with him, forgiveness of sins, adoption into his family, citizenship in his kingdom, union with him in Christ, new life in the Spirit and the promise of eternal life.
    • Re: “restoration” … Acts 3:19-21 (NKJV)    Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.  
      • According to Strong’s Concordance … 
        • “restoration of all things” – from the Gk, apokatastaseōs,
        • Transliteration: apokatastasis
        • Phonetic Spelling: (ap-ok-at-as’-tas-is) … pronounced apo-kata-stasis 
        • Definition: restoration 
        • Usage: restitution, reestablishment, restoration.

 

14.6 Why is salvation needed?

  • Ever since the first human beings, the human race has rebelled and distrusted the perfect goodness and holy love of the triune God and therefore alienated themselves from their Creator and rejected the fellowship they were created to have with him as their God.  As a result, the human race has:
      • cut itself off from the source of its life and existence, resulting in physical death and subjecting itself to eternal spiritual death.
      • promoted a lie about the nature and character of the triune God their maker, bearing false witness to God’s name and reputation by rejecting his faithfulness, goodness, grace and holiness.
      • undermined and at times even attempted to destroy the faith, hope and love for God and so stop the good, right and life-giving worship of the triune God by others, thereby incurring spiritual guilt and shame before God, which only God himself can remedy and has done so in the atoning work of Christ.
      • exposed itself to being manipulated by and enslaved to the power of sin from which it cannot free itself, leading to the corruption, warping and twisting of human nature itself, which it cannot undo.
      • experienced disharmony between the human soul, mind and body, leading to broken and even destructive and evil relationships between parents and children, between men and women, between nations and ethnic groups, and between human beings and the natural environment.

14.7 How are people saved?

      • Romans 8:21-23   because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.  
      • Romans 6:18  And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.   
      • Romans 6:22-23  But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.   
      • 1 Corinthians 1:9   God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.   
      • 1 Timothy 2:3-6  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truthFor there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesuswho gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,  
      • Matthew 3:17    And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”   
      • Colossians 3:1  If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.   
      • Ephesians 2:4-10  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesusthat in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.  
  • Salvation is accomplished for us through the life and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
  • Salvation is freely given to us by the grace of our triune God.
  • It is personally received and experienced through faith in Jesus enabled by the ministry of the Spirit.
  • It is not earned by good works or through personal merit.

 

14.8 Is there any way of salvation other than through Jesus Christ?

      • 1 Timothy 2:5   For there is one God and one Mediator between God and menthe Man Christ Jesus,
  • No.  The apostle Peter said of Jesus that “salvation is found in no one else” (Acts 4:12).
  • Jesus is the only one who can save us from our damaged and twisted nature and reconcile us to God so that we can live according to God’s ultimate purposes for human beings.
  • He is the only one who can enable us to share in God’s eternal life, free from the power of evil and its consequence, which is death.

 

14.9 Will all people be saved?

      • Hebrews 10:31    It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  
      • Romans 11:32  For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.  
      • Matthew 18:12-14    “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.   
      • Ephesians 2:8    For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,  
      • 1 Timothy 2:3-4  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.   
      • John 3:17-18  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  
      • Ezekiel 18:32  For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”  
      • 2 Corinthians 5:14-15    For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.  
  • All who call upon the Lord will be saved.  No one who seeks after God will be turned away.
  • God’s work of atonement was accomplished for the benefit of all.
  • Jesus is Lord and Savior over all persons, though Scripture does not say that all people will necessarily receive the salvation that is theirs in Christ, or that none will irreversibly reject the ministry of the Holy Spirit to unite them to Christ.
  • Salvation is the fruit of a relationship with the triune God — a gift that is complete in Jesus and that must, through the work of the Spirit, be personally received in order for its benefits, especially eternal life in eternal communion with God, to be fully enjoyed.

 

14.10 Through salvation, do humans eventually become God?

  • No.
  • Though ultimate salvation does not make us God (or parts of God), it does give us a full sharing in the sanctified and glorified humanity of Jesus Christ.
  • We remain human, becoming fully and truly human as Jesus was and still is.
  • Through the incarnate Son of God, we enjoy union and communion with the whole of God, while remaining fully human.

 

 


 

Luke 2:10;  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

John 1:19;  Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”

John 4:42;  Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed [a]the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

1 John 4:14;  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.

Luke 19:10;  for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

John 12:32;    And I, if I am [a]lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”  

1 Corinthians 15:22;  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

1 Timothy 4:9-10;  This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end [a]we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 

1 Timothy 4:10

1 John 2:2

1 Timothy 2:4;

2 Peter 3:9;  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward [a]us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Proverbs 21:30 NKJV     There is no wisdom or understanding Or counsel against the Lord.

Psalm 135:6;  Whatever the Lord pleases He does, In heaven and in earth, In the seas and in all deep places.   

Job 42:2;    “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.   

Luke 1:37;    For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Philippians 2:10-11;  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.   

Revelation 21:1-4, 5-8,   Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, [a]John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said [b]to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

And He said to me, “It[c] is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes [d]shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, [e]unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”   

Revelation 21:9-13   Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God.  Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. 12 Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13 three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.  

Revelation 21:22-27   But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor ]into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything [q]that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Revelation 22:1-6,7-13   And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.   Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the [b]holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place. 

“Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.

Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that.  For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” 10 And he said to me, “Do not seal the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. 11 He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”  12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

Revelation 22:14-16  Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.  16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.”  

Revelation 22:17  And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

 

If God is all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving, then WHY WOULDN’T GOD SAVE EVERYONE?   

If you listen to theologians, there are really just two possible reasons …

  1. He wants to … but He can’t
  2. He can … but He doesn’t want to

So … Does God want to … and, if He does, why can’t He?

THE NATURE AND CHARACTER OF GOD

 

 

 

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