Sunday, 20 May 2007

Creating, Judging, Saving

I've just finished a series of sermons looking at God as Creator, Judge and Saviour -which has been for me very instructive and edifying in re-formulating some biblical theology. If I may, let me share the main things the Lord has been teaching me.

1. Creation and salvation are very intimately connected. God saves by re-creating and his creative work is ultimately saving. The Bible begins with creation and ends with new creation. Christ's life, death and resurrection all have a strong theme of re-creation. And salvation encompasses the whole of me and the whole of the world - it's not a detached 'spiritual thing' that is only about my soul.

2. Judgement is a positive re-ordering of the world, a putting of things to rights and not mainly condemnation (though it includes that). It is about establishing justice, fixing, mending, ordering. Judgement and salvation are very closely linked in that salvation is just and judgement means renewal of the world.

3. God saves us for something, and not just from something. Salvation is not primarily about God letting us off or absorbing punishment (though it includes them), but about the creation of 'shalom' in the world. It is a positive thing and needs to be celebrated! God's goal in salvation is to bring His 'shalom' and glory to the world.

4. I need to think more about Jesus's resurrection as the focal point for all of these things. He is the beginning of a new order which means new creation, judgment and salvation. All the world is moving towards resurrection.