Tuesday, May 24, 2016

God's Nearness, Our Good

But as for me the nearness of God is my good.
Psalm 73:28

How blessed is the one whom You choose
and bring near to You to dwell in your courts.
Psalm 65:4

But God, being rich in mercy because of His
great love with which He loved us...made us
alive together with Christ (by grace you have
been saved), and raised us up with Him and
seated us with Him in the heavenly places
in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:4-7

God's nearness is indeed our good.  In fact, the closer we draw near to God the better it is for us, and the more joy and delight we have in Him and He in us.  The question, though, for all of us is,  "How indeed do we draw near?" How do we as physical and sinful creatures draw near to the Creator who is Spirit and Holy? 

The answer is that we draw near in Christ.  And how then do we draw near in Christ?  Because we are baptized in Christ (Romans 6:3-4).  We have been placed in Christ through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and through the Spirit's baptism are united with Him (Romans 6:5); and because we now have a spiritual union with Christ, we remain in Him (I Corinthians 6:17, II Peter 1:4).  This is what water baptism pictures for us, the spiritual immersing of us into Christ by the Holy Spirit, and the subsequent oneness that we have.

The term united in Romans 6:5 is an organic term as compared to a mechanical term.  So instead of being bolted to Christ, or glued to Christ, or welded to Christ we are planted in Christ and grow in Christ, thus picturing a planting and growing together as one.  We are not a part to be added to Christ, nor is He part that has been added to us, but we live and grow in Christ.  It is a picture of a progressive and intimate relationship  

Once again, we see the wondrous provision of God, in giving to us from Himself and of Himself what we cannot possibly provide or accomplish on our own.  Terms such as immeasurable grace or unconditional love do not capture the fullness of what He does for us. So let us rejoice today, and marvel in the nearness we have with the One who has created it all. 

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