This week my theme seems to revolve around God’s plan “that we should be holy and blameless before him.” While bygone centuries may have left people wondering how he would do this, we who live in this last hour between Jesus first and second comings have the advantage of the completed word of God, the Bible.
Here is a general outline of what God has done, is doing, and will do, to fulfill his timeless plan to have a people who are “holy and blameless” in his sight.
God’s first step in this plan was to create man in his own image and likeness. Obviously, if we were created like him, we would be as holy and blameless as him. So far, so good.
However, when Satan lured man into sin, fulfilling God’s warning that if we ate from the forbidden tree we would die, there had to be a solution to the sin-problem in order to have people who were holy and blameless.
The next step in this process was to create a people that were God’s own covenant nation, and give them a law that was holy and blameless. The law was contained in Ten Commandments. It was written in stone. Do this and you will live; fail to do this and you will die.
Because man was already sinful, and the laws of God were impossible for sinful men to perform, God surrounded the Ten Commandments with a multitude of sacrifices and offerings that were aimed at teaching reverence for God, and providing forgiveness for sin. The result was that man now had opportunity to demonstrate whether we could be holy and blameless through our own performance. It did not take long to see that this would not accomplish what God had planned. The centuries of living by the Ten Commandments proved people guilty of sin. God needed another plan.
Before the beginning of time, God had already accommodated all that sin would do to ruin his initial creation. While he was grieved by Adam’s sin, he was not surprised by it. Neither was he stumped by it. Once man could see that sin had to be dealt with, and once we saw that no perfect “ten” of laws could take away our sin, we were ready to receive the gift of God, that God would do one hundred percent of the work to make us as holy and blameless as he wanted us to be.
The work of Jesus Christ in salvation is God’s plan. Through this work of the Triune, sin is propitiated, paid for, taken away. The wrath of God against our sin is finished, just as Jesus said on the cross. Now God has the legal means of making people righteous by faith in a way that we could never be righteous by works. Jesus has cleansed us of sin and unrighteousness so that we can now serve the living God without fear, and without punishment.
At the present time, God is applying the work of his Son to the lives of those he adopts as his sons so that we can become as holy and blameless as his Son. This work continues from “one degree of glory to another” until that day that we are fully restored to the image of God as God intended from before the beginning of creation. As Jesus’ good friend John wrote, “Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”
While this is such a brief summary of God’s grand work of making a creature that was like him “in true righteousness and holiness,” it is food for thought and praise as we consider how God will carry on to completion not only what he started in us, but what he planned before time began. He has already done enough that we can be certain of what remains to be fulfilled. And so, I gladly echo these beautiful words of praise to our great God and Savior:
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
© 2014 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)