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Being at One With God and Each Other

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Being at One With God and Each Other

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The question has often been asked, “Why did God create humankind?” Isaiah 43:6-7 refers to us as His sons and daughters. This denotes a family relationship, which God our Father clearly desires. We were created for God’s glory as verse 7 states, “Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory.” God created us to love and to be loved by Him. 1 John 3:1 says, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” In a family relationship, individuals are to love one another and to love each other and to grow in that love, one for the other.

There is a special way in which we, as children of God, can glorify God and love Him and that is through our actions called righteousness. God the Father has co-existed along with the Word before time began. The Word took human form and became Jesus Christ for a specific purpose. John 1:14 reveals this truth to us. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” God the Father and the Word were at one with one another. They are at one in purpose, character and essence. From the beginning this was God’s purpose for us as well, that we be at one with Them in the same manner.

Man’s journey in life is one of separation from God brought about by our bad choices called sin. The beginning of man’s journey towards having the type of relationship God desires for us begins in the book of Genesis 1:26 where God proclaims, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.” God made us to have dominion over the entire physical creation. He instructed Adam and Eve to fill the earth with other humans through procreation and to subdue the earth. The Hebrew word for subdue means to take care of or be the caretakers of the earth and its living things. This would help avoid chaos or destruction of God’s creation.

God then gave them specific instructions to obey, that they should not eat of a specific tree in the Garden of Eden, or they would die. He gave them the free will to decide which path they would take. They disobeyed God and sin (unrighteousness) came into the human family and death with it. God anticipated that such an occurrence would happen, as 1 Peter 1:18-20 reveals. God the Father and the Word devised a process to redeem them from the finality of death. The Word, who became Jesus Christ (John 1:14), would be at the center of that plan. “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world but was revealed in these last times for your sake” (1 Peter 1:19-20, New International Version).

Sin has been transmitted throughout each generation and through the ages. What was to be a glorious relationship with God was interrupted by sin. The anticipated union and oneness with God the Father and the Word would be delayed. It therefore became necessary that mankind be redeemed or reconciled from that death penalty. Mankind would experience physical death but could be spared from eternal death through a process of reconciliation and the sacrifice of Jesus to pay the penalty for all who choose to repent.

Reconciliation requires repentance, an admission of wrongdoing and a concerted effort to change sinful behavior into righteousness. It is an essential element of the process of salvation or saving an individual from the ultimate penalty of eternal death. The intention was to bring God’s sons and daughters to a restored state of unity, harmony and oneness with the God family. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 states this process clearly. “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 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”.

It was necessary that an atonement be made for the sins perpetrated by the human family and that the only Being who could perform that sacrifice was the Word, who took the form of a human in Jesus Christ. Jesus accepted this role willingly out of His love for the Father and each of us. He completed this sacrifice through the shedding of His blood and death on the stake.

It opened the door for us to be united to the God family, which has always been the goal of our heavenly Father. Romans 3:24-25 states it this way: “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.” Colossians 1:14 says it similarly, “Through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” This grace, that the Father has bestowed upon us, is a rich gift that He extends to us out of His love for His children and not something that we have earned.

Another important element of our becoming at one with the Father and the Word involves the removal of the arch enemy, Satan, who involved himself into the lives of the first humans, Adam and Eve, and has continued to do so in all of our lives. The Day of Atonement signifies an important event in the lives of all living beings. The word atonement means to “cover over one’s debt” which the blood of Christ did, our debt for our sins.

The Azazel goat (scapegoat) spoken of in Leviticus 16:21-22 represents Satan. “And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land which is cut off, and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.” Satan is the name of that being inhabiting the wilderness. We see in Revelation 20:1-3 that event being fulfilled after Christ’s return to earth. “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit and shut him up and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished.” With Satan out of the picture, the human family will enjoy an unprecedented period of peace on earth.

What does God require of us for this tremendous gift He has chosen to give to us? “Fear God and keep His commandments” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). There is another important element of achieving oneness with the God family and with us as children of the living God. There is a deep-seated need and desire for all of us to be at one with each other as well. We need to eliminate “family feuds,” resentments, bitterness and unforgiveness among ourselves. We cannot be truly reconciled to God if we are not also reconciled to one another. Matthew 5:23-24 speaks to the importance of this issue: “Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift.” We are admonished to rectify broken relationships if we are the offender. Relationships in which we harbor an unforgiving heart, hold onto bitterness, resentment and anger are contrary to God and His way of life. We need to make amends, apologize and restore a right relationship with our brothers and sisters. This is what God desires of each of us. This the only way we can truly be reconciled to God and be at one with everyone in the God family.

The Day of Atonement and the process of reconciliation contain key elements that provide for the means of the sons and daughters to finally fulfill God’s ultimate purpose for us in the world tomorrow. We will be able to be the caretakers of God’s creation and be a part of the new order that the Father and the Word have designed for us. There are still wonderous things we will partake of that have not yet been revealed to us. It will be glorious, exciting and full of joy and peace. We owe it all to our loving Father and the Word who became man for our sakes.

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