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What are we here for

The plan from the beginning has always involved accurate representation.God created human beings in his image and gave them dominion. That is, God created us and delegated to us the authority to represent who he is and reflect what he’s like to all of creation. The problem is: accurate representation of a perfect and holy God became impossible the moment human beings sinned.

But sin didn’t stop God from wanting to reveal who he really is to the world. Nor did it stop him from using human beings to do it. It’s just that in using people that had become corrupted and defiled in their inmost being, it didn’t make for the most accurate picture of God. In every generation God revealed himself to people who would try to represent and reflect him to the world, speaking his words and working his works, but all of these words and works—because they were coming through the filter of human beings corrupted by sin—were only piecemeal bits of the reflection of a God who is infinite in glory and power and love. The picture was not, and could not be, a perfect one.

Finally, at just the right time, God sent the exact image and perfect representation of himself.[1] Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Second Adam, was no longer just a piece of the puzzle. He was the complete picture of God, revealed not in a scroll, not in lightning or thunder or smoke or fire, but in a body, filled with the Spirit of God and undefiled by sin.[2] Now those who wanted to know what God was really like were directed to look at Jesus,[3] the One who came in human flesh and lived among us.[4]

And here’s a glimpse of what three and a half years of accurate representation looked like: the dead raised, crowds flocking, hungry mouths filled, bodies healed, shame covered, tormented minds delivered, the hopeless embraced, sins forgiven, and good news proclaimed! Then…the Hope of the world rejected, betrayed, and delivered to the tormentors, stripped naked, body beaten, thirst unquenched, crowds mocking, crucified on cross—still good news?

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Yes! In just three and a half years of ministering to people, culminating in his own death on a cross, Jesus Christ showed the world what God is really like: a God who did not come to be served, but to serve, and to pour out his life in self-sacrificing love to rescue his creation from the perpetual problems that plague the world because of human sinfulness. But he did not stay dead! God is not dead! The resurrected flesh and blood body of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, has opened the way for all things to be made new again. Through Jesus, God is redeeming and renewing what was lost and broken when human beings first sinned.

[1] Hebrews 1:1-3.   [2] Colossians 2:9.  [3] John 14:7-10.  [4] John 1:1-14.

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Today, nearly 2000 years after Jesus of Nazareth walked the dusty streets of Jerusalem, God’s plan to show the world what he’s really like is still in effect. He still desires to do it through the flesh and blood Body of Jesus Christ, filled with the Spirit and sent out to speak the words and perform the works of the Father. The difference is that he is not just revealing himself through one person, but through a people who are made one by the work of Christ and the Spirit of God. The One in whom dwells all the fullness of deity now dwells in us, the Body of Christ, the Church. It is as the corporate Body of Christ submits to the Heavenly Father like Jesus did when he was on the earth, that we will do even greater things than Jesus did, just as he promised. We represent a Living God who speaks and acts today just as he did 2000 years ago.

This particular house of faith in Vernon is convinced that the Church is presently in a season of reformation, where God is stirring the spirits of people all over the globe (as he did in Ezra and Nehemiah’s day) to clear the rubble of what has been broken down, and to re-lay the foundations of the temple. We are the temple; not a building, but a people—a people whose identity and destiny are caught up in our King of kings’ cosmic plan to reveal to the world who he really is and what he’s really like. It is our desire to represent and reflect God accurately to our world, so that the world can know the self-sacrificing love of God for them.

Obviously we are not fully there…yet. Though Christ has made it possible for our sin nature to be crucified with him, and for us to have brand new spirits through his resurrection, and for us to be filled up and made one with his Holy Spirit through his ascension, we are still in process. It is as we submit to this process that we will find ourselves as a people moving ever forward from incompleteness to completeness, looking more and more like Jesus Christ, and therefore becoming more and more accurate in our representation of our Heavenly Father.

We are being transformed by the renewing of our minds and growing up into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Old desires are being exchanged for new ones. Idols, strongholds, addictions, habits, and old mindsets are all needing to be deconstructed so that the King of kings may rebuild what he wants to and establish his rule and reign of righteousness, peace, and joy in every single area of our lives. As we say yes to his transforming work in our lives, we are able to become agents of transformation and reconciliation in our community and world, demonstrating by word, deed, and life the nature of the God we serve and extending to those around us an invitation into a life-giving relationship with him through Jesus Christ.