The Circle

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. 1 Corinthians 15:20-28

There is much we cannot picture. God cannot be pictured! The Bible says He is a definite being, but not like us. He is not physical. He is without physical limitations—cannot die (is eternal), does not age, is not subject to time, is sexless, is more intelligent than the most intelligent human, is more powerful than anything humans will ever invent using His resources, and knows and understands more than humans can know or understand. We were made in His image, not He in ours.

Yet, we usually think of God in terms of a glorified human. After all, the physical is what we know. Though Genesis 1 in brief terms introduces us to Him as the Creator, we are more likely to think of God in terms of what He made instead of what He is.

He examined all He created, and was pleased. His conclusion: it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). If it was “very good” to God, it would be beyond comprehension to us. There are several things I truly doubt any of us can imagine—“very good,” free from sin, ideal in the sense God would consider ideal, without flaw, cannot be improved, etc.

That is beyond my imagination! I cannot picture anything God would call good. I cannot think in terms of what God would consider ideal. I cannot even think in terms of a state of sinlessness. Can you imagine no evil anywhere in anything?

What do you think of when you think of restoration? A building? Think bigger! A name? Think bigger! Forms? Think bigger! Methods? Think bigger! Rules and regulations? Think bigger! Relationships? Think bigger!

The ultimate restoration is not about us! It is about God! God’s objective in our salvation is about more than forgiveness or human affairs. It is about restoring God to His rightful place over creation that existed when creation occurred. Christ came. Christ reigns right now. Christ will continue to reign until he defeats all that opposes God. The last thing Christ will defeat will be death. Then Christ will subject himself to God, and the ultimate restoration will occur. Just as in the creation event, God again will be the “all in all.” All rebellion will be defeated as God rules all He made.

The only question: are you to be defeated as God’s opponent, or do you exist and use your life to help restore God to His rightful place?

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 20 November 2008


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