God Has All Life

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin | Westminster Confession of Faith

“But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King.” (Jeremiah 10:10)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.” (John 5:25–26)

There is nothing more fundamental than life. Have no life, and you will have nothing else. As if afraid of the advance of life, which inevitably brings us closer to death, we find a great obsession with youth in our wider society. Death remains something of a taboo, since it speaks to our own mortality. All of this not surprising: life is the foundation of existence, and to lose it is to lose everything else.

At the core of Christianity are two related claims. First of all is the claim that life itself comes from God. It is he who created all things, and he himself is uncreated. He gives life to everything else, but does not receive life himself. Why? Because he is life. All life derived from him, and he is pure existence. When Moses asked God who he should say that he had met in the burning bush, he was told: “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14)

I AM. God just is. God has no beginning or end because he is simply ‘being’.

The second claim is closely related to the first. Jesus tells us that the Father has “life in himself” (I AM), and so does he. When killed, Jesus simply walked from the tomb. Why? Because he has “life in himself”. Life he grants to those who follow him, and hear his voice.

God has “life in himself” and so all life is a gift from God. I wonder, how do you use it?

He Will by No Means Clear the Guilty

The LORD ... keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty. (Exodus 34:7) - The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty. (Nahum 1:3) - The move from iniquity to repentance is a move from guilt to forgiveness. It is a humbling thing, but also a liberating thing. It might not be natural to us, it might even take years, but the Lord is patient.

The God of Glory

And Stephen said: “Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,” (Acts 7:2) - It is easy to acknowledge that we rely upon God for life, but not often easy to depend on him for glory or worth. Better to seek the Lord in whom all wisdom is to be found, and who alone can give you a meaning which endures.

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