Listen to Him!(Mark 9:7)
For I am come down from heaven, not to do my will, but the will of him who went me. . .Jesus, John 6:38
Here is Jesus’ definitive expression of the Father's will:All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:37-40).Since this is Jesus' definitive expression of the Father's will, it therefore defines the concept in all his utterances. It follows that, if we examine other utterances in the light of this one, we will realize this significance in them. We also will draw new insights from them as their Truth comes to light.
First, though, I am going to state a conclusion drawn from a careful study all of the utterances and you will see, as you proceed, how well it corresponds to the Truth. This conclusion is: The will of God consists of but one primary objective; all other things that contribute to the realization of that objective are secondary expressions of his will. This single objective is the destiny that the Father desires for everyone, which is the goal of being, the Resurrection at the last day. If we seek to incorporate other ideas, objectives, or conditions into our views of the will of the Father, we will depart from the Truth unless those things also contribute to the realization of the one objective. Even then we also must acknowledge them as secondary expressions, or we will continue to err. Now, referring again to the utterance quoted above, what is this one single objective? Obviously, it is eternal life with the Father, which we acquire only by: (1) believing in Christ, and (2) participating in the resurrection at the last day.
It is necessary to define "believing in Christ" because of the erroneous interpretations that Christendom has applied to this idea. For example, the preachers have often told us it means "to believe that Jesus died for my sins," or that "Christ is the Son of God." Both ideas are correct as far as they go, but they are inadequate expressions of the crux of the faith. They have misplaced their focus, and those who build their faith on such confessions are like those who build, without foundations, houses doomed to fall. Their error is precisely identical with that of the one who "hears these words of mine and does not do them."
By believing in him, Jesus had in mind that we should believe his words. This is the crux of true faith. He intimately identified himself with his words, so much so that there is no way to know him except through the knowledge of his utterances. The only effective faith in him is faith in his Word. This alone is the faith that issues in salvation. The only genuine response to him is a response to his Word. It is the utterances that are the personification of the man. He came down from heaven specifically to utter them, and so to believe in him is to believe the words. You will understand this better by reference to another of his utterances:Whosoever loves his life loses it; but he who hates his life in this world will keep it for life eternal (John 12:25).He also said that the will of God is that everyone who sees and believes in him should have eternal life. We see how he intends us to understand belief in him when he said that we obtain eternal life only through the hatred of life in this world. For unless one believes what he said, i.e., that only he who hates his life in this world receives eternal life, one will not receive eternal life, whatever else one may have believed about Jesus.
Let us look at a typical Brother A as an example. Brother A believes in Jesus with all his heart, or so he supposes, because he believes in the Jesus that his teachers at church have defined for him. Brother A also loves his life in this world, which means, in essence, that he does not want to part with it. He believes that this love of life is a good thing. He even says "Amen" when the pastor, speaking from the pulpit, eulogizes a "hero of the faith" as one who was a lover of life. So, does Brother A. really believe in Jesus? Absolutely not! If he does not believe his words, he does not believe in him, and he does not believe his words because he loves his life contrary to the Word. Therefore he cannot receive eternal life because he does not believe in Jesus. That is, he does not believe the words of Jesus. On the other hand, if he were to hate his life in the world in a manner consistent with the words of Jesus, he would receive eternal life. He may never have heard of Jesus, yet he would believe in Jesus because he would believe in the Truth expressed in the Word.
The will of God is then that all arrive at that particular destiny that Jesus defined as "the Resurrection at the last day." Now, since the will of God more generally includes all things that contribute to transporting us to that particular destiny, and since only by the hatred of life can one receive eternal life, it follows that the hatred of life is also the will of the Father. It transports us to the point where it is God's will that we be, namely, the Resurrection at the last day.
Jesus also stated that "he who loves his life loses it."
Then it follows that such a person fails to receive eternal life. He fails to arise at the Resurrection at the last day, which is the Father's will. It follows also that the love of life is not the will of God. Also, since it is the love of life that absolutely precludes one's arrival at the Resurrection at the last day, which is the Father's will, one can say that the love of life opposes the will of God. It obstructs the Father's will when anyone is guilty of the love of life. Let us go a step farther. It is reasonable to say that sin is whatever opposes the will of God. Therefore the love of life is the essence of sin, and to "repent" of one's sin is to repent of the love of life. This is the essence of repentance, apart from which there is no repentance.
Now consider the second means to the single objective, which is the Resurrection at the last day. The will of the Father cannot be realized apart from the Resurrection. This informs us that the single objective that constitutes the will of the Father refers not to this world or to time because we realize it only through the Resurrection at the last day. The will of the Father is life eternal as distinguished from life temporal. Therefore, in this world nothing has any significance as the will of God except only those secondary things that contribute directly to the realization of that will, which is eternal life at the Resurrection. One of those things is the hatred of life in this world!
This hatred also must be a primary element in the Father's will. Jesus expressly stated it as a prerequisite to the realization of the Father's will, which is eternal life through the Resurrection at the last day. This idea radically contradicts the views of most churchmen. It is not my purpose here to expand into a discussion of the failings of the churches, but it is important to acknowledge that they are among the most influential institutions in Christendom, and their influence is pervasive throughout the world. The result is that Jesus' sharply defined idea of the will of God is inundated by falsehoods that render the Truth generally inconceivable. He has, again, been betrayed by a kiss!
The churches tend to teach their adherents to think of the will of God in either of two ways: corporately, as the realization of some general earthly condition such as "world peace" or "political freedom," and individually, as the decision which "God would have us make" when seeking a spouse, selecting an occupation, and resolving personal problems or perplexing questions of conduct. Again, consider our beloved Brother A, who has come into a considerable inheritance and needs to know how to invest it wisely. Should he enter the stock market, and if so, what stocks should he purchase? Should he buy a business and quit his job? Should he pay off his home mortgage? Should he give to a worthy charity? According to Jesus, absolutely none of this has any relevance to the will of God unless it contributes to the goal of eternal life at the last day. Giving the money away conceivably falls into this category. Nothing else of those things mentioned does because all contribute to the enhancement of life in this world and fall under the category of the love of life. If we restrict the options to those of investing it in an earthly, temporal way – the Father has no interest. So I repeat for the sake of clarity: the will of God is the fulfillment of a single goal, which is the Resurrection at the last day. That is all we need consider, because that is the Father's sole concern. Absolutely nothing else has any positive significance in his sight. He has no interest in the outcome of our wars or of our national and world peace. This is purely a temporal affair that lacks relevance to eternal life. He does not concern himself with the eradication of poverty or of disease, since these things only contribute to the quality of temporal life that we are to hate. He does not care whom you marry, or whether you marry, since this is purely a temporal condition. Jesus stated that, in heaven, there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage. He cares not a whit about your occupation, nor the extent of your education. He gives no attention to the degrees of your success in this world.
How can I make it any more plain? Jesus has spoken – not as speaking the words of a man, but the very words of the Father in heaven. One might wish that it were otherwise, but it is not and we must reckon with this, either here or hereafter.
Doubtless the will of God embraces much, much more than this one single objective. I do not mean to say in an absolute sense that God concerns himself with nothing else. What is clear is that He has no other desires concerning us. Therefore we can know nothing else about his will than this, which he has revealed through his son, Jesus. We have no need to know anything else. Perhaps in eternity we shall know much more – but now we can know nothing else for this is all he has chosen to reveal.
How dark, oh how very dark, is this world! See how people commit themselves to the pursuit of the will of God conceived in temporal terms, and look at the result: "holy war." Christians war with Christians, Jews, Muslims, anyone who threatens them in the conviction that they are doing the will of God. Jews war against Arabs, Muslims against Jews, Christians, and themselves all in the conviction that the war is holy – that it is God's will that they fight and win. All would be resolved and peace would prevail if all men realized the one simple fact that Jesus set forth long ago: the will of God is eternal life, this and nothing more! In saying this I do not mean to imply that such a peaceful world is a goal of divine will. To the contrary, the world functions precisely as divine will has ordained from the beginning. It has no prospect of any radical change for the better according to Jesus' prophetic utterances about the future of man on earth.
When one believes, as I do, that God created the world, this interpretation of the Father's will leads directly to another conclusion: the purpose, the sole purpose of the creation, was and is our realization of eternal life at the Resurrection. I am stating this here because of its immediate relevance, but an extended discussion will be presented later.
The preceding presents the Father's will as goal – as the destiny that he would have us attain. How does this relate to "doing" the will of God? Jesus was interested in this aspect perhaps more so than any other. His intense interest stands out in the following utterances:
DOING THE WILL
(1) In the prayer instruction to the disciples:Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9,10; Luke 11: 2).(2) At the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount:Not every one who says to me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21).(3) And in Gethsemane:My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt (Matthew 6:29, 39, 42; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42).And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter,So you could not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:40,41).Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed,My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done (Matthew 26:42).Jesus provides the key to understanding his emphasis on "doing" the will in the utterance in John's Gospel that appears at the beginning of this chapter. There he said,. . . for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me (John 6:38).Taking his every word very seriously, as he intended, we immediately derive from this that in his mind, "doing the will of God" was his unique task. He was of course also interested in the doing of the will of God by others, as when he said,. . . whoever does the will of my Father, the same is my mother, and brother, and sister (Matthew 12:50; Mark 3:35).He was unique in that his was the task of doing it first. He was to show and teach the way for others to follow. Before his coming, the Father's will was not being done on the earth by anyone. The whole world was in darkness and he came, as he said, to be the light of the world. He sought to enlighten everyone about the will of the Father and how to do it. This meant that he must first do it himself for if he, who understood it, did not do it, then no one would. Thus it was that he came down from heaven to be the first to do the will of the Father. Jesus was the original pioneer of the Father's will.
The apostles rightly acknowledged him to be subject to the temptations characteristic of all, and he experienced all the human frailties. Even Jesus was unsure of his ability to fulfill his calling as he sought the prayerful support of his friends when he counseled them to pray:. . . thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:12).This was nothing less than a petition for their prayers in his behalf – that he might be equal to the task of doing the Father's will on the earth, as he well understood that it was and is done in heaven. He had been mightily tempted in the wilderness, and he knew that the devil had only left him for a more convenient season. That convenient season arrived in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-45; Mark 14:32-41). There, struggling against the weak flesh and valiantly clinging to his spiritual resources, he won the conclusive battle with Satan.
We note his extreme disappointment in his friends, who were oblivious to the cosmic struggle occurring within him – so much so that they chose to take a restful nap. Listen to his plaintive words:So you could not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:40-41; Mark 14:37-38).His victory, however, was secured by his strong resolve as expressed in the following words.My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Thy will be done (Matthew 26:42; Mark 14:36).He had come down to do the will of his Father; the time for doing was at hand. He had battled victoriously with the opposing human forces within and the demonic forces without. These sought to divert him from his resolve – from his whole purpose in coming to the earth. Thus far he had prevailed. He had not failed and was continuing his resolute march to the cross and to the event that would be the first doing of the will of the Father on the earth, as it is done in heaven.
When he said,Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord" shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21),he was thinking first of himself – how he, as a man, would enter the Kingdom if, and only if, he was faithful to the task of doing the will of the Father. He hoped for and expected that others would follow him in a similar doing of the Father's will, for only on that basis does anyone enter the Kingdom. Here we see his strong distinction between those professing to believe in him and acknowledging him as Lord but failing to hear him and follow in doing the will of the Father, and those who listen to him, take him seriously and follow him in doing the Father's will. It is only the latter who truly believe in him, for they not only believe "in" him, they actually believe him. They believe what he said!
He did the will of his Father when he yielded up his spirit on the cross, uttered his last gasp and died. All parties present conspired in some way to deflect him from that resolve. Yet he, who might have come down from the cross, who might have called out to the Father to send angels to destroy all his enemies, did no such thing. Instead, he held true to his calling to do the Father's will. It is in his suffering and death that he showed what he meant when he spoke of doing the Father's will on earth as it is in heaven. It was there that he held true to the love of the Father and of life eternal by hating his life on earth. It was to go to his Father and share again in the Glory of Eternity (John 17:5,13). Thus also he left us an example that time can never erase, which all must follow who would enter the Kingdom.
God's will is done in heaven by everyone who is blessed to achieve that wondrous estate. And his will, which they are doing, is simply that they love being there. None of them would wish to be anywhere else, and it is not the Father's will that they should be removed from him. He loves them all and would hold them to himself eternally. For this cause Jesus emphasized that he did not come down from heaven because he wanted to, but the Father sent him to do his will on earth as it is done in heaven. It is obvious, then, that the Father's will is not being done by anyone, anywhere, who does not want to be with him in his glory but who desires to reside somewhere else. This is of course the perfect description of one who seeks to prolong his life on the earth for while we cling to this life, loving and embracing it, do we want to be with the Father? I tell you, no! Therefore only by hating life in this world can anyone do the will of the Father, which is that we hate this life so as to experience the life eternal in his presence in glory.
This is also the significance of the commandment of God that Jesus designated as the first – "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your soul and with all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30). Loving God the Father in this way can mean only one thing. It means that we reach out to him with our whole being. It means that we desire above all other things to join him in his Glory as a son or a daughter for eternity. And if this is the case with any person, that person does not want to remain in the life temporal and therefore can be said to hate it. Conversely, it follows that anyone who loves his life in time clings to it and by that signifies that he does not love God.
The will is the hinge pin upon which the whole universe swings. It is a key to the comprehension of all that Jesus conceived when he spoke of "Truth." Apart from an accurate understanding of the will, one can never realize the light of Christ but must forever wander in the darkness of the world without light and without hope. To be more specific, nothing is more important to us than an accurate understanding of what the will of God signifies in the utterances of the Lord.
I have shown what was in his mind when he said,I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me (John 6:38).Other ideas have been advanced, such as the ones listed here:
- (1) He conceived that, day by day, he was to live an exemplary life on the earth as a pattern of conduct for all men to follow. Thus he would be doing the will of God on earth that he said he came to do.
- (2) God's will for mankind is the perfection of society issuing in a utopian world of righteousness, peace, and joy. Jesus came to show us how to realize this goal and to inspire us to strive for it with all our might. He did both and thus he did the will of him who sent him.
Doubtless many other options might be set out for our consideration, but these are more than sufficient for this discussion. About the first option, the presentation of himself as an example of righteousness for all men to follow . . . it is correct to say that he did present himself as an example to be followed; however, he did not expect many people to respond:
- (3) Jesus came to give his life a sacrifice for sin so that men and women might be forgiven. This he did and thus he did the will of his Father.The way is broad that leads to destruction, and many there be that go in thereby; but the way is hard that leads to life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:13,14).The following utterance is also encumbered with similar difficulties:
For judgment I am come into the world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind (John 9:39).I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (Matthew 9:13; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:31).These utterances are characteristic of the general tenor of his message, in which mankind consists of two major categories. One will hate and persecute him and his followers; the other will love and follow him. The latter category is very small in the expectation of Jesus, while the former, which includes his persecutors, will include almost the whole of mankind. In view of these difficulties, it is not reasonable to suppose that the first option constituted the will of God in the mind of Jesus.
Now consider the second option. It can be eliminated handily by examining other statements given by Jesus as constituting in some way his purpose in coming down from heaven. He did say that he came down to do the will of the Father, that is, of him who sent him (John 6:38). In another place he also said:Do not think that I came to send peace on the earth; I came not to send peace but a sword (Matthew 10:34).Yet again he said:I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled (Luke 12:49)!He came to do God's will, but he did not come to send peace on the earth. He came to do God's will, but he also came to cast fire on the earth. Therefore, the doing of God's will on the earth by Jesus is in some way associated with the sending of the sword and the casting of fire. It follows that one can eliminate the utopianization of society from consideration, since a fiery earth at war is hardly consistent with the Utopia of which our species dreams. Also, none of his visions of the future of the world has even a hint of optimism about its state. He said:You shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, but the end is not yet (Matthew 24:6; Mark 13:7).These statements are typical of his expectations of this world. The intervening two millennia have fulfilled his predictions.
The poor you have always with you (Matthew 26:11; Mark 14:7; John 12:8).
We can eliminate the third option by similar means. This one conceives of the will of God as consisting of Jesus' offering up of himself as a sacrifice for sin; but this cannot be the case in view of the following utterance:Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice." For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners (Hosea 6:6; Matthew 9:13; 12:7).The italicized quotation from Hosea the prophet was mentioned repeatedly by Jesus, and suggests that he understood that God does not desire a sacrifice. Now, to speak of "God's desire" is, of course, to speak of God's will. Since this was his view of that matter, he could not have understood that God had sent him into the world to do what he does not desire – to render a sacrifice. I will discuss this idea more fully in a later chapter on the topic of salvation, in response to the heavy, but mistaken, emphasis on sacrifice throughout Christendom.
God's will, in its absolute essence, is to have children in his presence in glory. Everything that contributes to that end is, of course, also his will in a general sense. The will of God is then a family affair, in which a father begets children to share his life with him. God's means to this end is the creation of the world and the evolution of man, with the subsequent inspiration of man by the eternal spirit of the Father, but individually as each qualifies. The Father sent Jesus down to teach us how to qualify, and then to show us the way. So, when he was uttering the words of God, he was doing the will of God in that the words tell us to respond to the divine call to glory. Subsequently, when he laid down his life on the cross in demonstration of both the hatred of life in this world and the love of eternal glory, he was showing how each can and must qualify. So in his death he was doing the will of God by showing the way to God.
Finally, as a man among men, he fulfilled the Father's will in his person by desiring the Father's will above all earthly considerations. Thus he went joyfully to his Father to become his child in Glory – the firstborn of many sisters and brothers.
I submit to you that this is all we need know to realize fully the significance of the will of the Father in the mind of Jesus. Whatever other dimensions there are in the will of God remain unknown to us. Nor have we any need to know of them. The will of God finds expression in a single idea, and if we do not respond to that, we have no need to know of anything else. A positive response to the one essence is the sole qualification for entry into the will of the Father.
In spite of this, men and women never tire of interpreting the Father's will in terms of their particular desires. This only leads them astray from the divine will, not into its realization. This is the prevailing practice, not only in Christendom, but also in every other culture that acknowledges God. For example, we all want a peaceful earth devoid of war and its horrors and so that becomes "the will of God."
Jesus avoided making any intrusion into the definition of the Father's will. And let there be no mistake: he had a will that was distinct from that of the Father. He was careful to acknowledge this. Not only so, but his will, like ours, tended to be contrary to that of the Father. This stands out in the following prayerful utterance:. . . not my will, but yours be done (Matthew 26:39; Luke 22:42).In the mind of Jesus, then, the Father's will is children in heaven, together with everything that contributes to that end. From this perception of the will of God comes the answer to many questions that were previously unfathomable. For example, why must there be enmity between heaven and earth? As far as I know, Jesus did not explain this other than to point out the impossibility of serving two masters. He accepted it as a given state of things that is fundamental to Truth. The absence of an explanation raises questions. Either it is not important, which cannot be the case given Jesus' focus upon it, or others had already revealed it, which does not seem to be so, or it is so obvious that it needs no explanation. The latter, I believe, is the case. It became clear to me while I was considering the following tenets of faith:
- (1) God in heaven created the world (Genesis 2:4).
- (2) God then created man in the world, in his likeness (Genesis 1:26-27).
- (3) Heaven is the glorious eternal state of being (Isaiah 63:15).
All these are in some form affirmed by the prophets, and Jesus affirmed the prophets. (Not that he affirmed everything written by them). Jesus focused on the last one, giving it special emphasis, illustrating and illuminating it in every way. For example, he defined the Father's will as follows:
- (4) God wills that we become his children in heaven (Isaiah 43:6,7).This is my Father's will: that I should lose nothing that he has given me but should raise it up at the last day (John 6:39,40,44,54).He amended and explained this utterance when he promised that the meek will inherit the earth (Psalm 37:11; Matthew 5:5), that he has gone to prepare a place for the children (a place in the Father's house, John 14:2,3) and that he will return, at the Parousia, to receive them unto himself that where he is, there they will be also.
So therefore the Father's will and purpose for man is the Resurrection. This is unmistakably the Resurrection to his eternal glory, to be with him in his house, as his sons and daughters. It is important to acknowledge that this is the Father's only will and purpose for man – that we become his children in glory. Every legitimate expression of his will ultimately derives its significance from this. Now, understanding as we do that the eternal God changes not, I can only conclude that this has always been his purpose for man, even from before the creation of the world.
Keeping the above four tenets in mind, now let us explain the obvious – that is, the only method by which the creator can realize his purpose of adding children to his glory.
God, had he been temporally minded, may have desired to realize the children immediately, but even he could not do this because of the nature of children: they are in the parent's likeness. Since his likeness includes a perfect freedom of the will, they too must posses this divine attribute. But if they enter glory with unrestrained free will, there will be disagreements. There will be rebellions, factions, and even war in heaven and glory will be glory no more. Better to do without such children! His purpose would be defeated. On the other hand, if he compels their wills to conform to his, they will have lost their freedom. They will no more be in the Father's likeness; his purpose will be defeated. But God is resourceful and proceeded to resolve this seeming dilemma by providing another place, planet earth, where the children can come into being and work out their rebellion. Those among them who freely come to will for themselves the same purpose that is the Father's will become like minded with the Father. They will therefore desire to become his children in glory.
This response to the Father's will has, however, no real significance unless the children have at least one other attractive option. This he provided by the creation of the world and the life that is in it. This option must have very desirable features. It must attract, woo, and entice the children. Above all, it must cause them to think that it alone offers the promise of fulfillment. If, in spite of the vigorous courting by this world, someone spurns it, discovering and opting for another fulfillment in eternity, this world must punish him. It must vent its rage upon him, rendering this course so unattractive in its immediate results that others will be discouraged from following. It also must strive to realize within itself an alter-glory, and so to accomplish within itself that same unification of the will that is the Father's purpose for us. To this end the authorities arise to persuade, coerce, enlist, indoctrinate, enforce and finally destroy so that there can be unity and peace in this world.
Women and men are therefore the prize for which heaven and earth contend, and within our free volition lies the battle field upon which they wage their war. So it is inevitable that there be enmity between these two realms that contend for us in a contest that seals our eternal destinies.
It is against this background that Jesus said:If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you (John 15:19).The life that is of the world is then at enmity with the life that is not of the world. The latter is alien, threatening, suspicious, incomprehensible, and therefore hateful to the former. The world hates all who are not of the world, precisely because they are not of the world. That is the only explanation that is necessary to understand the inimical relation between these two adversaries that contend for the soul of every person.
The Truth becomes astonishingly clear in the light of the words of Jesus if only one can get beyond that great and formidable obstacle: the love of life. Then we see that the whole creation owes its being to the desire of the Father to have children, children of free will like unto himself, to share his eternal glory. It was out of a consideration of the freedom of the will of these children that he created the universe of space-time and energy. It was so that they might have their origins under conditions that preserved the freedom of the will while offering options to his desire for them. We conceive of the whole universe as a fruit of the Father's will. He brought it into being by the exercise of divine will. He said simply, "Let it be" (Genesis 1:3,6,14) and it was so!
It was also fitting that the creation be subjected to decay such that it's destiny is to pass away. Jesus also acknowledged this when he urged us to lay up our treasure in heaven where, in contrast to earth, thieves do not break through and steal, and rust and moth cannot corrupt (Matthew 6:19,20). Otherwise, it might stand forever over against the Glory of the Father, hopelessly captivating, by its sham glory, all creatures exposed to it.
The creation is perfect, for the Father's purpose, just as it is. It gives us a taste of glory to whet the appetite and drives us to seek the utmost glory, but it also drives us to despair at the futility of this age. This moves those who are wise to seek that glory that is glory indeed.
Finally, at the right time, the Father sent the Son to explain all. He was also careful to make known the option of eternal glory to those who are called out of the world to become his children in heaven. He did this, and more; for after his words came his victorious example as he showed us the way that we need only follow. I mean when he hated his life in this world and put it away from himself at the cross so that he might participate in the joy that was before him, and that is before us all if only we follow him.
And what was it he said he came to do?I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me (John 6:38).
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