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The Immanuel Project -Chapter 1 (Part 2)

Posted by undergroundchurch on June 13, 2009


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Chapter 1: Confining the Infinite (Part 2)

Time itself, according to Einstein, is a property of our physical universe, and it can be altered by gravitational forces according to his theory of general relativity.  Look at all the physical properties that God created in the first three verses of Genesis chapter one: time – “in the beginning”, space – “God created the heavens”, matter – “and the earth” and energy –“and He said, let there be light”. Do you realize that this same God that lives inside you and created the world needed to create the space in which to place the entire universe?  In the beginning, only God existed.  God created all the physical laws that govern our universe in the first three verses of Genesis, but what happened for eternity before that?  Where did God come from?  The answer is simple; the understanding is not.  He came from nowhere because He has always been.  When God reveals to Moses his name (which is just another way of defining who you are) He uses the most common subject verb expression to denote who he is – “I am”. He is saying, “I am not new; I have always been.” [i]

Now, try to imaging never having a beginning. It goes beyond our human comprehension.  This stumbling block befuddles man because it doesn’t fit within the framework of his understanding.

So whether you want to go with the world and believe that it took billions of years, or you choose to believe God when he says that He did it in six days a few thousand years ago, you still have to wrestle with the infinite – for those of you that believe God took billions of years to “evolve” everything, where did the material come from that caused the “big bang”?  It had to have a beginning.  And if you say that “God created it”, how long did that take?  Couldn’t He just make it all “good” the first time?  If God can create time, He surely could create everything instantly with the appearance of time.

We see this in the creation account recorded in Genesis.  God creates everything with the appearance of time.  God did not create man as a fertilized egg.  He created him as a full grown man.  In the same way God created trees, shrubs, fish, dogs and cats.  Since God created time, He could easily create the appearance of time as seen in the earth and universe.

Faith begins where understanding ends.  And yet, we grow in understanding as our faith increases.  God wants us to lean more on His understanding (faith) and less on our own.[ii]

I wager that most people give up trying to understand the concept of the infinite.  Why?  Human limitations prevent us from grasping it.  This fundamental understanding makes the premise for the book you are reading even more mind-boggling.  Why would an infinite God confine Himself in flesh, and want to dwell among men?

The good news is that God decided to intervene in human history through Jesus Christ.  He took an active role in creation, laying aside robes of deity for robes of mortality.[iii] 

This event, known as the incarnation, broke history in two.  God got involved with His creation.  He walked and talked with His created beings.  He suffered at the hands of the physical laws that He created.  He ate to stay alive, slept to maintain sanity, breathed so as to not faint.  At any time a runaway donkey pulling a cart could run him down while he crossed the street, so He needed to look both ways before He crossed the street just like we teach our kids to do today.

Philippians 2 provides a little insight into the depth which God descended in order to reach out to man.  Verses 6-8 should confound even the wisest of us about Jesus’ role, “who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross!” (NIV)

Let’s break this down a bit.  Though He is in His very nature –“God”, he set aside the Godly robes of his infinite existence to put on human robes of limitations.  He did not set aside his deity, just his existence.  His function stayed the same; He could still forgive sins as only God could do[iv]. He still called Himself the “I Am”[v], but His form was forever altered. 

It reminds me of the story of the prince and the pauper.  Both the prince and the pauper looked alike, and so, one day they switched places.  The prince put on peasant’s clothes while the pauper donned royal splendor.  However, try as he might, the prince was still a prince, though he became subject to some of the rules of the villagers.  He was still able to take back his kingdom.

Jesus, in similar fashion, donned mortality disrobing immorality.  He stepped into man’s finite shoes setting aside the infinite.  Jesus himself says this in so many words when he promises the gift of the Holy Spirit.  He told His disciples that it was good for Him to go back to heaven and leave them so that He could send the comforter, the Holy Spirit.  Why?  In his present human form, Jesus could only exist in one place at a time.  The Holy Spirit, in His form, could exist in everyone at one time.[vi] 

He also subjected himself to death.  What does this mean?  To understand what Paul is saying, you first have to understand that there are different meanings to death in the Bible.  First, there is physical death meaning that the flesh will one day fail and you will physically stop breathing and die. Second, there is spiritual death[vii].  Spiritual death is the result of human sin.  When we come into this world as a baby, we are actually born spiritually dead. We are destined for hell right out of the gate.  It takes salvation found in Jesus to breathe the breath of life into our dead spirits so that we might live[e2] .

 


[i] Exodus 3:14

[ii] Genesis 1:1

[iii] Philippians 2:6-11

[iv] Matthew 9:12

[v] John 8:58

[vi] John 16:7-13

[vii] Romans 3:23


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