Jun 16, 2007

Sermon, "God's Original Intent"


“God’s Original Intent”

It was in a constitutional law course as an undergrad that I came across the term, “original intent.” Original intent is the theory of constitutional interpretation that seeks to find our Founders’ primary objectives at the creation of our republic. John 1 is a biblical passage about God’s original intent for humankind at foundations of the world and how He accomplished His task. “In the beginning was the Word” John the Evangelist declares. The literal Greek for “the beginning”, or arche, (ar-kay) in this passage, when translated, means the commencement and the primary rule. When we look for God’s original intent, we will find redemption, relationship, and restoration.

First, the Creator chose His Son, Jesus Christ as redeemer for the whole creation. God intends for all of humanity to receive redemption through Jesus Christ (1st Timothy 2:4).
The Son was with the Father at the beginning of creation because, God who is all knowing, knew that we as humankind, were capable of breaking our bonds with the Creator. In Genesis, God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness.” John Wesley commented on this passage found in Genesis 1:26-28

“The three persons of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, consult about it, and concur in it; because [humankind], when [it was] made, was to be dedicated and devoted to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. That [humanity] was made in God's image, and after his likeness […]”

The three persons in the Godhead have only one will because there is only One God; and that will is redemption through Christ. The second purpose why the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit made us in their image was that God desired relationship. 1st John 4:8 says that God is love. He encompasses all love: Love for self, love for others, and love for God. God’s way of loving Himself, and others, which is the world, is His Son. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten son for whosoever believes in him shall not perish be receive eternal life.” (John 3:16) God is an intelligent spirit who draws us into intimate relationship with Him and others.

The last part of God’s intention that we find in Christian Scripture and tradition is the full restoration of our humanity. Though this passage emphasizes Christ’s divinity, it tells us something about our humanity. God dwelled with humankind at the very beginning. Yet human sinfulness, the darkness that St. John refers to in our Gospel selection, separates us from God. We are incomplete without a relationship with God. Since God our Redeemer was present at the time of Creation, God ordained the restoration of our full humanity. The Triune God of the Bible, from the very start, is a God of redemption, relationship and restoration.

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