Yahweh's Everlasting Love For His People
God's love for mankind has never wavered. It is unchanged from beginning to end.
Adam and Eve threw a monkeywrench into the picture, however.
Because of Satan's impact on Adam and Eve, the mechanics of God's love have to be measured in Semitic terms. Those terms begin in Abraham but reach a zenith with the appearance of God to Moses on the mountain in Sinai when God gave Moses complete authority to bind the world to the Mosaic Law. That Law created the legal concepts of Hebrew and Gentile. It was a temporary law, enacted in place of the true Law of God which the people of Moses' time were too frightened to receive (see footnote, Ex. 20:18-21).
The Mosaic Law came with the absolute promise that a "Messiah" (an intermediary who would be a Hebrew like themselves) would be sent by God to give the people the true Law of God. In the meantime, the Law of Moses was to remain binding on the whole world.
Because God gave Moses authority to bind his temporary law on mankind as an absolute, a way within its terms had to be established to legally transfer us out of it and into the true Law of God when it was presented to us. That legal transfer is the meaning of baptism. Baptism is the legal act that moves man from one covenant to the other.
God gave Moses authority over the whole earth, not simply over a small band of Israelites. Everything on earth passed into Semitic rules under God's decree, so this legal transfer is binding on all the earth. Everyone has to be baptised if they want to come into the freedoms offered by Jesus.
That is why it is so important for us to understand the Semitic sensibility when trying to decipher the ancient texts of scripture. What they thought and what they decreed came from an authority bestowed upon them by Divinity itself.
The Semitic rules, however, have no authority over Christ. Just the opposite.
The transfer between covenants must be undertaken legally by baptism, but once it has occurred, nothing stands between a person and God except faith.
Anyone who transfers covenants is able to come freely into God's presence under Jesus' terms. By knowing His name, we are able to tap individually into the Divine Power. The depth of that ability is dependent on faith alone.
The astonishing reality is that the "Intermediary", though Semitic in form, was not a man at all, but God Himself in the flesh. Jesus brought us into absolute unity with the Creator, which is Himself. That union bridges the chasm that Adam and Eve created between God and man at Eden. In Jesus alone is the power for man to command God to overturn the death sentence imposed on mankind by the Hebrew Law. But only in accordance with the rules set forth by Jesus in the Gospel. Man's power to do that is measured by faith, which translates, according to Jesus, into faithfulness to God's rules, rules defined by Jesus.
That is why obedience to Christ is so essential. The strength of our faith is dependent upon it
"I tell you most solemnly, whoever keeps my word will never see death." (John 8:51).
Indeed, you never find Jesus talking about man's ability to come into communion with God outside of obedience:
"It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit, and then you will be my disciiples. As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete. This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you." (John 15:8-12).
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E.C.S.Leavenworth III; Goodnews Christian Ministry.