We were made complete, and
God’s work of salvation is restoring us to completeness.
The stories from Genesis tell us several things about our humanness. We learn about three aspects of our being that have both external and internal expressions:
- Physical / Spiritual –the self and our deepest experience
- Relational / emotional –our experience of self and others
- Work / intellectual – our interaction with and reflection on the world
As the two creation narratives unfold, we see each of these facets of humankind come to be.
- The humans are made, physical beings infused with spirit, in God’s image. (1:27; 2:2-8, 21-22)
- The humans are in relationship, with each other and with God. (1:27; 2:18-25)
- The humans are given work to do – to tend the garden and manage the animals. (1:28 ; 2:15)
Most of the Biblical witness reflects the unfolding story of God’s continuing invitation to us to live our created wholeness, and our inability or unwillingness to do so.
In the salvation work of God through Jesus Christ we see these three aspects once again, and we see them both redeemed, and used in the ongoing redemption of the world. And in all three aspects, there is a transformation from the former to the latter way of being.
Physically, in the creation stories, distinction and difference matter and are given a central place. In the New Creation, these distinctions fade to the background, what matters is that we “are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
Reconciliation – restoration of relationship both to others and to God –
Resurrection of the body – the restoration of the physical self, joined with the spiritual.
1 Corinthians 15:35-58 – (Paul works hard to try to explain the inexplicable.)
Work / Intellect
The work of ministry – (Paul compares Christian ministry to the various roles in building construction)
1 Corinthians 3:10-15
Work from salvation, not for salvation –
Transformation of the Intellect –
(Paul uses the image of a body to explain how we as believers are to function in our ministry roles and more generally how we are to behave.)
Through the BODY of Christ comes reconciliation of relationships with one another and with God –
These all impact each other directly and indirectly – physical illness often disrupts our ability to think clearly and work strongly, as well as upsetting us emotionally. Conflict in a relationship will also often disrupt our work, and impact us emotionally. When we are spiritually disengaged, the result is destructive to all aspects of our self.
God’s work of salvation, including the work effected in and through Jesus Christ and the ongoing power and presence of the Holy Spirit, is to restore us to wholeness. Any faithful work in our personal Christian lives or in our congregations and communities will move us toward this wholeness in which we were created and toward which we are being saved.
I would love to talk with you and explore ways that we might work together as you grow and mature toward wholeness in all areas of your life. I am also available to come and do workshops for organizations. Let’s live into God’s dream for us!