When looking at creation, maybe the best place to start (before diving into the birds and the fish and the planets) is with us. God had a profound reason for creating us…even though we have given him quite a few gray hairs over the years.
The short reason is that He wanted a family: a people where He could be at home and express Himself fully. Many of us have experienced that same yearning at some point, and that is because He has made us in His image.
In His letter to the churches, Paul reminds them that even before time the Lord had us in mind as His family:
“He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:4)
In this family God Himself is our father and Jesus is our older brother. And fortunately for us,
“Jesus is not ashamed to call (us) brothers and sisters” (Hebrews 2:11)
The same way that children take after their parents, God’s family in its entirety would resemble Him in every way, with each individual expressing Him a bit differently. If we ever wonder why we were created, Ephesians tells us we were “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (4:24)
Talk about beyond the limits of our minds! The idea of being like God and expressing His characteristics is not something we can easily take in….especially when we don’t feel particularly righteous or holy (all of this is not by our own doing, but BY GRACE….see Act 4).
One of the most incredible characteristics of God is His UNITY. (He is so united that the three are actually One) As members of His family, we were created so that the same would be true of us:
“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17, spoken by Jesus the night before He died)
So as sons and daughters of the living God, we were not only meant to be one with one another, but we were also meant to be one with God Himself! We have actually been invited in to that perfect, glorious fellowship between Father, Son, and Spirit:
“Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4)
The Lord gives us countless illustrations of what this unity looks like throughout the scriptures (and many times He uses nature to do it 🙂 ) Throughout the New Testament, the apostles tell us that we are so united with one another that we are like the human body with Jesus as the head. The human body is obviously all ONE, just made up of a lot of interconnected parts.
It all comes down to this: We were created to be a small, essential part of something MUCH, much bigger than ourselves.
This something is the Body of Christ and the Family of God. The scriptures also describe it as the Kingdom of God, the Bride of Christ, the House of God, and the Heavenly city. No matter which way you use to describe it, all of these images reveal that we are united with Him and that we together are filled with His glory, displaying His characteristics. Since before time, God planned to express Himself through us as He lives in us.
Here are a few of His qualities that we express:
- We reveal His wisdom: “That the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church (us!) to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose.” (Eph 3:10)
- We do good works: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works”
- We love: “Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)
- We are filled with joy: “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11)
- We bring Light, goodness, righteousness, and truth to dark places (Eph 5:8-9)
- We are His fullness: “And God gave Him as head over all things to the church (us!) which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Eph 1:22-23)
And last but not least….We rule over creation! More on this in the next post:
Cover photo credit: Flickr user Tom Tabrandt