This week I am in Castlegar, BC, Canada where I am teaching for a week on Grace and Authority. We have had a great start over the weekend and I am looking for a full week with some great hungry, willing, and teachable people. God’s grace transforms our lives and true authority gives life. These are great subjects for a great encounter with Christ.
To understand God’s plan we have to look at God’s book. In the first chapter in our Bible, God looks at a situation and has an idea to create the world as we know it and to create man. In the second chapter God revealed how man was to rule in the earth out of a relationship with Him. Through an intimate relationship with God man would be able to fulfill the commission to be fruitful, multiply, fill subdue, and have dominion in the earth. In Genesis chapter three we have a testimony of man eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This brought about the consequence of futility in man’s commission in the earth. God spoke words over the earth that subjected it to futility in the hope of one day returning man to an intimate relationship with Him in all things. After God’s perspective of creation, man’s experience of creation, and man’s fall to disconnection, we have the other books of the Bible. Sometimes we think that God created the world, He made man to be fruitful multiply, fill, subdue, and have dominion, man fell and God said, Shoot! I thought it would work? So, the rest is about how God is going to destroy it and take us to heaven. That kind of thinking is really quite foolish when you think of God and who He is. The missing piece has been intimacy of men with God, but God so loved the world He sent the solution. John chapter 1 reads like Genesis chapter 1.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
The word became flesh and He moved into the neighborhood. We saw Him as a man of grace and truth. A new Adam. He came so that humanity could fulfill the mandate to be fruitful, multiply, fill, subdue, and have dominion. The administration of His life was one of grace. Grace was the manifest presence of the Spirit of God in His life that motivated His heart and mind in all things. He was motivated by grace and thus He was a full manifestation of truth in human form. Grace was the government of the kingdom within His heart. Of this government and this peace there was to be no end.
Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
Peace is a testimony of mercy. There is no gap between us and God. Grace is the power to reign. There is no end to the increase of this government or peace and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters presently cover the sea.
Habakuk 2:14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
Why do the waters cover the sea? The decision of first Adam resulted in the consequence of flood and the earth was changed. God promises that the evidence of Last Adam, eternal Adam, will fill the whole earth. In your life, the evidence of first Adam is going to be overtaken by the evidence of eternal Adam. The old man is being overpowered by the new man. He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it. There is no end to the increase. It is like leaven in three measures of meal. It fills the whole loaf. It is like a little mustard seed that is very small, but it grows to become like a tree. For each of us, Christ in me is the hope of glory! Grace is the ability to subdue and the result is truth. Truth is dominion. Truth crumbles every lie. Instead of pretending I love my neighbor, grace empowers me to be loving towards my neighbor until I become real. I love you! That crumbles the lie! It is a work of the Spirit. It is also a work in me. The result is my life casts a shadow that looks like law. If my life doesn’t cast a shadow that looks like law, I haven’t discovered grace. I am only living in mercy and I am pretending this is it. I am not subduing. I am not reigning. I am merely waiting to go to heaven. I am not partaking in the inheritance of the kingdom heaven. I am simply waiting to die so I can go to heaven. I am not living. I am not loving. I am not changing the world that I live in.
The mandate given to man by God is still good. He has made a provision for us to fulfill the commission of being fruitful, multiplying, filling, subduing and having dominion. That provision is Christ in us and He is the hope of glory. Christ in us is the empowerment of grace that transforms our lives in every way. We can subdue, we can experience God’s life, we can become carriers of God’s life, and givers of God’s life to the world. We can become real. We can become truth in Christ. By this we will exercise the dominion of Christ in our world.
Ted J. Hanson