Sunday, September 18, 2022

Life with God by William VanDoodewaard

An excellent article from this weekend's devotional in Tabletalk Magazine:

Why would anyone want to be a Christian? The Christians of the early church were marginalized, despised, and persecuted. The same is true for many believers today: in most countries, being a Christian is at least a social and economic loss. But for all the apparent disadvantages, being a Christian is not only desirable but amazing and glorious. The Apostle John sums up a great part of the wonder of being a Christian when he says, “Indeed, our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). The Christian has fellowship with God.

Due to sin, no human has fellowship with God on his own. God is light; we are born in darkness. What communion does light have with darkness? God is life; we are dead. What fellowship does life have with death? God is love; we are enmity. What friendship can there be between God and man? In our natural-born condition, we are without hope and without God in the world (Eph. 2:12). We are “alienated from the life of God” through the ignorance that is in us (4:18). In our fallen state, we are not only unable to reconcile ourselves to God—we don’t want to.

But God (2:4) in His grace has opened the way back to life with Him—through Jesus Christ. God acted unilaterally to show us grace, mercy, and love in Christ. The Son, given in the Father’s love, is the restorer and reconciler. Through Him, sinners are welcomed into God’s holy presence (Eph. 3:12; Heb. 10:19–20).

As the Spirit brings us to God through Christ, we enter the fellowship of love of the triune God. We are changed to love Him and delight in His giving Himself to us and to delight to give ourselves to Him. It is a pure, holy, and good communion. It is a fellowship of peace between God and His people through the blood of Jesus. Whatever may happen to the Christian, it comes under the Father’s will; the Christian is safe for life and eternity. Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:38–39).

Communion with God means that the Christian has the privilege of knowing God and being known by Him. The Christian has the privilege of talking with God in prayer and listening to his Creator and Redeemer speak by His Word and Spirit. The Christian has the privilege of having God’s presence with and in him and the joy of knowing that he is one day going to be brought into the full, brilliant glory of God’s presence. He will see and commune with God incarnate: Christ Jesus, the ascended Savior and King of glory.

The Christian has the privilege of being restored to what he was made to be by the One who made him and all things. The Christian has the privilege of enjoying God’s creation, now and forever. The Christian has the privilege of being comforted and shepherded through this life by the Father, who is working all things together for his good. The Christian has the great joy of knowing that even the good things here are just the beginning of what is to come. They are God’s gifts to His children. Can there be anything better than being a Christian?