“It’s Not About Changing God’s Mind”

The images used in this graphic page contrast two different worlds, yet whatever the Gospel is, it must have a message for both worlds.

You may like to read posts and articles where the author says, “Here is some new knowledge for you. This is the way things are.” This is not going to be one of those. It is just going to be mostly some “What if” statements as my way of thinking through some things. (You may have already figured these things out. I’m still working on them.)
What if we don’t look at the Cross of Christ as a “keeping law and order” kind of legal transaction?

I ask this because I’m thinking that whatever the Gospel is…it just can’t tell a hurting child, “You have made God hate you, and God is going to make you pay for what you’ve done. Too bad you’re not like other children that God loves. You just wait.”

What if we stop thinking like this? “When you sin, God gets angry, the gun of execution is loaded and cocked. Somebody has got to die. It’s either going to be Jesus or you.”

I ask this because I’m thinking whatever the Gospel is…it just can’t tell a hurting child, “It’s a good thing that God had Jesus killed so that He can change His mind about you. It was either going to be Jesus or you.”

What if we start thinking like this? “God the Father never stopped loving humanity. Nor did He need to separate from, turn His back on, and kill God the Son to start loving humanity again.”

What if we stopped thinking of baptism as “an initiation ritual” and started living it out as “a spiritual reality”?

That truly seems to have been Paul’s perspective.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20 (NASB)

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. Romans 6:4 (NASB)

What if in God the Father’s eyes, He saw Jesus and you and me altogether on the Cross? What if in God the Father’s eyes, He saw Jesus and you and me altogether leaving the tomb? How do we live that out right here and now?

What if the good we now do is because we really have a new life in Christ rather than a guilty obligation? (It’s an obligation we feel because Jesus “took the bullets with our names on them”?)

What if after we say “Somebody has got to die,” we don’t say “It’s either going to be Jesus OR us”? What if instead we say “It’s ALREADY BEEN Jesus AND us”? How do we live that out right here and now?

13 thoughts on ““It’s Not About Changing God’s Mind”

  1. At first, I was wondering where you was going with this but when I got nearer to the end of your post, WOW.
    I have NEVER thought of it this way. Very, Very interesting. We have been baptised into his death, so we die with him. Yes, Jesus was the second Adam and the first fruits of the resurrection.
    It wouldn’t say that, or we refer to him that way if we hadn’t died along with him. Also, Adam died and we followed him in life to death, Jesus died and was resurrected so if we are in him and follow him we will resurrect to life. In other words, he has shown us the way. Goodness, I could go on forever here.
    This was an amazing post. I love it. Lol.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Really and truly glad you benefitted from this! It’s something that I’ve been trying to find the right words to say. Most of my life, I guess, I’ve thought about “living the Christian life” as “obeying the commandments” but this is a different way of looking at things for me! Thanks for your comment. I am encouraged!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I have a friend who prayer walks the borders countries of the earth.In one story he shared he was in a European country and had stayed in a bed/breakfast for a night, and had walked down an alley and was confronted by a thief who grabbed him and put a knife to his throat.
    The thief told my friend “give me your wallet or i will kill you.” My friend replied, I am a dead man and you cannot kill me, i am already dead in Christ.” The man suddenly dropped his knife an ran away. True story.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That is an awesome account! I’m thinking about how really appropriate that is in everyday life too!

      You take my parking place…hey, what does a dead man need with a parking space? You call me a really bad name that I can’t repeat…hey, what does that mean to a dead man who can’t hear you?

      Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Julie. Not at all, that’s why it’s prefaced with “Whatever the Gospel is, it just can’t tell a hurting child…” maybe I should emphasize “can’t” a little more? Though I will say that some readers have commented on other posts that they were told some horrible things as children about God and how God felt about them or what they did.

      For this series, I try to look at things that we would never want to tell a child, and particularly a hurting child because there are many people who are grown up but have a hurt child inside. I think we have to minister to that hurt child in order to minister to the adult.

      So thank you for sharing this comment, and please let me know if you think this can be improved. I really and truly don’t want anyone to confuse any of these horrible statements as being the real Gospel!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So glad your picture/understanding of God is changing! Great perspective to learn to live: I’ve already died with Christ so why get wound up about things now when our resurrection is promised? Makes living humbly, gently, etc, the life of love, possible. Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks. Very good! There is still much confusion about the Lord’s identity and it causes people to get the wrong idea. Since the greatest love is giving one’s life for one’s friends there is no way “The Father” would send “The Son” to die (He would go Himself), unless the Father is the Son. Be blessed.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Really, really astute. You are putting the Gospel in personal terms, in terms of your flesh and blood experience. That is what God had in mind with the “incarnation.” TS Eliot told us, “Last year’s words are for last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice.”

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Beautiful. Sometimes we need the questions more than the answers. It is wonderful when the revelation of a loving God begins to force us to question. We may never land on the perfect bible verse that once and for all settles the debate, but then the Gospel is about so much more than winning an argument! Maybe seeing a love that breaks our understanding (but draws us into wonder) is more important than answers! Love, Love, Love your post. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I also believe God the Father loved us before and after Jesus’ death. As for Jesus’ death being a transaction… this is something I don’t fully understand. I was taught Jesus took my place. I was taught I would have died eternally if Jesus hadn’t died. But, yes, it is true we must die also. We have a cross to carry, as Jesus did.

    Actually, we all have to die. That is what sin has introduced into the universe, for Satan, his angels and the wicked will die too. God died, and believers died. My, such deep things to think about.

    A transaction sounds cold. I heard a preacher say what Jesus did was like someone innocent going to the gallows in the place of someone guilty. Still, I’ve often thought preachers were wrong when they said we deserve to die. I can’t see that, since we didn’t ask to be born into a sinful world. But God cannot take rebellious, cruel people to heaven. If he did, heaven would be like earth is now.

    Liked by 1 person

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