FIVE-YEAR SUMMARY: Intimations about God’s Life-Giving Nature
We see God in Scripture from the very beginning manifesting a life-giving nature. He gave life and put before humanity stewardship of Creation with access to continuous life. That stewardship came with a warning of partaking in the knowledge of good and evil apart from God’s guidance. The result (in partaking apart from God) is death. Moreover, rebellion on earth and in heaven worsened over time to the point of God flooding out the wickedness (Genesis 6-9). God warned the path taken by humanity would lead to death. We see an act of judgment, but we also must note it was an act of preservation. Preservation is life-giving.
God honors choice He sovereignly bestowed and judges by letting things play out. This is a ‘given over’ way of doing things. Consider the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) where God reveals His nature. Humanity sought to take the path of self-sustaining effort in seeking to draw to themselves gods to supply their desired needs. They sought self and other gods rather than serving God’s instructions.
Overall, Genesis reveals how God is merciful and how committed He is to His intent for humanity. God sets up humans for redemption. The nations of man find their origin in boundaries set by God divided by languages. As a result of rebellion by human beings and rebellion by spiritual beings, nations of people (called Gentiles by Jews) were given over to life without Him because humanity sought and served other gods.
Yet, it is not God’s nature to quit or stop. His plan is always to bring life.
God (YHWH) carved out of the nations who left Him a nation for Himself. He gave life to withered bodies (Abram and Sarai) and made a new nation (Israel). This new unique nation would be guided and preserved by His Law. God worked His will and His grace in mankind to produce this unique nation by which He maximizes His life-giving way in the face of corrupt humanity.
The grand symbol of the Law of God is Moses. It must be emphasized what Moses stated in Deuteronomy 30 for he clearly was offering life to the people of Israel. Their choice and the choice of their children would lead to life or death. Moses presented God’s Law and said: “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them” (30:19-20, ESV). Not to put too fine a point on it, but: “life” “life” “live” “life” all in two verses about the Law.
Moses, the great lawgiver, presented God’s Law for Israel to live under and to create in them a unique way of life. Moses wanted them to choose “life” which is God’s way of living. Everything else leads to death. God’s only offer is life.
Redemption is #1 renewal of life and #2 giving of life and #3 preserving life. Jesus Christ offers life (His very life) in the full revelatory offer of God the Father to humanity. The offer is life. The offer is Himself.
The offer to humanity means we must partake in the Divine Nature. God was/is always sovereign over death and so much more through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus, in our human flesh, became Lord over death. Having no sin, He created a purified humanity. In dying, Christ gave His life as One of ‘us’ and rose having no sin Himself which brought forgiveness under His headship. He overcomes and condemns sin in His body (a human body) and gives life.
Grace preserves life and nurtures life. Grace is fundamentally against sin and positively enables people to have a more qualitative life. The Law was given to Israel, but grace is for all the peoples of all nations. Grace is lived under/out by those that receive and follow Jesus Christ. Grace under the lordship of Christ Jesus leads to life eternal because He is eternal.
Final judgment is a good thing in that it purifies wickedness/evil from Creation and delivers the fullness of life bought and paid for by Jesus. This is glorification! Glorification is God’s life-giving nature permeating all in all. Glorifying humanity is God’s offer and eternal life (based in grace) is the result.
Conclusion: God is revelatory about Himself. He shows Himself to be Creator, Preserver, Judge, Redeemer, and Grace Giver. All of them based on life… His life-giving nature. We fall short of His glory in sin and experientially learn we need life. God offers us, by way of relationship through His Son, forgiveness and renewal of life. This reveals much about God’s nature. He is life-giving.