with Jeremy Westcott –
In considering the restoration of all things, we need first of all to focus on having our own relationship with God fully restored. Restoration is personal. It is about restoring our spirit, soul and body to God’s original intention, desired condition and full functionality.
It is about our spirit’s eternal identity being restored. It is about having everything within the soul – mind, emotions, will, conscience, imagination, reason and choice – restored to innocence; all brokenness, fragmentation, separation, isolation, and rejection done away with and healed. It is about having our body restored to health and wholeness, right down to DNA level. It is about recovering our ‘supernatural’ abilities (which we only regard as supernatural because we have mostly lost the ability to manifest them naturally). In all this we will see our eternal destiny restored, together with all its identity, purpose, position and authority.
“…that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom 8:21).
God wants us to reconnect to what ‘the glory’ really means and to re-engage with it so that creation will be set free. If we do not come into that glory, then creation cannot be set free. The glory is really the weight of the essence or nature of something; in this case, the weight of the essence of our sonship. Adam was clothed with glory and we will be transfigured to that state again. Jesus was transfigured to show us what that would look like.
Jesus reveals that we pre-existed in God; he defines us. He justified us and also glorified us. He redeemed our innocence and restored the glory we lost in Adam. All these things point to one conclusion, God is for us! Who can prevail against us? (Rom 8:30-31 Mirror).
That is what Jesus has done, but are we living in that reality? Are we experiencing the fullness of the glory we should have as God’s children or is that glory veiled by the way we live our lives? If we have limiting beliefs which inform our vision and choices, if we see ourselves as less than God sees us, then we will not be radiating that glory. The more we engage with metanoia1 and see ourselves as God sees us, the more we will shine with that glory. Once we begin to experience that, we will also be able to function in the knowledge of our authority as overcomers.
You made him (man) a little lower than God and crowned him (or clothed him) with glory and honour (Psalm 8:5).
God made man to be that way. The original Hebrew word translated crowned means to encircle, to surround. In other words, Adam and Eve were surrounded by glory and honour. They shone with the glory of who God created them to be and creation honoured them for their position as sons.
God gave them a wonderful environment to rule, in which He would truly be their provision and protection within that intimate relationship. Because they had been clothed with glory they did not need any further clothing, as we do today; because they were living in an atmosphere of perfect relationship they did not need to gain knowledge or figure things out for themselves. They did not need to rely on their own understanding because they could draw on God’s understanding. Everything came through their relationship with God.
Man’s fall was a fall from a position of glory. The gospel is the good news that the Father sent Jesus to restore our glory and so begin creation’s restoration. Jesus proved God’s love for all His creation (‘God so loved the world’ is not restricted to just people!) by choosing to die – for us, as us and in our place – to reconcile our relationship and to restore it to what it was in the Garden of Eden and beyond that, to what it would have become. Just as we respond when we look at God’s glory, so creation will respond when it sees ours.
The ministry of reconciliation
Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world (cosmos) to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:18-20).
God was in Christ when He reconciled the world (the Greek word is kosmos), not forsaking Him, separated from Him or turning His face away, as we have been taught. Paul says that God has already reconciled mankind, not counting their trespasses against them. That much is a done deal. God has reconciled Himself to us, but only we can choose to be reconciled to Him. If anything or anyone is still separated from Him, it is not of His doing.
We are to serve creation by exercising that ministry of reconciliation, so that everything gets restored. We will carry the ‘word of reconciliation’ in the very foundation of our being and it will transform our entire being from the inside out. That is how we can be ambassadors, representing God’s kingdom and authority among the whole created order.
From glory to glory
…but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit (2 Cor 3:16-18).
The original purpose and intention of God for each of us, what He created us to be and do, that is what we will see reflected. That is an image which will change and transform us as we submit to the process. It does not happen in an instant: we have to keep looking. If it happened in an instant, we would start looking somewhere else and become conformed to the image of that ‘somewhere else’ instead. The ongoing process is integral to our continuing relationship with and representation of God.
For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness”, is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Cor 4:6).
When anyone turns to God, a veil is lifted from their hearts; light comes and they are enabled to behold the glory of God in the very face of Jesus Christ. In believers who continue to look into that glory a transformation takes place, by which we are continually changed into the same image (God’s original intent), from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord.
1. Metanoia is the Greek word normally translated as repentance in our English Bibles. The original word has nothing to do with feeling regret or saying sorry, but is about turning around and thinking differently so that we are of the same mind as God about something.
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