Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 1 Study # 7
Thesis: The "fatherhood" of God includes His willingness to allow others to make choices and take action.
Introduction: In our last study we raised the question of why the "Father" lets people do things and then subverts their accomplishments from their objectives to His. This evening we are going to look into His process to see what we can learn from it.
August 15, 2010
- I. There Are Indisputable Realities.
- A. This "Father" raised Jesus Christ from the dead.
- 1. This means this: this "Father" was absolutely opposed to the agenda and actions of those who had Him put to death and He was not going to allow either to stand.
- 2. This raises a primary question: if He was going to "undo" the agenda and actions, why did He permit them in the first place?
- a. The permission of evil has always had one factor clearly in place: it will serve for the good of those who are inclined to learn (Romans 9:22).
- b. The permission of evil has always had a crucial "setting": creatures of sensibility (those whose quality of Life is experienced and eternal) have a great need to know their Creator (John 17:3).
- c. How is this not a divine use of "the end justifies the means"?
- 1) In the use of "the end justifies the means", it is the always the executor of power who implements evil means and then justifies them by the outcome, thus making the executor "evil".
- 2) In the real universe, there are certain "impossibilities", even for God.
- 3) In the Bible, God is presented as a Creator Who actually creates "persons", and a Servant Who permits others to share in the exercise of His power.
- a) As a servant, God's permission to others is real but not unbounded: He allows choices and actions, but not final determinations.
- i. "Servants" by definition are those who are subject to the decisions of others.
- ii. "Servanthood", as a characteristic of God, is, like all other characteristics, in a harmonious balance with certain antitheses in His character.
- iii. It is this "balance" reality that allows decisions and choices under the restriction of "final determinations".
- b) As a creator, God's permission to others accepts their limitations in the permission as well as the dangers (sin is not "inevitable" to creatures, but it is "possible").
- i. The creation of "persons" is done under the impossibility of the creation of deity.
- ii. The creation of "persons" is an act that includes limited intelligence, limited experience, and limited capacity to produce.
- iii. The "limitations" inevitably introduce the possibility of "sin" if "faith" and "love" are rejected as most fundamental requirements (and if our present experience tells us anything at all, it tells us of the damage that such rejection creates).
- c) Any "criticism" of God in respect to the presence of "evil" must, of necessity, arise out of the ignorance of the creature and stands under the foolishness of ignorance taking on omniscience.
- 4) In the Bible, it is always the executor of power who is responsible for the action taken, never the bystander(s) who might have altered the situation if that bystander had become an executor of power.
- B. It was as a "Father" that God raised Jesus from the dead.
- 1. This means this: what the "Father" permitted in regard to Jesus was both temporary and to be undone.
- 2. It is a characteristic of the "Father" in Galatians to use temporary experiences to lay the foundation for an explosion of benefits in the final state of experience.
- C. The "Father's" resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the first statement about what it means to be a "father": every evil will be reversed and used as a catalyst for incomparable glory for those who "love" and "trust" Him.