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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Father Desires to Commune with You

Matthew 18: 11, For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. NKJV

Have you ever thought of yourself as a "that"?  Christians tend to think that Christ was sent to earth by His Father for the sole purpose of saving souls. However, according to this passage of scripture, Jesus was sent to fulfill more than just salvation. He literally paved the way for us to, once again, have fellowship with God. Christianity tends to focus only on the cross and salvation; but the Bible teaches us that these are also avenues that God has chosen to restore man's ability to hear the voice of God.

When Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of sin, it hardened their hearts to the voice of God. We see this illustrated in Genesis 3 when God asked Adam and Eve if they had eaten of the tree of knowledge, and they both passed the blame on to someone else. Moses records the fellowship between man and God with the account of the voice of the Lord God walking in the Garden in the cool of the day; however, this was before Adam and Eve sinned. We can't conclude that this was God's normal activity, but we can say that He did fellowship with Adam regularly. I draw that conclusion from where God and Adam worked together in Genesis 2. 

Shortly after the fall, God drove man out of the garden and then placed cherubim with a flaming sword at the entrance. The very place God had created to have fellowship with man and to provide for his needs was now sealed in order to keep man from entering and partaking of the Tree of Life. 

From the time of Adam until the time of Moses, God chose to speak to and to work through various men in order to carry out His will in the earth. By the time we get to the account of Moses' calling from God to lead His people out of Egypt, we can see the emergence of a new role that Moses was to fill on behalf of God. As a great prophet of God, it was Moses' duty to speak with God and to tell the children of Israel what He had conveyed on their behalf. It was during the era of Moses' leadership that God instituted another office called the priest.  

The prophet's primary function was to go before God for instructions so that the children of Israel could hear them and live by God's commands; on the other hand, the priest had a different role. The priests were called to perform the duties of serving in His temple and to offer up sacrifices for the offenses of God's people. Unlike the prophet, who represented God to man, the priest would represent man and their offerings and prayers back to God. Once the office of the priest and High Priest were in full operation, the communication between God and man was somewhat restored. Although the children of Israel could hear God through a prophet and offer to God through a priest for their sins, they refused to hear the voice of God because of fear ( Exodus 20).

These things that I have shared with you today are what theologians and Bible scholars call, "types and shadows." Typology is a term that describes how God concealed the work of Christ under the old covenant with His people. In the New Testament, Jesus was the fulfillment of what was only being portrayed in the Old Testament. Jesus was, and still is forevermore, the Prophet and the High Priest of God. In Christ, we have total redemption and restoration of all that was lost due to the fall of man.  

Through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, man's ability to enter the presence of God was restored; once again, they could commune with God without fear. The shed blood of Jesus was the payment for our sin debt; but it also made the WAY (through the work of the Holy Spirit) for God to enter man and for man to enter the presence of God. Now that we are spirit-beings who have been redeemed from the fall, we have access into the holiest place where God dwells. 

In Christ, the flaming sword has been done away with, and the veil that prevented ordinary people from entering God's holy sanctuary has been abolished. If you have faith in Christ, you can enter the secret place where God dwells, and you can hear His voice. In the beginning, God's intention was for mankind to be able to commune with Him without having to go through a man to do so. However, since man sinned, God instituted another way in which He could communicate with His people until the Messiah came to earth and set things in proper order. Now, all people, through the blood of Jesus, can come to the Father for themselves. We are no longer required to go to a man in order for God to hear our prayers or petitions. Anyone can come to God in a time of need and find help in times of trouble in the name of Jesus. He is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father, but by Him.  

Through the Blood of Jesus,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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