DIVINE DESIGN: PHYSICAL, SOCIAL AND SPIRITUAL

There is physical order in the cosmos; there is also social order, and spiritual order. In the beginning, Genesis teaches us, God not only made matter, he made order. In creating the cosmos ex nihilo, He ordered it–that is, He gave it form, structure, coherence, beauty and symmetry. 

Order is not incidental to Christian doctrine; order is central. God is the maker and ruler of all things; the creation is distinct from him, yet exists by the super-sustenance of his Son (Colossians 1:17); the world in which we dwell is not characterized in fundamental terms by randomness and disorder, but by divine design.

All this matters greatly for our understanding of men and women, those who are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). The man is created first in the Old Testament, and possesses what the New Testament will call headship over his wife. Adam is constituted the leader of his home; he is given authority in it, authority that is shaped in a Christlike way as the biblical story unfolds. According to the apostle Paul, a godly husband does not lord his role over his wife, but rather sees his headship in cruciform terms. He dies to himself over and over in order to love his wife and children well (Ephesians 5:22-33). This does not mean that he fails to exercise actual on-the-ground leadership or make decisions; it means that he constantly seeks to shepherd his wife and family so that they will flourish in Christ. On the basis of a man’s domestic leadership, men are called to provide spiritual leadership and protection of the church (1 Timothy 2:9-15). Elders preach, teach, and shepherd the flock of God; only men are called to the office of elder, and only men who excel as heads of their wives and children are to be considered as possible candidates for eldership (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).

It is right for men to lead their homes, and put their lives on the line when their family members are endangered, and work hard to be the financial pillar of their loved ones. It is right for women to be distinctively feminine, bear and raise children as God allows, submit to and support their husbands per 1 Peter 3, and serve their churches in ways that use their gifts. Living out these realities is good and glorious, and shows us the beauty of the Christian worldview over against secular conceptions of the sexes.

The teaching of evolution in our schools and universities as fact has totally undermined the Biblical view of the history of our planet. A planet created by a loving God, initially perfect, without sin and death. It had the potential for sin and death but only if man disobeyed God. Sadly, Adam and Eve who were made in the image of God were deceived by Satan, a created angelic being that had already rebelled against our Creator God. Satan had wanted to be God. He convinced Eve that she could be like God, knowing good and evil, if she ate of the fruit God had commanded Adam not to eat on pain of death. As a result, God banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden so they could no longer eat of the Tree of Life and live forever.

Only from the Bible do we know that the origin of sin, pain, suffering and death in the world is a result of man’s disobedience. Fortunately, it reveals a loving God has provided a way back into a right relationship with Him. The penalty for our disobedience was death and it has been paid for by God’s own son, the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ. If we repent, are baptised (die to self, alive in Christ) God the Father sends the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, to indwell every believer, to do what we can’t do for ourselves, He will start the sanctification process to make us like Christ. As we allow Him to direct our will, He produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives; love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control. He also provides the gifts of the spirit for ministry to believers and unbelievers.

God’s Word, The Bible, reveals the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end of the story for this world. Its many prophecies reveal the future of nations, particularly the nation God established for His purposes, Israel. It reveals the time we are in right now, with a great falling away from God and Biblical truth (apostasy), a time of tribulation for Christians leading up to even great tribulation before Jesus returns to conquer the nations and rule and reign for one thousand years from Jerusalem.

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