June 27th, 2019
You’ve probably heard of eminent domain. If you go look it up, you will find that it is the right of a government or its agent to expropriate private property for public use, with payment of compensation.
If you’re wondering about the word ‘expropriate’, that is to take away from its owner.
If God’s domain is described as his kingdom, then these terms align well with our relationship to God. There is only one problem, while we have received payment for our property, we all seem to desire to retake possession of that which eminent domain has been applied.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NET)
Effectively Jesus purchased our being twice. First, he is the creator and therefore the right of ownership, falls to him by merit of being the designer, architect, builder, and facilitator of each and every one of us. Then on top of this, he purchased our salvation (grace) with his life’s blood.
I’ve actually heard people complain about this saying, “look, I never asked him to die for me!”
That’s a fairly preposterous position to take. Someone who was dead already has to ask for being given life anew. Does a tree need to grant permission to the carpenter to turn the wood into a beautiful piece of furniture?
Indeed, my plans are not like your plans, and my deeds are not like your deeds, for just as the sky is higher than the earth, so my deeds are superior to your deeds and my plans superior to your plans.
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NET)
Yes, we are more sentient than a tree. But taking this position becomes preposterous when we consider who God is and who we are. We are not equals to God. As a matter of fact, we aren’t even worthy of being considered comparatives to God in our natural state.
Clearly God is superior to us in every way. To even contrast the difference in autonomy between us and that tree is ridiculous when we consider that same difference between God and us.
Any consideration in this area of thinking is a pure denial of the deity of God. We just cannot go there with any level of credibility.
Thus, we establish a precedent of both God’s authority and right. He had no obligation to extend grace to us in exchange for anything. He did so because of his love for us.
But he did purchase our grace, and in exchange he only asks for that which is rightfully his to begin with; us! All of us! He extends grace freely to us without strings as he claims his domain.
Our expected response to this grace should be to surrender our position and take our station where he calls us to be.
The payment has been received but so often in so many ways we have failed to surrender possession of our rights, our aspirations, our passions, and our dedication. All the time we should be avoiding desires of the flesh we attempt to see just how close we can come to it without offending the redeemer who gave his life so we can have ours.
Grace and peace to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever! Amen.
Galatians 1:3-5 (NET)
We were rescued! To do that, Jesus had to give himself so we could have life in a way we never before could have imagined.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.
John 10:10 (NET)
Isn’t it ironic that we tend to think of this single verse as two totally different elements and contrast them? The thief and what he would do verses Jesus giving us life. But if you consider the framework of this passage Jesus is saying to us ‘I didn’t come as a thief might come, to take anything from you and end your live, instead I’ve come to give you life and not only that life so abundant you can’t imagine!’
Yes, it’s a Kip Paraphrase, but it is accurate. Jesus wasn’t talking about two different things he was talking about one thing; him. Him and what he wasn’t here to accomplish, and the flip side of that coin, what he came to do for our benefit.
This is exactly why he tells us that his yoke is easy and the burden he calls us to carry is light; because in contrast to the burden of sin and the way it was choking us as being pulled by a rope about the neck, surrender of our will to his is a cakewalk.
When this transformation takes place, it is a precursor to a revolutionary change in our view of the world, our surroundings, and the people in our lives. A successful exchange and transition will find us surrendered to God’s will and seeking him every day.
Yet despite his “Eminent Domain” and the fact he has kept his end of the deal, we insist in pushing our agenda, our goals, and our aspirations.
Another verse that comes to mind is when Jesus was challenged by the question of paying taxes to the Roman government. He stated that it was appropriate to render to Caesar that which was Caesar’s, but also render to God those things which belong to God. We belong to God; period!
Once again, we tend to think of this to be a lesson about paying our fair share of taxes to the state, while partially true, really is Jesus clearly telling us that if we want this relationship with the creator, give him what is due him; us; all of us!
In the Grace of Jesus!