>> AUDIO: Session 2 – God’s Eternal Purpose God’s Eternal Purpose
Newmarket, ON, June 27, Session 2: Frank Viola
“Organic church life is the most glorious experience a Christian can know, but will never work unless you embrace the cross.”
THE MOST CENTRAL AND DEAREST THING TO GOD’S HEART: GOD’s ULTIMATE AND ETERNAL PURPOSE –
NO church has the right to exist but to fulfill God’s eternal purpose:
John 1: 1, 18
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
John 17: 4-5, 24
I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.
And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
John 15: 1, 3-9
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
John 6: 57
Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.
2 Peter 1: 4
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Before creation, before time, God the Son was found everything in the Father, and the Father found everything in the Son.
Before time, God the Father was pouring his life in the Son and the Son was thing this life out of his own life, returning it to the Father. God the Son was in the bosom of God the Father. A pure relationship, mutually edifying and reflecting the heart of God. Ancient Christians called this relationship a “divine dance” and the Holy Spirit was the life, the love, the glory that flowed between the Father and the Son.
God creating something to demonstrate this relationship: A branch and a tree. Unity is distinct but not separate – where the branch begins and ends cannot be seen, and neither can where the tree begins.
Eternity passed, God would take this relationship – enlarge, expand the fellowship, increase the relationship and invite another being into the “dance”. Another creature that would be the third tier added to this relationship.
God eternally purposed to expand the fellowship to a creature that did not yet exist. This being would be divine, but would participate with this relationship. Just as the Son received life and meaning and existence, from the Father, this creature would receive the same from the Son. The Father would reveal His glory to this creature.
What creature would win this honour?
Humanity: life, sight, intellect
How would God bring this to humanity?
He did not change it from its divine type, unaltered and unchanged. The very way that God the Son related and drew life from God the Father, would be the same for humanity to experience this relationship.
Just look at this man, Jesus of Nazareth. He brought that relationship to the earth unchanged and unaltered.
Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.
Jesus partook of His Father and made that relationship visible to mortals, to angels and demons and all creation.
Adam the creature in the participant in the dance.
The tree of life – Adam before the tree – the storehouse of God’s life – eat of this tree – partake – why? Because God’s divine life is in this tree and the life of God will go into you and make it visible in the earth – fellowship of God – Father, Son, and Spirit will be visible and multiply throughout the earth – see the divine incarnation of love
Simple but not shallow – but incredible – eat and rest – out of it will come energy to work the garden
One thing you cannot do – partake of the wrong tree
But that does not end the story.
In the fullness of time the tree of life appeared again – Jesus – “I am the vine tree and your are the branches. He who eats me and partakes of me, has life. He that will not eat and partake of me does not have life. It is the same relationship and dance from before time.”
What does this have to do with the Church Frank?
It is about a group of people caught in the cross fire between the Father and the Son, and are partakers of that life together. This is organic corporate fellowship with the Godhead and make it visible. To eat of the tree of life. We eat and drink Christ together.
God wants to move the relationship of the Godhead right into the living room where each person is conduit of divine life to one another and to the world. God wants every relationship to be the outflow of the life that is in the Father and the Son. This brings perfect unity with the Godhead as it is with branches and a tree.
What is our task?
It starts with hunger. Do I want to participate?
An admission, maybe I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to eat and drink Jesus Christ.
It takes a group of people who live close to one another, and have no other pursuit that to pursue Christ and this relationship with the Godhead.