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2013-2014 Bible study. This Bible study at LLU. 2003-2005 2005-2007 2007-2009 2009-2013 2013-??? www.Godscharacter.com. The Ideal. The Pathology. The Ideal. Does the Bible describe a time before the rebellion? …before the creation of humans …before the creation of angels.

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this bible study at llu
This Bible study at LLU
  • 2003-2005
  • 2005-2007
  • 2007-2009
  • 2009-2013
  • 2013-???
  • www.Godscharacter.com
the ideal1
The Ideal
  • Does the Bible describe a time before the rebellion?
  • …before the creation of humans
  • …before the creation of angels

“In the beginning, God…” (Genesis 1:1)

  • “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)
    • “In the beginning…[God] was with God…”
  • “Father…I want them to see my glory, which you gave me because you loved me before the world was made.” (John 17:24)
the trinity
The Trinity
    • “You are my own dear Son. I am pleased with you” (Luke 3:22).
    • “You are in me and I am in you” (John 17:21).
    • “For this reason God raised him to the highest place above and gave him the name that is greater than any other name.” (Philippians 2:9)


    • “If you knew me, you would know my Father also” (John 8:19)
    • “’If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’ Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do now know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father…Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? …Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me…”(John 14:7-11)


    • “’And Jesus cried out and said, ‘Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.’” (John 12:44-45)


    • “He is the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God” (John 14:17)
    • “When, however, the Spirit comes, who reveals the truth about God, he will lead you into all the truth… He will give me glory, because he will take what I say and tell it to you” (John 16:13-14).
the trinity1
The Trinity
  • Other-centered
  • Relationship/Intimacy
  • Trust
  • Love

“God is Love” (1 John 3:8)

  • 1 Corinthians 13:
    • “Love does not sing its own praises”
    • “Love is not selfish”

“At the root of all present-day oppressive dictatorships, divided or monochrome societies, devaluation of certain individuals and the inability to cultivate loving community, is a denial of the Trinity. The Trinity models an image of mutuality, reciprocity and totally shared life”- Greg Haslam

the ideal for humanity
The ideal for humanity
  • “Then I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, dressed like a bride ready for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne say, ‘God lives with humans! God will make his home with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There won\'t be any more death. There won\'t be any grief, crying, or pain, because the first things have disappeared.’” (Revelation 21:2-4)
  • “The will see his face and his name will be written on their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:4)
the ideal for humanity a world made for romance
The ideal for humanity: a world made for romance?
  • “Imagine the most beautiful scenes you have ever known on this earth—rain forests, the prairie in full bloom, storm clouds over the African savanna, the Alps under a winter snow. Then imagine it all on the day it was born. . . . Into this world God opens his hand, and the animals spring forth. Myriads of birds, in every shape and size and song, take wing—hawks, herons, warblers. All the creatures of the sea leap into it—whales, dolphins, fish of a thousand colors and designs.

“Thundering across the plains race immense herds of horses, gazelles, buffalo, running like the wind. It is more astonishing than we could possibly imagine. No wonder ‘the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy’ (Job 38:7). A great hurrah goes up from the heavens!”


“We have grown dull toward this world in which we live; we have forgotten that it is not normal or scientific in any sense of the word. It is fantastic. It is a fairy tale through and through. Really now. Elephants? Caterpillars? Snow? At what point did you lose your wonder of it all? Even so, once in a while something will come along and shock us right out of our dullness and resignation. We come round a corner, and there before us is a cricket, a peacock, a stag with horns as big as he. Perhaps we come upon a waterfall, the clouds have made a rainbow in a circle round the sun, or a mouse scampers across the counter, pauses for a moment to twitch his whiskers at you, and disappears into the cupboard. And for a moment we realize we were born into a world astonishing as any fairy tale. A world made for romance.” - Epic: The Story God Is Telling, by John Eldredge

creation as romance
Creation as Romance
  • “The relational implication of the seventh day is often overlooked, dwarfed by the tendency to prioritize God’s power, sovereignty, and majesty as more representative features of Creation. Power and sovereignty are attributes of God, but from God’s side it is not power that is projected most forcefully in the institution of the seventh day. When God ceases the work of creating, hallowing the seventh day, we see God coming into an enduring relationship with Creation. ‘By resting on the seventh day, God is thereby shown to have entered into the time of the created order,’ says Fretheim.
creation as romance1
Creation as Romance
  • “Intimacy threatens to eclipse majesty in this scenario; at the very least we are led to see God\'s desire for intimacy in the seventh day to the point that God’s awesome power and majesty are veiled and held in the background so as not to intimidate human approach . . . Perceiving the seventh day as a relational marker enriches the theology of Creation, promising to rectify the distortion in which the emphasis on sovereignty implies detachment. . .
creation as romance2
Creation as Romance
  • “Karl Barth writes perceptively that the characteristic of God that is revealed ‘in the rest of the seventh day is His love...the reason why He refrains from further activity on the seventh day is that He has found the object of His love and has no need for any further works.’...It is as if we hear God speaking, ‘I am ceasing on the seventh day not only that you may acknowledge and love me, but in order to make it known that I recognize and love you.’” – Sigve Tonstad, The Lost Meaning of the Seventh Day
restoring the ideal
Restoring the Ideal
  • “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, Against the Man who is My Companion, says that Lord of hosts” (NKJV) Zechariah 13:7
    • “My Friend” (NCV)
    • “The One who is close to me” (NIV)
restoring the ideal1
Restoring the Ideal
  • “No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.” (John 1:18, NRSV)
restoring the ideal2
Restoring the Ideal
  • “Eternal life is this:
  • to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you sent. I have shown your glory on earth; I have finished the work you gave me to do...
  • “I revealed your name” (KJV, GW, NRSV)
  • I revealed your character…”(John 17:3-6, MSG)
restoring the ideal3
Restoring the Ideal
  • “My people are being destroyed because they don’t know Me.” (Hosea 4:6)
  • “Go away, I never knew you…”
restoring the ideal4
Restoring the Ideal
  • “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”(John 15:15)
  • “I pray that they may all be one. Father! May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me.” (John 17:21)
restoring the ideal5
Restoring the Ideal
  • “The mother of James and John came to Jesus with her two sons. She knelt down and started begging him to do something for her. Jesus asked her what she wanted, and she said, ‘When you come into your kingdom, please let one of my sons sit at your right side and the other at your left.’ Jesus answered, ‘Not one of you knows what you are asking…. When the ten other disciples heard this, they were angry with the two brothers.
restoring the ideal6
Restoring the Ideal
  • But Jesus called the disciples together and said: “You know that foreign rulers like to order their people around. And their great leaders have full power over everyone they rule. But don’t act like them. If you want to be great, you must be the servant of all the others. And if you want to be first, you must be the slave of the rest. The Son of Man did not come to be a slave master, but a slave who will give his life to rescue many people. (Matthew 20:20-28 – CEV)
living in love
Living in Love
  • “And now I give you a new commandment: love one another.” (John 13:34)
  • “…let us all love one another. This is no new command I am writing you; it is the command which we have had from the beginning.” (2 John 1:5)
living in love1
Living in Love
  • “Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble toward one another, always considering others better than yourselves. And look out for one another\'s interests, not just for your own.” (Philippians 2:3 – GNB)
  • “In brotherly love let your feelings of deep affection for one another come to expression and regard others as more important than yourself.” (Romans 12:10 – NJB)
the early christian church
The Early Christian Church
  • “These men who have turned the world upside down…” (Acts 17:6 – ESV)

“I reckon everything as complete loss for the sake of what is so much more valuable, the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have thrown everything away; I consider it all as mere garbage, so that I may gain Christ and be completely united with him.” (Philippians 3:8,9 – GN)

  • “I have not stopped giving thanks to God for you. I remember you in my prayers and ask the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, to give you the Spirit, who will make you wise and reveal God to you, so that you will know him.” (Ephesians 1:16,17 – GN)

“When the Judgment Day comes, many will say to me, \'Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God\'s message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!\' Then I will say to them,

  • ‘Go away. I never knew you.‘” (Matthew 7:22-23)
  • “When you were born, no one cut your umbilical cord or washed you or rubbed you with salt or wrapped you in cloths. No one took enough pity on you to do any of these things for you. When you were born, no one loved you. You were thrown out in an open field. Then I passed by and saw you squirming in your own blood. You were covered with blood, but I wouldn\'t let you die. I made you grow like a healthy plant. You grew strong and tall and became a young woman. Your breasts were well-formed, and your hair had grown, but you were naked. As I passed by again, I saw that the time had come for you to fall in love. I covered your naked body with my coat and promised to love you. Yes, I made a marriage covenant with you, and you became mine. This is what the Sovereign LORD says.” (Ezekiel 16:4-8 – GN)
  • “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it….Men ought to love their wives just as they love their own bodies…As the scripture says, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.’ There is a deep secret truth revealed in this scripture, which I understand as applying to Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:25-32 – GN)