Monday, August 31, 2009

The Greatness of God as Seen in the Kosmos

Have you ever experienced the reality of the greatness and awesomeness of the God of Heaven? Last Sunday, our worship opened with a lively choir number and a powerful instrumental accompaniment that lifted us as if to heaven but also brought us to our knees in humility before Him. As I considered God’s power, position, and personal nature, several words came to mind to describe Him – Almighty, Everlasting, All Wise, Infinite, and Omnipresent.

Then, I thought of His works. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth (Genesis 1:1). Genesis 1:31 records that God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. God Almighty judged the created order and all that was in it as “good” because it was a perfect representation of His wisdom and plan.

The Apostle John declares in John 1:3 that All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. John uses the Greek word, kosmos, to denote the created order which God through Jesus Christ brought into being out of nothing. It is the kosmos that God delighted in revealing to Adam when He invited Adam to study its order beginning with the task of naming the creatures and to learn his place in this great cosmic order (Genesis 2: 19-25). The psalmist declares O LORD, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; The earth is full of Your possessions (Psalm 104:24).

From the farthest star at untold millions of light years away to the smallest subatomic particle, there is an unmistakable order that our science has begun to discern and unify into theories. Yet God is above and beyond even the greatness and immensity of the kosmos. In fact, John declares that God so loved the kosmos that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). He goes on to write that God did not send the Son into the kosmos to judge the kosmos, but that the kosmos might be saved through Him (3:17).

What has been your understanding of God’s regard for His created order, or kosmos? How have you viewed the scope of God’s redemptive plan? Did Jesus die on the cross to redeem mankind alone? How do you reconcile the concept that Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18) with John’s claim that God so loved the kosmos that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16)? Careful contemplation and meditation on the answer to this question returns us to our worship of the Great and Awesome God Whose plan of redemption is much bigger than we often realize or consider in our daily lives. Feel free to reply with your thoughts in response to these questions.

Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name;
Bring an offering and come into His courts.

Worship the LORD in holy attire;
Tremble before Him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns;
Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved;
He will judge the peoples with equity."

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
Let the sea roar, and all it contains;

Let the field exult, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy

Before the LORD, for He is coming,
For He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness

And the peoples in His faithfulness. (Psalm 96: 8-13)

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