Forward this issue to a Friend 

Join Our Mailing List Like us on Facebook

Luke 14:7-14


 

Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, "When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, 'Give your place to this person,' and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, 'Friend, move up higher.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

 

He said also to the man who had invited him, "When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just." (ESV)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crazy Glue Divinity

Jacob (Israel), Patriarch 

5 February 2014

The children were running around the house screaming at the top of their lungs. Suddenly there was a crash and a painful silence. Parents know things are really bad when the children are silent. When they are quiet they must be up to something, right? You know what has happened. Mother's favorite vase was broken. Dad tried to fix it with crazy glue. He succeeded in getting it more or less glued back together, but it would never again portray the image of beauty it once exuded. It is a broken vase glued together, not an image of loveliness, only an approximation of its former self. Though it might still function as a container for flowers, it will never again be the beautiful showpiece it was intended to be. Adam bore the image of God conveyed to him in his creation by the holy Trinity (Gn 1:26). But that image was shattered like the vase, and while Adam retained the outline and shape of that image (Gn 9:6), it was only a pale shadow of its former reality. Spiritual crazy glue will never suffice to restore the fullness of the divine image that was his at creation.

 

The Bible reveals Christ to be the new Adam (Rm 5:18-19; 1Co 15:45). His fix is not with spiritual crazy glue. There is no mere betterment or repair of the old Adam. Old Adam must be done to death and new man must arise in righteousness and purity forever. The baptized life keeps its hands on the throat of struggling old Adam, killing him every day. In such homicide, there is no crime, no end, and no loss. For the new Adam is our righteousness not a gussied up old Adam. The difference must be decisive; dying to live, killing to make alive. Repentance is the daily business of drowning the old Adam to use again the baptismal waters. Contrition and faith return us to the waters of life where Christ is. This is living in baptism.

 

The image of Adam is returned to us through Christ, the eternal Son of the Father, who is God's image in the world. Christ does not bear the image of God as some crazy-glued approximation of divinity. This would be "close, but no cigar" divinity, which is no divinity at all. This is not what the Bible means by the divine image borne by the Son. The image of God in the Son is full and substantial divinity, not anything less. He assumes a human nature of the Virgin and for that reason is less than the Father. But the union of the divine and human natures in Christ is freely undertaken by Jesus, and in that decisive salvific act He does not become less than the Father according to His divinity. Divinity is not diminished by the incarnation, but humanity is raised. He undertakes the incarnation that through the humiliation of His person all persons might be most wonderfully restored in the image, which in Him is perfectly and completely restored. The glory of divinity, while full and intact in the incarnation, is humbled by His decisive will to suffer death for our sakes. He is not brought low by it, but chooses to bear it, embracing that humiliation and, in it, us.

 

Christ then is not some symbolical representation of God in the world that was set forth for us to follow His example. No, He remakes humanity by becoming human and remaining fully divine. Every diminishment of Christ to be the image of something else, diminishes our salvation. No, Christ is not a crazy glue divinity, but the fullness of God bodily.

 

John Cassian

 

 "In order to avoid thinking of the Lord Jesus as one of the whole mass of people, you [Nestorius] have given to Him some glory, by attributing to Him honor as a saint, but not deity as true man and true God. For what do you say? 'God brought about the Lord's incarnation. Let us honor the form of the "receiver of God" (Theodochos) together with God, as one form of Godhead, as a figure that cannot be severed from the divine link, as an image of the unseen God.' You said that Adam was the image of God, here you call Christ the image. The one you speak of as a statue, and the other also as a statue. But I suppose we ought for God's honor to be grateful to you, because you grant that the form of the 'receiver of God' should be worshipped together with God, in which you wrong Him rather than honor Him. For in this you do not attribute to the Lord Jesus Christ the glory of deity, but you deny it. By a subtle and wicked art you say that He is to be worshipped together with God in order that you may not have to confess that He is God, and by the very statement in which you seem deceitfully to join Him with God, you really sever Him from God. For when you blasphemously say that He is certainly not to be adored as God, but to be worshipped together with God, you thus grant to Him a union of nearness to divinity, in order to get rid of the truth of His divinity. Oh, you most wicked and crafty enemy of God, you want to perpetrate the crime of denying God under pretext of confessing Him.

 

"You say: 'Let us worship Him as a figure that cannot be severed from the divine will, as an image of the unseen God.' It is I suppose, then, owing to His kind acts that our Lord Jesus Christ has obtained among us honor as Creator and Redeemer. If then we were redeemed by Him from eternal destruction, in calling our Redeemer a figure we are endeavoring indeed to respond to His kindness and goodness, by a worthy service and a worthy allegiance, if we try to get rid of that glory which He did not refuse to bring low for our sakes."

 

John Cassian, Seven Books on the Incarnation, 7.8
 

Prayer

Lord Christ, You bore our image to restore it to its pristine state. Grant that we might remain in the gifts of Your grace that continue to set us in that image. Help us to drown and kill old Adam every day by repentance and contrition that we might live by faith. Amen.

 

For President Lawrence Rast, the regents, the faculty, and staff of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, that the Lord Jesus would continue to uphold their work by His grace, granting success to the Word by the power of His Spirit

 

For all college students, who are being bombarded by ideas inimical to the holy faith of the church, that they might be steadfast in their faith and confession

 

For Pastor Charles Wokoma, that his efforts would bear fruit according to the gracious will of God

Art: MEMLING, Hans  Adoration of the Magi (c. 1470)

Find me on Facebook                                                                                       © Scott R. Murray, 2014

 
This email was sent to tpernoud@mlchouston.org by smurray@mlchouston.org |  
Memorial Lutheran Church | 5800 Westheimer Rd. | Houston | TX | 77057