Paper Pt V: Power and Collaboration

Kingdom Power: God’s Collaborative Action

We read in Genesis that God decides, “let Us make man in Our image, and let them rule;” after He does so we read, “and God saw that it was very good.”8 God’s rule, even from the beginning, is exercised through a people. Humanity, made in God’s image, is given dominion over the earth; reflecting God’s goodness and justice into creation.
This same pattern of authority is seen throughout the ongoing story of scripture. God covenants with Israel, and begins to teach them how to be human; they are to exercise an influence over the earth, to be a light to the nations. So too the Church, the covenant people in the Messiah, is the very dwelling place for God, and the central conduit for His authority upon the earth in this present age.
While the metaphor of ‘King and Subjects,’ or even, ‘Shepherd and Sheep’ may (out of context) invoke an authoritarian approach, God also uses other metaphors for His relationship to His creation. Like a Father, or even a Mother,9 with children, God is intimately concerned with us. This is no mere autocrat, governing by fiat, but rather a doting parent, deeply concerned with the wellbeing and the maturity of His children; hoping to involve them intimately in the family affairs. Even beyond this, provocatively, God is a Husband,10 wooing a Bride.
To talk of power in terms of God’s Kingdom, is to talk of power ‘in and through’ a people. As Paul writes, the church is “the fullness” of Christ as He “fills everything in every way.”11 It is for this reason that “the creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.”12 God’s intended vessel for His power is a Spirit-indwelt people, empowered for His Kingdom purposes; the hope for our world is the covenant community in Christ; a restoration of God’s “very good.” Therefore, power in God’s Kingdom is tied to what God is doing and how God is doing it; to talk about justice and power we must look to the Cross.


LindaFaye said...

Yeah. I think I am really beginning to see this part of God. I am finding more love in the character of God than I knew was there. Even in "the law" I am finding so much love!!

Steve S. said...

It is amazing what insights a little contemplation will bring...

Whether it is the Law, or any other aspect of God's character and activity, when we think upon Him, we are blessed!

Josh Hopping said...

I don't know if this fits within the scope of your paper..but I love the background to Genesis One.

Traditional Genesis was written by Moses soon after the people left Egypt. During that time period it was customary for a king to place a statue of himself in the cities or area over which he ruled. The point of these statues were to remind the people living in the land who was king.

As such, when the author of Genesis writes that humanity was made in the image of God, they were piggybacking on this concept. Humanity was to be a reminder to all of creation that the one true King was God Almighty.

Meaning that when God gave Adam and Eve "dominion over the earth", this wasn't a blank check to do what they wanted. No! God was still the King of Kings - humanity was just stewards joining with Him, as you mention. Good stuff. =)

oh - BTW - I'm not too sure about this sentence: "God’s rule, even from the beginning, is exercised through a people."

While I believe I know what you are saying, I think there might be another way of wording it... mainly, it seems that you are saying that the 'only way' in which God's rule is exercised is through humanity. I would argue that while God does work through humanity, this is not the only way He works - just one of the ways.

I.E. God can and is, working through the Holy Spirit to direct, control, and effect the world without humanities help. God is also working through nature to bring Himself glory.

If we make the mistake of limiting God to working only through humanity, then we discount the supernatural aspect of God.

Again, I don't think you meant this..it is just that the way you phrased the sentence lend itself to that view. =/

Steve S. said...

Fair enough!

God's rule is not always exercised through humanity, rather, humanity's role has always been as a tool in God's hands. He has other tools...