Implications of cháris: God is not our competitor.

Yesterday I wrote about how the first and last verses of the Bible give us two basic ideas: God as creator and Jesus as lover (with cháris*). So the first and last verses of the Bible, standing alone, give us the two most basic truths of the gospel–if all of the passages in between really do indicate that ‘Elōhîm and Jesus are one and the same.

Spoiler: In case you're wondering whether or not the rest of the Bible indicates that ‘Elōhîm and Jesus are the same...
…it does–‘Elōhîm and Jesus are one. See Deuteronomy 6:4, John 1:1-18.

But this brings me to another thought: if our Creator is our Lover, what then should we fear? Who is our enemy? Who is our competitor?

God? Impossible.

Satan? Only if he’s more powerful than our creator–and he isn’t.

Other people? Not at all.

The only thing that can ever possibly prevent you from receiving the absolutely free, life-giving and life-changing cháris of your creator is yourself.

Your only enemy is you.

The apostle John writes:

“He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–” -John 1:11-12

The word “belief” can take on multiple meanings. Sometimes the Greek word pisteúō refers to giving credit, or being mentally persuaded. At other times it means to entrust, or have confidence, in something. In this passage, belief seems less defined as some sort of intellectual assent–some specific genre of scientific or ontological thought–and more as receiving, taking on, or associating oneself with a thing (the Greek is paralambanō).

And so, here we have it: the only reason not to become a child of God is if you refuse to associate yourself with God–which actually makes a lot of sense.

*I should disclose that, regrettably, I have not taken any Biblical language courses. I’m learning on my own.

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