Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cosmical Things Awaiting Restoration

"When John is describing the Savior, he first tells us that Christ is the 'eternal Word, by Whom all things are made, and who is the life of men.' Paul also testifies that 'all things were created by Christ and consist by Him;' and further, that the object of the work of redemption is not limited to the salvation of individual sinners, but extends itself to the redemption of the world, and to the organic reunion of all things in heaven and on earth under Christ as their original head. Christ himself does not speak only of the regeneration of the earth, but also of a regeneration of the cosmos (Matt. 19:28). Paul declares: 'The whole creation groaneth waiting for the bursting forth of the glory of the children of God.' And when John on Patmos listened to the hymns of the Cherubim and the Redeemed, all honor, praise and thanks were given to God, 'Who has created the heaven and the earth.' The Apocalypse returns to the starting-point of Gen. 1:1- 'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.' In keeping with this, the final outcome of the future, foreshadowed in the H. Scriptures, is not the merely spiritual existence of saved souls, but the restoration of the entire cosmos, when God will be all in all under the renewed heaven on the renewed earth. Now this wide, comprehensible, cosmological meaning of the gospel has been apprehended again by Calvin, ...

Certainly our salvation is of substantial weight, but it cannot be compared with the much greater weight of the glory of our God, Who has revealed His majesty in His wondrous creation. This creation is His handiwork, and being marred by sin, the way was opened, it is true for a still more glorious revelation in its restoration, yet restoration is and ever will be the salvation of that which was first created, the theodicy of the original handiwork of our God. The mediatorship of Christ is and ever will be the burden of the grand hymn of the tongues of men and the voices of angels, but even this mediatorship has for its final end the glory of the Father; and however grand the splendor of Christ's kingdom may be, He will at last surrender it to God and the Father.... Calvinism puts an end once and for all to contempt for the world, neglect of the temporal and under-valuation of cosmical things. Cosmical life has regained its worth not at the expense of things eternal, but by virtue of its capacity as God's handiwork and as a revelation of God's attributes" (Lectures on Calvinism, pp. 118-20)

No comments: