THE CHRISTIAN PARADIGM OF GOD

This is not my writing, it was written by Mike Bickle from his study in Song of Songs…..

The Christian paradigm of God is founded on the revelation of God’s deep emotions of love. The revelation of God as a tender Father and a passionate Bridegroom was a new idea in religious history (see William Barclay’s commentary on Heb. 4).

In Jewish tradition, what was most emphasized about God was that He is holy in the sense of being totally separate from sin. They did not think of a holy God as sharing human experience. They thought of God as incapable of sharing it simply because He is God. In other words, they saw God as being “above” sharing the human dilemma by the very definition of being God.

The Greek philosophers saw God as emotionally distant from humans. The most prominent Greek thinkers were the Stoics. They saw the main attribute of God as being apatheia, by which they meant God’s inability to feel anything. They reasoned that if God felt something, then He might be influenced or even controlled by what He felt. They argued that those who felt sorrow or joy were vulnerable to being hurt and, thus, controlled by those they had feelings for. They believed that anyone who affected God’s emotions would be greater than God for that moment. The Epicureans (a school of Greek philosophy) believed that the gods lived detached in eternal bliss. They lived in the intermediate world and, thus, were not aware of events occurring on earth. They were, therefore, totally detached from human affairs as they lived in great happiness.

The Jews understood God as a holy God separated from humans; the Stoics, a feelingless god; the Epicureans, a detached god. Into this context of religious thought came the totally new idea of the Christian God who deliberately subjected Himself to human emotion, pain, and weakness.
Jesus came as the One who embraced human experience and was therefore, sympathetic.

15For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Heb. 4:15)

8though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. (Heb. 5:8)

It was inconceivable to the religious mindset of the first century that a holy God would have capacity for tenderness, sympathy and affection, who even wrapped Himself in the garments of humanity and then experienced God’s wrath on a cross. It is difficult to realize how dramatic this Christian paradigm of God was at that time.

The capacity to deeply love is unique to the human spirit. It distinguishes us from even the most exalted angels. Nothing in Scripture describes angels as having the capacity for affection. They have joy, but never are described as having affection. This capacity for affection brings us to unimaginable heights in God’s glory, but it can also be dangerous by bringing us to agonizing depths of perversion, if we resist God’s grace.

“God loves us in the same way the God loves God” The measure of the Father’s love (affection) for Jesus is the measure of Jesus’ love for us. This is the ultimate statement of our worth. It gives every believer the right to view themselves as God’s Favorite”

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide (live) in My love” John 15:9

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