Opposites Attract!

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Dr. Tommy Boland, Pastor, Cross Community Church

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

 

The Lord Jesus Christ is our Savior and our Shepherd . . . our Perfecter and our Protector . . . our Prophet, Priest, and King . . . and He is our Opposite too! He is infinite and we are finite. He is omnipotent and we are weak. He is omniscient and we know very little. He is omnipresent and we are bound by space and time.

All that is exactly the way God intended it to be when He formed Adam from the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils. Our limitations are not a result of the fall; rather, they are simply part of God’s perfect plan for humanity. To be sure, we are made in the image of God, who declared, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26), but we are not exactly like God. We see this truth most notably in the limits God assigned to Adam in the Garden when He told Adam not to eat from the forbidden tree (Genesis 2:17). Opposites attract, and thank the Good Lord they do! 

God never intended for us to be His equal. The grotesque arrogance of the fallen angels who rebelled against God drove them to want to be equal to God. Adam and Eve succumbed to the same desire in the Garden of Eden. Satan, the fallen angel who appeared to our first parents as a shrewd serpent, hissed, “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). Tragically, Adam and Eve believed Satan’s lie, plunging all creation into the sickening death spiral of sin, and the rest is our unholy history.

Equality was not what God had in mind when He created angelic beings in heaven and humanity on earth. There is no more terrible demonstration of sinful rebellion than when we rise up and try to be like God. Make no mistake, the greatest sin of the human race is the sin of trying to overcome the oppositeness between the Creator and the creature. And we all do this every time we try to remove God from the throne of our lives so that we can sit there ourselves. It is our sinful nature that drives us to want to rule and reign as little sovereigns in our self-absorbed, self-centered existence. This never ends well because God will tolerate no rival.  

 

Equality with God

Listen, there was only one Person in the history of the world who could and did truthfully and rightfully claim equality with God, because there was no oppositeness in Him.

“I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?” (John 14:9-10).

Only the God-Man could make such a claim. Jesus was fully God and fully man (known as the hypostatic union in theological terms, revealing the dual nature of Jesus), equal with the Father in every way. Jesus made that crystal clear in one of His encounters with the religious leaders. When Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58), He unequivocally proclaimed His divinity. In that one majestic sentence, Jesus not only declared that He existed before Abraham, He also claimed for Himself God’s Holy Name – I AM.

The religious leaders were so incensed that Jesus claimed equality with God that they were ready to stone Him to death for His blasphemy, stoning being the penalty prescribed under the Law for a mere man claiming to be God. But it was not yet time for Jesus to lay down His life on our behalf, and the raging religious leaders were powerless to take His life from Him. 

 

His perfect plan

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May 2, 2009 Italy, Rome. The Cappella Sistina (Sistine Chapel) with Creation of Adam, Artist Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Only when we let God be God will we be able to get on board with the perfect plan He has for our imperfect lives. And in that perfect plan, we learn this overwhelming truth: Opposites Attract! When God in Christ draws us to Himself, the pathway is now open for us to bring our oppositeness to Him that He might apply His ointment:

  • When we bring our fears, He applies the ointment of His faith.
  • When we bring our grief, He applies the ointment of His gladness. 
  • When we bring our mourning, He applies the ointment of His rejoicing.  
  • When we bring our doubts, He applies the ointment of His belief.
  • When we bring our hopelessness, He applies the ointment of His hope.
  • When we bring our restlessness, He applies the ointment of His rest. 
  • When we bring our weakness, He applies the ointment of His strength.
  • When we bring our foolishness, He applies the ointment of His wisdom.
  • When we bring our irritations, He applies the ointment of His patience. 
  • When we bring our discouragements, He applies the ointment of His joy.
  • When we bring our worries, He applies the ointment of His peace. 

Jesus Christ is wholly Opposite, wholly Other . . . and I hope you find that truth wholly attractive today and every day as you make your way into glory. I promise, you’ll be glad you did!

One final point: If God had not assigned us our limitations and our oppositeness, it is likely we would live within our predetermined zones of comfort and not look forward to the promise of perfection in the new heaven and the new earth (Revelation 21:1). We would not be looking to the future with eager expectation, knowing that the best is yet to come!   

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

 

Dr. Tommy Boland is senior pastor of Cross Community Church in Deerfield Beach (www.thecrosscc.org). He blogs regularly at tommyboland.com.

For more articles by Dr. Tommy Boland, visit goodnewsfl.org/tommy-boland.

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