But God, rich as He is in merciful compassion, out of the great love He has for us - think of it, us, completely dead and gone in our blundering - [breathed life back into Christ and so] quickening us, together with Christ - it is merely by His gift that you have been saved - has raised us [back to life again and did so in order] to seat us with Him in the heavenly realm for the purpose of showing forth in eras still to come the overflowing riches of His kind gifts toward us in Christ Jesus. - Ephesians 2:4-7/transliteration by Bruce C Wearne

Sun on field 

Renewed life. PICTURE: Terry Tan De Hao/Unsplash

 

"Paul’s exuberance about his unity, in Christ, with Gentile believers, does not in any respect lessen his appreciation for what Israel’s Messiah has done for Jewish believers."

God's breath which brought forth a living person at creation, has now given new life to the Suffering Servant, the Lamb who was slain. And so, the human race is born again in this new Adam. This is humankind’s “second birth”, and Paul writes as one fully taken up in this Good News.

God the Father has blessed and confirmed the suffering work, all the way to the death of Israel’s Messiah. But His work and His Father’s blessing upon what He had accomplished in His earthly life by raising Him from the grave, and what He continues to do through the Holy Spirit, is redemption for the Jew as much as for the Gentile.

In this new Adam, Jesus Christ, the resurrected Son of God, those created in His image have been born anew and are the beneficiaries of this grace. Paul reads this stupendous kingly event as a redemptive gift in creational and re-creational terms. As the definitive culmination of the “Jewish story”, it is also the announcement of God’s love for the whole world. Now, in Christ, humanity is seated at God’s right hand. This is the precondition by which God’s image bearers participate in the unfolding of God’s ongoing creational purposes.

The Good News is a proclamation that in God’s Son the human race has been restored and made fit to walk in the good works ascribed by God Himself to our created but once fallen, yet now redeemed, human creatureliness.

The restoration of God's image in His Son is what now makes us viable members of His church, His body, citizens of the Kingdom of God. Paul’s exuberance about his unity, in Christ, with Gentile believers, does not in any respect lessen his appreciation for what Israel’s Messiah has done for Jewish believers. It is as if he is saying “We Jews, along with you Gentiles, have now been born anew by the coming of Israel’s Messiah. Despite our headlong determination to maintain our pre-eminence at all costs, we have nevertheless received mercy, the forgiveness of sins, the redemption promised to our ancestors and so now we cannot but pass on the message of this completely unmerited gift because the promise is just as much for you as it is for us!”