Audio Sermon “God's Miniature”

Aug 28, 2016
“God's Miniature" No.4 by Rev. Toru Asai
John 8:31-47, Ps 82, James 1:16ff., etc.

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph 5:1-2)

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Is it not written in your Law, "I have said you are gods"? If he called them "gods," to whom the word of God came--and the Scripture cannot be broken—what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, "I am God's Son (John 10:22-23)"?

These were the words Jesus spoke to the Jews who became furious at Jesus' statement, "I and the Father are one." Jesus argued back by quoting from Ps 82, which says:

I said, "You are gods;
you are all sons of the Most High.
But you will die like mere men;
you will fall like every other ruler (Ps 82:6-7)."

This psalm was sung, in its direct setting, against the kings of Israel who were appointed to be the members of the Heavenly Council where God presides. The principle, however, is extended to humans in general who were originally created as God's images. In spite of the fact that they were created as kings who would judge according to the Father's word, they began to live fulfilling their own desires. As a result, the psalm says, "All the foundations of the earth are shaken," and humans are now dying as "mere men": they are no longer "gods" or like God. Thus, God sent his Son to turn the whole situation around. The last part of the psalm alludes to this already-not-yet event.

Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
for all the nations are your inheritance (v. 8).

According to Jesus' interpretation of this psalm, "you" of "you are gods" are those "to whom the word of God came": that is to say, they are the ones who receive God's word and carry out his will on earth. Jesus was the first example of that, and his believers are following his example. Jesus and the Father were one because he carried out the Father's will. So, if you carry out the Father's will by receiving his word into your heart, you and the Father are one also. In fact, for this very purpose you were taken from the world, and given to Jesus. He said, "what my Father has given me is greater than all."

Humans are linguistic creatures and vessels: they move and act according to the word they contain in them. If you contain Satan's word, you will carry out his will and become his vessel, but if you contain God's word, you will carry out his will and become his vessel. You are the word that you contain in you. Christ, being the pre-existent Logos, came and lived among us as the perfect vessel of the Father so that his followers could live in the same way.

… But he who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world. … When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him (John 8:26-29).

This is how God's miniatures should live. We are to live as Jesus lived by carrying out what the Father desires. Remember that Jesus did not draw any line between him and you when he said, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods'?" If God's word has come to you, and you have accepted it in your heart, you have been given to him, and you are "greater than all." No one can snatch you out of the Father's hand. On the other hand, note what Jesus said to the Jews who were determined to kill him:

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies (v. 44).

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