Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mathetes 10 - Every Spiritual Blessing

This is a continuation of my series on Mathetes letter to Diognetus. If you are unfamiliar with Mathetes or his letter to Diognetus, you may want to first read the introduction to this series.

God's plan was to provide for the forgiveness of our sins, to abolish death, and to reconcile us to Himself that we might come to know His and His Son. This provision of God is received through faith, not through works or religion, and for those who receive it by faith, they also receive the knowledge of the Father.
"If you also desire [to possess] this faith, you likewise shall receive first of all the knowledge of the Father. For God has loved mankind, on whose account He made the world, to whom He rendered subject all the things that are in it, to whom He gave reason and understanding, to whom alone He imparted the privilege of looking upwards to Himself, whom He formed after His own image, to whom He sent His only-begotten Son, to whom He has promised a kingdom in heaven, and will give it to those who have loved Him." (Mathetes 10)
With the knowledge of the Father we also come to understand His love for mankind in general and for us in particular. The Father has loved us and made the world for us. He has subjected all things on earth to us. However He has not left us to earthly toil but has granted us the privileges, and has placed it in our hearts the desire, to "look upwards to Himself" that our hearts and lives may be refreshed with the knowledge of Him. And when we rebelled, He chose to send His Son to ransom us and to give us the promise of the Father and our portion in His Kingdom.

With such knowledge we are ready to receive the things of the Kingdom, namely, "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." (Romans 14:17)
"And when you have attained this knowledge, with what joy do you think you will be filled? Or, how will you love Him who has first so loved you? And if you love Him, you will be an imitator of His kindness. And do not wonder that a man may become an imitator of God. He can, if he is willing." (Mathetes 10)
Righteousness is the imitation of God, but how shall we imitate that which we do not know? However, to know God is to imitate Him. God Himself said, "He pled the cause of the afflicted and needy; then it was well. Is not that what it means to know Me?" (Jeremiah 22:16) When we know God then we will imitate God; we will begin to do the things that He is doing.
"For it is not by ruling over his neighbours, or by seeking to hold the supremacy over those that are weaker, or by being rich, and showing violence towards those that are inferior, that happiness is found; nor can any one by these things become an imitator of God. But these things do not at all constitute His majesty. On the contrary he who takes upon himself the burden of his neighbour; he who, in whatsoever respect he may be superior, is ready to benefit another who is deficient; he who, whatsoever things he has received from God, by distributing these to the needy, becomes a god to those who receive [his benefits]: he is an imitator of God." (Mathetes 10)
To imitate God is to imitate His love. A love that is shown not "with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." (1 John 3:18)

As we grow in our knowledge and imitation of God, our lives we be transformed from the inside out and our minds will be renewed according to the true knowledge of Him. With our renewed mind we will come to see and understand the world around us as God sees it. We will come to know and understand the mysteries of this life.
"Then thou shalt see, while still on earth, that God in the heavens rules over [the universe]; then thou shall begin to speak the mysteries of God; then shalt thou both love and admire those that suffer punishment because they will not deny God; then shall thou condemn the deceit and error of the world when thou shall know what it is to live truly in heaven, when thou shalt despise that which is here esteemed to be death, when thou shalt fear what is truly death, which is reserved for those who shall be condemned to the eternal fire, which shall afflict those even to the end that are committed to it. Then shalt thou admire those who for righteousness’ sake endure the fire that is but for a moment, and shalt count them happy when thou shalt know [the nature of] that fire." (Mathetes 10)
We will once again come to be God's children in this world.

David Robison

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