I am making all things new. (Revelation 21:5, ESV)
Yesterday evening the Life group which meets in my wife’s and my home considered Jesus Christ as the head of the new creation promised by God guided by chapter 17, “The Head of New Creation,” of Jesus: The Life and Ministry of God the Son–Collected Insights from A. W. Tozer, Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2017. The chapter consists of an introduction, three titled sections, and four Reflect questions. Here I’ll summarize the introduction and each of the sections and present the Reflect questions and how we responded to them.
God has promised a new order that is the opposite of the present order. The present order is marked by temporality and mortality. The new order will come to live and remain forever.
A New Man, A New Creation
The first Adam (the one of Genesis 2-3) was the head of everything in the old order. When he fell, he pulled everything down. The second Adam (Jesus Christ) came to bring God’s promise of an new order. He died, but rising again lives forever. Because he triumphed over sin and death, he is the head of the new creation, which is marked by perfectivity and eternal life rather than by temporality and death.
Waiting for God’s Promise
However people ignore God’s promises. One reason is their almost always being in a hurry and thus becoming interested in other things when the return of Christ is delayed. Another reason is their having so much that they are satisfied with their present condition.
Moreover too many people have an inadequate view of Jesus Christ and there is confusion among teachers of prophecy. As a result “real Christians, who should know better, are now ‘rethinking’ their faith” (Tozer, Jesus, page 160). Even worse, multitudes of Christians hold the doctrine without feeling any hope for it. We need to try to recapture “the spirit of anticipation that animated the early Christian church and cheered the hearts of gospel Christians only a few decades ago” (Tozer, Jesus, page 161). Although they were wrong about the time of his coming, they were not mistaken in their hope of his coming in God’s time.
1. How would knowing that Christ is the Head of new creation inform the way you live your life now?
We felt that knowing that Christ is the head of God’s new creation informs the way we live our lives now.
2. Have you “demoted” Christ in your mind compared to how Tozer portrays Him in this chapter?
We felt that we hadn’t demoted Christ in our minds compared to the way Tozer portrays him in this chapter.
3. Reflecting on the pace of your life, do you find that you are fixed on eternity or are you primarily concerned with the things of now?
We felt although we are occupied with things of now we are also fixed on eternity.
4. What do you imagine the church would look like today if it were as expectant as the early church for Christ’s new order?
We referred to different things, including increased “religious” activity, holiness, and witnessing.
Our Life group has now finished working through Jesus : The Life and Ministry of God the Son – Collected Insights from A. W. Tozer. We plan to study the life and writings of Peter next but to wait until the fall to begin it. Here I’ll resume sharing from my personal reading in The Great Books of the Western World guided by The Great Ideas Program (both sets published by Encyclopedis Britannica). To provide variety, I may alternate between readings from the next two volumes in The Great Ideas Program, 3. Foundations of Science and Mathematics and 4. Religion and Theology.