Don't Shun the -tions, -sions, (and Especially not the -xion)
Do you like big words?
I do. If you don't, that's ok.
But, God has never placed a premium on ignorance. That is, the Bible is written in such a way that it demands we learn to love the Lord our God with more than just all of our heart, soul, and strength. It is necessary that we also love Him with all of our MIND.
Loving God with my mind surely includes keeping my mind pure. But it also implies the need for learning. It is imperative that we all be ever and always learning more and more about who God is, what He is like, and the way He acts.
So, with that in mind, there are a few "biggish" Bible words (all ending with the suffix -tion) that we need to meditate on until we are familiar with both their definitions and their ramifications. Election, redemption, salvation, justification, sanctification, & glorification are at the top of this list. As I ruminated over those words recently, I realized that there is a whole host of these kind of "theological" words that are worthy of consideration AND connection. As I compiled the list I noticed that there is a particular logical and often even a chronological order to these words. Read this list slowly. And don't just meditate on the significance of the individual words, but consider the impact of the list as a whole.
Perception, Election, Foreordination, Predestination, Creation, Temptation, Volition, Separation, Condemnation, Procreation, Revelation, Incarnation, Illustration, Crucifixion, Propitiation, Redemption, Reconciliation, Resurrection, Ascension, Infusion, Evangelization, Conviction, Invitation, Salvation, Regeneration, Justification, Intercession, Edification, Sanctification, Adoption, Glorification, Visitation, Restitution, Adjudication, & Recreation.
So, that's 35 words (including a bunch of "-tion" words and a few of their "-sion/-xion" cousins) that are each worthy of our attention.
Truly, each of those words is weighty enough to merit a whole blog post of its own. In fact, some of them deserve a book or 2 devoted to their exploration. Perhaps I'll go deeper with the list sometime, but today let's see if we can just summarize and simplify each term.
As you go through the (more detailed) list that follows, try to view the overall truth being pieced together by this list. In 1st Corinthians 2:7 we read where Paul wrote, “We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory…” That is what I hope to whet your appetite for. Let's see if we can peek through a small crack in the divine wall and catch a glimpse of God's wisdom; His mysterious methods; the glory which—though exclusively His—He has determined to share with us.
[Ordained before the world? Ordained unto OUR glory? That's a lot to digest].
Perception - God has always known what He would do, and what you and I would do (Acts 15:18).
Election - God chose me (Ephesians 1:3-4).
Foreordination - He officially decreed His perfect plan of life and love (1st Peter 1:20).
Predestination - He established the objective of perfection for all His children (Romans 8:29).
Creation - He made us (Ephesians 3:8-11).
Temptation - He created the tree (of knowledge of good and evil). and allowed Satan to tell his lies (Romans 8:20-22).
Volition - He permitted Adam's free choice (Romans 6:16).
Separation - He demanded the division that He called death (Hebrews 7:26).
Condemnation - He declared justice (Ezekiel 18:4).
Procreation - He blessed Adam and Eve with a whole race of offspring (Romans 5:18-19).
Revelation - That's the unveiling of God’s existence, nature, and demands. (Romans 1:20). That's natural revelation, but don't neglect written revelation either (2nd Peter 1:21 & 2nd Timothy 3:16).
Incarnation - He became one of us (1st Timothy 3:16).
Illustration - He lived the perfect life we could not live (1st Peter 2:21-23).
Crucifixion - The vicarious suffering and death of Christ for us (Hebrews 9:14).
Propitiation - He poured out His wrath upon His Son (1st John 2:2).
Redemption - Jesus paid our penalty and bought our freedom (Colossians 1:13-14).
Reconciliation - Jesus made peace between the creature and the Creator (2nd Corinthians 5:18-20).
Resurrection - The Spirit raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11).
Ascension - Jesus returned to His Father (Ephesians 4:8-10).
Infusion - The Spirit was sent to live in us (Galatians 4:6).
Evangelization - We are sent to tell the nations of Christ and of His resurrection power (Romans 10:14-15).
Conviction - The Spirit uses the Word to convince men of the truth (Acts 2:37-39).
Invitation - God calls (and draws) mankind to return to Him (Hebrews 9:15).
Salvation - Through repentance and faith, the transaction is made (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Regeneration - We are born of the Spirit; reborn into the family of God (Titus 3:5).
Justification - We’re made righteous in God’s eyes & given the right to our new position (Romans 5:1-2).
Intercession - Jesus sits for our defense (Romans 8:34).
Edification - We receive instruction from saints and participate in the instruction of other saints (Romans 14:19).
Sanctification (still loading) - The process of being made practically & literally holy (Philippians 1:6).
Adoption - Being given the full possession of our inheritance (Romans 8:23).
Glorification (TBA) - We will be brought to our full potential of reflecting the beauty of our Maker (Romans 8:30). By the way, He is working on this now too. We are being changed from glory to glory. So this is both the progress and the end result of our sanctification!
Visitation - We will return with Christ to set up His kingdom on this earth (Zephaniah 2:7).
Restitution - God will restore this world to a state of submission and blessing (Acts 3:19-21).
Adjudication - The day will come when the final judgment of God’s enemies will begin and will ultimately be completed (Psalm 110:1-7).
Recreation - God will eventually begin all over again, but this time ONLY with His loyal worshippers (Revelation 21:5).
So what? What do we do with all of this?
Well, 2 things: 1. Trust Him! 2. Worship Him!
1. TRUST HIM! Mix the gospel that is preached to you with faith. Rest in Him. The work is finished. In fact, His work has been finished since the foundation of the world. All that God has for you (and me) is as good as done already. That's how confident we can be in His plan. (Hebrews 4:1-3).
2. WORSHIP HIM! He is the One who lives forever and ever. He created all things for His own pleasure. He is worthy to receive all the glory and honor that we could ever offer, and more (Revelation 4:9-11).
When we read through that long list of great words, we should be reminded that our God planned it all. This should make us sing and shout! We should not shun this these truth. They should be so comforting and reassuring. While there is much about God's grand plan that we don't and can't comprehend, He has allowed us to catch a glimpse of enough of His light to cause us to believe. And by His Spirit He has provided enough comprehension in us to merit and motivate great celebration.
He is our Creator and our Redeemor.
He is worthy of our confidence.
He is worthy of our admiration.
He has done all things well! His plan is perfect!