Posted by: Jonathan Stepp | November 14, 2008

Separated from God?

What does it mean to be separated from God? To understand it we have to look at Jesus, the Word of God.

The Bible says that Jesus is fully God and fully human (Col. 1:19) and that in him all things are held together (Col. 1:17). In him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). Therefore, whatever separation from God may be it cannot be understood as an actual, literal absence of God’s presence, and even more, it cannot be seen as an absence of his active, loving presence to keep us as his own beloved children.

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit love humanity – and the whole creation – with a passionate devotion that causes them to keep us not just with their Divine nature but in it.

John of Damascus phrased it this way:

All things are far apart from God, not in place but in nature. . . Existing things are dependent on that which is, and nothing can be unless it is in that which is. God then is mingled with everything, maintaining their nature: and in His holy flesh the God-Word [Jesus] is made one in subsistence and is mixed with our nature, yet without confusion. An Exact Exposition of the Christian Faith, Book 1, chap. 13

To be separated from God is to be alienated in our minds, thoughts, and affections from the one who is our Father, in Christ, and the one who is actively loving us and upholding our lives – even when we are blind to his presence.

This is good news for us because it means that when we believe what the Spirit is telling us about our adoption as children of the Father we will see that we have never been without God at any time in our lives. Our Dad in heaven has always been in and with us, through his Son, and he has always been working through his Spirit to help us see the truth about his presence with us.

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Responses

  1. Thank you Jonathan
    A very much misunderstood reality, thanks for opening it up. Just a few thoughts!

    The objective reality of God includes both Heaven and Hell in Jesus. What a bombshell! The subjective mind from our new hearts (all humanity) has the freedom through the Holy Spirit as He convicts us to come to participate or reject this reality. The one comes to know incrementally the freedom of adoption, a heavenly abundant life in the here and now in Jesus, while the other lives in bondage and delusional separation from his own mind in hell, lost, not knowing he is in Jesus. The Father is in union with both by the Spirit in Jesus. jg

  2. Thanks for the comments, John. Very well said!


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