BETWEEN REDEMPTION AND CREATION
We need to note the relationship between redemption and creation. We should by no means consider that the Bible speaks of nothing but redemption. Thank God that in addition to redemption there is also creation. The desire of God’s heart is expressed in creation. God’s goal, God’s plan, and God’s predetermined will are all made known in His creation. Creation reveals God’s eternal purpose; it shows us what God is truly after.
The place of redemption cannot be higher than that of creation. What is redemption? Redemption recovers what God did not obtain through creation. Redemption does not bring anything new to us; it only restores to us what is already ours. God through redemption achieves His purpose in creation. To redeem means to restore and recover; to create means to determine and initiate. Redemption is something afterward, so that God’s purpose in creation may be fulfilled. Oh, that the Lord’s children would not despise creation, thinking that redemption is everything. Redemption is related to us; it benefits us by saving us and bringing us eternal life. But creation is related to God and God’s work. Our relationship with redemption is for the benefit of man, while our relationship with creation is for the economy of God. May God do a new thing on this earth, so that man will not only stress the gospel but go beyond that to take care of God’s work, God’s affairs, and God’s plan. In fact, our preaching of the gospel should be with a view to bringing the earth back to God. We must show Christ’s triumph over the kingdom of Satan. If we are not Christians, that is something else. But once we have become Christians, we should not only receive the benefit of redemption but also achieve God’s purpose in creation. Without redemption we could never be related to God. But once we have been saved, we need to offer ourselves to God to attain the goal for which He first made man. If we pay attention only to the gospel, that is only half of the matter. God requires the other half, that man may rule for Him upon the earth and not allow Satan to remain here any longer. This half is also required of the church. Hebrews 2 shows us that redemption is not only for the forgiveness of sins, that man may be saved, but also to restore man back to the purpose of creation.
Redemption is comparable to the valley between two peaks. As one descends from one peak and proceeds to ascend the other, he encounters redemption at the lowest part of the valley. To redeem simply means to prevent man from falling any further and to uplift him. On the one hand, God’s will is eternal and straightforward, without any dip, so that the purpose of creation may be achieved. On the other hand, something happened. Man has fallen, and man has departed from God. The distance between him and God’s eternal purpose has become farther and farther apart. God’s will from eternity to eternity is a straight line, but ever since his fall, man has not been able to attain to it. Thank God, there is a remedy called redemption. When redemption came, man did not need to go down anymore. After redemption man is changed and begins to ascend. As man continues to rise the day will come when he will again touch the one straight line. The day that line is reached is the day the kingdom will come.
We thank God that we have redemption. Apart from it we would plunge lower and lower; we would be suppressed by Satan more and more until there would be no way to rise. Praise God, redemption has caused us to return to God’s eternal purpose. What God did not obtain in creation and what man lost in the fall are completely regained in redemption.
We must ask God to open our eyes to see what He has done so that our living and work may have a real turn. If all our work is just to save others, we are still a failure, and we cannot satisfy God’s heart. Both redemption and creation are for the obtaining of glory and the overthrowing of all the power of the devil. Let us proclaim the love of God and the authority of God as we see the sin and the fall of man. But at the same time, we must exercise spiritual authority to overthrow the devil’s power. The commission of the church is twofold: to testify the salvation of Christ and to testify the triumph of Christ. On the one hand, the church is to bring benefit to man, and on the other hand, it is to cause Satan to suffer loss.
(The Glorious Church, Chapter 1, by Watchman Nee)