sermon: The Absence-Presence Dichotomy and God's Spirit
Charles Whitaker (1944-2021)
Given 08-Jun-19; Sermon #1491A; 32 minutes
Genesis 1:1-5 introduces the presence-absence dichotomy; God's Spirit quickly transforms the chaos of tohu and bohu into an organized and fecund creation. The image of light shining from the darkness of chaos finds its parallel in the revelatory light Christ sheds in the minds of His called-out ones (Acts 3:19-21), the ongoing and powerful regenerative action of His Spirit working in us. Both the Hebrews and the Greeks conceptualized presence with the human face; standing face to face with a person puts us in his presence. Paul's use of the presence-absence dichotomy clarified that absence does not materially affect the Work of God in its spiritual outworking because the same Holy Spirit (the Father and Christ) is always present in every one of His Children, providing an overarching and reliable presence, thereby unifying them. God's indwelling Spirit bespeaks God's profound presence with us. While the righteous inherit everything (Revelation 21:7), the wicked face only the nothingness of nonexistence, the ultimate and unending absence from God.
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