Our Potential

Randall Ricker

The size of the universe is amazing. It was a major feat just to send men to the moon, and at the speed they traveled, reaching other planets in the solar system would take years. Travelling to other stars would take generations. Astronomers cannot see planets orbiting other stars, but they are able to detect those planets by how the planets pull the star from side to side as the planets revolve around the star, and recently an astronomer was able to detect the presence of a planet by how it dimmed the light of a star as it passed in front of it. This shows how puny we are compared to God who created the universe; our own solar system would be like the point of a pin in a photograph of our galaxy. But God the Father created all things through Christ, and Christ sustains it.

About 3000 years ago, King David ofIsraellooked up at the stars and realized the smallness of man compared to the universe and its creator. He asked God the question, “What is man that You are mindful of him?” Yet in this Bible study we will see that our potential is to inherit the universe and to become members of the God family.

INHERIT THE UNIVERSE

We will start in Hebrews 2:5. The context of this portion of the book is “the world to come,” that is, thekingdomofGod.

In verses 6, 7, and partway through 8, Paul, the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, quotes Psalm 8:4-6: “But one testified in a certain place, saying: ‘What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.’” David continued in Psalm 8 showing that God put in subjection to man the earth and all that is in it. In the rest of Hebrews 2:8, Paul leaves off quoting Psalm 8 and changes the emphasis: “For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.” The term “all things” is translated “the universe” in the Moffat translation of the Bible.

This tells us that we are to inherit the whole universe. One day in the future, mankind will be able to travel among the galaxies, visiting planets among distant stars.

BECOME MEMBERS OF THE GOD FAMILY

Continue reading in Hebrews 2:9. Jesus Christ was raised from the dead as a glorious spirit being, and verse 10 talks about “bringing many sons to glory.” This shows that we are to be sons of God, and we are to have the same glory that Christ has. In verse 11, we are called brethren (an old-fashioned word for “brothers”) of Christ. One brother is of the same species as another brother; they are the same kind of thing. We Christians are brothers of Christ, so one day we will be the same type of being as Christ. Christ is a member of the God family, and we are told that we too will be members of the God family.

Read Genesis 1:26-27. Being made in the image and likeness of God, we have the opportunity to develop the character of God. Philippians 3:20-21 mentions a transformation where we will be conformed to Christ’s glorious body, and “conformed” means “to come to have the same form.” The King James Version translates verse 21 as, “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” The word “fashioned” is #4832 in Strong’s Concordance, meaning jointly formed, similar, from a root word meaning resemblance. We will even be of the same composition as God after our change.

We are called children of God in John 1:12 and in Galatians 4:1-7, and in Romans 8:14-17 we are called sons of God, children of God, and heirs of God. We can even address God the Father as “our Father.”

Ephesians 3:14-15 tells us that God’s family is named after Him. His family in heaven consists of the Father and Christ, and His family on earth consists of the Father’s sons who are also Christ’s brothers. In verse 19 we read that we are to “be filled with all the fullness of God.” Like God we will be composed of spirit and live forever. We will have the same holy, righteous character that He has. Some might think it is blasphemous to say we will be God, but the Scriptures prove it. Of course, we will always differ from God in two very important ways: we did not always exist, and we will not be supreme in authority. God the Father will always be in charge with Jesus Christ immediately under Him in His government.

Why is it important to understand that we are to become members of the God family? 1 John 3:1-3 answers that question. Since we are physical beings, we cannot fully understand God, but we know that we will be like Him. Having this hope of becoming members of His family gives motivation to put the filth of sin out of our lives. It gives purpose to our lives and a daily goal.

In the Old Testament book of Job, chapter 14 verses 14 to 15, we read of the change that we must undergo from physical to spiritual. We also learn that we are the work of God’s hands, and God is trying to accomplish something with us. Isaiah 64:8 calls God a potter (one who makes clay pots) and humans the clay; we are the work of God’s hand, being molded and shaped.

What is God forming in us? Ephesians 4:23-24 tells us. The King James Version of verse 24 is, “and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” A new person is being formed, and he or she will be like God, or “after God,” as it is phrased in the King James. The new person possesses righteousness as God does; Psalm 119:172 defines righteousness as God’s commandments, which the new person will be keeping.

To be part of God’s family means that we will be spirit beings who will live forever with righteous character. Please read the Bible study on “Who and What Is God” to see what God is like now and what we will be like.

Revelation 21:7 sums up this topic: “’He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.’” “All things” is a good translation; some versions say, “all this,” which is an understatement. In this one verse, we see our potential is to inherit the universe and to be true sons and daughters of God. How wonderful it will be to live for eternity with the Father and Jesus Christ, with billions of other people changed to immortal spirit, all living God’s way of outgoing concern as expressed by His commandments!

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