Lumen Fidei: The Fullness of Christian Faith

All that the Old Testament matriarchs and patriarchs looked and longed for came into being in the Incarnation of Jesus.  The Cosmic Christ (“angel of the Lord”…”Word”…or whatever else we have called it) became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

We often say that Jesus “split” history into BC/AD (or BCE/CE, it’s the same event that creates the different designations), but the larger truth is that Jesus “united” all time in himself through the fulfillment of all humanity had previously hoped for (Hebrews 1:1).

The Light of creation became the Light of the world, the defing revelation, the life-giving Person (John 10:10).  This is not exclusivism or superiority; it is completion (“the fullness of time”–kairos) as Jesus redeems the world (John 3:16) and gathers all things to himself. 

And all of it (creation, incarnation, redemption, ingathering, culmination) is due to Love.  Only Love makes, saves, and sanctifies to the extent that we see it in Christ.  All who are in Christ are new creations.  The old has passed away, the new has come (2 Cor 5:17).

Therefore, “the light of faith” not only reveals, it transforms.  We not only see Jesus, we see ourselves as he can make us by grace. And as the writer of Hebrews puts it, we see things that the Old Testament people of God longed to see, but only viewed from afar (Hebrews 11:13).

Because of Jesus (in concert with the pre-incarnate and post-incarnate Christ), we are able to see what life is meant to be (abundant and everlasting), and we are given the power to experience it.  Can anything be better than that?

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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