The natural man imagines a Universe that “just” came into existence — a thing of high order that is now running down until there is no order. The question that is assiduously avoided is where did the order we observe today come from. The scientist notes that not only is the Universe ordered but it is highly biased for life. Where did that life come from? The answer du jour ranges from classical evolution of life from non-life to panspermia — the theory that life on this planet actually originated somewhere else. Of course where did THAT life come from?
A popular theistic counter argument observes that universal order and points to an intelligent designer. Intelligent Design however only argues for some kind of creator and falls short of what the Scriptures declare. Prisons, torture chambers and con games also show evidence of intelligent design, and their efficiency provokes fear and dread. Design does not necessarily clarify intention.
The Scriptures reveal that we are created by a Triune Being whose persons are in a perfect everlasting bond of love. The creaturely analog is a covenant secured by an oath that arises out of a desire to bind oneself to doing good to another. Beyond mere design, covenant abounds in declared and performed intentionality of good will that is the fruit of a being that has enjoyed a loving relationship. In human relationships, being in a good marriage, or being raised in a loving family can create a bias of good will toward all others. Conversely being in a bad marriage, or raised in a dysfunctional family tends toward a malevolent bearing toward others. Imagine the perfect lovers expressing that love toward the highest and best object. Now imagine that in infinite capacity times three. This is the God who has made everything in heaven and on earth.
This Universe arises from the unabated and unassailable intention of the Father to glorify His Son, the Son to honor His Father, and the Holy Spirit to impress, multiply and fill it with the adorable majesty of their perfect union. Theologians refer to the unwaverablity of this intention and the inevitability of its fulfillment as God’s Eternal Decree whereby:
“God, from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor is liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.” — Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter III, Paragraph I.
Our role is to reflect that glory in love toward God and toward our fellow man as sharers in the covenant blessings found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ who came as He promised to deliver wretched sinners from the wrath of an offended God in His persons to become objects of their perfect love. Our sin is our preference for our selfish love, over God’s abounding and outflowing love. Nonetheless, it was God’s intention to save us after we rejected Him — a salvation secured by the most exquisite price of the incarnation and sacrifice of His eternally begotten and beloved Son and demonstrated by His resurrection from the dead.
This Universe and all that happens in it has arisen from the delight of God in His Persons in creating, redeeming and reconciling all things to Himself. Note that this does not mean all shall be saved, but those who are redeemed are saved to the uttermost, and those who are reprobated are likewise damned to the uttermost as expressions of His love and His zeal respectively. To be awestruck by such thoughts as these is merely to begin to live in a Universe arising by, and for the expression of, covenant-faithful love — a Covenanted Universe.