Tuesday, February 17, 2009

of righteousness and faith

Which attribute or characteristic of God, that you have read about in the sessions do you most appreciate? Which one makes you feel perhaps a bit fearful, confused or feeling negative in some way? Explain.

It is the righteousness of God which I most appreciate. In much the same way that I have an awesome appreciation for the talents, gifts and abilities of others that I do not share, I am forced to fall face down at the righteousness of God, which seems so far from me. I must constantly raise my voice in union with Saint Paul, echoing his cry, “ O wretched man that I am; For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate; that I do.” It is the righteousness of God that contrasts my own sin nature and exposes the experiential suffering of war that exists between the flesh and the mind, “for I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind.” Not having my own righteousness has created in me a “hunger and thirst” that cannot be satisfied by my own works, and so I praise God that He is faithful when He says that I “shall be filled” and “never thirst” because through faith in Christ I am filled with the “righteousness which is from God.”

Scripture references (NKJV) Philippians 3:9, Romans 7:15, 22-24, Matthew 5:6, John 4:14

When I ponder the secret life I have lived and the acts performed that are manifestations of my vile sinful flesh, I am sickened. I am cut to pieces by His “two-edged sword” when I considered that all things are “naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” With my “eyes opened” to omniscience of God I want to run and hide myself from his presence, but I cannot hide from God. As a result of God knowing the depths of my heart I have feared the coming judgement and could not “raise my eyes to heaven” as I cried to God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” Even in fear of his omniscience I find hope and praise Him and His faithfulness knowing that I can “come boldly to the throne of grace and obtain mercy” because the High Priest sympathises with our weakness.

Scripture references (NKJV) Genesis 3:7-8, Luke 18:13, Hebrews 4:12-13,15-16

The Trinity

This was my response to an assignment to difine the Trinity in one sentence and to use an analogy to convey understanding? I have at times struggles with the doctrine of the trinity without ever doubting the devine nature of the indivual parts. This answer simply came to me long after I had almost driven myself crazy meditating on this subject. Let me know what you think?

One indivisible divine essence with three personal distinctions: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

Imagine water. Not contained in a bucket or a river or on the moon, rather all the water in all creation. Every drop everywhere exists in one of three states called: steam, as a gas; water, as a liquid; ice, as a solid. Although water exists in these three states, with unique features and functions, it is always water. In the same way that water cannot be removed from ice or steam or liquid (water), the essence of God cannot be separated from the individuals within the trinity. In the same way that water, wherever it may be, exist in one of three states, it also exists as all three states simultaneously.

Question? Do we limit God in containing Him to the three ways he has maniested Himself, as described in the doctrine of the Trinity?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why theology is important to me

Theology is important to me because it provides an environment to test and confirm my own faith, bringing a greater understanding about God and what my relationship to Him is, there by providing protection from deception and enabling a clear intimate communication of these truths to others. The rational, systematic pursuit of the knowledge of God provides the foundation for a doctrinal statement, a line in the sand of truth and righteousness, to which there can be no personal compromise. It is this deep intimate comprehension of doctrine that translates theology and religious truths into a personal testimony of the nature and will of God and our purpose in Him. The importance of theology to me is that I am forced to come to terms with what I believe and it is not until I know what I believe that I can truthfully, completely communicate that belief to others.