Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Relevance of God

What do humans need? What is Scripture about? What is our message?

I believe these three question have a single answer: God.

We need God. We are dependent on him for life. He made us and sustains us. In him we live and move and have our being. We need Jesus Christ, in whom we now live, and who has conquered sin and death for us when we were enslaved to both. To live, we had to be given life in Jesus Christ. It is not about us, but God. Insofar as our lives are about us, about fulfilling our needs, we will fail to meet our single biggest, most important need: our need to be saved from our sins. For that, we need God. Christ must be our Lord, the one in charge of our lives, the central being in our lives.

Scripture is about God. It begins with God, and traces his dealings with people: first with Adam and Eve, then Cain and Abel, and forward through Noah, the people at the tower of Babel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the twelve tribes of Israel. Scripture climaxes in God's coming to earth as a human being--the incarnation--and dying for the sins of his people, those whom he has called. It continues with that people spreading the news of what he, Jesus, did, and ends with God's final conquest over all that is, all that has rebelled.

Our message is God. We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. We make disciples of the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We speak of the Word made Flesh, the perfect image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, who came and saved us. We speak of him. Our message is not that we have been saved, but that Jesus Christ, God's own Son, came to earth and died to set us free from sin and death. It is not about us, as if we earned it or as if God picked us because of anything about us, but rather, it is about God who did it, who accomplished it all.

Therefore, to be relevant, to be Biblical, to be Gospel oriented, we must speak of God. God must be the centerpoint of our faith, the one on whom it all rests. Otherwise, we will have missed the point.

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