Sunday, June 17, 2007

Wrong Link

In the previous post, the link for Village Church should be this:
not the one in South Holland, MI

Friday, June 08, 2007

We are God's Workmanship

I pushed Bryan's post of a more personal nature a little bit further down the page, I hope that any visitors will still scroll down to check it out. I am the other contributer to Quest, some would call me the brains behind the operation, and most would call me Matt. Bryan calls me friend.
I have been leading a study on Ephesians for the past year, and the previous post is part of a summary that was put together so we could review a lot of material at once. Anyways, the main thing that has struck me is the two halves of Ephesians. Chapters 1-3 are exclusively about God's work on our behalf. There is only one imperative, found in 2:11, "remember". And in chapters 4-6, there are over 90 imperatives for us. It is a good reminder, that our work always follows God's work, that we must never try to "do" Ephesians 4-6, without our minds and hearts firmly rooted in the gospel, in God's story of salvation in Eph. 1-3.
Ephesians 2:10 is my favorite example of this: "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

A Summary of Ephesians 4:17-6:9

(from a study by matt)

No longer walk as the Gentiles do,

in futility of mind,

in darkened understanding,

alienated from the (Trinitarian) life of God,

in ignorance,

in hardness of heart,

given up to sensuality,

corrupt through over-desires,

NO! You have learned Christ, the truth that is in Jesus,

SO, put off the old man,

be renewed in the spirit of your minds,

then put on the new self,

you will become truly righteous and holy in God’s image once again!

This new image pleases the Holy Spirit (and does not grieve him) by:

Speaking the truth, because we belong to each other

Getting angry but does not sin or let anger last more than a day

Not stealing, but trusting and works, and gives.

Building people up with words that are not corrupt.

Giving grace to those around.

Putting away all bitterness, wrath, clamor, slander, and malice.

Being kind to others.

Forgiving each other tenderheartedly.

Yes, this new image is truly an imitation of God.

Because we are beloved children,

and because Christ loved us and gave himself up for us,

we will walk in love.

We will have no part in idolatry, in any form, because our inheritance is in the kingdom of Christ and God:

We will not be sexually immoral, impure, covetous, filthy-mouthed, or unthankful.

Some people make excuses for this behavior, but we know that these things bring God’s wrath.

We will not associate with such people, walking in the darkness.

We will walk as children of light-

the light that makes fruits of goodness, righteousness, and truth.

And so our pursuit will be finding out what pleases the Lord.

When people see the fruit of the light that shines from Christ in us,

their deeds will be exposed,

and we pray that they will rise from death,

and Christ will shine on them too.

Yes, in our new image we will be wise:

God the Father has made his eternal purposes and wisdom our guide.

We will walk with Him.

God the Holy Spirit fills us and makes the worship of our lives from the heart.

We will sing to each other and to the Lord with all of our hearts.

God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, is our access to this life of God.

We will be thankful always and for everything in his name.

Among all the saints there will be mutual submission out of reverence for Christ.

We will be full of love:





In those ways:

Wives will submit to husbands,

Husbands will love their wives,

in the knowledge that their love should be like Christ’s love for his Church,

and that marriage is a beautiful signpost and tangible example

to the world of the union of Christ with his people.

Children will honor and obey their parents,

this is their way of living out their new image.

Parents will not provoke their children to anger,

they will instead bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Slaves will obey their masters,

just like they obey Christ, from the heart and not just to be seen.

Masters, you will treat your slaves the way you would want to be treated,

for God is an impartial judge.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Am I Really Ready for Theology?

I've been asking myself the above question for a while now. The answer, provisional as it is, is no. Too often, whether pouring over Augustine, reading a commentary by Calvin, or catching up on something more recent, I skim over the word "God". If not that, I fall in love with the concept of Jesus as...(fill in the new stylized theological term) while forgetting the intimate nature he has as my savior. What this tells me about myself is that I have a propensity for loving facts, or gaining knowledge. This of course is not bad, but when I don't remember that words like "Jesus" and "God" correspond to real people, real relationships, I end up missing the whole point of the theology, that being: worship.

This ended up being a lot more personal than planned. I think it applies to many more than me though, and perhaps it'll be helpful.