9.13.2012

Writing Your Theology, from memory only.

In a requirement at CPE, I was asked to write theological response to the bold statements [3 paragraphs]. In the notes we were told to use our personal thoughts without citing particular passages. I think this was a good challenge to see how much you could formulate from your own heart/thought. Here is what I have so far:

1.God is…

God is a Spirit and does not have a body like man.[our children's catechism question] He is the Creator of all things.  He exists in three persons united in one essence as: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. His qualities and attributes are perfect. Some of these he shares with his creation (goodness, love, mercy, justice, knowable, personal). Some of these he does not (all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present). God masterfully created a universe full of his beauty which reflects his attributes and we (creation) can learn a great deal about his goodness by observing it.
              God also saw it fit in his divine wisdom to allow/permit evil to exist in his plan without being the author of it. He allows evil to exist to fulfill his plan by showing his otherwise unknowable attributes to his creation, (i.e. mercy, grace). In this allowance, humanity of their own freewill chose to follow their own desires and glorify themselves rather than honor God. Therefore, before the foundations of the world in His divine wisdom he also purposed to save his people from their sin, by sending his own Son, Jesus, to be the perfect image of God. Christ Jesus, fully God and fully man, would fulfill the entirety of the Law that God would require. Christ Jesus would then lay down his own life as substitutionary atonement for the people for whom God would save, thus propitiating the wrath of God on his people. Christ Jesus would save these fallen image-bearers. Christ Jesus resurrected from the dead, as his work was completed and ascended to sit at the right hand of God making intercession for his people.
              The Holy Spirit would come to convict and counsel those for whom the work of Christ is applied through faith. He works the miracle of salvation in the fallen sinner by granting faith and repentance. As the individual operates in this faith given by the Spirit, they are redeemed from the curse and counted righteous. The fallen image-bearer is then adopted into the family of God and sealed till the final day of redemption.

 2. People (in relationship to God) are…

  People are the masterful grand-finale of creation. All people have been created in the image of God. Although humanity has been given such an ability to know God and to reflect his goodness and kindness, the first humans willfully chose to rebel against God and sinned. This dishonoring of God created a separation between God and humanity. A continued result of this sin rippled throughout creation with a curse, nothing was left the same. Not only was our relationship to God changed, but also our relationship to other parts of creation (even ourselves). All humanity has inherited the sin nature/fall/curse from Adam, but also willfully participates in their own personal sin as well. Therefore, all humanity stands guilty before God. In addition to this guilt, no human seeks restoration with God, instead we seek out crafting idols and would rather glorify a corrupted image than restore our relationship with the one true God. No action of an individual will ever rectify this problem. It is only by the work of the Holy Spirit to grant a new heart to an individual that they will pursue God out of faith. As the individual places their faith in Christ Jesus as their only true gift, is this relationship fully restored as an image-bearer.
  It is at this point that they pursue a life of properly bringing God glory through a process of sanctification incrementally. Their life is a daily constant struggle with mortifying the old self and cultivating holiness. Each individual with gifts given by the Spirit seeks communion with other believers to fulfill the commands of Christ, thus glorifying God.
  
3. I am (in relationship to God)…

A fallen creature that has been saved by grace through faith and this is nothing of my own. It was a gift of God. By grace, God has called me to the work of the Chaplaincy to bring him glory. Daily I wrestle with my ability to justify my own sins and craft fanciful idols. I long for holiness, but often find myself comparing myself to my neighbor and feeling ‘holier than them’, which satiates this desire. I find myself many times asking, “Why have you shown me grace? I know how dark my thoughts go. What good can I do that could bring you glory?”
Thankfully, God continues to pursue me even now.