Friday, December 19, 2008

200 Words #1: Glorify and Fear the One True God

Just some kite flying on what the DNA of a mature church might be. So in 200 Words:

#1: A Mature Church will grow to Glorify and Fear the One True God
Jesus doesn't tell us what the Pearl of Great Price actually is. All we know is that when a merchant saw one 'of great value’ he put all his eggs into one basket. We are not told if the merchant is God (who gave his son), or one of his followers. But we know that the Kingdom is made up of those who sell everything when they witness great value.

God is of supreme value.

God is Father, Son and Spirit. We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, and he invites us into this relationship. God is fierce; you’d be smart to fear him who can bring hell to both body and soul. God is tender, healing legs, and teaching his people to walk. God is Spirit, and will be worshiped in Spirit and in Truth.

No one in John's Heaven is bored day and night singing: Holy, holy, holy. No one joining the myriads of myriads of angels complain that the Lord God (and not them) is worthy to receive glory, honour and power. And there is one reason: They did not create Heaven and Earth.

We are not the Pearl of Greatest Price.

God is.
Discuss, with reference to the church.

  • These are 200 words about God, and his church in his world. As I said before, these posts are not about not about cultural engagement, and this is not a vision statement for York St. I'll need to touch down in Sydney before I start that!
  • Scripture references can be read by clicking on the yellow links, or in one page by clicking HERE. (Matthew 13:45-46, Romans 8:32, Matthew 10:28, Matthew 11:5-6, Hosea 11:3-4, John 4:24, Revelation 4:1-11).
  • Pic on Flickr by Will Humes.


Giraffe Pen (기린 만년필) said...

Thanks so much for writing this, Justin. Man is not the pinnacle of all things; the true and living Trinitarian God is who's above all creation. He IS the healer of legs and ever so much more! I love that image of Jesus the healer in Isaiah 52:13-53:12 :)

Giraffe Pen (기린 만년필) said...

I'm glad that last comment on this blog entry was removed! 찰했어 (good job)

Anthony Douglas said...

Not sure I go with you on the parable...we might not be a pearl of great price, but the astonishing thing is that God acts as if we were.

(raises all sorts of economics questions...who sets prices in the market? Are they about intrinsic value or value to purchaser?!)

200 words is tough. I agree that this should be #1. But it makes me wonder, then, whether you should be doing it out of the OT because it is here that the attitude to God is set up? Isaiah 46, for instance?

Justin said...

Thanks GP.

AD -- Also -- thanks! For the record, I didn't say that God was the merchant, just acknowledged that some suggest it. I believe that those who suggest that the Merchant is God say that the pearl is not us, but the Kingdom. He gave up all for the Kingdom. An interesting interpretation.

I'm looking forward to looking at Ps 46!

gbroughto said...

Hi again Justin,
I like the way this is developing.

But I wondering if the 'what verb?' question Michael raised with the Holy Spirit might be an issue here as well?

I'm afraid my pedantry is asserting itself once more, but I'm uneasy that our first response to God is an 'ought.' Even 'demands' is better (as in Isa 6 - can't but respond in fear / awe to the one true God). Isn't 'fear'(of God or anything) usually more instinctive, as the wonderful way some African-American Christian use of the word 'glory" almost as a sanctified expletive... GLORY!!

When you discover the pearl, and know its of great value / price, do you need to convince yourself what you must do?? (e.g. I ought to keep this).

Anyway, keep 'em coming, I think it is a really good way to prepare yourself for the move.

Justin said...

gbroughto - Your pedantry is shaping what I say and think, in every good way. So keep it up!

Thanks brother.

gbroughto said...

Okay - here goes.
I've just been reading some of the wisdom of long-term New York attorney (and Barth's favourite American 'theologian') William Stringfellow:

'The fear of God in the Christian faith is the unanimous and elementary knowledge of the Church that God is God. The fear of God is grounded in the spontaneous response of a man to the active presence of the Word of God in the common life of the world, including the life of an ordinary man... The fear of God, thus, is the initiation of worship. For the fear of God confesses the integrity and freedom of God and negates all substitutes for God, be they ideologies, superstitions, or religious institutions, or nations, or the ordinary lusts of men.'

A Public and Private Faith, p.92



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