Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Does anyone really care?

Okay, well I feel compelled to start my blog again thanks to Frank Sanchez. He better check up on me once and awhile and comment. ;)
But I think it will be good this time.
And what a better way to start off the New Year than to post my resolution.
Drum roll please.....

My resolution is to grow closer to Jesus Christ everyday. I want our relationship to be so good. My desire is to be a good disciple, to receive His grace and to obey. I have found a great way to be encouraged in this venture from a wise professor of mine. He has influenced me to study discipleship more and more and I wrote a big paper on it last semester; I want to share some insights with you.

..."Looking now at the Mosaic covenant, we see that Israel had been in bondage for many years. But God delivered them, by His grace, out of Egypt. Three months after they were delivered from Egypt, God provided Moses with the Ten Commandments; a demand for repentance and righteousness after His prior grace of deliverance. God began the Ten Commandments by saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Exodus 20:2). God was reminding His people of what He had done for them. God continues by demanding that His people have no other gods before Him, because there are no other gods in the universe. God demands that His people rest on the seventh day because God rested on the seventh day. God demands that His people don’t commit adultery because He is always faithful to them. By following the Ten Commandments, His people should eventually take on a “God-like” character. God is demanding a righteousness that will lead people to becoming more like Him. This is His goal; He wants His children to represent Him, so that others may know He is God. “What is spelled out in the Ten Commandments is not what Israel had to do in order to become the people of God, but what she was obligated to do as the people of God.” What Israel must realize is that if they fail to respond to the Mosaic Covenant, then, they lose the Abrahamic covenant blessings. They are in a covenant of grace, and grace demands a response. “When we seek to listen carefully to the Old Testament Scriptures as we press our inquiry about grace and faith, we need to be alert to the form in which we can expect to encounter these concepts in the Old Testament. Even though the words grace and faith may not be especially frequent, the realities are there”.
After the Exodus, there was a long cycle of repeated unfaithfulness from God’s people. Throughout the Old Testament, we continually see the theme of God first giving grace to His people, demanding righteousness, and then failure from His children. God did not give up. He loved His children so much that He “put on” human flesh and came to this world as a man. As we will soon learn, this is when He gave us the ultimate gift of grace; a grace that requires nothing less than a response from His people."...

..."Jesus came to the earth and proclaimed that the Kingdom was here. Despite Jesus’ announcement of the Kingdom of God, he still talked about it in the “not yet” phase. Whereas, the Jewish expectation was the full coming of the Kingdom of God, Jesus had only come to “initiate” His Kingdom. This is understood as “inaugurated eschatology”; the Kingdom is here now on earth, but it is not here “fully”, it has not been consummated. By definition, the word “inaugurated” means, “to make a formal beginning of, or to initiate something.” Whereas “consummated” means, “To bring to a state of perfection, to fulfill, to complete.” Through Jesus’ ministry and teachings, He has shown how the Kingdom is functioning in the inaugurated stage."...

..."We are able to see that the Kingdom is here in this form by witnessing miracles and exorcisms. As we watch someone go through a miraculous healing, we are seeing a “glimpse” of the Kingdom. This glimpse gives us a picture of what the fully consummated Kingdom will be like, when we are all completely healed forever. The Kingdom powers many not be in “full-force” today, but we do have an amazing power through the Spirit. The Spirit helps us overcome sin; He empowers us to live a righteous life. Now that we have seen that disciples of Christ have “power” through the Spirit, and they have the “motivation” through God’s grace, we will look more specifically on how these two themes tie directly into discipleship."...

..."When we give our lives over to Jesus Christ, and follow Him, we become His disciples. We take on the responsibility that Jesus has given us. M.J. Wilkins says there are certain “marks” of a disciple: (1) Abiding in Jesus’ word; (2) Love for others; and (3) A life that bears fruit. Within these broad categories are many specific “rules” that we are to follow. Because of all of these rules, disciples can oftentimes become overwhelmed with the responsibility that they have, and fall into two “potential pitfalls” of discipleship: (1) A legalistic worldview and lifestyle, and (2) Living in “cheap grace .” Dr. Jon Lunde gives a great illustration to help us not fall into either of these categories. He explains his “discipleship dynamic” in a triangular pattern:
Servant King

Disciple

Imagine an arrow pointing from the Servant (Jesus Christ) to the disciple (follower of Jesus Christ), then an arrow pointing from the disciple to the King (Jesus Christ), and finally an arrow pointing from King to Servant. The Servant gives the disciple grace. The disciple receives the Servant’s grace and responds by obeying the King. When the disciple does this, he or she will represent the Servant. In summary: we are to be transformed by the meditation and deeper understanding of Christ’s grace so that we are enabled to walk in righteousness, thus, being a Christ-like example to others."...

..."Because the Kingdom has been inaugurated, we have the power to obey, and to be disciples of Christ"...

..."Meditating on prior grace while knowing the powers we have through the inaugurated kingdom, can help us to live righteously as disciples of Jesus Christ. In the Beatitudes, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6). He goes on to say that we won’t have to worry if we seek His kingdom and righteousness first in our lives (Matthew 6:33). Christ has inaugurated the Kingdom and we now have the power to live in view of God’s Kingdom while seeking righteousness."...

2 comments:

Frank & Lela said...

CARRIE!!!

WOO HOO! YES, YOU ARE A BLOGGER!! Good job, already 3 blog entries. I have not read them yet, but I promise to do so this week.

Blessings,
F.S.

CarrieMarie said...

Haha, thanks Frank...hopefully mine can look as cool as yours some day :)