Wednesday, September 8, 2010

God's Children

Probably one of the most difficult things for Christians to do is to stay centered with our doctrines.  For some reason we have a tendency to always go to one extreme or another when trying to understand and practice what the Bible teaches.  This was again brought to mind as I was studying Phil. 1 were Paul was expressing the content of his prayers to the church at Philippi.  He says that his prayer was that they would grow in their love in knowledge and discernment; that they would do so in purity and holiness and in so doing bear holy fruit.
I grew up in churches that by in large paid lip service to spiritual growth and by far emphasize the “winning” of souls as the essence of bearing fruit.  Even though the scriptures make it clear that God save sinners to be conformed to his image, Rom. 8:29, because his primary purposes is to display his glory in the lives of believers and to bring them into fellowship with himself that they might find him to be the all-satisfying life giver, some try to make saving sinners from Hell the primary focus in a rather man-centered gospel.
Now it isn’t hard to see why this is a temptation.  Hell is real and what Christian does not have a well placed burden to see the lost saved.  To be unconcerned for those headed to Hell would be ungodly for sure.  God finds no pleasure in the death of the wicked.  But it is interesting how we sometimes project human thinking and emotions on God as we get on doctrinal tangents.
What couple when considering having children would be primarily motivated on the number of children that they can have?  In other words, as we plan on being parents is our primary goal to have as many as we can?  I suspect not because it is the relationship we will have with them that will bring the joy and satisfaction in having a family.  I believe the Bible teaches that more is always better with children but it is because of the relationship with them that makes this true.  We want to train them to become mature and profitable adults, we want them to carry on our name, we want to extend our life and family through them as they live.  And yet it seems easy to make our heavenly Father to be more shallow than we are by saying that God wants to save people by any method he can, nothing else matters, he is doing everything he can to get as many saved as he can.  And then we get so caught up in this that we gear our services toward some shallow easy to believe and to  accept gospel and mostly ignore the careful book by book exposition of the scriptures which we need to be able to fellowship with and glorify our Savior.
I believe our God has children not even greater reasons than we do; certainly not for less worthy reasons than we do.  We need to keep ourselves focused on the whole counsel of God which involves both the necessity of preaching the gospel for that is the only way souls can be saved but also be just as concerned that we grow in our love and knowledge of our God because that is the reason that he saves us; not just to keep us out of Hell.

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