How Theology Leads to Doxology

BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR One of the singular marvels of Scripture is Job’s response when he learned that he had lost everything. After a series of messengers bring him a string of devastating messages, piling tragedy upon tragedy in mind-numbing and soul-rending repetition, “Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and. . .” what? What does he do? Rend the heavens with his wails of grief? Fall into a state of catatonic shock? Scream until he has neither breath nor voice? He worships. From Theology to Doxology And he said, “Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). Job may very well have wailed and screamed in shock. To grieve deeply is no sin, as the rest of his story  bears out. But how, in that moment of devastation, can he worship? Job can worship the LORD because he knows something about him, and what he knows at that horrible moment is enough. Job knew that everything he possessed was an undeserved gift from the hands of a gracious God. When God determined the time had come to take the gifts away, Job “fell on the ground and. . . blessed the name of the LORD” (1:20–21). Later, when his friends accused him of hidden sin, Job knew with the certainty of a conscience washed in faith that his sin had been forgiven. He may have been perplexed at the will of the LORD to permit these horrors in his life, and he may have staggered under his repeated questions of “Why?” but he held fast his confession of faith; he knew that his Redeemer lived, and at the last he will stand upon the earth (19:25). Job’s theology led to doxology; what he believed about God fueled his worship. As believers, like Job, we naturally want to know why our gracious heavenly Father sends trials our way. But even when lacking specific answers, we can still rest on what we know to be true. Hence, it is important to learn what we can about our God who has revealed himself in the words of Scripture and in the person of Christ. I don’t know how Job knew what he knew about God, since he lived before the writing of the Pentateuch, but from the time of Moses God has graciously given us his holy, inspired, and inerrant Word as a guide not only to life and holiness, but to knowing him...

How Theology Leads to Doxology2023-03-24T17:22:45+00:00

Consider Your Sonship

SUE HARRIS|CONTRIBUTOR A friend of mine married a guy named Jerome who was raised in Switzerland but had lived a few years in Thailand as a missionary. It was always fascinating to talk with him about church, missions, and his cross-cultural experiences. Often, we don’t realize that our normal isn’t normal until someone from the outside is able to gently speak into what we say and do. One day, Jerome and I sat down for a chat after church. I asked him, “Jerome, now that you live in the US, what stands out to you as different in our churches compared to yours in Switzerland or even in Thailand?” He reclined in his chair and patiently responded. I could tell that he was working to be both frank and kind. He was slow to speak when I reminded him that I asked him because I wanted an honest answer. “Well, I have noticed something. It seems that many churches in America I’ve attended sing and preach significantly about our sin, which is appropriate and true: we are sinners and totally depraved, in desperate need of a Savior. But we’re also sons of God, adopted by the Father and there’s great power in that.” Jerome stated something so simple and, I think, so fascinating: For those of us who are in Christ…we are sons of God. There’s great power in that declaration. I spend a lot more time contemplating my depravity than I do my sonship. I spend a lot more time contemplating my sanctification than my sonship. I spend a lot more time contemplating that I am the bride of Christ than my sonship. All of these truths deserve my contemplation, but it seems more difficult for me to consider my sonship...

Consider Your Sonship2023-03-24T18:16:57+00:00

The Freedom of Union With Christ

My grandparents remember exactly what they were doing when they received news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. My parents have similarly sharp memories concerning the assassination of JFK. I still clearly remember where I was and what I was doing when I saw the footage of the Twin Towers collapsing. Our complex and beautiful brains have a way of remembering both the shocking and the deeply significant moments that shape our lives. Likewise, I will never forget the day that the theological concept of union with Christ trickled that long eighteen inches from my head to my heart. I remember the exact table at the coffee shop at which I was sitting. I remember the old, tattered book that God used to cement the concept in my soul. I remember that moment because it colored the way I experienced every moment after it! Having come to Christ from an unchurched background, I threw myself headfirst into the Christian life. My husband and I had been in full-time vocational ministry for many years and were in the early years of parenting two under two. On the surface, things were going well, but my soul hit a wall. I was tired and my faith, once vibrant, felt anemic. I was doing all the same things, but my heart felt simultaneously weary and restless. What was I missing? Sitting at a local coffee shop, I prayed that the Lord would restore unto me the joy of my salvation and grant me a willing heart to sustain me (Psalm 51:12). Then God used a little-known book, Bone of His Bone by F.J. Huegel, to open my eyes to the freedom and wonder of union with Christ. What Union with Christ Is Paul describes the mysterious wonder that is union with Christ when writing to the church at Colossae using the phrase, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). In his letter to the Galatian Church, he speaks further on this incredible reality....

The Freedom of Union With Christ2022-05-04T23:35:39+00:00
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