A Core Theology: Three Propositions

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A Core Theology: Three Propositions

Post  heavenbound on Wed 30 Sep 2009, 3:04 pm

A Core Theology: Three Propositions

by Jim Barringer
9/18/2009 / Christian Living

This post has come together mainly due to my recent Sunday morning lesson series with the youth. I'd also like to thank those of you, mostly my youth, who (consciously or not) have been crucial in the way I've formed and presented the things in this essay.

Proposition 1: God has a plan for your life, and his plan is good, acceptable, and perfect.

Romans 12:2 is quoted frequently out of context; here it is in its
entirety: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Lots of people hang up on "not being conformed" and "being transformed," but they ignore the entire reason we should be transformed: "SO THAT" we might know
God's plan for us.

It then goes on to establish that God's will is three things. First, it is good, both for us and for God. It's good for God because it is designed to make us useful to him, to cause us to grow into the people he needs us to become. It's good for us because God knows better than we do what is best for us, and the growth that he causes is always upward growth. A lot of times we as people never change the way we see the world or react to situations unless our old way of seeing the world suddenly becomes inadequate. Many times, God's plan brings us face to
face with the realization that our plan for life is terrible. Then we
turn to God, and God grows us. It is good for both us and him. God also knows what will bring us true happiness, which is the joy we get from pure service to him. By moving us in that direction God makes us useful and happy, proving that his plan is good.

Second, God's plan is acceptable. Many times things happen to us that we don't understand, consequences or fallout from our own sin or someone else's sin. Often we wonder why God would permit this to happen. We know that God's plan is good, so if he allows something to happen, we must also take heart in the fact that it is acceptable - whatever it is, we can accept it and we can handle it with God's help. It may not be easy, but God will not lead us to something unless he intends to lead us through it victoriously. Romans 8:28 furthers this point by contending that in all things, God works for the good of those
who love him - even those things which on their face may seem
incredibly hard or unbearable.

Third, God's plan is perfect. This is where we must come face to face with the notion that our plan for our life is not, in fact, perfect. We get into trouble by thinking that we can engineer things better than God could. How many times in my life have I made a decision based on what I thought would make me happy in the short term, or where I wanted to be, or who I wanted to be dating, with the (possibly unspoken) belief that I knew what would make me happy and God was just there to
kill the party?

Come on, folks. God knew me before I was even me. He knew what made me happy and sad, what I wanted and what I was afraid of, before I was a gleam in my daddy's eye. Does it not stand to reason that he might possibly have a better idea than I do of how to run my life? After all, this is my first pass through life. God's guided billions on billions of people through it already.

It's worth noting that, if you are not already a child of God, his plan for you begins with being saved. That's the first step and he's already established that he doesn't dispense goodies to strangers' children, only to his own.

Proposition 2: God thinks you, as his child, are awesome.

Churches fail in this area. How often have you heard a preacher
complain that we're all just "sinners saved by grace," that we're not worthy to approach God, that we're just some sort of dust in the wind? Rubbish, the lot of it. If you are a child of God, God thinks you are completely awesome.

In Psalm 139, David says the following: "I praise you, for I am
fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." Follow the logic train there. God made me. Therefore I am one of God's works. God's works are wonderful (David's soul knows it well). Therefore, evidently, I'm wonderful. I'll admit that's a little hard to handle. At the very least, I have to admit that God put a great amount of care into forming me, and if something is important to God, then it must be pretty important.

If you thought that was mind-blowing, just you wait. Psalm 145 goes even further, saying, "I will meditate on your awesome works." So, if each one of us is one of God's works, then that means we're awesome. "No," you say, "that's taken out of context. You can't say that people are works of God." Fine, I won't, but Psalm 145 does: "All your works will give thanks to you." Being as nothing else on earth can thank God, he must be talking about people. So then: people are God's works, and
God's works are both wonderful and awesome. That means you, as a person, are wonderful and awesome!

Admit it, folks. At some point in your life, you've had the thought: "Alright, now God taking the form of a pillar of fire and leading his people out of Egypt was pretty rad. But I'm just little old me, I'm nothing special."

But you are special! Psalm 139 established that God made each one of us with the utmost care; we were special to him even before we existed. In fact, he loved us so much that even when we were in full-on rebellion to him, before we even cared to give him the time of day, he came down and died for our sins just so he could have a relationship with us! Consider for a moment that God's creation of you, as a person, is no less exceptional or miraculous than his acts of parting the Red Sea or turning water into wine. All are works of God, are they not?

God says that everything he has made is awesome, including humans. Indeed, he has never made anything that was a reject! If he made you, and he did, then you bear all the signs of his loving craftsmanship. You are awesome, not because of anything you have done, but because the God of the universe created you, and he doesn't make mistakes.

How else do we know he values us so highly? Well, it's the fact that he's not just concerned for himself, but for us as well. Check out Psalm 146. In ten short verses, God is praised as:

a) Fathering the fatherless
b) Executing justice for the oppressed
c) Giving food to the hungry
d) Setting prisoners free
e) Giving sight to the blind
f) Watching over travelers
g) Providing hope to those who love him.

Why would he do those things for people who didn't matter? The bare truth is that God rates you very highly. He made you to be awesome! He put loving care into every part of your body as you were formed. He even went so far as to craft a plan for your life, which is good, acceptable and perfect. How much must we mean to him?

Some people may have a problem with the wording of the proposition's title, but let me just say one thing. God is the one who saw fit to spend his precious energy crafting you from scratch. If you don't think that makes you special, take it up with God. I argue that anything that is special to God is special, period.

Proposition 3: God means to heal the whole you.

Many times, explicitly or not, we assume that God's care for us ends with salvation of the soul. After that, he's only concerned with stamping out our immoral behaviors and whipping us into good people. The truth is, as the last proposition established, God cares deeply about you as a whole person.

Imagine for a moment your son, daughter, sibling, or the best friend you've ever had. Just pick a person and envision them. Now imagine that you know they happen to loathe themselves at the very core of their being. They think that nothing they say is worthwhile, that nobody likes them. They hate their body and the way it looks in the mirror. Isn't your heart broken for them? Don't you lose sleep at night wishing you could say the right words to make them feel better? Don't you wish there was something, anything, you could do to take that pain away from

If you have ever felt that way, you know in some small way how heartbroken God must be for any of his children who are hurting! When I was 21 and I really believed the world would be better off without me, don't you think God was screaming, "NO! THAT'S MY CHILD! HE'S PRECIOUS TO ME!" Because I am precious to him, aren't I? He does care deeply
about me, doesn't he? Why then would he be content to sit up there and soak in my praise without a care in the world for the hurt in my heart?

I recently had a small experience with this, talking to a teenage
friend of mine. I had a dream that she thought she was fat, and that I was trying to convince her she was really beautiful. When I bounced this off her the next day, she told me she really did think she was fat. Imagine my frustration as I tried my hardest to make her believe she was beautiful, wishing I could somehow plant that belief into her heart so that she didn't have to struggle anymore. I would give anything to be able to heal that hurt inside her, and I'm just a man. How much more does her loving heavenly Father want to heal her?

God wants you to think of you the way he thinks of you. If he thinks you're special, you had better believe you're special. If he thinks you're worthwhile, then you are worthwhile, end of discussion. If he says that you deserve his time and his love, then you are deserving and worthy of love - you don't get to argue, see, because he's God and you are not.

Far too many Christians cart around a heavy load of past hurts and are scared to bring them up because they think they're supposed to have a handle on them already, or they think it's unChristian to have those kinds of thoughts after being saved. Accepting Jesus isn't the magic band-aid, people. If you have a poor self-image, getting saved doesn't automatically fix that. God has to take you on a separate journey into the heart of that fear before you can be healed. But whatever your fear, whatever your insecurity, God means to heal the whole you.

If you're still not convinced, think of it this way. Every lie of
Satan's that you believe is a spot in your life that God does not have full control over. And God wants full control of your life. Even if you can't accept that God thinks you're special and worthy of his time and love, at least accept that he loves you too much to leave you in the hands of the enemy.

Those are the three propositions. God has a plan for your life, which is good, acceptable, and perfect. God thinks you are awesome, because he created you and he only creates good things. God wants to heal the whole you.

He made you from scratch; he made you with a plan in mind; and he wants you to be healed and whole. You are precious to him. I hope that you can believe what I've written and what God has revealed in his Bible. I hope that you will search the Scriptures and find the numerous other passages that back up the things I've claimed. More than anything I pray that you feel the Spirit of God moving you, daring you to believe that these things may be true and that he has so much more in store for

Jim Barringer is a 26-year-old writer, musician, teacher, and traveler, currently finishing a master's degree from Southwestern Seminary. More of his work can be found at myspace.com/mygodisalive. This work may be reprinted for any purpose so long as this bio and statement of copyright is included.

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Re: A Core Theology: Three Propositions

Post  Common on Wed 30 Sep 2009, 10:45 pm

Excellent article. Thanks for sharing it heavenbound.

God bless you.
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