God in the details, God in the great scheme of things

On my microblog, “R’s Commonplace Book,” its subtitle is “God in the details.” This is an allusion to the phrase that “the devil is in the details.” Devil here apparently stands for difficulties. The idea is one thing, working it out is quite another. By putting God in the place of the devil, I wanted to say that God works out his plan in and through our lives.

In our faith we need the details. We also need to see the big picture.

This morning I came across a brotherhood article about Six Core Beliefs. It was a good article. At the same time, I begin to think what I would name as my six basic points of faith. Here’s what I came up with.

GOD IS. Everything is centered on the person of God, who he is, his nature and characteristics. Everything exists because of him. Creation was made with the presence of the three persons of the Godhead. He is sovereign and nothing happens outside the radius of his control. He reigns over the universe. He has an eternal purpose that he keeps fulfilling. His name declares he is the only God that exists: I AM.

GOD SPEAKS. The Lord communicates with his creatures. He does not leave us ignorant. We do not have to guess what he does or what he wants. He has spoken through the years in many ways and today he speaks only through his Son, Jesus Christ. From his speaking, he caused it to be written down and so we have the Bible in our hands, by the inspiration of his Spirit. He speaks and allows us to speak to him through prayer.

GOD ACTS. The Eternal gives, fulfills, calls, chastens, saves, helps, blesses, loves. He takes the initiative, is not reluctant, nor does he have to be motivated by human beings to take action. God can do everything. He created everything and sustains everything. God acts especially when his children ask.

GOD FATHERS. At the center of God’s plan is his people. He is trinity, expressing his love, within himself, among the persons of the Deity, and forms a people for brotherly love and to represent him in the world. God’s church enjoys in the present the foretaste of eternal life. This people is his family, composed of his children, born of water and the Spirit.

JESUS CAME. The incarnation of Christ made the crucifixion possible. He was born to die. He was born and lived by the power of the Spirit. His coming brought the divine presence to humanity, for he is Immanuel, God with us. Jesus set an example as a human being, left his teaching for salvation and godliness, showed the world love.

JESUS WILL RETURN. God finishes what he starts. The second coming of Christ will conclude the great divine work, it will be the last act of God in his plan of redemption. His coming means judgment of all mankind. We have the opportunity today to determine our destiny in eternity.

JESUS SENDS. Meanwhile, God’s church on earth has work to do. We have been sent into the world to accomplish one thing only: to save people from their sins and prepare them for eternity. We do this by one means only: the proclamation of the Good News of Christ. He is present with us to help us, through the Holy Spirit.

EXERCISE. See how to use these points above. Please work through these questions.

  1. Which Bible texts would you connect to the points above? I have left the article without biblical references for you to do this exercise.
  2. How do you incorporate these points when you teach those outside of Christ?
  3. The Holy Spirit did not get a point just for him, but appears in several points above. Why is this so?
  4. How would you relate these points to the steps in the plan of salvation?
J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

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