Monday, December 7, 2009

What is Fellowship

At the Flood Zone last night we used our concordances and looked for principles of what true, Biblical fellowship is. Here's what we found:

1. Fellowship takes devotion (Acts 2:42)

2. Fellowship is found in a common relationship with Jesus (1 John 1:3-7)

3. Fellowship includes encouragement, accountability, protection, and makes the Christian walk easier. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)

4. Fellowship brings joy, unity and amplifies love. (Philippians 2:1)

5. Fellowship is restorative (Galatians 6:1-2)

Be encouraged toward true Biblical fellowship!

6. Fellowship produces wisdom (Proverbs 13:10)

7. Fellowship is family (John 1:12)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Systematic Theology Part 11-The Source

Ever wondered what the child of Snoop Dog and the Queen of England would look like? How about the Governator and Byonce? You can find out at

Now, obviously this is a joke and a bit extreme, but the reality is that parents do communicate attributes to their children. Kids look like their parents in certain ways.

When we started the “Doctrine of God” part of this study we said that God has 2 different types of attributes: Incommunicable and Communicable. So far we have looked mainly at incommunicable attributes:Infinite, incomprehensible, 3-in-1, eternal, self-existent, perfect, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent.

Side Note: Remember that this does not exhaust the incommunicable attributes of God. He is infinite, so there is infinitely more about him that we do not know. The point of studying these attributes, however, is to give you a greater awe and wonder toward this GREAT and POWERFUL God we worship!

According to Genesis 1:27 God has communicated certain of his attributes to humans; however, only as a shadow. Remember that God holds these attributes infinitely. The first two communicable attributes we are looking at are really foundational to understanding who/what we are.

Jeremiah 10:10a-
But the Lord is the true God;
he is the living God and the everlasting King.

The first communicable attribute of God is Life.

Truth 1: God is Alive

What exactly does it mean that God is alive? When we think of things that are alive (people, animals and plants) we would say that they are alive "because" of some reason. A person is alive "because" he was born; "because" he has been fed; "because" his heart is beating. A plant is alive "because" a seed was planted; "because" rain falls and the sun shines. Things are alive "because".

There is no "because" when it comes to God's life. If we were to ask “why is God alive” the answer would follow, “He just is”. He Is! (I AM).

“While all other beings have their life in God, he does not derive his life from any external source.” (Millard J. Erickson, Systematic Theology, p297)

Truth 2: God is the Source of Life

Since God is the source of life then he does not just have life, He is life. He does not get his life from any outside source. Also, his life is not sustained by anything outside of himself.

If God is Life Then...
1. All life comes from God (Genesis 2:7; John 14:6)
Physical and Eternal life both find their origination and source in God.

2. God is unique (1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Samuel 17:26; Psalm 84:2; Jeremiah 10: Psalm 135:16-18)

There are millions of "gods" and "idols" all around the world. None of these "gods" are life in themselves like the "one true and living God" is. The God of the Bible is unique in life. Yet so many people are chasing after idols and dead "gods".

Our second communicable attribute is found in John 4:24: God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

Truth 3: God is Spirit

He is not matter and is not dependent on matter; “does not possess a physical nature.” (Erickson, p294)

God “does not have the limitations involved with a physical body.” Erickson, p294

If God is Spirit Then...
1. He cannot be destroyed (1 Timothy 1:17)
2. He is invisible (Colossians 1:15; Luke 24:39)
3. He shows himself in his acts (Romans 1:20)
-creation-general revelation

But how is this attribute communicable? Where do we see this attribute in ourselves

2 Corinthians 4:16-5:4 describes our bodies as "earthly tents" that will fall apart and decay but our spirits will always remain. Here's a video clip that might help us understand what's going on here.

When I think of Darth Vader, I think of the suit. But Darth Vader is not the suit. Darth Vader is the man inside the suit, Anakin.

When people think of me, or you, they think of our "suits"; our bodies. But this body is not who I am. This body is wasting away, but the spirit, who I truly am, is being renewed day by day.

Justin McRoberts puts it this way in his song "America and the Soul":

”I do not have a soul trapped somewhere in my body. I am a soul I carry in my skin.”

Truth 4: Our bodies are not who we are

God blessed us with bodies. There are great joys and pleasures that can be experienced in body that cannot be experienced by spirit. Our bodies are cursed by sin. We die because of sin. We get sick because of sin. Not necessarily because of a specific sin, but because of sin’s general impact on creation.

This truth can make some significant differences in our lives: our dependence on the idols of comfort and approval, the way we view death, the way we view aging and our understanding of necessity. The reality is that we should not be living for this body. This body is wasting away.

The average world life expectancy is 66.57 years worldwide. 77.5-80 in the USA. This means that I’ve lived %40 of my life. You have lived %15-22 of your life. In reality, though, you could die any moment. Will we spend the rest of the bodies life pursuing what will bring pleasure and fill want or will we live for the eternal nature of our spirits? The reality is that 2000 years from now you will have spent 65 years in body and 1935 more years in spirit only.

Eternity MUST be our focus!

If God is life, where does our life come from?
If God gives us life, who should we depend on for everything we need for life?
If God gives us everything we need for life, who should get the glory for our life?

Our lives MUST acknowledge God

This week challenge yourself to acknowledge God first and seek his kingdom by focusing on how your actions here are impacting eternity for you and the people around you. Take care of the body you've been given so you can serve here on earth for more years, but don't focus on the temporary. Live for the eternal.