Assemblies of God Empowered Magazine God's Eternal Word - Page 11

acts, from the liberation of the people of God from an oppressive pharaoh to the climactic saving event of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. The Scriptures reveal the relentless mercy and kindness of a God who refuses to give up on an often obstinate and rebellious people. In fact, Scripture reveals to us that God has gone to great lengths in Christ to save people, even dying a heinously shameful death upon a dreadful cross. And Scripture doesn’t just record this event, but declares that on this dreadful cross we see the love of God manifested for humanity (Romans 5:8; 1 John 3:16). “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 2. Ideas Shape the Way We Live and Move and Have our Being The world often forgets, neglects or ignores the creator God. Too often humans go astray in searching for ways to find meaning and fulfilment. And the church can also wander. There are ideas, values and ways of thinking in our world that are contrary to the design and intentions of God. The incarnation of Jesus, revealed to us primarily through the gospels, puts the most beautiful life on display for all of us to ponder and admire, to imitate and embody. Christians believe that the Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Scriptures, convicting, challenging and shaping God’s people as we seek to be faithful to the life and teachings of Jesus. This is the goal of theological education; to investigate and explore the revelation of God’s Word. the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 Paul puts it this way in Colossians 2:8: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemen- tal spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.” Colossians 2:8 1 John 3:16 It is because God cares so deeply for us that we can have eternal life and profess our endless gratitude for his saving mercy. Yet we were not just created to be saved, but rather to know life in all of its fulness in relationship to God. Throughout the Scriptures God offers a vision of how humans can flourish in their relationships with God, others, themselves and their environments. God offers wisdom and instruction about how to live well as creatures in communion with him. But God doesn’t just offer detached instructions. Rather, in and through Jesus, God comes to show us what life in all of its fulness actually looks like. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining The situation in Colossae Paul wrote to address was one of vulnerability to deception. The Colossians were faced with “specious arguments” (Colossians 2:4) that could lead them astray. Paul offered a series of theological responses to this situation, reminding the church of the centrality of the revelation of God in Christ, of the key role the church plays in the mission of God and how Christians should live in the power of the Holy Spirit. This teaching is an example of Paul providing theological education to the church to provide an antidote to deception, and a positive vision of what life in the Spirit actually looks like. The same could be said of other Scriptural writings which are there to inform so that the Holy Spirit can transform us to be God’s faithful people. We cannot be authentically Christian whilst simultaneously rejecting the teaching of the one we claim to follow. 3. Theological Education is Necessary In 2 Timothy 2:15 Paul wrote: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.” Paul knew that healthy theology, or what the older translations call ‘sound doctrine’, can provide a vision of life in the Spirit that helps us, our churches and our world to flourish. You see, life is inherently theological. All of our assumptions, questions, and decisions are shaped and determined by what we know about God and God’s desires for us. Every desire we have, choice we make and act we perform is ultimately inspired and affected by our theological convictions, or lack thereof. The purpose of theological education is to expand our horizons and enrich our world, so that we may lead lives worthy of God, being fully pleasing to him. Theological education equips us to think through life’s questions in ways that are coherent and consistent, and most importantly, in ways that remain faithful to the Word of God. The Christian gospel compels us to embrace deeper ways of being human together, in order to overcome false barriers and exclusions that stand in the way of flourishing and love-empowered communities. The gospel invites us into a living and dynamic relationship with God who has revealed himself and longs for people to journey together in discovering more about who he is and what he has done to forge a relationship with us and others. Passion without education and education without passion will both ul FFVǒ&fPF67G&W2f"FRVRbvBvPVVB76FR6֗FVBF@&VfV7FFRG'WFbFRv&B`vBf"FR6RbFR֗76@6ƖrbFRVRbvBv60FFVWfW'Rv27B&WBFPv&W2BW7F2vBvRrFR6fW"v6&W2FVWǒ&WB0v&BBFRVRBक55TR32DT4T$U"#r