"For us let it be enough to know ourselves to be in the place where God wants us, and carry on our work, even though it be no more than the work of an ant, infinitesimally small, and with unforeseeable results."
-- Abbé Monchanin

Monday, February 12, 2007

Fundamentalism or Peripheralism? -- Part 2

The Fundamental Confession of the Christian - “Jesus Is Lord”

That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10 (NIV)

In Romans 10:9-10 the Apostle Paul is very clear. The fundamental confession of faith of the Christian is “Jesus is Lord.” There are not multiple headings and sub-headings. The simple confession “Jesus is Lord” is sufficient. Everything is included in those three words.

This confession is more profound and full of meaning that it first appears. In fact, it is so significant that in I Corinthians 12:3 Paul tells us that, “. . . no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.”

When the devout Jew encounters the Holy Name of God while reading the Scriptures, he does not attempt to pronounce it even to this day. Instead he says, “LORD.” God is LORD. The confession “Jesus is Lord” is an acknowledgment of the divinity of Jesus. It signifies acceptance of Jesus’ statement, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9 NIV)

This confession also acknowledges the Christian’s relationship to God as encountered in Jesus. Jesus is Lord. We are but servants. In this confession we accept our role and pledge our obedience to God as revealed in Jesus. We pledge not to try to manipulate God to our own ends, but, rather, commit ourselves to serve Him in whatever way He chooses to use us. We cannot pick and choose among the commandments Jesus gives.

When we make this confession, we enter upon a lifetime of struggle to understand God’s will for us as revealed in Jesus and to live it out fully in our world today. All our peripheral concerns are but attempts to apply this confession to our lives as we “see through a glass darkly.” (I Cor. 13:12)

(to be continued)

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