I am in the midst of painting the main living areas in our condo: scaffolding and ladders, ups and downs, bending and lifting, brushing and rolling, moving and cleaning … the whole nine yards day after day. Thus, I really do not have the time nor the energy to write anything. However, since this project gives me the precious opportunity to reflect upon the wonders of our creation and redemption, I will simply share with you part of something I started writing years ago. I call it “Basic Questions of Life and Faith.”
QUESTION 1: Who Am I?
View 1: I am a person specifically and lovingly created by God in his image.
- While the Bible clearly states that God created all things (Genesis 1), humankind alone is created in the image of God (Genesis 1.26-27).
- Different from animals, birds, reptiles, fish and all other living creatures, humans have eternal spirits (We are spiritual creatures).
- Humans are given the responsibility of managing all of creation under God’s authority (This is called “stewardship”). Genesis 1.28
- Humans are created to live in a unique and intimate relationship with God (He seeks to unite himself with us).
- God, in his love and wisdom, gave each of us unique traits and gifts, while valuing each of us the same.
- God values humans and human life above everything in all creation (You have great value).
- You are who you are because God in his wisdom and love made you as you (He likes you and wants you to like yourself).
- God has given you an important package of gifts and talents for you to use to help make the world better (You have an important role in taking care of God’s creation).
View 2: I am a sinner who selfishly and arrogantly rebels against God and his love.
- In my arrogance I …
- Think I know better than God.
- Trust my “wisdom” more than I trust God.
- Am more interested in what the world has to say than in what God says in his word (the Bible).
- In my selfishness I …
- Have a “me first” attitude as my default setting.
- Tend to be more concerned about my immediate gratification than broad or long-term good.
- Make excuses whenever I end up harming myself or hurting others.
- In my rebellion I …
- Close my eyes to God’s love and wisdom.
- Walk away from God and his path of life.
- Side with the devil and the world in fighting against God.
View 3: I am God’s beloved – the object of his eternal love.
- Despite my selfish and arrogant rebellion against him, God still loves me and always will.
- Because of his great love for me, God gave his only Son to die on the cross, so that, as I believe in him, I have eternal life.
- In love, mercy and grace, God is continually reaching out to me, urging me to receive him and live in his love.
View 4: I am a forgiven child of God, adopted into his family in my baptism.
- As I am baptized in the name of the Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) …
- The Father declares me to be his child and shares with me all the blessings of his kingdom of grace.
- All my sin is transferred to Jesus and his holiness and righteousness become mine.
- The Holy Spirit creates faith in my heart, enabling me freely to receive God’s gift of eternal salvation.
- Because I am baptized in the name of the Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) …
- My heavenly Father holds me as his prized possession and promises to never let go of me.
I am a person specifically and lovingly created by God in his image. And, though I am a sinner who rebels against God and his love, I remain God’s beloved – the object of his eternal love. This all is possible because I am a forgiven child of God, adopted into his family in my baptism. This truth from God’s Word provides the base for my identity and life.
My body may be quite sore from this project … and my “art work” far from perfect … but God has graciously given me all that I need (and more) to accomplish the project. I pray that you take the time this week to reflect upon the gif