Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The Motivational Side
Recently I had occasion to examine the statement of beliefs of one of our local churches. It attempted to be succinct, and wisely so. I felt that a good job had been done at summarizing the positional side of things.
Who is God? What is the Word of scripture? What is the Trinity? What did Jesus accomplish through His obedience and passion? What is the way of salvation? How does the Spirit help in sanctification, and in the bestowing of spiritual and ministry gifts? What is the baptism in the spirit? What are the ordinances of believers' baptism and communion? What is the hope of the Second Coming? What are the consummate destinies of eternal blessing or doom?
I found myself asking how to address the motivational side of things. Get the faithful going in compassionate Christ-like endeavour. Show fruits meet for repentance.
I thought of the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10). In this exchange between Jesus and a lawyer, I heard the Lord say two things:
1) How readest thou?
2) Go and do thou likewise.
This brings us back to the statement of belief. What do you do after hearing and appropriating the Good News? You practice it day in, day out, and expect to be surprised by opportunities for ministry. You are compelled by love, not duty.
Perhaps the belief statement could include something like the following:
We Believe...that people of faith keep occupied in the loving power of the Holy Spirit in Christ-like service, prayer, testimony, warning and justice, through all of life, and to the glory of God.