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His 4


God spoke and the the universe was formed out of nothing, creatio ex nihilo. Six days of miracles established order and rhythm over the vast expanse of the heavens and on our small place of habitation. They are all recorded in the First Book of Moses, Genesis. Six times we are told the power of his spoken word. Genesis 1:7, 9, 11, 15, 24, and 30 are, at least for me, the six understatements of creation. Six times the text reads "And it was so".

Someone wrote a clever rejoinder to all the negative talk about the biblical worldview regarding creation. It was printed on a t-shirt I almost purchased just to get in the faces of a few evolution proponents I know. It read, "I believe in the big bang theory. God said it, and BANG, it happened". Of course, there's more to the miracle of creation, the way God calibrated stellar and plantary movement, the intricate details of human physiology, the animal kingdom, quantum mechanics, and science beyond the chemistry, physics, and biology required during knob year at The Citadel. Without going too simple here, however, there's a bottom line that doesn't require me to understand Baryon Asymmetry. Creation happened because God spoke it. There is the power of his word.

I am his. He created me. He bought me. He chose me as his bride. And, then, he said that I am his. Through the prophet Isaiah he said, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name , you are mine" (Isaiah 43:1). It's his declaration to his chosen ones. All of the other claims on my life are true and real, and reflect, even if implicitly, a moral and ethical responsibility to the covenant he initiated. No, it's not legalism, earning his favor through obedience to a code or list of obligations. These are acts of gratitude for having set us apart as his. They witness the fact that I belong to him.

Then he speaks "...you are mine", and we enter the blessed joy of belonging to him by the power of his word. Now, under this pronouncement, the emphasis is all his. It is an act of sovereign grace that doesn't emphasize so much what we do, but who were are. It's about him. The moral and ethical demand here is not to do something, but to be something. To be his, to live in such a way as to magnify him, to reflect him, to live as his. The power of his word, apart from any acts that may govern my movement to him, is the basic fact of my faith.

You know where this is going. It's the ownership thing again." Who am I?", is one consideration. "Whose am I?", is quite another, though they are intricately linked And, yes, the ownership dilemma for belivers and the church today has a much deeper spiritual foundation. The ownership thing is a Lordship thing. Who pushes my buttons, spends my resources, allocates my time, ignites my passions, or raises my pulse, that is the one who is Lord, the one who owns me. To be his is to live under his graceful care and provision, for him to be owner, for him to be Lord.

The state of the church in America gives the impression that we belong to someone else. There's plenty of internal dysfunction and discord, a distorted witness of redemption and grace, plenty of activity, a lot of motion, little influence, and lines of academics and practitioners with the diagnoses scripted like a medical file. While our wide range of symptions are spot on, dealing with them isn't a cure,. Underneath is the ownership problem. And, until that one is settled, the symptoms will remain multi-phasic.

I am his. He said so. That should change everything for me. The church is his too. And, that should change everything for the "us" he has called to represent him here.


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