November 01, 2005
THE SIMPLE HERMENEUTIC
I've been working on a new, simple hermeneutic, lately. Actually, by "working on" I mean trying to understand what my LORD has been telling me. It is based on the Two Great Commandments. Succinctly put, they are "Love God with everything you are", and "Love your neighbor as yourself."
Obviously, there's a lot that is packed into those two phrases but it comes, basically, down to this: Serve God first, all others second and your self last.
Jesus says it. Paul explains it (c.f. Phillipians). The Holy Spirit provides examples throughout the Bible that demonstrate this principle. These examples are almost entirely negative in one way or another except for Jesus' because He is Emanuel.
It's pretty cool. It even provides a simple basic "litmus test" for testing Biblical theories and theologies. There are two questions for the believer to ask. Does it glorify God and does it serve others?
Both criteria must be met. It is also practical in nature. Once again one can ask those above two questions when examining any action. If I do such and such; will God be glorified and will it serve someone?
This is, obviously, just a "bare bones" description. The Big (albeit simple) picture is still a work in progress. But, I am examining this from the beginning of the Bible and it has already provided unexpected dividends in the first 3 chapters of Genesis.(More on that later.)
It all begins with the Cross:
Here's the deal. Metaphorically speaking, envision Christ Jesus dying on the cross. Now imagine an eternal, cosmic exposion that sends ripples throughout time and space.... The cross is ground zero.
That's the imagery.
God doesn't change. God is God. His precepts, His will lasts forever. On the otherhand, we have the above event that altered "stuff" (how's that for a high powered word?) in some mysterious way.
Now, imagine the faithful as cosmic surfers riding Christ's eternal wave. It's this empowering "Christ Effect" that allows the faithful to live the Way. It allows them to view the Law as a measuring stick instead of a club. It allows us to live hope-filled lives even amid the chaos of the world around us. It shields us from the arrows of the enemy and allows us to survive and even grow strong from those barbs that do get through to us (being the imperfect servants that we are, this is bound to happen from time to time).
Associated with this wave is the Holy Spirit. Riding the wave places us in contact with the Spirit of God. This Spirit aids us along our Way; empowering us for the tasks at hand and the tasks to come. We shoot through the curl that is the Law and we now see that it is a demonstration of God's will and not His will itself. His Will is much older and simpler. The Law is an effect of the Will. We realize that by being followers of His will we are de facto followers of the Law because it is an effect of His will.
Remember this is just the bare-bones of the very genesis of this idea and I believe that there are some very astounding ramifications to this and we can discuss them as they arise in the course of discussion.
Together, believers comprise an imperfect image of God on earth. What He does perfectly alone ( though not alone), it takes millions of humanbeings to even imagine. However, what He does believers can do, too not because of who we (as indivdual humans) are, but because of who we are as the body of Christ. And if we are part of Christ or , at least, part of the imperfect facsimile of Christ's body, then He is a part of us (though He,of course, accomplishes His part perfectly). I believe that it is a necessity for all faithful Christians to understand the responsibility and the power that is available to them through being a part of Christ's body and through this kind of ultimate relationship with God. This is where true minstry begins and the Truth will be actualized. This is true faith accompanied by true work.
To God be ALL the GLORY! AMEN
Not alot gets me excited but this is definitely doing the trick. Have you ever had the distinct priviledge of knowing that your a part of something that is much bigger than yourself?