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notes on a book


I'm reading a book called Christian Basics.




Is creationism a necessary part of Christian belief? Yes, because if God is not the Creator, then who is He? If the world was not created by God, then it would not be wrong to worship it. But seeing God as the Creator enables me to understand who He is and to worship Him.



I am made in the image of God. I have a body, mind, and soul. I long for fellowship. I have the ability to create. Either I surrender that ability to Him and allow Him to create through me or I choose to take it upon myself. I was designed for fellowship with God, not as His equal but as His creation. I was designed for His enjoyment. I was designed to be in surrender to Him and not in contest with Him. When I take things into my own hands, I step out of fellowship and into contest with God.



I am a creature, a creation of God. The one who creates is above the creation. God is higher than I because He is my Creator.



The rise of science, like all things, can take two different directions. If we grow in our understanding of who God is, we gainappreciation for Him and in worship. We can also take this understanding into our own hands and enter into contest with God. This seems to be what has been done in this time.



I have always believed that angels, principalities, and powers exist. When I was little, I recognized the angels as messengers from God who told me things or confirmed things. They were also protectors. When I was older, I learned about the spirits of darkness. I knew that they sought to control me and those around me, and I even fought them.



I never thought of the family or the nation as a living part of creation. I don't see the parts of my body as alive, so it is difficult for me to understand that I am a part of something else which is alive.



"Sin is a chapter in the story, not a failure to live up to our favorite list of dos and don'ts." Was sin in some way a part of the plan, so that God could show His unconditional love for us and the strength of His desire to fellowship with us? Sin is putting myself in the place of God--doing what I want to do instead of what I was created to do. This is called hubris. The bottomline of sin is that it is selfishness--it is thinking more highly than I ought to of myself. The real sin is in my spirit, not in what I do with my physical body. It is the sin of my spirit which controls my body.



I have legitimate needs--for food, shelter, intimacy, and fellowship. Sin is when I abuse these needs and build walls higher and higher for my shelter, when I am greedy for food or clothing, when I abuse my sexuality, or when I become dependent on the fellowship of others. Depriving myself of these needs as I have been doing is also a sin. It is refusing to trust God and give Him control of my needs. This is why I must find a middle ground. He says not to worry; for He knows what I need before I ask.



"Knowing good and evil is not knowing God." This is the essence of deception. To know God means so much more than just knowing what is good and what is evil. Lord, what does it mean to know You?



This fall from fellowship with God has consequences for all of creation. A person out of fellowship with God cannot live within a creation which is still in fellowship with Him. The Garden where we would have fellowship with God is not a place which we can find. But without the fall, we could not know the joy of returning to the Lord. We could not fully appreciate the measure of His love. Because we know what it means to fall, our worship is deeper; our love for Him is greater. God has not given up on His creation, but has provided a way to redeem it, to "fix" it.



God's covenant is His "deal" with us. He promises His faithfulness and expects mine. He promised His faithfulness toNoah and expected Noah's faithfulness in return. God chose Israel as the people through whom His purpose would be accomplished. He chose Israel not to be the sole benefactors of His blessing but to take His blessing to the rest of the world.



Jesus was a prophet, one who reveals; a priest, who makes a sacrifice to ward off the punishment we deserve; and a king, who controls our actions. Jews have a special deal with God. It is because of them that I can have fellowship with God. When a Jew recognizes Jesus as theMessiah and calls him Lord, he/she is God's chosen one twice.



The Holy Spirit is the manifester of God's presence. The ultimate manifestation occurred when the Spirit caused Mary to conceive and bear Jesus. God put Himself into a person and enabled that person to live without sin. That person experienced human growth and human needs. That person endured human temptation and human weariness. When he was tempted to step out of fellowship with God in order to gain the world, he answered with the command of God. "It is written, 'You shall worship the Lord alone...'"



You made a promise to Israel that You would be faithful. You asked in return for Israel's faithfulness. Israel has not been faithful, but because You cannot lie You are bound by Your promise, and You are faithful when Your people are faithless.



"Whoever would be great among you must become a servant..." But not for the purpose of becoming great. I must give but not for the purpose of receiving. This is the hardest part of myself to crucify, especially in this time and place. I am constantly being told that I am not to be walked on, that I have a right to expect certain things from certain people. But in truth, I cannot expect anything from anyone. God knows my needs before I ask. He will not give me anything above my strength; neither will He allow me to go without anything that I need.



"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled."


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