Monday, January 27, 2014

Weekly Emmaus City Culture Q&As | Part 1, Q&A 4

Emmaus City Church Culture Questions and Answers New City Catechism Redeemer Tim Keller Worcester MA


Each week, we are adapting Redeemer's New City Catechism with modern language, including the questions and answers, along with the commentary and prayer. Our goal is to make these easily accessible for all ages, as well as those with various levels of education in Worcester. 

Since we don't want this to be just information transfer, but life transformation by God's Word and Spirit, we purposely changed the word catechism to culture as we pray for God to help us creatively display and declare the good news of Jesus in our communities.

Here are the previous weeks' Q&As:

Cheers to 2014 and many becoming more like Jesus together.

Emmaus City Culture | Part 1, Q&A 4

Question 4
How and why did God create us?

Answer 4
God created us male and female in His own image to glorify Him. 

Genesis 1:27
So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.    

The glory of God is the first thing that God's children should desire. It is the point of one of our Lord's own prayers: "Father, glorify Your name" (John 12:28). It is why the world was created. It is what the saints are called and converted to do. It is what we should seek the most, that "God in all things may be glorified" (1 Peter 4:11.). He alone deserves to receive all glory. We give Him all honor and praise and rejoice that He is King of kings, and Lord of lords. What do our hearts love best? Are our first desires for things in earth or things in heaven? Having one single purpose is the great secret of spiritual prosperity. If our eyes do not see clearly, we cannot walk without stumbling and falling. If we attempt to work for two different masters, we won’t please either. It is the same with our souls. We cannot serve [God] and the world at the same time. It is useless to try. It cannot be done. God must be king over our hearts. His law, His will must receive our attention first. We have many talents from God. Anything we can glorify God with is a talent: our gifts, our influence, our money, our knowledge, our health, our strength, our time, our senses, our reason, our intellect, our memory, our love, our privileges as members of Christ’s Church, our advantages in having the Bible – all are talents. Where did these things come from? What hand gave them to us? Why are we what we are? Why are we not the worms that crawl on the earth? There is only one answer to these questions. All that we have is a loan from God. We owe God back what He has given, and yet He has given them to us to use for Him, His good and our good. Let this thought sink deeply into our hearts.

Adapted from Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: St. Matthew (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1870), 51–56, 336–337. John Charles Ryle (1816–1900): The first Anglican bishop of Liverpool, Ryle’s appointment was at the recommendation of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. As well as being a writer and pastor, Ryle was an athlete who rowed and played cricket for Oxford University. He also was responsible for the building of over forty churches.

I pray God, for the sake of Jesus, that You would receive me now as completely Your own, and that You would deal with me in every respect, whether You stop me from doing well or help me do well, whatever You choose to do with me; I am Yours. I should not act as if I own myself – I act this way if I use of any of my strengths for anything that is not for Your glory, when I choose not to make giving Jesus honor my entire life’s work. 

Adapted from "Memoirs of Jonathan Edwards" in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 1 (London: William Ball, 1840), lxvii. Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758): A colonial American preacher, theologian, and philosopher, Edwards became pastor of his church in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1726. 


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