Posts Tagged Abraham
The Church of God — the people of God, that is, the body of Christ – is far more diverse than we may have imagined from our somewhat parochial worldview. And of course that’s quite understandable given that for the most part we operate locally.
In reading the latest edition of the Bible Advocate, I took heart at the comments of the late Richard Wiedenheft who wrote in an ecumenical spirit:
“Today, we have those who are vegetarians and those who eat meat, those who drink wine and those who abstain, those who wear makeup and jewelry and those who don’t, those who observe annual feasts and those who don’t, those who observe non-biblical holidays and those who refuse, those who use the ‘sacred names’ instead of God and Jesus and those who don’t. On and on we could go! Yet in the face of all the differences of belief and practice among Christians, we are exhorted by Scripture to have unity of spirit (Ephesians 4:3)…”
The diversity within the Christian community is honourable and enriching while it exists within the commandments and will of God. After all, Jesus said that “you are my friends if you do what I command”. I suppose we all want to be known as “friends of God”. So, what are the terms for such friendship? Is it not based essentially on what God has done for us, and then in turn what we do? Perhaps we’ll need to re-evaluate what the term “friend” really means, for was it not Abraham who was known as being God’s friend? If we dig a little deeper, we’ll discover something quite remarkable, by God’s own testimony when He said to Isaac:
“…because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” (Genesis 26:5)
Did you catch that? The commandments, statutes and laws of God were in effect a long time before the Sinai experience! And so Abraham apparently lived by every word that came from God. We can begin to see that friendship with God isn’t just a casual relationship, but more based on covenant — much, in many respects, like a marriage agreement/covenant.
Anyway, we are working on a new short film, that explores these thoughts and asks what does it take to walk as a friend of God?
By John Klassek
PS We really appreciate the diversity and freedom in Christ to worship and celebrate all God is doing through Jesus, and so it is within the framework of this Biblical diversity I was also inspired by the excellent coverage given by CESA to one such annual Christian celebration, the Feast of Tabernaces, to be held later this year.