Commentary on "Community"
Day 2: Sunday, June 14, 2009
“God adds, “ ‘I will make your name great’ ” (Genesis 12:2, NIV). Notice God’s ultimate objective in making of Abraham a great nation: “ ‘All peoples on the earth will be blessed through you’ ” (vs. 3, NIV). God created communities of faith truly are designed to bless the world… How can we, spiritual Israel, live up to our favored status?” (From Teacher Comments – “1. God Wants a People” section)
Again, this part of the lesson begins well. The contrast between the Tower of Babel and Abram’s call is quite useful. There truly is a stark difference between human initiatives to God and God’s initiative to us.
However, instead of following through with this good beginning, the Teacher Comments drive the instructor, and therefore the class, back into behaviorism based on the SDA church being spiritual Israel.
God’s promise to Abram was that Jesus would come through his lineage. Jesus is the blessing, not communities of faith, even God-designed ones.
This is a consistent theme throughout this lesson. Your job, as members of the SDA church, is to be a blessing to the world.
God doesn’t “want” a people. He is not waiting, with baited breath, in heaven for a group of folks to represent Him properly to the rest of the world. He wants individuals who respond to Him.
God initiated the blessing to the world. He sent Jesus, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8) to remove sin as the cause of separation between man and God and to offer eternal life to all who believe. Note how Jesus is described in Revelation 5: “And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth" (verses 9-10).
Our sole responsibility is to respond to this incredible God. Our initial response to accept His salvation makes us, by definition, members of His church. Our ongoing response allows His love to flow through us to others. He is always the blessing. We are never the blessing, but merely vessels overflowing to the world around us.
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