Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What does it mean to be the People of God?

“What really does it mean to be the People of God? They are people who believe, certainly. They are a people who are “good” in terms of personal morality, certainly. But these things do not constitute the heart of the matter. The uniqueness of God’s people is that they are called to mission. This is clearly understood. They have joyfully accepted this mission and have given their lives to its fulfillment.
This mission in which God is engaged is redemptive. It is both personal and social. The People of God believe that what God is seeking to do in the lives of people and in the world is what is desperately needed. They believe this so deeply and with such commitment that their lives are joyfully given to God as instruments in seeking to cause the will of God to be “done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is the nature of their uniqueness. In living this way, in losing their lives for the gospel’s sake, they find that Jesus is absolutely correct—in their own lives they begin to find healing, wholeness, meaning, blessing, life in increasing abundance!
It seems to me [Edge] that the sin of Israel is being repeated today. So many church members have come to God for what they can get out of him. Too often they haven’t the slightest idea, or even the slightest concern, as to what it really means to be God’s people. If renewal is to take place in our churches, it must begin right at this point—there must be a fundamental change in persons! It is imperative that we become a people who understand who we are, who God is, what God is about in the world and what God is calling us to be about in the world. It is true we need some new programs and some new approaches in our churches, but the fundamental change is for a new people! The basic problem in the churches is spiritual, and this must be met before any real or significant change will take place in the world. Changing organizations or programs simply will not get the job done!” [Findley B. Edge, The Greening of the Church (Waco, TX: Word, 1971), 36-37.]

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