“For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
Going to a restaurant for a pizza is always great, but there is something special about making a pizza at home. Getting to decide exactly what makes me happy on my pizza. In many ways, this design approach is how God is seen. The thought process would go something like this: who am I to judge that someone else is wrong, and anyways, not everything the other gods teach is false. So, take what benefits you from Christianity, from Islam, from Buddhism, from Hinduism, etc. In doing this it will make you the best person. Basically, you can have this self-help designer approach to God.
This self-help designer approach to God is popular and sounds good. According to the Bible, which is our authority, such an approach to God is wrong. Firstly, the Bible makes it clear that the biblical God is the only true and living God. And secondly, the Bible never gives us the option to merely take God as a moral teacher that merely wants to make us better people.
This self-help designer approach is especially seen in responding to the person of Jesus – on the assumption that Jesus is not really God and that Christianity is not really the only way of salvation.
The Bible Paul writes to the Colossians (1:15-20) that Jesus is in the Image of God, the creator of all things, all things were created for him, he existed before creation, creation is sustained by him, he is the head of the church, in him is true salvation, he was fully God in human form and he reconciled all things through making peace by his blood shed on the Cross. Scripture is very clear that Jesus really is God, and that he is the only way of salvation.
Jesus, God the Son, did not come down to earth to dwell with us and die as our atonement merely for our self-help, for us to pick and choose aspects of his teachings that we agree with. He came for a far greater reason, for our eternal salvation. This requires a wholehearted response.
We, therefore, cannot simply consign Jesus to be a moral teacher, we need to respond to him as Saviour and Lord.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, please give me strength and wisdom to respond to you as my Lord and Saviour. Forgive me for the times in which I have merely consigned you to the rank of self-help. Amen.
Robert Oscroft Swan
Young Adult Pastor of Summerstrand United Church
69 ErasmusRoad, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
082 689 7696