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Our God’s done stuff

It's a law of human resources that the less experience a person has the more adjectives appear on their resume.  "Team-player.  High-achiever.  Fast learner.  Leadership qualities."  Wherever these descriptors are piled up it's designed to hide a worrying lack of achievement.

Dead idols have a rubbish resume.  No educational history.  No work experience.  No prior achievements.  So how are they described?  Adjectives, piled to the heavens.  99 names etc.  Put them in capitals, add the word 'Most', 'All' or  'Ever' and repeat them loudly in the vain hope they won't have to be substantiated. 

Does it ever strike you how few adjectives there are in our creeds.  Instead they are just chock full of verbs.

When we're asked about the Living God we answer with confidence, 'Let me tell you what the Father, Son and Spirit have done...'  Our God simply is the God of the Gospel - the One who has performed these marvellous deeds.

Some verbs I've really enjoyed recently:

24And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25God saw the people of Israel—and God knew. (Ex 2:24-25)

4 I... established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. 5Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. 6Say therefore to the people of Israel, 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. 7I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the LORD.'" (Ex 6:4-8)

2And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. 3And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.  (Deut 8:2-4)

Beware lists of adjectives in your theology.  It might be a sign you've stopped describing the Living God.  Beware getting embroiled in discussion of what God's like, more than what He's done.  Especially beware discussions of what He can do rather than a concentration on what He has done.

And as you consider how the Father, Son and Spirit are towards you right now, where does your mind go?  Abstract qualities?  No, don't let your mind run to adjectives.  Think of the verbs:

To Him Who loves us (present continuous) and has freed us (past tense) from our sins by His blood...  (Rev 1:5)

Think verbs.  That's what makes for gospel theology and gospel assurance.  It makes all the difference.



0 thoughts on “Our God’s done stuff

  1. timothycairns

    I once heard Fleming Routledge say that no sermon should ever use an adjective about God. Her reasoning, the name Yahweh itself is a verb. God has revealed himself as a verb (to be) so why do we describe him as a noun or an adjective?

    Great post thanks

  2. Dave K

    Just chalk it up to 'theological development'.

    Later scholars will probably describe that as early-Scrivener.

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