Sunday, December 27, 2009

The God of Show and Tell… or is it Tell and Show?

The God of Show and Tell… or is it Tell and Show?




The other day my Kids had “show and tell”. You know, when they take something important to them to school to share with the other kids… like when my daughter Ciana brought her silver jewelry box to school and was so excited to show it and tell how her Auntie gave it to her. I began to think about God and what He showed us through Jesus. God did not just “tell” us how to live, rather God told us and then through Jesus showed us… thus, God is the God of show and tell… or rather, Tell and Show. In fact, if you get right down to it, Through the bible we see God telling us how to live and then through the incarnation of Jesus, showing us how to live, and died… and then live again. With this, we have a model of how we are to live, die and live again.

Now many people just view this as living now, dying now and living again later, but what is happening is that we are doing all of this “now” for “later”. We live now to die not for death’s sake, but for Christ’s sake so we may live again in abundant life. This New Life in Christ starts “now” and for those who are “in Christ” continues into the “later” or New Creation, which is the fulfillment of “on earth as it is in Heaven.”

Rob Bell, in his book Velvet Elvis talks about the idea that we live either in or for heaven “now” or in and for hell “now” which then is part of the decision as to where we spend eternity later. This is not about works salvation, but whether one lives out the New Life that comes in us from Jesus or we keep hold of the old life. In the bible, (Matt 25: 31-46) there is the parable of the sheep and goats who hold to their “beliefs” to save them. Yet the sheep find they are the ones that did the things that God desires. The rub is that those who held to “believism” did not enter into the Kingdom, while those who did the work of the Kingdom now, entered in the Kingdom for eternity. This is scandalous if you think about it! Those who believe “rightly” are punished? Why are they punished? They were just tellers of the Word but not, “Show and tellers” of the Word. (Now I know technically it is Tell and Show, yet I am not about to set in stone some formula as I find God sometimes has one show others the Gospel so they can earn the right to tell the “other” the Gospel, so for now the idea of “show and tell” is interchangeable.)

In God’s telling and showing, we learn that what one believes is not enough. We see this in how Jesus confronted the Pharisees for their “correct” belief, yet their doing or showing was inadequate. They would tithe the smallest of amounts even down to the spices they had, and meanwhile let someone starve in their city. They would pass by someone they deemed “unworthy” or less worthy of God’s mercy and grace as they saw them “unclean” and if touched would defile them. They clung tightly to their own righteousness…

Paul Tillich writes about the Pharisees “righteousness”… (To be honest I am still sorting this out in my own heart and head) Jesus fully acknowledged the Pharisees as “righteous”. Tillich states that the righteousness of a Pharisee was a very high standard; even Jesus stated that one’s righteousness must surpass that of the Pharisee to get into Heaven! To be clear, there is no argument allowed to claim the Pharisees as being unrighteous. Yet, by whose righteousness do we get into the Kingdom of Heaven? The Apostle Paul makes it clear that it is only by the righteousness of Christ we make it in to the Kingdom. Rom 1: 17. For in the gospel righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." It is not our own righteousness that gives us life… For all the righteousness of the Pharisee, the Law could not give them eternal life for the Life is in the Son. (John 3:36; 1 John 5: 10-11) One must have life to live… forgiveness is not enough… I like how Luke puts it in Acts 1:1

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach

Jesus came to tell us and show us how to believe and live and that is our challenge… to allow Jesus to do that today in and through us. We are now called to let Jesus live His life in and through us today and forever and to tell and show others of The Way, the Truth, and the Life of Jesus.



Share/Save/Bookmark

2 comments:

rick said...

Good post. The key as you point out is that it is both - do and tell. Historically and today, we see people err on both sides.

I found your views here interesting since they seem to contradict what I understood from you in our most recent exchange ... oh well, I must have misunderstood either then or now ...

Either way, good post ... hope you're enjoying the holidays.

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

"The key as you point out is that it is both - do and tell. Historically and today, we see people err on both sides."
Good post and good answer.