Thursday, December 3, 2009

Enjoying God's Creation

In my sermon last Sunday I said that one way to apply the doctrine of God's creation is to enjoy the physical world that God has given us.

This may sound odd to some people, who have read the New Testament and (correctly) observed the emphasis on suffering, groaning and endurance, not enjoying the physical creation.

That is why this blog is called Redemption Groanings; we must labor to remember that this world is not as it ought to be. If not for our own indwelling corruption, we would weep over the condition of this world much more than we do now.

While the emphasis on groaning is strong in the New Testament, that does not preclude the enjoyment of God's created world. The same man who said that he died daily and endured hardship as a good soldier of Christ (the Apostle Paul) also wrote to his beloved disciple Timothy:

"Everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer" (1 Timothy 4:4-5).

Paul goes on to tell Timothy that he should "put these things before the brothers," and thus be a good servant of Christ (v.6). I take this to mean that even in a fallen world in which our lives are filled with groaning, a faithful pastor will remind his people to enjoy and celebrate God's creation.

Mysteriously, this fallen creation can still be called good, and enjoyed by God's people as the theater for displaying God's supreme beauty and excellence.

That means that, as Christians, we of all people ought to delight in stuff like this.

So yes, we should groan in this fallen world. But we can (and should!) also celebrate.

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