Tuesday, August 12, 2008

the Jesus creed- refresher

I learned this term from Scot McKnight some time ago, and blogged on it here and there, especially in the earlier days of this blog. And I believe we need to go back to it again and keep going back to it.

The Jesus Creed is simply as follows:

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating.
Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."


It is important to our faith and life to be followers of Jesus, and how we're to live on this earth is summed up in these two commands: we're to love God supremely, in all our being and doing, and we're to love our neighbor, that is our fellow human being, whoever they may be- as ourselves.

After Jesus ascended and the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church, this did not change! Actually all Jesus taught was then implemented in the way it needed to be, in the way Jesus promised on the eve of his departure, by his death into his new resurrection sphere of life.

I was raised under the influence of evangelicalism, which in my younger years, even in my Mennonite church was influenced by the Scofield Bible. Not to put that Bible down, or its adherents, but its theology is certainly different than a sound Mennonite, Anabaptist theology. But the people in the pews are still influenced by the trends of the day, just like today with some of the winds of doctrine blowing around. We all need to be aware of how we may be impacted in ways we wouldn't imagine, just left to ourselves.

So it wasn't hard for me, and even for some Mennonite pastors I think, to see Paul's letters as being what we need to focus on. And don't get me wrong: those letters and homily, along with the rest of the New Testament, all have their place, and it's a vital and important place for our faith and life today.

But we do need to get back to a proper emphasis on the coming, works, words and work of our Lord Jesus, as given to us in the gospels. And "the Jesus Creed" found in them needs to be at the heart of all we are and do. If it's not loving God as in drawing near to him and obeying him, and if it's not loving our neighbor like Jesus did, then it's not according to God's will for us today.

Not to say that we ever keep these commands perfectly, though I believe by grace and by the work of the Spirit, there are surely instances when perhaps we are doing it at least without any conscious sin.

And it needs to be emphasized that "in Jesus" we're all in this together for the sake of the world. Jesus' coming and our being "in him" in this world is not just so we can know salvation here. It's missional at its heart, and we must not forget that. We're to love God and our neighbor with that in mind.

Alot of words here, and a bit scattered, but what would you like to add on this?

Tomorrow: "Seedstone - healing" from L.L. Barkat, Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places


preacherman said...

I just bought the book the Jesus Creed and think that it is one of the best books I have read. Thanks brother for sharing this with us.
I hope you have a blessed week!

Anonymous said...

the Love of God is wonderful!
i thank God for His amazing Love that He gives to us in His great and powerful way that is beond our understanding, and i praise God for His Spirit that works in and through us. by the Grace of God, in Christ Jesus my Lord, i live.

Rachel Mc said...

I need to get that book too...I remember last year Scot had us saying the Jesus Creed AM and PM for 40 days..unfortunately I started but didn't keep it up.
I am having a pretty good day.. feeling a little joy...must be God hanging in there with me...

Ted M. Gossard said...

Kinney, It really is a fine book and was deserving of the high award it received. And around such an important theme!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Kinney, and you, too. The weather this week is great here, and Deb and I intend to enjoy some of it, together.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, sister. We need to know that love firsthand to live in that love. Towards God and all others.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Good to hear from you. Don't feel bad that you were gone, but good to hear you're alright.

You'll love that book, I'm sure!

Letters to Bountiful said...

Good thoughts. It's the love of God, and His love working in us, that allows us to serve those around us. Thanks for the post.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Letters to Bountiful,
Good way to put it. We need to know that love before we can really live in it, and according to it, of course.