Personal experience of God Essay

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1. Describe your personal experience of God and the apprehension of God you derived from scriptural, theological, and historical beginnings.

Throughout history, people developed the thought of a higher being, who is referred to as ‘god ‘ in general. Some people merely deny the being of God or any other religious being. And other people who accepted the being of ‘god ‘ explained the individuality of ‘god ‘ in assorted ways. Deism sees the universe as a closed system with its shaper outside it ; so denies God ‘s direct control of events and his marvelous invasions into this universe. Pantheism recognizes no creator-creature differentiation, but sees everything, including good and evil, as a direct signifier of God.

Christian religion joins with the Judaic and the Muslim religions in proclaiming extremist monotheism, which states that God is One and that God is the God of all. Distinctive to Christian theism is the belief that the personal Godhead is as genuinely three as he is one. God is a individual being who exists, at the same time and everlastingly, as a Communion of three individuals: Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The three Godhead are ageless which means they coexist from past through hereafter. In Matthew ‘s history of Christ ‘s baptism, as Jesus the Son went up from the H2O, the Spirit of God descended upon Him as a dove and the Father testified from the Eden of His darling Son ( Mt 3:16-17 ) . This scene clearly portrays the coincident being of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.

The Christian apprehension of God is specific in that Christians believe that God has been, and continues to be, historically involved with the people of Israel and has made a new compact with all people in Jesus Christ. In other words, we believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments bear informant to God ‘s active love for creative activity as revealed in Jesus of Nazareth.

God revealed himself through assorted channels including the Bible, experiences and nature. Although there are many ways in which God reveals God ‘s ego, the best topographic point to happen out about God is through the Scripture that God gave us. In the book of Exodus, I personally found God ‘s character and the qualities that are ascribed to him. Exodus 3:7-8 says that

The LORD said, “ I have so seen the wretchedness of my people inUnited arab republic. I have heard them shouting out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their agony. So I have come down to deliver them from the manus of the Egyptians and to convey them up out of that land into a good and broad land, a land fluxing with milk and honey — the place of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites.( NIV )

These are the words that God said to Moses from the firing shrub. I believe that in this communicating with Moses, God revealed who he was. God whom I believe in is the God who hasseenthe wretchedness of his people,heardthem shouting out and has beenconcernedabout their agony. In another interlingual rendition, it is said that Godknewtheir agony ( NRSV ) . In the context of this chapter, “ my people ” indicate Israel people in Egypt. Israel people at that clip in Egypt were slaves under the Pharaoh. They were ignored people in bondage to the Egyptians. There must hold been other states considered much higher and nobler than the Hebrewss but the Bible said that God who is the Godhead of the whole universe saw slaves with his ain eyes and heard them shouting out.

Hebrew word for ‘to know ‘ in Exodus 3:8 is ‘ ? ? ? yada` { yaw-dah ‘ } ‘ and it implies to cognize by experience ( Bible Work 7 ) . In other words, God who created the whole universe attentively ascertained and listened to slaves who were disregarded in this universe and he knew of their agony by experience. The God whom I believe in is non one who merely sits on a throne in Eden and is non concerned about what happens in this universe. But God in Christianity is the God who knows his people and has a close relationship with them.

Exodus narrative indicates that God is purposeful, powerful, and crowned head in relation to this universe. He has a program for the history of the existence, which is to salvage his people from wickednesss, and in put to deathing it he governs and controls wholly created universe. He is all powerful so he can non be bound by any of the restrictions of infinite or clip that apply to us and he is ever present everyplace.

Personally, God has been at that place in many signifiers for me. All of these properties can be found in many parts of my personal experience with God. I have experienced God of Immanuel, who has been with me ever. Jesus came to this universe as Immanuel ( Mt. 1:23 ) and his last words before he ascended into Eden was besides Immanuel, “I am with you ever, to the really terminal of the age“ ( Mt. 28:20 ) . When I decided to travel to seminary in Korea to be a curate, I rejoiced in assurance because God was there with me. When I went to Korean Army, I endured the hard clip because God was there with me. When I came to America entirely for farther survey, I did non fear to populate in a unusual land because God was there with me ever. Throughout my life, the one thing that I am certain is that God has been ever with me and loves me, who am the weakest among all.

2. What is your apprehension of immorality as it exists in the universe?

First of wholly, as Augustine said in his article, ‘On the nature of good‘ , I believe that ‘God is good and every creative activity is good ‘ ( Augustine, Chapter 34 ) . And every animal came to be by God without exclusion. Then how do we explicate the beginning of immorality from the perfect good Godhead? In respect to the affair of the beginning of immorality, I am of the same sentiment with Augustine.

Evil is deficiency of some good things. As it throws a shadow over us when we turn against the Sun, evil originate from a deficiency of goodness of God.

I believe that God is the perfect Creator. One of the perfect things God created was adult male. Adam and Eve who were the perfect animal of God had a pick to follow God or to travel against God. Without free will to take, neither good nor evil could hold been chosen. If adult male is of all time to take good, he must hold the freedom to take evil every bit good. Therefore, God did non make immoralities but perfect freedom to take and human freely chose immoralities. After Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, evil became a world in this universe.

In his Book, ‘the City of God‘ , Augustine recognized that immorality in this universe and goodness of God ‘s Kingdom co-exist on the Earth throughout its history. However, Augustine believed that God would eventually turn evil in this universe into goodness of God ‘s Kingdom ( Augustine, Chapter 13.4 ) . By the original wickedness, I believe, all of us fell down from the image of God and evil came to predominate in us. However God besides prepared the manner through which we can be restored to God ‘s Image and be saved from our wickednesss. The lone manner of redemption is Jesus Christ.

3. What is your apprehension of humanity, and the human demand for godly grace?

On the last twenty-four hours of creative activity, God said, “Let us do adult male in our image, after our similitude“ ( Gen. 1:26 ) . The image of God refers to the immaterial portion of adult male. We were created to be set apart for God ( Gen 1:28 ) . He enabled us to commune with God. We were created in similitude mentally, morally, and socially. When we were created in God ‘s image, we were intended to go God ‘s agent so that we can take attention of the universe ( Gen. 1:26,28 ) .

However, Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God. And they became alienated from the Creator. That historic event brought all world under godly disapprobation. Human nature became corrupt, and hence, wholly unable to delight God. Before Adam and Eve sinned, they both had direct contact and family with God. But as a consequence of offending against God, Adam and Eve lost it all. They were both banished out of the garden, God pronounced a expletive on them and their posterities and on the Earth in general. Death entered into the large image and all of us are born into this universe with iniquitous nature.

In his love and grace, God made a program to salvage us. In Ephesians 2:4-7, Apostle Paul tells us that “God made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in evildoings“ . We can non get the better of our iniquitous nature and decease but, through Jesus Christ, God had already made proviso for us to be saved. By religion through grace, we can be saved ( Eph. 2:8-9 ) . Jesus Christ is the grace of God who showed us the manner of redemption. By deceasing on the cross, Jesus paid the full and complete monetary value for our wickednesss so that we do non hold to pay for it. The lone manner of redemption is by religion through Jesus Christ. And even the religion we have comes from God. Therefore our redemption is wholly the work of God. Whoever believes in Jesus Christ will be saved by the grace of God.

4. How do you construe the statement “ Jesus Christ is Lord ” ?

The nazarene“ is our Lord ‘s homo and personal name, intending savior. “Jesus“ is our Lord ‘s official rubric. It is the Grecian equivalent word for the Hebrew “ Messiah, ” intending the Anointed One.

The statement “ Jesus Christ is Lord ” implies the belief that Jesus who was born of the Virgin Mary is our Jesus who redeems us from our wickednesss. In other words, to accept Jesus Christ as Lord means to accept two natures in Jesus Christ ; the nature of deity and the nature humanity. Jesus Christ is to the full human and to the full God at the same clip. Being of these two different natures in Jesus Christ is important because that affairs to redemption.

The philosophy of the virgin birth is really of import ( Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:27, 34 ) . Jesus ‘ birth was the consequence of the Holy Spirit working within Mary ‘s organic structure. Mary was a ‘vessel ‘ God used to execute the miracle of the Incarnation. Denying a physical connexion between Mary and Jesus would connote that Jesus was non genuinely human. Bible teaches us that Jesus was to the full human with a physical organic structure like ours. Jesus was to the full God every bit good as he is to the full human with an ageless and impeccant nature ( John 1:14, Acts 20:28, Hebrews 2:14-17 ) . Jesus was non born with iniquitous nature. The virgin birth circumvented the transmittal of the iniquitous nature and allowed the ageless God to go a perfect adult male.

The divinity of Christ is the cardinal belief of Christianity every bit good as Jesus ‘ humanity. The bible clearly claimed that Jesus had the right to forgive wickednesss, which is something merely God can make ( Mark 2:5-7, Acts 5:31, Colossians 3:13 ) . Jesus was besides said to be the 1 who will “ judge the life and the dead ” ( 2 Timothy 4:1 ) as an ultimate justice of this universe. Apostle Paul called Jesus “ great God and Savior ” ( Titus 2:13 ) , and pointed out Jesus ‘ being in the signifier of God prior to his embodiment ( Philippians 2:5-8 ) . In John 1:1, divinity of Christ is clarified as the same God with Father, “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God“ ( John 1:1 ) . John here affirms both the divinity of Christ and the Trinity. Jesus is God who incarnated in human flesh, the life Word of God.

5. What is your construct of the activity of the Holy Spirit in personal religion, in the community of trusters, and in responsible life in the universe?

The Holy Spirit is the 3rd individual of the triune God. The Holy Spirit is God in the same manner that the Father is God and the Son is God. Bible and the church tradition, including Nicene Creed ( “We believe in the Holy Spiritwho proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father andtheSon is worshiped and glorified“ ) , indicates that the Holy Spirit, known besides as the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Jesus Christ, is of the same kernel as the Father and the Son.

The Holy Spirit worked at the beginning of a church. Apostle Paul indicated an being of a church as the Spirit baptized organic structure of Christ ( 1 Cor. 12:13 ) . And the 1 who leads us to go a new creative activity in Christ through worship is the Spirit of God ( Eph. 2:18, Phil. 3:3 ) . Each local assemblage is a portion of this one universal believing community as a organic structure of Christ, and as Christ ‘s agent the Holy Spirit leads and steer us to turn into Christlike adulthood and carry through God ‘s mission ( Eph. 4:11-16 ) .

The Spirit besides works in a life of an single truster. The Holy Spirit convicts lost people with regard to transgress, righteousness, and judgement and by God ‘s power repentant and believing psyches are saved. In sanctification, Holy Spirit indwells the Christian as one grows in the similitude of Christ and in his service. Scriptures tells us the Spirit who works throughout our journey of redemption. The Spirit leads us to atone our wickednesss ( John 16:7 ) , makes us born once more ( John 3:3-5 ) . And the Spirit empowers us to convey sanctity in our life and helps us to bear fruits in our life ( Galatians 5:22-23 ) .

6. What is your apprehension of the land of God ; the Resurrection ; ageless life?

As the Psalmist confessed, “Your Kingdom is an ageless land, and your rule endures through all coevalss‘ ( Ps. 145:13 ) , I believe that God is the male monarch of his compact people. And as Apostles ‘ Creed ( “from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead“ ) and the Nicene Creed ( “He will come once more in glorification to judge the life and the dead“ ) said, I believe that Christ will be our ultimate justice at the last twenty-four hours and God will reign over the whole universe. As the Nicene Creed stated coming of God ‘s Kingdom ( “his land will hold no terminal ”) , there must be the coming land of God in the hereafter in which God ‘s reign affects the whole universe.

However, the Kingdom of God is more than a vision of coming God ‘s reign in the hereafter. The land of God speaks of a present world though non in entireness and a hereafter consequence where the reign of God over all of creative activity will be perfected and made whole. In Luke 17:20-21, Jesus responds to a Pharisee who asked when the land of God would come, “The land of Goddoes noncome with your careful observation, nor will people state here it isor there it isbecause the land of God is within you. ” Equally good as we experience coming of God ‘s reign over the universe in the hereafter, we will see the Kingdom of God here and now although it is a foretastes of the comprehensiveness of God ‘s Kingdom.

The Resurrection of Christ on the 3rd twenty-four hours after his crucifixion and his Ascension to be with God until He comes once more for the concluding clip of judgement besides marks the way of all those who claim religion in Christ. At the clip when the Good News of Jesus Christ spreads to the whole states, he will certainly come to the universe once more ( Mt. 24:14 ) from the Eden in a cloud with power and glorification ( 1 Thessalonians 4:16 ) . At that clip people who accepted Jesus Christ as their Jesus will be risen from the dead ( 1 Thessalonians 4:15-16 ) . Christ ‘s Resurrection marked Christ ‘s triumph over wickedness and decease both physically and spiritually, we excessively as Christians who bear the Markss of Christ gain the right to hold the same triumph both physically and spiritually.

Ageless life is the end merchandise of our resurrected psyches. As the Apostles ‘ Creed ( “the life everlasting“ ) and the Nicene Creed ( “the life of the universe to come“ ) insisted, I believe that those who have been saved by Christ will portion the joy of ageless family with Christ. Heaven means ageless joy in Christ and those who reject Christ will be judged to the ageless disapprobation.

7. Explain the function and significance of baptism in the ministry to which you have been called.

Sacraments are Acts of the Apostless instituted by Christ and administered by a church holding an outward signifier and conveying God ‘s grace. Baptism is one of two United Methodist sacraments the other is the Lord ‘s Supper. These sacraments are agencies of grace within the compact community. They are seeable marks and seals of something internal and unseeable and the agencies by which God works in us through the power of the Holy Spirit.

The biblical manner of baptism is found in the New Testament. It records that Jesus was baptized by John ( Mt. 3:13-17 ) , and he commanded his adherents to learn and baptise in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit ( Mt. 28:19 ) . Whoever accepts Jesus Christ as their Jesus is eligible to be baptized. Baptism conveys God ‘s grace that redeems us from our wickednesss through the expiation of Christ. Therefore, baptizing of a individual, whether as an baby or an grownup, is a mark of God ‘s salvaging grace. In baptism, we witness that God ‘s grace is poured upon everybody regardless of their status.

Even though baptism is the particular channel through which we experience God ‘s grace of the expiation of Christ, baptism does non vouch our redemption. As John Wesley insisted in his discourse, “Scripture Way of Salvation“ , redemption is a womb-to-tomb procedure of reacting to God ‘s grace. By being baptized, we become a covenant people of God who have a promise that the Holy Spirit will work in our lives. However, redemption is non automatically obtained by baptism but by accepting Christ as our Jesus, trust in Christ and turn in sanctity to be near unto God.

Baptism represents an act of induction for Christian trusters into the Church. By being baptized, we make a compact of relationship between God and besides between folds in a church. As baptised Christians, we join the cosmopolitan church and do a promise our trueness as the organic structure of Christ.

8. Explain the function and significance of the Lord ‘s Supper in the ministry to which you have been called.

God provides us assorted ways in which we can turn in God ‘s grace. The Lord ‘s Supper, besides known as Communion, or Eucharist, is one of the Christ ‘s gifts to the church, in which we experience God ‘s grace. Following Jesus ‘ illustration and direction, when the church celebrates the Lord ‘s Supper we receive gifts of staff of life and vino. In this sacrament, we celebrate our family with Christ and with each other.

The invitation to the Table comes from the risen and present Christ. In United Methodist, whoever loves him, repents their wickednesss, and seeks to populate as a Christian adherent is invited to take part in the Lord ‘s Supper. By reacting to this invitation we affirm and intensify our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

It is non easy to understand how staff of life and vino become Jesus ‘ organic structure and blood in the Lord ‘s Supper. So it is enigma. Some churches insist that the Lord ‘s Supper is simply a commemoration of Christ ‘s forfeit and a mark of Christian family. Some churches including historic Reformed churches insist that staff of life and vino in Communion conveys a alone religious power although Christ ‘s organic structure ascended into Eden. Lutheran churches insist that Christ ‘s existent organic structure is present with the elements of staff of life and vino. And the Roman Catholic churches insist that even the kernel of staff of life and vino are changed into Christ ‘s true organic structure and blood, with keeping their physical world persisting ( transubstantiation ) . United Methodist believes that the existent presence of Christ is communicated to the trusters.

To take part in the Lord ‘s Supper is non simply to remember the event 2000 old ages ago. But when we receive bread and wine with religion, it becomes dynamic action within us and we experience the grace of organic structure and blood of Christ which is re-presented to us in the Lord ‘s Supper. The past event of our Lord ‘s decease, Resurrection and Ascension comes into the present so that its power one time once more touches us, changes us, and heals us.

We gather at the tabular array with joy. Our feeding and imbibing is a jubilation of our risen Lord. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Christ is present with us at the tabular array and so we give joyful thanks for what God has done and is making in our lives and in the universe. We come to the tabular array in hope. We look frontward with joyful expectancy to the coming reign of God.

9. How make you mean to confirm, Teach and use Part II of the Discipline ( Doctrinal Standards and Our Theological Task ) in your work in the ministry to which you have been called?

What we believe as Christians affairs. What we believe Tells us who we are. Part II ofthe Book of Disciplinecontains Methodist heritage in religion and divinity and bosom of Methodist philosophies. In other words, Part II ofthe Book of DisciplineTells us who we are as Christians, peculiarly Methodists. It is of import for Methodist churchs to analyze this in order for us to hold a clear apprehension of our heritage, philosophy, and the religion we profess together. Our Christian religion is built on tradition which male parents in religion handed over to us. We will besides add our profession of religion upon it and turn it over to the following coevals. Therefore, as a curate, to take people into right way to Christian religion by confirming and learning what we believe and who we are is important.

In order to carry through this mission, I will prophesy the Gospel verified in our tradition and divinity. A curate should non prophesy the Gospel harmonizing to his or her ain divinity but we should profess communal religion built upon tradition. Through sermon and little group survey, I will learn Methodist heritage. To larn who our male parents of religion were and what they believed will assist us to cognize our individuality and to understand the topographic point where I am now. On the footing of our tradition, we should make our best to go forth our footprints so that our kids can see and follow religion of their parents and travel in the right way. To go forth footprints of our religion is to learn our kids and demo them how to populate out what we profess in our lives. I will learn our kids the Methodist heritage and philosophy in Sunday School at a degree they can understand.

10. The United Methodist Church holds that the life nucleus of the Christian religion was revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal experience, and confirmed by ground. What is your apprehension of this theological place of the Church?

The Bible is the primary beginning of Christian religion. It is clear that the Scripture is the primary vehicle by which we grow in religion. The Bible has great authorization in instruction and steering us in faithful life and right apprehension as to the nature of God and humanity. All the Bible is God-breathed ( 2 Timothy 3:16 ) . When we read the bible, the Holy Spirit guides us to happen the truth which illuminates our life.

Church tradition is an of import pattern for theological contemplation and reading of the Scripture. Christian religion has built upon our ascendants ‘ confessions of religion for a long period of clip, and that formed church tradition. Tradition is a beginning of authorization and a lens through which Scripture is interpreted inside it.

Experience is an of import pattern for Christian religion because the Bible and divinity must be understood on the footing of our experiences. Communal experience within a faith community helps us to understand God ‘s word toward us here and now.

Reason is used to analyze genuineness of theological contemplation and an reading of the Bible. By ground we ask inquiries of religion and seek to understand God ‘s action and will. However, ground as a pattern for Christian religion does non intend to hold a bad idea but it indicates to gestate under the counsel of the Holy Spirit.

Wesley ‘s four-sided indicates the importance of cheques and balances between four patterns. To concentrate upon one pattern brings danger to a church to lose its balance and have a extremist position on Christian religion. Therefore, to maintain the balance between these four patterns, with keeping primacy of the Bible, is important.

11. Describe the nature and mission of the Church. What are its primary undertakings today?

In respect to the nature of the church, I agree with the Nicene Creed which describes the church as “one sanctum Catholic and apostolic. ” The church, in this instance, intending cosmopolitan Christian church, is one in Christ. The church issanctumso it is called apart from the secular universe. Although merely the portion of sanctity is seen at the church in the present clip, we will see the comprehensiveness of sanctity at the clip of coming of Christ in the terminal. The Church isuniversalfor all people. As it is written in 1 Cor. 12:27, Church is likened to the Body of Christ whereby the coming together of the assorted parts form one perfect and organic organic structure with Christ as the caput. This analogy means that the church will encompass both the comprehensiveness of Christian instruction and the diverseness of people who make up the church and map as the each parts of the organic structure. The church isapostolicso it stands in continuity with the apostolic informant.

I believe that the mission of the church can be found atthe Twenty-five Articles of Religionwhich indicates three necessary elements of the church: religion ( “fold of faithful work forces“ ) , prophesying ( “ inwhich the pure Word of God is preached“ ) and sacrament ( “and the Sacrament duly administered“ ) ( 13th Article of Religion, 1784 ) . The church is the assemblage of people of religion, distributing the Good News of Jesus Christ, and administers sacraments.

The ultimate end of the church should be to do people adherents of Jesus Christ. Through sermon, instruction, worship, and nurturing, the Church is God ‘s appointed vehicle whereby others can be disciplined and see the grace in which we stand as the organic structure of Christ.

The primary undertaking of the Church today is to be a true mission church. As the organic structure of Christ, edge to God and to one another through Christ, church ever lives in a community. To lose dynamic being of a church means to lose its critical power. A portion which is non united with the whole is useless. For that ground, a local church should be connected with people and groups around it and be united with the cosmopolitan church spiritually. If a church is connected and united, it should be transformative. If a church has a critical organic power, it will transform the universe in which they live as a life works bears fruits. God being connected to us came down in the signifier of flesh to brood among us. Jesus ‘ ministry was to prophesy the Good News and to populate out the message of love with people around him. The church that truly impacts people ‘s life is the church that knows people around her, portions joys and sorrows of the people, and give them trust in Jesus Christ.

12. Describe your apprehension of the primary features of United Methodist civil order.

First, the system, known as “ itinerancy ” , is the most distinguishing characteristic of Methodism. In many civil orders curates are “ called ” , but in Methodist civil order they are “ sent ” . One effect of this system is that local folds are by and large receptive to whoever curate is sent. This gives ministry an nonsubjective quality that is non dependent on the personal characters of persons or the outlooks of parishes. One of the most valuable effects of this civil order is the comparative success that United Methodist Church has had in puting adult females and minorities in parish state of affairs.

Second, United Methodist Church determines church policy in conferences, which map as deliberative organic structures. There are several degrees of such conferences. The one-year conference is the basic corporate organic structure of which the primary map is to link local churches to one another. All ordinations take topographic point at the one-year conference. The highest deliberative organic structure in Methodism is the General Conference. The conference legislates general policy for the church as a whole. The one-year conferences are grouped geographically into the jurisdictional conference, of which there are soon five in the US. Cardinal conferences are concerned with the work of the church outside the US. Churches within a specific country of an one-year conference may piece in territory conferences. Annual meetings among local folds or groups of contingent folds, to which a member of an one-year conference is assigned, are known as charge conference.

Third, one of the alone characteristics of Methodist administration is a construction of official leading through which the supervisory map takes topographic point. The executive map of the bishop includes a figure of powers-particularly associated with the assignment of clergy to charges. The bishop works through territory overseers. They act as affairs between the local parishes and the bishop. The several territory overseers in a conference are called the bishop ‘s cabinet. The territory overseer presides at the charge conferences.

Fourth, an engagement of ballad people in the deliberative and legislative organic structures of the church has been of import. Administration in modern-day Methodism is a shared duty of clergy and ballad people. Lay sermonizers and ballad leaders continue to work in local churches.

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