On Sunday, Pastor Jeremy pointed out that Paul had to wrestle with two primary questions in his early Christian state. Who are you Lord? and Who am I?
John Calvin begins his seminal work The Institutes of Christian Religion with this statement which runs along the same trajectory, “Nearly all wisdom we possess, that is to say, true and sound wisdom, consists of two parts: the knowledge of God and of ourselves”
What do you think of this statement? How do you wrestle with these questions? Is the order of God then self interchangeable or important?
What is the benefit of being aware of, and contemplating our weaknesses?
Pastor Jeremy said, “Our meditation should lead us to contemplation of our weaknesses,God's strength, and the grace of Christ.” How does this happen for you? What is the result in your faith journey?
Calvin was clear that this was part of the “knowledge of self”, but the knowledge of self he was talking about was, “what we must know is our “shaming nakedness” which exposes “a teeming horde of infirmities.” Knowledge of self is indispensable because from “the feeling of our own ignorance, vanity, poverty, infirmity” we can recognize “that the true light of wisdom, sound virtue, full abundance of every good, and purity of righteousness rest in the Lord alone.” The goal is not to discern our personality type or figure out our giftedness or get in touch with our past, though all of these have their place. For Calvin, knowledge of self is essential because we will only begin to seek after God when “we begin to become displeased with ourselves.”
How have you experienced God using community to support you in your weakness, build you up in faith, and equip you for further ministry? How have you done this for someone else in Christian community? This is the Barnabas effect.
Jot down one or two things you will bring into your personal time with God from this discussion.
What is one way your actions this week will be driven by this discussion?