January 13, 2010

Are You Alive? Really?

"The glory of God is man fully alive."-St. Ireneus

Ireneus was one of the early church fathers who actually was a disciple of Polycarp who was a follower of the apostle John. Ireneus was a brilliant theologian who helped defend biblical faith in the 2nd century A.D. against heresies like Gnosticism.

The quote above is one of his most well known statements, & it predates guys like Piper & Tozer who picked up on some of the same ideas. So here's the thing: Are you alive? Based on this statement, we bring glory to God by being fully alive, but what does that mean? Let's be real; we could twist that statement to serve our own purposes. We could simply "follow our hearts" & say "I'm just living life to the fullest & that's what God wants for me." In fact, entire ministries are built on that way of thinking, but that's another post for another day. So the question still remains: Are you alive?

I would say that if you're "following your heart", it's the opposite of being fully alive. You're enslaved to your heart & your desires, & let's face it, our desires usually lead us to some pretty dark places. Here's what I think Ireneus meant: The glory of God is man fully alive, but the man fully alive is the man who glories in & brings glory to God.

We cannot be "fully alive" apart from pursuing a love relationship with God. We cannot have the full life that Jesus promises apart from putting our faith in Him & seeking to become more & more like Him. After all, Jesus' life is the pinnacle of glorying in & bringing glory to the Father.

So I ask you one question: Are you alive?

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