While in seminary I had to take two classes on Systematic Theology. Systematic One was a breeze. The professor had a passion for God’s Word, a superb ability to teach and an open personality. If you were struggling, He was easy to approach and would explain the material in a new way that might help you understand. He was also willing to listen to your thoughts on the Scriptures.
Systematic Two was a more difficult class. It came with a more opinionated Professor. I remember one particular assignment vividly. We were told to write about God’s single most important quality as it relates to salvation. The He said, “and if you don’t write about ‘God is Love’ then you better have original documents to back you up.” It was a little intimidating. Needless to say it helped me develop the opinion that I have today.
I don’t believe that God has a single most important quality. At minimum it seems to me that God must have two most important qualities for my salvation to be possible. God is Love. God is Holy. He must utilize both of these characteristics in order to save us. Without love for us why would He desire to see us know Him. But without His Holiness, Jesus would not be the perfect sacrifice. If we want to live a life of purpose we must strive to be loving and holy. Without love, people won’t care what we say. Without a life that matches what we say, people won’t believe us. Love and holiness matter to God. Over the next few days we’ll take a look at developing these two characteristics. Not that we will have become perfect, but that we will strive to be more like Jesus. He is the greatest example of a life lived with purpose.