Concept of “Burden” in the OT and NT Greek Scriptures with Some Insights into the Apostolic Fathers: Part 1

Consider with me in the next several posts a question and the development of an answer to this question: What is the “burden” of God throughout the biblical narrative?

  • From the beginning, we learn that God desired to reveal his glory and goodness to and through the creation, especially to and through humans.
  • Following the Fall of Humanity and Creation, God’s heart continues to be the revelation of his glory and goodness to and through creation as is exhibited in his redemptive plan that involves the restoration of a chosen people for himself and the restoration of the entire creation and in his judgment upon and victory over the enemies of creation—the devil, sin, and death—as well as any part of creation that aligns itself with these enemies.
  • Therefore, God’s “burden” for the Christian is the consistent experience of a life redeemed, which is made possible by the power of the Holy Spirit who applies to us the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus who experienced the glory and goodness of God through suffering and on into resurrection.
  • Thus, God’s “burden” upon Christians for the world is that we invite men, women, boys, and girls to experience the glory and goodness of God by participating in the redeemed life through faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • This “burden” upon individual Christians as well as local church communities may be “received,” “carried,” “serviced” and “offered” in various ways according to God’s will, but will always maintain the essence of the previous statements.
  • Life under this “burden” cannot be reactionary or “on the spot” performance, for one will always find the “burden” too heavy when crises arise. Rather, the life under the “burden” must be consistently shaped and prepared by the grace available to us in spiritual practices and disciplines of devotion and worship [this is a concept communicated by Dallas Willard in The Spirit of the Disciplines].

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