The benediction for the EKKlesia writings are Shalom and Coram Deo meaning peace and living before the face of God. In this brief article, the Latin Term “Coram Deo” will be defined and some answers to the question of how we shall live will be discussed.
I have selected an excerpt from an article by R.C. Sproul, a reformed Theologian, from his Ligonier Ministries blog on, what does “coram Deo” mean? It opens with a childhood account of how his Mother used to say, “just what is the big idea, young man?” He goes on to say “… Recently a friend asked me in all earnestness the same question. He asked, “What’s the big idea of the Christian life?” He was interested in the overarching, ultimate goal of the Christian life. To answer his question, I fell back on the Theologians prerogative and gave him a Latin term. I said, “The big idea of the Christian life is coram Deo. Coram Deo captures the essence of the Christian life.” “This phrase literally refers to something that takes place in the presence of, or before the face of, God. To live coram Deo is to live one’s entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God. To live in the presence of God is to understand that whatever we are doing and wherever we are doing it, we are acting under the gaze of God. God is omnipresent. There is no place so remote that we can escape his penetrating gaze. To be aware of the presence of God is also to be acutely aware of his sovereignty. The uniform experience of the saints is to recognize that if God is God, then He is indeed sovereign. When Saul was confronted by the refulgent glory of the risen Christ on the road to Damascus, his immediate question was, “who is it, Lord?” He wasn’t sure who was speaking to him, but he knew that whomever it was, was certainly, sovereign over him. Living under divine sovereignty involves more than a reluctant submission to sheer sovereignty that is motivated out of a fear of punishment. It involves recognizing that there is no higher goal than offering honor to God. Our lives are to be living sacrifices, oblations offered in a spirit of adoration and gratitude”. (1)
In the Shalom article, it states that both Shalom and Coram Deo will highlight the vibrant and personal relationship lived with God and with each other. How the true born-again followers of Christ live their lives sets them apart from those who do not follow Him. There is a stark biblical distinction between darkness and light. Life is no longer lived on the low frequency of darkness but rather on the high frequency of light; becoming children of the light “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: We are not of the night nor of darkness.” (I Thessalonians 5:15 KJV).
Coram Deo is “light” living before the face of God or in the presence of light! God is light, his son Jesus Christ is the light of the world and Christians are, by faith in the risen savior, made to be the light of the world, also. So, to the reader, a lot more than we realize takes place when we repent and accept the finished work of Christ on the cross: Our life is lived in the light!
It is hard to grasp the weighty thought that we can live in our flesh and yet be acceptable to God, who is pure light without variableness or shadow of turning; and we can come into his Holy presence to worship him and have fellowship with him. Not only the fact that we can come but he invites us to come “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4: 16 KJV).
How is this possible? It is only possible through the transformation of the human heart and the rebirth of the spirit of mankind which was lost in the Garden of Eden. A broken relationship is now restored. As God came to Adam in the cool of the evening, He will come to us at unexpected times and unexpected places. His fellowship is spirit to spirit, our born-again spirit with his Eternal Spirit. Cherish his visits and do not take them for granted.
How shall we live? R.C. Sproul says, “To live coram Deo is to live one’s entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God.” To this I say AMEM!
Edward Donalson Jr.
CEO The EKKlesia, Inc.
(1) Ligonier Ministries Blog May 27, 2015