Wednesday, June 2, 2010

More Ramblings Today...

Here is some fun things to think about. I’ve read blogs that say you have to do certain things and you will be saved. I’ve done those things. As Paul said, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe with your heart, you will be saved.” Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father, but through Me.”Do I believe that Jesus is the only Way to God? Yes I do. I don’t think you can work your way to heaven no matter what religious affiliation you are. I do not believe there are many paths to God. (“No one comes to the Father but through Me.” Doesn’t sound very pluralistic to me.) John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but will have everlasting life.”

I’ve been baptized, identifying myself with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. I did it out of faith in Christ. He did it as an example, why shouldn’t I?

Repented? Yes. I have confessed my sins to God. I have given in to the love that God has for me. I have changed my way of thinking towards Christ.

But you know what? My faith isn’t in those things I’ve done above. My faith is in Christ. It’s so easy to lose sight of placing your faith in Christ and melting into justifying yourself by your religious acts.

Galatians 2:15-21 “We [who are] Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, [is] Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the [life] which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."

Galatians 3:1-3 “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”

Finally Paul asks the question, “[Is] the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.” Galatians 3:21-29

But then he concludes, “But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor [to bring us] to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you [are] Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Paul does mention baptism. But if Paul really thought that baptism was a major tenet, then why did he say in 1 Corinthians 1:17, 18 “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Prior to saying what Paul did he was addressing the divisions in the church. Apparently there were those that we developing little followings. We lose sight of Christ when we’re concerned more with how things are done and not concerned with loving those who need Jesus so desperately.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now abide faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

James said it, ‘If you love, you do well.’

John said it, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:8
Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

Paul also said, “For you, brethren, have be called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13 (This is not a coercion tactic. Paul was reinforcing the view that we are free from the law, now let us love one another as Christ loves us.)

Finally Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 4:9 “But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;”

Do I have a problem with baptism? No. Let us all be baptized and identify ourselves with Christ. Does that give me the right to assign someone to their little piece of hell if they don’t agree with me? NO! Let us love the unlovable, share hope with the hopeless, and share faith with the faithless.

Let God take care of the rest.

Be blessed. Be a blessing.


arlee bird said...

This is such a basic tenet that is so often overlooked due to all of the other rituals and rules of religion that are put above simply loving one another. This is what the anti-Christians use to condemn us.

Good inspiring post.



A wonderful post and read, very absorbing and uplifting to start my day,

Take care.

Bud Ezekiel H. said...

great post!

Lisa said...

Love really is the most important thing and to love the unlovable, the hardest (at least in my opinion). But we can do ALL things through Christ who gives us strength. Thanks for this post, Bro. It's a good one!