Bible Studies/Holy Bible Teachings.
1. Do you agree on this point mentioned below ?
The teachings of the Holy Bible - New Testament summary would be
Love, Compassion, Brotherhood and Peace.
2. The five qualities mentioned viz Hate, Jealousy, Greed, Lust and
Anger are obstacles for showing Love, Compassion, Brotherhood and Peace. i.e. Every Human Being (Man or Woman) has these qualities
in percentage (%), for example some may have less jealousy, hatred, greed, lust but anger could be more.
Do you feel if a Human Being overcomes, controls and manage these
qualities, this could lead to Love, Brotherhood, Compassion and Peace universally ?
Can you please share me with your views on this ?
Awaiting your reply,
Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar
It’s good to hear from you again, and to receive another question from you.
The summary you give—love, compassion, brotherhood and peace—are, of course, taught in the Bible and are high on the list of Christian behavior. (Compare: 2 Peter 1:5-9)
But the summary of the Bible—especially the New Testament—runs far deeper than that. I'm afraid you're talking merely about the symptoms of a much more basic teaching—A BELIEF THAT THE SACRIFICE AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST, ON THE CROSS OF CALVARY TO SAVE ALL MEN FROM ETERNAL DEATH—UNDERLIES EVERY OTHER BIBLE BELIEF.
Actually, while the virtues you mention are extolled in the Bible, they are not the important central theme. The central theme of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments—but more clearly understood in the New Testament—is this: everybody sins (Romans 3:23); and sin has caused the human race to pass the point of no return—human beings have committed crimes against Heaven which, though seemingly trivial to us, would shut us out of paradise. (Romans 6:23) The only thing God could do would be to destroy all sinners and scrap Planet Earth.
But God loves us because He created us, and we are His children. His heart is breaking because we’ve backed ourselves into a such a corner that even God can’t rescue us.
And yet, God loved us more than He loved His own life. If His earthly children couldn’t be in Heaven with Him He wouldn’t ever be really happy….
The One God of the Bible is actually made up of three persons (that’s another study)—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Son of God decided that He would save mankind by becoming a man Himself, and accepting our death sentence, and die for us. Then all who, by faith, accepted Him as their Savior would be saved in His Kingdom.
So, the most important theme in the Bible is how the Son of God taught mankind what He would do, and how He saved all those who believed in Him from their sins. He used the Sanctuary service, in the Old Testament, to teach them, and those who were searching for God and for relief from sin, understood the symbolism. They accepted God’s sacrifice and were recorded in Heaven among those who would be taken into God’s Kingdom. (The sanctuary service is another study).
The work of the Son of God for man’s salvation was the real reason God chose to produce the Bible. This book recorded God’s relationship with those who accepted the Son as their Savior.
Even more important is the understanding that God took upon Himself the punishment for the sins of the world. God paid the price for our salvation—both mine and yours and everybody on the planet who would believe on Him (John 3:16)—by taking upon Himself man’s sins and dying for us in order to give us eternal life in Paradise.
Notice these key texts that condense the theme of the Bible into just a few verses:
Phil. 2:5-8 “…Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
The four gospels detail the life of Christ from four different points of view. The epistles of Paul—Romans to Hebrews—have, as their basic theme, that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah predicted in the Old Testament. Paul then proceeds to explain how this fact affects us who believe in Him.
“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.” Galatians 2:20
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10:
Here in Ephesians we see where the works come in. We are saved by the grace of God through faith. Nothing we can do can ever save us from sin and give us a right to enter God’s Kingdom. Christ did all that for us when He died on the cross. And we receive His gift by faith—believing that He actually DID THIS FOR US, and by ASKING HIM TO APPLY HIS DEATH TO OUR ACCOUNT.
Because of what He did, Christ will forgive our sins (1 John 1:9) and we will be accepted before the Father as though we had never sinned. More than this, Christ changes our lives so that the lives we live will no longer be chained to sinful habits. Then we will be free to live a life of joy and peace.
It is possible by the sheer force of the will to change bad habits and attitudes for a time. But unless we have taken them to Christ and received the victory that HE ALONE can give, we will be overcome by them again, in the end. ONLY THROUGH CHRIST can we receive the power to live a life that will produce the kinds of actions and attitudes that bring forth the life that you described.
The virtues of love, compassion, brotherhood and peace will begin to show in the lives of those who have accepted Christ as their personal Savior. And as they grow and mature in their relationship with Him, these things will blossom into a blessing for all mankind.
“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22, 23
I recommend that you read the book Steps to Christ in order to get a better understanding of the centrality of Christ in the Bible.
Thurman C. Petty, Jr.
PS. Here are three paragraphs that say, in better language, what I’ve been trying to say. They come from a little book named, Steps to Christ, pages 62, 63, by Ellen G. White. She wrote this in about 1889, and, to my mind, this has never been equaled by any theologian or preacher since that time.
“The condition of eternal life is now just what it always has been,--just what it was in Paradise before the fall of our first parents—perfect obedience to the law of God, perfect righteousness. If eternal life were granted on any condition short of this, then the happiness of the whole universe would be imperiled. The way would be open for sin, with all its train of woe and misery, to be immortalized.
“It was possible for Adam, before the fall, to form a righteous character by obedience to God’s law. But he failed to do this, and because of his sin our natures are fallen and we cannot make ourselves righteous. Since we are sinful, unholy, we cannot perfectly obey the holy law. We have no righteousness of our own with which to meet the claims of the law of God. But Christ has made a way of escape for us. He lived on earth amid trials and temptations such as we have to meet. He lived a sinless life. He died for us, and now He offers to take our sins and give us His righteousness. If you give yourself to Him, and accept Him as your Savior, then, sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ’s character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned.
“More than this, Christ changes the heart. He abides in your heart by faith. You are to maintain this connection with Christ by faith and the continual surrender of your will to Him; and so long as you do this, He will work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure.”
IN YOUR SECOND QUESTION YOU ASKED:
What could be the reasons that we as common people cannot perform the miracles performed by the Lord Jesus Christ ?
Is it because of the following reasons ?
1. The Lord Jesus Christ had Love, Compassion, Brotherhood, Charity, Peace, Showing Mercy, Kindness and so many other noble qualities which we as common people do not possess.
2. The Lord Jesus Christ didn't have any of the evil qualities viz Greed, Lust, Jealousy, Anger, Hatred which lead to the commission of sins in our lives.
3. We, as common people, are born with worldly tendencies viz money, material etc., but the Lord Jesus Christ was not bounded by those worldly things.
While your statements are all partly true, they do not solve the problem entirely. The situation of the world is one of SIN, a criminal action and mindset that is punishable by Death. There is no way out of this condition by our own thoughts, words, or actions. We are lost irrevocably, with no opportunity for parole.
But Jesus, the Son of God took upon Himself the body of a man. He had the possibility of falling into sin, and surrounded by the people steeped in the “leprosy” of sin, He lived a sinless life. At the end, when He was about to be executed, He took upon Himself the sins of all mankind—past, present (in His day), and future to the end of time (including our day). I don’t know how He lived through it (at one time an angel went to Him and sustained Him), but He went to the cross. All the while, He voluntarily went forward, accepting the abuse from the hands of people whom He created! By His own testimony, He could have at any moment called for myriads of angels to rescue Him and destroy the world. (see Matthew 26:52, 53)
But He loved us—even those who scourged Him and nailed Him to the cross. In fact He said, through all His pain, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
He died on the cross, and they took Him down and buried Him in a rich man’s tomb. On the third day, He rose again. 40 days later, after He had been seen by many people—at one time upwards of 500 people. (1 Cor. 15:6) He ascended into the clouds and into Heaven. (Acts 1:8-11)
Jesus told His disciples that they would be able to do miracles in their work of carrying the gospel to the world. (Mark 16:15-18) So there’s no real reason why the same miracles Jesus performed couldn’t be performed by any of Christ’s modern day disciples—Christians. But this requires faith:
…"If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you. (Luke 17:6)
So the most likely reason we don’t see miracles today like Christ performed is that none of His present-day disciples have “miracle performing faith.” (However, there is a growing amount of evidence that many miracles do happen, but not in the open way that Jesus did them. Today miracles usually happen in small groups as the result of special prayer for the afflicted one.)
Prashant, stop trying to reason out what man can or cannot do—it’s fruitless for, as you can see, the only way for man to be saved at all is to believe in Jesus as our Savior. Instead, spend your time and energies in studying the Bible for yourself, looking for the answer to your questions, and for how and why Christ died for our sins.
God bless you in your quest for truth.
Thurman C. Petty, Jr.