Christianity -- Christian Living/Truths of God
Graig, I loved your answer on marriage, and I see where you say you have a gift to see things uniquely about the Bible. So, here's a question for you: I see these things as TRUTHS today: (1 Most think it's easy to be saved. You know, even Billy Graham said 80% of all church members aren't saved. I agree. (2 Something tells me we are really getting "close" to Jesus' return, so we all need to be part of God's "pouring out of His spirit" more than ever.People have their head in the sand about this. (3 The Church today is probably at its worst right now. They have let the Devil into most of them now. And (4 the Bible is really hard to understand at times. God did this on purpose to make us ask Him for many of the answers. If it was all there in black and white, it would be too easy. What is your opinion of these truths Graig?
Thanks for the compliment.
Your first point depends on how you understand salvation. Does it involve following a few steps and then we are saved? Does it involve reciting some scripture and praying, and were saved? What is it exactly that saves us?
You might say, well, it's Jesus, and you would be correct. However, Jesus has been gone in a flash for over 2000 years. So, it must be something about Jesus and his life. The question you must ask is, where is Jesus now? Is he simply sitting on a throne somewhere at the right hand of God, or something far more meaningful and awesome?
First a little background. Based on years of study, thought, and my education, it is my understanding that God is everything. There is nothing that is not him. Since this is the case, everything must be an expression of him. And that includes plants, animals, and us. I think this is what Jesus worked very hard to get us to understand. Do you remember, when Philip asks Jesus to "show us the father and will be satisfied." What was Jesus answer?
"I am the way, the truth, and the life, " Jesus answered. No one goes to the Father except through me. If you had come to know me, then you would have come to know the Father as well. From now on, you will come to know Him: you have seen Him."
Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and that'll be enough for us!"
Jesus replied, "I have been with you so long and you haven't come to know me, Philip! How can you say, "show us the Father?" Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I say are not on my own initiative, because it is the father, who stays in me who does His work! Believe me when I say that I am in the father and the father is in me: or at least believe because of the very deeds themselves! In fact, whoever believes me will do the deeds that I do, and will actually do greater deeds then these, because I'm going to the Father. And the things you ask in my name, I will do, so that honor is brought to the Father by means of the Son. Whatever you ask me in my name, I will certainly do."
The source New Testament.
I truly believe that Jesus was explaining that he is an expression of the father. He goes on to explain that we are also expressions of the father. He is the vine , and we are the branches. If we remain in him, we are like him in every way. Because of that,we are also one with the father. If this is the case, then it is the realization of the life within this, that brings about the new birth.
Jesus said, if you follow my example and do what I say, you can do the same things that I do, and even greater things, because I'm going to the father. Do you realize that that could not happen unless we have the potential for it to happen? There would have to be a spark within us that is ignited when we realize our relationship to God.
All that to say, that I believe salvation is the realization of the life of Christ on the inside of us. Potential has to be there, or it could not happen. The belief that Jesus life is on the inside of us changes us to become godlike. We begin to see the relationship with our father just as Jesus did. We are saved because the life of Christ is on the inside of us. A tree produces fruit in kind. That life on the inside of us will also produce fruit in kind. Once we understand this, we realize that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
Jesus realized that he would not be alive in the flesh forever. He could however share the realization that just like him, each of us have this Christlike life. If we believe in it, and nurture it, it animates us in a very real way so that our character matches that of God. This agrees with the well-known principle in psychology that what we focus on, we become.
I think the church is in trouble for a number of reasons. One is, that what they have to offer doesn't meet the needs of the people of today. Many people see church as just a religion, instead of a wonderful, dramatic change in a person's life. I think another reason the church is in trouble, is because they're busy doing what only God can do. No one can change another person. All they can do is be an example for them to follow. Of course people want to share the good news, but beyond that, it's in God's hands. Finally, I think there's a misunderstanding about what God is doing in man. I believe the church has not done a very good job of explaining that, or at least sharing it as it truly is. For this reason, many turn away from the church, thus throw the baby out with the bathwater. We must learn to let our light shine, so that others can see it and choose it for themselves. We do that by lighting one candle and sharing that flame. As each of us do that, we spread the good news that Jesus is on the inside of them too, if they only believe. Now that life can change them like it changes us. But, we must always keep in mind that it is God who does the changing.
I truly believe that some concepts in the Bible are hidden from some people until they can understand what's being said. That might take some study, thinking, and asking both God and others. Eventually, that truth or principle can truly become alive in them. For that reason, to some, it seems like the Bible is hard to understand.
In my own life experience, it's taken years of study, thought, and simply interacting with other people to understand some of the deep principles that the Bible presents. One of my gifts is intuition so that helps.
I realize that what I had to share with you is not common among the answers you would receive. I believe, if you think about it. You will see that it is true. If you have any further questions or clarifications on what I said, please write again.
Thank you for letting me share.