Sunday, July 31, 2011

In Three Ways

Recently I had been thinking of John 14:6 where Jesus proclaims to be “the way, the truth, and the life…” For some reason, maybe by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I began to ponder on how Jesus is the “the way”. I find in my shallow ponderings that Christ is the way out, the way in, and the way through. Allow me to explain:


In one sense I see him as the way out of sin. By him do we as human beings have an Advocate with the one and only holy God and through that contact we can confess our sins and receive redemption from the blots on our souls which damn us to Hell for eternity. Also, in John 3:17 it reads “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” We must understand that we were condemned already before Christ came, and contrary to what many in this generation believe, he came not tell everyone he is a sinner in danger of Hell (which he still did do), but that through him we have a way out. He is our way out of unrighteousness and to “paths of uprightness” toward living out our faith in his life, death, and resurrection.

In another sense I see him as the way in to Heaven. The rest of John 14:6 declares that “no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” And John 3:16, as (I hope) most Christians know, says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” In this fashion Jesus is our way in to Heaven, our way to eternal life, and the great privilege of being in his awesome presence for all time.



In my last sense I see him as a way through trials. With this thought my mind thought back to I Corinthians 10:13 where in part it says, “…but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” Now I’m aware that some may think the my relation to Jesus being the way out of trials would have related better, but I quoted the verse in the first instance to make a point. Christ never promised us zero hardships, trials, temptations, or troubles when we believe on him. In fact he did the opposite declaring that those that hate him will hate those that believe on him. In I Corinthians 10:13 he made a point to tell us that he will make a way of escape, a way through, but we must bear.

I know none of those realizations are terribly profound, but they encouraged me and helped me see my God clearer and love him more.

I hope you find the Way.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Misconception

First, I would like to thank those that have commented recently on my posts. Even though I don’t really have a way to respond to you directly, I read them and if it is a particularly important issue raised in a response I will dedicate a post to it. Overall, however, thank you for your feedback. ^_^

Recently, I commented on a post on a site I belong to about the recent legislative decision made in New York. I couldn’t stand by while the mass majority of people gave their accolades to the outcome of the situation.

I learned several things from this experience and the 100 or so comments sent my way. Yet, one of the many things I find glaring is that unbelievers take the Bible as whole to be the word of God relevant right now or eliminate one part of the Gospel message.

I’m not sure if it is just the ignorance of the unbeliever or a shortfall on the part of Christians. At any rate, I must be faithful to note that the Old Testament is as exactly as it’s titled; the old. It was meant for a specific people during a specific time and is no longer in effect because of Christ’s death and resurrection freedom from the Levitical/Mosaic laws was given. A rule of thumb I follow is that all that is pertinent to the believer that was in the Old Testament is reiterated in the New Testament. In other words, you’re not condemned for eating shellfish. However, this doesn’t mean we should totally disregard the Old Testament. This is a very important part of the Christian faith that ties together history and prophecy as well as beautiful psalms and wisdom. It is also beneficial for understanding context when it is referred to in the New Testament.
Now concerning eliminating part of the Gospel message, an unbeliever tends to zero in on the “You’re going to Hell!” part and totally disregarding “But you have a chance of redemption” part, or it could be a case of disregard on the Christian’s part. Either way the whole story needs to be told. If you claim Christ as your Savior, you must be faithful to tell the whole Gospel as one part is meaningless without the other. Someone may know they’re sinful and hell-bound, but with no way out it was a lot more pleasant to leave them in their ignorance and if they know only of grace they don’t know why they have it in the first place. Unbelievers must know first that we all are sinful (don’t single them out) and because of this we need a Savior which is Jesus.

I’m going to try to work toward dispelling this idea of “only damnation” and following the laws the Old Covenant and misunderstand God as spiteful.

But I can’t do it alone.