Our Definitions May Differ

Dictionary definition of the word faith.

 

I believe in a personal, engaged, all-powerful, God who is alive, aware and refers to Himself within His creation.  I believe the garden of Eden was His first example and  Judaism was another.  I believe He is and has been demonstrating that we, humans, as His creation will chose sinfulness rather than Him that no matter what options He gives us; we will choose to turn our backs on Him and reject Him.

I believe that He gave Israel (the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Israel) repeated grace; leading them Himself, through judges, prophets, priests and kings and they still rejected Him until He chastised them with slavery in other nations for almost 3,000 years.

I believe He sent His promised, anointed one; the Messiah, in the person of Jesus.  I believe Jesus was fully God and fully man.  I believe Jesus lived a life that adhered to God’s laws, His precepts, His commandments and even the very intent of God’s commands such that Jesus never turned away from God at any point, to any degree and was fully holy and pure in His life.  I believe that Jesus chose to give Himself over to his creation bodily and that His creation killed his body in an act that spilled His perfect blood which was the only blood that can move a perfect and holy God to forgive and wash away sin so that the penalties of the sin never again have an eternal impact in a relationship with God.

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I believe that Jehovah God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel raised Jesus bodily from the dead; that Jesus body looked exactly like it had before His death, including where His body was pierced with spikes to hang Him on the cross and his side was pierced by a spear.

I believe that very same personal God sent the Holy Spirit to live inside of people who enter into an eternal relationship with Him based on the perfect blood sacrifice of Jesus which pays the penalty for any person’s sins.

I believe there are innumerable ways to sin (fear of things more than reverence of God, greed, pride, etc) but there is only one way to be reconciled to the only living personal God and that is for a person to believe his/her sin is as reprehensible as God declares it to be, to realize that there nothing any person can do to change the fact that we earn only eternal separation from God and eternal torment through our efforts and then to cry out to God for His just and righteous forgiveness based on the payment for the penalty of sin that Jesus freely made.

Call that set of beliefs what you will.

I’ve met that God in the person of Jesus.  He is also the only, holy, living God who transforms lives.  He does it to honor His name and demonstrate Himself faithful.  We and the world around us benefit from these acts of transforming love that He performs in our lives.  This whole set of events that we think of as life and history is about Him.  We benefit from His trustworthiness, His faithfulness and His love.

Believing these things, studying the Jewish and the New Testaments and following God’s directions from them isn’t about being good or becoming better.  It isn’t about doing socially conscious things so we all feel better about  ourselves, one another or the world.  This world will be purged of the curse of sin at every level in an act of God.

The holy nature of God requires a holy response to sin.  We don’t enter into a personal relationship with this personal God of Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Isaiah and Daniel just to become better people.  We seek to know, worship, enjoy and glorify the personal God who does what He does to be consistent with Himself for His glory.  He doesn’t need us or anything we might try to do; He is self-sufficient.  He glorifies Himself and while He does that He also loves us and blesses us.

All glory to Jesus.  A person can bow down to Jesus now in his heart and experience the spiritual birth that comes from accepting Him or refuse and be forced to bow by the power of His holy authority but in that eventuality those forced to submit will endure eternal torment afterwards.  Regardless of the choice a person makes during his life every knee will bow to His authority and every person will confess that Jesus is Lord of creation at a point in the future.

I honestly pray for some people by name and others in general that you don’t miss the opportunities He gives you.  Everything He tells us about Himself says that He will be true to His plan as He has revealed it and He will punish the parts of His creation that don’t seek to know and worship Him as He has revealed Himself.