Archive for the ‘sin’ Tag

When Moralism Goes Off the Tracks   Leave a comment

I was not raised in a Christian home, so my entry into church life was not without stumbles. Some of those stumbles are illustrative of the difference between a living faith and a stagnant moralism.

I grew up in a family of people who liked to dance, drink alcohol and play cards. During my first couple of years attending a Southern Baptist church, I learned that Baptists “don’t drink, don’t dance, don’t play cards and some of them believe rock music is evil.” My friends and I quietly agreed that we couldn’t really find any of those restrictions in the Bible, though there are plenty of warnings about excessive drinking to be found. When I met my husband, he instigated our attending some charismatic services and then we heard that praying in tongues, lifting your hands in the congregation and prophesying were violations of God’s word. He and I, after some struggle and confusion, finally agreed that we couldn’t find those exact restrictions in the Bible.

I am not picking on Southern Baptists alone. Many churches take on moralistic stances that cannot be found in the Bible. Southern Baptists are right on somethings where other churches are completely ignoring the Bible. I’m using these examples as illustrations. A Brethren friend one time told me that music in the church was evil. Again … moralism in place of faith.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

The Galatian churches had a problem. When the missionary team from the First Baptist Church of Antioch, Syria, swept along the coast Asia Minor, those who accepted Christ from that ministry spread the gospel to the hinterlands and founded churches throughout the region. These were Gentiles, coming out of a pagan background. Unlike in Antioch where there was a mix of Jewish and Gentile Christians, these churches were almost wholly Gentile or god-fearers (Gentiles who had some connection with Judaism). Paul and Barnabas moved on. Not long from when they got back to Antioch, men from the church at Jerusalem arrived (uninvited) to instruct the Gentile believers in how to good Jews – starting with circumcision and Jewish dietary rules. Paul got into a squabble with Peter and then decided this needed to be discussed by the larger Christian community, so he and several others went to Jerusalem to report on their missionary success. Peter, apparently chagrined over what Paul had said to him, gave an impassioned speech urging Gentiles be admitted to Christianity. After some deliberation and talking to Paul, the elders in Jerusalem decided that Gentiles did not have to become Jews to be Christians.

This didn’t stop the ones who became known as Judaizers from going into Asia Minor and preaching that Christians had to keep the Jewish law. Paul wrote his letter to the Galatian churches to explain why this was not so. I’m sure there were churches that chose the Judaizers over Paul’s freedom in Christ.

Don’t get me wrong. There are things that Christians shouldn’t participate in because participation in sin separates us from God. But there are many things that the modern-day Christianizers have deemed immoral that aren’t.

Jesus turned water into wine and it was GOOD! (John 2) If you can drink without getting drunk or damaging His temple that is your body, God has no problem with it. Conversely, if you have to get drunk or your body suffers negative consequences from drinking, you are sinning if you drink.

King David danced in the presence of the Lord — more or less nude (think Charleton Heston in Planet of the Apes). (2Samuel 6)  Yes, there are ways to dance that honor God and ways to dance that incite lust. My daughter the ballet dancer would be glad to discuss the distinction.

They didn’t have cards back in the Biblical times, but they did cast lots. It’s how the apostles determined a replacement for Judas (Acts 1). Blowing your paycheck on games of chance is wrong for other Christian reasons, but there’s no evidence that gambling is banned in the Bible.

I never could figure out why Baptists thought rock music was so bad, but country music was okay. Maybe they missed all those songs about bar room brawls.

Speaking in tongues and prophesying are in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 12 and 1 Corinthians 14, with — notably 1Corinthians 13’s love chapter sandwiched between). Both must be decently and in order so as not to scare visitors, which was what Paul had against the Corinthians for conducting their church services with them. The practices themselves were not and are not the problem. The organization of those practices is at issue. People raising their hands in the church service is fine (we do in ours — a Southern Baptist church!) so long as it is not distracting to the people around you.

So why are modern-day moralists so keen on going after people for doing things the way they were done in the Bible?

In a word – Control.

It’s Not a New Struggle   Leave a comment

Since the moment Adam rejected a relationship with God so that he could be “like God”, human beings have been kind of stupid. We really don’t know what we’re doing, but like toddlers we demand to be allowed to do it “ourselves”. God gave Israel the Law as a revelation of His character — singular, personal, exclusive, worthy of worship, faithful, true, needs nothing outside of Himself. It was meant to provide a means to reveal the impotence of morality and to evidence the inability of natural, fallen, sinful man to express the character of God on our own.

After he became a Christian, Paul could still see the Law as good, holy and righteous (Romans 7:12-13) because it flowed from God, not because it makes anyone “good” or “righteous” because in reality, it only shows how unrighteous we are. Paul denied that the Law could ever express the goodness of God.

Truth be told, the natural religious man doesn’t like “grace” and “freedom”. It takes away our control. Even in the 1st century, the Christian churches had to deal with moralists attempting to impose Judaic religious guidelines on the Gentile Christians, trying to supplement the gospel of grace with external morality. Paul stood against it loudly, insisting they were teaching “another gospel” that was “not gospel at all”. (Galatians 1:6-10).

The early Church fathers (the Apostolic Fathers in some traditions) wrote in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, the earliest extant writings of the post-New Testament churches. Regrettably, just one generation away from the apostles, their primary concerns were moralistic conformity, emphasizing external conduct rather than the internal spiritual guidance of God’s grace.

“What occupied the foreground of their (Apostolic fathers) thought was how they were going to walk in the way of this life, and conform to its high standards. So concerned were they about right and wrong behaviour that everywhere they were driven into legalism and formalism. The Christian ethic was codified, and the charismatic life under the constraining love of Christ reduced to rules and precepts. Law and obedience, reward and punishment, these were the themes of their preaching. The centre of gravity was shifted from the mainspring of the Christian life in the person of Christ Himself to the periphery of outward conformity and daily behaviour.” (Thomas F. Torrance, The Doctrine of Grace in the Apostolic Fathers. Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd. 1948. pg. 139.)

In the early 4th century, the church began to integrate with the state, resulting in authoritarianism, with hierarchial leaders issuing absolute decrees of moral formulations that they themselves did not follow.

The Reformation may have started out as a faith movement, but quickly reformed the moralism, John Calvin’s very rigid system of moralism shows the failure of reformers to fully grasp the redeeming nature of God’s grace through the living Jesus.

So when we relate to the world, we tend to foist our social moralism upon society rather than introducing them to the free gift of salvation that has the power to transform our lives.

“[P]erversion of making the gospel into law in order to respond to the challenge of successive outbursts of immorality and ethical disorder. Naturally Christians and the church could not fail to react to violence and sexuality and corruption. The mistake was to deal with these on the moral and legal plane instead of following the example of Paul, who always works through the moral question to the spiritual question, gets back to the essence of the revelation in Christ, and from this derives some models of conduct that are consistent with faith and love. The church did not do this. It set itself on the same level as the world and treated moral matters on the moral plane. When a political question is treated merely as a political question, and a social question merely as a social question…the gospel becomes morality with a whitewash of theological terms.” (Jacques Ellul, The Subversion of Christianity. pg. 89.)

 

Sin is Still Sin!   Leave a comment

Whenever a Christian misrepresents the character of God in his/her behavior by infidelity, dishonesty, greed, strife, jealousy, anger, dissensions, drunkeness, immorality. then the intent of God to express His character through that Christian is not taking place. That is a tragic misrepresentation of the life of Jesus Christ.

As we allow Jesus to express His goodness in our behavior, which manifests God’s grace, we conversely disallow “fleshly indulgences” (Colossians 2:23), which religious moralism was impotent to deal with (Romans 7). We disallow fleshliness to be selfishly and sinfully expressed in our behavior. This is how we “deny ourselves” (Luke 9:23) and “abstain from every form of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:22). As we allow Christ to manifest His goodness in our behavior, He supersedes and disallows the misrepresentative sinful behaviors. The positive swallows up the negative.

Jesus Christ wants to express His character of goodness in the social community of the Church. The Church is the “Body of Christ” intended to collectively express the character of Christ. The Church is the “People of God” expressing the character of God’s goodness. Paul wrote, “Let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). The particular emphasis on God’s goodness as revealed in the Church reminds us that God wants to demonstrate the social community that He intended for man as we allow the Creator to function within His creatures. Through the example of the churches God wants to show that man can dwell together with man in “peace,” when they allow God’s goodness to be expressed through individual relationships.

The apostles wrote about a Church where God’s people could get along with one another in goodness as each person is receptive to God’s love and goodness, expressed to one another, despite diversity of race, sex, age, nationality, intelligence, personality type, difference of opinion ….

 How we doing so far, Church?

Yeah, I think we have some problems.

Behavioral goodness is a fruit of the Spirit of Christ. It never issues from the soul of man, which is still entangled by sin. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness…”(Galatians 5:22,23). “The fruit of the Light consists in all goodness…”(Ephesians 5:9). “We walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work…”(Colossians 1:10).

It is not that we produce or manufacture goodness or perform goodness, but we bear the fruit of goodness derived from interacting with God’s divine character. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

As Christians, our focus must be on Jesus Christ as the divine source of all goodness. “We fix our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2). Our theology, our lives, our relationships must be Christocentric; not morality-centered, not even good-centered, but God-centered, Christ-centered.

“Christianity leads you on, out of morality, into something beyond. One has a glimpse of a country where they do not talk of those things, except perhaps as a joke. Every one there is filled full with what we shall call goodness as a mirror is filled with light. But they do not call it goodness. They do not call it anything. They are not thinking of it. They are too busy looking at the source from which it comes.” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity. pg. 130)

The distinctive of Christianity and Christian behavior is that Christians are looking only at the source of all things in Christ and deriving all from Him by the dynamic of His grace.

Ah, I think we’ve just discovered what is wrong with the Church today. Maybe we’re losing society’s interest because we’re not looking at Jesus and we’re trying to conform ourselves to the world rather than being conformed to Christ.

Who’s Your Daddy?   Leave a comment

God is good. Human beings are not good. Satan is evil. Man is evil, but not to the extent that Satan is evil. We are motivated by our father to do either good or evil.

So, whose your daddy?

When God is our Father, we are motivated by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to express God’s goodness.

When Satan is our father, we are motivated by his indwelling to express his nature.

And there is the tricky part – Satan is the god of this world, so guess which expression autonomous society most often approves as “moral”? Yes, that which Satan motivates. The father of lies is very adept at dressing up that which is not good (not derived from God) as something worthwhile and tasty.

 

“Hey, Eve, doesn’t that fruit look good? Eat up! It will open your eyes to a whole new reality! Trust me. This is for your own good and, hey, God is denying something you really want, so it’s okay to rebel. There will be no consequences.”

Satan lied then and he lies now. The “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” was a rejection of God’s intent. The “father of lies” (John 8:44) foisted upon man the delusional idea of self-determined morality. We could be “like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5), independent of our Creator.

“Satan persuaded man … that he had an adequate capacity in himself for being good, without the necessity of having God; that he could be righteous in his own right, morally adult without the need of being spiritually alive! In short, that could be be independent … both cause and effect.” (Ian W. Thomas, The Mystery of Godliness. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 1964. pg. 50. — thanks, Alan, again. lela)

Morality was founded at the fall of mankind. Since then, we’ve been naturally self-deceived, believing we can establish ethical standards or good and evil, right and wrong, on the basis of human self-evaluation of individual and collective social “good”. Our relativized, self-oriented standards of good and evil are always contrary to God’s intent, always sinful, and always derived from our fallen nature.

So the question is — Who is your Father?

If you say “I am” you put yourself in God’s place and morality is pure idolatry, bowing down at the throne of your own self-delusion.

None of us have been good since the fall. Even Christians, who at least acknowledge this fact, are not good. We are at best able to express the goodness of God when we allow the Holy Spirit to act through us.

But that’s not the same thing as being good.

 

Morality Is Not Good   Leave a comment

Morality and ethics always seem to employ references to good and evil, right and wrong conduct. We don’t stop to consider how these designations are determined and evaluated. What determines what is “good” or “right”? Do goodness or righteousness exist in and of themselves? Is there such a thing as “autonomous goodness,” a secular “godless” ethical standard, or the “autonomy of morality?” (Jacques Ellul, To Will and To Do. pg. 30).

Christianity – true Biblical Christianity — asserts that God alone is autonomous, independent and self-existent. Everything and everyone else is dependent and derivative. To believe otherwise is idolatry. Only God is Good. Christianity denies an independent, autonomous self-existent “good.” There is no “naural goodness” that becomes the basis of a “natural morality” within a “natural theology”.

“There is none good, no not one” Romans 3:12

“No one is good, except God alone.” (Luke 18:19)

Any attempt to self-define “good” by human standards is an attempt to replace God as the standard-bearer for Christian behavior. It’s idolatry to think that we can define “good” from our own perspective. We end up calling “evil good and good evil” and making ourselves “wise in [our] own eyes, and clever in [our] own sight.” (Isaiah 5:20-21). “Good” is knowable only as God reveals Himself and do-able only as the character of God is activated and expressed in human behavior. Good intentions aside, moralists who allege to lead us in the common good for moralities and ethics invariably based their systems on their fallen and self-serving motivations.

We do remember the Fall, right?

No human is good. Creation is bent and we are the most bent of it.

God as the source and definition of good is asserted through out Scripture and the lack of goodness of human beings is also quite clearly proclaimed. There is no genuine, absolute “good” apart from God.

God has revealed Himself and thus revealed His character of goodness. Human beings may not recognize that because we’re not good. We can only really know what good is by knowing God through Jesus Christ. That word “know” means in a personal and intimate sense, a dynamic personal revelation of God informed by the Bible and accountable to other believers, but revealed by the Holy Spirit. We can live out God’s goodness only as the character of God is dynamically generated and actuated by God’s grace because only God can actively express His goodness. The active expression of genuine goodness is Christian behavior is always derived from God. “The one who does good is of God.” (3John 11). The phrase “of God” comes from theos, meaning source or origin coming from God. In other words, the one who manifests goodness derives what he does out of God.”

God is Good; the goodness of man is relative to God’s work in our lives. We must not attribute an attribute of God (goodness) to ourselves, another person, an object, an idea or an activity, for in so doing we deify that creation and make it an idol.

Good can only be defined by the character of God since He is the source and essense of all good. English is such a sloppy language that we use the same word for describe vastly different concepts. We don’t mean good in the same way as we mean beneficial, advantageous, profitable, wholesome, acceptable, or ethically useful. God is not “good” because He conforms to a moral standard encoded by a flawed human society. God is not “good” because He does good.There is no standard higher than Him. He is the definition and the source of “good”. He does what He does because He is who He is. All good done is done by the God who is good.

… Including the “good” you want to take credit for doing.

Significance   Leave a comment

Every person feels that his life has some purpose and that history must be going somewhere. Why?

  • Why should our lives have a purpose if we’re nothing more than computers on legs that procreate?
  • Why should history be going anywhere and why should we like where it is going?

People invent all kinds of meaning for ourselves and for the human race as a whole … a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage … personal prosperity … gods, religions and philosophies in every shade … world peace. Many of these are refuges from facing up to what Bertrand Russell saw as the ultimate reality of history – the death of the individual and the eventual death of the solar system. If Russell was right, all is meaningless. The individual life and the history of the human race have no final value. Russell was honest enough to acknowledge that:

“Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despare, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built. … How, in such an alien and unhuman world, can so powerless a creature as man preserve his aspirations untarnished?” (Russell, Why I am Not a Christian).

Russell, having denied the existence of God, had no answer to the question of why man hopes for significance. He recognized it was a problem. As Francis Schaeffer explained it, if mankind is nothing more than the sum of our material parts, then that longing for significance truly defeats us because we can never achieve our aspirations. The grass we walk on will reach self-actualization. It aspires no higher than to be grass and to grow toward the sun, but we aspire so much further than that. Schaeffer suggested that if we truly believed we were nothing, then we should probably respect the grass since it has achieved a higher level on Maslow’s ladder than we.

Convesely, the Bible tells us that our longing for purpose and a meaning to history has been placed within us by God. That longing for significance can only be satisfied by turning to God. We were made to love God, to reflect His character and to enjoy a relationship with Him forever; to love, enjoy and serve one another; to enjoy and have domination over the creation as God’s co-regents. We don’t fit in a fallen and twisted world where sin has brought enmity between ourselves and God, within our own hearts, between us and others, between us and creation, within creation itself. Everything is touched by the unnatural stain of sin and death. Yet, God in His love stepped down into history as Jesus Christ to redeem those of us who agree and, eventually, the whole creation, for sin and death. Through the work of Christ, in faith in Him, we are restored to fellowship with God and begin to be made whole again. Christians will be the first produce of God’s harvest when He transforms the world back to its pristine condition upon Christ’s return. God promises us that the goal of history is the physical resurrection of all who believe in Christ and the making of a new heaven and a new earth in which there is only righteousness. All of reality will be healed and everything will be made new. At the same time the devil and all evildoers will be judged forever. Our own individual lives are given eternal significance and history is coming to a glorious conclusion.

Our longing for significance is satisfied.

Posted July 12, 2014 by aurorawatcherak in Christianity

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Bar Churches for Alcoholics   3 comments

Brad, my husband, asked to post on my blog. Since he has something worthwhile to say and he managed to organize it into sentences, I agreed. Lela

 

 

It’s rare that Lela allows me to grab the microphone from her. She worries about having a Taylor Swift-Kanya West moment without Beyonce around to protect her, but if I give her convincing material, she agrees to post it. Brad

 

A while back, we (Lela and I) watched a PBS special on “welcoming and affirming” evangelical churches across America. I don’t know how big this movement really is. I don’t know many evangelicals who agree with it and this is PBS, which has strong anti-Christian political biases. If we don’t have a lot of these churches cropping up in the oh-so-very libertarian state of Alaska, I tend to think the story focused on the three churches in America that are actually doing this, but I could be wrong. Lela says the Internet might beg otherwise, but then maybe the churches that are not “welcoming and affirming” just aren’t advertising that … sort of like our church fails to publicize that we don’t serve alcohol during the service.

The basic story on Erbe’s program was about how loving these “welcoming and affirming” churches were, how God would not judge people for loving someone/anyone and that the church is completely wrong about what the Bible says about homosexuality. The destruction of Sodom had nothing to do with the men of Sodom wanting to have sex with the angels God sent to Lot (Genesis 19). God was angry for the city’s lack of hospitality. Pay no attention to Lot’s offering his virgin daughters to these men and them rejecting the girls because they’d rather have the unwilling angels. No, that’s not evidence of mass homosexuality and the desire for gang rape! That’s just not being friendly.

You get my point?

Someone in the Erbe broadcast said “it was all in the interpretation” whether you think the Bible condemns or accepts homosexual sex. Which got me thinking about Bill Clinton’s “it depends on what your definition of is is.”

Clinton, who claims to be a Southern Baptist, wanted the world in general to pass over his sin of lying by stressing the tense of the word. He was not currently having sex with Monica Lewinsky, so he didn’t lie to the press when asked if he was having sex with Monica Lewinski. Of course, he had had sex with Monica Lewinski – in the past. His rhetorical game worked. He got away with it as far as the press and his supporters are concerned.

Of course, he had a much deeper problem with the catholic (small c intentional) evangelical church of which he claims to be a member. Christians still see him as a sinner and, worse, we see him as an unrepentant sinner. You see, we’re all sinners. You, me, Bill Clinton, and Pope Francis – we’re all sinners. Yes, the pope is a sinner! And so am I!

My particularly favorite sin is alcoholism. I come by that naturally. My father, most of his brothers, his father and his grandfather were alcoholics. Irish Catholic, don’t you know? It’s what we do. On my mother’s side, every one of her husbands, several of her brothers, her father and grandfather were all alcoholics. I’ve personally had trouble controlling my drinking since I was 16. And, I’m an ass when I drink. I do stupid, dangerous, unloving and unChristlike things when I drink, which is why I usually don’t.

When I don’t, I am repentant for my sin. I just wrote that above paragraph. That is repentance. I admitted my sin, I called it what it was, I acknowledged its wrongness. And then, more important than anything else in repentance, I try not to do it anymore. I didn’t say I have never done it since salvation. I said I try not to do it anymore.

That’s my sin and repentance as opposed to Bill Clinton who justified his adultery and his lying about it and is probably doing both again and will justify both again if need be. Until he comes before God and then his excuses won’t do him any good.

What separates me from Bill is my dependence on God. I’m not superman. I am a sinner, but I don’t rely on rhetorical tricks to justify my mistakes. Instead, I continually turn to the “I Am” Who tells me there is “no longer any condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the Spirit. For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1. My sin has been set aside and God will not hold it against me … not because of anything that I have done, but because Jesus died on the cross for all of us who accept Him as Savior and Lord.

We all like the idea of a Savior, but most of us don’t like the idea of a Lord. That means submitting to an Authority greater than ourselves and most humans don’t like that idea. I don’t like that idea. And when I dislike it the most is when I’m drinking. One is the symptom of the other, though I’m not sure in what order. When I am embracing my sin is when I am relying on the “I is” … me, fleshly man with feet of clay. I will justify my behavior – I come from a long line of folk who like to drink and Christian morality gets in the way of my good time – but it doesn’t change that I am violating a covenant I made with God. Jesus saved my soul, and I (in continuation of Romans 8) acknowledge my debt to Him by living according to the Spirit and not the flesh.

Which is why I wouldn’t and couldn’t be a member of a “welcoming and affirming” church. It’s not that I think God hates homosexuals. I think He feels about gays the same way He felt about me when I was drinking. Drinking wine is not a sin. No, it is not! Jesus turned water into wine and it was GOOD! The best wine at the wedding!

Drinking wine the way I drink wine is a sin! It was destructive to my body, mind and relationships. God still loved me enough to die for me on the cross and eventually I accepted that love, but in order for me to fully live in that love, I had to give up my favorite sin, because the way I drink doesn’t show God in a good light and is destructive of His temple in my body.

Sadly … when I was drinking, I didn’t know that. I couldn’t see the harm it was doing to me and I definitely wouldn’t to acknowledge the harm it was doing to my relationship with Jesus. And, I think that may be the sad plight of the “welcoming and affirming” movement. They think the problem is that the church is against them when the real problem is that God loves them so much that He wants them to give up something that He knows is harming them … and they can’t see that.

Thank God, literally, for putting Lela and other Christian friends in my life to point me away from sin, even when I didn’t want to give it up.

Thank God we don’t hold church in bars!

Which is kind of what I think a “welcoming and affirming” church is. If an alcoholic’s utopia is church held in a bar and the drinks are free, wouldn’t a homosexual’s utopia be a welcoming and affirming church that denies key portions of Scripture?

I Do Not Take Responsibility for the Sins of Others   Leave a comment

Someone on another thread challenged me to “look into Christianity’s connection with European colonialism”.

Respectfully, I have. I’m actually very well read. Check out my blog if you want confirmation. I delve into history, political science, faith, economics … I’ll research just about anything. I’m like a raven with a shiny object.

But, I don’t take responsibility for the sins of others. I am an individual. I came before God with no antecedents. I am judged by my own sins and I am saved by my personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as PERSONAL Savior. My faith informs my political and cultural opinions.

I am no more responsible for the folks who called themselves Christians in past generations and then may or may not have violated Biblical precepts than I am responsible for the white folk in the South who misused the Bible so they could enslave black folks or my great-great-grandfather who scalped white settlers around the Detroit area circa 1810 in exchange for British coin. I’m sorry if your ancestors went through hard times on account of people who look like me, said they believe like me, or spoke the same language that I speak, but I didn’t do it and I am not responsible for the sins of anybody but myself.

I have plenty of those to lay at God’s feet. I don’t need to carry the cross for anyone else. And, in fact, if you knew anything about the Bible, you’d know I can’t anyway. We all come to Jesus alone and we all experience a personal salvation … or, if you choose it for yourself, a personal hell.

Posted April 19, 2013 by aurorawatcherak in Christianity, Faith, sin

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Lay Your Burden Down   Leave a comment

If you understand nothing else about Christianity, you should grasp this ….

Jesus died for YOU!

No matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done, no matter the weight of your sin (and you do have sin because we all do) … Jesus died for those.

And YOU need Him!

Because no matter how good you are, no matter that you love your mother, give food and clothes to the poor, visit the sick and those in prison … all of your goodness is nothing compared to how good God created human kind to be. None of us has any reason to boast when we come to Christ because none of us is right with God … no one except Jesus.

Jesus wants to take all that isn’t right with you and trade it in for His righteousness. If you’ll give it to Him, it will be as if you never sinned. That’s forgiveness … to have everything you’ve ever done set aside, paid by someone who has an unlimitedless treasury and loves you enough to die a horrible death in your place and still love you.

And all you have to do to have that rightness is accept that He did it for you.

That is true liberty!

Black Saturday   1 comment

I’m not going to post a lot today because it’s a beautiful spring day here in Alaska and I’m going out hiking. Maybe I’ll wake a spring bear.

I want to thank the people who have been visiting and those who are now following my blog. And now for a brief message …

 

Today could rightfully be called Black Saturday. Think about it. Just about 2000 years ago, mankind killed God in the flesh, Jesus. They hung Him on a cross and He died. His followers ran away. They abandoned Him. They scurried around the edges of His execution and did nothing. Peter denied Him three times. John had enough contacts to get into the chamber to watch his best friend’s trial and beating, but he still didn’t try to save Him.

Where do you think the disciples were on Black Saturday?

Hiding in a hole. Scrambling to return to their homes and pretend they never knew Him. Weeping. Examining themselves and finding they weren’t all that good. They promised to follow Him wherever He went and they ran away!

Today is Black Saturday. Jesus is dead and you’re responsible. Think about it!

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