Thursday, August 22, 2013

Understanding the Truth

All of us whether we want to admit it or not ...

have established a worldview, philosophy, teachings, experiences, or personal opinions which have become the foundational basis for our beliefs. Some would say there is no God or truth, but even this is a faith belief that their life is centered around.

These guiding beliefs become a god of sorts. Once established we either consciously or unconsciously follow. Even those who are atheists have established a belief system that has become the god of their thoughts and actions.

To say there are no rules for me … I am totally free is confused thinking. Beyond the rules or laws of society we all have at least some self imposed laws or rules. Even the worst of us would be hard pressed to do some things. 

And when we carry the truth of the American freedoms to their end … 
our freedom always has an end.

For example someone might say; "I am single, and I am free to have sex with whomever I wish, and whenever I wish ... as long as they agree." Well that statement has a stated condition, and the statement is clearly not true. If a seven year child agreed to have sex with you or anyone else and you agreed, you would likely end up in jail.

This is what makes the promises we have in Jesus so different. He claims to have absolute eternal Truth, and His promises are everlasting. And if we follow His truth on the spiritual and eternal level we can have absolute freedom from all of our troubles throughout eternity. 

We can abide above.

Well then how do we know the difference between the Truth that Jesus speaks of, and the teachings and opinions of men? All of the teachings in the Bible are written and translated by men ... right? That is a good question, and this is a key point we will address here.

It is true that the Bible is written by men but by divine inspiration. The Bible claims to be inspired by Jesus the Creator of all things. After we come to a point where we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and that he is the way and the Truth and the life ... doesn’t it then follow that if Jesus is in fact the Creator and the eternal Truth incarnate; that he also has the power to maintain His written Word however and in whatever form He sees fit ... regardless of what men write, do, or say? 

He is Creator of the men who write and translate. And He has sent us the Holy Spirit who resides within us, in order that we can understand the Truth, and even if men twisted or misinterpreted the Truth ... eternal Truth is Truth forever. Men would like to say that society has advanced and times have changed ... but God's Truth is never changing. 

The rub is that the holy eternal Truth is beyond the comprehension of mere men. 
Eternal Truth is only understood by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Is there any question in your mind about what Jesus claims here? 
One can disagree or agree, but we can't change that which is claimed to be eternal Truth. In the beginning was the Word; the Word was with God; the Word was God; Jesus was there in the beginning; Jesus created everything; the Word came in the flesh as Jesus. 

If you believe or reject these conclusions ... you believe or reject Jesus.

So how do we as Christians understand what Truth is? … and what Truth is not? Well if you have made a decision to stand and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior you need to reverse you thought process. Put off your old way of thinking and put on the mind of Christ. We need to start judging the wisdom of the world which is temporary by the Word of God which is eternal … rather that the other way around.
We need to challenge our old established worldviews, philosophies, teachings, experiences, or personal opinions which have become the foundational basis for our old lives prior to receiving Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Here is an example of how putting off the old ways plays out when we have the mind of Christ, or the Truth. "For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh." 2 Corinthians 5:14-16

Please notice that last sentence: Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh” or as another translation says “we recognize no man from a worldly point of view." See others through the mind of Christ. Put on His love, forgiveness and righteousness. Can you see what I mean by reversing your thought process? This applies in so many ways I could go on forever. Jesus healing the blind man; Jesus raising Lazarus and himself from the dead after three days; Jesus feeding 5,000 men with two fish and five loaves of bread; the immaculate conception; the creation of all things. 

The wisdom of men most always leads us to other conclusions than the eternal Truth. Well let's be honest here. Someone is speaking falsely here … and either the gospel of Jesus, and the teachings of God's Word are a monumental lie; or the teachings and conclusions of men are false. 

We must choose one way, or the other; but we can't have it both ways.

God tells us that we must be strong and courageous. "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:8-9 

How do we do that? Meditate and stand upon God’s Truth? What's courageous about this stand? Well you will be required to stand against the ways of the world. People who have rejected Christ will consider you to be a fool. And if Biblical Christianity is just another religion concocted by men … they would be correct.

God bless you my friends, Bob

For more on the Truth of Jesus read my previous post: The Gospel

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Gospel

I recently joined an online mission called Global Media Outreach. 

GMO is a ministry of Campus Crusade For Christ. Each day I receive requests to help guide others with growing in their faith and to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. I usually only have one chance and communicating with various countries throughout the world is more difficult than in person. 
The question that often comes to my mind is: "which scriptures are most likely to effectively move people in Indonesia, Islamabad, or worldwide?" To help meet this need I have put together a clear and easy to understand presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The scripture above teaches us that there is only one Creator who created all things. He has shown Himself to us in the form of man (Jesus) and Spirit (Holy Spirit). The eternal truth of God has been shared with us through men who were inspired by God. The word of God, the Bible is eternal Truth. Although the teachings of men change, the Truth of God never changes. This truth becomes the foundation of our spiritual belief system. 
The Word or truth became a man through miraculous conception and lived among us. He came as a Savior to die on the cross and pay the penalty for our sinful ways so that we might live with Him for eternity in Heaven. “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14
Jesus declares that he is the only way to receive redemption and eternal life. Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." John 14:6
All of us have a problem. We are all sinners, and in desperate need of a Savior. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
Eternal death is the fate that all of us face without Jesus. "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23
Those who believe in Jesus Christ can be certain that they will live eternally in heaven. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16
Jesus is a loving God and the good news is that He wants for none of us to perish. This is why he came to earth. His purpose here on earth was to live a sinless life in the form of a man; and then to die in place of us as the penalty for our sins … once and for all. He is our victory. He is our life. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  Romans 5:8
We must do nothing to receive the free gift of eternal life. Jesus is full of grace and truth and we can believe in him and have eternal life. His grace is received through our faith alone, and is not a result of anything that we have done, or because we are a good person. Anyone, regardless of what they have or have not done ... can here and now believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior, and receive eternal life. If anything was required for us to do in order to receive His grace, then "grace would no longer be grace." Romans 11:6. "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, [it is] the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

Does God want for us to be a good person and to do good things? Of Course he does. Good deeds are just NOT a condition of salvation. We have been born again spiritually and his purpose for us (in Him) is to do good works. He wants to show His love towards others through each of us. He died for each of us; and now we are to die to self, and live for him. "For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf."  2 Corinthians 5:14

Why do I explain all of this to you? 
Because I want you to know that you can believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and then be certain that you have eternal life with Him in Heaven. This is called the "Blessed Assurance" of salvation. "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life."  1 John 5:13

Here is a prayer you can pray.

Jesus I believe you are the Creator of all things. I believe that you came as a man and died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. I believe that you were resurrected from the dead. O God in Heaven, the one true God, most kind and merciful God of the universe, Creator of heaven and earth; I believe in Jesus Christ the Messiah ... please have mercy on me, forgive me and lead me the rest of my days. I believe you are my Lord and my Savior. I believe in your grace and truth. I believe in your Word and your promises and that I am now born again of the Spirit and that it is finished, and that I am here and now irreversably a member of your royal family in Heaven. I pray that you will send the Holy Spirit to guide me and help me to better understand you loving ways. Thank you, Lord for your free gift of eternal life. 
I love you Lord Jesus, Amen

Print this one off and keep it handy in your Bible ...
so that the next time you are asked; "what do you believe?"  
You will be prepared to share the Truth of the gospel with them.

Become an online missionary now and witness daily ... 
click here: Global Media Outreach

God bless you my friends.