Sometimes we forget where we came from, who we are as people, why we’re doing the things that we do and why we feel the way we feel. Christians forget too, but the problem is that we forget who God really is. Even if we have all the right answers. Even if we’re towing the line.
This post is really for anyone. If you’re not a believer, if you are a believer, if you know about the “Christian God,” for lack of a better word, or if you don’t know as much.
Assumption #1- Man is sinful
This is where people often start, and I suppose I’ll start here as well. If you don’t see yourself as sinful… well, that’s a pretty common thing actually. I can see why you would think that. Maybe for now, look around you, at the world you’re living in. Do you see injustice? Do you think there’s something wrong with how we “do life?” Is there? I won’t tell you, I’m just asking you.
Unfortunately, if we can’t agree that man is sinful, then it is difficult to proceed. But let’s keep the assumption that man is sinful.
What then? What are we supposed to do about it? What is sin? How do we stop it?
There is a way to answer this question without including God. You can say that we as people can progress towards a more enlightened existence, that is what a lot of people think.
But my question is: how? If sin is based on what you think is sin, how will you convince others to stop doing what you think is wrong? What if they don’t think it’s wrong? What makes you right above others, if there is no objective truth? What is to stop people from acting from self-interest? What if jail time is worth breaking the law to some people?
You can say that there is a universal human code of conduct. A cosmic bro code, if you will. So I don’t expect you to convert to Christianity based on the logic I’ve just presented because I am not the first to put it that way, but if it did make you think…
Let’s go in a different direction, shall we? Let’s make one more assumption.
Assumption #2 The God of the Hebrew Bible is the true God, and Jesus is the Messiah
What goes with assumption #2? That a man named Jesus came into this world oh, around the beginning of the common era, and taught a new and radical way of living. He taught that you should love your enemies and help the poor. He taught that money isn’t important, and he died to show us what is important.
Eternal life through the forgiveness of sins.
When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, the Lord instituted a holiday called Passover. The Passover celebrates how the Israelites were led out of Egypt and how God “passed over” them when he was inflicting punishment on the Egyptians. To this day, Jews celebrate the festival by slaughtering a lamb.
Jesus became a Passover lamb for us. He had compassion on us, on our plight and our rut. He sacrificed himself so God would pass over us too.
If we believe, of course. Belief is where it all begins and ends. Belief engenders love and trust. Belief inspires action.
Matthew 16:16 (RSV)
16 Simon Peter replied [to Jesus], “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
1 Corinthians 15:3
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures,
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God— 9 not because of works, lest any man should boast.
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction;23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; 26 it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.
[Jesus says] “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
Lately, I haven’t been feeling the belief as strongly. I’ve been trying to do things. I’ve been trying to move forward, but I keep feeling Satan holding me back. I’ve been introspective, reluctant, and confused. I haven’t laid it all down before the Lord’s throne. I’ve been wondering what I would do without my burdens. I’ve been wondering how much work I would be doing (because, usually, you can’t just sit there and wait for God to move your limbs) and how much credit I would receive if I just let God do everything.
But really, it’s so simple that it seems like rocket science. I just have to believe in the Lord Jesus and love Him. I just have to do His work. I just have to become attuned to Him, and when I become attuned to Him, I won’t feel the urge to sin… as strongly. And when I become attuned to Him, I will know what to do. Right?
Yes, right. I will have faith. Because with faith…
So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.