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Archive for March, 2012

People of Faith

When I think of people of faith, my thoughts go to those of us who are Christians and faith in God.

Thinking more about this, I have come to the conclusion that every person in the world is a person of faith.

This isn’t some wild, new age, ‘everyone will make it to Heaven’ idea. I am talking about how we all use our faith day to day. Humans are born having an inner desire that only God can fill. Not all of us come to that conclusion, but we all have a spiritual need and we all use faith constantly.

Faith is listed in the dictionary as confidence or trust in a person or thing; belief that is not based on proof. We all turn on a light switch with faith that the light will come on. We all sit on a chair with faith that it will hold us. Some people have faith there is no God, no Heaven, no Hell. Others have faith in Buddha, or Confucius, or in fate. Others have faith in God and an eternity with Him.

Having faith is a natural thing that God created within each of us. God also created us with a freedom to make our own choices and decisions. Unfortunately, a lot of people make the wrong choice in regard to their faith.

Obviously, we as Christians want to let others know that the only meaningful faith is in God. We need to remember that God does not push himself on others, but gently and quietly works through the Holy Spirit to lead others to Him. We also should not be pushy, forcing our thoughts and beliefs on others. We know there is a natural spot for God built within us, and faith is within each of us. We need to pray for those who have not come to that knowledge, and allow God to work through us in a kind and gentle way.

We as Christians should be ready to let God work through us and speak through us at the right times, and to be witnesses to the faith that brings about salvation through Christ.

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When does the Old Covenant end and the New Covenant begin? We tend to forget that the Old Covenant does not end with Malachi and the New Covenant does not start with Matthew.

For the 33 years that Jesus walked the earth, He was still under the Old Covenant, which required following all its rules and regulations.

The New Covenant began when Jesus was crucified. When He said ‘It is finished’, He was talking about the Law, the Old Covenant. Upon His resurrection the New Covenant began and we are no longer required to try and live under the Law, and the way of the Old Covenant.

The old agreement was basically a tutor. A way God used to show humans that we were unable to live a perfect life on our own. It was a way to show us that we needed someone to save us from our sin. Once Jesus came and lived a perfect life on earth, He was able to be the sacrifice that fulfilled the Law and save each of us from our sinful nature (Matthew 5:17).

Now that the Law has been fulfilled in Christ, we are no longer required to try to live by the ten commandments, and the rules and regulations of the Old Covenant (Galatians 5:1-6). To many times we seem to forget that because of grace we now live by faith in Christ. We are no longer slaves to sin, we are no longer just a poor sinner saved by grace, although we were sinners and we are saved by grace. We are now the righteousness of God, through Christ. God no longer calls us slaves, but He calls us Sons (John 15:15). We are seated in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2:6). This isn’t to say that we should go out and do what ever we want, right or wrong (Galatians 5:13). We do have freedom in Christ to do what we choose, but of course there are consequences if we choose things that God has warned us to stay away from.

Today we choose to live a life pleasing to God because of love (Matthew 22:37-40). Godly love is the fulfillment of the Law (Galatians 5:14, Romans 13:8 and 10, 1 John 3:23). We love God, we’ve been made righteous through Christ, and we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, who guides us, teaches us, and gives us strength. We do what is pleasing to God because we choose to out of love for Him, not out of obligation or because we are trying to fulfill a set of rules and Old Testament laws that we couldn’t live up to anyway.

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The Word of God

When we talk about the Word of God, we usually think of the Bible.

If we say the Bible is just a book, we get all offended and ready to voice our opinion that the Bible is the Word of God.

Actually, I disagree with that thought. Based on John 1:1, the Word of God is Jesus. He is the true, living Word of God.

To many times we Christians focus so much on The Bible that we forget we have the living Word of God inside of us. The Holy Spirit, who is God in spirit form, just as Jesus was God in human form, lives within us.

There is certainly nothing wrong with reading the Bible, as it is God inspired. Through it we can learn from the past, we see the story of redemption throughout, we come to know the love God has for us and how he purchased our salvation through Christ. We learn what pleases God and we come to know that it is only by Grace that we are in right standing with God.

The Bible teaches us the Law and how we humans are completely unable to live a life pleasing to God through the law. The law was our tutor to bring us to realize that we need God’s grace through Christ.

The Bible teaches us of the freedom we now have in Christ and that only by His grace can we live a life pleasing to Him. There is nothing that we can do on our own to earn or deserve what He has done for us.

The part we need to get over is how we like to fight and argue over which version of the Bible is the ‘true’ word of God. We need to remember that all versions of the Bible are only versions, man-made interpretations of the original words God gave through the Holy Spirit.

We need to focus on Jesus. Only Jesus is the true and living Word of God. When we focus on Christ and listen for the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit of Christ within us, we will then hear and come to understand the true Word of God.

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