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Archive for March, 2013

Two Ways of Life

Galatians 3:10-13: For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.” Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “The righteous man shall live by faith.” However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “He who practices them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us, for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”.

Today’s Christian seems to live in two worlds. Not only the spiritual world and the earthly world, but the Old Covenant and New Covenant world. The problem with the Old and New Covenant combination is that if we don’t live by and obey all things written in the Law, we are living under a curse.

The Law was given to the ungodly as a tutor and guide to show us that on our own, we can’t measure up. We can’t live a life acceptable to God and the perfection He demands. Righteousness doesn’t come through the Law, and if it did, then Christ died needlessly. Jesus came into this world born under the Law. He lived and taught it for the first 33 years of His life. When He died, the Old Covenant came to an end because Jesus lived a perfect life and fulfilled the Old Covenant. When He rose from the grave, the New Covenant began.

By accepting the grace He provided, we can live a life pleasing to God. God sees Christ in us, and we are now counted as holy and righteous in His sight. The Law is no longer needed for those saved by grace. We are free, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law. We now live under the New Covenant, one that is a free gift provided to us by Christ. We now live by Christ’s commands to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, and love others as ourselves.

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Jesus command in the New Covenant is to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, and to love others as ourselves. So why is there so much disagreement and arguing over matters that none of us really have any control over.

Christians especially can’t seem to get along. There are so many different denominations and groups, all because we can’t agree on our doctrines and interpretations of the Bible.

I think we are all, Christians and non-Christians alike, people of faith. We all have faith in something. The thing is, we fight and argue over our faith and beliefs, yet none of us can prove our faith one way or another.

We get mad at each other because we have different views. We separate ourselves and think less of each other, yet we can’t prove what we believe. We’ll condemn and convict others, yet there is always the chance that what we believe may be wrong.

Why is it that we can’t just accept one another. We can have our beliefs, interpretations and ideas, yet not force them on others. We shouldn’t expect everyone to believe just like we do. God teaches us and brings to light new truths over time as we are ready for them.

Rather than fight and argue over what we believe, and try to force our beliefs on others, why can’t we just love one another like God commanded? Why can’t we just love God and others and accept them for who they are, where they are and leave the rest to God.

Rather than look at people of this world according to what they believe, and who or what they have faith in, I think to be more like Jesus we should be loving and accepting them just the way they are. This isn’t to say everyone can live the way they want without consequences. It isn’t to say everyone will come to God in their own way, that all roads lead to God. Christ came for the purpose of redeeming fallen, sinful mankind and restoring fellowship between people and God. It is by grace, provided by Christ, that we come to the Father.

Reading about the life of Christ, we see a man who loved people. A man who accepted people for who they were. He didn’t condemn them, He didn’t separate himself from those who were different. Jesus loved them. To be Christ-like in our world today, I think we should do the same.

No matter what we believe, what our faith is in, what interpretation we have, none of us can prove a thing. None of us has any control over it. It is all in God’s hands. So why spend so much time fighting and arguing. Let’s allow the love of Christ to flow out of us to touch a world that is so desperate for true love and acceptance.

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Jesus didn’t come to start a new group or new religion. He came to provide fellowship with the Father by cleansing us from our sinful nature.

Christianity is not a religion. True Christianity is a relationship with God. I think it is more accurate to say we are followers of Christ.

The Church is not an organization, it is a living organism. It is not a denomination, it is not Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, or any other man-made group based on a doctrine you are expected to believe and follow. The Church is all of us who have trusted in the grace of God provided by the sacrifice of Christ. We are all kings and priests and ministers of God. We are all equals and are holy and righteous in God’s sight because of Christ​​.

There are many people involved in organized religion who truly love God and who are wanting to live in close fellowship with God. There are many pastors who truly feel called to preach and lead in their congregation. The problem with modern day church is not the people who love God, it is the organized system itself that says you have to be involved and support the system to truly be a Christian.

For those who have left organized religion, many are looked down upon and called back-sliders. They are said to have walked away from God and avoid fellowship by not attending church. Truth is, fellowship was never required to happen in a certain place, at a certain time, on a certain day. Fellowship happens anywhere, anytime two or three gather in His name.

As followers of Christ, we should be loving and accepting of everyone we meet, whether in church, out of church, believer or non-believer. Many in the church today want to prove their point and argue with those of different interpretation, doctrine, those who don’t attend church and those who are not believers. Jesus told us under the New Covenant we are to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and love others as we love ourselves. That doesn’t mean we have to agree with everyone, but it is not our job to point out others sins and mistakes. We are not to condemn and convict. The Holy Spirit will work in each person’s life in His time and His way. We are to love. Jesus loved and hung out with all kinds of people. Funny thing, it seems the ones He had the most problem with were the religious people, the ones who thought they were better than all those sinful, second class people that Jesus associated with.

​A lot of us Christians will argue that we are called to be separate and come out from among them, thinking that means we separate ourselves from the sinful people of the world. Jesus said he came for the sick, those who needed a physician. Being separate cannot mean we don’t associate with people of the world. Jesus said we are in the world, but not of it. We don’t need to separate ourselves into Christian churches, Christian schools, Christian clubs etc. We are to live daily in the world, rubbing shoulders with those who are not part of the ‘religious’ crowd. We are to be Jesus’ hands and feet on earth today and show everyone we meet the love of Christ, not the condemnation of religion.​

We should love and accept everyone, male-female, black-white, rich-poor, Hindu-Muslim-Atheist-Christian, gay-straight. We are called to love and accept all people. Stop letting the religious spirit separate us from the ones that God loves. He wants to show His love through us. Again, loving and accepting people doesn’t mean we agree with them, or approve of what they do, it is not our job to be the judge. Let the love of God flow out of you to everyone you see each day. Don’t worry who they are, what they believe, what they do, just love them with the love of Christ. Everything else is in God’s hands.

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