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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Are we fallen from grace?

I cannot give the doctoral level answer to this question.  With the knowledge I have accumulated while writing this blog I think I have made this assumption because I have heard it so often and it seems so plausible.  After all, man's relationship to God has been tumultuous over the centuries, as documented in scripture.  The answer was established in the first books of Genesis when Adam and Eve committed original sin, and became aware of the knowledge of good and evil, after eating fruit off the tree of the same name.  Their descendants have had the spot of the fall on their souls ever since.

Sometimes I'm not so sure that man is a fallen race when I hear the beautiful voices of the evangelical singers that sound so inspirational and so angelic.  I attribute my listening to their craft as one of the major things that continues to influence me in my worship.  Also my family is generally a group of not just good people but truly loving, committed, and positive people that would take the shirt off their back for anyone.  How are they fallen?

The answer is that the grace of God, praise be to Jesus, has permeated my life, my community, and my country.  This is thanks to generations of faithful people who have made daily sacrifices and focused their lives to the praise of God.  Yes they have made mistakes and they have sinned.  But many of them have listened to the calling of Jesus and put him first in their lives.  Then when they went about their daily lives the faithful have been a light to the world second only to Jesus Christ himself.  So don't be surprised if you sometimes wonder about man's fallen nature.  Believe me our perfection has not been achieved. 

I pray that I not take for granted the grace that God has shown the world that has built the kingdom of heaven that we see, feel and hear constantly but fail to recognize.   May we be acceptable to God in our individual lives, may we accept him, learn more of the scriptures and involve ourselves effectively in the community to further the development of our Christian brethren on a daily basis.  Amen.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Simply, salvation

2 Corinthians 1
12 For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.

Do you understand God's plan for his chosen people?  Are you one of them?  How do you defend your Christian faith among nonbelievers and others who challenge your beliefs?

My position is that Christianity is understandable and straightforward for those who seek its truth.  Jesus himself reduced the laws of God's covenant with man to a few sentences in Mark 12:30 - 31.  Although He was a scholar of the Jewish law and a teacher, he did not contradict people who believed in him and followed his teaching.  He did not pigeonhole his followers based on their past.  He often showed love for his enemies.  He showed love for all of us and saved us from sin and damnation by his sacrifice when he was crucified.

When you are examining the finer points of Christianity, and make the fine distinctions that separate men and women in the body of Christ (the church), I would ask that you answer one question:  do the theories that you espouse serve the purpose of God and of Jesus Christ, to bring the message of salvation to all the world?  Or do they serve to elevate you or members of your organization with a sense of pride and piety?  I think you can use a simple rule to judge for yourself the righteous and loving path that Jesus would have us walk each day: to love God and man always.  May I remember the tremendous power of God's grace and not be burdened by the division wrought by the earthly wisdom that was prevalent even in the days of St. Paul.  Amen.