"PUTTING CHRIST BACK INTO CHRISTIANITY"
While in theory every Christian believes this, modern evangelical Chrisitianity mostly adheres to the teachings of Paul. A Jesusist holds the words of Paul and all others scribes of the Bible as wisdom gleaned from that person's encounter with God, but believes that the words of JESUS are esteemed above the words of ANY other person.
Jesusism views the LIFE, the TEACHINGS and the WORKS of Jesus as the only infalliable way, truth and life by which we should live. It is our life, our path, our guide and the only source by which we place our faith.
In short- what Jesus said and did is more important than what anyone else said or did in the Bible and if there seems to be any contradiction between words of Jesus and another person's words in the Bible; then what Jesus said is what stands as THE truth.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
SALVATION- Jesus came to give us a more abundant life. When Jesus spoke of salvation he was not speaking of the afterlife, but of the more abundant life that we can live right now.
Mark 16:16- states that if you believe and are baptized you will be saved. Salvation is a free gift, no strings attached, no works involved. It is simply a matter of believing and receiving. This is why Jesus could offer salvation to anyone who came to him wanting it and ready to receive it. Nicodemus was said to have received salvation in Luke 19:9. The woman with the alabaster box received salvation in Luke 7:50. To understand this, we must understand salvation is not for the afterlife; IT IS FOR HERE AND NOW.
Eternal Life- I already stated a lot about eternal life and how to gain it in my previous post. I'll just reiterate here that eternal life is gained by keeping the commandments of God.
BORN AGAIN/ THE KINGDOM- John 3:1 recounts a story where a man named Nicodemus inquired about the miracles Jesus did. Jesus attributed his works to the Kingdom and stated that no one could see this Kingdom unless they were "born again." It is important to note that this is the only time recorded in the Bible that Jesus mentions the concept of being born again. Jesus gave many examples describing the concept of the Kingdom, but He never actually defined what the Kingdom is. He did however tell us that the Kingdom was at hand (very close to us) Matt. 4:17 that it is within us, Luke 17:21; that there are keys to it, Matt. 16:19; its difficult for the rich to obtain, Mark 10:23.
Jesus was given this question of eternal life in Matt. 19:16, Mark 10:17, Luke 10:25, Luke 18:18 and each time Jesus gave the answer "Keep the Commandments." So it is obvious for those of us who believe in Jesus and His Word that eternal life is gained not by grace but by works. Even when Jesus spoke about judgement day and some entering into eternal life and some everlasting punishment, he related their judgement to their WORKS while here on earth. (I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in) It had nothing to do with grace, or accepting him or their faith. In fact in Jesus' teachings the people who did these works seemed to be unaware that they had did anything worthy of eternal life. (Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?)
So if eternal life must be earned where did the church get the teachings of grace and faith and accepting Jesus? I believe that the teachings are a misunderstanding of terminology. Certain words used in the Bible; namely SALVATION - ETERNAL LIFE- ENTERING THE KINGDOM were three entirely different concepts. Modern Chrisitanity uses these words pretty much enterchangably but a closer look at the scriptures shows that they are not the same at all. But that's another blog.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
And what of the warning from God that the day Adam ate of the tree he would surely die? Well, as a Bible scholar, I am a big fan of concordances and original meanings of words. The original Hebrew word for death is "Muwth" (pronounced "mooth"). The word means "to kill, to die or to be worthy of death." So could it be that rather than meaning that Adam would literally drop dead the moment he ate of the tree, God could have meant that Adam would be worthy of death or that eating of the tree was essentially a death sentence for him. The fact is, God never actually sentenced Adam to death. He only put Adam out of the garden to restrict him from eating from the Tree of Life. God Himself said in Genesis 3:22 that if Adam ate from the The Tree of Life, he would live forever. So, Adam was going to die anyway. It was up to him to choose eternal life, but he chose instead to know good and evil. So maybe, Christ is a tree of life to us who believe in Him, basically giving us back the choice that we lost when Adam was cast out of the garden of Eden.
During this event refered to in religious circles as "the fall of man" the word sin is not mentioned. In fact, the first time sin is mentioned in the Bible is in Genesis chapter 4 where God warns Cain that sin lies at the door. Later, in the same chapter, God curses a person (Cain) for the first time by pointedly stating "you are cursed..." Genesis 4:11. Therefore since, Adam was never said to have sinned and according to the Bible was obviously not cursed, the doctrine of the original sin must be erroneous. Even if there was in fact an original sin of man and a resulting curse upon man, then that sin and that curse would have had to come through Cain, not Adam.