What picture of God has been painted for you? When a person wants to know what God is like, she need look no further than Jesus Christ. He came to be our example and our substitute. God is not interested in your perfection! You will never be perfect, and neither will I. No one except Jesus ever has or will be! God, in gracious love, knew that we could not be perfect or even close. Thus, we need atonement for our sins. He loves us too much to let us go.
The Influence of Modern Trends on the Church
Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light. How could Jesus say this if he demands perfection? Is perfection easy to bear? Does trying to be perfect give you rest? He says his burden is light. I can tell you that this has been so true in my life.
We become saints, not sinners. Yes, we may still choose to sin and this sin will impact our relationship with God disrupt the harmony of our relationship but it will not change the fact that we are his children. God has made us partakers of His nature so we will actually BE like Him. You are not on a performance basis with God. He must change your nature, give you an entirely new self—the life of Christ in you—which is the grace you need to measure up to His standards.
Only after He changes who you are and makes you a partaker of his divine nature will you be able to change your behavior. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. As we trust in, seek, and rely on God in every aspect of our lives, the Spirit begins to change who we are. As we change, we desire to sin less and desire to serve God more, because we love Him, and not because we have to or because he demands it from us.
Neil Anderson gives a great example: It is the airplane that has a greater power than gravity and allows the person to accomplish their desire to fly. When we place our whole trust in Jesus, He puts the desires in our heart to obey Him. It is no longer something we do out of obligation.
The bible says in 1 Timothy 4: Thank God for that! As we give more and more of our desires and our control over to Jesus, He will change us and our progress will be evident, obvious, to all who look at us. I praise God that anyone around me can tell you that I am not at all the same person I was even a year ago.
All I have tried to do is focus on Him. He has showed me sin in my life and I have repented of it and gradually given it over to Him. I have, one by one, started to give up my own desires and received from Him a fresh new set of desires. They bring me so much more joy and satisfaction than my own interests, desires, and plans ever did! Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses?
You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? It says it right there in His Word. If we believe this message, we already have favor, good standing, in the eyes of God. It is a done deal! Have you ever been so grieved and saddened by the all sin in your life that you repented of it and gave it over to Jesus?
Have you ever asked Jesus to come into your heart and forgive you of all your sins past and future , including the sin of resentment expressed in your letter? Did you do this while whole-heartedly believeing that He was God and he came to earth to die for you so that you can be free from the weight and penalty of your sin free from the condemnation of not being perfect? Did you believe Him and trust that His blood shed for you was powerful enough to pay for all your sins and that He was the perfection lived in your place?
If not then do so now! He did it for us, in our place, because it was something we could never do. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind. Even the best things we can do for God are tainted, filthy, before Him because they are done with impure selfish motives. For Jesus gave this example:. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. But the tax collector stood at a distance. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
The tax collector like you realized that he had nothing to bring to God. In fact, it is just the opposite. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.
God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. It will never work for them. We accept what God says as true and live according to faith, and this abundant life works out in our experience.
If we try to make it true by the way we live we will never get there. We are saved by faith and we walk or live by faith. We are neither saved nor sanctified by how we behave but by how we believe. If you can come to understand this it will free you! You say you have many questions about the bible. I think once you understand this truth, much if it will begin to make a lot more sense for you. I would be happy to answer any questions that remain to the best of my ability. I would love to explain this over the phone because I could then understand better what you are going through.
It is hard to convey what I mean in writing. In fact, some of the godliest men in the bible went through this. They even recorded their crisis of faith for us to read. I believe God had those put in His word so that we can be comforted, knowing that it is not uncommon for us to wonder God, where are you? I encourage you to read the book of Psalms. It is littered with the earnest cries of people desperately seeking to find God in the midst of feelings of abandonment, loss, hopelessness, loneliness, and doubt. Some examples are Psalms 6, 13, 22, What you are feeling is real and valid.
Here are some examples of how the psalmists cried out in the midst of this pain:. Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. I am sick at heart. How long, O Lord, until you restore me? Return, O Lord, and rescue me. Save me because of your unfailing love. I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears. My vision is blurred by grief; my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies. Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief. How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Oh, that God would listen to me! When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted.
I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help. I am too distressed even to pray! I think of the good old days, long since ended, when my nights were filled with joyful songs. I search my soul and ponder the difference now. Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be kind to me? Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he slammed the door on his compassion?
The feelings you have are no different than the ones expressed by these men of faith. The only difference is how you have responded. The difference is in what these experiences have caused you to conclude. He goes on to say:. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works. O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? Life in this world is hard.
The world is fallen and needs to be redeemed. Redemption starts with the individual soul before God. One day, it will extend to all creation Romans 8: Remember, when God came in the flesh to this world, it was hard for Him he was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief — Isaiah In fact, Christ even quoted the verse from Psalm 22 above when he was hanging on the cross.
Even Jesus felt that sense of abandonment that you are feeling. Our feelings are not adequate to reveal reality. Feelings change with the wind…and time. When my feelings tell me that God does not love me or accept me, I discipline myself to focus on the cross of Jesus Christ.
It becomes for me a neon banner in the black of my night flashing the love of God for me whether I feel it or not. Therefore, I am willing to live for Him, whether I feel it or not. Marion, Jesus loves you. He died for you. He cared so much about your need to be forgiven and saved that he endured your hurts your sin and bore them all on the cross. Jesus did not come to remove hurt and pain from your life.
He came to save you from your sin and take the heavy load of living perfect off your shoulders. The very fact that you are reading this shows that God cares a ton about the very needs and hurts you are talking about! He compelled an absolute stranger on the other side of the world, mind you to spend almost a whole day a huge holiday in my country praying for you and responding to you.
You need to know that God told me to do it. These words are His very words to you. He loves you so much! I only wish you knew. The same is true of what God promises us. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives.
Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him. This I know for sure, if you really come to God in a contrite heart, broken over your sin, and seek him with of your heart as the verses above state , you will find him! What is the condition of your heart? Are you coming to Him with bitterness, resentment, unconfused sin, or parts of your life you are unwilling to give Him?
You must seek Him with your whole heart. God is near to the brokenhearted. Come to Him in this way. As you do this, you must wait patiently for the Lord to act, trusting that He will. Sometimes He may wait just to see how much we really trust Him or believe in Him. Lastly, you must find a church that will teach the bible correctly.
There are churches everywhere that will help you to understand the truth of the bible. I can help with questions and I will , but you need a group of believers to walk through life with you. Your daughter needs to see the Christian life lived out. I sincerely hope this helped you. I will pray for you. If nothing else, you have at least 20 people praying for you in America now! Jake, Great article and great answer to Marion. I hope your article and answer to Marion will minister to many others too. Jake, I just wanted to say that you have a very powerful argument here.
This page really sums up the kind of lifestyle I want to start living. Thank you for the encouraging comment. It sounds like you are on the right track. If you have come to the place where you believe that Jesus Christ came to earth as God and man, that he died for your sins on the cross, and was raised again, and you have repented of your sin and chosen to turn over control of your life to him, then you already have the relationship with him. You now have direct access to the throne of heaven! No need to go through anyone else or jump through any religious hoops.
Jesus alone is your mediator, your bridge See 1 Timothy 2: Now you can work on growing that relationship, making it stronger and deeper. Spend time with him in prayer, praise, and meditation on the Word. The Holy Spirit will guide you and teach you. Also, it is important for you to be part of a local church that believes in the truth of scripture and can help you grow.
Where do you live? Perhaps I can help you find one. What you need to seek out are close relationships with Christians that can help you grow. That means spending time with you and living life with you. I have grown more in my life through the help of others than I ever have on my own. It should be available at most Christian book stores. I will be praying for you. I am also here to help with any questions or issues you encounter. Please feel free to contact me.
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God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Basically, the bible says the Jesus came to pay our debt for us and die in our place. You contributed your response to Marion so that it would be available to others as well for you are hopeful, I assume, that others will enjoy the gift Jesus brought you as you have yourself.
So I also would like to offer an addition that I have found most helpful and comforting. I call it an addition because it goes beyond your response and seem more radically Christian and therefore more likely, in my view, to be what Jesus had it mind. It certainly has been a gift to me. All that is required of us is openness.
Believing is not a requirement. Believing is itself a gift given by the Spirit who blows where he wills. So your exhortation to Marion to believe sounded to me like imposing an obligation. Believing will or will not happen as God wishes. All we can do is give testimony to what it is like for us and to tell the stories that have inspired us. The rest is for the Spirit to accomplish. She is up to the task I hope I do not offend by using the female pronoun, and it is very likely that task will not be done our way.
John, Thanks for the comment. Just to be clear, I totally agree with you about the Holy Spirit being a gift of God. Indeed He is God gifting Himself to us. Additionally, I also agree that even our faith in God is a gift from Him. You can see this in Eph 2: However, I do hold that faith and belief are requirements for salvation.
While it is given by God, it is absolutely required in order to know Him. But to be sure, I believe in both. I urge Marion to believe, because Jesus urged people to believe. Repent and believe the good news! While the spiritual reality is that faith is given by God, the way we perceive that faith being given is by us choosing to follow. By this I mean to us it seems we choose even though in reality we are chosen. So by all means, I encourage people to choose God. The realization that they were really chosen by God can come later.
You need to be careful about the implications of the theology you are espousing here. It has the dangerous potential, if taken to its ultimate conclusion, of downplaying the importance of preaching the gospel, sharing Jesus Christ and evangelizing the lost. Jesus Himself commands us to go and make disciples the great commission Matt The verbs here are go, make, baptize, and teach.
These actions are intended to tell us we need to do something. Paul expressed it this way:. And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? My effort is to bring the good news to all who will listen. The good news does call people to repentance and faith. Only God can do that. However, I must be obedient to preach the truth and call them to it.
This article and the comments left have added considerably to my understanding! Thankyou very much for taking the time to write everything you have. Firstly, I have yet to understand how exactly our sins are removed because Jesus Christ died on the Cross. I feel that this gap in my understanding is indeed a huge abyss, for it is the basis of faith and belief, is it not?
I know these are probably common, rather broad and simplistic questions. I really hope I can find answers to my questions soon: That being said, thankyou again for this article — I will hunt for more of your work to expand my knowledge! These are very good questions. I can see that God is at work in your heart. I want to address your two questions in two separate responses so that I can spend some time on each.
I only have enough time right now to answer the first one, but I will also address the second when I get a chance. Indeed, I think most Christians probably struggle with understanding this point. I know I used to. My lack of understanding here came from my small understanding of who God is. The more I began to learn about who He is and how great He is, the more this idea of Jesus paying the penalty for me began to make sense. Let me see if I can help some. This is of course true 1 John 4: God is also just and holy. His wrath alone is mentioned over times! But, Jesus also spoke about hell more than anyone else in the bible!
The very verse people quote above that said God is love 1 John 4: God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to satisfy His wrath and take away our sins.
Did you catch that last part? In fact, the justice of God is the reason we know what love is. We see that God is love because God is just. The two go hand-in-hand. Let me explain why. Anger is not always bad, it can be a righteous virtue. Anger is the correct response to injustice. God is aroused slowly and often withholds His response Ex In fact this response from Him is necessary. So why is this response from God necessary? The bible says that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom Ps We need to first start our understanding of God with an understanding of His justice and holiness before we can rightly know what His love is.
Paul starts out his presentation of the gospel in Romans with discussing the wrath of God Rom 1: This is why Paul starts here. God is just or righteous same word in Hebrew and Greek. He does not and cannot overlook evil. If God did not punish all sin he would be unjust, unrighteous. He must be angry because of sin because God is good. His anger is directly linked to His goodness. God hates sin Prov 6: I believe if we understood how holy God really is it would totally blow us away.
We would feel so dirty and ashamed of our sin. I think one day when we fully understand how ugly our sin is, we will start to grasp how we have wronged God. His love and His justice. Both must be upheld. Both are equally important aspects of His character. One cannot be ignored in favor of the other or God would no longer be God. He cannot act outside of His very nature. If God just turned His back on all the evil, all the wrong things done in this world and just let it all go, He would be unjust. He must punish evil or He is no longer just. It applies to my sin and yours.
Wayne Grudem, theologian and Professor at Phoenix Seminary says it this way. But, the Justice of God also required that God find a way that the penalty due to us for our sins would be paid for he could not accept us into fellowship with himself unless the penalty was paid. Here Paul says that God had been forgiving sins in the Old Testament but no penalty had been paid—a fact that would make people wonder whether God was indeed just and ask how he could forgive sins without a penalty.
No God who was truly just could do that, could he? It is not helpful for us to ask which one is more important, because without the love of God, he never would have taken the steps to redeem us, yet without the justice of God, the specific requirement that Christ should earn our salvation by dying for our sins would not have been met. Both the love and justice of God are equally important. There are some big ideas and large words in that quote.
But hopefully it helps you to get a picture of the situation. God is just and therefore cannot let the penalty go unpaid. Jesus volunteers to pay the penalty so that God can remain just and display His love for us in a way that is completely unbelievable. Nope, the debt had to be paid. The only way was for God to pay it Himself. He was the only one qualified to pay it. He alone was without His own sin. It had to be Jesus or we were doomed to hell forever.
When Jesus went to the cross for us, God literally placed all of the guilt from our sins on Jesus Isa When Jesus was on the cross He became so filthy with our sin that God could no longer look upon him. God turned away, and for the first time in history Jesus felt separation from His Father. These verses tell us that it was God Himself that actually placed our sins on Jesus.
But how could this be? Some have objected that it was not fair for God to transfer guilt to an innocent person, but we need to remember that it was actually Jesus who volunteered to pay the penalty. There was no coercion.
The Influence of the Primitive Church
Jesus voluntarily went in our place. The difference, of course, is that in this situation it was an unjust debt. In our situation we owe it, big time! Hopefully that helps some. As a Christian of many years I am still so young in my journey and it is a constant learning curve for me. Raised in a non-christian house I have been surrounded by non-christians all my life.
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My acceptance of Christ as a teenager was something that disturbed my non-christian family and to this day, they still question my faith. Their disbelief is primarily that God is a figment of ones imagination and is a means by which people seek solace in times of need or by which people try to control others. Therefore they want no part in it. On the other hand they feel that in saying humans are sinful and wrong Christians are passing judgement and trying to impose their beliefs on others.
We are bigots and we are doing a horrible thing by trying to indoctrinate them and most especially their children. For me to tell them in any way shape or form that they are being sinful and are doing wrong would cause them to feel anger and hatred towards my faith and to detest the fact that I love the Lord with all my heart.
Nina, thanks for the comment and question. First I would just like to encourage you to keep pressing on fighting the good fight. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you to stand by your beliefs in such a hostile environment. Remember that God says you are blessed when you are persecuted for His name. In fact He says to consider it joy! My advice to you would be to wage a campaign of prayer.
Prayer is SO powerful! It is usually the first thing we talk about but the last thing we do. Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in your family; to convict them of sin and prepare the way for you to share. If your family made it clear that they do not want you to try to persuade them to believe, I think you should respect their wishes and pray that God would soften their hearts. Yiu cannot do anything to save them.
Apart from a work of God in their hearts giving them faith, they will not hear or understand your words. This is what Paul tels us in 1 Cor 2: Consider fasting in and praying. As you pray for God to work in them, also pray the the Holy Spirit will fill you with the power to live like Jesus. If they see a real change in you, how you react, how you serve, and how you love, they will see your faith as a source of strength, not a crutch to help the weak.
They will know your faith is real when they can see it lived out. Repay evil with kindness. Love when you are attacked. You cannot do this in your own power. It will have to be God working through you, this is why it is important to pray for Him to do this work in your heart. Repent of anything God shows you that needs to change. Your focus needs to be on your life.
As you do this eventually God wil begin to make headway into their hearts. God can use your life as contrast to theirs and point out their sin. He will guide you and show you when the proper time is to share why there is a change in you. This part takes some discernment so pray for that as well. As a general rule, wait until they ask you what is going on. When you do speak about God be sure do do it from a position of humility, acknowledging your many faults and showing thanks for how much God has saved you from. There are times when it is appropriate and necessary to point out their sin, but if they are seeing you and Christians as judgmental, then the best approach may be to talk about your sin and what God has saved you from.
Paying or not paying taxes has nothing to do with being a religion. It has absolutely nothing to do with if they are religions or not. Is that what you think? The word religion certainly has many definitions like many words in the English language. I have done this very clearly in my blog above. Do you disagree that Christianity is not a religion by the definition that I gave? However, this is not the common use of the word. There is much more implied there than that they believe in a god of some kind.
Also, people can believe in the existence of a god but not be religious and not belong to any religion. I believe in the existence of my wife. Belief is absolutely necessary in order to have a relationship. This is no different than the fact that I believe in the existence of my wife because I know her. That is not intellectually honest. In it, a Christian is supposed to obey God without question. The fact that we are communicating shows that at some level we ARE having a relationship.
I may not be able to see God, but I can and certainly do hear Him and feel Him. My relationship with Him is undeniably real. Since I am the only one who can testify what MY relationship with God like, I think I am in the best position to comment on it. He is very real. He speaks to me frequently in unmistakable ways. He stirs my heart and my spirit and moves me to want and desire new things that I never thought I would ever desire before.
It is only someone who knows God, who has experienced this same thing that can understand this or will believe it. But, once you have, there is no doubting it. My relationship with Jesus is as real to me as any earthly relationship. In so many ways it is deeper. It is one of mutual love. That is what you cannot understand without experiencing it. The relationship between me and my Savior is not one of slave to master.
It is one of close brother to brother. It is one of son to loving Father. I gladly choose to obey because I love Him and I know that He knows what is best. His plan and His way is the best way. It is in my best interest to follow Him because He knows everything all ways and has chosen the best path for me. Additionally, He is continually at work in my heart changing me. He gives me new desires and I find that I no longer want to go my way.
There are certainly times when I disobey and go my own way and not His. However, without fail this turns out to my detriment and to the detriment of those I love. When I repent and turn back to His way He is always there with open arms welcoming me back and helping me want to grow. What arrogance to think that we can tell God what is right and that He is wrong.
It is simply a fact that God is right. It is His very nature. He cannot be un-right. Right and wrong only make sense in relation to God. Without an external God separated from His creation there is no such thing as objective right an wrong. We would have no concept of right or wrong apart from God. Everything would be purely subjective. So, of course God is right. I have a real relationship with my earthly Father. However, there are certainly times when we disagreed. Yes, this was wrong.
Five Truths About Christian Suffering
There were consequences when I disobeyed. He was still my father and I was still his son. I still have a relationship with him in fact a very good one. I am not his slave just because he gave me healthy boundaries, set rules and called me to obey them. They were for my safety and well being. Do you think that perhaps my Dad may have know a few more things that I, as an 8 year old boy, did?
Is it possible he might have known better than I did if it was a good idea for me to go walking around town at midnight? Perhaps the almighty God of the universe might know a little bit more than you do? You are a sinner. Like all of us you have chosen to rebel against the holy, just and good God of this universe. You have thumbed you nose at Him and and the sound of submitting to Him is like nails on a chalk board to you. You would rather continue to go your way because you have believed the lie that you know better than God what is good and right for you.
If you only could see the truth that of what you are missing. If you only knew that the real freedom, the real joy, the real hope, the real life is only found when you fulfill the purpose for which you were created and repent of your way and let God lead. It is my prayer that you will. There is a real eternal hell at stake here.
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Just as God cannot be un-right, He can also not be unjust. His very character is just. He must punish evil and sin. If He overlooked it He would be unjust. The only hope of escaping this punishment is the fact that Jesus agreed to take this punishment for those who repent and agree to let God lead. Jesus stepped in on the cross and took our punishment, the penalty that we rightly deserved so that God could remain just and so that we could live.
This was the only way both could be satisfied. If you do not repent and place God in His rightful position of Lord of your life, you will pay for your own sin in hell for all eternity. However, if you swallow your pride, admit you are wrong and that He is right, and place your trust in Him, you can live forever with Him in a love relationship that will grow and grow for eternity.
This is the most rewarding and wonderful relationship you could ever have. I know from personal experience. I was where you are now. But I gave in, I realized my way was not the right way. I realized that I was drinking out of the toilet when I was being offered fresh, purified water. I came to Him dirty and full on sin and my own pride. I laid it all at the foot of His cross and repented and it was all gone, in an instant. He took it all upon Him and suddenly I was set free in a way I cannot express.
I have never been the same since. I am a new person. I truly do desire this for you. I will pray for you and I am here if you have any questions. The greatest thing he has never known. Matiny, This is a good question. You are referring to John Ironically and most likely not coincidentally , it is a subject that was directly discussed in the sermon preached at my church on the same day you posted your comment. I highly recommend that you listen to this sermon. I think it will help answer your question and provide you with my perspective in better detail. You can find the full sermon here: The sermon above is much more thorough than I can be here, but I will try to give a quick summary of my thoughts.
The scriptures are very clear that we, as New Testament followers of Jesus, are not under the specific and direct commands of the Old Testament law. This can be clearly seen in numerous Scripture passages. The Mosaic Law was not intended as a universal and eternal reflection of the will of God. It was intended for a particular time, place and people. In Christ, it is no longer binding. Abel, Noah, Abraham and many others were declared righteous before the law.
Moses, Joshua, David, the prophets and many others born under the law were declared righteous not through obedience to the law but through faith in the promises of God. Now, in Christ, we relish in the final revelation of the fulfillment of the promises in the coming of the object of the faith Jesus Christ who alone justifies.
We are not under the law but under grace Romans 6: However, this is not a passport for living how we want and thumbing our nose at God. But what is the law of Christ? This can be answered by looking at a few verses. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. The law of Christ is love; love for others and love for God. Jesus tells us that love fulfills the whole law Matt We are called to love.
By doing so, we fulfill all the intent and purpose of the rules of the law without needed to obey the letter. Jesus actually modeled this for us when He was on earth. That is where the passage you asked about comes in. Look at the verse the immediately follows the one you quote, John You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
He gives us the Holy Spirit to help us with this commandment to love. Thus it is actually His work, not ours. The Holy Spirit empowers us and helps us love overcoming our selfishness. He says that if you try to obey part of the law then you are obligated to keep the whole thing. As we place our faith in God, he changes our hearts.
The Holy Spirit helps us to genuinely love God and love others. This faith works itself out as love in our lives. Therefore, those who have faith will love, and thus, fulfill the law of Christ. Not sure i understand your post. These things themselves have no moral implications. They are just things. How they are used and why they are used is what is relevant. It is always about the heart. Pradeepa, The short answer to your question is that it is because of sin. As I explained in the post above, sin separates us from God. It also separates us from each other.
We see this every day. As a result of sin, marriages split up, friends part ways, relationships are strained, etc. Relationships are always impacted when we sin usually our horizontal relationships with others, but always our vertical relationship with God. We repeatedly see this example in the Bible.
When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, they became separated from God. We see this with the Nation of Israel. When King Solomon sins by worshiping idols, the result is that his kingdom is divided. It is split into two kingdoms Israel and Judah. The once unified Nation of Israel is torn in two as a result of this sin. This is similar to what has happened to the Church.
However, when Jesus left, Satan remained. His desire is to spread dissension and division Romans 6: The Church has a real enemy that is continually warring against it to try to create as much division as possible. Additionally, Christians still have sinful natures. We are far from perfect!
Five Truths About Christian Suffering | Desiring God
Sin also has the effect of clouding our minds so that we cannot perceive things correctly. It tends to skew our interpretation of things. Thus, there were many disagreements of how to interpret various things in Scripture. The church is not meant to be a loosely bound association of functional Lone Rangers. The church is meant to be a refuge for those suffering.
When a member is hurting, the church applies the bandages; when a member is down, the church encourages; when a member is in need, the church comes alongside to help. Firsthand experience in suffering is essential in equipping us for ministry. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1: And what is the link between experiencing suffering and equipping for ministry? David Powlison answers this way:. You have firsthand experience of both his sustaining grace and his purposeful design.
He has kept you through pain; he has reshaped you more into his image. What you are experiencing from God, you can give away in increasing measure to others. Suffering and the Sovereignty of God , Wherever there is suffering, there is a battle — a battle for your soul. The book of Job shows us there can be two ways to respond to suffering: One of the counterintuitive truths about suffering is that it prepares Christians for more glory. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4: For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.