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.
grupoavigase.com/includes/189/6369-sexo-espanol-camara.php 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.
John says you are his child. 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 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. 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. We […]. 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 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. Jesus says,. 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! Thanks Jessica. 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 , but it is also only one aspect of who God is. 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 is immediately followed by this passage that talks about wrath and justice. 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 and Ps but He does get angry with sin. 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 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 and Zach 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.
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. 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. 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 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. Confess your sin. 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? No argument there. We agree. 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. 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. 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.
Christianity is not about religion. It's about faith, about being held, about being forgiven. It's about finding joy and finding home. Bear Grylls. I'm sure you've heard it or said it yourself: “Christianity is not a religion, it's a relationship.” Please stop. This statement has good intentions.
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. 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. A few are: Eph. 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 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. Sin always divides. 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 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! We still sin. 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 result of this sin is that divisions came up. Sometimes they even fought over these disagreements. In most cases these disagreements and different interpretations of Scripture were not major, but were more minor.
However, it is the proclivity of mankind to focus on our differences instead of the more important points we agree on. Some of these points of disagreement are listed in my post above what day of the week to meet on, forms of music to use, ritualistic prayers, dietary requirements, etc. These things are minor points and should not cause fellow believers in Christ to divide. But, all too often, our sinfulness comes out and we fear those who do not agree with us. In addition to these minor points, theological differences caused division.
Many of these differences are about concepts about God and how He works that are very difficult for us humans to understand such as the role of human free will in relationship to the sovereignty of God. Other theological points of disagreement centered on who should be baptized and how. Instead of bearing with one another and allowing each other to disagree on minor matters like this, churches split up over them.
They formed whole organizations of churches around their way of thinking. Groups who believed that the right way to baptize was by immersing the person in water instead of sprinkling water over them split off. Groups of churches that believed that infants should be baptized at birth joined together and separated themselves from churches that believed only believers in Christ should be baptized.
The result was that the Church, as a whole, lost out. In most of these cases there are correct points on both sides as well as some errors and over reactions. We cannot put God in a box, and the reality is that we need perspective of the whole Church to better understand Him.
By surrounding ourselves with only the people who think like us, everyone loses. I look forward to the day when Jesus returns and there will no longer be any denominations, nations, or any other divisions; only followers of Jesus.
God will correct all the wrong thinking in all of us, align us and help all of us to see and understand more of Him than we can now. That is my short answer, I hope it helps some. Pradeepa the various different denominations to my understanding have come about much in the same way that cultural differences come about. When the disciples were sent out to all the ends of the earth to spread the Good News, they naturally came across people from very diverse backgrounds and cultures which resulted in slightly different traditions and practices within the one faith.
I imagine a lot of this is reflected in the various different denominations that you come across today. Nina, Thanks for the response. However, that is not really historically accurate. The Church had already spread over the entire known world. At this point it split in two. It further divided when the Protestant Reformation occurred in the 16th century.
The king of England also split the church in because he wanted to get a divorce. Hi, I heard that when people die, instead of going directly to heaven or hell, they sleep until the day God would comes back and question us about our sins. I was just wondering if that was correct? It is false teaching. The bible never teaches that. There are several clear bible passages that directly contradict it. Jesus claimed He would never die John and They are clearly alive and not asleep.
The apostle John sees saints alive in Heaven when he is taken there by an angel in Revelation. So Christians, why is your religion more valid, than say, Hinduism? What is so veeeery believable about Christianity that you take it above all other religions? I pointed out a few in a previous blog, such as how Christianity is unique in the fact that is about God coming to man instead of man […]. Alex, This is a good question. I chose to write a blog post to answer it. This will allow me a little more space to more fully address your question.
See blog linked below:. Your entire essay here can easily be undone by the first sentence of your fabricated definition for religion. DS, thank you for the comment. In fact, it seems you have completely missed or intentionally avoided my entire point. Yes, Christianity is a system of beliefs that one adheres to. That is not my point, though. I was very specific in how I defined religion. Christianity is unique in that it is a belief without requiring anything more than believing. It is this last part that characterizes religion.
Religion says you have to EARN it. In Christianity the work is already done by God. All that is necessary is to trust is His work. Jesus earned it for us on the cross. Everyone has a belief that they adhere to. Religion is not just believing something. Religion is a belief that requires you to to do something to earn favor from God. This is why Christianity is so different from the others. Religion is the reason why they are killing us innocent Men Woman and Children.. The end result was complete failures. I believe God has chosen me to share Gospel among Hindus and will use some of the teaching shared here on this blog.
I have goose bumps from reading all of this. To everyone who responded so kindly to the people who had questions and doubts, may God bless you. All I know is that my life has dramatically changed since I invited Jesus Christ our Lord into my life. I am not religious, but instead have a wonderful relationship with Him. As I have learned over the years, trying is religion. If you let Jesus captured you heart you would not be trying anymore because you will be living it. Let Jesus capture your heart.
Tubs, Thank you for your comment. I must disagree with you, however. That is not at all what I intend to say with this blog post. It totally depends on WHY you are trying. It should be clearly understood that the bible calls us to try to live how God wants us. We are to try to live like Jesus did. There are countless more I could list.
The above verses among many others make it very easy to see that as Christians we are indeed called to strive, toil, work, obey, and labor. Not just trying but trying very hard! When then, does it become religion? The answer to this question is what I was attempting to explain in this blog. It is all about why you are working.
Why are you trying? Do you think you can make him love you more by doing good things? If so, THIS is religion. If you think it is like earning a reward, then you are working from religion. However, that is not why Paul and the other New Testament authors worked hard. Paul understood that his good works were worthless. I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one!
I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.
I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. Paul understood that he had to discard these attempts to earn favor from God and rely only on God to make up the gap and save him. However, it was the understanding of how much grace and mercy God had shown him that made him want to work so hard.
He worked hard out of love for God and a desire to show gratitude with his life. He also worked hard to gain an eternal reward in heaven. God promises that he will reward all the work that is genuinely done for His glory. So, it is not trying that is religious. If so, then we should just do whatever we want. That is NOT biblical Christianity.
We are still called to try and try as hard as we can. But, our reason for trying has changed. We now try out of love and gratitude and in expectation of an eternal reward that will never fade away. I also work as an Engineer at The Boeing Company. Glad I could help. God bless. I am doing a research paper on Christianity vs Religion how being a Christian is religious or a religion. Good morning Mr. Driscoll How are you? I do believe in the Word of God. I do believe Christianity is not a religion of system of rules it is based on relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Their are so much cult religions out their in the world that is based on a system of rules by man. Since we have a relationship and believe in our Lord Jesus Christ.
The enemy wants to hurt us by killing us off because we believe in our Lord Jesus Christ and not a false God.. I suppose everyone is free to make up their own definition of words, but you can hardly blame the rest of the world for not acknowledging your invented definition. Amanda, First off, thanks for the comment. I hope you understand that what I have written comes from a desire to help you and others. It is certainly perfectly fine if we disagree on this. I appreciate your point that many dictionaries and other sources do not define religion as I have done here.
I know and understand this. The truth is that there is not great agreement on the actual definition. I surveyed several sources with widely differing definitions. There are also many that include my definition as one of the definitions for religion, so I am not out in left field by myself here. Consider these:. From Dictionary. From the freedictionary. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
I could certainly site others. Notice the use of practices, obligation, activity, devotion, and rituals above. The point here is that there is certainly a use and way in which the word religion can mean exactly what I am saying here. I think this gives me some room to point out that there is a major element contained in all of all the world religions that is absolutely missing in Christianity. That just comes down to an argument over how you want to define religion. The point is that there is something vastly different about Christianity. This is the point you are missing here.
There is something common to all religions that is absent in Christianity. For everyone has faith in himself and that multiplied to the nth degree is God. The sum total of all that lives is God. We may not be God, but we are of God, even as a little drop of water is of the ocean. I have no strength save what God gives me. I have no authority over my countrymen save the pure moral.
If He holds me to be a pure instrument for the spread of non-violence in place of the awful violence now ruling the earth, He will give me the strength and show me the way. My greatest weapon is mute prayer. The cause of peace is therefore, in God's good hands. That epithet in its material interpretation is quite unacceptable. Metaphorically we are all sons of God, but for each of us there may be different sons of God in a special sense. Thus for me Chaitanya may be the only begotten son of God … God cannot be the exclusive Father and I cannot ascribe exclusive divinity to Jesus.
It is a highly personal matter for the individual and his God. I may not have any design upon my neighbour as to his faith, which I must honour even as I honour my own. Having reverently studied the scriptures of the world I could no more think of asking a Christian or a Musalman, or a Parsi or a Jew to change his faith than I would think of changing my own. So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu … But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu , a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian.