A Response to Donald
Donald recently posted a question to me under “About” which is as follows,
“I am curious about people who are Christians. would you be kind enough to discuss your beliefs with me?
‘I believe that it is through Christ’s atonement for us on the cross that we are saved and that through faith in His work, not my own’
What exactly do you feel saved from?
First off Donald, please accept my apology for not getting back to you sooner, day to day living has been a little on the hectic side as of late. I trust you will understand.
The short answer to your question is basically from my own nature, things that I have done, thoughts that I have thought. The Bible calls these shortcoming sin and I believe that all of humanity is subject to commiting sin. The New Testament gives us a recollection of an event wherein a woman who was caught in adultry was brought before Jesus for judgement. In the Old Testament this sin was punishable by death (stoning was the common method). Interestingly enough, both male and female were subject to this punishment but it would appear that only the woman in this case was brought forward. When asked to render a verdict on the woman, Jesus said to the gathered crowd, and I paraphrase here, “Let he that is without sin cast the first stone.” What happened next is that the New Testament states that from the eldest to the youngest, the accusers departed. Jesus asked the woman where her accusers were, and she responded that there were none. Jesus then replied, “Neither do I comdemn you, go and sin no more.”
I am 63 years old, the way that I think things through now is not the way that I thought things through when I was much younger. That definitely doesn’t mean that I am perfect now in all that I do or not do, nor in all that I think or not think, but there has been a substantial change in perspective and for lack of better words, as I recollect some of the things I did and thought in my younger days, it is not difficult to see where my perspective was flawed on a number of occasions.I would suspect that this shortfall continues to this very day, in fact I am sure of it, maybe not as frequent but it is still there, because when all is said and done, I am, in my current state, imperfect, in myself.
Perspective is an interesting word because the life that I have lived has showed me that it changes as new variables are introduced into the equation of life. Do I understand all of the implications of sin, no I do not, but I have learned this. God’s nature or character is different from ours, His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. A number of years ago, for reasons I do not fully comprehend, I was given grace to stand in the presence of God. This event in my life gave me insight into three things instantly, all at the same time. Holliness is not a word, it is a presence that emulates from the person of God. Second, the difference between myself and God is like day and night and thirdly, God’s love that emulates to us is beyond comprehension. I do know this, I did not want to leave His presence.
I believe that the oneness we had between God and ourselves (humanity) has been broken. Free will I would think, plays a vital role in that. The Law or the Old Testament was given to us to show us that we could not, in ourselves, bring ourselves back into union with God by perfectly following a set of laws or rules per sec. In order to correct the problem you first have to come to the realization that there is a problem. But the Old Testament is only part of God’s message to mankind, the New Testament is the fulfillment, the completion if you will of the original or complete intent of God. He, God provided the way per sec by sending His Son Jesus. The work that Jesus did was to do the will of the Father, and ultimately this meant laying down His life so that we might be at one with the Father again. Consequently, when I say that I believe that it is through the atoning “work” that Jesus did, i.e. His communication of God’s intent and ultimately the sacrifice of the cross, (not to mention the validation of the Resurrection), that I believe or have faith in the fact that I am “at one” with God now, even in my current imperfect bodily state. My faith or trust in the work that Jesus did on my behalf, gives me this confidence. Hence, my reliance to be at one with God the Father is not based on what I have done to bridge the gap that exists but rather on the “work” that Jesus accomplished.
I hope I have answered your question Donald, do not hesitate in letting me know if you require further clarification.