Frequently I run into people who indicate that they believe in God but they have not associated this belief with any particular religion. Other statements I hear is that they do not believe in a particular church or that they are not religious. I understand what they are saying but I have doubts as to whether they truly understand the logic involved in what they are saying or the consequences of their logic.
Idolatry can take many forms including idolatry of the mind. What some people do is create a god in their imagination to suite their own purposes, a god who will turn a blind eye to their shortcomings, who will not hold them to the same level of accountability as they often hold others. One of the greatest shortcomings of humanity is our ability to have two standards or levels of accountability. One for others and another for ourselves. You can guess where leniency has a tendency to shift towards.
We (humanity), have an innate ability to be able to discern what is “fair” for us and what is “fair” for others. This is one of the reasons why Jesus focused so much on removing the log in our own eye before attempting to remove the twig in someone else’s eye. It’s called being hypocritical, holding others to a high standard while holding ourselves to a more “accommodating” standard. It happens every day in almost everyone I know, including myself. We hear it being voiced by some who hold power, by some who have attained what the world calls success and by those who have failed and blame it on others. We also hear it every day by the words that come out of our mouths when we articulate what we see in others or how our feelings have been ignored or how we have not received the consideration or acknowledgement that we ought to receive.
The problem with this logic is that a god who would make judgements like this would NOT be holy, would NOT be righteous, would NOT be just. This would be a god who has human qualities, basically much like ourselves. What we have created in our minds is a god who doesn’t acknowledge or notice wrongs that have been committed by us, but only focuses on the wrongs committed by others. But if God is just, if He is righteous, if He is Holy, which the Christian Bible attests to, then the god that we have created in our minds doesn’t exist. The god that we acknowledge based on the wonders of the universe that are displayed before us, or by our innate sense of right and wrong, is a god that is not truly “fair”, is not truly just.
The God of the Bible understands our humanistic logic, He actually gave us the mental capability to discern what is truly right and wrong, key word being “truly”. So that means that those who say they believe in God need to take another serious hard look at what their logic is going to give them, when we come face to face with our Maker.
Isaiah 55:8 NIV states: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.“
1 Samuel 16:7 NIV states: “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
The “god” that we make in our minds, which excuses us while holding others accountable, doesn’t exist. That also means that this “god” we have acknowledged is not going to change anything in us, because we are “acceptable” to our god, as we are. It also means that the god that we have created in our minds isn’t able to correct the problem that all of us have, and according to His “just” perspective, are left with.
Anyone who seriously takes the time to read through the Holy Scriptures comes to the realization pretty quickly that there is one standard for all. Holy means holy, righteous means righteous, justice means justice, for others and most importantly, for us. The Ten Commandments, the Law of the Old Testament, where all designed to bring us to the awareness that we do have a serious problem and from God’s perspective, it needs to be fixed if we are to be at one with our Maker.
Galatians 3:24 KJV states: “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.“
We’ve all heard the statement, “In order to fix the problem you need to acknowledge that you have a problem“. If God loves us, which He does, and He wants us to be with Him and be like Him, He needed to make us aware of the problem that we have, our shortfalls or sins. Was it His intent when He created us, that we have this problem? Nope, but that’s another post. Let’s just go with we do have a problem for the time being and follow through with His logic.
Jesus Christ, the Messiah foretold in the Old Testament, the Son of the living God, is God’s answer to our problem. It’s pretty basic really, when you get right down to it. Humanity thinks that we can make ourselves like the god that we fabricate in our minds and God (in reality) has to get through to us that we, in and of ourselves, are not capable of doing this. This is where good deeds must out number our bad deeds like in the Muslim faith come into play, or where legalistic ceremonies that “cover” (atonement) our sins like in Judaism come into play or where our modern concept that we are basically good people come into play. Nope … we are missing the point.
Isaiah 1:11 NIV states: “The multitude of your sacrifices– what are they to me?” says the LORD. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.”
Hebrews 10:3-4 states: “But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”
Note that there is a big difference between “covering over” as in atonement and “taking away”. “Covering over” is interim, as in for the intervening period; provisional or temporary, “taking away” is permanent.
Faith in God’s answer to our problem has always been the way He wants us to go. In the Old Testament the prophets of old had faith in their coming Redeemer. In the New Testament, in Hebrews 10:10-12 the point of the priesthood and the sacrifices in the Old Testament meet their divine purpose through the sacrifice that God made for us, through the obedience of His Son: “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. ”
John 14:6 NIV “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.“
So….., God’s answer is His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus did for us through His perfect obedience to God’s will, what we in ourselves cannot do, and He paid the price that our misguided sense of justice and righteousness demands in the presence of a Holy God. Right is right and wrong is wrong – straight across the board. No exceptions, no buts……
Jesus promised us that if we believed in Him, even though we will physically die, we will never really die because His Spirt is in us and our soul or spirit will continue to live after we leave this physical body and we shall receive a new body. He proved it through His own resurrection. The Apostles believed Him, and his disciples or followers believed Him and millions if not billions of believers, have and do, believe in Him today.
No Christian alive today is perfect, none, not one. But we are in the process of being changed, in our minds and in our hearts, becoming holy, being made holy, while in this body but looked upon by God our Father, as holy now, because of our faith in His Son. Why? Because the righteousness of Christ has been imputed (treated as if it it was our own righteousness) to us, through faith in Christ our Saviour. That’s God’s solution, that’s God’s answer to our human problem.
2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.“
So the question is not, do you believe in God, the question is, does what you believe about God correlate with God’s perspective about Himself and not your own. Big difference.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!