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our faith

we've been meeting with a couple of jehovah's witnesses each week, and it has sparked a lot of reading and many deep conversations in our house about what the bible really says and what we truly believe.

there is one god. god is three persons: father, son and holy spirit. all distinctly, individually, only god. and they are one.

jesus is god. he is not an angel, he was not just a good teacher or whatever. he is god.

jesus was murdered by crucifixion, and was physically, bodily resurrected. it was not a metaphorical death or a metaphorical rising. god raised him from true physical death to true physical life. while it definitely also included spiritual death and spiritual life, it actually happened to his body.

if you receive god's grace and put your trust in christ to save you via that grace, you will also be resurrected to consciously live with god eternally.

if you reject god's grace and salvation, you will be judged by god and will live in conscious, terrible separation from him for all eternity. this is hell. and yes it does hurt. you are not just unconscious, you are not just asleep, you are not just dead.

human beings were created for relationship with god, but when they chose to serve themselves above god, they broke that relationship and had to be separated from the one true, perfect, holy god. however, because of god's great love for us, he sought to reconcile us to himself in a way that did not in any way compromise his justice. therefore, god came to earth as a human being - lived as we do, was tempted in all the ways in which we are, yet remained sinless in order that he could take our sin upon himself to pay our debt to god and to purchase our salvation.

in the phrasing of mark driscoll, he lived the life we could not live, died the death we should have died, in order to pay the debt we could not pay. he did all this so that we could be who we were created to be: loving servants of god, made for relationship with him and to worship him as the true god.

god's grace allows us to accept or reject this, and to reap the consequences of whichever path. if we are saved by god through his grace and our faith, a fruitful life (increasing good works) should follow suit out of a response of gratitude and and as a result of the holy spirit living in us.

this is the true gospel. if anyone preaches a gospel that says you must work for your salvation, that god is in any way different than the unchanging triune god of the bible, that there are multiple ways to reach salvation or eternal life, or anything else that does not fall in line with the truth of the gospel, it is a deception. be diligent to weigh whatever you hear against scripture in order to judge for yourself whether it is something that unifies you with christ or something that (however subtly) draws you away from him and his work on the cross.

1 comment :

tivo vovo said...

that was fantastic! i love my wife. any woman reading this who is a wife, strive toward this theological/doctrinal understanding of your faith. there are those who would sneak their way into womens' homes through television, magazines, door-to-door pamphlet distribution, etc... if you do not know the Gospel, you will not know when someone uses the Bible in their twisted way to preach another Gospel, not that it truly is "good news."

single women reading, please examine your faith and love God with all your mind. i know you must also love Him with your heart, soul, and strength, but do not please neglect the mind. please! the next generation of the church and my child's peers will be composed of your children. what will they believe? how will they know if no one preaches? how can one preach if they do not use the Scriptures?

finally, for any men out there reading:

if you be single, pray you find a wife the likes of which i have been blessed.

if you are married, pray that your wife would befriend mine and learn from her.

a faithful wife, devoted to God and His Word is a crown of any man and i could not be prouder of my wife.

she is awesome!