Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Way to God

Jesus, The Way to God

Today, many people think Bible believing Christians are narrow minded and judgmental, because we promote Jesus as the only Savior of all who believe in Him. The popular position regarding religious faith is to believe that all religion is equally good, and that all good people have the same chance at salvation, regardless of their belief about Jesus the Christ. But Jesus said that He is the only way to God. If we believe that Jesus is Lord, then we should accept His words, recorded by John the Apostle: Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  (John 14:6, NKJV)
The Bible teaches that no one can be saved by his or her good works. No one merits salvation, because we all make mistakes. Sin removes us from perfection. Sin separates us from the God who created us. We all miss the mark of what we know we should be. Our failures bring despair and hopelessness.

One popular way to deal with the shame of sin is to deny that there is such a thing as sin. Secular humanists claim that all actions are natural, since they believe we are only animals by nature. Animals do the things that instincts and environment cause them to do. Therefore, to the humanist, modification of environment and denial of shame are ways to lead people to desired action in life. Acceptance of sinful nature as being the natural status of mankind, and encouraging social acceptance of all types of human behavior, naturally flow from this philosophy. This way leads to moral bankruptcy, and to immoral society, with all the evils such life produces. Sin leads to destruction.

As Apostle Paul taught, Rom 6:16-23:  "Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?"

"But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification." 

"For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death." 

"But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."  NASU

Jesus demonstrated correct living during His brief visit on earth. He showed that considering the rights of others of equal importance to our own rights produces a blessed society. Our basic nature is to put our own rights above the rights of others. Pagan society is marked by disregard for the rights of others, and history abounds with the destruction that results from such thinking.

Doing unto others as we would have them do to us is not natural; it is supernatural, beyond the way of man. It is the way of God. Jesus demonstrated that way in the things that He did. He lived a life of compassion and healing, always caring for the downtrodden and helpless of society. He dismissed as play actors the religious people of his day with their emphasis on empty ritual. He showed that the mind is the center of life, and that the mind can be transformed by the influence and power of God.

Through His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus opened the only way to God; the way to a mind cleansed from shame and empowered by the will of God. Jesus opened the way to life by giving His own life as the ultimate demonstration of the love of God. He commands that those who come to Him must demonstrate their submission to the will of God by following the pattern of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus in repentance and baptism. Those who demonstrate their faith in such a way are cleansed by the blood of Christ, and given a life empowered by the will of God in Jesus Christ. This is the way to eternal life. “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Rom 6:4)

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