What ails the Christian churches today is the sad fact that many call themselves "Christians" but they have only encountered doctrine. They have never really encountered the real God. Therefore these nominal Christians remain carnal and immature in their spiritual walk, like retarded members of the Body of Christ. They mold their own view of God according to their warped values and conclusion.
Amazingly, some even get through bible colleges and breeze through intellectual pursuits without an iota of the correct view of God's Character. The Bible explicitly says God is Holy. The Book of Revelation declares His Holiness several times as the people of every tribe and nation, as every knee in heaven and on earth BOW DOWN in awe and worship before the God of this universe.
"Holy, holy, holy
is the LORD God Almighty,
Who was, and is, and is to come."
Such Holiness can never trifle with Sin. It cannot look the other way and consider the wrongness of Sin as just an "April Fool's joke". Never.
What kind of God do we want? The statement reveals a human flaw wherein man in his pride still "wants" to dictate the kind of God he wants, NOT the kind of God Who really is. God cannot adjust His Divine Character according to the flimsy and shallow view of men. Either we accept Who He really is according to His Word, or we wallow in our own finite human "mold" of the God WE want. Jesus Christ the Son of God, in the Book of John expressed in one verse the essence of knowing Who God is.
"Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the Only TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ Whom You have sent." (JOHN 17:3)
"For God so loved the world that He gave His Only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Therefore, logically following these verses - eternal life is given to those who believe (trust and obey) the Son of God Jesus Christ - and those with eternal life come to know GOD in the manner that God reveals Himself by the indwelling Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-7).
"In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its sinful desires."
"For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law but under grace." ( Romans 6:11-12 & 6:14)
So I conclude with finality and biblical perspective that those without eternal life, even though they attend church or bible colleges, have never really given their lives to Jesus Christ and therefore have not received the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, Who will reveal to them Who God is. Like spiritual zombies they tragically go through the rigors of Christian rituals and activities, but they are still "dead". They want a god who will accept their frail trivialities and let them do their own thing and laugh at their sins. That is not the God of the Bible.
Read more articles by Cynthia Buhain-Baello or search for articles on the same topic or others.
Dear Cynthia, thanks for your comment on my article "God's April fool Day" which I believe lead to your writing this peace. I have just posted a response to it under my write up.
Below it is re-stated here: but you may respond if neccessary under mine. Thank you.
Thank you Cynthia for your straight forward comment on my piece, “God’s April fool Day.” As the holy Spirit would have it I was immediately led to read your direct, further response to the article in your article titled “ What kind of God He Truly is.”
I will start with your comment in your article referenced above on God’s Holiness. It is true that God is Holy, but do we know what to be holy really is. Holiness is derived from the word “whole” to be holy is to be “whole” complete without sin.
What does this mean? Jesus is our true example. It means to live above the law. You will recall that the scribes and Pharisees who were the custodians of the law were doing everything they could to fault Jesus. But Jesus put aside the law and operated in love.
Jesus made them understand that he was so holy there was nothing he did that could be considered wrong. He was one with God and thought it not robbery to be equal with God. (Philippians 2:15)
The bible also says I should let this mind be in me which also was in Christ Jesus. This means like Jesus, I should be mindful that it is not robbery to see myself equal with God or to say “I and my father are one” or “when you have seen me you have seen the father.” How do I qualify to do such? By being and operating in love under all circumstances (1 John 4: 16) more on this later.
Jesus changed the law, he nullified the Sabbath saying it was made for man and not man for it. He told the Jews that Moses law as regards divorce was given because of the hardness of their hearts” (Mark 10:5) In other words if they had a softer heart what Moses said would have been different.
How do we live above the law. This is seen in Galatians 5:22-23, it says But the fruit of the spirit is… starting with love and ending with faith. Verse 23 however goes on to state that “against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:1 says we should stand fast in the liberty (freedom) werewith Christ has made us free.
In other words, anything done in the fruit of the spirit, as far as this verse 23 of Galatians 5 is concerned, there is no law that can judge it!
When we read the bible we initially easily see a God that “sends into the punishment of that fiery abyss.” But who does the bible say God really is: “…God is Love and he who dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God and God in him” 1 John 4:16.
This love was seen manifest through Jesus. Despite all that the law said about adultery when he had the opportunity to apply it against a violator he over-ruled judgment on the grounds that none of her accusers were without sin. I can imagine those stone carrying Pharisees, not knowing whether to stone the woman to demonstrate their outward holiness in the eyes of the public (which is all they really wanted to do); stoning Jesus for not rising up in anger and condemning the woman for doing such when he was still on earth, or even stone themselves for being so stupid not to have thought that that was what Jesus would have said in the first place!
Yes, you could argue that he told her to go and sin no more, but if going by what he said in response to how many times Peter should forgive his brother: (“Not seven times but seventy times seven “(Matthew 18: 21-22)) I am sure that if that woman’s case came up before the Lord, in his mercy she would be forgiven yet again and again. (At least the Lord would go by his own words!)
There was this woman who showed affection towards Jesus by using her hair to cleanse his feet with oil. ( Luke 7: 37-47)Today ,if a woman is seen showing such affection towards a pastor filled with love in public and he encourages it, both would be condemned as being immoral. (Although we know what a lot of those who preach against sin openly let happen behind closed doors!) Jesus in love encouraged the woman - (come closer, don’t be afraid, I can imagine His heart telling her.) I am sure that the woman was saying in her heart “I don’t know what else I can give to this wonderful man. I just want to show him how much I love him.” Jesus who knows all things knew who she was and the bible does state in verse 37 of Luke 7 that she was a sinner. Maybe, she was another prostitute who fell in love with Jesus because despite his holiness of character, he would not condemn her.
Who are those Jesus condemned. Only those who continued to use the law to harass the weak-minded. For the later, Jesus only gave them love!
The bible says we should judge not and we will not be judged, (Luke 6:37) It also states that he who lives by the sword will die by the sword. (I guess he who lives by the law will die by the law as well”)
How did Jesus react to his disciples when they encountered wrong doers. John was a man who wanted to enforce fiery judgment on those who denied Jesus passage through their village. He wanted to call down fire. Jesus forbid him from doing so. Later, John became a disciple who was so full of love he was called John the beloved, even encouraging the show of affection amongst brethren. As bible scholars would tell us, it was only John out of all the disciples of Jesus who was not martyred! I am sure the love he practiced must have saved him. (This does not suggest that the other were wrong based on their knowledge I’ll however agree.)
As you can see from my pervious articles Cnythia, I used to be just like you. I used to condemn everything that had an appearance of sin. As a Pastor, I found it difficult to overlook those in error. I almost killed myself rather than allow myself indulge in any satisfaction of the flesh. Members ran away. Not that that was what bothered me. But I could see they were also giving up on God Almighty. They felt he was too harsh and they would, by my own standards of holiness, never make heaven. At a time I locked myself indoors to just separate myself from this sinful world. I preached that the Lord would judge all sinners but I really wanted him to forgive me. And then Jesus spoke to me softly. That is when he taught me his message of love!
Cynthia, like Nathanael you are a woman of God without guile. Very soon, you will also be touched by the Lord to share this message of love like I do. Do you realize that there are many who are Jesus on earth today because Jesus lives through them. Like Paul they can say I have died yet I live, but not I but Christ that lives through me. (Gal 2:20) They have taken up there cross and followed Jesus. Like Paul they die daily.
(Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me.” In Corinthians 16:31 he said “I die daily.” From both scriptures considering that Paul was alive and still on earth when he said this indicates that when it comes to eternal life and making heaven, the bible is referring to spiritual death and not physical death.)
But he who dies like Jesus will also rise and live for evermore like him in eternal life. Eternal life and heaven itself starts here on earth: In Ephesians 2:6 we read “And hath raised us up together and hath made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” In 1 John 5:11 we read: And this is the record that God has given to us eternal life and this life is in his son.” In 1 John 5:13 we are told: “...that we may know that we have eternal life...”
From these scriptures we can see that once we have accepted Christ in faith we have been given eternal life already,(… has given to us eternal life)( 1 John 5:11) not that we shall be given it later. We have made heaven already, not that we are still hoping to make it.
If Paul said that it was no longer him who was living but Christ living through him he meant that when you see him you see Jesus. If he was Jesus living in the body of Paul it meant that like Jesus he could remit and forgive a person of his sins. What you are doing Cnythia is that you have denied yourself of the pleasures of the world to follow Jesus. You have given your all and all of these things you have forsaken shall be restored back to you on earth. Jesus said that those that forsake wives and children and houses for my sake shall receive a hundredfold now in this time... Mark 10:30 Now in this time means here on earth.”
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteous and all these things shall be added unto you,”
Finally, for people like you who continually die to self to please the Lord the Lord will rise within you begin to show unconditional love to sinners and will now become another replica of Jesus. When this happens then you will also forgive and let go those who have erred, and like Jesus judged those who try to always use the law to judged the weak-minded. Such weak-minded people (like the sinner woman that showed love by coming close to Jesus to wash is feet with her hair or the adulterous woman) will now see a loving forgiving Jesus in you. When they see you, they would have seen our Lord Jesus!
To conclude Cynthia, I have read the bible over and over again and mind you, I have seen God express what I’ll consider a sense of humor in the bible! (Particularly, the Old Testament) Time will not permit me to bring out some of such aspects that reflect this that I have noticed in the Old Testament.
For now, thanks again for your comment and for seeking to serve the Lord with all your heart, might and strength. Very soon my dear sister in Christ Jesus you shall receive your just crown.
@Bode Ayodele - thank you for your lengthy reply to my article. First I stress here that love as expressed in the Bible does not mean "doing sin with love" neither does it mean "overlooking sin out of love" because both with result in tolerance of sin or compromise.
The Bible says in John 14:21 "Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me." The same thing in 1 John 5:3-4 "This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone BORN OF GOD overcomes the world."
Overcoming sin comes from the Source of that power - GOD. Not ourselves but God at work in us. If that is not possible there is a question as to who is working in the "Christian's" life - God or another? Philippians 1:6 says "God Who began the work in us will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." And again in Philippians 2:13 - "For it is GOD Who works in us to will and to do according to His good purpose." If that is "hard" then there is a big doubt if the person has really received Christ and the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-7) or he has just given intellectual assent and no new creation has been born in him. The goal of Salvation is SANCTIFICATION or transformation into Christ-likeness "from glory to glory." Galatians 2:20 says it all - "I no longer live but Christ lives in me" so there is not space for sin. If ever he falls the Christian repents and TURNS away from sin- 1 John 3:9 "No one who is born of God will continue to sin; he CANNOT go on sinning because he has been born of God. That is the point of this article - some think they are "born-again" but they still remain the same doing the same sins. We know a tree by the fruit.