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It is amazing how Christians defend religious traditions, especially those which have no Biblical support. The Jewish leadership of Jesus day made the Word of God ineffective through their interpretation of Scripture. They substituted their understanding of the Law for the written Word of God. Down through the ages, there has been a legalistic defending of rituals and non-Biblical promotions that have served only to distant individuals from God’s intended purposes. Religious exercises have replaced personal relationships with God as the way of worship. There is nothing wrong with tradition as long as it lines up with the Word of God, but to follow non-Biblical based tradition under the guise of spiritual truth is to hinder the working of God.
The reality of salvation has been misunderstood. So many new Believers have taken the road to God through the accepting of Jesus Christ as their Savior. They repented of their sins and then asked Jesus to come into their heart. Depending on the sincerity of the seeker, this approach can bring one into a valid Born Again experience. The problem with this approach is that we are trying to fit Jesus into our life style. If we are truthful, we will readily admit that our “new life” is so full of problems that some fall into lukewarmness and even backslide. It is not a question of Jesus coming into our house of occupancy; rather it is the vacating of our residence and abiding in Christ! The reason so many Christians have a difficult time in life is because we are sharing our living quarters with Jesus. It is not a question of Christ abiding in us, but are we abiding in Him?
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians makes it clear that when God raised Jesus from the dead, He had Him sit with Him in “heavenly places.” (Eph. 1:20) Not only did God restore Jesus to His rightful place, but every Believer is also “seated with Him.” (Eph. 2:6) The Scripture tells us that God continues to bless us with “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” (Eph. 1:3) Instead of laboring for the blessings through our horizontal eyesight, let us set our “mind on the things above.” (Colossians 3:2) When we begin to realize who we are in Christ, we will truly understand what it means to be part of the family of God.
Once we have vacated our temporal residence and have taken permanent residence with Christ, the Holy Spirit then seals the relationship! (Eph. 1:13) Satan can huff and puff with his temptations, but he can’t blow the house in!
Tradition says to ask Jesus to come into your life, while the Scripture teaches us to leave all and enter into His life. When we realize who we are in Christ, we will not entertain a thought such as “Can I lose my salvation?” We will not question God, for we know He has everything under control. (Rom 8:28)
The traditional salvation experience is just as valid as the Ephesians’ approach. The only real difference is the road one travels after the rebirth. Christ is within us as well as we are within Him. God sees us through and in His Son, and that is where the blessings lie!
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...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19
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