Friday, November 2, 2007

New to Blogging, the Jesus Question

So I am new to blogging, but not to writing down my ideas. I am writing what is labeled on my computer as a "book," but I do not have enough confidence to really call it a good book. It is more a collection of my ideas. I think that I will post them soon enough. Right now my computer is crashed and in the HP center in Memphis and I don't really have access to my "book" that hopefully does not get erased off my computer. Here is an excerpt I wrote about Jesus though. Let me know what you think. Hope it is not too long for you.

Who is Jesus? My brother Phil has really been thinking lately about who Jesus really is and how He treated people. This is a great question because it really is a debatable question. There are all kinds of sects in Christianity that think differently about this question. Even non-Christians have their opinions about Jesus. Although some try to prove He never existed, that is kind of rare because it is so far-fetched and beyond reason. Many people create their own Jesus to fit their own ideas or beliefs. Others do not care about who Jesus was and how He affects their life. Some have never heard of Jesus because the government has banned any knowledge of Him. If you look at the life of Jesus, you see a life of compassion for the multitudes. Some times He would weep about it. Other times He would just start healing and teaching the people. He truly desired for the multitude to know the truth. He accepted people for who they were, but also had the desire to bring them into a right relationship with the Father (reconciliation). He went to the destitute and lonely. To the woman at the well, He gave the living waters. Despite her background as a woman who could not keep a husband, He still spoke to her. She even knew that Jesus should not be speaking to her because of the customs of the day, but He did anyway. He impacted and changed her life, enough so that the entire town came out to see Jesus. Think about it. The town knew this woman and how she had all these husbands. Jesus changed her life enough to where the town saw the difference and came out to see who made the change. There must have been a change in her for the town to listen. That is the business Jesus is into; meeting people where they are and radically changing their lives to be a follower of Him.Zaccheus was not a respected man. After all, he took people’s money and profited greatly from it. No one liked the man and people would not talk to him. He was a thief and every one knew it. But Jesus still talked to him. Zaccheus saw Christ for who He was and it impacted him to the point of radically changing his life. After Christ changed his life he gave a bunch of money away. He gave it to those that he had wronged. I think that Jesus loved everyone no matter their past. He did not look at people’s outward appearance and decide if they were good enough for God to use. He knew that God uses everyone no matter their past. God sees the potential that we have, even though He could see failures of the past and future. Even though Jesus could have judged people and passed by them, He knew their spiritual needs and stopped to help. We can learn from Him in so many ways in how to treat people. We are to deal with people in love at all times because that is what Christ did. When we love others, Christ’s love is shown to them. When encountering Christ, people’s lives should change. As Christians, we should be the little Christ’s that bring people to the knowledge of the truth of God through the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. As a result of our knowing Jesus Christ, our lives should radically change. II Corinthians 5:17 says that we are new creations. Once we are saved, we are made alive spiritually. We have the ability to walk in the newness of life. Before salvation, no one is expected to live a “good life.” We are born sinners and do not have Christ in us. I am not saying that someone cannot be good, but rather that their nature is to sin. We can never expect an unsaved person to act like a Christian. Yes, we shake our heads at statistics on the nation that tell us of immorality, drugs, alcohol, and killing. What can we expect? They are not able to walk in the truth. They are carnal and live in spiritual darkness. I have been writing on this topic for a little while, having realized that many books have been written on the same topic. Then I came across a pretty popular author named the Apostle Paul who explained it much better than I ever could. Colossians 3 says:Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. COL 3:2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. COL 3:3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. COL 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. COL 3:5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. COL 3:6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, COL 3:7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. COL 3:8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. COL 3:9 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, COL 3:10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— COL 3:11 a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. COL 3:12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; COL 3:13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. COL 3:14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. COL 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. COL 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. COL 3:17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. The chapter starts out basically saying that if you are saved, this is how you should act. In verse five it says to put to death the parts of your life that are earthly or of sin nature. We started as sinners, but having put on Christ, we now have the ability to reject our sin nature. I am not saying that we will not struggle because that is definitely not true. We all struggle with sin all the time, but we do have Christ and have the ability to put on the new man as verse ten says. We need to continually grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. As we read Scriptures, we learn to be more like Christ and hopefully do make those right decisions to follow Him. Once we encounter Christ as our Savior and Lord, we experience progressive sanctification. We are becoming holier and holier as we grow in Christ. That means that we are becoming more and more like Christ. Our compassion for others will grow as our heart for Christ grows. So the main point of these last couple of pages is that Jesus loves everyone and accepts everyone, but once you accept Him it should radically change your life.