Easy believism, parachuting, and the no spin zone.

21 06 2010

As I sat at the table talking with someone, the owner of the business came over and began taking our order. We visited with the business owner for a few moments and then the business owner said that he sure was glad that he was saved. We chatted for a few more moments and then the business owner went to turn in our order.

After he walked away the man I was sitting with made some comment about easy believism and how sad it was for people to think they were saved by simply believing in Jesus Christ. I think I chuckled under my breath and agreed with him. After all, I had followed all the necessary steps of salvation that were taught at my church. I had been baptized a certain way, believed a certain way, and even dressed a certain way. I believed that these “steps” secured my salvation and so did the man I was sitting with.

It amazes me how our society today plays with words. We can see this clearly in the media. The tactic is so widespread that one man is making millions by busting through all the spin in search of the truth. Bill O’rielly has a show on Fox News and he welcomes the guests onto his show by saying “you are now in the no spin zone.” In other words don’t even think about trying to use word games while on his show.

We who claim to be religious are not exempt from spinning words either. In fact, I think it is fairly widespread within the Christian denominational world. There are even some groups who believe that other groups are not saved because they don’t believe the same way. Wait a minute, didn’t I just use the word believe in that statement? Not trying to spin my words here but I am trying to make a point.

I think there is a difference between the words believe and trust. For example, I believe that parachutes really do allow people to jump out of airplanes and live to tell about it. My problem is that I just don’t trust them enough to work for me. So, because of my lack of faith in parachutes I have never parachuted before and I don’t have any plans to do so anytime soon. I still believe they work I just don’t trust them to work for me.

I think where the word games start is when believing really means trusting to some people. Some people have no reserves about trusting in what they believe. It almost seems natural to them. They believe in it so therefore they trust in it. While yet others, like myself, believe certain things while still reserving our trust. I know, people are complicated creatures aren’t they?

So, cutting through all the word spin, is it simply enough to believe and be saved? I’ll make my answer very clear. YES.

Believing and trusting come together in one word, faith, which is a complete confidence in God. When we reach the point where we have a complete confidence in God and we understand that He is our Saviour then nothing can stand in the way of God saving us. God ALWAYS honors faith. Complete confidence in God is the beginning of our journey with Him. Without complete confidence in God it is impossible to please Him.

There is only one thing that stands between you and God, Sin. And, the bible tells us that everything that does not come from faith is sin (Romans 14:23). The beautiful thing is that Christ on The Cross paid the price for all those things you have done out of your lack of faith, your sins.

Imagine when you were a little child in a store with your parents. They would tell you not to touch anything because you could break things. As all little children do you probably broke something. When that happened the store owner would demand payment. Since you were a child and had no means to pay, your parent stepped up and paid the price. Now the store owner could not hold anything against you. This is what Christ did for you on The Cross.

When you put your complete confidence in what God did for you on The Cross your sins are completely removed and you are no longer held accountable for them. At that moment you are saved from your sins. The accusing store owner cannot seek punishment against you any longer.

A few years later I would look back on that day at the restaurant. Except this time I would be looking from the other side of the fence. I had been converted into believing just as the business owner believed. I had come to the realization that salvation is not based on our ability to climb some sort of spiritual corporate ladder or perform a number of steps. In fact I had come to the realization that if I were ever going to be saved it would have to come from outside my abilities. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t be good enough and I truly needed a Saviour.

This led me to The Cross of Jesus Christ. The place where the greatest price of all time was paid. I realized that this one act would right every wrong that I would ever commit. And as I began to cling to The Cross it became apparent to me that trusting in Christ’s finished work on the cross is what would ultimately save me. Christ had essentially become my “Saviour”.

We who simply believe and trust are looked upon as simpletons by some. Others call it mental assent. They say that the act of just believing something is shallow and has no real foundation.

My response is this. What happened that day on The Cross was by no means shallow or easy. Every stripe Jesus took cut deep into His flesh. It is the most cruel form of punishment someone could ever receive and is by NO MEANS easy. Some may call it easy believism but each time I hear that I am reminded that there was nothing easy at all about what it took to redeem me. The foundation that I have is not based on some shallow belief in a story I heard in Sunday school when I was a child. But, rather it is a solid rock of trust in my Saviour to save me.

I am so grateful for the good news of The Cross. It is the power of God unto salvation.

Romans 1:16
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

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How’s your self esteem?

1 06 2010
Self Esteem

What is your self image?

“Our esteem is linked to how we believe the most important person in our life views us.”

I heard this while recently listening to a speaker talk about the power of the tongue. In Proverbs 18:21 we learn that the tongue has the power of life and death. Depending on how we use our tongue determines whether we are giving or taking life.

The power of the spoken blessing goes back to the beginning of creation when God spoke everything into existence. We can see children in the bible fighting over the spoken blessing of their father. God’s spoken Word became flesh in the new testament in the form of Jesus Christ. Luke 3:22 shows us the power of The Fathers spoken blessing over His Son.

Each day of our lives we see the power of the spoken word all around us. So what does this have to do with self esteem? Should Christians have self esteem? Is the concept of self esteem even taught in the bible? Let’s start with a few scriptures.

Romans 12:3
Don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think.

This scripture leaves us with the understanding that there must be a balance applied to how we think of ourselves. Not too high, yet not to low. You might be asking: Then exactly how high should we think of ourselves? These next verses will help understand when you are to high on yourself.

Romans 11:20 & 12:16
Do not be conceited, proud, or arrogant.

If we reach the point where we become conceited, proud, or arrogant then we have gone too far. Just because you know something doesn’t give you the right to slap someone else in the face with it.

It amazes me the number of people I run into that struggle with this. If you have been on vacation to a certain city they have been there ten times and know the town mayor personally. Somehow we feel that we don’t measure up unless we have accomplished twice as much as everyone else. This is because we seek the approval of others and think we can get it by impressing them.

Matthew 22:39
Love your neighbor as yourself.

However, another problem people face today is an unhealthy view of themselves in the opposite direction. Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself. How can you love your neighbor if you don’t even love yourself?

There are people all over this world who do not love themselves at all. For some they have been told how worthless they are since the day they were born. Others are abused and all they know is a life of hate and abuse.

Then there are those people who may not have been verbally or physically abused but they are emotionally neglected. They don’t have someone in their life telling them that they love them each day. This lack of love translates into a lack of love for themselves.

So we get this incredible understanding of love from Jesus’ words. Love is bi-directional and we get love from God first of all, then from each other. But how can we receive it from each other unless first someone is willing to give it. The giving of love has to start with you and me.

“Our esteem is linked to how we believe the most important person in our life views us.”

This saying is so powerful. Let me leave you with two questions that sum this all up. Think on these questions for a while.

1. Who is the most important person in your life?

2. What do you think their opinion is of you?

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How’s Your Self Esteem?
By: Raymond Brady

Article Source: www.BuildYourHouseOnTheRock.org