Finding God Without Understanding Christ (Part II)
I’ve come across some more verses that seem, at first, to contradict the ideas in Finding God Without Understanding Christ (Part 1). Lets take another look at this.
All Are Guilty
NLT Rom 3;19 Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. 20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are…. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, …29 After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. 30 There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. 31 Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law. …
If the entire world is guilty before God, these folks are too. If I’m interpreting this correctly, these folks in Romans 1 though guilty of the Pardonable sin (testimony against Jesus) are still responding to Jesus’ Holy Spirit, and thru that response overcoming their selfish sinful nature. Even though they don’t understand Jesus, they are a new creation through his spirit.
The Command to Believe In The Son
NLT 1 John 3;21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him. 23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.
These folks are not following this command because they are not aware of it.
Denying Jesus on Earth means Jesus Will Deny Us In Heaven
NLT Matt 10;32 “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.
These folks deny Jesus with their lips, but honor his Spirit with their actions.
This is a far less egregious sin that honoring Jesus with your lips and denying him with your actions.
Faith in the Son of God
NLT 1 John 5;1-5 1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too. 2 We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey his commandments. 3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. 5 And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
These folk still demonstrate faith in God and his Holy Spirit. They do however deny that Jesus is the Son of God. The unpardonable sin verses indicate this sin can be forgiven. There is no guarantee that it will be, but God leaves that possibility open. I think the following verse reinforces this interpretation.
To those given much, much is expected
NIV Luke 12;47 “That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much , much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much , much more will be asked.
All who are given the Word of God will be expected to follow its commands. Those who reject the Word thru some misunderstanding can still be forgiven. They still must be honoring God and yielding to his restraining hand. They must honestly reject the word thru some misunderstanding (see below). Those who know the truth of the Bible but reject it for convenience or laziness fall into a different category.
The Pardonable Sin
MSG Matt 12;31 “There’s nothing done or said that can’t be forgiven. But if you deliberately persist in your slanders against God’s Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives. 32 If you reject the Son of Man out of some misunderstanding, the Holy Spirit can forgive you, but when you reject the Holy Spirit, you’re sawing off the branch on which you’re sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives.
From Romans 1, The only requirements that those rejecting Jesus [and his Word] need follow are;
1. recognizing the divine nature & eternal power of their creator,
2. worshiping and giving him thanks, and
3. obeying his restraining hand, God’s Holy Spirit turning from their evil selfish desires!
I wonder if this might explain why God felt no need to correct the traditions of many indigenous peoples through history?
Please reveal any errors or inconsistencies in these thoughts. Help us to Correctly Divide Your Word Of Truth, to seek honor and find you, to find the truth! In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
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You’re currently reading “Finding God Without Understanding Christ (Part II),” an entry on The Big Picture Ministry
- March 12, 2009 / 10:41 pm
- God's Word - The Final Frontier