Friday, March 20, 2015

Living In What Is Essential

"Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, 'Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?' " - John 14:22 ESV

Here we see a man asking Jesus a great question. He knows that Jesus is leaving but what will reveal the truth after He is gone? There are some people that perceive God as He truly Is and others that don't. Where is the line drawn. At what place does the invisible reality become visible if Jesus is not physically there to reveal it?

"Jesus answered him, 'If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.' " - John 14:23-24 ESV

Jesus' words are the key.

I like that there was a man named Judas asking this question. It could have been anyone or the Spirit could have had the writer say, 'one of the disciples' but He didn't. This Judas could easily be mixed up with another more notorious Judas.

The answer to the very question that is being asked can be confused in the same way that one Judas could be mixed up with another.

There are many people talking about God out there but the God they are speaking about is not the God of Jesus' words.

"But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At his wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure his indignation. Thus shall you say to them: 'The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under the heavens.' " - Jeremiah 10:10-11 ESV

The One True God is the God of the Gospel of Grace. He is the God who sent His Son to save.

Then are ten truths that some theologians call cardinal doctrines. They are unassailable truths. If you believe them then you believe Jesus and what you believe can be called Christian. Any teaching that excludes these truths of nullifies them in some way has enough error in it to nullify the one and only essential truth. That essential truth is the necessity of salvation. Salvation is God's one 'requirement' of man.

"Jesus answered, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God'... Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' " - John 3:5, 7 ESV

The cardinal doctrines: The Depravity of Man, The Trinity, The Deity of Jesus, The Deity of the Holy Spirit, The Blood of Jesus, Salvation by Grace, The Authority of the Bible, a literal Hell, a literal Heaven and The Resurrection.

Other theologians list more and others categorize differently (such as combining the Heaven and Hell into one principle) and there is much more truth than just these listed in the Bible but in a nutshell these are the truths that support the one essential truth that each individual must embrace or all else what is truly essential is lost to them.

People must be saved. Each one of us makes an individual decision. In the end rest won't matter unless that happens

If the Jesus I believe in is just a man like any other than I have not been listening to His words. If salvation is accomplished by my performance I have not heard Him. If there is no Heaven and Hell in my mind then I may truly be believing a lie to the point where I am not in the faith because the message is missing a major ingredient. That cake won't rise.

We don't have to understand all the cardinal doctrines fully to be saved. Salvation is not primarily intellectual. The truth is a framework for trust. Faith is special kind of trust. All we have to do is understand that Jesus died in our place and rose from the grave and believe that that is enough to save us. Error obscures the truth. Error waters it down.

I want to strengthen the pillars that support the one essential doctrine. Jesus' words will make visible what is real. I want to live in the reality of closeness to God and not a religious or intellectual fantasy.


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