| Day before Christmas musings on reconciliation and the Kingdom|
When exactly do our sins get washed away and what exactly is the word of reconciliation God displayed in Christ and has entrusted to us? Are our sins washed and cleansed while we are waiting on the outside to step into and enter God's Kingdom? Or do we step inside and enter the Kingdom by faith in Christ and then our sins are washed away inside the Kingdom? Can sins be washed away outside of the Kingdom as a prerequisite for entering? How can the washing away of sins be nothing but what occurs on entrance into the Kingdom? Do we proclaim that if you want to be right with God then repent and deal with your sins and then God will let you in? If we do proclaim that and since it's impossible to deal with our own sins then by telling sinners that once their sins are dealt with then at that point God will let them in are we proclaiming a out of biblical focus message? What did the Holy Spirit come to do?
7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, BECAUSE THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN ME; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. (John 16:7-11)
So the Holy Spirit, the Helper, was sent to convict of sin because one does not believe in Christ. It doesn't say He came to convict of a long list of sins in the life of everyone, it says He came to convict the world of the sin of not believing in Christ. So do we preach and hold out a long list of personal sins before people and say if you repent and deal with these then God will let you in? When we should mainly be preaching on the sin of not believing in Christ? If we preach of not believing in Christ with the power and conviction of the Holy Spirit then don't people many times automatically come under conviction of their personal sins? Then when they come under conviction and have a sincere desire to believe in Christ and say "What must we do to be saved?" shouldn't our answer be step into God's kingdom by faith and then your sins will be washed away? Or do we tell them your sins will be washed clean and then God wil let you into His kingdom? How can sins be washed away except by one placing faith in Christ which then puts one into the kingdom?
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES TO THEM, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (II Cor 5:18-19).
In the church's zeal (not altogether a bad thing at all) have we perhaps told people that God is holding their sins against them and if they will repent and deal with these then God will let them in? Should we have been proclaiming that since the reproaches of those who reproach God fell on Christ then our main problem is not a long list of sins we have done but not believing in Christ in whom forgiveness and cleansing from sin is to be found? How can we “tighten up” outside of the Kingdom and deal with things before God will let us in? “What must I do to be saved?” Isn't the message to be saved you must be born again by faith in Christ in Who we then find forgiveness and cleansing?
27 Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” 28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you BELIEVE IN HIM WHO HE HAS SENT”(John 6:7-29).
Jesus didn't tell them to repent of a long list of sins rather He told them to BELIEVE IN HIM WHOM GOD HAS SENT. It is in Him that we find the reconciliation.
I know I'm going on here and probably sound like I'm quibbling. I acknowledge Matthew 3:2;3:17 and Acts 2:37-39. I'm not at all downplaying repentance but repent from what? A long list of personal sins or repent for not believing in Christ in whom we find forgivenss and remission of sins? The difference may sound subtle and hair splitting but what really is the message of reconcilation? Is it to deal with sins and get clean then God will let you in or is the message to repent for not believing in Christ and come into God's kingdom by faith and be born again whereby we then receive forgiveness and cleansing? Most people sincerely desiring to enter God's kingdom have already become aware of thier personal sins. Why hit them over the head with their personal list and neglect the wondrous word of reconcilation (II Cor 5:19) that has been granted to us as ambassadors for Christ?
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgivenss of sins, according to the riches of His grace...(Ephe 1:7)
giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. For He has delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins, (Col 1:13-14).
Have we inadvertenntly told folks to qualify themselves by stop doing this or that and then God will let you in? Have we then laid a burden then on them we can't even bare because we don't yet understand God's reconciliation as we should?
19 that is, God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES TO THEM, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. (II Cor 5:18-19).
Well, whatever. I certiainly am not wanting to downplay repentance. I'm just seeking to fine tune a few thoughts I have been contemplating whether they are right or wrong. If you jump me perhaps for going slack or shallow then I will say something. No use for Pharisees to jump in here. Folks can always talk a bit and and if they are wrong can also get adjusted in their thinking. I'm just musing out loud here. I offer these things for discussion which is possible in a civil manner if people want to.
An having said that,
Merry CHRISTmas to everyone. Christ looks mighty good and wonderful to me right now.
| 2016/12/23 13:25||Profile|
| Re: Day before Christmas musings on reconciliation and the Kingdom|
Very Good !
| 2016/12/23 14:29||Profile|
| Re: Day before Christmas musings on reconciliation and the Kingdom|
If I am to leave one world, I must enter into another. If I leave behind the physical world and enter into the Kingdom of God then I must pass through something. I have to " enter in." I enter in through Jesus who is the gate for the sheep, there is no other way.
When we hear the phrase " not imputing their trespasses," we see the cross. When we hear the word reconciliation we see the cross. The work of Jesus on the cross and us accepting that and trusting in that, trusting in Him, trusting in His finished work is "believing." It is my least favorite word in the NT. When we hear or read the word " believe," we understand it as the English word to give mental ascent. Yet that it not what the word in John means. It means to trust, to commit, to put trust in. This is so different than believing that Jesus is the Son of God, which the demons do too and tremble.
Having said all that, then we find forgiveness of our sins by repenting, that is, to consider our lives up until that point and then reconsider it, casting all of it onto Jesus, trusting with our whole lives and eternal souls, then this is us passing through the gate, walking under the flow of Calvary, trusting in that which the Lord promised. And of course the proof of what has taken place is the transformed life.
This was my personal experience in coming to Jesus. Giving Him my life, marveling at the fact that despite me knowing who I was and what I had done, He would even want to take it. And in Him wanting to take it, this light shining into the darkness of my soul caused great remorse and many tears, a river of tears that did not stop for several months. And so to me, the great draw to the sinner is that God loves him and despite that persons sins Jesus says come to me, I love you. And if he comes and does not run, and lays down his life then he finds forgiveness and reconciliation. Forgiveness, reconciliation, entering in all comes at once when the man decides to come to Jesus and lay down his life and trust in him with all of his heart and all that he has. He is born again. This is believing..........bro Frank
| 2016/12/24 1:24|