|Reposted by DWise1|
Adding it Up
It's sad but true. As I write much of this material, I feel a sense of shame. This is just another topic that allows the world to laugh at the Church of Jesus Christ. "Here they go again, fighting among themselves." Don't you just want to run and hide sometimes? We have spent more energy through the centuries, squabbling over petty matters, that it's no wonder why the Church is so weak today. The late Dr. Martin said; "...The world is going to hell in a hand basket and we're all fighting about nothing!" I don't remember the exact words, but the great Saint Augustine said; "...In the essentials - unity , in the non-essentials - liberty and in all things - charity." Why are we here and what is our purpose? And what are the essentials? The Gospel of Jesus Christ - that's the issue! "...For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified..." 1 Cor. 2:2
Among others, the essentials of the Christian faith are: The Trinity - there is ONE God who eternally exists in three persons, The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The deity of Christ - whereas He is eternal, since His conception, Jesus is both fully God and fully man. The Virgin Birth. The bodily resurrection. The depravity of man and the Gospel - that we are saved from condemnation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone and that His death, burial and resurrection were efficacious for the sins of the whole world. When central doctrine is being threatened, it is our duty, according to the Scriptures, to contend for the faith (Jude 3). But it is equally important to remember, that the Apostle Paul spent several chapters in Romans and 1 Corinthians defending Christian liberty. He was warning the Church, not to be judgmental toward others in regards to non-essential matters. Jesus said that they will know we are His disciples if we love one another.
Genesis is the story of the Creator. Who created - not how! It is no threat to the Gospel of God if we believe the earth is young or old, or if God created all life abruptly in six days, or if He used evolution through eons. Why do we pretend that any of us really know the answer. Why are we threatened by the world if they claim the Bible is in error. This should be no surprise to the church, they cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God. Jesus Christ is the creator of all things and He is the sustainer of all things and He loves us! God demonstrated His love for us that while we hated Him - Christ died for us. We all have fallen in Adam, and the Old Testament unveils a people through whom the Christ, the Messiah would come. We see God's patience as His people rebel and we see His chastening as in the Flood. We see His power and His glory and we see a shadow of the One who would come and delight to do His will so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him! "... But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved..." Eph. 2:4,5.