Category Archives: Basic Christian Beliefs

Forgiveness (where would we be without it)

forgiveness

forgiveness (Photo credit: cheerfulmonk)

I am going to change my format a bit.  What I mean by this is that I am going to talk a bit more about the topics in hope that I can get some feed back.  So far I have had people like my stuff and read it.  I was hoping for more feed back since my end goal is to publish this work so that others can learn and know about Christ while at the same time not using jargon or Christianeze. Forgiveness.  I think the statement says a lot “Where would we be without it.”

Secular and Religious folk agree that with out forgiveness we have a very mentally (and physically) unhealthy people.  Our mental health has a very strong effect on our physical health.  As a Christian I take it even further.  I believe without forgiveness we will have a society that is trapped in anger, bitterness, revenge and justice without mercy.  How can we have a proper society with out mercy and with out forgiveness.

As a Christian we have firm beliefs that everyone (literally everyone) needs to be forgiven.  Our God Himself teaches us in our Scripture Mathew 6:12 that we are to ask for our forgiveness from God and in turn God expects us to, in the same way as we expect from him, forgive others.  Mathew 6:14 says the same thing if you forgive others their sins then our Father in heaven will forgive give us our sins.  This very concept is played out in Scripture over and over again it is a basic tenant of our faith that we need forgiveness and we need to forgive.

Romans 3:23 states that everyone has sinned so everyone needs forgiveness.  As a Christian I firmly believe there is not one person who does not need to be forgiven.   I believe that all humans understand that.

The question to ask is what is forgiveness?  How does it look?  How does it feel?  Why should I forgive someone else? (they do not deserve it).  These are all great questions and all valid.

The dictionary standard definition is simple “to pardon an offense or offender, to cancel a debt” while these are good and proper on the day to day level they are hard to do.  The Christian concept of forgiveness takes it to a whole different level.  As a Christian I will define it differently or maybe it is better to say I define it at a higher level.

When God forgives He also forgets, He also removes that sin from us and gives us real freedom from it.  I think we can all understand how things we do wrong can stay with us even if we quit doing it.  For some reason that thing we did wrong seems to have power over us.  Forgiveness takes that power away.  James 5:16 states that we need to confess our sins to one another so that we may be healed.  To obtain forgiveness we need to confess our sins and that action of verbally confessing our sins can take away the power it has over our lives and we can be free.  The reason he says confess to one another is because as Christians we can understand and sympathize with the other so that as God has forgiven us we can share that same life experience with others and they can find the healing of forgiveness from God.

From the Christian perspective when God forgives us that sin (wrong doing) is no longer there it will no longer be held against us.  Of course as Paul states in Romans 6:1 we can not continue in that sin which grace has brought forgiveness for.

I see I just introduced a new thought one of grace and how it works in tandem with forgiveness.  This can be a long topic and I think I will have a different post regarding how each one of these themes work together in synergy to bring about a whole Christian and a mature Christian.

I believe most people get the basic concept of forgiveness it is easy to understand and since there is no one who has not done something wrong we all understand that we all need it.  The problem comes with the implementation and how that works out in day to day life.  This is where it gets personal.

I will say a quick prayer before going further since this is a very difficult subject to breech and to tackle.   …….  Okay done.

The next question to tackle here is “Why should I forgive someone else?”  This is valid.  There are people that most would say do not deserve forgiveness.  They have done some very horrible things such as molesting children, raping people, murder and so on.  There are things so horrible that we can not think of forgiveness.  Why should we?  Wow the answer is not easy and many will disagree with me.

Here I go.  I think everyone should have the opportunity for forgiveness.  I remember when James Dobson interviewed Ted Bundy.  People were saying that there is no forgiveness for Ted Bundy. He does not deserve it.  I would agree that he does not deserve it.  I would also agree that I do not deserve it.  Folks this is hard to accept but I have to believe it to be true that when God says the only unforgivable sin is that of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit that is the only unforgivable sin.  I am not saying that Ted Bundy and for that matter anyone should not be held responsible for what they have done that is wrong.  As far as humans go it was correct to sentence him to death.  He earned that from his actions.  In the whole of eternity God has His own plan and if Ted Bundy was honest (I am not so sure he is able to be honest) and actually accepted Christ then he will be in heaven (or as some think maybe a type of purgatory).

Christ Himself states in the Lords prayer for me to receive the forgiveness of God that I need to also forgive.  If I hold it back then so will He.  Matthew 18:21-35 a great parable about forgiveness.  I would not want to be the servant who did not show mercy and forgiveness.

Okay all this is getting to long for one post this may not be the best place to stop but I will continue the second piece later this week.

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Mercy (aren’t you glad you have it)

Mercy is so incredible.  Why God shows mercy to us is a mystery to me.  That He shows mercy to us is not a mystery.  The scripture is abundantly clear that he does.  I do understand that it is due His love.  I love my children and due to that I do show them mercy.  I have a base understanding but somehow I do believe His showing us mercy goes much deeper and even much more painful then that.

I do not find that mercy is always easy nor painless.  In fact at times it is down right one of the hardest things to do.  Remember true mercy us undeserved and unearnable (new word) and even frequently unreasonable.  I know that as humans we like to think that we all deserve mercy.   If you deserve mercy then you really have no need of it for by the very nature of deserving mercy you would have nothing to need mercy for.

I will use a simple example.  If I park my car in a metered parking spot and I do not put money in the meter I have done something I am not supposed to do.  I am now in the need of mercy.  Now as I come back to get my car I find a officer of the law ticketing my car.  I go to him and say please do not ticket my car.  He says why?  in turn I state that I ask for mercy.  He now has the choice to grant me mercy or not.  He would not be wrong to write the ticket.  In fact not only would he not be wrong he would be following through with the commission the great people of the city gave him.  If he chose not to ticket my car that would be merciful.  If he chose to ticket my car that would be fair and right (even if I do not like it).

I have done nothing to earn his mercy in fact I have done something to earn his punishment (ticket).  Now the car next to me did put money in the meter and after he finishes writing me the ticket he looks at their meter and keeps on going.  That person has no need of mercy they have done properly and in return find no punishment.  Mercy can not by its very nature be earned.

Take a look at Joshua 11:20, Isaiah 55:1, Ezekiel 39:25 and Romans 9:18 and reconcile them with your concept of mercy.   Mercy is not so fluffy and easy as many make it out to be.   Mercy is hard to do but healing to the one who receives it.

This blog is new and I would love to get conversation going so please feel free to comment and leave your thoughts.

Grace (The WOW Factor)

The Pilgrimage of Grace 1536

The Pilgrimage of Grace 1536 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all know the question which came first the chicken or the egg well when speaking of Grace and Faith we must ask which came first?  The truth is I am not so sure you can have one without the other.   The fact is we are saved by Grace but with out Faith there can be no Grace.  This provides for great discussion please lets focus on what is Grace (provide Scripture) and how it relates to Faith.

This concept of Grace is so powerful that as I think on it I go into a deep contemplative state.  I can not help to be amazed by the Grace that God has shown me so please meditate on the concept and the state of Grace.  Then write about it thanks.

Faith…. What is Faith?

Trial of Abraham's Faith (engraving by Gustave...

Trial of Abraham’s Faith (engraving by Gustave Doré from the 1865 La Sainte Bible) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I want our first discussion to be about Faith.  I find Faith to be a key agent in the beginning of ones walk with Christ.  Remember we are saved by grace through faith.   So here are the questions to be asked and discussed:

Define Faith. (obviously use Hebrews 11:1)  I really want people to expand on their definition.  Try to define it with out using words that are Christianeze.  From the perspective of someone who knows nothing about Christianity and is wanting to learn.

Why is Faith a key base concept in Christianity?

In what way does Faith affect our daily choices?

Please as you talk use Scripture from both the New and Old Testaments and expand on your ideas so that those of us reading them will understand and feel free to get deep into the concept.  The more material there is to work with the better the finished product will be.

Series: Basic Christian Beliefs: Intro

English: A cross close to the church in Grense...

English: A cross close to the church in Grense Jakobselv, Norway. Suomi: Risti kirkon lähellä Vuoremijoella, Norjassa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am starting a small series.  I would like to have great discussion with the hope that if this goes well then the concepts vetted here can be published in a book format with the intended audience to be non-Christians who are interested in understanding Christianity in its simplest form.

I want to create a small easy to read book for someone who wants to learn about Christianity with out the Christian lingo in it but it expressly states the basic beliefs of all Christians. Lets work towards this goal.

I am thinking of these few topics (I want to keep the list short) faith, forgiveness, love, hope, grace, mercy.  This is all.  Please if you disagree with me say so in the discussion area below.  I want to fine tune this prior to moving on.  You will notice that I am not talking about Christ or about if God exist.  Those topics are worthy of great discussion but that is for a different series.  I am making certain assumptions and here they are:

  1. God exist
  2. Jesus is God
  3. Bible is with out error

If you do not believe this then I am sorry this particular series is for those who do and though I eventually will have those discussions this particular series is not the place.  Thanks all and God Bless.