2010.01.06. 11:03 Krisztus rabszolgája

...mystery stewardship... (5.)

[me:] My friend, find below a valuable writing to fill you in on who Jesus is. The Bible teaches and I believe Jesus’ perfect, sinless life, his unmerited death, planned and in our place, and resurrection. In Jesus’ case, not only his life matters, but also his death and resurrection. Remember, he himself claimed he would die for the sins of his people, then be raised on the third day. So I submit to your attention: he’s either a real, or a fake, he’s either a true teacher and true speaker to the end, or only half way, and so a great lier and impostor. I cannot accept the teachings of a person, the good part of them, as long as half of them are a lie. The best lie is a lot of truth and just a bit of a lie. A lot of water and just a drop of poison makes the drink deadly. If you like Jesus’ teaching, you think they’re valuable, you think they’re followed and worth following, consider his direct claims: being the Son of God, Saviour, truth, way, life.

Acts 2:22 “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23This man was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”
Jesus’ life story is great, his miracles helped many (who then physically died anyway), but his teaching about eternal life, and the way to get it, and his obtaining and securing the way, are most imporant.
 
Calvary's stupendous scene! (Henry Law, "Family Prayers")
"It is finished!" John 19:30
Holy Father,
The heavens, the earth, and all that are therein, proclaim Your wondrous goodness. But Your love shines forth in surpassing luster--at Calvary's stupendous scene!
At the cross we see Your heavenly grace removing the tremendous load of our iniquities from us--and heaping them all on Your beloved Son! We see Him standing as a transgressor in our place. We see Him, who knew no sin--made sin for us. We see Him, the all-holy One--accounted as a curse! We see Your justice leading the spotless Lamb to the slaughter—and rigorously demanding the full payment for all our sin-debt!
The avenging sword enters into His very heart!
The stream of sin-atoning blood flows!
Full recompense is meted out!
Divine Justice can ask no more.
Charges against us are all obliterated.
The debt-book is cancelled. If our sins are searched for, they cannot now be found!
The spotless Lamb is devoted to all anguish--that we may be inheritors of all joy.
He is cast off from You--that we may be brought near to You.
He is treated as Your enemy--that we may be welcomed as Your friends.
He is deserted by You--that we may be received to Your everlasting favor.
He is surrendered to hell's worst--that we may attain heaven's best.
He is stripped--that we may be clothed.
He is wounded--that we may be healed.
He thirsts--that we may drink of the water of life.
He is in darkness--that we may rejoice in the glories of eternal day.
He weeps--that all tears may be forever wiped from our eyes.
He groans--that we may sing an endless song.
He endures all pain--that we may rejoice in unfading health.
He wears a crown of thorns--that we may receive a crown of glory.
He bows His head in death--that we may lift up our head in heaven.
He bears earth's reproach--that we may receive heaven's welcome.
He is tormented--that we may be comforted.
He is made all shame--that we may inherit all glory.
His eyes are dark in death--that our eyes may gaze on unclouded brightness.
He dies--that we may escape the second death, and live forevermore.
O gracious Father, thus You spare not Your only begotten Son--that You may spare us! All our sins are cast behind Your back--all are buried in the ocean of reconciling blood!
We can only fall low and cry, "We adore You for the gift of Your Son as our substitute; for the death of Your Son as our ransom!"
Blessed Jesus, we have been standing beneath Your cross. The sight constrains us to the deepest humility. Our vile iniquity--is the cause of Your shame! We cannot fathom the sins which plunged You into such depths of unutterable woe! We cannot estimate the burden of wrath which thus crushed You. We cannot deny that the sins which stain us are evils of infinite malignity, since nothing but Your blood could wash away their guilty stains!
As transgressors, we abhor ourselves before You.
While we humbly gaze--may we anxiously ponder, "Why, blessed Jesus--why did You thus die?" May His precious answer sound through every part of our hearts and souls: 
"I die--that you may not die.
I lay down My life--to purchase your life.
I present Myself as a sin-offering to--expiate all your sins.
My blood thus streams--to wash out all your guilt.
The fountain is thus opened in My side--to cleanse you from all impurity. I thus endure your curse. I thus pay your debt. I thus rescue you from all condemnation. I thus satisfy divine justice for you!"
 [friend:] I think there are two separate issues here.
1) do you believe in his teachings?
My answer would be: to a great extent. Because even though we do not actually go to church each sunday, we do not (and I have not yet) read the bible, our values follow to a great extent his teachings. I say "to a great extent" because for one, there are the two main groups - the orthodox (Bulgaria/Greece, etc.) and the catholics (Poland/Italy, etc). Not to mention the protestants, evangelical, and all the other hundreds of christian religion variations. So it is actually difficult to say for certain who is truly following the christian teachings. I also say "to a great extent" because I personally do not agree with everything as I mentioned in the previous email.. 
2) do you believe in everything that is claimed to have happened? Jesus walked on water, turned water into wine, cured the blind to mention the few.
Do you believe in these?
In my mind though, 2) doesn't matter. It is 1) (his teaching) that matters. It is his teachings that are still here after thousands of years.
 [me:] Regarding the variety of religions, I will address the issue later, when discussing your remarks about the church. I present this beforehand: there is only one true religion, and it is found between/among all those you mentioned. Yesterday I had a discussion with a colleague, and when I talked about repentance, he asked: which religion do I have to turn to? I told him, you have to turn/return/repent to God, not a religion.
It just happens so, that after you have returned to submit to God's commands, your new walk will seem like and become your religion. The Bible says we're born in rebellion to God, as if with our backs turned to him, in disobedience and revolt. Our every step and every intention takes us further and further away from him, (Genesis 6:5 “The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time”.) and we dig ourselves deeper and deeper into a mess. But after having endured and suffered much because of our disobedience, (just like a parent lets his child sometimes experience the negative effects of his disobedience), God mercifully, savingly intervenes, chastenes, opens our eyes to see the dead-end and terrible punishment we're facing, and calls us to turn around, submit, and realize it's much better to follow his "conditions of use." He made us, he knows how we work best. This is repentance: being sorry for sins comitted, forsaking the old ways, submitting to God. This is what you must do.
Acts 17:30 “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.”
Remember Einstein’s debate with his professor? Einstein said there is no cold, just lack of heat, and no dark, just lack of light. In one way, sin is a lack of God. The instant you turn your back on God, you’re in sin. This is how it can be true that even though sin exists, God did not create it, and is not responsible for it. He told us not to disobey, not to turn away from him. We have, and we are in sin. And, worst of all, we are born in this state, so even if we suppose you hadn’t committed any sin all your life, you’re still sinful by birth, by nature.
I believe and cherish all the claims Jesus made. Even on the human side, there is no reason to question the integrity of tens, hundreds, sometimes thousand of people, who witnessed a miracle event. In no other case is it done in the world, except in relation to the Bible. In any court in the world, the testimony of 2-3 witnesses stands. Only the witnesses mentioned in the Bible are questioned their integrity and their mental status. Furthermore, don’t forget that the enemies of Jesus themselves never denied his miracles, even his resurrection. They only had to explain the missing body. In all their scheming, they never tried to say the body was not missing, but came up with explanations.
Check this out: (the enemies call him an impostor, and he truly is, if part of his general claim, his resurrection claim is false)
Matthew 27 – “The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.  63"Sir," they said, "we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I will rise again.' 64So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first." 65"Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how." 66So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.”
Matthew 28:2 “There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5The angel said to the women (who have come to visit the tomb), "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead.
11While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.' 14If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." 15So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
Or:
Acts 4:8, after Peter and John healed a sick man: 8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! 9If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, 10then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11He is " 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. 12Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." 13When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.
See how Jesus viewed his own miracles:
John 5:36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John (the Baptist, who testified that Jesus was the Son of God, who takes away the sins of those who believe in him). For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.”
So Jesus’ miracles are not to be taken lightly. Part of his claim is that he’s a Saviour, and can be a valuable, operational Saviour, only if he is God. A simple human could not atone/pay for the sins of humanity, because every man, if left to pay for his sins on his own has to pay with an eternal punishment. The offence is committed against an eternal God, punishment must be eternal as well. Only a divine person could pay “faster”, and reconcile persons with God, and that is Jesus, who paid in three hours on the cross. And payment was accepted. As Macarthur puts it: I don’t want to waste time by answering the question: what proves Jesus’ resurrection? Instead I answer to: what does Jesus’ resurrection prove? The resurrection proves that the sacrifice was accepted by God, the plan was fullfilled. Romans 4:25 “He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.”
So it does matter if Jesus’ miracles, and claims are true. If they’re not, he’s not worth trusting in. It’s a matter of life and death. If he says/promises he’s gonna help/save me if I trust him, I better make sure he’s trustworthy, and is going to deliver what he promissed. His most important claim? John 14:6 “Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
I repeat the question and call you dodged: consider his claims, believe his words, trust his promises, obey his call.
Matthew 4:17 “From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
Matthew 11:20 “Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent.”
Mark 6:12 “They went out and preached that people should repent.”
Luke 5:32 “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Don’t trust your deeds, moral life, don’t think you’re ok, you’re righteous.
Luke 15:7 “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
Acts 3:19 “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”
Yes, his teachings are here, but they’re not followed. They’re not even read. How can you follow a map you don’t know? People know from hearing, that if you read the Bible, you will be faced with a decision: you either obey and answer the call, or you neglect and reject it. So they rather don’t read the Bible. But I tell you, as to a friend: there’s no greater thing on earth, than being right, at peace with God, and having a clear conscience. The first good night’s sleep.
2Corinthians 5:20 “We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

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