Exactly what is it that Jesus requires from us
by Gary Droit
Are you annoyed by the ritualistic feel of most churches
Are you tired of people who insinuate that if you're not
perfect, then you aren't a good Christian?
Doesn't it annoy you when people equate drinking and
smoking with sin?
Yes, you know that the Bible does not command people to not
drink. You know that Jesus changed the water into wine. You
know that Christians are not perfect, they're just
forgiven. Nowhere does Jesus tell people they should try to
stay healthy and take care of their body. In fact, He says
the opposite, that you should not worry about such things.
When people try to say that cigarette smoking defiles the
temple of the Holy Ghost, you know that Jesus said it is
not what goes in by the mouth that defiles a person.
Odd, isn't it, how some people try to make their prejudices
into commandments from God? Especially when Jesus
complained about the Pharisees "teaching as commandment the
doctrines of men." But this seems to be the habit of those
who wish to control others.
A "divining rod," or "rule of thumb," if you wish, for
determining whether something is good or bad is the Love
commandments. When asked which was the most important
commandment, Jesus replied, "Love God with all your
hearts... and the second most important is similar to it,
love your neighbor as yourself." Later on, Jesus gave as a
"new" commandment: "Love one another." When taken together
with His assertion to "Love your enemies," it can be seen
that, by "one another," He meant everyone, not just fellow
Christians. Thus, as Paul said in Romans, "The law and the
prophets are summed up in the one commandment, to love one
another." Unconditional altruistic love is how Jesus wants
us to treat each other. Can love be faulted? It cannot.
Anything done out of love is good. Understand that, by
"love," we are not talking about infatuation or sexual
attraction. Those are different things altogether.
What is meant by "altruistic love" is caring about the
feelings and well-being of the one loved. Jesus gave us an
example when He said, "Greater love has no man than... to
lay down his life for someone else." Then He put his life
on the block as a sacrifice for our sins. He paid it all,
folks, paid for everyone, everywhere, once, for all time.
Why was His sacrifice able to wipe out the sin of all
people? He was the only perfect person ever to live upon
the earth. As a perfect person, His sacrifice was the
perfect sacrifice. He had no sin that needed paying for,
thus giving up His life was an act of purest love, utmost
unselfishness. It was the perfect sacrifice, the only thing
which could cleanse all sin forever.
It is not by our "being good" that we are saved from
punishment. It is simply not possible for us to be that
good, that we would not suffer punishment. Every human
being save the Savior has been selfish at some time in
their life. When you play a sport and attempt to win, you
are being selfish. I'm sorry, but it's true. When you have
food and eat it, knowing there are people in the world who
have no food, you are being selfish. It is sad, I know.
How, then, can anyone be saved? Jesus said, "Believe on me,
and ye shall be saved." What does this mean? Simply that if
you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, who gave His life
to save us from punishment, that is faith, and that is all
that is required.
Knowing that someone gave up their life to save yours,
doesn't this make you care about the one who gave up their
life? Jesus said, "If you love me, then obey me." What does
He want us to obey? He gave us a "new" commandment,
(meaning it replaces all the old ones) to "Love one
another." He cares about each and every one of us, and He
wants us to care about each other in the same way. No
parent wants their children hurting each other.
Love does not envy; love does not desire to control; love
gives all it has, even gives up its life for the sake of
the one loved; love is patient; love is kind; love is not
proud; love does not punish, love praises; love is happy
when it sees happiness, sad when it sees sadness; love
nourishes; love encourages; love builds the other up; love
desires to be always with the one loved; love heals; love
does not destroy; love is not selfish; love does not ignore
the one loved, but waits on them "hand and foot."
That can be a tall order, folks. But love also gives
strength to the one who loves.
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Gary Droit is a (mainly) self-educated "Renaissance Man",
being interested in science, art, anthropology, literature,
Christianity, and most all things. He has been supporting
himself and his family by repairing business machines (NCR
corporation 1966-1990) and computers, building computers,
installing and maintaining networks, and doing web design
and graphics. He is presently interested in being a
freelance writer. Email ObieWanKnobe@Earthling.net