Friday, June 13, 2008

I Believe Salvation Makes a Relationship With God Available

The following is a portion of a message I sent to another blogger. I looked at the content and felt that it would be a good explanation as to how I view "salvation" and "going to Heaven". I omitted scripture references because I was in a conversation with someone. At the time, I did not feel as if I wanted to stop to look the verse references up because I was in a hurry. I will ad them if someone says they need to be there.

I believe salvation releases us from condemnation of the Law of the Old Testament. I also believe there is a New Testament Law. This law must be fulfilled to be sanctified. As John Wesley believed, we receive initial sanctification upon our confession to accept the atoning work of Jesus Christ. However, if we do not obey Jesus' command to love one another then the relationship that was made available falls stagnant.

Jesus said, "a new law I give you. Love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another. By this, all men will know you are my disciples if you have love for one another."

Is this really a new law? Is Jesus plagiarizing here?

This "new command" is in Leviticus 19:18b. The commandment has already been given. So, why is Jesus calling it a new commandment. One of Two reasons. In the O.T. Law, this was a command given to the Jewish people. It may have needed to be expanded to include Gentiles. This is an unattractive answer I pulled from my studies in referencing other peoples work. Since the answer is out there, I have to call attention to it.

I chose to look at these words in the originall language. "Command" can also mean a law. A New law. Can you identify what the New Testament is? What is the covenant between man and God? The covenant would be our relationship with God being made available, not through the Law. But, through the law having been fulfilled and the fulfillment being imparted to us by our faith in Jesus' atoning work.
So, if Jesus is coming to the end of His ministry, why does he offer a new command? He doesn't. He gave us a new law. Jesus said this is what all of the Law and Prophets hinge on. This "Law" replaced the Old Law.
God created us to be His family. So, we must love one another. Not a suggestion. This is a Law in the New Testament. It is not optional. It is what signs the signature of God's family.

There is no other way to view all of the virtues we are instructed in. If "love one another" is just a suggestion, then why say it? Why does Paul give us the fruits of the Spirit? Why does he say, "The only thing that matters is faith expressing itself in love"?

I will go as far as to say, "the second judgment" [This person mentioned]which weighs our works is what Paul says we will be judged by. Paul says, Do you not know you will be judged by what you have done? This means that we need to respect all members of the Human Family. That is what these works at the second judgement must point to. This is how we have a relationship with Jesus. By our faith and love for one another. "The only thing that matters is faith expressing itself in love"
Why am I so concerned about getting this message out? Because people are under the impression that salvation is all that is needed to gain access to Heaven.

There is a lot wrong with that statement. First, getting into Heaven is a selfish ambition. What we should be pursuing is a relationship with God. Second, salvation frees us from condemnation. Salvation is taking that first baby step toward The Father. It is commitment. Then this confusing word, 'salvation' is under analyzed. No longer do people look to see what it was applied to when it was spoken. Granted, there are two uses of the word 'saved' as Koine Greek is translated to English. The other saved is in fact the word "Glorified". This is the idea of taking off of the rags of our own righteousness and putting on the righteousness of God which was given by virtue of our faith in Jesus. Now, we can be looked at by God. So, we are back to the idea of being saved from the condemnation of the Law. Salvation is Not, what so many home grown preachers are preaching.

This is what I heard when I accepted Christ: "You are saved now. No matter what you have done or will do. When you die, God will not see those things. You will be in Heaven".
For some reason, those words did not square right with me. What was I to do with all of the exhortations to live life by the spirit? Why does it matter if I am going to Heaven when I die? "
You will receive a bigger reward".

How ridiculous!. What do I or God care about rewards when we are in Heaven? God is not into politics. He is not going to elect officials who hold offices, therefor, they get a biger reward than the next person.

I was a Christian on my way to Hell. I said I was a Christian, did that make me a Christian when I was doing as much evil as I wanted? When I realized this, I had to find out why I had the wrong perspective.

I wander if I have given you enough to convince you of what I am passionate about.
How will you view salvation? The Bible says seek your own salvation with fear and trembling. I believe there is salvation for all who say, "Lord, Lord". But I do not believe being saved means we are going to Heaven just because we are saved. There is something else. That is the "royal law" of love.

God gives gifts to men. He said so. Somewhere in Ephesians. "He lead captives (those under the law) in His train and gave gifts to men". Gift(s). He gives the gift of Grace, as well as those gifts which edify and build the church.
Paul said, what does it matter but that Christ is preached in every way. I can't remember the entire passage. It is in the Bible. I also quoted it in chapter seven of Love One Another (another blog accessed from my complete profile).
Anyway, I have written much because it is time for people to stop believing in a false perspective on salvation. This is very dangerous because it promotes a liberal, permissive lifestyle toward sin which God can not look on.

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