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Faith vs. Inspiration

Reader comment on item: Musing on History
in response to reader comment: where is heaven?

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Aug 7, 2015 at 04:07

Hi, Waz. You said,

"Jesus "became" that word by incorporating it in the core of his life. This would amount to an extension of "being", from God to Jesus; and as you say, the communication was from "mind to mind"."

That's close. He merged his being with what we can all call 'God'

Here is the New Testament way to take on God's nature:

Ephesians 2:
[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.
[10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
[11] Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
[12] That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
[13] But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
[14] For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
[15] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity,
even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
[16] And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

There is lots of allegory in that passage, and it is the source of no small amount of controversy. My point in posting it, is to show that, according to the NT, one cannot attain unto Godliness through any sort of exercise. In my understanding, the process goes like this:

1. Once, we all were without hope of pleasing God: Adam was our prototype of one who, having actually begun with a life pleasing to God, was deceived into falling away from it without remedy. Were someone actually able to attain to the holiness and Godliness Adam lived before the fall, he would have fallen into the same sort of deception as Adam

2. It was God who purposed man's redemption, promising it with the words (to the Devil), "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Gen. 3:15). The process was to happen through the agency of a human, one physically born of a woman; but it was God who would bring it about, not man.

3. When God formed Messiah (= "Christ"), He spiritually created, in him, us who believe. I believe Jesus' relationship with God was one of faith. There were moments when this faith was reinforced by God, such as at the Mount of Transfiguration; but Jesus' faith was of the same nature as the faith he expected us to walk in when he said, "Follow me":

John 12:
[26] If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

Jesus' followers were not given any special insight into God's nature, other than what is already revealed in the Scriptures. What they were given from God, was the gift of faith that if they continued steadfast in that faith, as Jesus did, trusting in his words and obeying his commandments, God would raise them up to His side the same way He had risen Jesus.

Insights are very nice; but they have no lasting value. What matters is faith; and what endures is faith; and faith comes from God -- we cannot conjure it up ourselves.

Concerning the "seed" parable that you brought up: God gives us faith that His word is true, whether that word be revealed in Torah or in the life of Jesus. Once we have been given this measure of faith, though, we need to build upon this "seed" by walking out the things God has said. As James put it,

James 2:
[20] But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
[21] Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
[22] Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
[23] And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
[24] Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Jesus is our example and forerunner, of one who walked by faith and not by sight. As he hung on the cross, he received no encouragement, save that of the thief next to him:

Luke 23:
[42] And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
[43] And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
[44] And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
[45] And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
[46] And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

There is no other way to God, other than the way Jesus has pioneered before us. John Huss followed in his footsteps, along with many others who died trusting in the Good News. It was that faith that kept the band on the sinking Titanic playing "Nearer, My God, to Thee" instead of vainly trying to save their hides. It's that faith that God expects us to walk in, during the troubled times ahead.


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