Good works is commendable but does it assure one is going to heaven ? There were times in my life that I am proud of my good deeds that I felt sure i am going to heaven when i die. Then my curiosity led me to read the Bible and while reading i came across a heading where it says " Heaven is a free gift ". I was surprised and thought the Bible is wrong. For six years I tried to prove the Bible wrong but to my astonishment, I found out that Heaven is a free gift through grace of God and faith in Jesus Christ.
When examined through the truth in the Bible , the good deeds i once was proud of turned out to be filthy rags. The sins that i did, which i tried to deny or tried to justify reveal to me i am in the way to hell.
Does that mean we do not have to do good works ? No but good works show that you are saved .We do not do good works in order to be saved .Does this confuse you ?
Another error is to think we do not have to do good works if we say we believe in Jesus Christ.
Here is a simple outline:
Good works alone does not lead to salvation.
Saying we believe in Jesus but do not obey does not lead us to salvation.
What is right then ?
Repent of our sins, believe in Jesus Christ and do works worthy of repentance will lead us to heaven.
What makes it free then when we have to do works too ?
It is free because it is all God's work. God provided the sacrifice (Jesus Christ). God gives us the power and the help (Holy Spirit).
What is our role then ? Our role is to agree with God. Accept His gift of pardon and live for Him in the power of His word (the Bible) and of His Spirit.
We who name the name of Christ, let us go to perfection. You may say what a high goal, perfection ? yes perfection. What is perfection ? Perfection is being like Jesus Christ. You may ask, can we make it ? Yes we can. First we repent of all known sins in our life. Then accept or believe Jesus who love us and paid for our sins in the cross by His broken body and shed blood.Then by faith the Holy Spirit will come to our life and reside in us and help us and lead us to righteousness.
Then what happens, will everything go smooth ? No but changes will come and with it challenges, or tests. Will there be failures and setbacks ? Yes there are, but is it the end ? No but keep going and looking at Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
Will we reach perfection if we keep falling ? No if we do not get up. Jesus when carrying cross keep getting up till at the cross He finally said "It is finished".
You may say the road to perfection is too hard and long, and yes they are. But let us start moving, even with little steps or crawling. Let us clean up our lives with the help of the Holy Spirit . But you may say we kept coming back where we were and worse. Then persevere, never give up, Jesus never gave up on us.
Let us hang on to the cross and where the cross goes there we will be. But you may say the cross does not go anywhere, and you are right. But Jesus blood flows down from the cross and cleanses the soul who is at the foot of the cross.
What comes to mind when we look at the cross ? On the surface we see a man named Jesus unjustly tried, brutally punished or abused for a crime or sin He did not commit. But let us look at what the Bible tells about Jesus.
The Bible reveals God's love for mankind. In that the second Person in the Trinity, took the form of man to die for the sins of the world. Jesus is the long awaited Messiah promised in the Old Testament. In the fulness of time He came clothed like one of us, able to feel what we feel. He took upon Himself the sins of all of us from Adam to the last man who will be born on this earth.
How are we to respond to this love, this sacrifice ? i would say He deserves eternal gratitude from us. He deserves to be called our Lord and Savior. He deserves to be worshipped and adored. Because of the sins that Jesus carried on the cross, the Father and the Holy Spirit could not look at Jesus and Jesus said My God , My God why have You forsaken Me ? And the Bible says that for the joy of seeing you and i saved Jesus endured the cross, overlooking the shame and the pain. By His death , our death was prevented, our body will die but our soul will inherit eternal life because of what Jesus has done.
This holy week let us remember Jesus came to save us that we may have eternal life.
As Christians we need the Holy Spirit. Who is the Holy Spirit ? The Holy Spirit is third Person in the Trinity (God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit). We receive the Holy Spirit when we believe or trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. How do we know or trust Jesus Christ ? The Holy Spirit works through Christians and God's word the Bible to tell us about God and Jesus.
The Holy Spirit works through believers to introduce Jesus Christ to the world or to everyone. When one believes in Jesus then the Holy Spirit enters into one's heart.But first the Holy Spirit will remind us that we sinned and that we need a Savior who is Jesus Christ. Once the Holy Spirit is inside our heart, He the Holy Spirit encourages us to pray , read the Bible, and convicts us of our sins and give us God's love that will further bloom as we share that love to others. The Holy Spirit is gentle and will not force anyone.
The Holy Spirit comes as a gift from the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit helps us in our Christian walk or life. He will guide us into all truth.
Why i believe animal sacrifices in the Old Testament point to Jesus Christ.
Through my participation in the Forums, I revealed one of my beliefs as the title says.I had the understanding that this is standard belief in the Christian beliefs but I was later questioned, a situation i did not expect in a Christian website.
Let me try to recollect how I came to this belief. First time i read about the animal sacrifice in the Old Testament which consisted of offering an animal (specifications given in the Bible), it was specified there that the animal be unblemished ( not sick, not lame, no defect). Being new to the Bible i thought what a waste, if one is to kill an animal why use a " perfect animal " why not use an animal which is about to die, sick, lame, something that one has no use of. That was in 1976.
I believe it was in 1984, that I heard a Sunday school lesson that the animal sacrifice point to Jesus Christ. Then it occured to me why the animal sacrifice had to be perfect. If one has to pay for my or our sins then the payer or the sacrifice be perfect or sinless.
Only Jesus lived a perfect life. There are holy men of God in the Old Testament but they were not perfect. Only Jesus qualified to be the sacrifice for our sins.
Unless Jesus paid for our sins then we are still in sin. Our sins are not paid for when we reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
How are you ? Hope you're fine. Ah , the thrill and challenges of chess, the practice, the search for improvement, the tournaments, the anticipation of playing our favorite openings and defenses.
As they say, "the ecstacy of victory and the agony of defeat." Mastery of chess could take a lifetime as some chessbooks say.We could spend hours enjoying our favorite game called "chess".
Sometimes chess could be unpredictable. In my discouragement, I said maybe in eternity , I will be a chessmaster. Did i say eternity ? You may ask, what is eternity and where do we find eternity ?
Let me share with you, where and how eternity could be found.
The Holy Bible is the Book of our past, present, future and eternity. How God created the heavens and the earth. The creation of man and God's interaction with His creation.
In short, man disobeyed God and got separated from Him. But God did not leave it that way. He made a way to restore our broken relationship with Him. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to come to earth in human form to die for our sins. This truth is still being debated in man's hearts and minds.
For many , the best move is to repent of our sins and to accept or trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The Bible promises that by doing these, we receive eternal life or eternity with God.
Let us look at life in its basic form. We are born into this world. We grow up, go to school. we eventually find a job or earn a living. Have a family. Gets old and eventually retires and then leave this earth when our life ends.
Is this all there is to life ?
I believe there is something more. The Holy Bible, the world's best book seller every year, tells us that we are created by God. Our first parents Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, Adam and Eve were unaware of sin. They were given commandment to live and eat of every fruits in the trees in the garden except from one tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for if they do they will die.
According to the Bible, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and so sin entered the world and man are destined to die as punishment for disobeying.
You may ask, is there anything more besides dying ?
Yes there is, the Bible says there is remedy for sin.That remedy is Jesus Christ. Perhaps at this time you will be saying you know Jesus Christ, that He died on the cross and was buried and rose again.
Right, but what else ? Do you know Jesus wants to live in you and me ? You may ask how does He do that ? First we have to recognize that we have sinned, we have broken or disobeyed God's law. The Bible says when we disobey one commandment we disobeyed all.That is a very high standard because we have a holy God. Only Jesus was able to fulfill the law. God says when we believe in Jesus , His righteousness will be given to us and our sins will or was given to Jesus . Jesus carried our sins and paid for them on the cross.
What else ? Our sins are paid for and we got the righteousness of Jesus but we still live in a fallen world with its temptations. The Bible says that before Jesus left for heaven , He promised that He will send the Holy Spirit from God the Father to reside in us and help us in our earthly life.
Perhaps you already know this or perhaps this is still too much for you.Let us pause at this time. If Jesus is already your Lord and Savior continue loving and obeying Him. If you are still trying to decide, pray that God will reveal to you the true Jesus Christ and how to have a relationship with Him.