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The Reality of Salvation

   For some reason it seems like we have fell into an understanding of Salvation, that has been weakened from it's original state.  In the present church world the idea of believing in Christ has become the sole focus of the idea of Salvation, when in fact Jesus told us there was another step; obedience.

   Over and over again in the Gospels, he makes it very clear that we are to actually do what God had commanded through him.  In Matthew 5,6,7 and Luke 6, there are commands given followed by statemements concerning the necessity (or wisdom) of putting into practice what he was saying.  In the Gospel of John he makes it very clear that if we love him, we will obey his commandments and if we do not his love is not in us. If his love is not in us then where is our Salvation?

   I am by no means stating that belief is not important, but what I am saying is that our belief and obedience to those things commanded are tied together in a way that they can not be separated. I know that many will cite the idea of grace, but grace is unmerited favor.  Grace is the very idea that we have been given the chance to even try to come into a personal relationship with God; it is  not salvation.  If it were, then Jesus would have never told the disciples in Matthew 28 : 20, to teach the new disciples they had made and baptized to obey all that he (Jesus) had command them (the disciples).  In our declaraion of being a "Christian," we are saying we are a follower, disciple, or mimicker of Jesus.   He told us that if we wanted to follow him, we should deny ourselves daily, take up our cross and follow him.  In our present church world in what ways do our lives reflect, following, being a disciple of, or being a mimicker of Jesus?  As we look at our lives and find we are too busy to actually even study his word, how then does that show how we love God above all others?  In our day to day striving for the world around us, how does that reflect us being a separate or peculiar people?  I know, "Now brother we have to be practical."  I would challenge anyone to show me where the message of Jesus is ever promotes physical practicality. How physically practical is it to love our enemies, when we have been taught from birth to do otherwise?  How physically practical is it to forgive people who we see as unforgivable?  How physically practical is it to place the needs of others above our own?  There is nothing in the commands of Jesus that appeals to the practical side of our minds, but then our physical mind is inherently sinful and therefore probably not the best judge of what is practical.

   You might be saying, "But God knows we are human and that what was commanded is not achievable in our flesh."  The truth is all that was commanded is achievable, it is more a fact that it is more difficult than we might wish to attempt.  To state that what was commanded  can not be done, makes God a cruel jokester, when in fact he is a loving God who has love for anyone who will reach out and do what is necessary to attain it.  The love of God is unconditional in that anyone can attain it.  But in attempting to attain it God set and exact path through the words spoken by Jesus for attaining it.

   We have reached a point in history where it is time for the church to teach what Jesus actually commanded, even at the risk of upsetting the church board or the pet members.  It would be better to have a few steadfast, obedient servants of God than to have 10,000 members who are pew sitters. In that state of having a lukewarm ideology among church goers it is impossible for any congregation to ever be in one mind and in one accord.

   Yes Sunday after Sunday churches gather "in his name," but are they really "in his name?"  When Jesus said that he would be in the midst of two or more gathered in his name, he was stating something that was a reality of the age in which he lived.  In that time if a Lord wanted to send a message to another ruler, he would send his most trusted, obedient and faithful servant.  When the servant arrived at the gate of the ruler he would declare, "I come in the name of my master!"  In hearing this the ruler would allow the gates to be opened and he would hear what the servant had to say.  Imagine if a Lord had sent his laziest unreliable servant?  IImagine if the servant had gotten the message wrong? It could have led to war.  Jesus wants us to be act in the authority of his name, but that will never happen until we are trusted and obedient servants.

  

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