Sunday, May 24, 2015

Who is Jesus?

Who is Jesus?  This is a question that could take much time to answer.  It deserves far more time than I will give it in this blog entry, that's for sure.  However, I think that this is a question that we, as Christians, should ask ourselves from time to time.  Who is Jesus?  By reflecting on the man and what he did in his life, we can better understand him.  

Do We Still Have To Follow The Ten Commandments?

Many people seem to think that Jesus came to the Earth and died for our sins so that we could later ignore the commandments that God gave us.  While I believe that God forgives our sins through asking for forgiveness in Christ's name, I think that there is more to it than that.  
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14 - 17).  
Jesus himself said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15).  Jesus promised the Holy spirit to those so that we could sense when we were doing wrong and so that small voice would tell us when we were sinning against God.  Why else did he give us the Holy spirt if we are to not follow the commandments?  (This is something for you to think about).

Does Sin Still Exist in the World?

Yes, there is still a such thing as sin.  Jesus did not do away with sin, and most people would agree with me that you should not kill another person.  Many would say that we should not steal from others.  And many, if stolen from, would say that the person who stole from us committed a sin.  Many people, however, think that it is somewhat okay to sin sometimes.  "I do not need to be bound to the law," they reason, while living lives that are sinful.  Jesus will forgive you sins, this is true. However, we are to try extremely hard to not sin.  It is hard; impossible without Jesus.   However, that does not give us a license to ignore the commandments or to sin as we please.  "If you love me, keep my commandments."  Do you love Jesus?  Do you really love Jesus?

How Seventh Day Adventists View God's Law and Forgiveness for Sin

The Adventist faith is for many seen as legalistic or too hard to follow.  Some adventists are like taskmasters in that you have to do everything perfectly.  However, we all need to remember that nobody living today is perfect.  We all sin.  We all come short of the glory of God.  Yet, what I like about Adventism is that it states that we have to try.  We have to try to not sin because we love Jesus.  We have to try to not sin because we want to show Jesus that we appreciate the gift he gave us when he died on the cross.  We want to be like Jesus.  He lived a perfect life, and why would we not want to live a perfect life as well? Adventists are known for their strict eating habits, but these habits are merely in place because they conform to how God designed mankind.  He did not design us to destroy our bodies, and one thing that I do not understand about many branches of Christianity is the idea that it is okay to get drunk, party, smoke, have premarital sex, or eat foods that are unhealthy.  This does not mean that Adventists do not eat badly.  I eat worse than I (or anyone else) should.  I fall far short of the Adventist health message.  Eating vegetarian food will not save me from God's judgment.  However, asking forgiveness and trying to eat better and saying, "Jesus, I want to live more like you.  I want to take care of my body like you took care of your body.  I want to eat better because I want to serve you.  Please forgive me for eating badly" will help me in more ways than one. 

Did Jesus' Death Abolish the Law of God?

We need to show our love for Jesus in daily prayer and in following his commandments.  He said everything that is printed in the Bible for a reason.  When he said, "if you love me, keep my commandments," he was not just joking around.  The ten commandments were written for every man, for all time.  They are immutable and unchangeable.  Jesus did not change a single one.
"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18"For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.  (Matthew 5:17-18)
The ten commandments still exist to this day.  Every one of them exists in the same form as when God wrote them with his own finger on Mount Sinai.  Jesus did not change them and nobody else can hope to change God's law.  What God states is not taken back.  God knows better than to say something and later backtrack on it.  He is not human.  He does not come with the weaknesses of reason that we have.  Claiming that God's law has been changed to suit our wants and tastes shows the weakness of reason that exists in us.

Conclusion - Jesus Deserves Our Love

Jesus has done much for us, so how can we feel good about not showing him our love?  Would you tell your children that it is alright if they did not follow your rules?  Would you say that it is alright if they steal, murder, or sin constantly if they planned on asking for forgiveness one more time before death?  Would you not feel hurt when you saw them living a life that not only hurt you but themselves?  Think about how Jesus feels when you sin.  He is not just an imaginary being, but he is there, watching and thinking about you always.  He hopes that you will come to him and ask forgiveness when you do sin (and we all sin), but he does not want you to live a life of sin because you think that you can and that it does not matter.  It does matter.   

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