One of the questions many people face is "I believe in Jesus, but how do I walk out my faith in this life?" This section of the Scholars Corner will cover the foundational and fundamental principles of living the faith. It will address things that are necessary for walking with a clear conscience and it will deal practically with how to apply the teachings of God's Word to life. It isn't meant to be deep, but just basic Christianity, or Christianity 101 if you like.
This page will be the index page, but we will start with…
I the LORD search the mind and try the heart, to give to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings, – Jeremiah 17:10
Since the mid-1800's, many Christians have said that "in order to be saved you must ask Jesus into your heart, and make Jesus Lord of your life." But during the Protestant Reformation in the 1500's, no one ever preached such individualism. They preached that Jesus is Lord and He is Lord whether you accept him or not… and people believed that message. They preached the grace of God, that it isn't because of your good deeds or moral behavior that you are saved, chosen, or elected by God. You are saved because of his mercy towards you in spite of your evil deeds. The truth of the matter, it isn't a question of whether you accept Jesus Christ. It is a question of whether He accepts you. God is sovereign and the judge of your soul. He sees into the human heart and is not fooled. He judges the human heart and gives eternal life to those whom he chooses.
At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:25-30
Why does he choose some and not others? I guess it is based upon how people respond to God's love and nature. Jesus is the very image of God. He expressed the compassion and mercy of God for the weak, the broken, and the lost. He was merciful toward prostitutes and tax collectors (ancient day loan sharks), but fought with the religious. The upright, uptight religious people saw his compassion for the sick and the broken, and they hated Jesus for it. They showed they wanted no part of God or God's love. What more could God do than show them his own nature? Yet they despised God in their hearts. They had no part in him, and he wanted no part of them. He judged them as unworthy of his salvation:
If I had not done among them what no-one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. -John 15:24
God isn't asking us to be perfect. He is just asking us to be honest: to admit that we are sinful, that we lack love for others, that we need to be forgiven. The only thing that separates the lost from the found is that the found recognize that we need a Savior and we need forgiveness. That is why after saying that no one knows God except those "whom the Son chooses to reveal him," Jesus immediately follows that with an appeal to those who are hurting. "Come.."
Jesus is saying "Come" to you. You think you are too good for him and you can do it on your own? You will never know God. But if you recognize that you are broken… then Come. Jesus is "the truth, the way and Life" and no one comes to God the Father except through him. Jesus is Lord, whether you accept him or not. Don't be a fool and walk away.
Originally Posted on the Christian Outreach site, IGOTASAVIOR.COM