August 12, 2012

Abundant Life

" I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." - John 10:10

" I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ." - Philemon 6

Jesus came so that we could have a reconciled relationship with God, so that we could have eternal life in heaven with Him, and also an abundant life here. The abundant life that God wants for us is a life full of joy and peace and power and victory and fruitfulness and satisfaction. This type of life brings much glory to Him. Why are there so many Christians who are not experiencing this type of life ? Churches are full of people who are missing out on the abundant life.

Two of the reasons why so many Christians are missing out on God's best for their lives and the abundant life are found in Matthew 6:33 - "Seek first for God's kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you." Quite simply their relationship with God and the building of God's kingdom are not the first or top priority in their lives. Look at Philemon 6 above, a very interesting verse. Actively sharing Christ with others (being a faithful witness for Christ) is vital if you want to experience all that God wants for you. You will never have the abundant, victorious, fruitful, joyful, satisfying life until you commit to actively and faithfully share Christ with others. Jesus says in Matthew 4:19 "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Unless you are a "fisher of men" (a person who actively & faithfully shares Christ with others) you are not truly following Jesus, The Source of abundant life. You must walk closely with Jesus, The Source, and truly follow and obey Him, or you will never experience abundant life.

1 comment:

Gary said...

Dear Baptist/evangelical brothers and sisters in Christ,

I ask you to consider these points:

1. When God said that he would preserve his Word, what did he mean? Did he mean that he would preserve the original papyrus and parchment upon which his Word was written? If so, then his Word has disappeared as none of the original manuscripts remain.

Did he mean that he would preserve his word in the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek only? He would not preserve his Word when it was translated into all the other languages of the world?

Or did God mean that he would preserve his Word…the message/the words…the Gospel: the free gift of salvation, and the true doctrines of the Christian Faith? Would God allow his Word/his message to mankind to be so polluted by translation errors that no translation, into any other language from the three original languages, continues to convey his true words?

2. There is NO translation of the Bible, from the original ancient languages, into ANY language, ANYWHERE on earth, that translates the Bible as the Baptists/evangelicals believe it should be translated.

No Bible translation on earth translates Acts 2:38 as, “Repent and believe in Jesus Christ every one of you and you will receive the Holy Ghost. Then be baptized as a public profession of your faith.”

Why would God allow EVERY English translation of the Bible throughout history to be mistranslated or use such confusing language as to suggest that God forgives sins in Baptism? And not only all English translations, ALL translations of the Bible have retained these “mistranslations or confusing wording”.

Do you honestly believe that God would allow his Word to be so polluted with translation errors that EVERY Bible in the world, if read in its simple, plain interpretation, would tell the people of the world that God forgives sins in water baptism??

3. Why is there not one single piece of evidence from the early Christians that indicates that ANYONE in the 800-1,000 years after Christ believed that: Water baptism is ONLY a public profession of faith/act of obedience; sins are NOT forgiven in water baptism? Yes, you will find statements by these early Christians that salvation is by faith, but do Baptists and evangelicals really understand how a sinner obtains saving faith? THAT IS THE MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION, MY FRIENDS! Does the sinner produce faith by his own free will or does God provide faith and belief as a gift, and if God does provide faith and belief as a free gift, with no strings attached, WHEN exactly does God give it?

4. Is it possible that: Baptist-like believers, at some point near or after 1,000 AD, were reading the Bible and came across verses that read “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” and “Call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved” and established their doctrine of Salvation/Justification first, based on these and similar verses alone, and then, looked at the issue of water baptism, and since the idea that God forgives sins in water baptism didn’t seem to fit with the verses just mentioned, these early Baptists re-interpreted these verses to fit with their already established doctrine, instead of believing the “baptism verses” literally?

Is it possible that BOTH groups of verses are literally correct?? If we believe God’s Word literally, he says that he saves/forgives sins when sinners believe/call AND when they are baptized? Why not believe that God can give the free gift of salvation in both situations: when a sinner hears the Gospel and believes and when a sinner is baptized?

Should we re-interpret God’s plain, simple words just because they don’t seem to make sense to us?

God bless you!

Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals