Thursday, October 25, 2007

Faith Vs Intellect (1 Cor 1:18-25)

Back in New Testament times, the Romans and Greeks and assorted others, mostly rejected the Good News of Jesus Christ as pure folly. Instead, they tried to come near to God solely through the use of their minds. That track didn't work then, nor will it work now because there are some things that are learned purely by our spirits (1 Cor 2:13-14). Today, as well as back then, people put out all sorts of ideas and views about the salvation that comes from God. And just as they were wrong back then, they are wrong today. There are vast numbers of "beliefs" that simply are not supported by Scripture, furthermore, they run contrary to biblical teachings. Most of these beliefs sound so logical that many are snared by them and brought into a position of error. Many are led astray. According to the teachings of this world, we are led to believe that the person with the most intelligence and the largest number of degrees hanging on their walls would have the "wisest" path laid out to man's salvation. But all this education and intelligence and wisdom they boast of are what Paul calls pure foolishness: "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight" (1 Cor 3:19).

Furthermore, Isaiah 29:14 tell us that God will destroy all this human wisdom, " ... the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish." Human wisdom does nothing but bring glory to a fallen race of people who keep their faces turned away from God their Creator and let the Truth of His message fall on their deaf ears. Many of these people contrive their own schemes to gain God's approval and acceptance. They think their reasonings and rationalizations and human efforts will work for them and bring them into God's favor. Every other religion in the world except Christianity has a method or a ritual for gaining God's acceptance for it's followers. Every set of belief systems out there come up with a requirement for God's approval: do such and such and God will accept you; live up to these standards and God will approve of you. All of these paths toward acceptance balance on our ability to do or say something that will appease God. But Christianity is different. Only Christianity says that there is nothing you or I can ever do to gain God's favor. There are no sets of rules to keep or certain actions to take that will enable us to stand approved before God. Grasp this: there is nothing you or I can do to gain God's acceptance. Let's read that sentence again. One more time, there is absolutely nothing we can do to make ourselves right with God. No, God gives of His acceptance freely on the condition that we believe He did it all. Everything it takes to become right with God, He has already done. Jesus died on the cross. He did it. It's over! (John 19:30). The biggest blight to ever effect our standing before God has been cured and taken away. God saw that we were hopelessly separated from Him unless He acted to close that gap Himself. And He did just that. God became man and dwelt among us. Do you fully understand the enormousness of that statement? God, the creator of everything in heaven and on earth, the Maker of the stars and moon and mountains and valleys; God, from whom everything began, the Alpha and the Omega, the First and Last, gave up His heavenly position and took upon Himself the flesh of mere mortal men. And He did so, willingly. Yes, He willingly... maybe even eagerly... left his royal robes behind and became a baby, lying naked in the manger, for our sake. God became Man and walked and moved had His being in our midst. Emmanuel. "God with us."

Only Christianity glorifies God and His good works. When we place our trust in Him and in what He has done to rectify the situation, this pleases Him and He accepts us just as we are. Jesus Christ came and died and rose again that God might reconcile the world to Himself (2 Cor 5:18). Further, "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved by his life!" (Ro 5:10). That is the message of the gospel. That is it. Take it or leave it. God took the first step in this relationship. Will we accept what He has done for us?


Well, for whatever it's worth, I just finished writing this blog. I didn't already have it written. Normally, I have them written out in longhand first and then go to the computer and type it into the system. I've never been able to sit at the computer and write. There's something about the physical act of taking pencil in hand that seems to work for me. When I sit at the computer my mind usually goes blank. But I knew if I was going to have a blog for today (never mind that's it's hours and hours late) I was going to have to sit at the computer and write one. And I confess that I borrowed the title, but everything else is original for those who wonder. Good or bad. This is all my doing. It just takes me a little longer and then I have to put faith in it, that I actually wrote something someone else might get something out of. I'm tied up tomorrow and won't be able to get to my blog but I will be back Monday, the Lord willing.

Our weather has been exceptional the past few days, bordering on hot in the afternoons. We actually hit 100 degrees yesterday (so it can knock that off) but it cools down as soon as the sun sets. Thank goodness. I had a really kicked back day today. (That's just a clever way of saying I didn't do a thing! LOL) And hope to get more done tomorrow. I forgot to set my alarm last night and slept until after 10:00. Boo! Hiss! I hate sleeping so late. I always wake up all foggy-headed and bleary thinking. I don't like it. I must establish the habit of setting my alarm. I hate when it goes off in the mornings but I like getting up earlier. This business of sleeping the entire morning away is for the birds. (I'm going to go set my alarm right now! There! That's taken care of!!)

Well, nothing else is happening in our neck of the woods so I have nothing more to write about. We had pork fried rice for dinner tonight and I made a double recipe so there's plenty of left overs, goody, goody. That means I don't have to cook again tomorrow night. And even more importantly, I don't have to try to think up something for dinner. That's the part that really does me in ... the thinking about what to cook. Anyway, I'm gonna send this out and I plan to return on Monday but it will probably be late Monday as I have a small group meeting Monday morning for the 40 Days of Purpose. That will continue every Monday until December 2nd, or is it the 9th??? I don't know. It's one or the other, I know that much. So anyway Monday blogs are going to be later in the day but it shouldn't be as late as today's blog is. I thought I had more blogs written in long hand and was surprised when I saw I was out. I was just not going to do one today and then about 4:00 I decided that I would try sitting at my computer and writing one and this is the results. (I like doing it in long hand better than just sitting at my computer. Wonder if practice would ease that for me. It's an awful chore having to write it all out first and then type it??? Hmmmmmm!) See you Monday ...

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