The reality of loving God is loving him like he's a Superhero who actually saved you from stuff rather than a Santa Claus who merely gave you some stuff.
We sinned for no reason but an incomprehensible lack of love, and He saved us for no reason but an incomprehensible excess of love.
Christianity, like genius, is one of the hardest concepts to forgive. We hear what we want to hear and accept what we want to accept, for the most part, simply because there is nothing more offensive than feeling like you have to re-evaluate your own train of thought and purpose in life. You have to die to an extent in your hunger for faith, for wisdom, and quite frankly, most people aren't ready to die.
When we begin to reflect Christ, the Bible, when more understood as being centered around Christ, seems to be potentially every man's biography regarding God's promised experiences and truth for him - his individual, unique path of humbling oneself before the Lord and then being exalted by the Lord back into his true and righteous personhood. Many followers may speak of it merely to try to change other people (before changing themselves), but the prophets speak of it as a living word which miraculously tells their very own experiences.
Jesus Christ came not to condemn you but to save you, knowing your name, knowing all about you, knowing your weight right now, knowing your age, knowing what you do, knowing where you live, knowing what you ate for supper and what you will eat for breakfast, where you will sleep tonight, how much your clothing cost, who your parents were. He knows you individually as though there were not another person in the entire world. He died for you as certainly as if you had been the only lost one. He knows the worst about you and is the One who loves you the most. If you are out of the fold and away from God, put your name in the words of John 3:16 and say, “Lord, it is I. I’m the cause and reason why Thou didst on earth come to die.” That kind of positive, personal faith and a personal Redeemer is what saves you. If you will just rush in there, you do not have to know all the theology and all the right words. You can say, “I am the one He came to die for.” Write it down in your heart and say, “Jesus, this is me—Thee and me,” as though there were no others. Have that kind of personalized belief in a personal Lord and Savior.
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
God saves - but not now, and not here. His salvation is on layaway. Like all grifters, He asks you to pay now and take it on faith that you will receive later. Whereas women offer a different sort of salvation, more immediate and fulfilling. They don't put off their love for a distant, ill-defined eternity but make a gift of it in the here and now, frequently to those who deserve it least. So it was in my case. So it is for many. The devil and woman have been allies against God from the beginning...
My belief is that, morally, God and Satan are vaguely on the same page. According to the common understanding of Satan's origins, holiness must be in his blood: but a corrupted formula. The vital difference is that God is willing to offer grace for our sins; he delights in grace. God is the one and only holy and just punisher of sin, yes, but that is partly so because punishment for the sake of punishment is not something he loves. Whereas Satan, as the accuser, and as it is written, actually seeks God's permission to punish; he, being a seasoned legalist, delights in finding wrongs and will defy his own morality just to expose immorality. This is why both the anti-religious soul and the violently religious soul are, whether consciously or unconsciously, and sadly enough, glorifying their biggest hater: Satan is not only a lawless lover of punishing lawlessness, but also the greatest theologian of us all. He loves wickedness, but only because he loves punishing wickedness.
Self-sufficiency is the enemy of salvation. If you are self-sufficient, you have no need of God. If you have no need of God, you do not seek Him. If you do not seek Him, you will not find Him.
We do know that no person can be saved except through Christ. We do not know that only those who know Him can be saved by Him.
...Our Lord Jesus Christ added nothing to God in his essential being and glory, either by what He did or suffered. True, blessedly and gloriously true. He manifested the glory of God to us, but he added nought to God... Christ's goodness and rightousness reached unto His saints in the earth but God was high above and beyond it all....
The love of Christ is always there and unchanging, no matter what we do, but it is when we are obedient that we actually begin to feel it.
If Christ is God, He cannot sin, and if suffering was a sin in and by itself, He could not have suffered and died for us. However, since He took the most horrific death to redeem us, He showed us in fact that suffering and pain have great power.
Let us be today’s Christians. Let us not take fright at the boldness of today’s church. With Christ’s light let us illuminate even the most hideous caverns of the human person: torture, jail, plunder, want, chronic illness. The oppressed must be saved, not with a revolutionary salvation, in mere human fashion, but with the holy revolution of the Son of Man, who dies on the cross to cleanse God’s image, which is soiled in today’s humanity, a humanity so enslaved, so selfish, so sinful.
I take leave to contradict those who say that salvation is an evolution! All that ever can be evolved out of the sinful heart of man is sin-and nothing else! Salvation is the free gift of God, by Jesus Christ, and the work of it is supernatural. It is done by the Lord Himself, and He has power to do it, however weak, no, however dead in sin, the sinner may be!
Salvation is more than a word, It is His Word. His word became flesh so we have the opportunity to live.
God will save whomever He chooses to save. The Christian should proselytize not because he thinks he can change everybody, he should proselytize because the Gospel being shared is the ultimate act of love: because he thinks he can love everybody.
To be in Christ is to place one's trust in Him for salvation from sin. To be in Christ is to trust His goodness, not our own; to trust that His sacrificial death on the cross paid the complete debt of death we owe for our sin; to trust that His resurrection gives us eternal life instead of relying upon our own ability to please God. To be in Christ is to claim, by faith, the free gift of salvation. To be in Christ is to enjoy a completely restored relationship with our Father in heaven by virtue of His Son's righteous standing.
God's relationship with man does not work in a way in which man stumbles and then God has to drop what he is doing in order to lift him up; rather, man stumbles so that God can lift him up. Hence it is utterly impossible to truly diminish his glory.
Faith, in its most correct form, never removes responsibility; it removes fear of responsibility. The results are complete opposites with the greater saying, 'God's will is my delight.
Just as a child is conceived in a womb of a woman, miraculously, so is grace freely given by God, in sacred moment of salvation.
Just as is child is conceived in a womb of a woman, miraculously, so is grace freely given by God, in sacred moment of salvation.
There is no one way to salvation, whatever the manner in which a man may proceed. All forms and variations are governed by the eternal intelligence of the Universe that enables a man to approach perfection. It may be in the arts of music and painting or it may be in commerce, law, or medicine. It may be in the study of war or the study of peace. Each is as important as any other. Spiritual enlightenment through religious meditation such as Zen or in any other way is as viable and functional as any Way.... A person should study as they see fit.
The most important feeling in the world is trust. The worse is betrayal. Without trust, there is no love. Without trust, there is betrayal. And betrayal is the ultimate consequence of selfishness and naiveness, both ramifications of egotism. Whenever you can't confront reality, you can't love and you can't protect yourself against the lack of it. Wisdom can help you, because wisdom consists in the ability to love oneself, confront reality and accept the mistakes of others. That requires courage, but courage without wisdom is foolishness in disguise. You must be wise to see through and remain calm. It is a never-ending goal, and as much as the intensity of the complexities you're faced with. More complexities require more wisdom. Peace can't be found without an action towards it, and solutions that justify it. An antagonistic solution would only present itself as one whenever wisdom has failed. An avatar must be immensely wise to live with himself but not ignorant enough to accept the masses when confronted with their ignorance. However, if you're just a mortal being struggling against endless challenges, pray to God for wisdom, for He will bring forth to your realm His most highly recommended masters and meaningful literature. If you find them, don't judge them by how they appear, look or are dressed. Don't judge them as well by when and where they appear to you. For the unwise does not have the right to judge the mysteries unveiling his own ignorance. And if you find a book in a trashcan, do not judge it as well by where you have found it. Salvation is everywhere. It is wise to believe that. We suffer more due to the immense signs we reject than those we accept.