Believe about Jesus
Do you believe in Jesus?
What do you believe about Jesus?
What are we supposed to believe about Jesus?
What are we supposed to believe about God?
This would seem to be something each of us are supposed to answer for ourselves and it would seem that the answer should come from God to us by the way of His Spirit. But for much of man's history coreligionists have often felt the right to dictate what everyone should believe. Millions have died at the hands of one religious group or another because they had a different opinion about God, Jesus or other prophets of religion.
They often hire theologians to come up with plausible arguments why they should or could morally justify their desire to force others to believe a particular way. Long before religious opinion ends up in the blood baths we have seen in history a process of judgment and separation begins with checklists of beliefs.
Check list Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of the concepts of Religions and God-Deities and its influences and on the nature of religious traditions. Theology is the study of the nature of God and religious belief.
Over the years men like Augustine of Hippo defined his Latin equivalent, theologia, as "reasoning or discussion concerning the Deity". According to his contemporary, Jerome, Augustine "established anew the ancient Faith." But was that faith conformed to Jesus Christ?
He was heavily influenced by Manichaeism and afterward by the Neo-Platonism of Plotinus. In The Republic Plato used the Greek theologia (θεολογία) with a meaning of the "discourse on god". This was in the fourth century BC."
Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis was born on the 13th day of November 354 in Algiers. He was converted in 387 and developed his own approach to philosophy and theology which has produced a variety of methods and perspectives which led some to the modern doctrine of original sin and made seminal contributions to the development of just war theory. The real question may be was he converted to Christ or the new religion born out of Constantine and his instant Christians. The truth is Augustine "assimilated Roman ideals into Christian theology".
Many of the doctrines professed today are the result of rational conclusions of these theologians that may easily stray from the specifics of Jesus doctrines by slight shifts in perspectives simply by not questioning criteria lain down historically in the context of History at the time of Christ.
Eschatology is a limited part of theology concerned with the final events of hisory, or the ultimate destiny of humanity. This concept is commonly referred to as the "end of the world" or "end time".
It has become defined in two ways:
- 1. a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind
- 2. a belief concerning death, the end of the world, or the ultimate destiny of humankind; specifically: any of various Christian doctrines concerning the Second Coming, the resurrection of the dead, or the Last Judgment.
Many of the modern doctrines of religions like Christianity can be heavily influenced by these theologians to the point where they have little in common with the actual words of Jesus Christ when he was preaching His gospel of the kingdom, instructing the people and His appointed ministers.
We may have to become like little children to actually understand the simplicity of the Doctrines of Jesus. "Check list Theology" is about making a list of things that we are supposed to check off as beliefs. The problem is if the meaning of the words in our religious faith check-list have been altered or taken out of the context of history and law we may not really have a clear picture. In truth the image of Christ, God and the Holy Spirit may be quite distorted by check list doctrines.
Jesus is God
What are we to believe about Jesus?
One common check point question is "So you believe Jesus is God?"
What does that really mean because there are several words that can mean different things in that sentence. Believe, Jesus and God as words can conjure up decidedly different meanings in the minds of people.
We see Jesus say in John 10:30 "I and [my] Father are one."
What does He mean in the context of what He told us at that time?
John 8:18 "I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me."
The Father sent Jesus and He bears witness of Himself and the Father that sent him. So Jesus is making a distinction but then Jesus talks about us all being one with the Father when He says in John 17:21, 23:
- "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."
We are told that Jesus is God and we are also told in John 10:34 that it is written that you are gods:
- "Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?"
What mental gymnastics might we expect from theologians who try to explain such statements by Jesus?
Or what about in John 10:35 "If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;" or even in Psalms 97:7 "Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all [ye] gods."
Paul even writes that the "gods many".
The problem may seem to rests in the definition of words and what they actually mean.
Or maybe we are asking the wrong question.
Do we know them by their answers to our theological check lists because that is not what the Bible says?
- Matthew 7:16 "Ye shall know them by their fruits. "
Does any of this mean that Jesus in not God?
Of course not. God forbid.
The Natural man wants a simple check list of items as to what someone says. That is actually a dangerous thing because liars can learn the answers and deceive us.
- 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.
The idea that the answers to a theological check list can help you discern the faithful is so foreign to the ways of Christ that the use of one should raise red flags.
Christ is clear in Matthew 7:21 that "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
While to know God is discerned spiritually Paul did give us some check lists too.
- Romans 1:28 "And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."
- 2 Corinthians 12:20 "For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and [that] I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest [there be] debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: 21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed."
- 2 Timothy 3:1 "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
- Galatians 5:18 "But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another."
These lists are not showing the presence of God's sprit but the absence of it as we see in Mark 7:20
- "And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."
Jesus is the Son of God?
- 1 John 4:15 "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God."
I have heard many people confess that Jesus is the Son of God but I do not see God dwelleth in them nor they in God.
I suppose that is why we see verse 15 in the context with verse 16
- "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17 ¶ Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also."
So he that does not loveth his brother but confesses that Jesus is the Son of God is a liar.
What then does it look like to love your a brother as Christ loved us?
Christ laid down his life for his brother so that he might be saved, though He was rich he made himself poor, He trained up ministers in the way of love and charity and appointed them to be their Benefactors without exercising authority one over the other. They were to bring people together in that love which they did in a voluntary network of charity providing a daily ministration for the needy of their society.
- John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
- John 21:17 "He saith unto him the third time, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep."
- Revelation 3:19 "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."
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Work in progress
- Book ii, Ch. 18
- Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
- : Genesis 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
- Genesis 6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
- Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
- Job 2:1 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.
- Job 38:7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
- John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
- Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
- Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
- 1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
- 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
- : Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
- Luke 20:36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
- John 11:52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
- Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
- Romans 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
- Romans 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
- Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
- 1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
- 1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
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