Religious Idiocy, Part 3

In part 2 of this Blog numbered 8, we proved, according to Paul, that the sacrificial offering of Christ for the sins of the world ostensibly took the world into His grave as the wages of sin is death and He died for all.  This was a finished work and through it the world has been reconciled to God.  Interestingly though, after making this conclusion in 2nd Corinthians 5:18-19, Paul adds at verse 20,

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

See, God has, through His Son, paid for all sin.  Without the blemish of sin staining the human race, He has then been reconciled to Him.  But Paul makes it plain that this is only part of what God has done.  The second part is for people, in the face of this great gift, reconciling themselves to Him.  What does this look like and mean?  According to scripture it comes about in the following way.  By faith.  See, there is no call to faith in order to have one’s sins remitted by the death of Christ.  He shed His blood and gave up His life freely for all and paid the wages of all of our acts resulting from Adam and his selfish choices.  Again, this gift takes all of us, in and through Him, and pays the price of sin by having all go down into His grave with Him.  But what do we notice?  Christ did not remain in the grave!  He rose up from it in what we call, His resurrection.

If the world citizenry has gone to the grave (because of sin) in and through His atonement or propitiation for sin, the world remains there until it is raised up from that grave to new life.  This rising up with Christ from the grave comes only by faith and it is not freely given to all universally.  Faith in Him and His resurrection is required.  So again, all the world, as a recipient of His death, has been justified by Christ, but only those who look to Him as having risen are empowered with the ability to rise to new life which is offered to any and all by and through faith on Him rising to new life.  This is why Paul wrote,

Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

And where he wrote,

2nd Corinthians 5:14-15 “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

The meaning of this seems to be the following:

  • That one died for all, and
  • That all are dead.
  • But there is a group of those who live (just like He lives and did not remain in the grave)
  • Which is why Paul distinguishes them as those who recognized Christ as the one who died AND rose again.

 The unbelieving world certainly has been reconciled to YAHAVAH, but only those in this world that believe on Him and His resurrection are referenced in scripture as “they which live.”  The world of those who reject Him as the resurrected Lord and place no faith in this premise remain spiritually dead in the grave of flesh.  They have no life in them that will sustain them on their own beyond the grave.  They have been reconciled to their Maker, but are not in His heavenly family.  They have not been spiritually raised by the very same power that raised the Lord to new life.  Again, that only comes by faith in Him who not only died and was buried but who rose from the grave.  These have life in them.  These are they who walk in the power of the risen Lord!  These are His Children!

What fascinates me is the fact that there are many religious groups on earth that have members who believe Yeshua was born, that He obeyed the Law and was sinless, and that He both died AND rose again.  They include:

Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican/Episcopalians, United Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists, Assemblies of God, Seventh Day Adventists, Evangelical Free, Mormons, Christian & Missionary Alliance, Evangelical Covenant, Disciples of Christ, Christian Church, Wesley Methodist, Free-will Baptists and almost any group that preaches Jesus as the very Son of God.

The idiocy in question?  Why do they all divide with each other?  Central to Paul’s description of the Good News in his day is the resurrection.  Believe on it, and the scripture seems to conclude that you too can walk in the newness of His life.  But this common yet unprovable doctrine that has to be accepted by faith is often seen as insufficient proof of a person being Christian.  Denominationalists want more.  They want people accepting all manner of ancillary doctrines (while rejecting a whole host of others) that lie outside the simple Good News description Paul describes in the first verses of 1st Corinthians 15!  Some of these demanded doctrines include,

The Trinity

Eternal punishment

Embracing a second coming of Yeshua in our future

Reading the right Bibles

Accepting church traditions

And on and on and on.  Some of our more ardent friends in the faith demand that everyone believes exactly as they believe, or they just might label those who do not are “unsaved,” “not Christian” or that they “are going to hell.”  But the fact of the matter remains, those who reject the resurrection are biblically and technically not believers, while all the rest have, “risen to new life” and “new creations” and are in fact, His. 

Shawn McCraney
Shawn McCraney
Articles: 108

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