Dying for Rebels

(…continued from To Understand, Stand Under)

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And what does the Bible say?

That the Almighty Creator God, who is love [1], loves us so much that Jesus Christ died for us to take the penalty for our sins [2].

We are by nature rebels, shaking our fists at God, thumbing our noses at Him and declaring that we don’t need Him, and that our standards of right and wrong are better than His. Because of this we do not deserve to be in His presence. The penalty for our rebellion against the very One who created us is death—eternal separation from God. I have discussed this in my post Will Dead Babies Go To Hell?

But God loves us so much that Christ died for us—even while we were still rebels [3]! Even while we had not yet given any indication that we were willing to lay down our arms, to set aside our desire to live separate from Him, in fact even to live in a world where He does not exist—even while we were still sinners, as the Bible says, Christ died for us!

The King of kings dies for the sake of rebels against Him

The King of kings dies for the sake of his rebellious subjects

THIS is the difference between Christianity and other religions or philosophies. If you analyze them closely, other religions are ultimately about what human beings can or should do in order to gain the favor of the god or gods in that religion, or to progress from one level to higher levels of existence. There are rules to follow and specific behaviors or actions that must be performed. This is the common denominator among the other religions. Unfortunately, this common denominator, and the expectation among many people that it is a necessary part of ANY religion—that certain behaviors must be done first before the god(s)’s favor can be earned—has been exploited by various cults which have taken advantage of so many people through the centuries.

But Christianity is different. Where other religions would say that we have to earn a god’s favor, and teach what we should do in order to do that, Christianity says that God, the true God, the One who created us, already loves us—even while we were and are still rebels. His love, His favor, is already on us. We do not have to do anything to earn it. And His love is so great that He actually died for us, in the person of Jesus Christ, in order to pay the penalty for our rebellion, so that we can enjoy a blessed life with Him in eternity.

The other systems talk about what we should do in order to gain heaven (or higher levels of existence, or whatever else they call it in their systems).

Christianity is about what the Almighty Creator God has done so that we can gain heaven.

The other systems are about what human beings should do. The Christian God, the one true God, says, “I have already done what needs to be done. What you have to do, for your part, is to believe that I have indeed done it.”

If we do that, if we believe that Jesus Christ, in dying on the cross to pay the penalty for our rebelliousness, has done what needs to be done in order to reconcile us rebels to God and to make us deserving to live in eternity with Him—if we believe this first, then we will understand the rest.

Then we will be able to obey what needs to be done next—to lay down our arms, give up on our rebellion, and surrender to the One true God.

To be continued…

[1] Read 1 John 4:8
[2] Read John 3:16, 1 John 4:9-10
[3] Read Romans 5:8

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This is Part 4 of a series. Other posts in this series:

Part 1: Judging God

Part 2: Original Sin

Part 3: To Understand, Stand Under

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5 Responses

  1. Hi, Che.

    Welcome to the site.

    Please check out this post, which is part of the series: Original Sin.

    Thanks, and regards!

    Mel

  2. Hey, thanks for the link. Continued the conversation over at the other page.

  3. THIS is the difference between Christianity and other religions or philosophies. If you analyze them closely, other religions are ultimately about what human beings can or should do in order to gain the favor of the god or gods in that religion, or to progress from one level to higher levels of existence.

    This is only true of some religions. There are many philosophies and some religions (usually of more tribal nature, I think, but I am no expert) where getting to the afterlife is not important or not even considered. Material that says things to the effect of “You can lead a good life by …” or “A good person is/does …” or, in case of religions, where a certain set of rituals and customs is adopted, possibly to calm spirits or to make the life of deceased ancestors more comfortable. In the case of calming, or tricking or beguiling or whatever, spirits it is often done towards more concrete a goal than an afterlife.

    Christianity does demand the faith. If only faith is required (this depends on the brand of Christianism in question, I think), there is the situation where a mass murderer and rapist will get to heaven while a person who helps others for all her life, but is, say, a strict atheist, will not get eternal reward. This, I think, erodes part of the very purpose of religion and is counterintuitive.

  4. Hi, Tommi.

    Not *only* faith is required. It is the kind of faith that results in obedience—the kind of obedience, conversely, which is not possible without this kind of faith.

    I haven’t had much time to post, much less to respond to comments, lately. Thank you so much for your patience.

    I hope to spell out this faith-obedience thing in the next post—when I finally get around to posting something 🙂 .

    Warmest regards!

    Mel

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