Recently my family and I have had to start church shopping again, which is absolutely horrible. Mostly because instead of choosing to leave our church for greener pastors, our church was dissolved because the congregation was torn apart by sin. And people say the bible isn’t relevant today. So often the bible discusses sin in the church and how much a tiny bit of sin can taint and entire group of people.
We began our search because Miss Elli our 4 year old wanted to go back to church and have new friends. So, off we went to our local mega church… (Fading in is much easier when you don’t want to make friends.) The message was good. It was based on 1 John 2:1-6.
So the Pastor says:
We should stop planning sin and start planning to AVOID sin. Fortunately with Jesus we have an advocate so when we blow it, Jesus is there to say it’s OK, let’s get back up .
Then we learned a new word, hilasterion, which means atoning sacrifice, mercy seat, lid of atonement. The ark of the Covenant was brought up. And to think, God asked us to put him in a box and carry him around. Build him a tent and visits him regularly. I still can’t get over the God of the Universe with unimaginable power can actually fit into a box. The lid of the box is called the hilasterion. Hence the lid of atonement. Jesus is where we can find our redemption.
The BIG question was do I know of Jesus or do I know Jesus? 1 John 2:3 states we know Him when we follow His commandments. We know God when we are open to Him and allow Him to move in our lives and slowly change us from the inside out. So the big homework from the service is quite debatable as I have come to find out. This week we are to be hyper aware of ourselves and our behavior to find out if we know of Jesus or if we know Him . We are to rank ourselves.
1: Do I attempt to reflect the life of Christ in my own life, or make a strong effort to do so?
2: Do I do what I want to do, and not even realize I am living for myself and not for Christ. Do I even see a difference? Am I even a Christian?
My opinion is question 1 is missing some information. I had pointed out to me this alone sends an incorrect message, with the undertones that through works we can find salvation. Absolutely not true. There is absolutely nothing we can do to be worthy of Heaven. But the real question is do I really believe that Jesus died for my sins, and that He is God’s only Son offering everlasting life. I think a life that reflects the life of Jesus is a possible gauge of a person’s commitment to Jesus, but the way we live alone does not offer salvation.
So… which one are you?
I feel it must be said. Living a good “christian” life is not evidence of Christ. So please don’t feel like this answer is aimed toward the Sunday church goers. Most of them, I feel, would have to check box number 2. It is about what is on your heart because church attendance and volunteer time is not a prerequisite for the love of Christ. If God made all Christians church goers, there would be a giant mass of people that would miss the opportunity to realize God’s amazing love.
My answer: I think I am box one, not because of my opinion, but of my story. I can see through my history that God is in my life and moving through my life. Yes, I try to follow his commandments, but I’m not very good at it. I aim for a higher standard of living, but I fall often. I try to gossip good, but sometimes it just comes out bad.