Jesus didn’t just show up on Christmas day.

Discussion in 'Your Religion & Spiritual Center' started by Henrysullivan, Dec 3, 2010.

ATTN: Our forums have moved here! You can still read these forums but if you'd like to participate, mosey on over to the new location.

  1. Henrysullivan

    Henrysullivan New Member


    I think of the term, "Word," as God's intentions. With the "Word" we can understand His intentions. Jesus is the "Word." Jesus is a natural manifestation of God's intentions.

    One pastor said, "Jesus is perfect theology." In that he means that if from the scriptures we can understand Jesus' personality and intentions, then we also understand God's personality and intentions. They are one and the same. So when, just as an example, Jesus tells us that to look at one of the opposite sex with lust is sinful, then we can know that God's intentions are for humankind to be monogamous, to marry for life, to be totally devoted to that one person in this life, so totally devoted that one never even looks with lust at another. That is the standard, a high standard, one practically speaking that is impossible for men to live to. Yet God can live to it. Jesus, a natural representation of God's intentions and standards, did it. So how can there be any lesser standard? There cannot be. Holiness is as holiness does. Unholiness is the same way. We are not holy. So the only way that we can be judged holy is to be given holiness from God, under God's infinite grace. He does that as a promise, a pact, a covenant with all of mankind.

    This covenant with mankind, let's think about that for a minute. Let's say that you are God. You desire the best for mankind whom you love. Among your best wishes, you desire that mankind live with you for all eternity. Yet mankind is unholy. You are holy. So man is not entitled to live with you and you know it. So to make man holy, you, God, put on a man suit, go to earth and live as a man. You give mankind the perfect example of your holiness, your goodness, your power, your grace. You even suffer like none other has, and die for mankind, at the hands of men, to make your point. Then you come back to life thus proving your point. And you make this pact with mankind: that all man must do is believe in you, believe that you did what you did, trust in you, and work earnestly to live to the standards you set while on earth. And when men fall short, as men surely will, they simply have to turn away from their failings and ask forgiveness, thus repenting and starting anew, holy once again, each time. But each time man starts anew, he starts ahead of where he was before. Man has learned from his mistakes, his unholiness, and becomes more in the image of God as a result. And even though man never gets to the point that he lives according to the perfect standard of God, he gets closer and closer each time, his shortcomings falling by the wayside, each time, asking and receiving God's forgiveness, until eventually, man dies, as Jesus died. But because man repents and receives forgiveness each time, in the end man is judged holy, according to God's pact, a pact that a perfect God must uphold.

    Now you are God. You died for mankind. You left an incontrovertible record of the events that led up to your time on earth, and your life, and your suffering and death. And all you ask is that man read and study this record, formulating whatever opinions out of free will, and in the end believe that you really did what you did. Is that much to ask? God even gives us the Spirit of understanding, if we just ask. So God gives us all that we need to receive His grace. Why should God accept any less of men than to truly believe that He did what He did for us? That, I believe, is the question that unbelievers must deal with. The evidence is all there in the book. God even gives those who ask the Spirit to understand what is written. So God gives us no excuse not to believe. Belief may take some work, soul searching, studying, beseeching, and submitting to God. But it is all within man's grasp to achieve what God asks of him. Nothing is impossible with God. That is what the scriptures tell us.
  2. hollymm

    hollymm Me, 'in' a tree.

    Thanks Hank - I actually read through your answer more than twice!! How many can claim that distinction! :-*

    Anyway, I think I get what you meant but (sorry) I think I'm talking semantics here. I mean, I read through the original post numerous times. What I guess I didn't get was it seemed as though it was saying that Jesus is God. That is like saying the Holy Spirit is God. I understand that these entities were made of God and come from God but we call them the Trinity which says to me they are three seperate things not one. And they are three seperate things coming for three seperate reasons. God is to be glorified and is omnipotent, Jesus is our teacher and the Holy Spirit is the ability to understand our teacher. For example, confusion here:

    In John chapter one, Jesus is referred to as “The Word,” and listen to what it says. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”So there is Jesus, He is God, in the beginning, and everything was made through Him. And He was sharing glory with the Father, until…

    Galatians four picks up the story. It says, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman...”

    This is what confused me in the beginning and still does. However as I said I think its semantics I'm talking. I'm pulling apart what was posted trying to understand it word for word. Having read your entry, I would think it doesn't really matter when Jesus 'was' - he was here, son to the Father and his teachings were from God.

    And you're right this is a gigantic struggle to believe. The trinity is three but is one and has been one since the beginning. Mind blowing stuff and I am a fish, flopping back and forth trying to believe but getting caught up in semantics and personal interpretations along with taking in a part, believing in part but not the whole.

    Thank-you for your post as well as the others who posted here. I may be troublesome at times but I am in earnest.
  3. Henrysullivan

    Henrysullivan New Member

    Try to think of it this way, Holly. If God were to place His intentions into this natural world, what form would those intentions take? Really think about that. Think about what intentions really are. Intentions must be acted out in some form or fashion. If you do not intend to act on your intentions, then you have no intentions in the first place. So when God conceived of devising and creating this natural universe, Jesus, the Word, God's chosen manner of carrying out His intentions for this natural world, was conceived at the same 'time.' I believe that is what all this means:

    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”So there is Jesus, He is God, in the beginning, and everything was made through Him.

    When birthed into the world through Mary, Jesus became 'the Son' as we understand 'the Son' from the scriptures. But Jesus existed as the Word from the beginning of God's intentions to create a natural world. All natural that was created, was created through Jesus, God's natural world manifestation. I believe that is what John tries to tell us.

    Through being born into the natural world, as any man, Jesus became an actual personification of God's intentions for the natural world, and man's part in it. Jesus became the model and spokesman of what God would have men to become. By His example, Jesus is what God 'intends' men to become. God's intentions are God's Word. Jesus, the Word, is therefore a representation of God's intentions.

    The 'Word' is God's way of announcing His intentions. God announced those intentions throughout the Old Testament, through prophets. Jesus is the greatest prophet. But a prophet is not just one who speaks the future. A prophet is one who speaks for God, speaks God's intentions into the world. And those intentions can be expressed in both words and actions, even events that befall men and the results of those events.

    And each of our lives is an expression of God's intentions. So God has an intention for each of us. Yet in fulfilling those intentions, He give's us free will to choose to fulfill His intentions or not, which is one of God's intentions in and of itself. You may have to think about that. And just as God has intentions for each of us, God also had intentions for Jesus Christ. Jesus fulfilled those intentions, every one. Among those intentions were for Jesus to fulfill the law. Jesus did that too. He did it as a man. And because He did, the law is fulfilled for all men, that is, under the condition that they just believe in Jesus--if they simply accept and believe, and demonstrate through their actions, that Jesus did what He did, as documented in the scriptures.

    This is a heavy subject, for sure. Thanks for taking part.
  4. hollymm

    hollymm Me, 'in' a tree.

    Questions, Questions... I will have to digest. I'm sure some of the answers are already in your post.

    I do really appreciate that you and every believer takes the time to teach me in their way what they believe. I don't read books often as it makes the world spin, but it's these discussions that I feel the closest to and get the most from. Please don't think I'm cheating or stealing (although I feel that way myself sometimes), this is how I've always learned and it took me a lot of hard years to realize that. I can say with complete honestly though that the only book I do try to read anymore is the bible.
  5. hollymm

    hollymm Me, 'in' a tree.

    OK. I've read your post a few times Hank. It makes a lot of sense if you could know what Gods intensions were/are. I could not fathom what Gods intension might be nor what might have been. I can't think on that level. I hope that doesn't come off as a nasty statement. I am sincere.

    I mean, I understand that Jesus came to erase, basically, what we did to ourselves when we became knowledgable of right and wrong, or good and evil. But I did search my heart. that's why it's taken me so long to reply. I would guess though that having the expansive knowledge of the bible you might very well know what His intentions were/are. Again I'm not being disrespectful, I truly believe you have extensive knowledge of the bible whereas I do not.

    You spoke of prophets speaking of the future. From what little I do know of the bible, Jesus' prophets did not speak in the future tense but in the past. The present tense the prophets spoke of was to teach man about Jesus and how we need to follow his example if we want to live with him. I could very well be wrong about that. I know John the babtist talked of the coming of Jesus but he was not a prophet, was he? I though a prophet was someone who, through devine intervention, taught about their God and what he wanted from them. Maybe you're talking about them speaking of what would happen to them if they did or did not follow His commands.

    One of my biggest questions is if God knows our past, present and what we will do or become in the future, why does he go through all of this? Probably a question posed many times but one in which the answer always escapes me.

    Wait, am I too far off topic here?
  6. June-

    June- New Member

    Maybe it's really simple and in failing to grasp that we go in circles making it more and more convoluted and complicated.

    Usually the best solution is the simplest one. And wouldn't the creator be using the best most elegant means?
  7. hollymm

    hollymm Me, 'in' a tree.

    I would definately think so. There's just no way we can think on His level. I guess that's why faith is so important. I actually envy people who have such faith. There's so many people on this site who have it. And not just in the Christian God. Maybe I was meant to find this site to learn and maybe even reach that height.
  8. rev

    rev New Member

    INS - you are right about the date and season. It wouldn't have been in December. The shepherds wouldn't have been in the fields at night if it had been. I agree with you that the Son of God is eternal and preexisted before departing heaven to be born and live as fully God and fully man. His time in flesh ended with His death and resurrection. Once he ascended again to heaven, the earthly form was gone but he ascended to heaven and is now at the right hand of His Father.

    I was just thinking that He is preparing a place for all who will follow Him. Right now, He is working to prepare heaven for us.
  9. rev

    rev New Member

    Holly - I love your spirit and interest. You are asking some good questions that I will leave for Hank, but I love especially that you acknowledge that it is difficult to know the mind and intentions of God. Sometimes those of us who believe get a little too bold about what God's intentions are when we also need to sit and exercise discernment. Hope Hank can answer you soon!
  10. hollymm

    hollymm Me, 'in' a tree.

    Thanks for your kind words rev. I do hope to hear from Hank but It's an open forum and Hank doesn't have the corner market on answers. I wouldn't mind hearing a number of different peoples' thoughts on this subject. It's not my thread by any means and I am looking forward to it if/when Hank comes back. I hope he does come back soon. But sometimes I know he takes great care in his answers as he doesn't want the confusion to be compounded by what he has to say. Yes, I think I know him well enough to say that.
  11. Henrysullivan

    Henrysullivan New Member

    Regarding God's intentions, Holly, we may not know all of them, but if we trust the Bible we can certainly know some of them. Here are some that I can extract from the Bible:

    God intends to make man into His image. That could mean many things. But among them, God, who Himself has free will, wants men to have free will; but while exercising that will, still obey God. That may seem incongruent. But really it's not. God wants men to do His will, not because man has to, but because man wants to. To me, that is largely what this life is all about. God has set up a natural world, one with limited resources, where men have to work to survive. Because there are limited resources, and because man must work to obtain them, then work is a virtue. But there are folks who choose to steal rather than work. That sets up a dichotomy; while work is good, stealing must therefore be evil. To work is to perform God's will. To steal is therefore to defy God's will. And that is how much of this goes.

    Just look at the Ten Commandments given to the ancient Hebrews. Each one of them, an even ten, sets up a similar dichotomy. Until they were given, men had no way to understand that, for example, there is only one God responsible for creation, one God responsible for giving us life, and therefore one God to Whom man is beholden. So God tells us that straight up and early on. But He does not make us believe it. We have freedom to believe and accept anything we choose. And in this life, whatever we believe IS A CHOICE.

    And God gave us not only the law to tell us what is true and how we should live according to His intentions, but God also appeared and lived the same life He intends for each of us to live, as a living example of what He intends. That was one role of Jesus, to provide the example to the world of what a Godly life is. Jesus portrayed God's personality to mankind. But this imperfect, fallen, natural world fools us to live other than how Jesus lived.

    Jesus was not rich according to the world's standards, not at all. He said that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle that for one who has earthly riches to enter the Kingdom of God. So Jesus lived by that specific example. He said that God takes care of the birds in the air; that God loves man much more than the birds, and so men should not worry about what they should eat, that God will provide. Now Jesus' example does not mean that men must be poor in this world. No. But it does mean that God judges men's hearts and not what they accrue in this world.

    Through the life of Jesus Christ written into the scriptures, God not only tells us through 'the Word' uttered by Jesus, how we should live, but also shows us by Jesus' example. For example, Jesus told us that there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. And so that is exactly what Jesus did. Jesus, God in the flesh, lived out His Word on earth. There is that term again, 'the Word.' Jesus was 'the Word' of God made flesh. Through this Word, God expressed His intentions. And there is the connection to your question, or much of it. I do not presume to know God's intentions beyond those expressed in the Bible. And the Holy Spirit enables us to understand what the Bible tells us. That is why it is important to read the Bible. Because there we will find what God's intentions are for us in this life.

    Holly: "You spoke of prophets speaking of the future. From what little I do know of the bible, Jesus' prophets did not speak in the future tense but in the past. The present tense the prophets spoke of was to teach man about Jesus and how we need to follow his example if we want to live with him."

    Prophets do not necessarily speak in terms of the past, present and future. They do not necessarily even speak. But through their lives, written into the scriptures, they give us insight into God's intentions. Here is an example. Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. Abel never said a word written into the Bible. But according to Jesus, Abel was a prophet.

    Luke 11:50-51 (New American Standard Bible)

    50so that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation,

    51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was killed between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.'

    So even though Abel never spoke a word written into the Bible, according to Jesus, Abel was a prophet. That is probably because Abel's blood was shed. Abel was innocent and his brother Cain murdered him. So Abel's life foretold the life of Jesus Christ, Who was innocent and Who was murdered by His brothers, His brothers of course being mankind. So Abel's life was prophetic. Therefore Jesus calls him out as a prophet.

    Holly: "One of my biggest questions is if God knows our past, present and what we will do or become in the future, why does he go through all of this? Probably a question posed many times but one in which the answer always escapes me."

    For me, much of this answer comes down to free will. From what I make of the scriptures, this life in a natural and fallen world, one that we are born into with limited resources, is a proving ground. For example, it proves God's goodness. Through the experience of living this natural existence, God's goodness gets cemented into our brains in a way that no other experience might. We get to experiment with God's laws, with Jesus' commandments. We get to try them out, with real world consequences in the balance. And when we live by them, we discover that life is much more rewarding than when we choose to defy them. Living by God's laws and the commandments of Jesus brings about peace, prosperity, joy, contentment, FREEDOM. Defying the same brings about strife, discomfort, hatred, discontentment, even incarceration, a loss of the precious freedom God gave us and intends for us. So this life is a proving ground of sorts, I believe. In the next, there is no lack of resources. In this life there is. So in the next, to fully appreciate what permenant over-abundance even means, we must live a life in which that is not the case. In Heaven, we will all remember what it was like on earth. So this world is one created to allow us to become more in God's image. We must do that in order to enter into God's Kingdom. The more we appreciate, and love one another, the more Godly we become. Character is forged through trials. This world is a trial and it is meant to develop character, God's character, in all of us. When we find wrong, we should try to right it. When we have the opportunity to help others, we should do it. When we have the opportunity to cut a corner, when no one might know, God will know and we will know. So character, God's character being forged inside of our own, displacing the character we are perhaps born with, is what God intends to be the result of this world. That is what I glean from the Bible to be God's overall intention for this life in the natural world.

    Others may read the same Word I read and receive different understandings. I cannot control that. But what I can do, and you can do, is read these scriptures, ask God for discernment, and through prayer and developing a relationship with God, God promises to disclose His meaning to us for our lives. Ask and ye shall receive. Knock and the door shall be opened. That is what the scriptures tell us. My experience is that these scriptures are true.

    I hope this adequately answers your earlier post. I apologize that it toook me this long to get back to you.

  12. June-

    June- New Member

    Even with scriptures that are accepted as 'the word of God', religion is an applied science. As such we do all read and interpret. For me, the message is in the New Testament and it is simple. Grace. The Sermon on the Mount. These thoughts trump the Old Testament for Christians of my persuasion and say it all.
  13. Titus

    Titus New Member

    Summarizing my thoughts......I trust Jesus. I trust that He is in my heart and that if I want, He will guide me and give me peace.

    Truthfully, sometimes the Bible troubles me because there are so many interpretations based upon one or two isolated lines or even Mosiac law from Hebrew translation. I rely on the Bible as a tool that the Holy Spirit will use to teach me what I need to know to realize God's purpose. I don't force myself to read the Blble, I allow myself to be inspired to read it.
  14. Henrysullivan

    Henrysullivan New Member

    I expect that for the newbie, reading the Bible might be something that is forced. I didn't read it for most of my life. Each time I would sit down to read it, I was forcing myself. Now I read it most every day. But it is not forced. I read it because a genuine interest is sparked and the resulting fire is consuming of the Word of God. The fire must be fed.
  15. June-

    June- New Member

    Don't assume please.
  16. Henrysullivan

    Henrysullivan New Member

    I don't assume. I expect.
  17. June-

    June- New Member

    Who's a newbie? Who are you? Sounds condescending is why I commented.
  18. Henrysullivan

    Henrysullivan New Member

    It wasn't condescending. I was referring to people who were new at exploring the Bible. I expect that they find it just as I did, difficult to get through, something one might have to force one's self to do. This was in response to Kim's statement, saying that she is not needing to be forced to read the Bible. It had nothing to do with anything you wrote.
  19. June-

    June- New Member

    I understood that. I thought you missed the point of Kim's post.
  20. hollymm

    hollymm Me, 'in' a tree.

    It's funny (read strange) that Hanks wrote that for a new person reading the bible, it might be a force to deal with meaning I do have to make myself read it at this point. I was actually glad to hear it might take some difficulty to get to love the bible as you do people (I hope that's not too messed up to say).

    I think that talking to the people on this forum has given me a taste to know more. I know I ask a lot of questions before I even read about it but as I've said before, this is the way I learn. I've never been a scholar and big book reader. I've learned from life and peoples experiences with it. I might be what you call 'street' smart instead of 'book' smart like so many here.

    Kim, I get what you mean, I think. There are almost as many different interpretations of the bible as there are people who read it. I guess that's why we have ministers, right? They've been schooled and may have a deeper or more realized understanding of what we read. It's scary when people take things out of context to make their point. That's why it's so good to come here (for me anyway) and hear different people talk about it. I can't really get to a church and I like this bible group so much, I wanna stick around. You're such giving people with your time and knowledge.

    I'm still digesting some of what has been said recently. I may be a little off track but isn't that were we go so often?? ;)

Share This Page