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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Christian Ambition

The advent of Christianity two thousand years ago (then called atheism, because its adherents rejected the gods and followed a man) transformed the pagan world at its deepest levels and helped give birth to Western civilization. It put progressive values like selflessness, honesty, integrity, humility, mercy and charity at the forefront of man's thinking. It paved the way for science, medicine, free-thinking and education.

Above all, it taught that every human being has intrinsic value and dignity regardless of status or social class.

(Yes, a lot of terribly evil, and mostly politically motivated things were done in the name of Christianity as well. But even a dim man might well ask, "what did the violence of the inquisition, or the manipulation of the institutionalized church have to do with Christ's teaching?!")

But Christianity also taught that we are responsible, not only for our own lives, but for the welfare of all mankind. Caring for our neighbors, for the less-fortunate and ultimately bringing about God's "shalom" (peace, harmony, equality, sustainability, etc.) on earth was to be our overarching task.

I believe that these non-intuitive values (such as selflessness or honesty) have the same power today to bring transformation into the lives of people, communities and even whole nations. (The global economic crisis, for example, all boils down to--I believe--a fundamental breakdown in trust.) People who live by these values are the building blocks of successful societies.

My ambition in life, therefore, is to live these values out as best I can, to spread them wherever I go, and to put them into practice in very practical ways. It could be something simple like buying someone a sandwich on the street. Or it could be something more radical, like teaching orphans in Sudan to read & write. It could be encouraging a friend, or it could be raising awareness about social responsibility in business, here in Holland.

I want to live my life and do what I can to make the world a better place--the place that Jesus himself helped us to glimpse.

SPF






1 comment :

  1. CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD?

    On the Day of Pentecost Peter quoted the prophet Joel (Acts 2:21'And it shall be that everyone who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.')

    To call on the name of the Lord is to acknowledge the authority and power of the Lord, and follow in obedience by meeting the terms of pardon.

    The apostle Peter did not tell those on the Day of Pentecost to say the "sinner's prayer." Saying the "sinner's prayer" is not calling on the name of the Lord.

    Peter preached the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus. Peter declared the Jesus was Lord and Christ. (Acts 2: 22-26) They obviously believed Peter's preaching because they asked the question(Acts 2:37 ....."Brethren what shall we do?")
    Peter did not tell them to say the "sinner's prayer." What was Peter's response to their question? (Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.)


    THE NARRATIVE OF CALLING ON THE NAME OF THE LORD.
    1. FAITH: Believe in the death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus. Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
    2. CONFESSION: Acknowledge Jesus as the Christ and the Son of God.
    3. REPENTANCE: Make the commitment to turn from sin and turn toward God.
    4. WATER BAPTISM: Be immersed into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.


    HOW DID THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD? (Acts 8:25-40


    1. Philip preached Jesus to him. (Acts 8:35)
    2. He confessed Jesus as The Christ the Son of God. (Acts 8:37)
    3. He was baptized in water. Immersed by Philip. (Acts 8:38-39)
    The Ethiopian eunuch did not say the sinner's pray nor was he asked to do so by Philip.


    Romans 10:13 for "WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."


    Romans 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.


    To call on the name of the Lord is to acknowledge His power and authority and confess Him as Lord and Christ . (Acts 2:26,Acts 8:37, Romans 10:9-10) To call on the Name of the Lord is to repent and be baptized. (Acts 2:38)


    WE ARE TOLD TO CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD TO BE SAVED.


    We are never told we are saved by "faith only." We are never told that saying the "sinner's prayer" is calling on the name of the Lord.


    IF SAYING THE "SINNER'S PRAYER" IS NOT A REQUIREMENT FOR SALVATION? THEN WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR SALVATION.


    THE REQUIREMENTS!
    1. Faith: John 3:16
    2. Belief and baptism: Mark 16:16
    3. Confession and belief: Romans 10:9-10
    4. Born of water and Spirit: John 3:5
    5. Grace and faith: Ephesians 2:8
    6. Buried through baptism: Roman 6:4-5
    7. Water baptism: 1 Peter 3:20-21
    8. Baptism: Acts 22:16
    9. Baptized into Christ: Galatians 3:27
    10. Believe: Acts 16:30-31
    11. Repentance and baptism: Acts 2:38
    12. God's mercy, water baptism, and the Holy Spirit: Titus 3:5
    13. Water baptism: Colossians 2:12-13
    14. Repentance: Acts 3:19


    IF YOU HAVE COMPLETED THESE REQUIREMENTS---THEN YOU HAVE CALLED ON THE NAME OF THE LORD!

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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