The Total Picture
The only place you can find out the truth about our God and what He would have us do is in the Bible. The Holy Spirit inspired men to write the Holy Scriptures, and it alone is the divine word of God. The trouble is man is an imperfect being. The many difficult language translations and the different nuances in the cultures when the Scriptures were written have allowed for different interpretations of the intent of the words in the Scripture, what our Lord was telling us. And of course Satan has his finger in the mix even to the point of using Bible verses out of context to deceive us. Christians agree on many of the basic truths of our God, but there are also many beliefs that will never be universally agreed upon. The one thing to always remember is God does not argue with Himself nor change any of His promises, therefore His Word can not contradict itself in meaning. We must allow the Holy Spirit to guide us to the truth by letting the Word interpret itself in context through the complete story of our great God. This chapter will try and tie together all the previous chapters into the total picture of who God is and about His great love for us.
God is a spirit who is ultimate love, ultimate truth, ultimate power, ultimate knowledge. Time is irrelevant to Him, He has always been, He will always be. He does not have our human attributes. God does not think or contemplate, God knows, God does. Our Creator desired someone to live with who would love and honor Him. Our Heavenly Father knew before He created us all the problems we humans would create, but He still gave us a free will. For our Father wanted to have children who would love Him out of their own free volition, not robots who only act according to how they are programmed, with no true feelings of their own. God knew that Satan would be able to deceive His creation of mankind and sin would be created. God knew that His own Son would have to suffer and die for the sins of this creation He was about to make. God knew that most humans would not follow Him, not obey His will, that they would end up despising and hating their Creator. Yet Godís love and desire was so great for the few that would love Him with all their heart and would live as children of God, that He made us as His supreme creation on earth.
All people were made in Godís image. Our spirit was like our Creatorís, it was created to live forever and was holy. Our physical bodies and minds were a new and different creation of God. Our spirit can understand God from itís conception, while our mind must mature to understand our Maker. Because God gave us all a free will, Satan was able to deceive Adam and Eve, and sin was created. Because of sin our physical bodies cause us pain and will die. Because of sin our spirit is destined for eternal separation from God, for only that which is holy can be with our Heavenly Father. Separation from God is Hell, for we will be without His love surrounding us. We will be with Satan, all other demons, and people that have rejected our Lord. But our Heavenly Father loved and wanted us to be with Him so much, that He made a way to save us, a plan of salvation, a way to have our sins forgiven, a way we could be with Him as His children once more.
In the Old Covenant one needed to perform certain ceremonial rituals through an intermediary, a priest, at a specific temple to have their sins forgiven. These ceremonial laws were the only means of forgiveness until the promised Savior would come. God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to be conceived by the Spirit of a virgin woman. Jesus was God, yet man. Our Savior lived a perfect life on earth and therefore was not required to die. But through obedience to His Fatherís will and out of love for us, He died on the cross to atone for our sins. Christís spirit went to Heaven, after proclaiming His victory in Hell. Three days later Jesus arose bodily, and after His body was glorified He ascended to sit at the right hand of our Heavenly Father. Jesus has freed us. He did not sin so He did not have to die. His blood was shed as atonement for our sins, Jesus has made the only way for us to have all of our sins forgiven, to become holy once more. Holy to live in the presence of our God, holy to become spiritually one with Jesus Christ. There are few requirements to get this forgiveness, this free gift of grace. We must have faith to believe in our Savior, faith to ask Him to forgive our sins, and faith to make Him number one in our lives.
This New Covenant created after Christís death allows us to come directly to our Lord, we do not need a mediator, no one has to approach God for us. We are freed from all ceremonially laws, there is nothing needed for forgiveness except faith in Christ and a contrite heart. Because we can have our sins forgiven directly by Jesus and become spiritually one with Him, the least in the New Covenant is greater than the greatest prophet of the Old Covenant. There are no great men of the Bible, there are no great Christian leaders, there are no great evangelists or pastors, there are no great Christians. There are only people who need the grace of Christ, some of whom God does great things through, some of whom the Holy Spirit gives great faith to. We can only find our Savior through humility, when we realize we are nothing and Christ is everything. One has to merely open their heart and let the Holy Spirit bring us into the spiritual realm of our great God.
All believers are
children of God, and out of love for our Heavenly Father we live our lives
according to His two great commands. That we love our God more than anything
else, and that we love our neighbor as ourselves. We acknowledge and try to
keep all the rules which were given or changed through the apostles, as well as
the Old Testament laws which are not ceremonial or have not been changed in the
New Testament. Our lives are changed as we are born again, when the Holy Spirit
comes into our lives and rules our hearts. Spiritually we become one with
Jesus, our eldest brother, who has atoned for all of our sins. We are part of
Whenever we read, study, and learn the Scriptures we should always let the Holy Spirit guide us with the total picture of our Godís great plan so we can keep the meaning in context. Only through the Spiritís eyes can we comprehend what our Lord is telling us, and have the faith to accept that which we may never be able to understand.†††††††