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Biblical exegesis

 

Born from above or sinners

 

Gabriel Baicu

11. 03.  2013

    No man on earth can stop sinning as long as it is still motivated by his human nature. Why? This is because every man is a sinner in God's sight precisely because of his human nature. Sin dwells in us, in our genes, in our most profound structure. I don’t refer here to facts considered criminal or offensive by the society, which are also sins in God’s eyes, because all this can be prevented by education. There are many citizens all over the world, who never performed any crimes or offences, in their entire life. Nevertheless, this time I want to speak about the interior movements of any human being and to the visible sins. Hard to be seen from the outside, some sins, such as: malice, hypocrisy, envy, greed, indifference, selfishness etc, thrives in the human nature unless this nature is regenerated in a spiritual way. Probably a careful analyse can emphasis all this deficiencies, considered as such only when we have a term of comparison, for example in the Christ teachings, but this kind of investigation presupposes a long personal relationship.

 All people have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3; 23) It is impossible to be otherwise as long as the human being is a natural being, led by his or her human nature. It is impossible not to sin as long as we are directed in our choices by our flesh:

 13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. 14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself." 15 If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. 16 Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. (Galatians 5; 13-17 NRSV)

 We cannot be without sin as long as we are led by the flesh. As much as we will try, we remain sinners until God, through the Holy Spirit is giving us birth from above.

 3 Jesus answered him, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above." 4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3; 3-6)

 Any man or woman, who is not born from above, meaning spiritually regenerated will continue to sin no matter how often he or she will visit a church building or a Christian assembly, no matter how much he or she will pray or how many times he or she will read the Bible. Our human nature produces sin such as our lungs breath.

 We need a new nature, meaning God’s nature. Jesus couldn’t live without sin if He were only man and not God, in the same time. In a sense, Jesus is us, all of us, when we live in the divine nature. He is the pattern of a spiritually regenerated human being; He is the Son of Man, meaning the man having a double nature, divine and human, that is a spiritually regenerated human nature. We become one with Jesus; we become Him, by being like Him. It will be no difference between us and Christ, in the Kingdom of God, on the new earth, we will be perfectly one. We are already one, in this life, not perfectly one, when our human nature and His human nature are in us. The hierarchy between Jesus and us, He is the boss and we are his subjects, is an invention of the institutional churches, in order to make us to obey them, because they present themselves, directly or indirectly, as being the replacement of Christ, on earth. That is true for all institutional Churches, the organized religion, which tends to impose a certain religious doctrine onto believers. That is true not only for the Roman Catholic institutional Church, regardless of what some representatives of other institutional Churches, Protestants, Reformats, Evangelicals, etc, officially or not officially maintain. Starting with Luther, some sustain that the Roman Catholicism is the epitome of the Anti-Christ, but this is not actually the message of the Bible. All imposed authority, in matters belonging only to the competence of individual consciences, such as the religious believes is the epitome of the Anti-Christ. Such an imposed authority can be exercised by any organized religion and in fact many they do it.

 What can we do, in order not to sin? We can do just one thing, namely to escape from our own human nature and to “live by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh,” as Paul said in Galatians. No matter how much we will fight not to sin, living in our unregenerate human nature, it is impossible to succeed completely. Why are we not informed by the institutional Churches about that? That is because they don’t have any interest to do that. Sinners need the institutional Churches, in order to confess their sins and be supported in their demand for forgiveness. The institutional Churches get, in this way, an authority over us, based on our imperfections, them which are not perfect in themselves. This kind of authority is a fictional one because in fact it doesn’t come from Jesus’ teachings. We are inoculated with the idea that we, the sinners are in need of the institutional churches to teach us how to live without sin. We are persuaded by them that we need them constantly, because they are a spiritual guide, which help us fare correctly. It is not like that, but we are taught just that. In reality, we need Christ in a personal manner, in order to give us birth from above, to regenerate our human nature, to live in us and to share with us His divine nature.

 The institutional churches don’t teach us what to do in order not to be sinners any more, but they teach us to come back to them over and over again. In order not to be sinners any more we need to suffer a profound transformation of our minds and our hearts, to get a new spirit and a new hart. Heart transplantation is needed for a Christian, a heart from above; more precisely we need to be a receiver of new hearts and the donor is Christ. We find this kind of promise in the O.T. also:

 26 A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. (Ezekiel 36; 26-27 NRSV)

 We must be led by the Holy Spirit and not by the flesh and if we do that we can successfully won the battle against sin. The real motivation for sainthood comes from above and is transmitted to us by God. Only God can give us what He knows that we need in order to be strongly motivated to live for Him. The kind of love and peace that one can experience with God is enough to compensate all promises from any given temptation on earth.

 Uselessly, the religious functionaries utter loud, vociferous remarks or threats against the sinners but they are not able to explain how the sainthood works. First, all believers must know about the need to be born again and afterwards the sainthood comes naturally, from that. The institutional Churches don’t need saints they need sinners, people who feel guilty all the time and who need the pardon of the institutional churches and are influenced by the words of the religious clerks. The one who doesn’t sin any more it is more independent, less obedient to the religious functionaries because he or she knows that they are not under their authority, but are free, in Christ. How can the religious leaders remain leaders if the people led by them would be more spiritual than themselves? What need still remains for someone to be led, in his or her spiritual life, from outside if he or she is already led from inside, by God? What we really need is to be guided by Jesus, from inside and all the other Christians are only our brothers and sisters. Christ also is our brother, the first born among many brothers and sisters. (Romans 8; 29)

www.theonespiritualchurch.com

 

Content of messages

Model of the first Christian communities (12. 03. 2013)  The distinction between institutional and non institutional Christianity, consists in the fact that, in the early Christian Church, the spiritual element was more present than the institutional one. It was a time when the institution was not there, it only started to be formed gradually. The Christians were persecuted and their communities were based on the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit, rather than on the exegesis of the written texts of the canonic Bible. There was a risk being Christian. I refer to the risk of martyrdom. During the apostles’ era, only people truly called by God came to God. ... (read more!) Knowledge puffs up, while love builds up (12. 03. 2013)  Although the existence of a single Church of God is a fact well demonstrated in the Bible, we can not accept the principle of the uniqueness of the Church of God if we don’t accept the validity of the water baptism of the young children. Why? This is because, otherwise, we have to ask all Christians to be baptized at maturity, and where, most likely, that this does not happen, many Orthodox Christians and not only would remain on the outside. If our own salvation through faith is a gift from God, what right have anyone to judge whether a person is saved or not, regardless of the age when the water baptism took place, as long as that person has personal faith in God? ... (read more!) Faith without love is dead (12. 03. 2013)  Jesus died for us on the cross. What does this mean? He sacrificed Himself voluntarily for us and for our benefit. What for? This is the big question: What we gain from His sacrifice? We gain a justification, a grace, not depending on us, but which becomes effective for us when we believe in this grace. From this point of view, grace is universal in that it applies to all those who believe in God. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." (John 3, 16 NRSV) In other words, we have access by faith to God, free and guaranteed full access. This access does not mean automatically that all they have it is using it correctly. The gift of God is dependent on our faith, but we have to receive correctly what we are given ... (read more!) It is more blessed to give than to receive (12. 03. 2013)  What kind of God do we have? It is one who believes that "giving" is more satisfying than “receiving.” (Acts 20: 35) From this we can draw many conclusions. Firstly, the image that God is an absolute master, requiring blind obedience from us, proves, once again, to be a false one. God does not expect us to give him anything, but he wants to give us its treasures of wisdom and knowledge. God needs people who know how to accept and appreciate what they get. The heavenly Father is not a selfish Person who expects us to give him glory, praise and other forms of recognition that they produce complacency. ... (read more!) Turning to Christ (12. 03. 2013)  I advocate a return to Christ, not only to the Bible, not just to the first Christian communities, the so-called apostolic Church. Why? I found that it takes a continuation of the Reformation, a New Reformation even, in order to deepen what others, in the past have started. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and others reacted correctly to the development of Christianity in its almost one and a half millennia of history. The problem is not how far they went with their Reformation, but from where they started it. In the mean-time almost another half millennia passed away and many things have changed in the way that humanity perceives the possibility of the existence of God and the right approach to Him, but most importantly in the interpretation of the biblical texts ... (read more!) Born from above or sinners (12. 03. 2013)  No man on earth can stop sinning as long as it is still motivated by his human nature. Why? This is because every man is a sinner in God's sight precisely because of his human nature. Sin dwells in us, in our genes, in our most profound structure. I don’t refer here to facts considered criminal or offensive by the society, which are also sins in God’s eyes, because all this can be prevented by education. There are many citizens all over the world, who never performed any crimes or offences, in their entire life. Nevertheless, this time I want to speak about the interior movements of any human being and to the visible sins. Hard to be seen from the outside, some sins, such as: malice, hypocrisy, envy, greed, indifference, selfishness etc. ... (read more!) Looking for the true Church of God (07. 10. 2012)  In the context of the existence of so many Christian denominations the question about the true Church of God is entirely justified. Each and every Church presents us with the claim that it is the true Church of God and that its doctrine is the correct one and maintains that all other Christian doctrines are marred by mistakes. It is understandable that the universal spiritual experience of Christianity is mirrored by the cultural traditions of the receivers and that these traditions leave their marks on the particular mode of expression of faith. The forms of expression of Christianity in Brasilia, in Siberia, in Africa or in North Europe are not the same. The way I approach the subject is not so much influenced by this acknowledgement, because I am not concerned primarily by the modes of manifestation, individualised by cultural expressions, of the Christian movement. I am mostly concerned with the doctrinal differences of diverse Christian denominations, inscribed in their doctrines and dogmas and which differentiates them. The acceptance of certain specificities doesn’t affect the unity of Christianity if there is an accord on the principle of the imperfection of human knowledge, concerning the issues of faith. There are two kinds of unity, spiritual unity and institutional unity. ... (read more!) Is the Church One or many? (Part I.) (07. 10. 2012) The unity of the True Church of God is not only a past or future event, it is a present, and actual reality. This is one of the best demonstrate teachings, in the New Testament, but also one of the most neglected. Why is so neglected? Because many see a possible threat to the stability of the religious institutions, and prefer not to speak at all about that. What are then the biblical foundations for the thesis that, in the present time, there is in fact One true Church of God, and many religious institutions? The whole development starts with the text existent in the gospel of John, chapter 17, where we learn that, before being crucified, Jesus prayed to the Father that all Christians to be one. I have to say that there are at least 15 years that I maintain that this is a very important set of teachings, ... (read more!) Is the Church One or many? (Part II.) (03. 11. 2012) The relationships which binds together the born again Christians, from all over the world, and all times, it is not a conventional or organizational one, in the sense of the religious organizations or institutions, it is not even a connection based on the same cultural values. I will try to describe this relationship through an analogy. Let’s say that a very influent, and reach person organizes a party. The reach person knows many people, but the guests themselves don’t know each other, at least not all of them. All the guests will arrive at a certain point to know each other, when the party will be on, but this was possible by the initiative of the influent person, not by the actions or decisions taken by the guests themselves. Something similar happens with the Church of God. We don’t know each other, but Jesus knows every one of us. ... (read more!) Real Christianity and New Reformation (part 1) (11. 11. 2012) This reform involves replacing institutional authority with the principle of Christian love which is the exact opposite of this type of authority, enjoyed by institutional churches. In other words, religious institutions, as such, will not disappear but will be counted in, more and more, as a secondary factor for human salvation. The main factor is very God, direct and personal relationship with Him and He shall occupy the chief place in the life of the believer and not institutional churches. Church is not an intermediary between man and God. The true Church of God is constituted by all the saved and all individuals are firstly saved, than members of the true Church of God, and not the other way around. The path to salvation is Christ, but not only as a mean but also as a purpose. In order to be saved, one has to be like Christ, willing to live and to die for the ‘other.’ The church is not giving us salvation, but Christ, who lives in us, leads us to His only Church and gives us salvation. ... (read more!) Religious intolerance in Christianity (11. 11. 2012) I can not say, with absolute certainty that the best option for water baptism is the child or the adult, but I can safely say that we must respect the beliefs of everyone in this and in all other aspects of spiritual life. Christian faith is based on their beliefs and not "absolute truths." Certainly any Christian believes that Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life, for them, that is a truth with absolute value. But I do mean to relative doctrinal truths that claim to be "absolute truths." Latter does not exist and everyone who says that he or she has such "absolute truths" lies. In the Bible, in Mark 16 to 16, says that he who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the text does not exist in the first manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark and hence in the original manuscripts, after which, receive copies were made. The original text of the Gospel of Mark was lost. As there are no other NT texts to confirm that Jesus said these words, those in Mark 16 to 16 must be put in question. We know we have to go through water baptism, but to be honest, outside our inauthentic text of the Gospel of Mark 16; 16, we have no Biblical basis requiring firmly the principle that water baptism of adults is the norm. ... (read more!)

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