Saturday, September 6, 2008

Real Christianity - Pt.6

Chapter 5
The Superiority of Authentic Christian Faith, Evidence of Its Divine Origin

  • The actions and thinking most emphasized in the Bible as the goal of spiritual living are reverence and love of God; love, kindness and meekness toward our fellow human beings; a proper priority regarding the possessions and events of this life as compared to eternal things; and a healthy practice of self-denial and humility.

  • Authentic faith is not interested in being able to put on a virtuous mask. It demands truth in the inner person. The person of faith stands in the presence of the One who searched our hearts. The true believer attempts to live in an atmosphere of benevolence and works to avoid any action or thought that would distort or diffuse its purity.

  • Because of Christ, we have the means available, not only to be forgiven, but also to be cleansed and renewed in our inner being. By the inner presence of Christ by means of the Holy Spirit, we are made capable of striving to attain real progress in our efforts to live the true Christian life. As we take advantage of the means God has provided to tackle this pursuit, we can have confidence that He will help us succeed.

Chapter 6
How We Got Here, the Political Importance of This Condition, Ideas About These Facts

  • When we are inquiring about the true spiritual state of a society, we should not be deceived by superficial appearances.

  • Authentic faith has always thrived under persecution. During such times, it is not easy to be a Christian. There are no lukewarm believers or half-hearted followers of Christ in times of great difficulty. … The greater the difficulty, the closer it drives us to Christ.

  • Soon, all that will be left is a weak and impotent version of Christianity in which no one talks about their personal faith and religion itself is viewed as the sign of a weak mind. Unbelief itself will become fashionable.

  • We see in such cases (of cultural drift) that manners have been corrupted, morality has sunk into depravity, indulgence is out of control and, above all, faith has been discredited and unbelief has become fashionable. When a culture reaches this point, it becomes so out of touch with truth that masses of people deny outright the existence of God. God’s will for the nation has been abandoned and man has been made God.

  • The reality is that all other systems are rooted in human selfishness. They are conceived in selfishness, grow in selfishness and, ultimately, perish because of selfishness. Rich or poor, though the outward forms may vary, the root is the same. Self is put at the center of the person’s life and all energy is expended in attempting to fulfill the self’s desires and ego-centered aspirations. It is these attitudes that create a culture in which people don’t care and can’t love and in which leaders don’t lead and the general population won’t follow.

  • Contentment is a product of recognizing that the way things are is not the way that they should be and that one day they will be as God intended. The amount of energy put into the pursuit of worldly wealth, power and fame is not worth the ultimate value of the pursuit. The great benefit of authentic faith is that it produces a state of inner peace that gives much greater satisfaction than the most expensive pleasure can provide. It is not limited by any social, economic or racial barrier.

  • History teaches that many of the most advanced civilizations the world has known were also societies that contained the most shocking degree of moral decay. The same can be said for some of our modern neighbours. Although they appear polished and refined on the outside, the state of moral toxicity of their societies is alarming.

  • What can account for this corruption? The apostle Paul made the observation that the Roman Empire had sunk into the mire of moral depravity because it had rejected the knowledge of God. Let this serve as a warning.

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