October 15, 2006
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
Religion and Politics
by Jack Northart
My father told me once that there are two things in life that you never talk about if you want to avoid an argument, religion and politics. Perhaps that is because people tend to be quite passionate in their beliefs about both, and one seems to effect the other. The thinking of most people is that they must defend their position on different topics in both religion and politics. They may have formulated an opinion on a subject or topic that has seems to have various points of view, and will argue their opinion as the correct point of view.
When it comes to the subject of God's Word, truth needs no defense.
It is taught in academia that Christianity is supposedly first in popularity in the world, among the eleven major religions of the world. Then comes Mohamedism (Islam), then Hinduism, then Confucianism, Buddhism, Shintoism, Taoism, Judaism, Jainism, Sikhism, and then Zoroastrianism.
Is Christianity a religion? It would depend on one's definition of religion.
However, when we look into the Word of God, we see that religion tends to be something that man formulates and practices. However, what we call Christianity today was something that God started. It first began when he raised Christ from the dead, and then gave forth His gift of holy spirit on the day of Pentecost. To become a Christian, a person does not have to fill out a form and take various classes and counseling. It is not necessary to learn certain rites and rituals and become adept at repeating specific prayers and attending church on Sunday. To become a Christian takes believing in something that God Almighty has performed. It was an unprecedented act of love and grace. It accomplished complete redemption for all of mankind.
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
All one needs to do to become a Christian is to confess Jesus as lord and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead. Believing in your heart means to believe in the inner depths of your mind that God raised Jesus from the dead. "Thou shalt be saved," means you will be saved. The word "shalt" is in the absolute tense and literally means, "absolutely shall." The word "saved" in the Greek Text is sozo, which means to be made whole, saved from death, destruction, sin and the consequences of sin, and to bestow everlasting life.
No rite, ritual, prayer or confession other than this one in Romans 10:9 brings salvation. The so-called, "Sinners Prayer" has been promoted over the years as being the way of salvation, but again, this is the doing of religion and does not line up accurately with the Scriptures. There are no works in this life that are good enough to obtain so great of a salvation as this. God had to bring it to pass.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
To become saved means that a person becomes born again of incorruptible seed.
I Peter 1:23
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
A person takes the seed nature of their father when they are born the first time. This seed nature cannot be removed by any means, but is a seed which is corruptible and can die. When a person is born again, he takes on the seed nature of his Heavenly Father, and it is incorruptible seed. It is everlasting life. We become God's child by birth, only this time it is for eternity.
This salvation and this wholeness is absolutely fantastic! It is unaffected by circumstances, whether good or bad. It is unaffected by the social ills of society, or the politics of a nation. This salvation gives us complete and total access to the throne room of God our Heavenly Father.
For through him (Christ) we have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
In whom (Christ) we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.
There may be many types of religion, many various beliefs in Christianity, but true Christianity is what God wrought for mankind in Jesus Christ. It took the greatest amount of expendable mental and physical strength for Jesus Christ to pay for the sins of mankind when he was crucified. For God to give His only begotten Son so he could make this sacrifice, took the greatest amount of love He could give.
For God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
God so loved the human race that He was willing to sacrifice the most precious thing He could give; His only begotten Son. If God was willing to do this for us before we were saved, born again, what is He willing to do for us now that we are His children?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
With this salvation comes responsibilities. Our duties are not doled out by religious leaders or politicians. Our duties are outlined it the Epistles, written to the Church. Duties such as praying for those who lead nations, and for all men (I Timothy 2:1,2). Being kind, tenderhearted and forgiving to one another, (Ephesians 4:32), Bearing one another's burdens (Galatians 6:2). Speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). And whatever we do, we do heartily unto the Lord and not unto men, (Colossians 3:23), just to name a few of these duties.
Our biggest consideration after we are saved, born again should be, "what do we do now?"
The answers to this are not the political or religious activist programs that we see around us,
but rather the answers are found in the Bible.
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