Friday, June 21, 2013

Is not sinning possible?

It seems many people these days, even some Christians, regard a broad range of sinful conduct as acceptable due to the common attitude that sin is something that we can't stop committing; and therefore, we are permitted to live with these behaviors rather than accepting any personal responsibility to conform our behavior away from sin. 

Unfortunately, these people aren't able to see the direct contradiction perpetuating any sin causes a true profession of faith in Christ.  Christ did not save us from the condemnation our sins cause us to deserve in order to make a sinful lifestyle acceptable.  By accomplishing our salvation, Christ established the opportunity for everyone to obtain the only means available for accomplishing conformity to God's will and ways.  That means is Christ himself. 

We who believe in the Eucharist as truly the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, receive the complete essence of Christ in its totality.  Christ is the perfect sin-free obedience to God the Father, and completey receptive responsiveness to God the Holy Spirit, in every aspect of life - even unto death.  By our reception of the Eucharist, it only stands to reason, we receive Christ's own capability to not sin in every regard.  The only variable left for discussion is the individual's capacity for abiding "in Him," thereby distinguishing that person as truly born of God.  John says, “No one who is begotten by God commits sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot sin because he is begotten by God.  (1 John 3: 9) 

Not only is it unlikely for those who sin to have actually become born-again, it is equally improbable for those who possess a true faith in the Eucharist to disbelieve in the possibility of not sinning.  Everyone who claims to believe in the Eucharist as the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ must also believe he/she receives the means capable of not sinning!

Does this mean only those who accomplish this conformity will be saved?  See my answer! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Blog Introduction

The average Christian isn't necessarily interested in an in-depth theological examination of our faith, which is completely understandable. Christianity was meant to be practiced, not theorized over. However, there is a basic need to understand the faith we practice. This need relates to each individual believer's ability to fully realizing all the benefits of Christianity. Unfortunately, some theological examination is necessary to attain to such a hope.

Within the context of my personal testimonial in "A Layman's Journey: In search of Spirituality" there is a thorough description of the various principals essential to our Christian faith. Some of those principals are, the significance of the sacraments and our need to receive them; the need to practice repentance and reparation as they relate to the health of one's faith; and, a scriptural basis for understanding what spirituality actually is and how to practice it.

Chief among the principals explained in "A Layman's Journey: In Search of Spirituality" is understanding rebirth and the critical role the Eucharist has in fulfilling that outcome.

Not being a trained theologian, the dialogue in the text is common everyday language. There are some terms, however, that truly are strictly theological in origin and use. That is simply unavoidable. For example, one can not refer to "Transubstantiation" with out using the term. This is only done as required by the subject itself.

In the cases where the individual reader struggles with understanding the "heavier" content, I have established a blog as a venue for dialoguing with me for that purpose. Please feel free to express any and all questions you might have and I will do my best to respond in a timely manner.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Rebirth according to John

I know there are many Christians who claim to be born-again, but this claim requires some questioning.  I have no desire to dispute their perception of new life within themselves, but rather how they understand that new life.  As I already discussed in my “On the subject of Rebirth” post, there are three different dimensions of rebirth.  To remind the reader, those three dimensions are sacramental, temporal, and eternal. 

What most people aren’t aware of when they claim to be born-again, is the condition John points out for those who actually are born of God; making an obvious reference to a temporal understanding for rebirth.  In his first letter John says; “No one who is begotten by God commits sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot sin because he is begotten by God.  (1 John 3: 9)  I’m relatively certain none of those people who claim to be born-again are also claiming the incapability of committing sin along with their proclamation of rebirth.  However, John’s statement requires fulfilling that precise condition in order for such a claim to actually be true.

I suspect in most of these cases these people have entered into a genuine personal awareness of God’s presence in their lives, and this presence has truly caused a perceivable change to how they live.  For obvious reasons this can be perceived as a new life, which wouldn’t be entirely mistaken.  Following the Church’s position that all life begins at conception, I would characterize this perception of new life as the conception (or beginning) of their new life in Christ.  Rebirth could follow, but only when they reach the spiritual maturity of becoming incapable of committing sin.  Between this conception and temporal rebirth there is a great distance of time with much work to be done.