That’s part of what makes me think it is an inside job.
Hey Mark, thanks for your reply. When you say “inside job”, are you referring to what Jesus said about the Kingdom of God being within us?
That works for me.
What Jesus meant by that is more than a little important.
I agree and would love to hear your thoughts about it if you’d like to share them.
I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean that the being of God springs from within us or merely as an accretion from the natural.
1 John 4 covers it pretty well, maybe especially verses 9 and 10 (verses 12 and 13 also speak to his living within us):
(Click on image or follow the link for better resolution.)
The main reason I am a Christian is because it is primarily the Christian God which I have perceived as being active in my life. I could say that I believe in Christianity because I find the case for the resurrection to be compelling. I could say that the reason I believe in God is because a rational and moral worldview makes more sense if the universe was intended to be intelligible to our brains and have a moral fabric by an intelligent creator than if the universe is pointless and everything is the result of mindless mechanistic processes in the end. The main operative, albeit most subjective, reason I am a Christian, however, is because of how I have personally experienced the Christian God acting in my life.
Many even have objective, externally factual evidence of the Christian God’s acting into their lives, and it is very cool. It is not necessary to being a Christian, but it is delightful, desirable, and can be had. Even one who did not desire it (nor find it delightful at first, anyway) was Rich Stearns. (More than one person has become a Christian because of phenomenal ‘co-instants’, or entire interconnected sets of them.)
Yes, I agree that it doesn’t come about by following our own inclinations. It is contrary to them.
In Matthew 16:23, Jesus says “get behind me Satan”. He was talking to Peter who we would understand as being “in God” because he previously stated that Jesus was the messiah. So, how can he be in God and also be doing Satan’s bidding?
What I believe is that there is a battle which occurs in our minds. In Romans 12:2 we are admonished not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewal of our minds. This seems to indicate that an ideological battle is waged inside of our minds. Along that line of reasoning, God warns Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I don’t think that He was referring to an actual tree. I think He was referring to the ideas that come into our minds and that this happened at the time in human history when man first became consciously aware. The reason that they couldn’t eat of that tree was that they had no ability to discern between good and evil ideas. A huge step in that direction came when Moses received the ten commandments. However, we needed Jesus to show us how to use that knowledge.
So, I think that from the point when we decide to accept Christ, the Kingdom exists within us. That decision becomes the ideological foundation that we then build upon . So, the Kingdom begins in us like a mustard seed and we grow it by following what Jesus and the apostles told us. However, our natural mind is at war with the Kingdom and so the process begins of deciding what belongs and what doesn’t. I think that this is the process that Jesus went through. He achieved victory over the world when he received the Holy Spirit, just after being baptized by John. Also, it seems to me that this event is a pivotal in Jesus’ life. Am I right in thinking that only after this event does Jesus perform miracles?
Being sinless from the womb, I’m not prepared to conclude that his baptism was pivotal in that respect. It would seem his mother might have had reason (from his childhood?) for prescience at Cana.
It was his first miracle that seems to be recorded anyways. Prior to that as a child he seemed to have already been somewhat aware and guided. I feel we can get that from his wandering away from his parents to his father’s house where he asked questions and the teachers were amazed type of stuff.
He also seemed to not really begin his ministry until after completing his 40 day fast in the wilderness. The baptism was said to fulfill all righteousness. Often Jesus made the same choice as the others around him despite him being able to have gone further. Such as when he said “ he without sin cast the first stone “. Jesus could have cast that first stone opening up the doorway for the others. He was without sin. But he did not and loved her instead. In the same way John realized Jesus did not need to be baptized, but Jesus did so anyways. It’s hyperlinking back to many earlier stories. After the water was separated revealing the dry land in the creation myth it bore trees with fruits on it. Jesus is hyperlinking back to the flood story where he is the ark. Jesus in the water was surrounded by water just like Noah in the ark was. Noah released a dove and it let them know the land was safe. A dove landed on Jesus. Plot wise, metaphorically the story could be carried over like the Dove from Moses landed on Jesus representing him as being trees ( tree of life ) signaling hope. So I think the baptism was pivotal, but it was pivotal to fulfill righteousness and to bring the stories of ancient Jewish lore back to life in him, the living word.
I also obviously believe that the fulfilling all righteousness is connected to the importance of baptism into the development of faith as the most become found. Such as in Acts 2:38. It’s why in acts 2:38 it says “ be baptized for the remission of sins and to receive the gift ( indwelling ) of the Holy Spirit. It reflects the choices Christ made.
Where do the scriptures say that He was perfect from the womb?
Jesus said the He was the way, the truth and the life. Wouldn’t this mean that it would be possible for us to follow Him? However. if he was born perfect, wouldn’t that present an impassible barrier to those who were not born perfect? In Galatians 4:4, it says that Jesus was born under the law. In Romans 3:19-20, it says those who are under the law are accountable to God, but that the law is only effective in making us aware of our sin. If He was perfect from birth, why would He need to be made aware of His sin? In 2 Peter 1:4, it says that Jesus escaped corruption in the world caused by evil desires. Isn’t this what He means when He says “I have overcome the world”? Also,iIf He was perfect from the womb, how is it that He overcame the world? Then, in Hebrews 7:26, it says the He was separated from sinners. How can he be separated if He was separate from birth? Contrary to idea that He was perfect from the womb, Romans 8:3 says that He was sent in the likeness of sinful flesh. Was He like us or not?
I found this theological explanation of Galatians 4:4 from a bible commentary online:
“Jesus was born a Jew, into a Jewish human family in Israel. As such, He was born “under the law.” Jesus was the only human being ever to keep the law perfectly. In doing so, He declared that He had “fulfilled” the law (Matthew 5:17). He satisfied all of its requirements, then died on the cross to pay all of the penalties for the sins of others (Galatians 3:13)”.
So, this use of “under the law” doesn’t mean that Jesus was a sinner or that he needed to be made aware of his sin.
He successfully resisted temptation, among other things.
Yes,but I think that happened between his birth and before John baptized him.
I honestly think it’s because I was born into a Christian family that made it a part of their identity. I think if I had been exposed to it now, in my mid-40s, in this time period, I would reject it instantly considering the current American evangelical landscape.
I have done tons of deconstructing in my later years (and when I think about it, I have always had a heart of deconstruction, even in high school) and I’m at the place in my life where I don’t feel scared about losing my faith if all of this leads me there. I’m still a believer and I love the example of Jesus so I’m holding on for dear life! I don’t know where my journey is going to lead but we’ll see!
Isn’t that part of the point?
I don’t think that the scriptures back that up. If He came in the flesh and He was truly like us, then he had to put sin down as a limited being. If He did it before He came, He couldn’t show us any way that is within our ability to follow. I know that this idea is contrary to what is taught. I don’t think that what I am saying denies what He did. It is just the timing and the way that it came about.
I like this forum because it is assumed that science is consistent with scripture.
So, I believe that scripture is accurate and understandable. So, I am not satisfied with ideas that amount to a black box where all we can say is that it is some kind of mystery. If Jesus showed us a way, then I think there is a way that we can understand and follow. If we say that He was perfect before He was born, then I think that we really don’t have any practical way which is truly understandable or available to us.
Hum. That sort of relates to how we see the doctrine of original sin, but I may well put that into a different thread.