“Christ was Real…but the Myths are Crucial too!”

“The core of Jesus’s preaching was that the Kingdom of God was an earthly possibility. By “kingdom of God” did he mean a radically transformed way of living in the ‘here and now’?

The principle, presence and power of Jesus Christ.

Jesus has the power to enlarge and enrich the human experience for ALL of us!

Shared by craig

“For me Jesus is a model to aspire to, a hope to pin on, even to cling to, someone on which to pin our highest (supreme) characteristics…and the loftiest goals, values and aspirations. In short, the very best in life, the very highest virtue of humanity. The name and spirit of Jesus symbolizes endless possibilities… and each one of us is invited to partake in and share His Infinite Spirit.”

His followers came to believe that he had burst back from the dead and his spirit would guide them in spreading his message of God’s kingdom.

Advertisements

A Book “Review”: ‘The Sermon on the Mount’: The Key to Success in Life (by Emmet Fox)

The book is a practical manual of spiritual development
“Fresh with contemporary relevance, this classic of positive thinking from one of the world’s great motivational writers offers galvanizing insights on self-transformation. Based on Emmet Fox’s simple message that “thoughts are things” and all potential lies in their creative and constructive use, these thirty-one inspiring essays how to have it all — health, healing, happiness, and a liberated spirit — through the power of constructive though. First published in 1940, Power Through Constructive Thinking has been a never-failing source of strength and renewal for generations of readers.”

The eminence of Jesus Christ in the world…
* Jesus taught without dogma
* Tap into the power of prayer
* Transform negative attitudes into life-affirming beliefs through tapping the realm of infinite power that surrounds us.
Book excerpt:
“In the scriptural sense, ‘prosperity’ and ‘prosper’ signify a very great deal more than the acquirement of material possessions. They really mean success in prayer. From the point of view from the soul, success in prayer is the only kind of prosperity worth having; and if our prayers are successful, we shall naturally have all the material things that we need.”

*

Emmet Fox offers people of all faiths powerful strategies and practical guidelines for bringing health, happiness, and true prosperity into their lives and the lives of others
.
As you read the Bible, you should constantly affirm that Divine Wisdom is enlightening and inspiring you.

What Did Jesus Teach (Chapter 1)?

JESUS Christ is easily the most important figure that has ever appeared in the history of mankind. However you regard him, the fact will remain that the life and death of Jesus, and the teachings attributed to him have influenced the course of human history more than those of any other man who has ever lived.
There can hardly, therefore, be a more important undertaking than to inquire into the question of what Jesus really did stand for.
What did Jesus teach? What did he really wish us to believe and to do? What was his message to the world? If he should come back now, what would he say? The message which Jesus brought has a unique value, because it is the Truth, and the only perfect statement of the Truth of the nature of God and of man, and of life, and of the world; and of the relationships which exist between them.
Jesus explains to us what the nature of God is, and what our own nature is; tells us the meaning of life and of death; shows us why we make mistakes; why we yield to temptation; why we become sick, and impoverished, and old; and, most important of all, he tells us how all these evils may be overcome, and how we may bring health, happiness, and true prosperity into our lives, and into the lives of others, if they really wish for them, too.
The first thing that we have to realize is a fact of fundamental importance, because it means breaking away from all the ordinary pre-possessions of orthodoxy. The plain fact is that Jesus taught no theology whatever. His teaching is entirely spiritual or metaphysical.

 
SUNrisechrist

.

Article Title: A Book “Review”: ‘The Sermon on the Mount’: The Key to Success in Life (by Emmet Fox)
Submitted by: Craig Lock
Category (key words): Jesus, Jesus Christ, Emmet Fox, Sermon on the Mount, books, thoughts on Jesus, success, success principles

Web sites: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4 and http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com

http://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.com and http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com

(obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles are available at:http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig and may be freely published)

Publishing Guidelines:

These thoughts in point-form (as with all my articles) may be freely published, electronically or in print. Please acknowledge the source, thanks

“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”
*
A BOOK “REVIEW” THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT:The Key to Success in Life (by Emmet Fox)

Submitter’s Note:

This blog has arisen from the principles written about in the following article.

I have extracted (and “bolded” and underlined) what I consider to be the main points from this article on Emmet Fox’s excellent book and am sharing in a “spirit of enlightenment” thanks to the amazing power of the ‘net’ to reach so many people around the globe.

Enjoy and be happy…

“total non-techno” craig

Article Summary
The book is a practical manual of spiritual development

“Fresh with contemporary relevance, this classic of positive thinking from one of the world’s great motivational writers offers galvanizing insights on self-transformation. Based on Emmet Fox’s simple message that “thoughts are things” and all potential lies in their creative and constructive use, these thirty-one inspiring essays how to have it all — health, healing, happiness, and a liberated spirit — through the power of constructive though. First published in 1940, Power Through Constructive Thinking has been a never-failing source of strength and renewal for generations of readers.”

The eminence of Jesus Christ in the world…
* Jesus taught without dogma
* Tap into the power of prayer
* Transform negative attitudes into life-affirming beliefs through tapping the realm of infinite power that surrounds us.

Book excerpt:
“In the scriptural sense, ‘prosperity’ and ‘prosper’ signify a very great deal more than the acquirement of material possessions. They really mean success in prayer. From the point of view from the soul, success in prayer is the only kind of prosperity worth having; and if our prayers are successful, we shall naturally have all the material things that we need.”

*

Emmet Fox offers people of all faiths powerful strategies and practical guidelines for bringing health, happiness, and true prosperity into their lives and the lives of others
.

As you read the Bible, you should constantly affirm that Divine Wisdom is enlightening and inspiring you.

What Did Jesus Teach (Chapter 1)?

JESUS Christ is easily the most important figure that has ever appeared in the history of mankind. However you regard him, the fact will remain that the life and death of Jesus, and the teachings attributed to him have influenced the course of human history more than those of any other man who has ever lived.
There can hardly, therefore, be a more important undertaking than to inquire into the question of what Jesus really did stand for.
What did Jesus teach? What did he really wish us to believe and to do? What was his message to the world? If he should come back now, what would he say? The message which Jesus brought has a unique value, because it is the Truth, and the only perfect statement of the Truth of the nature of God and of man, and of life, and of the world; and of the relationships which exist between them.
Jesus explains to us what the nature of God is, and what our own nature is; tells us the meaning of life and of death; shows us why we make mistakes; why we yield to temptation; why we become sick, and impoverished, and old; and, most important of all, he tells us how all these evils may be overcome, and how we may bring health, happiness, and true prosperity into our lives, and into the lives of others, if they really wish for them, too.

The first thing that we have to realize is a fact of fundamental importance, because it means breaking away from all the ordinary pre-possessions of orthodoxy. The plain fact is that Jesus taught no theology whatever. His teaching is entirely spiritual or metaphysical. Historical Christianity, unfortunately, has largely concerned itself with theological and doctrinal questions which, strange to say, have no part whatever in the Gospel teaching. It will startle many good people to learn that all the doctrines and theologies of the churches are human inventions built up by their authors out of their own mentalities, and foisted upon the Bible from the outside; but such is the case.
The actual explanation of man’s life lies in just the fact that he is
essentially spiritual and eternal,
The “Plan of Salvation” which figured so prominently in the evangelical sermons and divinity books of a past generation is as completely unknown to the Bible as it is to the Koran. There never was any such arrangement in the universe, and the Bible does not teach it at all. What has happened is that certain obscure texts from Genesis, a few phrases taken here and there from Paul’s letters, and one or two isolated verses from other parts of the Scriptures, have been taken out and pieced together by divines, to produce the kind of teaching which it seemed to them ought to have been found in the Bible. Jesus knows nothing of all this.

But he teaches that we are only punished for—and actually punished by—our own mistakes; and he teaches that every man or woman, no matter how steeped in evil and uncleanness, has always direct access to an all-loving, all-powerful Father-God,who will forgive him, and supply His own strength to him to enable him to find himself again; and unto seventy times seven, if need be.

It seems that human nature is very prone to believe what it wants to believe, rather than to incur the labor of really searching the Scriptures with an open mind.
Jesus, as we shall discover later on, made a special point of discouraging the laying of emphasis upon outer observances; and, indeed, upon hard-and-fast rules and regulations of every kind. What he insisted upon was a certain spirit in one’s conduct, and he was careful to teach principles only, knowing that when the spirit is right, details will take care of themselves; and that, in fact, “the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life,” as was so obviously seen in the sad example of the Pharisees. Yet, in spite of this,
the history of orthodox Christianity is largely made up of attempts to enforce all sorts of external observances upon the people

But the miracles did happen. All the deeds related of Jesus in the four Gospels did happen, and many others too, “the which, if they should be written, every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” Jesus himself justified what people thought to be a strange and wonderful teaching by the works he was able to do; and he went further and said, referring to those who study and practice his teaching: “The works that I do, ye shall do, and greater works.”
*
Now what, after all, is a miracle?
Miracles, in the popular sense of the word, can and do happen as the result of prayer.
Prayer does change things. Prayer does make things happen quite otherwise than they would have happened had the prayer not been made. It makes no difference at all what sort of difficulty you may be in. It does not matter what the causes may have been that led up to it. Enough prayer will get you out of your difficulty if only you will be persistent enough in your appeal to God.

Prayer, however, is both a science and an art; and it was to the teaching of this science and this art that Jesus devoted the greater part of his ministry. The Gospel miracles happened, because Jesus had the spiritual understanding that gave him greater power in prayer than anyone else before or since.

It is the
Spiritual Key that unlocks the mystery of the Bible teaching in general, and of the Gospels in particular. It is the Spiritual Key that explains the miracles and shows that they were performed in order to prove to us that we too can perform miracles, and thereby overcome sin, sickness, and limitation. With this key we can afford to discard verbal inspiration and all superstitious literalism, and yet understand that the Bible really is the most precious and most authentic of all man’s possessions.

Externally, the Bible is a collection of inspired documents written by men of all kinds, in all sorts of circumstances, and over hundreds of years of time. The book, as we have it, is an inexhaustible reservoir, of Spiritual Truth, compiled under Divine inspiration, and the actual route by which it reached its present form does not matter. Divine Wisdom is the author; and that is all that concerns us. .

The spiritual message is given in the Bible; and, above all, the parable is used to convey spiritual and metaphysical truth. In some cases, what was never intended to be more than a parable was, at one time, taken for literal statement of fact; and this often made the Bible seem to teach things which are opposed to common sense. The story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden is a case in point. Rightly understood, this is perhaps the most wonderful parable of all; it was never intended by its author to be taken for history, but literal-minded people did so take it, with all sorts of absurd consequences.

The Spiritual Key to the Bible rescues us from all these difficulties, dilemmas, and seeming inconsistencies. It saves us from the false positions of Ritualism, Evangelicalism, and what is called Liberalism alike, because it gives us the Truth. And the Truth turns out to be nothing less than the amazing but undeniable fact that the whole outer world—whether it be the physical body, the common things of life, the winds and the rain, the clouds, the earth itself—is amenable to man’s thought, and that he has dominion over it when he knows it
All day long the thoughts that occupy your mind, your Secret Place, as Jesus calls it, are moulding your destiny for good or evil; in fact, the truth is that the whole of our life’s experience is but the outer expression of inner thought.
Now we can choose the sort of thoughts that we entertain. It will be a little difficult to break a bad habit of thought, but it can be done. We can choose how we shall think—in point of fact, we always do choose—and therefore our lives are just the result of the kind of thoughts we have chosen to hold; and therefore they are of our own ordering; and therefore there is perfect justice in the universe. No suffering for another man’s original sin, but the reaping of a harvest that we our-selves have sown.
We have free will, but our free will lies in our choice of thought.

NB: This is in essence what Jesus taught. It is, as we shall see, the underlying message of the whole Bible; but it is not expressed with equal clearness throughout. In the earlier portion of the book it shines through but dimly on the whole, as the light from a heavily shrouded lamp; but, as time goes on, veil after veil is removed, and the light shines ever stronger and stronger, until, in the teaching of Jesus Christ, it pours forth clear and unimpeded. Truth never changes, but what we have to deal with on this plane is man’s apprehension of the Truth, and, throughout historical time, this has been steadily and continuously improving.
Jesus Christ summed up this Truth,
taught it completely and thoroughly, and, above all, demonstrated it in his own person. Most of us now can glimpse intellectually the idea of what it must mean in its fullness, and much that must inevitably follow from a competent understanding of it. But what we can demonstrate is a very different matter. To accept the Truth is the great first step, but not until we have proved it in doing is it ours. Jesus proved everything that he taught, even to the overcoming of death in what we call the Resurrection. For reasons which I cannot discuss here, it happens that every time you overcome a difficulty by prayer, you help the whole of the human race, past, present, and future, in a general way; and you help it to overcome that special kind of difficulty in particular. Jesus, by surmounting every sort of limitation to which mankind is subject, and in particular by over-coming death, per-formed a work of unique and incalculable value to the race, and is therefore justly entitled the Saviour of the world.

A number of those present naturally took notes, and, later on, these notes were edited into what we know as the Sermon on the Mount. The authors of the four Gospels each selected the material for his monograph in accordance with his own purpose; and it is Matthew who gives us the most complete and carefully arranged version of the address. His setting forth of the Sermon on the Mount is an almost perfect codification of the Jesus Christ religion, and I have therefore chosen it as the text for this book. It covers the essentials. It is practical and personal. It is definite, specific, and yet widely illuminating. Once the true meaning of the instructions has been grasped, it is only necessary to begin putting them faithfully into practice to get immediate results. The magnitude and extent of these results will depend solely upon the sincerity and thoroughness with which they are applied. This is a matter which each individual has to settle for himself. “No man can save his brother’s soul, or pay his brother’s debt.” We can and should help one another on special occasions, but in the long run each must learn to do his own work, and “sin” no more, lest a worse thing befall him.

If you really do wish to alter your life, if you really do wish to change yourself—to become a different person altogether in the sight of God and man—if you really do want health and peace of mind, and spiritual development, then Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, has clearly shown you how it is to be done. The task is not an easy one, but we know that it CAN be accomplished, because there are those who have done it—but the price must be paid, and the price is the actual carrying out of these principles in every corner of your life.

If you are prepared to pay that price, to break really and truly with the old, and start upon the creation of the new , then the study of the great Sermon will indeed be to you the Mountain of Liberation.

Emmet Fox

Sourced from http://self-improvement-ebooks.com/books/tsotm.php

(for the full article)

Shared by Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributor, Writer for Self Empowerment, Incorrigible Encourager and People-builder”)

Faithsees the invisible,
follows the unfathomable…
and achieves the impossible.”

“I’d rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed.”
NV Peale

About the submitter:
Craig likes (rather loves) to share knowledge and insights from his life experiences with dashes of humour to try and help others in ‘every little way’ he can…
without being too much of a “Mr too airey-fairey, arty-farty, goody-goody boring two shoes” (as he’s lost the other one and anyway, they may be different colours!)

http://www.craiglockbooks.comand www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig_lock.html

The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4and http://www.creativekiwis.com/amazon.html

Hard-copies and e-books, fiction and nonfiction: self help, novels, travel, humour, writing, inspiration and money management

All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children – mine!

(Come on now, craig. Show some faith!)

Craig’s novel ‘The Awakened Spirit’ is based on some true stories from the ‘beloved country’ of South Africa. Inspiring stories of endless possibilities of the indomitable human spirit, that lies within each one of us.

He is currently writing his own “work” (a “real labour of love and enlightenment” (to himself) titled ‘WHO ON EARTH IS (WAS) JESUS CHRIST?’ and is posting extracts on his blog as he writes.

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com

http://religiousunity.wordpress.com

www.peacepursuit.wordpress.comand http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com

(obsessive or WHAT!)

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”

“Together, one mind, one life at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, encourage, empower, uplift and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials.”

These thoughts may be freely published

PS

“Faith is the light that guides you through the darkness.”
– Emmet Fox

“For me, Jesus is the ‘noblest figure, a model to aspire to, a hope to pin on, an anchor to cling to in the storms of life. Someone on whom to pin our highest (supreme) characteristics, values and aspirations (our most noble and loftiest goals) , in short the very best in life …the name and spirit of Jesus Christ symbolises endless possibilities… and each one of us in invited to partake in and share His Infinite Spirit.”

“My belief is in the God who gives us responsibility for our own actions, who I see in Jesus Christ, who stated and showed in his own way of life that His purpose was to give quality of life.”
Michael Templer (in a letter to the New Zealand Herald 23rd Nov 2010)

*

The Sermon on the Mount (by Emmet Fox)

Article Summary

The book is a practical manual of spiritual development
“Fresh with contemporary relevance, this classic of positive thinking from one of the world’s great motivational writers offers galvanizing insights on self-transformation. Based on Emmet Fox’s simple message that “thoughts are things” and all potential lies in their creative and constructive use, these thirty-one inspiring essays how to have it all — health, healing, happiness, and a liberated spirit — through the power of constructive though. First published in 1940, Power Through Constructive Thinking has been a never-failing source of strength and renewal for generations of readers.”

The eminence of Jesus Christ in the world…
* Jesus taught without dogma
* Tap into the power of prayer
* Transform negative attitudes into life-affirming beliefs through tapping the realm of infinite power that surrounds us.
Book excerpt:
“In the scriptural sense, ‘prosperity’ and ‘prosper’ signify a very great deal more than the acquirement of material possessions. They really mean success in prayer. From the point of view from the soul, success in prayer is the only kind of prosperity worth having; and if our prayers are successful, we shall naturally have all the material things that we need.”

*

Emmet Fox offers people of all faiths powerful strategies and practical guidelines for bringing health, happiness, and true prosperity into their lives and the lives of others
.
As you read the Bible, you should constantly affirm that Divine Wisdom is enlightening and inspiring you.

What Did Jesus Teach (Chapter 1)?

JESUS Christ is easily the most important figure that has ever appeared in the history of mankind. However you regard him, the fact will remain that the life and death of Jesus, and the teachings attributed to him have influenced the course of human history more than those of any other man who has ever lived.
There can hardly, therefore, be a more important undertaking than to inquire into the question of what Jesus really did stand for.
What did Jesus teach? What did he really wish us to believe and to do? What was his message to the world? If he should come back now, what would he say? The message which Jesus brought has a unique value, because it is the Truth, and the only perfect statement of the Truth of the nature of God and of man, and of life, and of the world; and of the relationships which exist between them.
Jesus explains to us what the nature of God is, and what our own nature is; tells us the meaning of life and of death; shows us why we make mistakes; why we yield to temptation; why we become sick, and impoverished, and old; and, most important of all, he tells us how all these evils may be overcome, and how we may bring health, happiness, and true prosperity into our lives, and into the lives of others, if they really wish for them, too.
The first thing that we have to realize is a fact of fundamental importance, because it means breaking away from all the ordinary pre-possessions of orthodoxy. The plain fact is that Jesus taught no theology whatever. His teaching is entirely spiritual or metaphysical. Historical Christianity, unfortunately, has largely concerned itself with theological and doctrinal questions which, strange to say, have no part whatever in the Gospel teaching. It will startle many good people to learn that all the doctrines and theologies of the churches are human inventions built up by their authors out of their own mentalities, and foisted upon the Bible from the outside; but such is the case.
The actual explanation of man’s life lies in just the fact that he is essentially spiritual and eternal,
The “Plan of Salvation” which figured so prominently in the evangelical sermons and divinity books of a past generation is as completely unknown to the Bible as it is to the Koran. There never was any such arrangement in the universe, and the Bible does not teach it at all. What has happened is that certain obscure texts from Genesis, a few phrases taken here and there from Paul’s letters, and one or two isolated verses from other parts of the Scriptures, have been taken out and pieced together by divines, to produce the kind of teaching which it seemed to them ought to have been found in the Bible. Jesus knows nothing of all this.

But he teaches that we are only punished for—and actually punished by—our own mistakes; and he teaches that every man or woman, no matter how steeped in evil and uncleanness, has always direct access to an all-loving, all-powerful Father-God,who will forgive him, and supply His own strength to him to enable him to find himself again; and unto seventy times seven, if need be.

reach_for_the_stars_by_amongstotherthings1

 

 

Article Title: A Book “Review”: ‘The Sermon on the Mount’: The Key to Success in Life (by Emmet Fox)

Submitted by: Craig Lock

Category (key words): Jesus, Jesus Christ, Emmet Fox, Sermon on the Mount, books, thoughts on Jesus, success, success principles

Web sites:

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4

 

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=la_B005GGMAW4_sr?rh=i%3Abooks&field-author=Craig+Lock

and

https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=%22craig+lock%22&sitesearch_type=STORE

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com

http://religiousunity.wordpress.comwww.peacepursuit.wordpress.com and http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com

(obsessive or WHAT!)

Other Articles are available at:http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig and may be freely published)

Publishing Guidelines:

These thoughts in point-form (as with all my articles) may be freely published, electronically or in print. Please acknowledge the source, thanks

“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”

*

A BOOK “REVIEW” THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT:The Key to Success in Life (by Emmet Fox)

Sourced from http://self-improvement-ebooks.com/books/tsotm.php

Submitter’s Note:

I have extracted (and “bolded” and underlined) what I consider to be the main points from this article on Emmet Fox’s excellent book and am sharing in a “spirit of enlightenment” thanks to the amazing power of the ‘net’ to reach so many people around the globe.

Enjoy and be happy…

“total non-techno” craig

PS

This blog has arisen from applying the principles written about in the following article.

*

Article Summary

The book is a practical manual of spiritual development

“Fresh with contemporary relevance, this classic of positive thinking from one of the world’s great motivational writers offers galvanizing insights on self-transformation. Based on Emmet Fox’s simple message that “thoughts are things” and all potential lies in their creative and constructive use, these thirty-one inspiring essays how to have it all — health, healing, happiness, and a liberated spirit — through the power of constructive though. First published in 1940, Power Through Constructive Thinking has been a never-failing source of strength and renewal for generations of readers.”

The eminence of Jesus Christ in the world…

* Jesus taught without dogma
* Tap into the power of prayer

* Transform negative attitudes into life-affirming beliefs through tapping the realm of infinite power that surrounds us.

Book excerpt:
“In the scriptural sense, ‘prosperity’ and ‘prosper’ signify a very great deal more than the acquirement of material possessions. They really mean success in prayer. From the point of view from the soul, success in prayer is the only kind of prosperity worth having; and if our prayers are successful, we shall naturally have all the material things that we need.”

*

Emmet Fox offers people of all faiths powerful strategies and practical guidelines for bringing health, happiness, and true prosperity into their lives and the lives of others

.

As you read the Bible, you should constantly affirm that Divine Wisdom is enlightening and inspiring you.

What Did Jesus Teach (Chapter 1)?

JESUS Christ is easily the most important figure that has ever appeared in the history of mankind. However you regard him, the fact will remain that the life and death of Jesus, and the teachings attributed to him have influenced the course of human history more than those of any other man who has ever lived.

There can hardly, therefore, be a more important undertaking than to inquire into the question of what Jesus really did stand for.

What did Jesus teach? What did he really wish us to believe and to do? What was his message to the world? If he should come back now, what would he say? The message which Jesus brought has a unique value, because it is the Truth, and the only perfect statement of the Truth of the nature of God and of man, and of life, and of the world; and of the relationships which exist between them.
Jesus explains to us what the nature of God is, and what our own nature is; tells us the meaning of life and of death; shows us why we make mistakes; why we yield to temptation; why we become sick, and impoverished, and old; and, most important of all, he tells us how all these evils may be overcome, and how we may bring health, happiness, and true prosperity into our lives, and into the lives of others, if they really wish for them, too.

The first thing that we have to realize is a fact of fundamental importance, because it means breaking away from all the ordinary pre-possessions of orthodoxy. The plain fact is that Jesus taught no theology whatever. His teaching is entirely spiritual or metaphysical.Historical Christianity, unfortunately, has largely concerned itself with theological and doctrinal questions which, strange to say, have no part whatever in the Gospel teaching. It will startle many good people to learn that all the doctrines and theologies of the churches are human inventions built up by their authors out of their own mentalities, and foisted upon the Bible from the outside; but such is the case.
The actual explanation of man’s life lies in just the fact that he is essentially spiritual and eternal,
The “Plan of Salvation” which figured so prominently in the evangelical sermons and divinity books of a past generation is as completely unknown to the Bible as it is to the Koran. There never was any such arrangement in the universe, and the Bible does not teach it at all. What has happened is that certain obscure texts from Genesis, a few phrases taken here and there from Paul’s letters, and one or two isolated verses from other parts of the Scriptures, have been taken out and pieced together by divines, to produce the kind of teaching which it seemed to them ought to have been found in the Bible. Jesus knows nothing of all this.

But he teaches that we are only punished for—and actually punished by—our own mistakes; and he teaches that every man or woman, no matter how steeped in evil and uncleanness, has always direct access to an all-loving, all-powerful Father-God,who will forgive him, and supply His own strength to him to enable him to find himself again; and unto seventy times seven, if need be.

It seems that human nature is very prone to believe what it wants to believe, rather than to incur the labour of really searching the Scriptures with an open mind.
Jesus, as we shall discover later on, made a special point of discouraging the laying of emphasis upon outer observances; and, indeed, upon hard-and-fast rules and regulations of every kind. What he insisted upon was a certain spirit in one’s conduct, and he was careful to teach principles only, knowing that when the spirit is right, details will take care of themselves; and that, in fact, “the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life,” as was so obviously seen in the sad example of the Pharisees. Yet, in spite of this, the history of orthodox Christianity is largely made up of attempts to enforce all sorts of external observances upon the people

But the miracles did happen. All the deeds related of Jesus in the four Gospels did happen, and many others too, “the which, if they should be written, every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” Jesus himself justified what people thought to be a strange and wonderful teaching by the works he was able to do; and he went further and said, referring to those who study and practice his teaching: “The works that I do, ye shall do, and greater works.” (see the Gospel of John)
*
Now what, after all, is a miracle?
Miracles, in the popular sense of the word, can and do happen as the result of prayer. Prayer does change things. Prayer does make things happen quite otherwise than they would have happened had the prayer not been made. It makes no difference at all what sort of difficulty you may be in. It does not matter what the causes may have been that led up to it. Enough prayer will get you out of your difficulty if only you will be persistent enough in your appeal to God.

Prayer, however, is both a science and an art; and it was to the teaching of this science and this art that Jesus devoted the greater part of his ministry. The Gospel miracles happened, because Jesus had the spiritual understanding that gave him greater power in prayer than anyone else before or since.

It is the Spiritual Key that unlocks the mystery of the Bible teaching in general, and of the Gospels in particular. It is the Spiritual Key that explains the miracles and shows that they were performed in order to prove to us that we too can perform miracles, and thereby overcome sin, sickness, and limitation. With this key we can afford to discard verbal inspiration and all superstitious literalism, and yet understand that the Bible really is the most precious and most authentic of all man’s possessions.

Externally, the Bible is a collection of inspired documents written by men of all kinds, in all sorts of circumstances, and over hundreds of years of time. The book, as we have it, is an inexhaustible reservoir, of Spiritual Truth, compiled under Divine inspiration, and the actual route by which it reached its present form does not matter. Divine Wisdom is the author; and that is all that concerns us. .

The spiritual message is given in the Bible; and, above all, the parable is used to convey spiritual and metaphysical truth. In some cases, what was never intended to be more than a parable was, at one time, taken for literal statement of fact; and this often made the Bible seem to teach things which are opposed to common sense. The story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden is a case in point. Rightly understood, this is perhaps the most wonderful parable of all; it was never intended by its author to be taken for history, but literal-minded people did so take it, with all sorts of absurd consequences.

The Spiritual Key to the Bible rescues us from all these difficulties, dilemmas, and seeming inconsistencies. It saves us from the false positions of Ritualism, Evangelicalism, and what is called Liberalism alike, because it gives us the Truth. And the Truth turns out to be nothing less than the amazing but undeniable fact that the whole outer world—whether it be the physical body, the common things of life, the winds and the rain, the clouds, the earth itself—is amenable to man’s thought, and that he has dominion over it when he knows it
All day long the thoughts that occupy your mind, your Secret Place, as Jesus calls it, are moulding your destiny for good or evil; in fact, the truth is that the whole of our life’s experience is but the outer expression of inner thought.
Now we can choose the sort of thoughts that we entertain. It will be a little difficult to break a bad habit of thought, but it can be done. We can choose how we shall think—in point of fact, we always do choose—and therefore our lives are just the result of the kind of thoughts we have chosen to hold; and therefore they are of our own ordering; and therefore there is perfect justice in the universe. No suffering for another man’s original sin, but the reaping of a harvest that we our-selves have sown. We have free will, but our free will lies in our choice of thought.

NB: This is in essence what Jesus taught. It is, as we shall see, the underlying message of the whole Bible; but it is not expressed with equal clearness throughout. In the earlier portion of the book it shines through but dimly on the whole, as the light from a heavily shrouded lamp; but, as time goes on, veil after veil is removed, and the light shines ever stronger and stronger, until, in the teaching of Jesus Christ, it pours forth clear and unimpeded. Truth never changes, but what we have to deal with on this plane is man’s apprehension of the Truth, and, throughout historical time, this has been steadily and continuously improving.
Jesus Christ summed up this Truth, taught it completely and thoroughly, and, above all, demonstrated it in his own person. Most of us now can glimpse intellectually the idea of what it must mean in its fullness, and much that must inevitably follow from a competent understanding of it. But what we can demonstrate is a very different matter. To accept the Truth is the great first step, but not until we have proved it in doing is it ours. Jesus proved everything that he taught, even to the overcoming of death in what we call the Resurrection. For reasons which I cannot discuss here, it happens that every time you overcome a difficulty by prayer, you help the whole of the human race, past, present, and future, in a general way; and you help it to overcome that special kind of difficulty in particular. Jesus, by surmounting every sort of limitation to which mankind is subject, and in particular by over-coming death, performed a work of unique and incalculable value to the race, and is therefore justly entitled the Saviour of the world.

A number of those present naturally took notes, and, later on, these notes were edited into what we know as the Sermon on the Mount. The authors of the four Gospels each selected the material for his monograph in accordance with his own purpose; and it is Matthew who gives us the most complete and carefully arranged version of the address. His setting forth of the Sermon on the Mount is an almost perfect codification of the Jesus Christ religion, and I have therefore chosen it as the text for this book. It covers the essentials. It is practical and personal. It is definite, specific, and yet widely illuminating. Once the true meaning of the instructions has been grasped, it is only necessary to begin putting them faithfully into practice to get immediate results. The magnitude and extent of these results will depend solely upon the sincerity and thoroughness with which they are applied. This is a matter which each individual has to settle for himself. “No man can save his brother’s soul, or pay his brother’s debt.” We can and should help one another on special occasions, but in the long run each must learn to do his own work, and “sin” no more, lest a worse thing befall him.

If you really do wish to alter your life, if you really do wish to change yourself—to become a different person altogether in the sight of God and man—if you really do want health and peace of mind, and spiritual development, then Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, has clearly shown you how it is to be done. The task is not an easy one, but we know that it CAN be accomplished, because there are those who have done it—but the price must be paid, and the price is the actual carrying out of these principles in every corner of your life.

If you are prepared to pay that price, to break really and truly with the old, and start upon the creation of the new , then the study of the great Sermon will indeed be to you the Mountain of Liberation.

Emmet Fox

Sourced from http://self-improvement-ebooks.com/books/tsotm.php

(for the full article)

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

-Proverbs

”Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”

– Philippians 2:5

“…have the mind of Christ.”

– 1 Corinthians2:16

“And do not be conformed to this world,

but be transformed to this world by the renewing of your mind,

that you may prove that what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

– Romans 12:2

Shared by Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributor, Writer for Self Empowerment, Incorrigible Encourager and People-builder”)

Faith sees the invisible,
follows the unfathomable…
and achieves the impossible.”

“I’d rather attempt something great and fail, than attempt nothing and succeed.”
NV Peale

About the submitter:
Craig likes (rather loves) to share knowledge and insights from his life experiences with dashes of humour to try and help others in ‘every little way’ he can…

http://www.craiglockbooks.com and www.selfgrowth.com/experts/craig_lock.html

The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at:

Hard-copies and e-books, fiction and nonfiction: self help, novels, travel, humour, writing, inspiration and money management

All proceeds go to needy and underprivileged children – mine!

(Come on now, craig. Show some faith!)

Craig’s novel ‘The Awakened Spirit’ is based on some true stories from the ‘beloved country’ of South Africa. Inspiring stories of endless possibilities of the indomitable human spirit, that lies within each one of us.

He is currently writing his own “work” (a “real labour of love and enlightenment” (to himself) titled ‘WHO ON EARTH IS (WAS) JESUS CHRIST?’ and is posting extracts on his blog as he writes.

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at www.sharefaith.wordpress.com.

www.buildbridgesofunity.wordpress.com

www.buildbridgesofunderstanding.wordpress.com

www.breakdownwalls.wordpress.com

http://religiousunity.wordpress.com

www.peacepursuit.wordpress.comand http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com

(obsessive or WHAT!)

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”

“Together, one mind, one life at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, encourage, empower, uplift and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials.”

These thoughts may be freely published

PS

“Faith is the light that guides you through the darkness.”
– Emmet Fox

“For me, Jesus is the ‘noblest figure, a model to aspire to, a hope to pin on, an anchor to cling to in the storms of life. Someone on whom to pin our highest (supreme) characteristics, values and aspirations (our most noble and loftiest goals) , in short the very best in life …the name and spirit of Jesus Christ symbolises endless possibilities… and each one of us in invited to partake in and share His Infinite Spirit.”

“My belief is in the God who gives us responsibility for our own actions, who I see in Jesus Christ, who stated and showed in his own way of life that His purpose was to give quality of life.”
Michael Templer (in a letter to the New Zealand Herald 23rd Nov 2010)

 

 

THE LETTERS (FOLLOWING THE GOSPELS)

Here are some of my notes from the Letters in the Bible (in point form). This material has been sourced from many TV adressess over the years by my “early spiritual mentor”, Dr Robert H Schuller, as well as my studies, extracts and notes from ‘The New Possibility Thinkers Bible’ (NKJV) by Dr R H Schuller and Paul D Dunn (Published by Thomas Nelson Inc, 1996)

As I study this excellent Bible and take notes, I learn and grow spiritually… so in turn, am passing on these words of wisdom (eternal). I hope, I trust that they may encourage, empower, uplift and hopefully even perhaps inspire you as they do me. And this is my reason for sharing.

Thank you sincerely, Dr Schuller and Mr Dunn for the work you have put into your inspiring ‘New Possibility Thinkers Bible’
and for encouraging me from the depths of despair to pursue my dreams through thinking endless possibilities.

craig

“Only when you’ve been in the deepest valley can one know how magnificent it feels to stand on the highest peak.”
– powerful and inspiring words from former US President, Richard Nixon *

“Aim at heaven and you’ll have earth thrown in.”
– CS Lewis

 

THE LETTERS (FOLLOWING THE GOSPELS)

Key words: ‘The New Possibility Thinkers Bible’ , Dr R H Schuller and Paul D Dunn , Bible, Letters

INTRODUCTION

Here are some of my notes from the Letters in the Bible (in point form). This material has been sourced from many TV adressess over the years by my “early spiritual mentor”, Dr Robert H Schuller, as well as my studies, extracts and notes from ‘The New Possibility Thinkers Bible’ (NKJV) by Dr R H Schuller and Paul D Dunn (Published by Thomas Nelson Inc, 1996)

As I study this excellent Bible and take notes, I learn and grow spiritually… so in turn, am passing on these words of wisdom (eternal). I hope, I trust that they may encourage, empower, uplift and hopefully even perhaps inspire you as they do me. And this is my reason for sharing.

Thank you sincerely, Dr Schuller and Mr Dunn for the work you have put into your inspiring ‘New Possibility Thinkers Bible’

and for encouraging me from the depths of despair to pursue my dreams through thinking endless possibilities.

craig

Only when you’ve been in the deepest valley can one know how magnificent it feels to stand on the highest peak.”– powerful and inspiring words from former US President, Richard Nixon *

“Aim at heaven and you’ll have earth thrown in.”

– CS Lewis

Here are some of my notes from the NEW TESTAMENT #

(which I’ll add to from time to time), which I find extremely helpful, encouraging, empowering and inspiring in my daily living…in every aspect of my life…TODAY and EVERYDAY

# New King James Version

*

ACTS (written by Luke, a physician)

The Book of Acts is a story of growth and is one of the most fascinating accounts of the power of possibility thinking. When Jesus Christ instilled His Spirit into the lives of twelve men, they literally went out to change the world.

RESPECT those around you!

The key word of Acts is GROWTH.Key Verse:

“But you shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria… and to the ends of the earth.” (1:8)

TAKE A LEAP OF FAITH and be willing to attempt great things for God.

God does His greatest works and His greatest projects through His smallest people.

“Great people are just ordinary people with extraordinary amounts of determination.”

*

ROMANS

Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Through Grace and Faith.

“All things work together for good to those who love God.” (8:28)

Practical directions for living a life justified by the grace of Jesus Christ.

The knowledge of God’s grace and forgiveness frees us not only from sin; but from anxiety, guilt, depression and a negative self-image. The stress flows out and salvation flows in!

The key word of Romans is righteousness

“The just shall live by faith.” (1:16,17)

“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

(12:2)”We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance characteru… and character hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who was given to us” (5:3,4,5)

FAITH CAN FILL YOUR LIFE

Faith is a choice…

a decision

a commitment

YOU CAN DO IT!

Faith is an inner conviction… a “knowing” before reality confirms it. Faith is a sense of destiny… “it’s possible… it’s going to happen”

BELIEVE it BEFORE you see it!

Deep down in your heart you know its all going to work out.

“I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.” (Phil 4:13)

“Do not be overcome evil by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (12:21)

*

1 CORINTHIANS

Bloom where you are planted!

Love is an action, rather than an emotion.

Love truly equals obedience to God…in words and actions.

“Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (6:19,20)

“Lord,

Make my life a window for Your light to shine through, a mirror to reflect Your love to everyone I meet.”

Success in Failure

Keep on keeping on

*

2 CORINTHINIANS

Expect the best in others.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” (2 Cor 5:17)

Faith calls us to believe in the best.

Speak of God’s Presence

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through Him.” (Col 3:17)

Breathe faith and walk by faith. Have positive emotions: love, joy, courage, faith and enthusiasm

*

GALATIANS

Our relationship with God is a gift of grace, and it is freely given when we place our faith in Jesus Christ – it is not earned!

Since God has made us alive in the Spirit, our lives should reflect the love and positive attitudes that come from knowing Jesus in a very real and personal way.

Love God and love others.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.” (5:13, 6:9)

“It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” (2:20)

Through love serve one another. Freedom is the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control).

The just shall live by faith.” (3:11)

 

Change your Thoughts and Change Your World

“Meditate on these things… and the God of peace will be with you.” (4:8,9)

“What we are is God’s gift to us.

What we become is our gift to God.”

*

EPHESIANS

This presents an all-powerful God and His wise and loving design for the world.

GRACE IS A GIFT FROM GOD – it’s a serenity of spirit

It’s God’s undeserved favour to you.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works.” (2:8)

teacher of righteousness.

God’s dream is yours!

Faith is dreaming God’s dreams

*

PHILLIPIANS

 

The Book of Philipians is a motivational goal-oriented letter, inspiring the Christians in Phillipi and those throughout the world today to believe that they can do great things for God. Paul’s determination and confidence to serve God, no matter the cost (“no pain, no gain”)

“For to me, to live in Christ, and to die is gain.” (1:21)

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (2:5)

Be filled with love.

God is working in and through them.

“Being confident that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it.” (Phil 1:6)

“Prayer is the soul upon the knees.”

“Prayer is the way to touch God.”

Press towards the goal

“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

(Phil 3:14)Faith must be applied to daily life. Faith becomes an act of the will.

Ask God to help you discover the power that comes from within you, when you make up your mind wholeheartedly to pursue your objective… relentlessly.

WHAT IS YOUR GOAL?

No act of faith is more dynamic, more constructive , than setting high goals.

Set high goals

Use the incredible power of faith to set positive goals…

and you’ll feel your life has great value and purpose

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (1:21)

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

(4:13) *

COLOSSIANS

Paul says that Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God. He speaks of the “mystery of God”, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27). Paul holds up high ideals for

the Colossians, and by sharing these goals with them, he is confident his readers will live up to them.

Believe the best about ourselves and others. For with God as our strength we WILL succeed!

Key Word: The Pre-emininence of Jesus, the Author of Reconcilation. He is the basis for the believer’s hope, the source of power for a new life.

“Set your mind on things above *, not on things on the earth.”

(3:1,3)

* ie: positive, good, constructive, healthy thoughts

Are they true, noble, just, pure lovely, positive?

YOU ARE A CO-WORKER WITH GOD

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks toGod the Father through Him” (3:17)

i am the vine, you are the brances. He who abides in Me and in him will *

FIRST THESSALONIANS

God is stronger and bigger than any problem! With him you can overcome any obstacle!

Paul commends them for turning their thoughts to God, not to their problems.

*

SECOND THESSALONIANS

The Thessalonians are outstanding examples of Christian believers, who stood firm in their faith and showed love and charity towards each other.

*

1 TIMOTHY

Encouragement is one of the greatest gifts you will ever give or receive (Barnabas was a “son of encouragement”)… and I love encouraging others to make the most of their potentials.

2 TIMOTHY

He seeks to build up (or edify) others and to continue the ministry that God has given him.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge will give to me.” (2 Timothy 4:7,8)

*

PHILEMON:

Forgiveness is the language of love!

The pathway to success is the path of service.

TITUS

In any environment, no matter the circumstances the church and its people can grow and prosper.

 

HEBREWS

Christianity embodies the New Covenant between God and His people.

Faith is the dominant thread, which runs throughout the book. It’s “the substance of things hoped for, but are unseen”.

Take a positive plunge, a leap of faith.

I love the quotation…

“Be bold and unseen forces come to one’s aid.”

“Run with endurance the race set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

*

JAMES (the half-brother of Jesus)

It is the most practical of the epistles. Emphasizes that love and Christian faith must be demonstrated in DEEDS. Faith should be lived out by sharing and helping one another.

*

1 PETER

A message of HOPE, as one’s faith is tested.

Encouragement is the key to keeping the faith.

Faith replaces anxieties. Replace stress with success.

2 PETER

Peter reminds his readers that their faith is based on the historical certainty of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.

Guard against false teachers.

Keep working on yourself:

on your faith, virtue, knowledge, self control, persevance, godliness, kindness, and/or love.

I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH

 

Life is a journey to savour and not merely arriving at a destination.

God was (is) faithful to forgive sins and wipe away guilt.

*

1st JOHN

These three Epistles are short messages of encouragement.

God was (is) faithful to forgive people’s sins and wipe any guilt from their lives. Then they could truly be free to carry out God’s command to love one another.

Love is not just by word, but deed and truth.

2nd JOHN

John encourages the Christians to beware many false teachers in the region of Ephesus, who did not teach the truth of Jesus Christ.

Continue walking in obedience to God’s commandment to love one another. Love and faith can be shown by generous hospitality. Enjoy fellowship. Develop the heart of a servant.

The key is fellowship with God

“God has sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we may live through Him.” (4:7-9, 11)

Key: Fellowship with God. “God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son.”

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1:9)

The goal of Jesus was to reveal the love of God through His love for all people.

John presents Jesus as the Truth and encourages all believers to walk in the light of His Truth.

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (v 2)

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (v 4)

*

JUDE (the brother of Jesus and James)

Unveil yourself to the love of God and involve yourself in the lives of others with generous encouragement.

Jude warns against the negative influences that could weaken their faith and devotion to Jesus.

Jude knew the importance of trusting his life to the most powerful person in the universe – Jesus Christ.

Amen

from ‘The New Possibility Thinkers Bible’ (NKJV) by Dr R H Schuller and Paul D Dunn (Published by Thomas Nelson Inc, 1996)

“Lord,

Make my life a window for Your light to shine through, a mirror to reflect Your love to everyone I meet.”

Shared by craig (“just another nobody for Jesus”)

“I’m just a pencil in the hands of God.”

– Mother Teresa

God IS blessing you

“What we are is God’s gift to us.

What we become is our gift to God.”

 

 

Is Jesus God?

What was it about Jesus Christ that made the difference? Was he merely a great man, or something more?

These questions get to the heart of who Jesus really was. Some believe he was merely a great moral teacher; others believe he was simply the leader of the world’s greatest religion. But many believe something far more. Christians believe that God has actually visited us in human form. And they believe the evidence backs that up.

After carefully examining Jesus’ life and words, former Cambridge professor and skeptic, C. S. Lewis, came to a startling conclusion about him that altered the course of his life. So who is the real Jesus? Many will answer that Jesus was a great moral teacher. As we take a deeper look at the world’s most controversial person, we begin by asking: could Jesus have been merely a great moral teacher?

Great Moral Teacher?

Even a superficial reading of

the Gospels reveals that Jesus claimed to be someone more than a prophet. No

other prophet had made such claims about himself; in fact, no other prophet ever

put himself in God’s place.

Some argue that Jesus never explicitly said, I am God. It is true that he

never stated the exact words, I am God. However, Jesus also never explicitly

said, I am a man, or I am a prophet. Yet Jesus was undoubtedly human, and

his followers considered him a prophet like Moses and Elijah. So we cannot rule

out Jesus being divine, just because he didn’t say those exact words, anymore

than we can say he wasn’t a prophet.

In fact, Jesus statements about himself contradict the notion that he was

simply a great man or a prophet

 

 

 

JESUS COMPLEX:

Is Jesus God?

Sourced from: http://www.y-jesus.com/jesuscomplex_1_x.php?gclid=CLiewLSAj6MCFQYXewodJRXrWw

Key words (tags): Jesus, Jesus Christ, the Real Jesus, Christianity, claims, beliefs, testimony

Have you ever met a man who is the center of attention wherever he goes? Some mysterious, indefinable characteristic sets him apart from all other men. Well, that’s the way it was two thousand years ago with Jesus Christ. But it wasn’t merely Jesus’ personality that captivated those who heard him. Those who witnessed his words and life tell us that something about Jesus of Nazareth was different from all other men.

Jesus’ only credentials were himself. He never wrote a book, commanded an army, held a political office, or owned property. He mostly traveled within a hundred miles of his village, attracting crowds who were amazed at his provocative words and stunning deeds.

Yet Jesus’ greatness was obvious to all those who saw and heard him. And while most great people eventually fade into history books, Jesus is still the focus of thousands of books and unparalleled media controversy. And much of that controversy revolves around the radical claims Jesus made about himself—claims that astounded both his followers and his adversaries.

It was primarily Jesus’ unique claims that caused him to be viewed as a threat by both the Roman authorities and the Jewish hierarchy. Although he was an outsider with no credentials or political powerbase, within three years, Jesus changed the world for the next 20 centuries. Other moral and religious leaders have left an impact—but nothing like that unknown carpenter’s son from Nazareth.

What was it about Jesus Christ that made the difference? Was he merely a great man, or something more?

These questions get to the heart of who Jesus really was. Some believe he was merely a great moral teacher; others believe he was simply the leader of the world’s greatest religion. But many believe something far more. Christians believe that God has actually visited us in human form. And they believe the evidence backs that up.

After carefully examining Jesus’ life and words, former Cambridge professor and skeptic, C. S. Lewis, came to a startling conclusion about him that altered the course of his life. So who is the real Jesus? Many will answer that Jesus was a great moral teacher. As we take a deeper look at the world’s most controversial person, we begin by asking: could Jesus have been merely a great moral teacher?

Great Moral Teacher?

Even those from other religions acknowledge that Jesus was a great moral teacher. Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi, spoke highly of Jesus’ righteous life and profound words.1 Likewise, Jewish scholar Joseph Klausner wrote, “It is universally admitted … that Christ taught the purest and sublimest ethics … which throws the moral precepts and maxims of the wisest men of antiquity far into the shade.”2

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount has been called the most superlative teaching of human ethics ever uttered by an individual. In fact, much of what we know today as “equal rights” actually is the result of Jesus’ teaching. Historian Will Durant, a non-Christian, said of Jesus that “he lived and struggled unremittingly for ‘equal rights’; in modern times he would have been sent to Siberia. ‘He that is greatest among you, let him be your servant’—this is the inversion of all political wisdom, of all sanity.”3

Many, like Gandhi, have tried to separate Jesus’ teaching on ethics from his claims about himself, believing that he was simply a great man who taught lofty moral principles.

In fact, Jefferson’s memorable words in the Declaration of Independence were rooted in Jesus’ teaching that each person is of immense and equal importance to God, regardless of sex, race, or social status. The famous document sets forth, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights …”

But one thing Jefferson didn’t answer: If Jesus falsely claimed to be God he couldn’t have been a good moral teacher. But did Jesus really claim deity? Before we look at what Jesus claimed, we need to examine the possibility that he was simply a great religious leader?

Great Religious Leader?

Surprisingly, Jesus never claimed to be a religious leader. He never got into religious politics or pushed an ambitious agenda, and he ministered almost entirely outside the established religious framework.

When one compares Jesus with the other great religious leaders, a remarkable distinction emerges. Ravi Zacharias, who grew up in a Hindu culture, has studied world religions and observed a fundamental distinction between Jesus Christ and the founders of other major religions.

“In all of these, there emerges an instruction, a way of living. It is not Zoroaster to whom you turn; it is Zoroaster to whom you listen. It is not Buddha who delivers you; it is his Noble Truths that instruct you. It is not Mohammad who transforms you; it is the beauty of the Koran that woos you. By contrast, Jesus did not only teach or expound His message. He was identical with His message.”5

The truth of Zacharias’ point is underscored by the number of times in the Gospels that Jesus’ teaching message was simply “Come to me” or “Follow me” or “Obey me.” Also, Jesus made it clear that his primary mission was to forgive sins, something only God could do.

In The World’s Great Religions, Huston Smith observed, “Only two people ever astounded their contemporaries so much that the question they evoked was not ‘Who is he?’ but What is he’ They were Jesus and Buddha. The answers these two gave were exactly the opposite. Buddha said unequivocally that he was a mere man, not a god—almost as if he foresaw later attempts to worship him. Jesus, on the other hand, claimed … to be divine.”6?

And that leads us to the question of what Jesus really did claim for himself; specifically, did Jesus claim to be divine?

Did Jesus Claim to be God?

So what is it that convinces many scholars that Jesus claimed to be God?

Author, John Piper explains that Jesus claimed power which uniquely belonged to

Jesus’s friends and enemies were staggered again and again by what he said

and did. He would be walking down the road, seemingly like any other man, then

turn and say something like, ˜Before Abraham was, I am’. Or, ˜If you have seen ‘ Or, very calmly, after being accused of

me, you have seen the Father.

blasphemy, he would say, ˜The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive . To the dead he might simply say, ˜Come forth, or, ˜Rise up. And they

sins’

would obey. To the storms on the sea he would say, ˜Be still. And to a loaf of

bread he would say, ˜Become a thousand meals. And it was done

immediately.

But what did Jesus really mean by such statements? Is it possible Jesus was

merely a prophet like Moses or Elijah, or Daniel? Even a superficial reading of

the Gospels reveals that Jesus claimed to be someone more than a prophet. No It is true that he

other prophet had made such claims about himself; in fact, no other prophet ever

put himself in God’s place.

Some argue that Jesus never explicitly said, I am God.

never stated the exact words, I am God. However, Jesus also never explicitly . Yet Jesus was undoubtedly human, and

said, I am a man, or I am a prophet

his followers considered him a prophet like Moses and Elijah

out Jesus being divine, just because he didn’t say those exact words, anymore

than we can say he wasn’t a prophet.

In fact, Jesus statements about himself contradict the notion that he was . On more than one occasion, Jesus referred to When asked whether he thought it far-fetched for Jesus to

simply a great man or a prophet

himself as God’s Son.

be the Son of God, lead singer of U2, Bono, answered:

“No, its not far-fetched to me. Look, the secular response to the Christ

story always goes like this: He was a great prophet, obviously a very

interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be

they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn’t allow . Christ says, ‘No. I’m not saying I’m a

you that. He doesn’t let you off the hook

teacher, don’t call me a teacher. I’m not saying I’m a prophet’. I’m saying I’m And people say: ‘No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet we

God incarnate.

can take’.

Before we examine Jesus’s claims, it is important to understand that he made

them in the context of the Jewish belief in one God (monotheism). No faithful . And Jesus believed in the one God,

Jew would ever believe in more than one God

praying to his Father as, the only true God

But in that same prayer, Jesus spoke of having always existed with his . And when Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father, Jesus said,

Father

Philip, have I been with you so long and you don’t know me? Whoever has seen The human face of God”).So the question is: Was Jesus claiming to be the Hebrew God who created the universe?

me, has seen the Father (ie ”

Sourced from:

jesus.com/jesuscomplex_1_x.php?gclid=CLiewLSAj6MCFQYXewodJRXrWw

 

 

* * *

JESUS, ARE YOU GOD

(from “My Conversations with God”)?

I’m so pleased you asked me directly, going directly to the Source, as people debate this subject so much and get side-tracked over minor issues.

As regards my claims…I am who I am. Who I say I am, but a lot of my words have been mis-understood over the centuries, yes mis-interpreted by “religious” people to suit their own ends. Also even mis-represented sometimes! Simply, we are who and what we believe ourselves to be. We have that power of choice that is given to us from God, the Father… and it’s our greatest gift. You can declare this openly, publically, should you wish (and the people of the day will think you are crazy), or simply live out your faith quietly… and that can be just as effective in reaching and impacting others.

It depends on you and your unique personality make-up. Whether you like “stirring”, being controversial at times, or just being quiet and humble (or perhaps a bit of both to make things interesting). I quite enjoyed seeing the reactions of others at my “outrageous” claims… and still do today.

See I do have a sense of humour!

The key is to be filled with God’s Infinite Spirit THROUGH Me, the channel, a focus for your faith. Then you’ll get eternal truths.

Each one of you has the choice to live in union with God, the Father, our Creator, as I have done (and still do …today).

My will is God’s will

and

God’s will is my will!

It’s not religion, but finding your own brand of spirituality, your own path to God, the Father, the Ultimate Source (of Life itself), Ground of all Being. Serve others and My Spirit lives on through YOU. And that is what I mean by “ever-lasting life.”

Even if you don’t ask Me, you’ll find out the answers, the truth yourself…one day!

Be yourself, follow YOUR dreams and

shine YOUR bright light on humanity… today.

May you see the bright light of God on the road up ahead.

Is Jesus God?

What was it about Jesus Christ that made the difference? Was he merely a great man, or something more?
These questions get to the heart of who Jesus really was. Some believe he was merely a great moral teacher; others believe he was simply the leader of the world’s greatest religion. But many believe something far more. Christians believe that God has actually visited us in human form. And they believe the evidence backs that up.
After carefully examining Jesus’ life and words, former Cambridge professor and skeptic, C. S. Lewis, came to a startling conclusion about him that altered the course of his life. So who is the real Jesus? Many will answer that Jesus was a great moral teacher. As we take a deeper look at the world’s most controversial person, we begin by asking: could Jesus have been merely a great moral teacher?
But what did Jesus really mean by such statements? Is it possible Jesus was
merely a prophet like Moses or Elijah, or Daniel? Even a superficial reading of
the Gospels reveals that Jesus claimed to be someone more than a prophet. No
other prophet had made such claims about himself; in fact, no other prophet ever
put himself in God’s place.
Some argue that Jesus never explicitly said, I am God. It is true that he
never stated the exact words, I am God. However, Jesus also never explicitly
said, I am a man, or I am a prophet. Yet Jesus was undoubtedly human, and
his followers considered him a prophet like Moses and Elijah. So we cannot rule
out Jesus being divine, just because he didn’t say those exact words, anymore
than we can say he wasn’t a prophet.
In fact, Jesus statements about himself contradict the notion that he was
simply a great man or a prophet. On more than one occasion, Jesus referred to
himself as God’s Son.

“Faith is the light that guides you through the darkness.”
– Emmet Fox

“For me, Jesus is the ‘noblest figure, a model to aspire to, a hope to pin on, an anchor to cling to in the storms of life. Someone on whom to pin our highest (supreme) characteristics, values and aspirations (our most noble and loftiest goals) , in short the very best in life …the name and spirit of Jesus Christ symbolises endless possibilities… and each one of us in invited to partake in and share His Infinite Spirit.”

“My belief is in the God who gives us responsibility for our own actions, who I see in Jesus Christ, who stated and showed in his own way of life that His purpose was to give quality of life.”
Michael Tepler, (in a letter to the New Zealand Herald 23rd Nov 2010)

 
 
 
 

 

 
 

JESUS COMPLEX:
 

Is Jesus God?
 

Sourced from:
 

Key words (tags): Jesus, Jesus Christ, the Real Jesus, Christianity, claims, beliefs, testimony
 

Have you ever met a man who is the center of attention wherever he goes? Some mysterious, indefinable characteristic sets him apart from all other men. Well, that’s the way it was two thousand years ago with Jesus Christ. But it wasn’t merely Jesus’ personality that captivated those who heard him. Those who witnessed his words and life tell us that something about Jesus of Nazareth was different from all other men. Jesus’ only credentials were himself. He never wrote a book, commanded an army, held a political office, or owned property. He mostly traveled within a hundred miles of his village, attracting crowds who were amazed at his provocative words and stunning deeds.
Yet Jesus’ greatness was obvious to all those who saw and heard him. And while most great people eventually fade into history books, Jesus is still the focus of thousands of books and unparalleled media controversy. And much of that controversy revolves around the radical claims Jesus made about himself—claims that astounded both his followers and his adversaries.
It was primarily Jesus’ unique claims that caused him to be viewed as a threat by both the Roman authorities and the Jewish hierarchy. Although he was an outsider with no credentials or political powerbase, within three years, Jesus changed the world for the next 20 centuries. Other moral and religious leaders have left an impact—but nothing like that unknown carpenter’s son from Nazareth.

What was it about Jesus Christ that made the difference? Was he merely a great man, or something more? These questions get to the heart of who Jesus really was. Some believe he was merely a great moral teacher; others believe he was simply the leader of the world’s greatest religion. But many believe something far more. Christians believe that God has actually visited us in human form. And they believe the evidence backs that up.

After carefully examining Jesus’ life and words, former Cambridge professor and skeptic, C. S. Lewis, came to a startling conclusion about him that altered the course of his life. So who is the real Jesus? Many will answer that Jesus was a great moral teacher. As we take a deeper look at the world’s most controversial person, we begin by asking: could Jesus have been merely a great moral teacher?

Great Moral Teacher?
Even those from other religions acknowledge that Jesus was a great moral teacher. Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi, spoke highly of Jesus’ righteous life and profound words.1 Likewise, Jewish scholar Joseph Klausner wrote, “It is universally admitted … that Christ taught the purest and sublimest ethics … which throws the moral precepts and maxims of the wisest men of antiquity far into the shade.”2Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount has been called the most superlative teaching of human ethics ever uttered by an individual. In fact, much of what we know today as “equal rights” actually is the result of Jesus’ teaching. Historian Will Durant, a non-Christian, said of Jesus that “he lived and struggled unremittingly for ‘equal rights’; in modern times he would have been sent to Siberia. ‘He that is greatest among you, let him be your servant’—this is the inversion of all political wisdom, of all sanity.”3
 

 

Many, like Gandhi, have tried to separate Jesus’ teaching on ethics from his claims about himself, believing that he was simply a great man who taught lofty moral principles.
In fact, Jefferson’s memorable words in the Declaration of Independence were rooted in Jesus’ teaching that each person is of immense and equal importance to God, regardless of sex, race, or social status. The famous document sets forth, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights …”
But one thing Jefferson didn’t answer: If Jesus falsely claimed to be God he couldn’t have been a good moral teacher. But did Jesus really claim deity? Before we look at what Jesus claimed, we need to examine the possibility that he was simply a great religious leader?

 
 

Great Religious Leader?
Surprisingly, Jesus never claimed to be a religious leader. He never got into religious politics or pushed an ambitious agenda, and he ministered almost entirely outside the established religious framework.
When one compares Jesus with the other great religious leaders, a remarkable distinction emerges. Ravi Zacharias, who grew up in a Hindu culture, has studied world religions and observed a fundamental distinction between Jesus Christ and the founders of other major religions. “In all of these, there emerges an

 

instruction, a way of living. It is not Zoroaster to whom you turn; it is Zoroaster to whom you listen. It is not Buddha who delivers you; it is his Noble Truths that instruct you. It is not Mohammad who transforms you; it is the beauty of the Koran that woos you. By contrast, Jesus did not only teach or expound His message. He was identical with His message.”5The truth of Zacharias’ point is underscored by the number of times in the Gospels that Jesus’ teaching message was simply “Come to me” or “Follow me” or “Obey me.” Also, Jesus made it clear that his primary mission was to forgive sins, something only God could do.In The World’s Great Religions, Huston Smith observed, “Only two people ever astounded their contemporaries so much that the question they evoked was not ‘Who is he?’ but What is he’ They were Jesus and Buddha. The answers these two gave were exactly the opposite. Buddha said unequivocally that he was a mere man, not a god—almost as if he foresaw later attempts to worship him. Jesus, on the other hand, claimed … to be divine.”6And that leads us to the question of what Jesus really did claim for himself; specifically, did Jesus claim to be divine?
 

Did Jesus Claim to be God?
So what is it that convinces many scholars that Jesus claimed to be God?
Author, John Piper explains that Jesus claimed power which uniquely belonged to Jesus’s friends and enemies were staggered again and again by what he said

and did. He would be walking down the road, seemingly like any other man, then

turn and say something like, ˜Before Abraham was, I am’. Or, ˜If you have seen ‘ Or, very calmly, after being accused of

me, you have seen the Father.

blasphemy, he would say, ˜The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive . To the dead he might simply say, ˜Come forth, or, ˜Rise up. And they

sins’

would obey. To the storms on the sea he would say, ˜Be still. And to a loaf of

bread he would say, ˜Become a thousand meals. And it was done

immediately.

But what did Jesus really mean by such statements? Is it possible Jesus was

merely a prophet like Moses or Elijah, or Daniel? Even a superficial reading of

the Gospels reveals that Jesus claimed to be someone more than a prophet. No It is true that he

other prophet had made such claims about himself; in fact, no other prophet ever

put himself in God’s place.

Some argue that Jesus never explicitly said, I am God.

never stated the exact words, I am God. However, Jesus also never explicitly . Yet Jesus was undoubtedly human, and

said, I am a man, or I am a prophet

his followers considered him a prophet like Moses and Elijah
out Jesus being divine, just because he didn’t say those exact words, anymore
than we can say he wasn’t a prophet.

In fact, Jesus statements about himself contradict the notion that he was . On more than one occasion, Jesus referred to When asked whether he thought it far-fetched for Jesus to

simply a great man or a prophet

himself as God’s Son.

be the Son of God, lead singer of U2, Bono, answered:

“No, its not far-fetched to me. Look, the secular response to the Christ

story always goes like this: He was a great prophet, obviously a very

interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be

they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn’t allow . Christ says, ‘No. I’m not saying I’m a

you that. He doesn’t let you off the hook

teacher, don’t call me a teacher. I’m not saying I’m a prophet’. I’m saying I’m

God incarnate. And people say: ‘No, no, please, just be a prophet. A prophet we

can take’.

Before we examine Jesus’s claims, it is important to understand that he made

them in the context of the Jewish belief in one God (monotheism). No faithful . And Jesus believed in the one God,

Jew would ever believe in more than one God

praying to his Father as, the only true God
But in that same prayer, Jesus spoke of having always existed with his . And when Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father, Jesus said,
Father

Philip, have I been with you so long and you don’t know me? Whoever has seen The human face of God“).So the question is: Was Jesus claiming to be the Hebrew God who created the universe?

me, has seen the Father (ie “

Sourced from:
 

jesus.com/jesuscomplex_1_x.php?gclid=CLiewLSAj6MCFQYXewodJRXrWw
 

 
 

 
* * *
JESUS, ARE YOU GOD

(from “My Conversations with God“)?

I’m so pleased you asked me directly, going directly to the Source, as people debate this subject so much and get side-tracked over minor issues.

As regards my claims…I am who I am. Who I say I am, but a lot of my words have been mis-understood over the centuries, yes mis-interpreted by “religious people” to suit their own ends. Also even mis-represented sometimes! Simply, we are who and what we believe ourselves to be. We have that power of choice that is given to us from God, the Father… and it’s our greatest gift. You can declare this openly, publically, should you wish (and the people of the day will think you are crazy), or simply live out your faith quietly… and that can be just as effective in reaching and impacting others.

It depends on you and your unique personality make-up. Whether you like “stirring”, being controversial at times, or just being quiet and humble (or perhaps a bit of both to make things interesting). I quite enjoyed seeing the reactions of others at my “outrageous” claims… and still do today.

See I do have a sense of humour!

The key is to be filled with God’s Infinite Spirit THROUGH Me, the channel, a focus for your faith. Then you’ll get eternal truths.

Each one of you has the choice to live in union with God, the Father, our Creator, as I have done (and still do …today).

My will is God’s will

and

God’s will is my will!

Serve others and My Spirit lives on through YOU. And that is what I mean by “ever-lasting life.”

Even if you don’t ask Me, you’ll find out the answers, the truth yourself…one day!

Be yourself, follow YOUR dreams and

shine YOUR bright light on humanity… today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Faith is the light that guides you through the darkness.”

– Emmet Fox

“For me, Jesus is the ‘noblest figure, a model to aspire to, a hope to pin on, an anchor to cling to in the storms of life. Someone on whom to pin our highest (supreme) characteristics, values and aspirations (our most noble and loftiest goals) , in short the very best in life …the name and spirit of Jesus Christ symbolises endless possibilities… and each one of us in invited to partake in and share His Infinite Spirit.”

“My belief is in the God who gives us responsibility for our own actions, who I see in Jesus Christ, who stated and showed in his own way of life that His purpose was to give quality of life.”

Michael Templer, (in a letter to the New Zealand Herald 23rd Nov 2010)

 

Questions I’m frequently asked: Are you still a Christian (by Dr Steve McSwain)?

You can live without religion, too. That being a person of faith has very little to do with what you believe and a whole lot to do with how you live. To be a person of faith is to not just to believe in God or Jesus, or even to know a lot about God. It is, instead, to actually know God for yourself, as yourself, and to walk in the joy of her ineffable Presence.

As an educated scholar, theologian, and religious leader, I knew much about God. I could argue and debate with anybody about what I believed. But, in terms of those beliefs making any real difference in my life…well…I cannot say that those beliefs made any difference. You can’t argue God’s presence into your life. Clinging to a set of beliefs, no matter how correct they may be, won’t change the human heart. Jesus said as much to the religious leaders of his day who, like many today, believed that they had to believe the right beliefs to be right with God. It was insanity then and it is insane today. You only argue and debate about the things you do not know. When you really know God, what is there to debate?

Questions I’m frequently asked: Are you still a Christian

(

 

by Dr Steve McSwain

Sourced from

http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/questions-i-m-frequently-asked-are-you-still-a-christian and http://www.stevemcswain.comKey words (tags): Dr. Steve McSwain, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Spirituality, Christianity, Christ-consciousness, God , faith, testimony, sharing faith (enough there now, craig)

Interesting you would ask me this, as others have asked me this question, too, and I suppose it is because I no longer pretend to believe that Christianity is the only way to know God. Yet, as far as my own faith journey is concerned, I regard myself as more Christian today than I’ve ever been.

Admittedly, there are some dramatic differences.

For the most part, my spiritual life is a whole lot less about beliefs and a whole lot more about faith. There is a canyon of difference between the two. Like most religious people, I had confused belief for faith for decades. For example, there are many people who believe in Jesus but, in terms of living by the way of Jesus-that is, living by the example and teachings of Jesus-they do not. 

Take this one example, although there are really many examples I could give you. Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” What that really means is “Have no enemies.” Yet, many churchgoing people-perhaps even the majority of them-who would vigorously defend the US war in Afghanistan and in Iraq. There was a time when I could have, too. Now, however, I find it very difficult to live by Jesus’ teaching and try to justify war, any war, at the same time. I suspect that’s why most Christians throughout history have looked to St. Augustine and his “Just War Theory” as a way to circumvent the rather clear teaching of Jesus. For me, now that I regard myself as more Christian than ever before, feel, if I am going to say I’m a follower of Christ, then I must truly follow Christ and his teachings, instead of looking for some clever way to explain away his hard teachings.

For most of my adult life, I thought that being a Christian was about believing certain things about God, Jesus, and the Bible.

There were a few other things that defined the “right” or “good” Christian-attend church regularly – the really, really good Christians came on Sunday night, too, and again on Wednesday – be patriotic, salute the flag and don’t cheat Uncle Sam, and, of course, pay your tithes and offerings. If you did not do that…well…you might not go to hell, but you’d smell like you’d been there.

Now, however, I know, as Deepak Chopra once put it, your “beliefs are a cover-up for insecurity. You only ever believe in the things you’re not certain about.”

Faith,

As an educated scholar, theologian, and religious leader, I knew much about God. I could argue and debate with anybody about what I believed. But, in terms of those beliefs making any real difference in my life…well…I cannot say that those beliefs made any difference. You can’t argue God’s presence into your life. Clinging to a set of beliefs, no matter how correct they may be, won’t change the human heart. Jesus said as much to the religious leaders of his day who, like many today, believed that they had to believe the right beliefs to be right with God. It was insanity then and it is insane today. You only argue and debate about the things you do not know. When you really know God, what is there to debate? Or, to put it another way, when people set out to prove that God exists, it could only ever mean that they do so because they secretly fear she doesn’t.

You don’t believe in the sun, do you? You don’t argue and debate whether it really exists. The notion would be absurd. What’s there to believe in or to debate about the sun? You know the sun. You see it hanging in the heavens, feel its warmth by day, and observe its effects on earth. Similarly, when you know the reality of the Eternal Presence-and that inner knowing could only ever occur when you exchange beliefs about God for faith in God – then you cannot but see God everywhere, in everyone, as well as in everything. All of life becomes to you the sacred sanctuary of God’s eternal presence.

Dr Steve McSwain

 

 I’ve put up an entire post on my blog about this (and written a whole book about this and other matters related to the spiritual life), and I’d love to share some of the things I’ve learned with you. To get started, visit my blog at http://www.stevemcswain.com.

Author’s Bio

For more than a decade, community leaders, corporate executives, politicians, priests, pastors, and other religious leaders, have heard Dr. McSwain’s passionate call to philanthropy, generosity, and a spirituality that reaches beyond the customary divides, one respectful of all religious traditions. Whether a congregational setting or a corporate event, Dr. McSwain connects with audiences everywhere. His message is candid, but respectful, humorous and always uplifting. Each year, he speaks in Roman Catholic parishes, mainline Protestant churches, and Evangelical congregations all over America. In workshops, seminars, conferences, and corporate events, Dr. McSwain inspires people to achieve their highest purpose and to enjoy the spiritually-connected life. His public speaking covers a broad range of topics including generosity, inter-faith dialogue, spirituality and spiritual formation, ethics, ecology, and social justice.

“Even belief in God is only a poor substitute for the living reality of God manifesting every moment of your life.”

– Eckhart Tolle

Sourced from

God’s greatest gift to us is to find, then follow our own truths.

Shared by craig (who was greatly moved and inspired by Steve’s excellent article (I feel exactly the same, but couldn’t have expressed it so well), so am sharing these thoughts/sentiments

“The highest goal of my ‘little’ life is to know and experience God’s eternal presence”

May you see God’s brilliant light on the path up ahead

 

 

 

http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/is-jesus-the-only-way-to-godhttp://www.stevemcswain.com 

on the other hand, is the capacity to live in ambiguity; or, to step confidently in the face of uncertainty. It is to live with an inner sense of security, knowing that, since nothing could ever surprise the Divine, you can live without fear, without stress, worry, or anxiety. You can live without religion, too. That being a person of faith has very little to do with what you believe and a whole lot to do with how you live. To be a person of faith is to not just to believe in God or Jesus, or even to know a lot about God. It is, instead, to actually know God for yourself, as yourself, and to walk in the joy of her ineffable Presence.That being a Christian was about living a certain way – which usually meant ordering your life around some arbitrary but cultural standards somebody concocted as a definition as to what it meant to be Christian. For Baptists in the south, where I grew up and with whom I attended church, being a Christian meant you walked a church aisle – hopefully soon after reaching the “age of accountability”-whatever that is, said you believed in Jesus and renounced your terrible sins (which were many at the age of seven when this “salvation” event occurred for me), and then promising you wouldn’t “drink, cuss, smoke, or chew or run with girls who do.”by Dr Steve McSwain)?