Sunday, October 30, 2005


What Do You Need to Believe?

Jumping way ahead to chapter seventeen in Christianity Is Jewish, I found myself hungry for some clarity from God’s refreshing Word. Edith Schaeffer’s words come through with shining brilliance, radical, yet perfectly clear. What are the base things we are to accept as assurance that we are on the right side of man’s division? You know, line in the sand, which side of the fence division. Her entire book is centered on the fact that humanity is split, with no gray area, between believers of God’s Truth and believers of Satan’s lies. Four simple things, so that even a child can understand, are given.

  • There is the need to believe God is there. The God of the whole Bible really exists and He is personal— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • There is the need to understand the reality of guilt before a Holy God, having broken not only His commands but even our own standards. There is a need for atonement for our sins.
  • There is a need to have some measure of understanding that God is totally fair in showing throughout the centuries the way to atone, with constantly increased detail being given, but never a change in the way. This means coming to believe that what has been given in God’s Word is historical truth, not just a vague religious truth. That what history had pointed to for centuries before had finally come to Mary, the Word become flesh suffered and died because He Himself was the only One who could be the atonement, the substitute, The Lamb.
  • Finally, there is the need to bow before the living God, accepting what the Messiah has done as a free gift. There is nothing we can bring to God that would atone for our sins. “And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation by tradition from your fathers: but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God.” ~1Peter 1:17-20 (I just had to put King James version with that “vain conversation” inherited from our fathers…too good)
    Peter continues with this solemn warning: “For all flesh is as grass and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away; but the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
  • Schaeffer concludes, “Anyone who believes His Word, and accepts the provision which He made for atonement, is immediately born again—is now a spiritual seed of Abraham, and has his feet firmly fixed on the side of believers in Truth, springing from Abel.” (pp 193-195)

    I am aware of the questions that arise. Jesus, the Word, and the Bible, the Word are the same thing? Reading in my Bible Commentary (William MacDonald), the “word” in 1Peter is the Bible, through which the gospel is preached. Mrs. Schaeffer does blend them in point three, however. Christ is the expression of God’s living Word, according to MacDonald on John’s gospel. Or is the Word of God the means to salvation? So, says the commentary! I do believe it means that the gospel would not be ours today without the passing on from generation to generation, in words as well as deeds. “No one is ever saved apart from the instrumentality in some way of the incorruptible word of God.” (p 2256) Also, because God used the Word to prepare men’s hearts for the gospel, as history and prophecy, Jesus could be revealed and seen for Who He really IS and What He has done.

    I anticipate comments from those who have a hard time placing the Bible in such high esteem! As an offensive move, God gave us language for communication. He then offered to us His revelation of Himself and His plan, using that language! Now, is that so hard? Bring it on!

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