Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Simple Path - Assignment 3 - Faith

Lets get straight to the point. Assignment 3 is on faith.

I spoke to a man a few days back and I asked him a few questions. First, ‘Is Jesus Your Lord?”. To this he said, “yes”. So I continued, “Ok, if Jesus is your Lord how does His main teaching sermon start? I am referring to the Sermon on the Mount.”

Most often when I ask this line of questioning Christians do not know the most basic teachings of Our Lord. If we do not know His teachings, then isn’t our claim to call Him our Lord void of real content.

In this discipleship program, I am leading you, the reader, through a systematic approach to practicing the teachings of our Lord. I promise you that if you put these teachings into practice your whole life will be completely changed and in fact, we will find true freedom, happiness and holiness. It is that simple. Follow Jesus and you will experience the blessed life and probably a lot of suffering and persecution too.

So here we go:

We are look at the first few verses of the Sermon on the Mount.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”
“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted” ….

In assignment 1, we looked at the word “Blessed”. Our assignment was to ask ourselves and to journal our answers to the follow ing questions:
Are you happy?
What constitutes true happiness?

Next, we looked at the phrase “poor in spirit”. These are the blessed ones remember. We asked ourselves to journal and discuss the following:
From your life story, convince yourself, God and a friend that you are a sinner and that your case apart from some miracle in your life is totally hopeless!!! A person who is poor in spirit is someone who is quite aware and lives in an abiding awareness of their spiritual poverty and powerlessness.

Today we look at the promises of the beatitudes. “For theirs is the kingdom of heaven” or “for they shall be comforted” The meek SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH. Etc…..

The Faith of Abraham
First a word about faith. The bible says ‘By faith Abraham left his country and set out for the promised land”. Abraham is described as the father of faith. He followed a path God set for Him and the path was promised to lead him to the promised land. In the same way, faith in Jesus is believing that He is the Messiah that saves us from sin and that by following Him we will enter the kingdom. By following Him, we primarily mean putting into practice all the principles of His teaching. By faith, we set out on a journey into a righteousness that we can only describe as heavenly.

It is vital as we start down this journey that we never forget our first principles, namely that we are spiritually bankrupt and in absolute need of power. The quality of life we are going to set out for is completely impossible in our natural abilities. We are again like Abraham whose body was dead and yet he believed that God could miraculously grant him an heir. So too we seek a life that until now we could only dream about but apart from really learning to follow Jesus and apart from the power of God is completely unattainable.
So today’s questions are as follows:

“What qualities of life do you understand you will experience when you ‘die and go to heaven’?

What does it mean when Jesus proclaims that the “kingdom of heaven is within reach, repent and believe”?

Do you believe that Jesus Christ has the power to completely deliver you from the miserable condition that you are in which the bible calls sin? If yes, what do you expect your life experience to be like as a result of putting this “faith like Abraham” into practice as you follow Jesus?

God Bless,

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