Why Should We Care about Religion?
- How does the Bible present God and His desires?
- Personal figure, not power figure (Exodus 6:3)
- Family, children, sibling images dominate.
- Desires all to succeed (1 Timothy 2:4)
- How did God go about setting up for accomplishing His goal?
- People are not defective. Sin is not innate. (Ecclesiastes 7:29)
- Jesus was planned before the beginning (Colossians 1:13 – 20, 2 Timothy 1:8 – 10, Titus 1:2, 1 Peter 1:20 – 21), not as a result of disobedience.
- Jesus paid off justice for all humans of all time (1 John 2:2, 1 Timothy 4:10). Justice could not be pushed aside because justice is part of God’s character.
- The earth was designed to be broken so people could develop hope in God’s promise of something better. (Romans 8:19 – 25)
- Entry into the eternal family is based on faith (Romans 1:17, et al) with these characteristics:
- Understanding sacrifice
- Accepting the Bible as true
- A realistic hope of heaven
- Trust in the promises of God (knowing what they are)
- Taking on the divine nature
- Faith develops through several stages to love, selfless concern for others. (2 Peter 1:5 – 7, Galatians 5:6)
- The Spirit is provided to overcome self-inflicted character damage.
- How did God plan to attract people into His plan? (called by):
- The goodness of God (Romans 2:4)
- Jesus’ virtue and character (2 Peter 1:3)
- Promises about the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38)
- Liberty (Galatians 5:13, 2 Corinthians 3:17)
- Peace (Colossians 3:15)
- Short and simple summary
- Because justice is an integral part of a gracious nature, God came to earth and paid off justice so family membership could be based on mutual trust and concern.
- The gift of the Holy Spirit is for repairing the damage we have done to ourselves.
- We know we are doing “enough” when the Spirit does something through us.