When a person is choosing a career path or an athletic pursuit, they first learn the basics — the nature of that pursuit, the basic requirements, the rules, the how-tos. Then they begin — not as the CEO or CFO, not as the Olympic Gold Medalist. They begin at the beginning to orient themselves by learning the basics and putting them into practice. No one starts by attempting to bench 300lbs. Everyone starts at an entry level position. We even begin our lives as helpless babies, learning to crawl before we learn to run.
Following are three passages from the Bible that pretty much puts Jesus’ purpose in a nutshell. This is what the Bible says:
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again…Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit b gives birth to spirit.” One cannot even see the starting line unless they are born by the Spirit of God.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The finish line is eternal life in the family of God.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” God set us up for success.
God created Mankind, and God saw that was very good. Yet, all of Humanity made bad choices, their unrighteous and harmful actions separated them from fellowship with God. As God’s children we very much disappointed Him. Everything went sideways until periodically, they called out to God to save them from the mess they had been making. God would grant them a fresh start, but again and again Mankind screwed everything up. Anyone can see that this dynamic continues to this very day.
So the dichotomy is set up between those who want to do righteous things and those who do not care what harm they do. Even those who try to do the right thing fail and so a great chasm has evolved between the righteous God and all of Mankind. However, God has bridged that divide with Jesus redemptive life, death, and resurrection, as the passages above indicate.
My emphasis in writing essays may have been a source of confusion — the direct opposite of my intent — because my purpose was to correct some basic misunderstandings so prevalent and to give information conforming to informed consideration and possible consent to Jesus message (“compliance in or approval of what is done or proposed by another : ACQUIESCENCE” Merriam Webster Dictionary). In other words, answering tough questions about the Bible’s veracity and historical soundness.
Most Christian teaching claims that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, but this does not mean as if God dictated to His stenographers of Earth. “God inspired men to write it,” is slightly different and more accurate.
Truly, there are many instances where that is an accurate depiction, but too much is made of a few historical events which are gross misinterpretations twisted into something they are not. I absolutely agree that the Bible is the infallible Word of God in purpose, in history, and where passages are put in quotes. The Bible is the non-fiction story of God’s moving on Mankind. They include stories, both good and bad, of the people He chose. Those are the people He separated out from Earth’s general population to demonstrate His nature, purposes, and natural consequences of Human actions and activities, both in obedience and in defiance of His revealed ways.
For one example, a source of confusion is in the story of Creation where some claim that God created everything in six twenty-four hour days. God’s time is not Earth time. “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (2 Peter 3:8, NIV) So God’s “days’’ are probably more like “eras” or “epochs’’ for a more accurate understanding. Eternity is vastly different from finite time. Infinity never stops ticking while eternity is always now. (Understandably, this is a difficult concept to wrap our heads around, but that is the best I can do.)
Another example is Noah’s Flood as interpreted literally is not backed up by Geology, because the literal comprehension of standard doctrinal Christianity claims the “whole earth” is the entire globe, when Geology does in fact support Noah’s Flood, but as the regional catastrophe that the inhabitants of their known world saw it to be. That is how they experienced it, and that is how they wrote it down. (May I point out that God as the Creator of Nature has the power to use Nature to accomplish His purposes.)
Back to the record of Creation: the rigidity of doctrinal Christianity claims Adam and Eve as the first humans as well as citing Eve as “the mother of all living.” While the study of civilization shows people had histories preceding the people cited in the Bible, confusion may raise its ugly head. However, those rigid doctrinal claims omit a couple words that make the discrepancy a moot point. This is my understanding from what I read: God did not call Eve “the mother of all living.” Adam did. Read it for yourself. Also, those two people lived a secluded life in their monastic Garden of Eden. They had yet to meet the rest of Earth’s population. In my estimation, the “all living” referred to the offspring genealogy of the “sons of God” as differentiated from the “sons of Man.” (see Genesis, chapters One, Two, and Three.) Real people starting out in a new world, discovering the basics, the how-tos, and the new rules of the game of life.
Notwithstanding any debate of my assertions, there is something much more important to consider: Genesis One refers to the Spirit of God “hovering over the waters,” (Genesis 1:2). The Spirit of God is still hovering over us today. God is still in charge. He did not abandon His Creation. We abandoned Him. Yet, Jesus laments “… how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37) Also, John says something very similar in his Gospel, chapter One, verses 1–15, “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” (John 1:10–13)
So choose to believe in Jesus, receive Him, and be born anew as a child of God. Follow Him on the well lit path. It is a worthwhile journey.