November 28, 2015

Your Faith Box: The Fourth Foundation Belief "We can not do it by ourselves"

If you have been around toddlers, you have heard them say, "I can do it myself." It seems to be human nature to achieve something without any help from anyone. In fact, this attitude is not limited to four year old children. The iconic phrase "self made man" is used universality to describe a successful man, or woman for that matter. Politicians, especially those in the campaign season, remind us, "Anyone through hard work can make it to the top. Anyone can be the President." Mothers and fathers of young girls tell them they can do or be anything they want to be. This hard work theme is called in America, the Protestant ethic, but in reality, it is the Universal ethic of Humankind!

With this basic instinct, the young and inexperienced enter adulthood. Yes we enter the physical world with it's demands and trials, it's risk and rewards, it's ups and downs, but we enter it confidently because we believe, "I can do it myself!" While there are exceptions, most of us can do most things for ourselves, at least enough to live in the world. And some individuals can do amazing things most of us could never do.

But, and this is a big but, there is one thing no one can do for themselves. The wealthiest person can not do it, The most powerful man or woman can not do it. A strong willed person will fail when they try to do it. You can not get enough education at any level to do it. It is impossible o do it yourself!

Most of us when faced with a difficult task, one we can not do, avoid it or convince ourselves it is not important. That way, we do not have to deal with it and can go on living. Our way of doing it is to say it does not need to be done anyway.

Enough of this beating around the bush. What is this "it" no one can do? No one can do enough to reconcile themselves with God! Is this reconciliation important? You can bet your life it is important. We all will die at some point and when we do, we will be required to answer to the creator God for our actions on this earth. and we will all be required to pay for the evil we have done. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death.." (NIV)

As a Christian, you believe all humankind sins. We can not help it, our nature is to be a sinful creature. While this is a basic belief of Christianity, part of your own journey to maturity will be deciding for yourself how this sinful nature came to be part of humankind. But for now, it is our basic belief, we are all sinful beings. There is no one who has been able to avoid sinning.

Perhaps it would be useful to explain what is meant by sin. Sin is anything that separates you from God. Interestingly, there is nothing which separates you from God expect yourself. Nothing in nature causes that separation. No other person separates you from God. God neither desires this separation not does anything to bring it about. Only you can separate yourself from God. You bring about this separation by your thoughts and actions which are contrary to God's commandments.

So we find ourselves in a state of separation from God and we can't do anything to close the gap, to reconcile us to God. We can not do enough good works, feed the poor, cloth the naked, comfort the weak and ill. We can not pray enough or go to Church enough or introduce enough sinners to God or perform miracles or give enough money or give our life for someone else. As noble and righteous as all these things are, they will not save us; they will not reconcile us to God, they will not keep us from receiving the punishment our sins deserve. And the punishment we deserve is death, not physical death, we all are going to physically die, but eternal death. Eternal death is eternal separation from God. That is what we deserve.

Boy, those last  few paragraphs are downers. No happy times here. But the good news is God does not want us to be separated from him. God does not want you to be eternally separated from him. God wants to be reconciled with you. And further, he has a plan to help you do something you can not do by yourself.

May God Bless You,

If you have questions or if you need help your journey to be reconciled with God, feel free to contact me at   

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