How does one become a Christian? (a survey) - Page 3 - U2 Feedback

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Old 03-16-2002, 03:09 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally posted by zoomerang II:
Or if anyone out there could offer me just one thing to convince me to become a chritian, what would it be?
I agree with 80sU2isBest, but I'd like to offer a different wording for the same explanation:

I've heard, once or twice, that a group of acadmics and theologians were discussing the religions of the world and trying to determine what, if anything, separated Christianity from the pack. As the story goes, C.S. Lewis walked in answered the question very succinctly:

"Grace."

Whether the story is accurate, I do believe that its meaning is true. Christianity is uniquely defined by two aspects of grace: we need it, and God provides it.

By "grace", I do not mean any sort of physical dexterity (like the grace of a ballerina). Rather, I mean, "unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification," as Merriam-Webster defined it. The key phrase is this: unmerited devine assistance.

All of us need grace. I'm a Christian, but even so, I find it impossible to be consistent. I'm supposed to constantly love God and others, and yet the slightest thing - too little sleep, a little too much work - and I snap at people and become predictably selfish. I realize that through diligence and discipline, I can become a better person, but I know absolutely that, without God's help, I CANNOT become the person God wants me to be.

All of us are God's creations, but we've been given the ability to choose whether to obey or disobey His will. Ultimately, we've all disobeyed, creating a rift between us and God. Without a miracle from the almighty, that rift cannot be restored. And even after that restoration, a miracle is required to change us, so that we are no longer God's creations or servants, but His sons and daughters.

We need God's grace.

That, to me, seems to be obvious. It can be sensed through our sense of guilt and even through the sense that "something's not right", that how the world is simply does not match how the world should be. I believe this description of the world as "lost" is accurate; unfortunately, it's a bleak description indeed. As it stands, there's no hope that we can undo the mess we've made as a species or as individuals.

Fortunately, I not only believe that grace is needed, but that it is also provided. I believe that God is just, that our disobedience cannot be ignored. But I also believe that he loves us absolutely, and that He Himself took the punishment we deserve so that the rift between us can be closed, that we can be restored to Him. He became one of us, a human being named Jesus, lived the only perfect life in all of history, and was wrongly executed, taking the punishment for the wrongs we've committed.

The analogy is a judge whose son is guilty of some heinous crime. As a judge and defender of the law, he cannot let the crime go unpunished, or have its sentence diminished. But, as a loving father, he decides to take on the punishment himself so that his son can have a second chance.

God loves us absolutely and unconditionally. He loves us not because of the good we've done, because that good is not enough to erase the selfishness. He loves us DESPITE what we've done. He loved us before we worthy of being loved. And, through Christ, He offers this absolutely free gift of reconciliation to everyone, to all those willing to accept that gift.

That's the one thing Christ offers: grace. He teaches that we all desperately need grace and that He freely provides it.

In the words of a song we occasionally sing in church:

We owed a debt we could not pay;
He paid a debt he did not owe.


Or:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see.
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Old 04-04-2002, 10:24 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
Faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, the Son of God, who lived, died, and was resurrected.
Agreed. You sound like a Methodist there.
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Old 04-05-2002, 09:43 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally posted by zoomerang II:
Does anyone know the name of that book that Bono gave Noel Gallagher to read the day his father died?

Bono gave Noel "What's So Amazing About Grace" by Philip Yancey. I don't know that it was the day his father died, but I know he gave him that book.
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Old 04-05-2002, 01:44 PM   #44
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People like Falwell and Robertson give Christianity a bad name. Both of these guys and others like them are very judgemental of others. Well the God I believe in said that judgement was for Him and Him alone to do. " Judge not lest ye be judged." So I don't think these guys are good choices to represent Christianity. But when the liberal news media need a quote on the Christian religion they automatically go to Pat Robertson etc. because they know there is a good chance they will get a quote making Christianity look bad.
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