A succinct translation of the Bible and Christ's salvation for us.
In memory and love of its author.
( Offered in the spirit of Gamaliel. Acts 5:34. s/C )
The Bible is a book consisting of the Old Testament and the New Testament. It reveals the word of God. It was compiled in the first instance by a people of faith, who believed in God, were "...accepted as righteous by God (...for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands all motives.)," ...and inspired with the spirit of holiness, recorded, preserved and communicated this treasure, for all people for all time. `It is the Book of books.' `Our good is its aim. The glory of God is its end.' Our understanding and acceptance of it enables us to live life beyond mere grasp and within due restraint. Our mastery of it is conditioned on its mastery of us. 'In making it known to others, use words if needed.' The Old Testament is proclaimed by the religions of Judaism through the Torah, Christianity through the New Testament, and Islam through the Koran.
`Read it to be wise, believe it to be saved and practice it to be holy.' Read it often, slowly, prayerfully, factually, allegorically, with confidence and in faith. God thus becomes known. "God is spirit...creator...love,...full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger and of great kindness...God shows no partiality, but in every nation any one who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to God...God is the same Lord of all and richly blesses all who call to him...God has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted...God shows us to call no one common or unclean...to respect everyone, love our fellow believers, honor God, and respect authority...It is God's power to save all who believe." 'God never deceives, but man deceives himself...God walks with the simple, reveals Himself to the humble, gives understanding to little ones, discloses His secrets to pure minds, and conceals His grace from the curious and conceited.' "God's Kingdom is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of the righteousness, peace and joy which the Holy Spirit gives." 'Unto God all hearts are open, all desires known, and from Him no secrets are hid.'
It spans from the beginning of time into the future of time. `It contains the character, nature and will of God,' (who stood "...with a plumb line in His hand")`...the condition of humankind, the way of salvation, the judgment of [unrepentant ] sinners, the joy of believers' and the sorrow of unbelievers. It defines sin as that which separates humankind from God. `Sin produces all perverse acts:' "...immoral, filthy, and indecent actions; worship of idols and witchcraft. People become enemies and they fight; they become jealous, angry, and ambitious. They separate into parties and groups; they are envious, get drunk, have orgies, and do other things like these...All wrongdoing is sin." Original sin continued is the basis of 'illness, violence rooted in hatred, greed, hopelessness, poverty, decayed families, drug abuse, inadequate work ethics, and a lack of skills to cope with life.' "In our natural condition we lose all feeling of shame, give ourselves over to vice and indecent things without restraint, ...and are destined to suffer God's anger." "Incline your hearts to fear, obey and love God that it might go well with you and your children forever."
It is the book of holy writings to which we "...neither add nor subtract," and that we interpret as enlightened by its `values and truths.' ‘When the words inspired humans wrote are read by people also enlightened by the Holy Spirit, the Bible’s spiritual meaning is clear.’ It becomes the word of God. `True power lies not in the letter of the text, but in the spirit that inspired it.’ "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, so that the person who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped for every good work." 'It contains light to direct us, food to sustain us, comfort to cheer us,' history to inform us, and events to ponder. `Its words lead to the Word of God in the incarnate Jesus of Nazareth.' It professes one earthly father, Adam, one spiritual father, Abraham, one heavenly Father, God, and one Savior Jesus the Christ - 'the Anointed, the Messiah, the only Son of God ...begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.' "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...He was in the beginning with God...God said, `Let us make man in our image.'" `Through Christ, God created the world; and through Him, God is redeeming it.' "All authority in heaven and earth is given to Him." By knowledge and free will we come to know and do good and evil. An awakened and convicted conscience and repentance are the beginning of redemption and salvation - forgiveness, hope, being conformed to Christ, eternal life......
`Christ is its grand subject.' It is fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ and continued by His sending the Holy Spirit to all who will receive it. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control...There is no law against such as these." He charges us to repentance with the promise of redemption by His grace,...'to have our roots and foundation in love,'...to renounce "the [evil] powers of this world" and that which nurtures them...'to be in and for the world, but not of it, and to live by His power and values.' "Salvation is found through Him alone; in all the world, there is no one else whom God has given who can save us...God became flesh and lived for awhile among us...Immanuel - God with us...Christ is the visible [ presence ] of the invisible God"...'totally God and totally man'..."tempted in every way as we are, but sinned not...God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life...God desires the salvation of all men...For this reason he sent his Son as Savior”...’He became like us that we may become like him...God made himself one with our humanity.’...”He is the incarnation of the love of God...This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." 'Through Him, every spiritual blessing is ours.'
"By Him, we come to know and believe in God...In the past God spoke through the prophets, but now God has spoken through his Son...By Him we are put right with God; we become one of God's holy people and are set free...By Him our faith frees us from everything that the law of Moses cannot free...The law was our discipline until Christ came...God gave the law through Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Christ knows no national boundary, nor exclusive gender or race. Moses led the exodus from human bondage; Christ leads the exodus from all bondage. Religious piety, individual morality, humanist justice, scientific truth, artistic beauty, social equality, philosophical inquiry, secular pragmatism, and concerns of body, mind and soul are subject to salvation in Christ 'There is no greater grace to assist the shaping of our souls than yielding to the Christ impulse within us...no proxies will do...you cannot carry a cross in company.'
"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves...Evil hates the light...The law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set us free from the law of sin and death...In order to set us free from evil, Christ gave himself for our sins...He carried our sins in His body to the cross...He died upon the cross...our sins are forgiven." Atonement completed! `A full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world.' Full because no greater love has one than to lay down one's life for another. Perfect because He was God incarnate. Sacrifice because He was man. Oblation because it was His free offering for our salvation. Satisfaction because all who believe in Him are forgiven of sin and have eternal life.
"Christ crucified - a stumbling block and foolishness to non-believers...but to those saved in Christ, it is the power and wisdom of God. He was raised for our justification...God has given us eternal life, and this life has its source in His Son...It is by God's will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all...God first loved and chose us - to be holy and without fault before him, through Christ." Through our free will we accept or reject being chosen. 'Choosing Christ is the way of salvation.' "His cross and victory are ours"
"No one comes to the Father but by me (Jesus Christ). I am the way and the truth and the life...I am resurrection...I am life...I am light...I am bread...I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth...I came that you might have life more abundantly...Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives...You cannot see the Kingdom of God unless you are born again - from water, and from the Holy Spirit...I will have mercy, not sacrifice...My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people...Not everyone who says to me `Lord, Lord' shall enter the Kingdom of God, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven...Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them...Many are called but few are chosen...Go to all peoples and make them my disciples...Love God, love your neighbor, love your enemy...Do not let your hearts be troubled and be not afraid...I and my Father are one...Follow me...I Am. The Sacrament of Holy Eucharist is ...for the remembrance of Me." (By it, `we celebrate the memorial of our redemption...we recall His death and resurrection.' By it, 'vices are cured, passions are restrained, temptations are lessened, grace is given in fuller measure, virtue is fostered, faith is confirmed, hope is strengthened, and love kindled and deepened.' A forgiven life in union with Christ is consummated in this Sacrament. "No more will God remember our sins and our iniquities.")
`In Jesus, we experience God. In God, we see Jesus'. His call for us is "...to accept Him,...to love and worship God in spirit and in truth...in humble fellowship,...to do what is just,...to be wise in what is good, but innocent in what is evil;" '...to fill our minds with thoughts that are good, true, noble, right, lovely and humble,...to work and not meddle,...to be humble, gentle, patient and understanding,...to look after widows and orphans in their distress,...to practice faith, hope and charity; fraternal love, relief and truth; temperance, fortitude, prudence, justice, peace and fidelity... to do the will of others rather than our own,...to possess less rather than more,' "...to take the lower place - regarding ourselves as less than others," '...to displace secular strength with weakness in Christ - vengeance with forgiveness, hate with love, greed with giving,...to be reconciled to those offended,...to avoid pride and spiritualist mediums and practices,...to desire and pray always that God's will may be perfectly fulfilled in us;' and `...to love, to live, to be' ‑ to be all we can be in Christ: `bringing love to the unloved, freedom to the bound, wholeness to the distorted, peace to the disturbed,' hope to the discouraged, acceptance to all; `to accept our self when accepted, to forgive our self when forgiven, to love our self when loved;' to forgive and forget; to be free by love and truth expressed; to be thankful and to realize all fruits of the Spirit; to be "pure in heart," obedient to His new covenant; and "to be a good person, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, bringing others to the Lord." 'The only Christ another may ever know is the Christ they know in us.' "As we have done it to the least of these, we have done it to Him."
"It is by God's grace that we are saved through faith...We are justified by faith in Christ without works." `Faith in the Word separates those who are saved from those who are lost.' `Faith follows evidence and precedes understanding.’ "Faith comes from God...Seek and it will be found." Claim it. "Its testing develops perseverance." Faith overcomes doubt, 'expands by obedience, unfolds in a moral life, acts through fraternal love, maintains itself through fidelity and ends in eternal life.' "You will be with Me in Paradise. " "Faith without works is dead...God created us for a life of good deeds...When we have done all that is commanded, we are still an unworthy servant; we have only done what was our duty...Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message comes through preaching Christ...If we deny Him, He also will deny us ...Denial of the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”....’It is God’s gift to those who obey him.’...”Salvation comes from faith in Christ, Wisdom from faith in and doing the will of God." “By faith we are made whole.” By our choosing Him we are by election, adoption and grace chosen of God, through Jesus Christ, our Mentor, Redeemer, Savior, Lord. "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Amen.
("The members of the Council were amazed to see how bold Peter and John were and to learn that they were ordinary men of no education." Acts 4:13. "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and set aside the understanding of the scholars." 1Cor 1:19, Is 29:14. "Prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but man spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." 2 Peter 1:21. 'It is faith and a holy life that is required, not a lofty intellect or knowledge of the profound mysteries of God.' When logic is exhausted, believe and know. Ponder the Bible with prayer, faith and discernment for the revealed word of God. It is revealed. 'Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation.' 'It is a chronicle written by our ancestors in faith as they walked through history in the presence of God.' "See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ." `Religion lies in the will, as does righteousness.’ “Faith, prayer and healing are Bible based . ’’Affirm "the priesthood of all believers." Pray for all laity and ordained `...that they may be faithful ministers of the word and sacraments,'...living and communicating 'our relationship with God through Christ.' "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few...Ascribe to the Lord the honor due His Name; bring offerings and come into His court.")
Build upon Christ, Certainty of theology, Commitment thereto, Communication thereof, Community therefrom.***
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