About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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From Confusion To Clarity  

 

I have lived in Evangelical Christianity my entire life, so I am familiar with its culture.  Over the decades I have heard preached what I call "the gospel to get."  It is the gospel to get saved, get heaven, get healed, get blessed, get whatever we can and live happily ever after.  That distorted view of the Biblical gospel must be balanced with what you could call "the gospel to give."  The Biblical gospel is just as much about what you give to Jesus as it is about what you get from Him as seen in the Biblical definition of faith.  Faith as it pertains to salvation means to hand your life over to Jesus and trust Him with it.   

 

Once you trust your life to Jesus and receive His Spirit you enter into a spiritual environment that is entirely unknown to you.  Knowing how to manoeuvre through this new Holy Spirit permeated environment can be confusing and even frustrating at times.  It is not come to Jesus and live happily ever after as the gospel to get often implies.  There is some conflict and confusion to work through as Galatians 5:17 suggests.

 

"For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want."

 

Learning how to adjust to this new world is a process by which you are transformed in your thinking processes.  Romans 12:2 puts it this way. 

 

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what Godís will is  ó  his good, pleasing and perfect will."

 

As Christians we can expect a certain measure of confusion and frustration as we walk the paths of the unfamiliar territory of our new world.  This is the process by which we learn how to live in Jesus' world.  It is called discipleship.     

 

Lynn Anderson, in her 1970 recording sang this.  "I never promised you a rose garden."  In like manner, Jesus never promised us the Garden of Eden in this life.  He actually promised us the opposite.  John 16:33 says this:

 

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world."

 

Conflict, confusion, and frustration are part of normal Christian living.  If this is not your experience you might ask yourself if you are actually walking the paths of this new world or just sitting at its doorstep.  If, however, this is your experience, give thanks to Jesus.  It tells me that you are manoeuvring your way through your new world where each step you take is a step away from confusion and a step into clarity.

 

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