(This post uses asterisk and superscript footnotes.)
At the center of the Christian Faith is the Heart itself. It is where all the big battles are fought, with the brain in the second place. Christians are what flies in the face of immoral living. We are not of this world, we do not belong to itA. We belong to God instead, and therefore we should believe in His will for us.
He has given us very clear and concise instructions on how to live. Many people quote the Bible and cherry pick, which is a big mistake. There should be an obvious reason why Christians don’t go around stoning people for Leviticus. It is because that moral system has been fulfilled and now we live by the other moral guides in the NT which are often repeats of other codes found in the OT.
Now, the objective in Christian morality is not to become a legalist and not to become lawless. Legalism is the over-enforcement of either Christian laws or abuse of authority under the Christian name. We MUST ACCEPT beforehand that obeying God is meaningless if there is no love for God (and consequently, other humans) or faith.
The line has been drawn clearly for us Christians: We must love God with all of ourselvesB, and in doing so, we offer ourselves up to become clay—to be transformed by God into something He can use. And this transformation process is permanent unto the day we die and beyond. No one gets into Heaven by simply believing and making zero effort to gain Divine Perspective (to think like Christ) or to change your ways. No one gets into Heaven by being a do-gooder and not believing. It is both and that action is verily summed in one word:
Repentance. (Such a dangerous sounding word. Trust me, it’s nowhere near as bad as it seems. It’s rather remarkable!)
Repentance is the turning away from sin, it is acknowledgement that you have done wrong, and it is the understanding that since you have done wrong, you must right it. God doesn’t want just part of youB; not on Sundays, not every night when you commit a ritualistic prayer (that God “won’t hear” if you don’t mean it), not whenever you get a five-minute revelation (which is also false revelation), He wants ALL of you. This means control over everything. God cannot be compartmentalized.
Repentance is the combination of faith and works, when considered as a whole. It is utterly importantC.
If you have the Divine Perspective, you will not ever be the same again. Your life will turn around for the better. You will not have to hold yourself to God’s Law, you will find you already obey it. This means in every aspect of life.
God has given us clear instructions on how to be better through our actions– He has given us His instructions on how to live in order that we may come closer to the Divine Perspective. Without the Divine Perspective it is utterly futile and meaningless to contend for any kind of liberty.
But all this morality stuff… It’s not all… is it? What’s it do for us?
It changes us, but not cosmetically. It changes us from the inside out. It molds so deeply it transforms all. The beauty of the world becomes evident. The worth of every being becomes evident. Every foolish thing we hold onto because of greed and gluttony… it all fades away. Hatred is swept away. Patience, love, virtue, it all becomes a part of us. Vanity switches with humility. It is a miracle of God’s Work that occurs within us all when we attain Divine Perspective!
Instead of seeing the dark around us, we begin to see the light that’s within everything. That is what we are going for: the good in it all. The love we all seek whether we know it or not. Once we attain the Divine Perspective the concepts of good and wrong aren’t just rules anymore— they describe to us the nature of God*.
Yet, this cannot be done if God has not given us the moral system to get there. There’s no condemnation here. God made it very clear that everyone can be saved. It is up to us to head down the harder road that teaches us all the valuable lessons to be learned.
* – We cannot have the Good God where Good and Evil are not permanently defined or true. In the same breath we can say that sin is a crime against the Good God and humanity. Without sin, there is no concept of Good and Evil, and without a clear cut Good and Evil morality becomes an opinion and this subverts God on every level.
A: John 15:19, 17:13-16; Romans 12:2; 1 John 2:15-17 (Not of this world)
B: Mark 12:30
C: Luke 13:3; Ezekiel 18:21-23; 2 Chronicles 7:14; 1 John 1:9; Acts 3:19, 8:22; Mark 1:15; many more…
The Divine Perspective, as discussed by Mattie Montgomery in his spoken word song “Vision” (very quick, worth a listen): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cQbjygL0QM
Bible Verses to look at (there are more that I am neglecting to put due to it being 2:44 AM; but, in a snarky manner, I suggest reading the entire Bible, along with the apocrypha for good reads):
1 Corinthians 10:24
John 14:15, 15:19, 17:13-16
The entire book of Romans
1 Thessalonians 4:3
1 John 2:3-4 (very important), 2:15-17 (very important)
Matthew 5:17-22 (very important), 15:3