Monday, April 09, 2007

A Morning Beyond Belief

I had an awesome Easter break in Adelaide with my mother, D and his family. During the weekend, I re-read the chapters in Philip Yancey's book "The Jesus I Never Knew" on Jesus' final week and resurrection.

I find the quote from John Irving so true. He said, 'Holy Week is draining; no matter how many times I have lived through his crucifixion, my anxiety about his resurrection is undiminished - I am terrified that, this year; it won't happen; that, that year, it didn't. Anyone can be sentimental about the Nativity; any fool can feel like a Christian at Christmas. But Easter is the main event; if you don't believe in the resurrection, you're not a believer.'

Yancey suggests another way to look at the world - taking Easter as the starting point, the one incontrovertible fact about how God treats those whom he loves, then human history becomes the contradiction and Easter a preview of ultimate reality. Hope then flows like lava beneath the crust of daily life.

After this Easter Sunday morning of celebrating Jesus' resurrection, I renewed the way I approach life - I re-committed myself to involve Him in every aspect of my daily life: spiritual, physical, social emotional, mental (personal growth), family & relationship, ministry, financial, business and community. I will call upon the Lord on all aspects of my life, I will bring all my decisions before Him, and I will not accomplish my ministry, business and work with my own abilities and resources.

Dear Lord, please help me to totally depend on You and trust in You as I learn to take every daily issue of life to You. Amen!

24 comments:

Kc said...

I might take exception with Mr. Yancey on his understanding of what constitutes a believer but I do appreciate the import on the Resurrection!

May God bless you to walk so close to Him and grant your request. May He bless us all with that same desire.

Kitty Cheng said...

Hi Kc, what is Yancey's understanding of what constitutes a believer different from yours?
Thank you for your blessing and encouragement brother!

Kc said...

While I do consider the fact of the Resurrection a critical truth and part of God’s plan and purpose I think the understanding of it is part of the milk that we as new believers receive. Even the Church at Corinth had to be instructed in this truth (1st Cor. 15:19). I hold to Peter’s confession concerning the man Jesus as being what constitutes a believer; “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”. I understand that those who believe this are born of God (1st John 5:1).

Kitty Cheng said...

So Kc, you mean if one believes that Jesus is the Son of the living God, then even if he/she doesn't believe in Resurrection, they are still a believer?

Corry said...

Kitty, my apologies. I hadn't been around on your blog for a while and found out yesterday, for no doing of my own, bloglines had kicked you off my list. It has happened before with others as well. And mea culpa, I didn't notice! Prolly still wouldn't have, had Kc not mentioned you yesterday.
Well, I put you back on my bloglines and hope this time it will let you stay on. And I will pay more attention to it!! Forgive me, sis.

(((HUGS)))

God's Grace.

Kc said...

Kitty I think the scripture I offered gives evidence that a person can be a believer and not know or understand the truth of the Resurrection. The Samaritans believed in Christ even though they didn’t believe in the Resurrection of the dead. Now a person who would deny this truth after the first and second admonition is an heretic and should be dealt with as such but I don’t find the knowledge of the Resurrection instrumental in soteriology, only the fact of it.

Kitty Cheng said...

Hi Corry, hehe that's ok. What do you put people on your list by the way? Do you mean 'favourites' or 'feeds'? (Parden my ignorance).

(((HUGS)))

Kitty Cheng said...

Kc, I am not so sure. I think the scripture you offered does give evidence that a believe doesn't need to know our understand the truth of the Resuurection (but that is only when Christ was on earth). Since Resurrection has taken place, I believe it should be instrumental in soteriology, not only the fact of it. From that regards, I agree with Yancey and Irving.

Corry said...

I mean feeds. Each time you make a new post, it shows up on bloglines. That saves me time from going by all the blogs to see who posted.

And I don't think you are ignorant at all. :-)

God's Grace.

Kc said...

Sis, not be argumentative, but wasn’t the letter to the Corinthians written after the Resurrection? ;-)

Kitty Cheng said...

Oh that's really good Corry. I don't think I know how to do that though! Thanks for putting me back there. ;-)

Kitty Cheng said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kitty Cheng said...

Brother, not be argumentative too, but i do have reservation about your point of view.

Yes the letter to the Corinthians was written after the Resurrection. But that doesn't mean Resurrection is not instrumental in soteriology. I believe the Corinthians already knew about this truth. Here Paul links himself with early Christian tradition. His source was other Christians. What he talks about in 1 Cor 15 about the resurrection of Christ is the heart of the gospel: that Christ died for our sins, that he was buried, and that he was raised from the dead. The gospel without the resurrection of Christ is not a complete gospel.

Kc said...

Sis thanks so much for your patience with me in this.

I know this will seem contradictory but I totally agree with your previous comment. It may be well to leave off there but you know what they say about fools and angels (and I’m no angel!) ;-)

What I was trying to address was specifically what it is that must be known (believed) about Jesus that would constitute the faith through which God grants us eternal life. When I look at the many examples in the scripture I only find that one belief to be common to all believers at the time of their conversion. We, as they did, must first accept Him for who He is before we can accept what He’s said and done is true. God adds to our understanding as we grow in our faith.

Yes absolutely, the Resurrection is instrumental in soteriology as well as the virgin birth, the Trinity and the oneness of God, the fall, the work of the Holy Spirit, the crucifixion, His blood in redemption, the new creation and all that God has done for us but is that knowledge and understanding necessary to constitute the faith through which God grants us eternal life? Is it what you know or who you know? Am I looking at this wrong?

Kitty Cheng said...

Hey Kc, I think you are shiny & nice like an angel! ;-)

Surely there are examples in the scripture that show believers must accept God for who He is, and then He adds to our understanding as we grow in Him.

But what do you say about verses like Romans 10:9, which specifically say that to be saved, you must confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead?

I guess what He's done (being rasied from the dead / resurrection) is closely linked with who He is. Jesus is the risen Lord!

Ross McPhee said...

It's good to want to honour God in all areas of your life. It's what I try to do, but like any of us, don't always succeed. Part of spiritual growth is the Holy Spirit convicting you of sinful things in your life that dishonour God, and that you need to repent of.

Kitty Cheng said...

That's so true Ross. We don't always succeed in honouring God in all areas of our lives, as we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. We can't do it in our own strength, but in His! It would be sinful to think that we could honour God using our own methods & resources.

Kc said...

Kitty as long as Corry keeps my secret here I can keep my halo and wings (hehe).

You are so kind and patient. If my thoughts or answers tax you please say and I will understand and leave off. I really consider this subject as a critical part of working out salvation and I never tire of discussing it, even after others have. ;-)

"I guess what He's done (being rasied from the dead / resurrection) is closely linked with who He is. Jesus is the risen Lord!" Amen!

Sis I understand the verse in Romans to be the conclusion of an explanation to the Roman believers of the difference between the self-righteousness of the law and righteousness in Christ. I don’t see it as establishing the knowledge required for faith but rather as explaining why their righteousness was by faith. In verses 6 and 7 Paul establishes the fact that to credit our selves as having attained righteousness would be for us to have brought Christ down and raised Him up. Verse 9 simply confirms that our righteousness is from God and not of our own doing by answering the rhetorical questions posed in verses 6 and 7.

I find verse 10 explains that we are made righteous before God when we believe but confession brings salvation. I understand this is the salvation of our life that Jesus spoke of in Mark 8:35. I think most consider that sanctification but I don’t use that term to describe it.

Corry said...

Kitty, it's quite simple. So simple, even I can do it! so I am sure you definitely can :-)

You can go here: http://www.bloglines.com/ and click on "follow blogs" in the left side-bar. Then follow instructions. Nothing to it, but it saves you lots of time by keeping you updated on who posted.

Have a wonderful, blessed day dear sis. :-)

(((HUGS)))

God's Grace.

audrey` said...

Hey Sister!!!

Wow! Wow! Wow!

Easter in Adelaide with Mummy, D and his family.
This is so exciting and encouraging.
I'm sooooo happyyyyy for you, Kitty.

(((HUGS)))

Kitty Cheng said...

Kc, I agree with you that verse 9 of Romans 10 confirms that our righteousness is from God and not of our own doing. However in verse 10, I understand salvation involves both inward belief ("with your heart") as well as outward confession ("with your mouth"). So the two parts in verse 9; namely, (1) confess that "Jesus is Lord," and (2) believe that God raised him from the dead (resurrection) are both necessary for salvation.

Therefore, I am convinced that a bliever is someone who believes that God raised Jesus from the dead.

Corry, I appreciate Kc's halo and wings hehe....I am sure you do too. ;-) Thanks for teaching me how to use bloglines. I'll try it.

Kitty Cheng said...

Audrey, yes we had a great Easter in Adelaide. Thanks for your care!!

Kc said...

Sis, in a very real holistic sense I do agree with you and I would not want to give comfort to any who might be tempted to keep secret their belief in any way. After our years of prayer and study together I am also persuaded that your confidence and assurance, as mine, is in God’s word alone. ;-)

Kitty Cheng said...

Amen Brother Kc! God's word is the ultimate authorty! ;-)