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October 12th, 2012 (2:13 PM).
I'm not entirely sure I comprehend your argument. As I see it (and please do correct me if I'm wrong!), this is what you believe:
1) We have one moral code ('turn the other cheek' etc.).
2) This directly contradicts God's stated intentions ('you will be punished for your sins' etc.).
3) Therefore God has a separate moral code.
4) Therefore morality is not universal - there is no 'right' way to behave. It all depends on who you are (i.e. God/human). There is no true morality - there is one rule for us and one rule for God in all circumstances (although occasionally these might be the same).
This whole 'turn the other cheek' subject must be understood within the context in which it was stated. Put simply, Jesus didn't want His followers (or anyone, for that matter) to follow the path of revenge. We all know what revenge is. However, it is important to understand that there is a difference between revenge and justice. Revenge simply creates more physical and emotional pain for the parties involved and is sprawled from an unholy hatred of a person or a group of people. Justice seeks to reward the good and punish the wicked. The former is wicked while the latter is righteous. When Jesus told us to 'turn the other cheek,' He was telling us to do the opposite of what our nature would want us to do: get even.
Now, it is crucial to understand that God is, indeed, a loving God. The world today has adopted this view of God as an all-powerful being who is sitting upon His throne in heaven, looking down upon the inhabitants of earth waiting for someone to do something wrong so that He may smite them. That's not who God is. He wants all to be saved and to enter the gates of heaven one day to be with Him eternally; the Bible says that God is a patient God and desires
men to be saved. This is why He sent Jesus. For those of you who do not know who Jesus was (and is), put simply, He is the Son of God. Why exactly did He send Jesus to earth? How does that display God's love for us in anyway? This is where the topic of justice comes back in.
The Bible says that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." The Bible also says that the punishment for sin is death: both physical and spiritual. While we must realize that God is a loving God, we must also understand that He is a
God. Therefore, sin must be atoned for somehow. This is why God ordained the animal sacrifices in the first five books of the Bible. He alone is holy, and he cannot stand the sight of sin.
However, these animal sacrifices were meant to be temporary: these sacrifices were only meant to lead to His ultimate plan. This is where Jesus comes in. Because He was and is the Son of God, He is
. This is what His death on the cross was all about
: because He is the perfect and living God, only His blood alone can
cleanse us from our sins. No other sacrifices had to be made because God the Father was satisfied with the sacrifice made on the cross.
is how God displayed His love for us through Jesus Christ. "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." While we were still his enemies spiritually, He allowed himself to be made a sacrifice for our sins and was thinking about all of us as he hung there on the cross. Yes, there is a hell. But God loved us enough to send His only Son to die for us. Even if you, reader, were the only person on earth He still would have come to lay His life down that you may be forgiven and allowed to enter the kingdom of heaven. His gift of everlasting life has been offered to all of us freely. How do we obtain it? We simply
it. The Bible says "it is by grace through faith that we are saved, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." We can't earn our way to heaven because we are sinful by nature (recall all the animal sacrifices even the righteous people in the Old Testament had to make); because we are sinful by nature, our good works will never be enough to get us into heaven. But Christ offers eternal life to us freely if we will only repent (change our way of thinking, turn away from sin and turn our lives towards Him) and put our faith in Him. Once we put our trust in Him alone for salvation, He saves us. In fact, the Bible says that we receive His Holy Spirit when we do, and that Holy Spirit is the assurance of our place in heaven. Salvation is through faith alone: not through any good works we can ever do. No one ever has to work for a gift, right? And that's what salvation is: a gift to all who are willing to receive it. And Christianity isn't about living a perfect life. I, and every Christian living today, are
from perfect. We make A LOT of mistakes. But God promised to forgive those who ask for forgiveness.
God does not follow a different set of morals: morality is ultimate and does not change with time. However, His ways certainly are different than ours. We think of our own plans, but He has even
plans in mind: for each and everyone of us. Salvation truly is through faith in Him alone: we are made pure by His sacrifice alone. When we ask Him to forgive us and to be our savior, he will never turn his back and reject our request. Certainly, all of this takes faith, but it is through our faith that Jesus will save us that God redeems us.
I hope I made sense in responding to your message. I love Jesus not because of anything on my part, but because He first love me.
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