. A few years ago a man in Chicago bought a framed picture at a pawn store for $500. The picture of Renaissance genre was beautiful. Every detail was clear and the colors were indeed lovely to behold. Since the price was reasonable there was no reason to think that the painting was anything but genuine. However, after the man got back home and began to examine the painting more closely there emerged a totally different picture. One that would rock his world. While the painting he purchased for only $500 was indeed a masterpiece in itself, what was really the true art was something no one would have imagined.
It was noticed that under the surface paint of the visible picture lay 'another' painting of much greater value. Much greater detail. Much greater quality. What was hidden by a very good picture was a actually a Rembrandt painting worth millions. The original painting was the real deal. The real thing. Now revealed and now not covered up by a painting that looked nice, looked of quality, but was not the real deal. Not the actual true painting the original was meant to be.
The beauty of the false painting obscured the real painting that lay behind it for centuries.
Modern Christianity is much like this painting scenario I have just described. There was an original picture of truth Jesus taught, the early Church leaders taught , such as John, Polycarp, Ireneaus, Athanasius, and all of the early church leaders.
In time with the coming of Augustine of Hippo, the true understanding of the love of God, the Adoption of humanity and the Inclusion of all of humanity into the life of God was "painted" over with a new and different theology. The original painting , the "Rembrandt", if you will, was completely obscured from the view of mankind. ( Except by a few.)
Dualism came into the picture. Separation from the loving Father came into the picture. A retributive God came into the picture to punish and torture men who would not like and love him back. ie, Hell fire and torment. The Gospel became anything but the 'Good News'. It became really bad news for many people.
But the truth of God is that God loves the world. He is not mad at us at all. Jesus takes upon himself in the incarnation all of the sins of the whole of mankind and reconciles all of humanity and saves all of humanity in Himself. We just have to know it and believe it.
Grace is a Gift. No rules to live by. No things to do or not do. Just a gift to be received and accepted and believed.
God is a Father who loves all of us with a love that can not be put into human words.
So, I won't try. But God the Father loves YOU. Yes YOU. And Jesus has made all the arrangements to have you live with Him and the Father Forever in His Eternal Kingdom. You can be there and enjoy it if you will believe it.
Tainted By Sin, Saved By Grace
1 week ago