How possible can it be to check the authenticity of the Christian faith, to avoid deception? This is in line with the exhortation given by Jesus to His disciples, but also applicable to everyone in need of truth:
“Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5 NIV).
There are seven reasons traditional Christianity does not holistically represent Christ’s followers. They could be more, but when addressing these seven, one could be freed from the rest.
The first area of avoiding deception is separating the spirit from the flesh.
Jesus’ racial background was Jewish but spiritually represented the entire humanity. He was constantly in conflict with the Jews, who were unaware of the racial identity being inapplicable to spiritual identity. The Jewish traditional worship cannot be applicable to Christianity.
The dos and don’ts of the Law, while strictly applicable to physical flesh, are not applicable to God’s children. The Israelites contended with the physical application of the Law, which is spiritual. The two structures are not related and are in conflict with each other.
The two can now relate, due to Jesus’ death on the cross. God said to Moses: “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live” (Exodus 33:20 NIV). God’s Spirit requires physical death, to function without friction. The body is overwhelmed by physical appetites, the principal of which is sex.
In his Gospel Book, John confirmed this reality. “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known” (John 1:18 NIV). Jesus became the only human being who had ever seen God.
For the purpose of our salvation, Jesus died, so that, at last, humanity could then, see God and live. The Israelites, from Moses’ time, were not consistent with Law-keeping. They were advised of the importance of abiding by God’s Laws, summarized in the Ten Commandments. The purpose of Law-keeping was to maintain a good relationship with God. Although living in flesh, the Israelites were exposed to Godly standards.
On one occasion an expert in the Law stood up to test Jesus “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He replied, “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered: “’Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, Love your neighbour as yourself” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live” (Luke 10:25-28 NIV).
The Law expert, who desired to trap Jesus, came up with a clever rejoinder: “And who is my neighbour?” (Luke 10:29). Rather than give him a direct answer, Jesus used the Parable of the Good Samaritan, to illustrate the significance of a neighbour (Luke 10:30-36). The Parable is unambiguous.
The Good Samaritan put himself in the shoes of the injured person. He did exactly what he would have wanted others to do to him, had he been the one injured. The most important aspect of the parable is casting the significance of Law-keeping.
In giving the Law to the Israelites, God intended to reveal the principle of loving the neighbour. Jesus illustrated this by first projecting the recognized religious authorities in Jerusalem: the Priest and the Levi. These were strict Law-keepers. But they were spiritually not related to God.
The Good Samaritan projected God’s mind. The Good Samaritan went out of his way, to help a stranger. His conduct was outside common human behaviour. He practised unconditional love, which identifies with Godly character.
The Good Samaritan exercised compassion, not enforced by anyone. He took the responsibility to pay for the accumulative medical expenses, rather than look for the relatives of the injured person.
Whether married or not, the man must have had other responsibilities. But nothing could override addressing the condition of the injured person. His pleasure was in serving human life, more than anything else. That mind is Godly. Ordinary humans may do so, but include advertising such kindly acts.