To be a Christian, one needs baptism in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. This set-up was conditionally composed by Jesus, after His resurrection. However, while used as a basis for delineating a widely adopted Trinitarian construct, these fundamentals have a different conjecture. The viewpoint of Jesus was different from the adopted Trinitarian stance.
Like any structure, without the foundational corners, it cannot stand. We have to analyze the composition of these fundamentals, according to the Biblically availed information. This is not a treatise of some sort, but Biblically sustained. The Christian Church is a Spiritual organism without communicable structures.
To understand this fully, the reader is advised to suspend “worship,” when unnecessarily imposing blinkers. Jesus would have made it clear, before leaving, if necessary for Him to be worshipped. While a great teacher, Jesus never invited or insinuated being worshipped.
He maintained being as equal as any of His disciples, yet being Christ. Jesus was not a religious leader. He maintained His allegiance to the Jewish community, using Scriptures that they had overlooked. His superior knowledge and miraculous performances separated Him from the rest.
Bear in mind, Judas Iscariot had to use a kiss, to facilitate His arrest. Otherwise, Jesus could not be easily identified among the disciples. He was as ordinary as everyone else among those disciples was ordinary. Jesus is a cornerstone, based on His Role as the Messiah and the vast educational information obtainable from Him.
His knowledge had nothing to do with His physical appearance or His communal background. He provided practical solutions for those intending to reconcile with God. His birth publicity was merely for prophetic timing, more than conferring His glamour. Jesus was not pious but maintained His allegiance to the Jewish religion.
His cutting age was His accurate understanding of the Scriptures. His messages were truthful, against the corrupt Pharisaic leaders. He never sought to take over the Jewish leadership structures. His mission was to advance the truth, without considering the consequences. Below is an analysis of the scope of the fundamentals of Christianity to guide believers in our time.
Jesus never referred to God by any other term, except “Father.” The term Father is significant to humanity, created in God’s image. The legitimate basis for calling God the Father is two-fold. The first implies recognizing the source. The term “Father” means source. The second reason establishes the reality that humanity is not different from God.
Under normal conditions, God cannot be separated from humanity. It is impossible to refer to God without referring to oneself. This truism was scantly communicated to Moses, who, although duplicating what he heard, could not understand the significance therein.
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you’”(Exodus 3:13-14 NIV).
One cannot pronounce “I AM” without referring to oneself. God was in Moses, who stood in God’s position. Unbeknown to most people is that when confronting God’s servant, one would be confronting God. Had God been as petty as humans, none could escape God’s, wrath, when considering the portrayed stupidity. I shudder to imagine the behaviour of the body-guard who smacked Jesus for, supposedly, answering the High Priest, disrespectfully:
When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this how you answer the high priest?” he demanded. “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”(John 18:22-23 NIV)
The poor fellow had no idea of who Jesus was. To him, this was the common behaviour of security men, exercising their official duties. But the person being slapped was none other than God. The stupidity of humanity is, indeed, intolerable by human standards.
Jesus could have caused Him to drop dead, instantly, to prove that Jesus was not ordinary, but God. In his dealing with Pharaoh, Moses also represented God. The term God is embracive of humanity, as aptly pronounced by John, to those susceptible of failing to understand Jesus.
“We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister”(1 John 4:19-21 NIV).
John inferred that there was no difference between God and humanity. But that is an unsellable truth to humanity, caught up in sinful conditions. How can humanity even be scantly likened to God? Jesus had to evade stoning, for insinuating that statement.
Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”
Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’?If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside—what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?(John 10:31-36 NIV).
It is unimaginable for humans to even insinuate being closer to God. This stems from the ignorance of the term, “God”. The Jewish traction had full support from the general public. The Ten Commandments incorporate not likening God to anything physical. This Law includes that humans, created in God’s image cannot be likened to anything physical.
The classification of humans stems from lacking knowledge that humans are not physical, but Spiritual. To those Jews, Jesus sought to show that their identity was not physical but Spiritual. This had a Scriptural basis, as opposed to their assertion, without a Scriptural basis.
Christianity starts with appreciating being God’s child. This refers to repenting from pursuing falsehoods. This is the first of the fundamental principles of Christianity. Rather than recognize God as Father, humans’ identity is commonly, based on racial lines. But the establishment of God’s Church is according to Jesus’ delineated identity, (Matthew 16:18-19).
Although identified as the son of Joseph and Mary, Jesus was God’s child. That truth was not known by ordinary humans but carried the value of Christianity. Jesus instructed His disciples not to call anyone on Earth, “Father”. “And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven” (Matthew 23:9 NIV).
This pronouncement was not meant to apply to ordinary humans. It applied to those having become God’s children, although unknown by those of this world (John 14:17). True Christians view God as their Father because they are not different from God.
The aspect of the Son represents another component of the fundamentals of Christianity. Jesus declared being the way the truth and the life. As humans, we would not have known God as our Father, without the services of Jesus. Bear in mind that the relationship between God and humanity was separated during the Garden of Eden incident. From then on, God ensured that humanity would not access the Tree of Life, which symbolized the precious Holy Spirit.
And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken(Genesis 3:22-23 NIV).
The above Scripture refers to a Man who became the opposite of the one created in God’s image. The decision to block humans from accessing the Tree of Life prevented humans from attaining the status of Satan. The death penalty refers to a period before readmission into God’s Kingdom.
Banishing humanity from the Tree of Life was not an undesirable verdict. It was a decree, to protect humans from condemnation. Jesus said blasphemy against the Holy Spirit would be unforgivable (Matthew 12:31-32). Only Jesus’ death would revoke the banishment against accessing God’s Kingdom.
However, dying without Jesus’ truth cannot help anyone. It leaves a person still in bewilderment and susceptible to reverting to a sinful condition. Jesus, therefore, came to be our Savior, with a clear program of redeeming those willing to be identified with God. There is nothing sacred about Jesus when identified with humanity. Hence, it is misleading to make Him a member of the so-called Trinity.
Jesus serves as the atonement for humanity. His role is to stand in our stead, bearing the punishment on our behalf. He is God, just as anyone having received God’s Holy Spirit is God. This does not mean being worshipped after having received God’s Holy Spirit.
If Jesus was not worshipped, why would a Christian expect to be worshipped? Jesus intercedes for humanity. Christianity implies taking on the behavior of Jesus, rather than remaining with an attitude of desiring to be served. To emphasize this point Jesus performed the unthinkable:
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them” (John 13:12-17 NIV).
Jesus, as our Savior, suggested the principle of service to His disciples. This was not necessarily a ceremony, as some might assume. When dealing with the truth, ceremonial considerations fall out. Those who accused Jesus of violating Sabbath laws could not understand.
Nonbelievers are free to observe whatever ceremonies. But that does not apply to those having been redeemed from the death penalty. If worshipping Jesus was important, the disciples would have been told. Instead, we see Jesus demonstrating servitude, by washing their dirty feet. Jesus also said what could not be comprehended by the Trinitarian worshipers:
“Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matthew 12:32 NIV).
This leaves no shadow of any doubt that the idea of a Trinitarian doctrine is misleading. How could the Son of Man be treated badly without consequences, yet being a member of the Trinity? How does Jesus connect with the Spirit, whose blaspheme against, cannot be forgiven, in this life and in the life to come?
The last component of the fundamentals of Christianity is the Holy Spirit, sealing those identified as God’s children. The Holy Spirit does not need worshipping. Those having received the Holy Spirit are God’s Household. They are God, just as the Father is God and Jesus is God. None in God’s Household needs different treatment.
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. The whole building is joined together in him and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord”(Ephesians 2:19-21 NIV).
The above passage nullifies the idea of categorizing people in God’s Household. Typically, a complete structure cannot be categorized according to its different parts, as they compose one unit. Even the decorations embroidering the structure are similarly as important, although the foundation carries more.
One cannot worship the Holy Spirit, except allowing Him to perform according to His will. That is the role of Christianity. Anyone’s marvellous works invite adoration towards God. True worshippers appreciate God’s work and being edified, accordingly. Without understanding the significance of these three fundamentals, there is no Christianity to talk about.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.
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