A Search for Spirituality

Modules 2-3 A Sense of the Sacred; Spirituality Actualized

 

Essay topics:

 

A Sense of Alienation and Spiritual Need
Redemption

· (B) to the divine initiative

· Shouldn’t this be invitation, or was the mistake made on purpose to be regarded as possible answer?

· Response demands personal decision, followed by action.

· Faith is negated through absence of repentance, refusal of baptism/void of holy living.

· In lieu of above, I would have said not one option, but chosen C as human response to divine invitation demands personal decision, followed by action,

although I would no say wholly from man’s inner feelings.

 

 

A Sense of Alienation and Spiritual Need

Human needs profoundly affect human behavior. Thus the human community impacts faith. The human experiences a need for spiritual intimacy in order to advance to the divine in search for ultimate spiritual fulfillment.

 

The need for spiritual intimacy is expressed in desire for spiritual friends. Thus spiritual satisfaction is gained from small support groups offering Bible study and the need for spiritual intimacy can be found in the congregation. Social togetherness would aid the human spirit in its journey towards the divine Spirit so that social growth may continue. A spiritual friend would encourage spiritual vocation to help further search for Christ and pastors may well consider becoming spiritual friends. Through guidance the being may meet the divine Spirit.

 

Human needs become self-actualizing to move into freedom under God’s provision, growing faith. Everyone is shaped by faith in struggle for defining the self.

 

Guilt, expectations of society, need to win are all liberated by the dynamics of faith.

Therefore only Creator can determine values, as we are free to reflect God’s vision. The soul of man withers without expression. This results in a need to tell and share by testifying and witnessing. Thus in faith the name of God may be praised. By sharing the journey the life of the congregation may be enriched in anticipation of process of sharing.

 

Truth revealed may seem inconsequential to the next person, but may be regarded as a revelation of God. There is a need or even fear to reach out to God, as He created us with the yearning that we would need Him and reach out to His divine presence. The permanence of God’s presence is transcendental of all uncertainties. A new perspective can be gained from viewing the world from God’s perspective. This fulfills a deep spiritual need, as all life depends on the power of God.

 

Attending church as religious activity creates possibility of encounter of human with the divine. Humans need to submit themselves to God’s presence.

 

The sense of alienation serves for time to be afforded to give God better chance of ultimately meeting spiritual needs of human beings, who are little less than God. The need to experience the Holy requires awakening as it was for Isaiah in his vision “in the year that King Uzziah died” (Isa. 6), if faith is to have senses awakened in answer to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

 

Many faithful people have a notion of divine power and envisage effective power of God’s eternal love. A different sense of the divine is gradually expressed in different interpretations of divine power and perspective thereon. God’s creation owed responsibility for creativity in response to God. Thus God as divine creator works to effect purposes of the divine in all creation. Certain aspects of God’s character make Him both father and friend, in contrast to some stereotypical rigid images. God

 

displays His grace by redeeming, offering life a whole series of beginnings for those who experience a sense of alienation and spiritual need, in God’s liberating ministry of the world,enabling the eyes of faith to perceive a compelling vision.

 

At times probing questions are asked regarding existence of life. Some solutions are so unsatisfactory that these are cause for despair. The Christian answer to alienation is often in contrast with that offered by modern society.

 

The being of a person is often determined by factors outside our control, such as inherited traits, characteristics obtained from environment and being born in a particular country at a particular time. However, in the choices we make, our moral sense makes us question personal existence and the meaning of life.

 

Yet it is stated in the Bible that God created us in His image so as to reflect the character of God. In order for God’s holy, righteous love to be reflected people must become more than mere physical, materialistic beings, but explore the boundaries of their moral and spiritual nature. Man is unified in body and soul, as well as material and spiritual.

 

Spiritual needs can be met by living as God wills, enjoying fellowship of Creator and doing His will as well as discovering true identity as Christian. As fellowship with God results in growth being a child of God becomes significant in communication with God through means of prayer.

 

A sense of alienation results from failing to live according to God’s plan when the own will is asserted against the will of God and when the human way is preferred above God’s way. Yet much good can still be found in all races and people as the basic reason why people care for one another and strive towards improving the world is in answer to a spiritual need as we are made in God’s image.

 

Although a sense of alienation results, as we are not living in communion with God, there is still a spiritual need in that our moral nature yearns for goodness, truth and faithfulness. As Christians are all sinners we may not love God and our fellow men as we should, having lost the ability to have communion with God. In order to obtain fellowship with our Creator and aspire to be the people that He intended for us to be we rely on God’s assistance. God lends a helping hand as new life in Jesus Christ to answer spiritual needs.

 

Through Jesus Christ alienation is reduced in forgiveness of sin and the spiritual need is addressed of finding a real relationship with God the Father. The fact that we have minds to conceive ideas and to think contributes to us feeling that life is more involved than haphazard environmental effects.

 

A sense of alienation can be overcome by explaining origin and meaning of our lives with God as the ultimate answer and solution.

 

 

The fragmented view of living day to day in different compartments of political and social concerns and relationships do not form a unified whole, resulting in a sense of alienation, but in our spiritual needs Jesus is supreme over the whole of our lives, so our lives make more sense once a person comes to believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. A faith is required that makes a positive difference and improvement in our lives.

 

“Everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence. But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with Him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free. God offered Him, so that by His death He should become the means by which people’s sins are forgiven through their faith in Him.”

Romans 3:23-25

 

The belief that Jesus will return gives purpose to our existence. Loss of faith in God has resulted in a depressing, seemingly pointless life, yet true to the promise of Jesus our lives acquire meaning as faith provides a goal and purpose at the end of the road.

 

The gospel is not only about a new beginning, but a new way of living through the death and resurrection of Jesus offering a new relationship to us. There is no longer any need to be alienated and excluded from a real knowledge of God. We can know and experience God’s forgiveness.

 

The gospel of salvation by faith in God’s gift of Jesus Christ has met the deepest needs of people of all generations. Christianity accesses a source of love and life beyond ourselves and restores us to God’s image, to find peace in the storm and light in the darkness.

 

 

Redemption

 

Redemption can be defined as deliverance by payment of a price; salvation from sin, death and the wrath of God by Christ’s sacrifice.

 

In the Old Testament redemption was applied to property, animals, persons and the entire nation of Israel. Freedom from obligation, bondage or danger was secured by payment of a price or sum of money to secure freedom, favor or reconciliation.

 

The cost of redemption is emphasized in the New Testament by referring to:”the precious blood of Christ” (Eph. 1:7), also called an atoning sacrifice, “a propriation by His blood” (Rom. 3:25). Believers should remember price of redemption to encourage and motivate personal holiness(1 Pet. 1:13-19). The result of redemption is also emphasized in the Bible, stated as freedom from sin and freedom to serve God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

God has determined to exercise redemptive grace and man should be willing to receive His redemptive grace. When man breaks away from his Creator in sin, loss of grace is secondary, though ostensibly respectable, unimpaired in being, but unaware of his need for redemption.

 

The connection of creation with redemption is evident. Although creation is neither reconciliation not consummation, redemption and creation are grounded in creation in Jesus Christ, as Jesus Christ is essentially the redeemer of the world. The texts of Paul and John are in keeping with perspective of salvation and indicate mystery of redemption.

 

Jesus Christ as redeemer enables the sinner to remain in existence, by thwarting the annihilation for which man is inevitably heading in his sin. He holds him and lessens his fall so that his downfall is not final, by preventing the annihilating work of sin. Since God foresaw the fall of man, He took precautionary measures. Thus enduring existence is secured by Jesus Christ with view to redemption. Creation in Jesus Christ is the beginning of and a prerequisite for redemption. For this reason God did not have to repent having created man nor does he have to destroy him completely off the face of the earth nor finally revoke man’s creation.(cf. Gen. 6,7,13).

 

Christ as the Word become incarnate and as redeemer is fundamental in redemption. The sinner although guilty continues to exist. Despite man tearing himself away from his Creator, he is not annihilated, but remains on this earth. Despite his sin the sinner remains man/human. The reason is that God does not will the destruction of the sinner, but spares him for a change of heart, figuratively speaking, that is. God is able to spare him as He sent his only beloved son to die for our sins so no one may go assunder, but preferably all may inherit eternal life. Redemption contributes to the sinner’s continuing existence. Redemption enables the sinner to remain in existence, despite his sin, in order to participate in the grace of redemption.

 

Since all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory, they are justified by the gift of his grace,through redemption in Jesus Christ, put forward by God as expiation of His blood, to be received in faith. This indicates God’s righteousness, having passed over former sins in divine forbearance in order to prove His righteousness and justification of him who has faith in Jesus(Rom. 3.21-26). We are “justified by His blood” (Rom. 5.9);Christ was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” (Rom. 4.25) The objective fact of justification is accomplished in the redemptive death of Christ in connection with the resurrection as all men are redeemed in and by Jesus Christ.

 

The New Testament provides the answer of redeeming love with which the burden of the Messiah is assumed in suffering and death. Expectancy is fulfilled in, “God has spoken to us in His Son” (Heb. 1.2) We must have recognition for the initiative of God reaching a conclusion in, “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory” (John 1.14).

 

The cross of Jesus devises recognition in the community that gathers round its meaning in the sense that the redeemed must be redeemers. In a commitment to its saving purpose in the world. God’s faithfulness is established in our meeting Christ in Jesus. Redemption and resurrection constitute the meaning of every religion and compels us to request forgiveness proclaimed by Jesus.

 

The sound mind positively wills to think redemptively in every situation, intending salvation deliberately and hopefully. Such a mind is that of Christ linked with power and love in 2 Tim. 1.7.

 

Jesus Christ whose perfection was astonishing died a death reserved for those guilty of sedition or robbery or violence. He said regarding the Jews taking up stones, “I have shown you many good works from the father; for which of these do you stone me?” The Jews answered Him, “We stone you for no good work, but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, make yourself God.” (John 10:32-33) To be the Messiah He had to share their bad identity.

 

The victim of guilt can be saved by acknowledging guilt. In order to be healed Christ must be followed in an effort to obtain salvation and forgiveness. If we were to abandon our sinful nature we can obtain hope in an encounter with Christ. At least we must know the He has experienced and redeemed the whole of death, bringing meaning in apparent unreason.

 

Dread encompasses the experience of being alone that to preach Christ’s presence in it is a seeming contradiction. Those most identified with it are unlikely to experience the presence of Christ in the way that other Christians do. They cannot be healed unless they harbor a hope of redemption. This area of need establishes the battleground on which is fought the war for man’s soul.

 

 

 

For centuries morality and guilt have been the focus of religious interest and still are of importance in the church although the emphasis has changed to churchmen now concerning themselves with man’s more passive suffering. Faith endeavors to acquire transfiguration of premoral badness in order for a new hope of redemption to be available for many for who previously there may have been no hope at all.

 

The words “It is finished.” (John 19:30) is triumphant, as He dies knowing He is in the presence of the Father: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46)

His identity of the Son of God is restored: “Truly this man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39) Similarly the ecclesiastical character of man can be reformed by displaying the same faith in our Heavenly Father who grants us redemption.

 

The cross of Christ declares that no man is to be held answerable, yet man should answer by accepting God’s redemption. To be alienated is still to be at enmity with God, yet it becomes a communion with Him as the guilty discover Christ at the moment when they are powerless to be virtuous, yet wrongdoing remains contrary to God’s law. From this may be gathered that a correlation exists between the concepts of alienation and spiritual need which could almost be described as a prerequisite for redemption.

I certify that I have competed this contents without the assistance of another person.

 

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