Title: Names of God; part 33. Being a son in the house of YHVH.
1JO 3:1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us [perfect tense: it is our permanent possession], that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
1JO 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.
1JO 3:3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
We owe our entire lives to Christ. We are in Him forever. We are His bride, His brothers and sisters, His servants, and He is our truest friend loving us more than anyone else and more than we can imagine. All of our hopes are upon Him and so we strive to walk in the counsel of truth from the scripture, obtaining the full knowledge of Him, so that we may be conformed to His image and thus purify ourselves as He is pure.
There are a lot of temptations, defilements, distractions, deceptions that oppose us and in their midst we become even more determined. We were made for this very purpose.
We always strive to purify ourselves in the accompaniment of this hope and never independent of it. “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” (JOH 15:5) “Walk by the Spirit.” This is grace and not works.
Pelagius was an English monk in the late fourth century who taught that human nature was not tainted by original sin and so man could perfectly fulfill the law by his own choice and do good without divine assistance. His teaching, Pelagianism, spread throughout the Roman Empire. Pelagianists touted free-will and denied predestination and taught that man could perform divine will without divine help.
Pelagius really pushed free-will and it seems that this became his appeal. In all falsehood there is some truth. Humans certainly have a free-will, but that doesn't mean that they are free to do anything. They are not free to be or to perform righteousness.
GAL 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
GAL 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
Your options are the deeds of the flesh or the fruit of the Spirit, and if it is by the Spirit, then the fruit is by grace and not by works, but with that fruit, we then perform the works of God.
As with all false teachings, they evolve, call themselves different names, change slightly and form into sects, and still plague the church through the centuries.
Pelagianism is decidedly false. We are in desperate need of divine help. “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” The branch must abide in the vine. The branch must depend by faith in the Holy Spirit who indwells him so that the Spirit will fill him and control him. Do not quench or grieve the Spirit of God. And while the Spirit controls the believer, he does not lose the control of his free will. He is fully influenced to make the right decisions based upon the truth that is within his soul.
One can break down his own world-view into four points:
Origin - creation by God
Morality - the law of Christ
Meaning - the glorification of God alone
Destiny - eternal fulfillment in love and joy.
I have filled in the proper world-view. We could choose better words perhaps, but the points all flow from grace, mercy, and love. God is our source. Our morality, which is our way, is the way of Christ. The meaning, which is the beauty, wonder, reason, etc. of life all flows to God's glory. God's glory is salvation by grace and all good things by grace whereas man's glory is salvation by works. Our destiny has always been eternal bliss.
Pelagius and countless others have filled in these answers differently. Specifically, for Pelagius, really only one of these is different - meaning. He substituted meaning as the glorification of man. If any of these are wrong, the whole divine world-view is destroyed.
Currently, our society has answered all of these wrong. Our society is fracturing before our eyes. Right is against left as well as ultra right and left, white, black, etc. More and more, the origin of man is believed to be nature. If there is no God of love then where does morality and meaning come from? Agnosticism, the belief that there is a God, but that He is not present and knowable as a loving God of grace, doesn't fix the issue. If God can't be known then we cannot obtain His help and so cannot know good and evil from Him. We're back at the same question. From where do we get morality and meaning and destiny?
It is not at all difficult to see that when a society erases God its guiding morality vanishes and the society fractures into many factions. It is also not difficult to see that such a society, weakened by internal division, is easy to conquer by weak but evil organizations.
One wonders how so much false doctrine could influence the church so greatly. There have been so many false ideas which have sprung into countless denominations. The history of the church serves as a warning to all of us to stick very close to the revelation of the word of God and to be very weary of our own conjectured ideas. It’s quite ok to think and reason, but it is not ok to do it without caution. False ideas that cater to our personal desires can spring up in any of our souls and defile the truth. We steer clear of this error by laying the foundation that is only found in the word.
A brief history of the world that Christianity came into:
Christianity was born in a manger. Yet the context of the manger scene was not as tranquil as we would like to think. Joseph and Mary were led to the city of David due to a decree from Caesar Augustus so that a census could be taken. The purpose of the census was taxation, and so the world about the manger was rife with bitter complaint.
LUK 2:10 And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people;
LUK 2:11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
LUK 2:12 "And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger."
But in the midst of intrigue, hatred, mistrust, and greed God so loved the world that He became a part of it.
Christianity is not an ethereal, eternal doctrine about God's nature, but rather it is the presence of God in the world in the person of Jesus Christ.
Christianity is the incarnation and so it exists in the concrete and historical.
JOH 1:9 There was the true light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.
JOH 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
JOH 1:11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
JOH 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
JOH 1:13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Christianity first came into a Jewish world that was framed with a Jewish world view.
As we know, this world view centered around the works of the law which was accompanied by the oral law of the rabbis and its meaning was man attaining righteousness through attaining and keeping those laws.
The area of what was to become known as Palestine lied at the center of the trade routes from Egypt to Assyria (Iran) and from Arabia to Asia Minor which led to the Continent. Palestine was constantly fought over and was ever a place of greed, wars, and seedy politics. The moral cult developed by the Jews from misinterpreting the Mosaic law and their oral law gave them an identity separate from all others who took turns ruling them.