Jesus On The Soul…pt 2 Mark 8

And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.( Mark 8:34-38)

We have been examining the teaching of Jesus on the value of the soul. The teaching came in response to the reaction of Peter to hearing that Jesus had to go to Jerusalem to be handed over to the gentiles, suffer and die. Neither Peter nor his contemporaries could  conceive of such a Messiah. Why would the Lord allow Messiah to apparently be defeated?

This underscores the stark difference between the “things of man” and the “things of God”. Man cannot appreciate the gap between himself and God, he doesn’t grasp the extent of the fall, and his descent into sin, therefore the idea of the cross is repugnant to Him.

The natural man looks dismissively at the spectacle of the Son of God on a cross, and thinks, ‘Our redemption required that? Are we really that bad? Is that what it takes to save us?’. This is the same reason modern man cannot believe in the teaching of the final punishment described as hellfire. Speaking from the perspective of natural man, they would say ,’No one is so evil, that they deserve eternal conscious torment! Not even Hitler!’.

Having no revelation of God, they can’t believe that there is any being in the universe who is so august, and so important and authoritative, that to sin against him is to merit eternal punishment. But when men see who God truly is, or should they ever get a revelation of His holiness and perfections, they say with the prophet Isaiah, “Woe is me,I am undone, I am a man of unclean lips, and dwell among a people of unclean lips, for my eyes have seen the King!”.

Those who have seen God, know there is a hell, and that but for the grace of God, they should rightly have to go there.

Calling the crowd of would be followers together, Jesus presents a seeming paradox of the soul. That those who seek to save their own lives, always end up losing them, but those who are willing for the sake of God, to let go of their lives, they end up truly living.

Thus the Lord teaches us that the soul, your very being, is a gift of God, but it’s well-being, cannot  be an end in itself. Happiness, which is deep and justified satisfaction with life as a whole,, cannot be attained when sought as an end. These things are by products of being right with God.

On the one hand the world says, ‘seek your self, trust your heart, find your own happiness…’. It pushes self-esteem, urges self-assertion and self-confidence. The world’s philosophy teaches us that, “to your own self be true” above all else, and that we must learn to love ourself, before we can love anyone else. This conventional wisdom seems so true and natural, that it is rarely questioned.

But the Gospel offers us counter intuitive teaching. It insists that self-seeking is not the road to ‘fulfillment’. Jesus’ insistence that true happiness can only be attained as we let go of the self, and renounce our own righteousness, and be willing to see ourselves as God sees us, just doesn’t feel right to most of us. We would never come to self-renunciation as the path to true life and happiness by following our feelings.

In my youth, the thing I dreaded the most, was admitting that I was a sinner. I couldn’t entertain the idea that I was truly damned and worthy of hell. (Purgatory, maybe, but certainly not hell, after all, I am no Hitler or Charles Manson!). I justified myself, from as many angles as possible, assuring myself that I had never killed anyone, or stole someone’s wife, or took heroin!

But when I read for the first time the Sermon on the Mount, and realized that I would not be compared to my own standards of good and evil, but to the Ten Commandments, part of me began to die. Especially, after I read Rabbi Jesus’ interpretation of the law, that it was internal, and not merely external.

I had indeed mentally ‘murdered’ many people,and had been an adulterer at heart many times over. The part of my soul that always leapt to my own self defense, citing this good deed, or that comparison with ‘worse’ sinners, shriveled up and died, and I came to the point that I had always dreaded; I realized that I was a lost sinner, a transgressor of God’s law, a rebel against God.

I let go of my sinful soul, acknowledging God’s charges against me.

It was only at that point, that I could actually begin to live, because making that confession opened me up to receive the gift of God’s righteousness, and to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. Convicted of my sin, agreeing with God about the state of my soul, and bereft of my former sense of self-righteousness, I stumbled one day upon this glorious verse,

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.( 2 Corinthians 5;21)

It was only then that saving faith entered into my soul and I came alive. Hallelujah!

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27 Responses to Jesus On The Soul…pt 2 Mark 8

  1. Thanks be to God I understand so much more than yesterday. Day by day He leads me into more truth, more wonderful times, alone with Him. His Word reveals errors in places which should have no errors, and would have none, if His Word was taken literally and as intended. “sanctified by your glory and fire” one of the songs in my church yesterday…
    Not so! Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them by the Truth, Thy Word is truth”
    I cried for weeks after being saved, He was showing me my self, I had forgotten so much of the things I had done, and as I remembered, I wept because He had forgiven me. A Holy Saviour forgave me..me.. wretched as I am. I have been burdened lately because I seem to be unable to convince people to turn from themselves to God.
    My neighbour says she is her god. I think I shuddered inside.
    Was so horrified I was totally useless; only later did I feel angry with myself for not saying, “You cannot save yourself”
    And even this is forgiven me! Praise His Wonderful Name. Thank you Pastor Bill.

  2. glynn says:

    Pastor Randles,Which comes first The Glory of God{That Being than which none greater can be conceived] or the benefit of man as far as God Himself is concerned?

  3. glynn says:

    Pilot asked the most profound question a man can ask, namely what is truth? The devil struggles with this issue but is fundamently incapable of answering it. Why didn’t Pilot wait for an answer when he would have received it.Perhaps he lacked patience.

  4. His name was Pilate, not Pilot! The devil does not struggle with the issue of truth, he rebelled against it, The most fundamental question a man can ask is not what is truth but how can I be rid of my sin

  5. glynn says:

    Thanks for correcting my spelling of the name Pilate.We as christians are to have are deep reverence for truth.Is there any kind of relationship between truth and sin? The Truth Jesus is is certainly sinless according to biblical teaching.Nevertheless 2Cor5;21 He made Him……to be sin.etc etc.How could He become sin and somehow keep His Purity intact? Intellectual insight into the meaning of Truth is meritorious and the question you ask is of vast existential significance for every christian.Some say if we know the truth about sin we’ll know how to get it out of our lives.This is one hope of christianity. Hamartology{hope I spelled it right] is the science of the study of sin.St Paul gave a hamartological doctrine saying ” one man brought sin in another took it out”Did St Paul slip into illusory hope on this one point or does this simply imply some mystical property of The Blood? One wonders why the cross did not bring and end to original sin. Finally you need to know the truth to know how to terminate sin from your life.

    • I put no trust in my flesh, my self, my intellect, all are flawed; the Bible says Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own UNDERSTANDING, in all your ways acknowlede HIM and He will direct your steps Proverbs 3 vs 5.6
      “one man brought sin in, another took it out” I cannot see in my Bible; it must be a paraphrase..the unholy man centred Message, maybe ?
      As for terminating sin in your life, you will never do it! We were born sinful because of Adam’s fall (includes all human beings from that moment on)
      Jesus became sin for our sakes, that we might be made righteous (through Him alone) I am sorry I haven’t time to say more today as I am expecting friends here soon.

  6. glynn says:

    Dear Pastor Randles;When I say my prayers in my room is it proper to say “I plead the Blood of Jesus upon loved ones “Or is that superstitious or illusory in the Freudian sense?

  7. maybe glynn you only say prayers I am sure you don’t know God yet. Freud didnt know God ,

  8. glynn says:

    With all due respect Maureen perhaps you are a tad a kinda christian agnostic.I know what God will never do for man.That is He’ll never do for man what man can do for himself.Some christians
    become illusionary when they rely on God to pamper them.God will not do this.This is a species of christian childishness as apposed to child likeness.The latter is the virtue God looks for. Remember Adam named the animals not God in consonance with the Divine command. This means that man was given authority over God’s creation.God relies on man to put in a worthy effort. If he does God blesses said effort. The problem is mother church and mother synogue fail to cooperate with God and the miracle resulting union is denied. What these religious bodies do is they project their own human frailties on to God making Him look sub standard to an intelligent person .General Giap of the NVA during the vietnam war had little to work with according General Westmoreland and did a winning good job.Jesus,The King of the Jews is in a similiar position.He doesn’t have much to work with but somehow keeps the world from collapsing into chaos through faulty Jewish and christian instruments.One suspects Jesus is able to work through good hearted agnostics and atheists more than Jews or christians.Remember God’s Love for man is absolute sin is relative.Finally Jesus has placed no restrictions to limit the extent of one’s faith in Him.Tragically Jesus and Yahweh is more feared than trusted and the followers of said Deity act more like victims of extortion rather than liberated children.

  9. I have no more to say, I find your comments confusing and even quite silly. Sorry, but I must be honest ! I won’t reply any more.

  10. glynn says:

    Dear Maureen I appreciate your honesty .However,Freud gave pyscho therapy to a christian who believed in The Holy Trinity and suffered phobias regarding the Trinity.Freud gave the brother help.Freud deserves credit for this.Remember that all you need is honesty order obedience and love in order to obtain conquest success supply harmony and power.These don’t come in answer to urgent prayer but naturally as light from a candle.According to you we’ve had our final witness. GOD BLESS.

    • billrandles says:

      Glynn- fFreud is atheistic and Psychology is a completely different religion. It is an off shoot of humanism.It would be good if the forum were used to discuss the issues I raise in my articles. One day soon,God willing, I will write about Psychology.

  11. glynn says:

    PASTOR RANDLES if you’re willing answer this question “is it proper biblically speaking to plead the blood of Jesus on loved ones in prayer for them”.Its your choice to answer.

  12. glynn says:

    Thank you Pastor Randles for giving me your honest answer God bless

  13. glynn says:

    Pastor Randles regarding the value of the soul.Is it possible that through the infinite price paid for human souls at Golgotha the human soul has infinite value to God? Also a woman named Sue on
    your blog asked since Jesus is so loving and perfect why do people walk away from Him. Your homily gives an insightfull answer.

  14. glynn says:

    Pastor Randles I hope you pray for me as i pray for you. And in Christ Jesus you have every right to judge for yourself what kind of hope i have in you.Whether it be illusonary Kierkegaardian or Pauline .Nevertheless,do you believe that to God the devil is a minor being in God’s s over all creation?Also I’ve been told that one preacher said the Blood of Jesus is for the human mind. Is that a valid biblical doctrine?I hope its right.Finally God created lucifer as a holy angel He never intended lucifer to .become satan. Do you agree. God bless you.

  15. glynn says:

    Pastor Randles Tell me how can a man’s soul trust Jesus if He comes up[ with doctrines he doesn’t like especially if his soul has infinite value to Jesus?I guess that if the soul realizes it in fact has said value it may soften his heart to hard doctrines from its Christ.What do you think? God bless you

  16. glynn says:

    Pastor Randles does not the gospel give insight into the soul of man and is this not true psychology.In this sense psychology is not foreign religion when Christianly understood.This matter fits in with your homily regarding Jesus on the soul.

  17. glynn says:

    Passtor Randles Do you agree that Jesus is also man’s Supreme Servant?

  18. glynn says:

    Pastor Randles You gave an execellent definition of happiness as far I,’m concerned, namely justified satisfaction with life as a whole .The American dream is just that.The rolling stone star Jarrgert sang a song “I can’t get no satisfaction”.In the song he says tries but fails.Surley when it says in 1pet 1…. the purpose of our faith is salvation of our souls means just that which means satisfaction with God and his creation especially human beings the apex His creation.

  19. I think this blog is to discuss the issues raised in it, not to try and open discussions on unrelated things.

  20. glynn says:

    Maureen: the pastor in his homily entitled “Jesus on the Soul…pt “mark8″ talks about in essence the relation between the human soul and its Maker.The pastor makes mention about happiness and the proper standing before God.He says something which causes at least my soul to pause.I want justified satisfaction in life.I think all Americans want that,so do Canadians.The pastor then says, that [which is to me glory and security] that justified or righteous satisfaction in life is a spin off or secondary kind of a crumb not to be sought in Christ.I thought that’s why people flocked to Christ and that is why people in the AA program chose Jesus as their “higher power”.If satisfaction in life is not the christian’s ultimate concern than what is it? This issue is certainly raised in the Pastor’s homily and germane to his topic.If you don’t believe me ask him. \

  21. glynn says:

    Jesus wants the soul’s capacity to absorb His goodness to expand.As this happens surely the soul gets happiness [justified satisfaction in life] and the demand to be in right standing before God The Father is also fulfilled.Jesus will give all the help the soul needs to do its part to achieve this goal.That is the resolution to the pastor’s conundrum.Jesus created all the universes including all quantum realms. The greatest thing He made were human souls.That in it self gives the soul near infinite value.Since however He also died for the human soul that gives justified complete infinite value to the human soul.Therefore in light of this the christian has to be righteously loving to all human beings ,the problem is quite often the christian relies on himself when he should be relying on Jesus and then relies on Jesus when he should be reliant on himself.I know cause I’ve been there.

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