To continue my credo, my statement of faith, I will conclude with further thoughts on Jesus, and then the Holy Spirit, and how the Church, the universal body of Christ, connects us all.
I believe that Jesus is given the authority by God to make judgment on each human being. Those who believe in Him as Lord will not face condemnation, because he came into the world so that the world may be saved through him.
Jesus, as the Son of the living God, lived a pure life. He did not sin, nor did he really know sin until he came face to face with the sin of the world when he died on the cross. That may have been part of his agony that he expressed on the cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me?”
Even though he has the power to judge people, when we turn to him for help, and we are sincere in our hearts with our belief, he will tell us to go and sin no more, or to enter into the joy of our master for “today you will be with me in paradise.” That is what forgiveness of sin is all about.
Jesus promised that we who follow him will be able to do even greater things than he did, because he would send the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. Therefore we will be connected directly with God through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the third part of the trinity. He is the power of God to come to us and heal us, and to take our own breath prayers directly to our Father in heaven. It is the working of the Holy Spirit that inspires me to preach and to continue to hold tightly to my personal faith as I go through the “speed bumps” of life. Sometimes they are stop signs. I know that without the spirit of God living in me, I would not have had the strength to endure or carry on through the hardships of loss and pain. But with Christ all things become possible, and everything works for the good of we who love him.
I believe we have the freedom to choose whether or not to follow Jesus. It becomes a daily choice, and we continually commit and recommit our lives to him. When we are fully committed to him, we are in his perfect will. We do not have to be United Methodist, or Baptist, or Lutheran, or Roman Catholic to be a part of the body of Christ, which is the church universal.
I believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead in bodily form, and one day we will be united with him in Heaven in a more perfect form than we are here on earth. And I do believe in life everlasting – eternal in Heaven for those who confess with their mouths and truly believe in their hearts that Jesus Is Lord, and eternal in the depths of hell (separation from God and everyone) for those who do not believe.